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Through The Wire
11/27/07 Users...
Check out the most popular waiver wire pickups this week across thousands of MFL leagues. Also, quickly see who's available on your waiver wire this week by using the MFL Power feature at FF Today. Just input your league's 5-digit ID number away you go!
Targeting weekly waiver picks is a completely subjective business, but this column hopes to point out some obvious and not-so-obvious selections that will help your team from week to week while you strive to collect fantasy wins, reach your league playoffs, and win the elusive title that your friends say is out of your grasp. While I’m just as big a proponent of making trades to bolster your roster, the waiver wire can be an almost limitless resource when it comes to discovering fantasy value in strange places. Each week, I’ll target both offensive and defensive players that may be available in shallow leagues – sometimes just breakout stars that eluded your team’s draft – as well as players who can help your squad that will still be available in many deeper leagues.


Off The Top

Philip Rivers, SD – He’s been horribly inconsistent – not something you want from your fantasy QB, but Rivers is coming off a huge game versus the Ravens that portends good things for the fantasy playoffs. He actually reminds me of Rex Grossman last year, with more talented red zone weapons. Facing KC this week, it’s not a great time to play him, but if you’re looking for an available QB with upside during the final few weeks, he might be your guy.

A.J. Feeley, PHI – His value is totally dependent on McNabb’s injury status, because it’s tough to supplant a guy who took his team to that many NFC championships. But Feeley shredded a tough Patriots secondary after an initial hiccup INT and could be in line for a starting gig, according to Andy “Pusher Man” Reid. He has big upside and with the 2007 Eagles season approaching the tank, he’s got nothing to lose.

Digging Deeper

Gus Frerotte, STL – He's out at least one week with a sprained throwing shoulder and partially torn labrum. Plus, it looks like Marc Bulger has been cleared to start Sunday

Scouring The Barrel

Trent Dilfer, SF – Again, I’m not planning on starting him anytime soon in my money leagues, but there’s a possibility he has another good game this week against the Panthers, who have surrendered big totals to fantasy QBs in their last two weeks. The offense is coming around a bit and he’s got the starting job locked up for at least the next couple weeks.

Trent Edwards, BUF – I’m staying away from all Bills this week, as the Redskins defense will be playing this one for the late Sean Taylor. Edwards might be the starter again, but he shouldn’t be starting for any fantasy teams yet – it’s just that simple. Give him another week under his belt and revisit the situation then on a matchup-to-matchup basis.


Jason Campbell, WAS – 330 yards and a TD is good, but 3 turnovers is bad. Still, Buffalo’s an opponent he could light up at home.

David Garrard, JAC – Garrard had a nice week, as I expected, and I like him a lot heading into Indy, where he’ll be forced to move the ball to keep up with the Colts. He’s yet to throw an INT this season and he’s been running the ball well, too. Go for it.

Daunte Culpepper, OAK – He’s supposed to be starting Week 13, but since Lane Kiffin’s already removed his testicles – figuratively speaking – what’s the point?

Jay Cutler, DEN – Cutler’s got some healthy receivers who are making plays and he’s spreading the ball around well. He’s the 12th-ranked fantasy QB right now and his stock is only rising after his big day Sunday against the Bears.

Joey Harrington, ATL – He’s bad, his team is going nowhere and the Rams are actually playing decent right now. Forget about him.

John Beck, MIA – I feel really bad for this guy. He’s not making mistakes, he’s definitely not a bad QB, he makes decent throws that get dropped by his terrible WRs and the one night he gets a legitimate chance to win because torrential Monday night rains turn Heinz Field into a wintry slip ‘n’ slide, his team loses 3-0 with little fanfare.

Running Backs

Off The Top

Adrian Peterson, CHI – With Cedric Benson out for the year, hopefully my near-weekly inclusion of “original recipe” Adrian Peterson in my wire column turned a few heads. I firmly believed it was only a matter of time before he got his shot – I just thought Benson would get benched, not injured. In any event, it’s time to snag any Adrian Peterson that’s available and plug him in your lineup. PPR leaguers should benefit significantly, as well, since he – unlike Benson – sees frequent targets in the passing game.

Kolby Smith, KC – If my waiver wire column came out a day later, you’d have heard about this guy again last week, as Priest retired on Wednesday. But I know you like your waiver wire information ASAP, and the Holmes retirement was big enough news that you probably all figured to pick up Smith for this week, right? Well, after his big day Sunday, if Kolby’s still available, you know what to do.

Digging Deeper

Aaron Stecker, NO – Keep an eye on Reggie Bush’s status, and if it looks anything like last week, Stecker could make a nice #3 RB or flex play versus the Bucs.

Justin Fargas, OAK – He’s still available on plenty of waiver wires and he could see a ton of carries against the Broncos, a weak run defense that has seen much better days. Just watch out that Lamont Jordan doesn’t steal too many goal line carries, a distinct possibility down the stretch.

Scouring The Barrel

Cecil Sapp/Mike Bell, DEN – I’ll remind you that I’m not a mind-reader or a doctor, but it looks like one of these guys will see the bulk of carries against the Raiders, which is nice work if you can get it. Sapp was the guy on Sunday in relief of Andre Hall, who was filling in for Selvin Young, who was filling in for Travis Henry. So if Henry’s not yet back, Young’s still on the shelf, Hall’s not recovered from the ankle sprain and Bell’s still in the doghouse, then Sapp is the guy. But it’s a long week, and everybody seems to be on their way out, so act accordingly.

Fred Jackson, BUF – The latest guy to fill-in for an injured Bills starter, Jackson will see the bulk of carries if Anthony Thomas and Marshawn Lynch can’t go Sunday versus the traumatized Redskins, but he’s not a great option.


Ron Dayne, HOU – 16 carries for 78 yards and a couple catches is just good enough to remain the starter as long as Ahman Green’s on the shelf.

Reuben Droughns, NYG – You couldn’t realistically expect much more than the 46 yards and TD you got out of Reuben Sunday against the Vikings, especially considering Eli Manning was ending just about every drive with an INT.

Ricky Williams, MIA – Tough to tell if Ricky’s really back with the drenched field and Pittsburgh defense shutting down all rushing attempts, but at least he looked good hitting the hole on his first carry. Now it’s a matter of the apparent shoulder injury and the severity of Jessie Chatman’s wounds.

Michael Pittman, TB – Graham got the carries and the numbers Sunday.

Andre Hall, DEN – I don’t know the severity of the ankle sprain, but the entire Broncos RB situation is up in the air and Hall looked great again (26 rushes for 98 yards a score, 2/69/0 receiving) until he came out on Sunday.

Chris Brown, TEN – Just 28 yards rushing and a lone catch – about what I expected.

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

Off The Top

WR Javon Walker, DEN – He was activated last week but didn’t see too much action. Keep an eye on the injury report, but get Walker back in your lineup against the Raiders this week if he’s healthy, because I smell some big plays coming his way with Brandon “Baby TO” Marshall and Brandon “Fireplug” Stokely taking care of the possession stuff.

WR Deion Branch, SEA – He’s also back and showed it against the Rams on Sunday, totaling 5/92/1 – and this week he gets a Philly secondary that could easily give up some big plays.

Digging Deeper

WR Isaac Bruce, STL – I’m including the Reverend yet again since he’s available in so many leagues and he’s a reliable red zone option even Gus Frerotte can hit on a quick out.

WR Anthony Gonzalez, IND – He’s back, so the Colts can stop plugging in dudes whose first names start C-r-a-p – I’m talking about you, Craphonso Thorpe. Gonzalez isn’t crap, and if Marvin Harrison misses any more action, his value’s firm as a #3 WR with upside.

TE Tony Scheffler, DEN – As far as tight ends go, Scheffler’s been pretty consistent for the past six weeks. And if you saw his TD catch versus the Bears on Sunday, you know he’s a reliable red zone threat who can make just about any play to haul it in. While there aren’t too many TEs on the wire you’d want to pick up for the final few weeks, Scheffler’s out there in a bunch of leagues and should continue to see targets.

Scouring The Barrel

WR Greg Lewis, PHI – If McNabb doesn’t get the start against the Seahawks and Feeley gets another crack at things, I’d consider giving Lewis another shot to repeat his 4/88/2 performance from Sunday night.

WR Justin Gage, TEN – I haven’t been a big fan of Titans receivers since Derrick Mason left for purpler pastures, but Gage has had three solid weeks in a row, totaling 17/254/1 – numbers that demand some attention. His targets are up and the titans are throwing more, so grab him if you’re weak at WR at play him matchup-to-matchup as the Titans are bound to get into more shooting matches as the season winds down.


WR Santana Moss, WAS – 5/37/0 and a lost fumble. Not good.

WR Chris Henry, CIN – Sunday’s game against the Titans turned into the Chad Johnson show, but I expect Henry to be a significant contributor from here on out – unless he gets arrested again.

WR Bobby Engram, SEA – D.J. Hackett went down again on Sunday. Even though Branch is back it’s got to help Engram see more targets.

WR Ronald Curry, OAK – Ugh. Another pedestrian 6/39/0 day. He’s been a real disappointment this season, and I blame it all on Lane Kiffin.

WR Michael Jenkins, ATL – Roddy White was the go-to-guy again on Thursday night, so I’d stay away from the Atlanta WR situation altogether. It’s just too risky.

TE Alex Smith, TB – 3/41/0 isn’t bad for a TE, but a TD would’ve been nice.

WR Ted Ginn, Jr., MIA – In a parallel universe somewhere, he’s another Devin Hester. But for now, in this apparent reality, he’s just plain old Ted Ginn, Jr., scourge of Miami’s ’07 draft.

WR Devard Darling, BAL – Forget about him until he shows up in the box score with more than 2/24/0 again.


Off The Top

DB Jermaine Phillips, TB – I’ve included Jermaine several times in my column, but he never seems to get picked up in too many of my IDP leagues. Maybe it’s because he’s rarely on the highlight films, but he’s quietly produced top 15 DB numbers and has a very tasty matchup against the Saints this week.

LB Adalius Thomas, NE – He’s an animal, he’s healthy again, he’s having a resurgence and he’s facing his old team. What more do you need to plug in this veteran LB with a penchant for big plays? Let’s forget the scenario that the Ravens could be down a bunch of points early and abandon the run – Thomas isn’t your typical LB who needs his opponent to pound the ball relentlessly to come up with IDP points. He’s probably good for a sack or two and a couple passes defensed – regardless of his tackle total.

Digging Deeper

LB Antonio Pierce, NYG – If he’s available, this veteran Giants LB is the easy choice to pick up the bulk of tackles against a Bears team that yields the most IDP points in the league to opposing LBs.

LB Angelo Crowell, BUF – The Redskins are playing with heavy hearts and you can bet they’ll be playing smash-mouth football and giving Clinton Portis tons of carries in short-yardage situations. Crowell, despite some poor play this season and not too much respect from fantasy owners, is putting up okay IDP numbers and deserves a start here.

Scouring The Barrel

DB DeAngelo Hall, ATL – He’s not a consistent IDP guy by any means, and having him in your lineup every week can mean disaster, but this week against the Rams I like his chances at getting a pick or two.

DL Justin Smith, CIN – During his last game against the Steelers, he had his best IDP performance of the year with 10 total tackles. And Steelers’ opponents have been getting to Roethlisberger with some consistency these days, so I like him to get 5-6 tackles and a sack, or something along those lines.


LB Barrett Ruud, TB – 10 total tackles is nice, but I actually expected a few more extras.

LB Ian Gold, DEN – A very good call. Gold had his second-highest fantasy total of the year with 6 total tackles, 1 pass defensed and a fumble recovery.

DB Chris Hope, TEN – He got concussed Week 12 en route to another poor performance. I don’t really consider him an IDP option from here on out.

DL Darryl Tapp, SEA – Tapp seemed like he was in on a bunch of plays Sunday, but just finished the game with 4 tackles. So goes the life of an IDP defensive lineman.

LB Daryl Smith, JAC – 8 solos filling the void left by Mike Peterson. An above-average game for a guy I expect similar numbers from this week against the Colts.

DB Chris Harris, CAR – 4 tackles, 2 assists. Not terrible, but not great, either.