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Through The Wire
11/6/07 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

Marc Bulger, STL – If the thumb’s okay and Jackson gets back soon, he could produce top 10 numbers the rest of the season. He’s available in about one out of five fantasy leagues, so grab him if he’s out there to face the Saints on Sunday.

Digging Deeper

David Garrard, JAC – Okay, Quinn Gray wasn’t horrible Sunday versus the Saints, but it’s time to get Garrard back. Keep an eye on the injury report, but the Jags will definitely come out firing once this guy’s back at the helm.

Scouring The Barrel

Brooks Bollinger, MIN – He had a hand in getting the Vikes the big win (although AP’s two legs had more of an impact) and Tarvaris Jackson left the game with a concussion. I don’t like Bollinger’s fantasy potential as much as Kelly Holcomb – who’s blown up on occasion – but he’s probably better for this offense. Unfortunately, it shouldn’t translate into viable fantasy numbers, so don’t rush to grab him.

Patrick Ramsey, DEN – He didn’t protect the ball too well in relief of Cutler Sunday, although he did compile decent numbers is your league doesn’t punish for turnovers. Cutler owners – not a very lively bunch this year – would have to be pretty desperate to take a shot with Ramsey, but there is something I like about this tough Tulane product, as I’ve explained in previous columns. This weekend, my Redskins-devoted buddy came over with a crock pot full of chili and an old Ramsey Skins jersey for me because it’s a couple sizes too big for him and I’m a fat guy who likes chili. I still don’t think the jersey fits, just like I’m not sure Ramsey’s ever found the right fit for his raw talents, which are ample. Just keep him on your watch list, even though I know I’m probably the only one saying it. Who knows – maybe Cutler’s going to be out for a stretch – and with a week of practice with the first team under his belt, Ramsey goes nuts against the Chiefs. It’s not that much of a stretch, is it?


Matt Hasselbeck, SEA – A good week despite the loss, Hasselbeck should be good going forward from here on out with the Seahawks looking to get in the end zone via the pass more than the run.

Jay Cutler, DEN – I hate to see injuries to young QBs with potential, but those are the breaks.

Damon Huard, KC – Huard’s got a tough matchup this week against the Broncos, but with Larry Johnson out and Holmes in, he could be spreading the ball around to his receivers more.

J.P. Losman, BUF – He’s a different quarterback when he gets going with Evans early – something he did on Sunday and could do again against Miami.

Kellen Clemens, NYJ – He wasn’t ridiculously impressive Sunday, although he did make some nice throws. But now he’s on a bye.

Running Backs

Off The Top

Priest Holmes, KC – With Larry Johnson on the shelf for at least a week, Holmes gets his shot. Playing against the Broncos this week, he should find plenty of seams. Grab him if he’s still available and start him with confidence.

Jamal Lewis, CLE – Holy 4 TDs with minimal yards! It should get tougher this week against the Steelers, whose defense looked like the old Steel Curtain again on MNF (more on that later). I know I keep posting this, but weeks 12-16 should be kind with the Browns facing HOU, @ARI, @NYJ, BUF and @CIN.

Digging Deeper

Justin Fargas, OAK – I included him last week, but didn’t foresee Lamont Jordan falling so quickly out of favor. I still don’t exactly know how Jordan lost the starting job after only 4 carries on Sunday, but he did, and Fargas takes over the gig. And he’ll see lots of work against the Bears.

Musa Smith, BAL – Willis McGahee’s concussion will have him questionable for Sunday’s game against the Bengals, who surrender obscene fantasy totals to opposing RBs. Although Mike Anderson is listed as the team’s #2 RB, Musa’s been getting many more touches and should figure into McGahee’s role if Willis can’t go.

Scouring The Barrel

Warrick Dunn, ATL – People started dropping Warrick after his umpteenth lackluster performance in a row, right before he blew up in Week 9 against the 49ers as the Falcons won and Dunn finished with over 100 yards. I’m not sure if it’s a fluke or not, but Carolina’s decent against opposing RBs and Dunn is still splitting carries with Norwood, so temper your enthusiasm.

Adrian Peterson, CHI – Even though he’s the backup, I’m going to continue to include this guy on the wire – especially since he’s still out there in so many leagues – but mainly because Cedric Benson’s terrible and the Bears need to change something. This week, they’ve got Oakland, a good matchup for whoever is getting the bulk of carries for Chicago.

Michael Robinson, SF – What’s the status on Gore? Are you as sick of asking yourself and everybody else in the know this question? Well, Robinson had 17 carries for 67 yards, adding a couple receptions in Sunday's loss to the Falcons. Again – he and Maurice Hicks (TD-only leagues) are only options if Gore continues to sit.


Kevin Jones, DET – A solid yardage day for a guy with lots of potential, although he didn’t score. The Lions are going to be in a lot of games down the stretch, and Jones will be used heavily. A great guy to target in a trade right before your league’s deadline.

Rudi Johnson CIN, – He’s terrible and so is the Bengals ground game.

Kenton Keith, IND – Still a must-have for Addai owners and shouldn’t be out there in many 12-team leagues.

Chris Henry, TEN – He could be facing a suspension already. Nice. A week removed from picking him up, and I’ve already dropped him for better options.

Ryan Grant, GB – Not bad on Sunday, but not good either. Stay away this week as he faces the Vikings.

Pierre Thomas, NO – Not a factor right now.

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

Off The Top

WR Andre Johnson, HOU – He’s undoubtedly available on a bunch of waiver wires in leagues that don’t allow an extra IR slot. And with his team on a bye this week, he’ll have another week of rest before possibly returning in Week 11. If you’ve got the roster room and he’s available, I wouldn’t waste any time.

WR Chris Henry, CIN – Chad Johnson could play Sunday (he’s basically got a really stiff neck) and Henry will be activated this week against the Ravens – who he scored twice on in 2005 before he endured an injury-and-suspension-riddled ‘06 that kept him out of one of the contests versus Baltimore. Henry could show some rust, but the Bengals struggling offense obviously needs another receiver and Ocho Cinco could be sidelined. Henry’s still available in about 85 percent of ESPN leagues, so you’ll have little excuse when he blows up in his first game back.

Digging Deeper

WR David Patten, NO – Looks like there’s plenty of TD passes and yardage to go around New Orleans these days. Patten’s a proven veteran with a decent fantasy past, and now he’s putting up good numbers in the Big Easy.

WR Muhsin Muhammad, CHI – I don’t care how ineffective the Bears offense looks, Muhammad’s another guy who very capable but just needs the ball. The Bears are coming off a bye and facing the Raiders, and as I’ve said before – Griese likes Muhsin.

Scouring The Barrel

WR Reggie Williams, JAC – I’m not sure why I’m bothering to include any Jags receiver in my column, but it’s happening. Maybe Williams will start to find some of the consistency people expected from him about three years ago.

WR Nate Washington, PIT – With how the Pittsburgh offense was firing on all cylinders inside the red zone Monday night, I think Washington’s value takes a jump. Don’t expect him to put up the numbers of Holmes and Ward, but he’s a decent #3 WR on a team that’s reaching the end zone more and more through the air.


WR Lee Evans, BUF – I told you he’d blow up. Did you listen?

WR Greg Jennings, GB – 3/85/2 – a very nice fantasy day for the second-year receiver. That’s two solid calls in a row.

WR Michael Jenkins, ATL – My whole Marques Colston comparison thing didn’t work out, but at least I thought outside the box.

WR Nate Burleson, SEA – Engram stole the show Sunday, catching a career-high 14 passes for 139 yards and a TD. He saw 21 targets to Burleson’s six targets, but Nate did have 4/59/0 and returned a punt for a TD. His value goes down if Branch is finally back.

WR James Jones, GB – 3/32/0 isn’t great, but he could have easily grabbed a TD – they just both went to Jennings.

TE Tony Scheffler, DEN – Tony had 6/46/0, good numbers for a TE, but lost a fumble. I’m not really sure how Ramsey starting will affect his value, but I don’t think it can help too much.

TE Visanthe Shiancoe, MIN – Nothing much against the Chargers, as it turned into the AP show. But I actually like him a lot this week against the Packers


Off The Top

LB David Harris, NYJ – First off – he’s on a bye this week. But unless you have major issues with IDP bye weeks (something you hopefully should’ve avoided, planned for or handled via trades and other weekly wire selection by this late date) Jonathan Vilma’s replacement is someone you’ve got to grab. Given the start in Week 8, Harris has 41 tackles in the last two games – 30 solos and 11 assists. I don’t think I need to tell you any more, except to apologize for not including him in the wire last week – although it may have kept him from being selected in one of my leagues where I grabbed him to play on Sunday. Today I got offered Philip Rivers and Shawne Merriman for Harris and Sean Taylor (full point for tackles and assists in this particular league) and I quickly turned it down.

DL Darnell Dockett, ARI – He’s coming off a huge week, so there will be some competition on the wire. But he’s also got great matchups coming up versus the Lions, Bengals, Niners and Browns. If he’s still out there, don’t hesitate.

Digging Deeper

LB Omar Gaither, PHI – He’s got a great matchup against the Redskins, and somebody on the Philly defense has got to step up and make some plays to stop the run. I bet this week it’s Gaither.

LB Landon Johnson, CIN – Still out there in lots of leagues, Johnson’s still underappreciated, and I like his matchup against the Ravens. Just check his status on the injury report – not that he’s injured or anything – it’s just that Bengals LBs get hurt even more often than they get arrested.

Scouring The Barrel

DB Fernando Bryant, DET – He’s not the best cover man in the world, but he’s been scoring IDP points with some consistency and he’s got a great matchup this week against the Cards – who are easily victimized by opposing fantasy DBs. He’s an instinctive player whose skills are improving as the Lions shore up some of their issues in the secondary.

DL Will Smith, NO – The Fresh Prince of Bourbon Street has had a disappointing season thus far, but he’s got a nice matchup this week against the Rams, who miss Orlando Pace as much as they’ve missed S-Jax, probably more. Take a chance and suit him up if you’re desperate for a DL who has big-play capability and the big boys are already gone


DB Sammy Knight, JAC – 11 total tackles and 2 PDs. I’d say I hit this one pretty good.

DL Mario Williams, HOU – Wow. This guy was a number one overall pick and he can’t even exploit the Raider offensive line. Sad, isn’t it?

DL Elvis Dumervil, DEN – He got to the QB again. You can’t expect much more out of a DL than consistency getting penetration. Keep playing him.

LB James Harrison, PIT – Probably the best IDP waiver call of my career, I knew Harrison would have a good day against the Ravens. I just didn’t know he’d completely take over the game and finish with 3.5 sacks, 10 tackles, a PD, and INT and a FR. He scored 32.5 points in my main IDP leagues and nobody played him, including me, because I’ve already got some great LBs, and I picked up Terrence McGee instead this week. Still – he’ll have some good IDP totals from here on out, although nothing approaching this game unless he scores a TD or two.

LB Victor Hobson, NYJ – Harris stole the show, Barton contributed and Hobson was pretty much absent.

DL Marques Douglas SF, – Not much last week, and I’m not expecting much this week.