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Through The Wire
10/9/07 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

Kurt Warner, ARI Warner assumes the reins following the injury to Matt Leinart, who suffered a fractured left collarbone Sunday and could miss the rest of the season. In any event, Warner will start for at least the remainder of the first half. His schedule during the next four weeks doesnt do much for fantasy owners CAR, @WAS, BYE, @TAM but if he can get some rhythm together, hold onto the starting job and regain some of his old form, the Cards passing game should be in excellent shape by Week 10, when they face Detroit, then head to Cincinnati in Week 11 and face the 49ers and Browns the next two weeks.

Jeff Garcia, TB Garcia continues his solid play and is an excellent spot starting option for desperate fantasy owners. He still hasnt turned the ball over in 2007, can make decent plays with his feet, and is even starting to click with his somewhat-embattled receiving corps. Next week the Bucs face Tennessee, but hes certainly got nice a matchup in Week 7 versus the Lions.

Digging Deeper

Derek Anderson, CLE Okay hes not that bad. And the Dolphins are terrible against the pass. So maybe well see another shootout this week, although it could be one of those weird weeks that goes against the prevailing fantasy trends. Any way you slice it, Anderson is the #5 QB in all of fantasy, hes had three decent weeks following his uber-explosion in Week 2 against the Bengals and hes got a pretty nifty schedule after the Week 7 bye.

Gus Frerotte, STL Gus tossed for three TD passes and 262 yards on Sunday but also managed to throw three picks on 24-for-43 passing. You know whats coming next: Hes only a fair QB pickup in leagues that penalize for turnovers but has much more value in leagues that dont mainly because the Rams will constantly be playing catch-up, throwing the football and getting their share of garbage points. Until Bulger comes back something that shouldnt really happen anytime soon with the Rams currently out of contention Frerotte might just be a decent fantasy option.

Scouring The Barrel

David Carr, CAR I dont know the status of his back injury, and hes been pitiful in relief of Jake Delhomme. But with Delhomme out for the year, somebodys got to pick up the offense and get the ball to Steve Smith. Keep an eye on him for now, but dont add him unless you know something I dont.

Cleo Lemon, MIA This isnt a recommendation. But to talk about Trent Greens injury and the fantasy implications, I needed to include Lemon in the wire. Hear that? The dude is a Lemon, and until further notice, hes taking up permanent residency in the barrel. That means he cant be considered a fantasy option until (1) the Dolphins stop running plays where the quarterback is throwing head-first blocks on 300-pound defensive lineman, and (2) offensive mastermind Cam Cameron devises some small scrap of a passing game to unleash on unsuspecting opponents.


Daunte Culpepper, OAK Coming off a bye, Culpepper will have his hands full the next few weeks versus the Chargers, the Chiefs and the Titans. But hes a special athlete that could throw in some nice sleeper performances against even the toughest opponents.

Joey Harrington, ATL I knew he was poop. If youve got him, you shouldnt really be using him. If you dont, you really should be using him. Nuff said.

Chad Pennington, NYJ If hes stays healthy, he could put together some decent numbers the next four weeks (PHI, @CIN, BUF, WAS). But the Jets are just looking for a reason to start Kellen Clemens, who can actually throw the ball more than 25 yards down the field.

David Garrard, JAC Im not liking him too much the next few weeks, but at least hes been consistent.

Running Backs

Off The Top

Earnest Graham, TB First, the guy just wouldnt go away. Now, everybody else in the Bucs backfield is dropping like flies. Hes the only viable option left for Tampa Bay, hes got a nose for the end zone, and hes a solid pickup in any format. While the Bucs are still looking to add another RB before the trade deadline, Graham will remain involved for at least the next few weeks.

Digging Deeper

Najeh Davenport, PIT Ive been telling people to add this guy for weeks, even though hes a backup. Did you have him in your fantasy lineup when he broke out Sunday for 58 yards, 2 TDs and 4/38/0 receiving? If not, hes a great runner whos highly underrated by fantasy owners. Hes on a bye this week, but the Steelers schedule is very favorable for the remainder of the season and theyre going to run the ball a ton with both Parker and Davenport.

Jason Wright, CLE Foot injuries suck for RBs (just ask Kevin Jones) and if youre Jamal Lewis and you rely heavily on short, quick steps to move our bulky frame about the gridiron, they suck even worse. Wright managed to gain 59 yards on 15 carries against the Pats, along with 4/43/0 receiving. The Browns face Miami on Sunday, and the Dolphins are 26th in fantasy points allowed to opposing RBs making Wright a sexy waiver wire selection for as spot start if Lewis is shelved this week, and added depth to your depleted RB roster if hes out for any extended period of time.

Scouring The Barrel

Ron Dayne, HOU After another decent game, a lot of fantasy owners will jump on the chance to grab Dayne. But Ahman Green should be back next week after sitting out the past two games with a knee injury, and the schedule gets tougher for the Texans. Id probably pass on Dayne unless something goes wrong with Greens return.


Warrick Dunn, ATL Two catches and 27 yards rushing. Not necessarily whooping it up but things get easier in the coming weeks.

Selvin Young, DEN I recommended adding young to your roster even before the Travis Henry dope-smoking scandal broke last week. Now I feel smart, although Young hasnt yet assumed the #1 spot on the depth chart.

Kenton Keith, IND Boom! Keith carried the ball 28 times against the Bucs for 121 yards and 2 TDs and had the best week for any fantasy RB. And I reaped the benefits, because at 12:58 p.m. on Sunday, I inserted him in my lineup in place of injured Colts starter Joseph Addai. But I also started Julius Jones over Najeh Davenport, so dont start revering me too much.

Leon Washington, NYJ On yet another awesome play from a truly special player, Washington returned a kickoff 98 yards for a score Sunday against the Giants. Hes only carried 24 times for 70 yards on the season, but hes still ranked as the 25th best RB in one of my PPR leagues, making him a decent #3 in PPR formats.

Dominic Rhodes, OAK Hes probably gone by now from lots of wires, but grab him if hes not and stay tuned.

Justin Fargas, OAK Im not convinced hell go away completely once Rhodes comes back this week.

Michael Pittman, TB Hes out for 6-8 weeks with a bad ankle injury, which means I can officially stop including him here for a while. Im not happy about the injury, because I really like Pittman, but what a huge break for Graham owners!

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

Off The Top

WR Bobby Engram, SEA With Deion Branch out for at least the next three week, Engram will see more targets and get more catches. So far this season, hes been a viable #4 receiver in a limited role and now that hes starting, Id consider him a respectable #3 in all formats. And if, by chance, Branch is out for Week 9 as well, hell get to face the Browns.

WR Ike Hilliard, TB Hes had two solid weeks in a row and its obvious that Garcia is targeting him more frequently than the other undesirables in Tampa. The Titans pose some problems for him next week, but the Bucs face the Lions in Week 7, and thats good enough reason to add him now.

TE Ben Watson, NE Coming off a lackluster game versus the Bengals, its possible some shallow fantasy-leaguers dropped Watson in favor of a more explosive TE option. Well the only thing that blew up among fantasy TEs last week was Ben, with 6/107/2 and even 11 yards rushing. I keep Ben high on my want list of fantasy tight ends every season for just this reason sure, hell kill you a couple games out of the year, but hes consistent, for the most part, always in Tom Bradys mind in the red zone, and a super-huge performer 3-5 weeks out of the season.

Digging Deeper

WR Keenan McCardell, WAS Holy smokes! This guys back in the league and he had two catches for 39 yards in his first game back last week. If Randle Els hamstring injury keeps him out this week and Santana Moss still cant go, expect him to put up decent numbers as a spot starter against Green Bay. I still cant believe Im really talking about Keenan McCardell again.

WR Dennis Northcutt, JAC He had his best game of the season against KC, going for 4/73/1. His value is limited for a variety of reasons, but Northcutt is emerging as Garrards go-to guy, so pick him up as a possible #3 WR if hes still available.

Scouring The Barrel

WR Marty Booker, MIA Without someone to throw him the ball, Booker wont be able to take advantage of a great matchup versus the Browns on Sunday. But since hes a veteran receiver who makes the most of his opportunities, I can still see spending a wire selection on him just dont expect the kind of numbers hes be getting if Citrus Cleo wasnt the one dealing him the pigskin.

WR Roscoe Parrish, BUF The Bills are on a bye, but Parrish an electric player had 6/37/0 against the Cowboys and I expect him to pick up some of the slack in a struggling passing game once Evans and the rest of the offense gets back to form. Remember, Im talking a barrel-bound #4 WR sleeper pick, not someone to bank the rest of your season on.


WR Patrick Crayton, DAL Another solid performance capped with a TD in the waning seconds.

WR Dwayne Bowe, KC D-Bowe is the #13 fantasy WR in PPR leagues and hes facing the Bengals this week.

TE Dallas Clark, IND Clark tallied 7/49/1 and got lambasted by a Bucs defender but returned. Hes on a bye this week.

WR Michael Jenkins, ATL How does Jenkins follow his 6/64/2 performance? With one catch for 2 yards. Hes got the Giants this week, but with his inconsistent play and Coughlins boys playing much better, Id stay away.

WR James Jones, GB Fumble boy! Take away his two fumbles and hes got a passable day for a #3 5/61/0. But take into account the fumbles, the tough schedule coming up, a Week 7 bye and a healthy Greg Jennings, and youve got a seriously diminished fantasy value for the rookie out of San Jose State.

WR Anthony Gonzalez, IND Hes got a bye week in Week 6 coming off his best numbers as a professional with 7/71/0. He hasnt snagged a TD yet, but theyll come.

WR Sidney Rice, MIN I smell a big week for Sidney Rice against the Bears and their undersized defensive backs.

TE Chris Baker, NYJ 3/52/0 in Week 5 against the Giants. This guy does manage to get 5-7 fantasy points a game just about every week and you cant get any better for your money as a #2 fantasy TE, can you?


Off The Top

LB Will Witherspoon, STL Hes not going to be out there in to many formats, but Ill admit, I was starting to get worried about this guy for a while until he put up a monster game last week for me against the Cards. So somebody might have dropped him to make room following a bunch of pedestrian weeks. Hes a proven fantasy performer and this week hes facing the Ravens who are 30th in fantasy points allowed to opposing LBs. A nice week to grab him if hes available.

DB Jermaine Phillips, TB If hes out there still, go get him. Hes one of the most consistent IDP defensive backs in football over the past two seasons and he gets no respect.

Digging Deeper

DB Marlon McCree, SD Hes yet to make the IDP impact he made in Week 1 again, but McCree is a solid, week-in-week-out kind of DB whos in the right system to generate IDP points. The Chargers will force turnovers with pressure from their front seven, and Marlon will clean up most of the messes they leave for him. Facing the unpredictable Raiders this week, he could have some big plays.

LB Chad Greenway, LB Im feeling a big week from the young Greenway against the Bears this week something like 10 tackles, a sack, and a couple PDs. Hes smart, fast and reads the play well good commodities for linebacker in this division.

Scouring The Barrel

DB Roderick Hood, ARI Any fantasy DB who puts up numbers like hood last week deserves some attention. Sometimes, a game like this sparks a big playmaking style for a few games thats a pleasure to have on your IDP roster. Hood was the nickel corner in Philadelphia and he played very well in limited time. I like him, and he seems to have a flair for the dramatic.

DL Kenyon Coleman, NYJ Coleman is a brilliant athlete who should be able to abuse the Eagles offensive line and get to McNabb a few times on Sunday. Hes a sleeper DL pick that has pretty consistent value in IDP league because gets tackles.


DB Leigh Bodden, CLE Bodden had his worst week since Week 1, with just 6 total tackles. Still not terrible.

DL Osi Umenyiora, NYG Wasnt much of a reach putting him here after a six-sack-game, but he had a decent day against the Jets with 5 tackles and a sack okay numbers for a fantasy DL.

DB Atari Bigby, GB 9 total tackles against the Bears, but no picks or passes defensed. Not a disappointing day in any fantasy terms, but I expected more against a Bears QB.

LB Michael Boley, ATL Boley made me look like great against the Titans for including him in the wire, though he shattered the myth that his upside isnt that enormous with 1 INT, 11 tackles, 4 assists and a pass defensed. Im doing well again this week.

LB DQwell Jackson, CLE 9 solos, 5 assists thats a very solid day in most IDP formats. Another good IDP call.