Fantasy Football Today - fantasy football rankings, cheatsheets, and information
A Fantasy Football Community!

Create An Account  |  Advertise  |  Contact      

Staff Writer
Email Antonio

Antonio's Articles

Through The Wire
11/11/08 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 may still be available in many deeper leagues.

With the NFL’s bye weeks finished, conventional wisdom dictates there will be less waiver wire activity than in previous weeks. But that doesn’t mean we should fall asleep at the fantasy switch. Additionally, Week 11 could mark the return of several prominent players who’ll have an immediate fantasy impact – and might help your team make a playoff run. Tony Romo and Matt Hasselbeck are slated to assume the reins of their struggling teams. Kyle Orton is hinting he’s ready to start against the Packers, and it sounds as if the Cowboys’ explosive change-of-pace running back, Felix Jones, could start practicing Wednesday.

Whether or not many of these guys will play (and the workload they’ll take on) remains up in the air. Even though there aren’t too many fresh names popping up this week on the wire, there are several skill players we’ve mentioned before who’ve now demonstrated some surprising consistency aiding fantasy teams in their time of need. A few teammate combos even come to mind, including the Chiefs’ Tyler Thigpen and Mark Bradley, the Falcons’ Michael Jenkins and Jerious Norwood, and the Dolphins’ Ricky Williams and Ted Ginn, Jr. These offenses are obviously dynamic enough for more than just a couple successful fantasy stars, and these guys might help you in the immediate future.

I welcome your e-mails and would like to continue hearing from you regarding my waiver wire recommendations – whether they have helped or hindered your success this season. I’ll be happy to answer fantasy questions of any variety, and the earlier you get your questions in during the week, the better. Let’s go get ‘em.


Off The Top

Jake Delhomme, CAR – Delhomme’s horrific performance Sunday marked only the second time since the NFL-AFL merger in 1970 that a quarterback completed less than 30 percent of his passes and threw four interceptions in a win. While I’m reeling from the decision I made to start him over Eli Manning in one of my home leagues, I’m not giving up on him. According to HC John Fox, Jake handles adversity well and I’ve him bounce back from poor outings several times over the years. With the Lions on the docket, the matchup portends success this week.

Digging Deeper

Tyler Thigpen, KC – After spotty play while filling in during the first seven weeks of the season, Thigpen came alive in Week 8 against the Jets and hasn’t turned back. He’s got 6 TD passes (and 1 ID reception) over his last three games, and his next three opponents are NO, BUF, @OAK. It’s time to add Thigpen and give him a shot if your QB is really struggling and has a bad matchup.

Matt Hasselbeck, SEA – After so many weeks off, Hasselbeck is bound to be rusty, and he’s only worth starting this week if you’re in dire straits. But Arizona’s secondary isn’t spectacular and if the Cards’ D-line can be moderately contained, he’s got a decent chance at 200 and 2 TDs.

Scouring The Barrel

Marc Bulger, STL – He’s still the starter, and if Jim Haslett’s got faith, I do too. It’s obvious the Rams can’t do much without Steven Jackson in the backfield, but you could take a shot on Bulger and his cake schedule as soon as S-Jax gets healthy.


Sage Rosenfels, HOU – The Texans were just plain terrible and Rosenfels threw 4 INTs – even though he racked up 294 passing yards and a score. I’m sure he’ll bounce back, but it might not be against an energized Indy defense in Week 11.

Rex Grossman, CHI – 20-for-37 for 173 yards with 1 TD and an INT. It might be his only start, but he wasn’t bad.

Daunte Culpepper, DET – I’m rooting for him, but the situation in Detroit looks pretty bad. For now, he’s slated to start against the Panthers, but that might not be a very pleasant experience for him.

Brady Quinn, CLE – I’ll say this – he really seems to like Kellen Winslow. Braylon Edwards? Not so much. One other tidbit: 30 of the 35 passes he attempted on Thursday night were of 10 yards or fewer, according to an ESPN report. If that’s the plan, he should cut down on mistakes and be worth a start as a #2 QB.

Ryan Fitzpatrick, CIN – Carson Palmer’s supposed to miss another start, and Fitzpatrick, coming off his best game of the season and a Week 10 bye, might have his hands full against the Eagles. I’d look for other options.

Byron Leftwich, PIT – I have to wonder if the Steelers didn’t make a mistake by starting the gimpy-shouldered Ben Roethlisberger instead of a healthy, eager Leftwich Sunday.

Running Backs

Off The Top

Jerious Norwood, ATL – Norwood had a huge TD reception that made his fantasy day Sunday, but he’s getting touches regularly in the Atlanta offense and is now a Top 30 fantasy back – in case you haven’t noticed. I jumped on board relatively early this season and have reaped the benefits in several formats, but it’s not too late for you: He’s still available in almost half of fantasy leagues.

Ricky Williams, MIA – It’s time to pick up Ricky Williams in all formats. It’s likely someone dropped him after a lackluster Week 9 performance to help them solve bye-week quandaries, or is selling low as many leagues approach their trading deadlines. Last week, he had his best fantasy game of the season, tallying 105 yards on 12 carries, including a 51-yard TD run.

Felix Jones, DAL – I mentioned him in my intro, and my summary here is simple: He has tons of fantasy value – and if he plays this week, it’s a bonus. The bottom line is that he should be owned in all leagues. The Cowboys need him badly and if you have a spot, you’d better grab him before somebody else.

Digging Deeper

Peyton Hillis, DEN – He looks like the default starter in Denver after rookie Ryan Torain went down with a torn ACL on Thursday night. He’s worth a roster spot since he’ll likely be used as a single setback in the Broncos system a la Mike Anderson. Just keep an eye out for the return of RB Selvin Young (groin).

BenJarvus Green-Ellis, NE – I keep starting the wrong New England running back. It appears as though Bill Belichick is the new Mike Shanahan. BenJarvus had 105 yards on 26 carries and a TD. As long as Lamont Jordan and Sammy Morris remain out, he’s a viable #2 RB option and excellent #3 RB option.

Chester Taylor, MIN – He won’t get a ton of chances on a team that features Adrian Peterson, but you can bet the veteran back will make the most of his opportunities and provide a change of pace and some value in PPR leagues. While most of Taylor’s value is latent, he’s a good guy to keep rostered in case something happens to Peterson down the stretch.

Scouring The Barrel

Correll Buckhalter, PHI – Again – he’s only worth starting when Brian Westbrook is inactive. HC Andy Reid said this Monday of Westie and his knee issues: “I'm not going to say he's 100 percent, but at the same time, he's good enough to where he can be effective as long as we take care of business up front.” That means you should keep an eye on the starter’s status heading into the weekend.

Carnell Williams, TB – The Bucs have until Wednesday to decide if Cadillac will be taken off PUP and activated. Although HC Jon Gruden hasn’t made a decision, I’d take a shot on Cadillac with the Bucs other backs dinged up. Also – keep any eye out for reports on Warrick Dunn, Michael Bennett and starter Earnest Graham, although it appears Graham might sit out this week.


Tim Hightower, ARI – San Fran did a nice job of shutting down the Cardinals running game, hurting Hightower – although Kurt Warner had his way with the secondary.

Cedric Benson, CIN – On a bye week 10, Benson returns form his best game of ‘08 against the Eagles. He’s not a great start against a stout Philly D, but he’s worth a shot as a #3 RB.

Jamaal Charles, KC – He’s questionable for Sunday after aggravating an ankle injury in Week 10 versus the Chargers. Larry Johnson, who hasn’t played since Oct. 5 at Carolina, will probably return from suspension and get the start against the Saints.

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

Off The Top

WR Mark Bradley, KC – Okay – I’m convinced. There’s a lot to like about Bradley, who’s building a steady relationship with Thigpen in KC and has 18-188-2 in his past three games. Last week, he finished with 9-81-1 and saw 14 targets. Add him.

WR Ted Ginn, Jr., MIA – He had 4-67-1 against the Seahawks and is a viable #3 WR option now. If you’re looking for a big play receiver who sees between 7-9 targets a game, Ginn is your man. He’s come a long way since last season, when he didn’t really contribute and was spurned by Miami fans. With things looking much better in Miami, he’s coming into his own.

Digging Deeper

WR Antwaan Randle El, WAS – If the Redskins are without Clinton Portis when they face the rival Cowboys on Sunday night, HC Jim Zorn must get creative in his offensive approach. That’ll mean extensive use of Randle El and a big day for the former Indiana Hoosier. He’s got at least three catches in every game this season – making him an important cog in PPR league lineups.

WR Brandon Lloyd, CHI – He was listed as probable and still sat out Sunday’s game with a knee injury. If he’s active, he’s a talented receiver with big upside. It just boils down to that pesky problem of actually getting him on the field. Stay tuned to the injury report and only play him if you have confirmation he’s active by game time.

TE Todd Heap, BAL – I was kicking myself for picking up SEA TE John Carlson instead of Heap to fill in for Chris Cooley, but I managed to squeak out a win anyway. Of course, I grabbed MIN TE Visanthe Shiancoe over Heap in another league where I had Cooley and lost by 7 points. In any event, you should pick up Heap if your TE slot has been quiet. Because 5-58-2 is anything but quiet, and Heap’s been effective down the stretch before.

Scouring The Barrel

WR Sidney Rice, MIN – There’s been Sidney Rice sightings in consecutive weeks in Minnesota. He’s got five catches on the season, and three are TDs. Honestly, I don’t know what to make of it. If he’s effective enough for the red zone, why not use him on the other 80 yards of the field?

WR Jason Hill, SF – Hill caught 7 passes for 84 yards Monday night and is gaining fantasy relevance as he develops rapport with default starting QB Shaun Hill. Keep him in mind.


WR Kevin Curtis, PHI – 3/25/1 is a solid line (anything with a TD usually is for a receiver), although I’d like to see him with more than 7 targets considering how much McNabb looked his way last season.

WR Rashied Davis, CHI – He saw only five targets and caught just one pass for 15 yards. Maybe he’ll be more involved again when Orton returns, but if Lloyd comes back and looks good, his value drops precipitously.

WR Michael Jenkins, ATL – 6/72/0 on just 6 targets. Matt Ryan is all grown up and spreading it around quite well. Jenkins is a must add in 12-team leagues.

WR Mark Clayton, BAL – Flacco targeted Clayton 5 times and connected for 3-40-0, but the big story was the developing relationship between Flacco and Heap.

WR Koren Robinson, SEA – After another big week, it appears Robinson has turned an important corner. Getting Hasselbeck back should only help. He’s a worthy WR #4.

TE Brent Celek, PHI – TE L.J. Smith was healthy and got the start – and Celek sat.


Off The Top

LB Zach Thomas, DAL – Undoubtedly, some folks had to drop Thomas last week to fill their IDP rosters with active players. This week, Thomas has a great matchup against the Redskins, especially if Portis plays.

DB Erik Coleman, ATL – I almost picked him up to start in Gibril Wilson’s place last weekend in one IDP league, but I would’ve had to drop Wilson to do it. I just wasn’t ready to do that, but if you have an empty roster slot or could drop someone a bit less studly than Gibril to pick up this veteran safety, I suggest you do it. He’s coming off two straight with an INT and he makes a bunch of tackles.

Digging Deeper

LB Calvin Pace, NYJ – The big play last week made his fantasy day, but Pace has been the Jets best LB and he’s still available in a bunch of IDP leagues. With David Harris still out, he’s the guy to own on that Jets D with DB Darrelle Revis and DL Shaun Ellis.

DL Chris Long, STL – He’s the 22nd best DL in fantasy and I love his matchup against San Fran. He’s pretty widely owned for a rookie lineman, but he’s still available in lots of shallow leagues that still require a DL starter.

Scouring The Barrel

DB Asante Samuel, PHI – A hunch-based spot-start, I have a feeling Samuel could come away from Sunday’s game with a monster fantasy line, 6-8 tackles, an INT, and a few PDs. We haven’t heard much from Samuel this year – and I think it’s about time we did.

DL Matt Roth, MIA – I know I’m setting myself up for disappointment, but I’m recommending Roth this week in leagues requiring a DL, since he’s facing the Raiders – a team that yields gargantuan fantasy numbers to opposing DL. Roth is coming off his best game of the season and is available in most IDP leagues.


LB Paris Lenon, DET – Lenon was one of two former Richmond Spiders I included in the wire last week. He turned in 8 tackles (5 solos, 3 assist) Sunday against Jacksonville. Continue to use him as a tackle anchor on your IDP roster for the rest of the season.

LB Stewart Bradley, PHI – While I wasn’t going out on a limb recommending Bradley against the Giants, I was pleasantly surprised when he racked up his highest ’08 IDP total (tied with Week 1 by FFToday’s scoring), finishing with 13 solo tackles and 1 assist. His matchups the rest of the way seem pretty favorable, too.

DB Atari Bigby, GB – His secondary mates stole the show with the big plays, but Bigby did post 5 solos and looks to be back in form.

LB Chad Greenway, MIN – Another solid performance from Greenway, who tallied 7 tackles (6 solo, 1 assist) and a sack versus the Packers.

DL Travis LaBoy, ARI – LaBoy only managed 4 solo tackles in Monday night’s win over San Fran.

DB Roman Harper, NO – My worst call of the week, the sleeper pick of Harper didn’t pan out for more than 3 measly solos.