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Antonio D'Arcangelis | Archive | Email
Staff Writer

Through The Wire - Week 17
12/27/11 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 to 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 a big proponent of making trades to bolster your roster, the waiver wire can be a limitless resource when it comes to discovering fantasy value. Each week, I’ll target both offensive and defensive players — sometimes breakout stars that eluded your team’s draft — as well as players who can help your squad that may be lurking in deeper leagues.

Off the Top - Includes my premier recommendations. These are sometimes players available only in more shallow leagues, and occasionally guys who are more readily but are thrust into the fantasy spotlight because of opportunity or exceptional production.

Digging Deeper - Covers the next tier of quality waiver wire specimens, usually players available in a majority of online leagues. There are a lot of gems in this range who can be plucked rather easily.

Scouring the Barrel - Chronicles the deepest of fantasy adds — and sometimes highlights players being tacked onto fantasy squads who I don’t have much confidence in. Make sure you read the fine print.

Each week, I’ll also provide a brief update on the 20-30 players I covered the previous week. It’s the most accurate, comprehensive one-stop waiver-wire column available on the Internet, and it’s only available here at

Feedback is always welcome, appreciated and encouraged. I’ll get to as many e-mails as I can.

Note: Each player’s next matchup is listed in parentheses ()


Off The Top

Carson Palmer, OAK (SD) – The veteran was plagued by turnovers in Week 16, but he’s going to be involved in a shootout in Week 17 against the Chargers. His receivers are getting healthier and the finale promises to be an interesting game.

Digging Deeper

Matt Hasselbeck, TEN (@HOU) – Hasselbeck turned back the page and assaulted the Jags in Week 16, linking up repeatedly with TE Jared Cook and throwing for 350-1-2. If not for the picks, he’d have been a top QB. I’d take a gamble on him in deeper leagues for the finale, but his prospects for 2012 aren’t good.

Scouring The Barrel

Dan Orlovsky, IND (@JAC) – Dan “The Answer” Orlovsky, might not have a long-term future in Indy, but he’s an excellent play in Week 17 against the Jaguars. He’s 2-2 since taking over the starting role in Week 13 and should be viewed as a QB1 in the final week.


Mark Sanchez, NYJ (@MIA) – Sanchez threw for 258 yards and accounted for a couple TDs (one pass, one rush) but turned the ball over three times in the loss to the Giants. The final week promises to be a tough one.

Matt Moore, MIA (NYJ) – The Dolphins almost upset the Pats, and Moore had a lot to do with both the success and failure aspects of the game, throwing for 294-3-1 and losing a fumble.

Kyle Orton, KC (@DEN) – Orton had a serviceable outing versus Oakland, tossing 300-1-2, but I’d stay away in Week 17.

Running Backs

Off The Top

Toby Gerhart, MIN (CHI) – Adrian Peterson’s injury makes Gerhart the likely top add heading into Week 17, as he was probably dropped in most leagues when ADP returned. He’s a versatile back who contributes in the running and passing game, although Chicago is a tough bunch of SOBs.

Kahlil Bell, CHI (@MIN) – With Forte still out and Marion Barber inactive last week, Bell looks like the best option in Chicago. He’s surprised a lot of folks (159 total yards in Week 16) and remains a solid RB2 play in the finale against Minnesota.

Digging Deeper

Evan Royster, WAS (@PHI) – Roy Helu’s status for Sunday is unknown, but Royster was a great Week 16 replacement (19 carries, 132 yards, 2-15-0 receiving). He’s a dice roll against the Eagles, but if he’s the default starter, you could do a lot worse.

Scouring The Barrel

Sammy Morris, DAL (@NYG) – Keep an eye on Felix Jones’ hamstring injury, because if Jones is active again in Week 17, Morris (29 rushing yards, 4-10-0 receiving in Week 16) has limited value.


C.J. Spiller, BUF (@NE) – Spiller followed up his monster Week 15 with a solid performance against the Broncos, rushing for 111 yards and a TD and hauling in two catches for 27 yards. He’s a fine RB2 start against the Pats in Week 17.

Donald Brown, IND (@JAC) – Brown could turn some heads with a big game against Jacksonville, though he fell a little flat in the Houston tilt (45 total yards). He appears to have the most long-term value of the Colts RBs.

Lance Ball, DEN (KC) – Willis McGahee got the start and Tim Tebow did all the goal line rushing. Hopefully you didn’t start Ball and his 12 yards.

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

Off The Top

TE Jared Cook, TEN (@HOU) – As I mentioned before, Cook blew up against Jacksonville, hauling in 8-169-1. He’s one to keep an eye on during next season’s draft prep.

Digging Deeper

WR Darrius Heyward-Bey, OAK (SD) – DHB had 4-70-0 in the OT win over KC and should have a good finale against the Chargers. His speed makes him a diabolical weapon in this offense.

Scouring The Barrel

WR Vincent Brown, SD (@OAK) – If Vincent Jackson (groin) is inactive for Week 17, Brown will make a solid WR3. Stay tuned to the injury report to see how this plays out, because Jackson played in Week 16, but there’s really no point in having him play injured, and the final week often showcases fringe players like Brown.


WR Lance Moore, NO (CAR) – Moore (hamstring) aggravated his hamstring injury in the second quarter against Atlanta and did not return, but he did manage 2-53-0 in limited action. He’s not a great option for Week 17.

TE Brent Celek, PHI (WAS) – Celek didn’t disappoint fantasy owners who took a crack with him in Week 16, finishing with 2-52-1 in the win over Dallas.

WR Demaryius Thomas, DEN (KC) – Thomas had just 4-76-0, but he’s clearly the best receiving option in Denver, and could put together a solid season in 2012. He’s a decent WR3 in Week 17, although the Chiefs have been known to shut a few folks down.

TE Jeremy Shockey, CAR (@NO) – The veteran TE caught a TD pass for the third straight week. He’s nearing the end of his usefulness, so this was a fine swan song.


Off The Top

LB Chad Greenway, MIN (CHI) – Greenway has been Mr. Consistency this season and should be a fine start against the running-oriented Bears in week 17. He’s coming off his best game of 2011 - 16 total tackles, PD.

Digging Deeper

DL Robert Mathis, IND (@JAC) – Mathis gets to face the league’s worst pass blockers in Week 17 and could have another monster game. I’d roll the dice with him and hope for the best - a couple strip sacks and a handful of tackles.

Scouring The Barrel

DB Devin McCourty, NE (BUF) – He’s coming off a big game (9 tackles, 4 PD, INT), and Ryan Fitzpatrick loves throwing picks. Give him a shot.


DB Eric Weddle, SD (@OAK) – Weddle is a reliable IDP contributor who finished with six total tackles and two PD in the Week 16 game. He’s a great DB2/decent DB1 who should have a productive final week.

DL J.J. Watt, HOU (@TEN) – Watt had his second-best game of the season, racking up five solos, a sack and three PD. With his size and athleticism, he’s going to be a good IDP option for a long while.

LB Jordan Senn, CAR (@NO) – Senn had 10 total tackles against the Bucs. We’ll have to wait and see how he fits into the Panthers’ plans for 2012.