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Antonio D'Arcangelis | Archive | Email
Staff Writer

Through The Wire - Week 6
10/11/11 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 four matchups are listed in parentheses ()


Off The Top

Matt Cassel, KC (BYE, @OAK, SD, MIA) – Cassel’s 257-4-0 Week 5 breakthrough was a revelation for owners who counted on him to be a quality backup this season, and while it should serve as a cue to the rest of you to add him, we’ll have to wait through a bye week before some more tasty matchups come down the pike.

Digging Deeper

Andy Dalton, CIN (IND, BYE, @SEA, @TEN) – Dalton has some amazing young weapons, but some of the matchups down the stretch will be tough. If you’re in a two-QB league, he’ll make a serviceable QB2 play in weeks 6, 8 and 10, but the next four (PIT, @BAL, CLE, @PIT) look difficult.

Scouring The Barrel

Curtis Painter, IND (@CIN, @NO, @TEN, ATL) – Painter has excellent rapport with Pierre Garcon, and if he can keep hitting on the big play and limiting mistakes – ones that have cost the Colts games – he could put up some decent numbers in weeks 7-10. Not that the Colts will start winning, but his fantasy value could rise.

Tim Tebow, DEN (BYE, @MIA, DET, @OAK) – After the Week 6 bye, Tebow will be a hot commodity. I don’t view him as an every-down QB, but we’ll definitely see more of him (especially with a couple of weeks to prepare for the Dolphins). The starting QB was, to say the least, ineffective – so it’s entirely possible we’ve seen the last of Kyle Orton in Denver.


Matt Hasselbeck, TEN (@BYE, HOU, IND, CIN) – Hasselbeck’s numbers against Pittsburgh weren’t great, (261-1-1), but it’s still clear that the Titans are a passing team this season. After the bye, he’ll still be a solid backup with matchup-to-matchup potential.

Jason Campbell, OAK (CLE, KC, BYE, DEN) – Just win baby. The 190-2-1 passing line is fine when you consider the outcome – a Raider W.

Alex Smith, SF (@DET, BYE, CLE, @WAS) – Smith had another solid game and tossed three TD passes even though the team relied primarily on the run to vanquish the Bucs 48-3. Could Jim Harbaugh be the man to finally figure out the quixotic Alex Smith?

Blaine Gabbert, JAC (@PIT, BAL, @HOU, BYE) – Yo Gabbert Gabbert – you’re a well-mannered little NFL QB, but you’ve got to learn to protect the football at the end of games. And I can’t envision a scenario where I’d give you fantasy start during the next few games.

Running Backs

Off The Top

DeAngelo Williams, CAR (@ATL, WAS, MIN, BYE) – Believe it or not, Williams is still available in about 15-20 percent of fantasy leagues. You should do yourself a favor and go check out if he’s out there in yours. While the veteran back, once the 2008 fantasy football player of the year, is not getting a lot of touches, he’s averaging 5.6 yards per carry.

Marshawn Lynch, SEA (BYE, @CLE, CIN, @DAL) – Like Williams, Lynch doesn’t see a whole lot of action, but he’s only owned in 57 percent of leagues and has a couple TDs and 195 rushing yards in his last three games. Not an option this week, but he will be down the line.

Digging Deeper

Delone Carter, IND (@CIN, @NO, @TEN, ATL) – It’s pretty slim pickings on the RB front, and while Carter is on a bad team and is still technically behind Joseph Addai on the depth chart, there’s a chance he’s a more regular contributor by the end of the year. Like I said – I’m not a huge fan, but beggars can’t be choosers.

Scouring The Barrel

Jackie Battle, KC (BYE, @OAK, SD, MIA) – Battle ran for 119 yards on 19 carries in Week 5 against the Colts, hauling in a couple catches for 21 yards as well. It’s difficult to peg him as the heir apparent to Jamaal Charles but without a viable every-down option in Thomas Jones and Dexter McCluster, Battle will likely get more touches in subsequent games. You’ll need to look elsewhere this week on KC’s bye, but the numbers could be serviceable from Week 7 on.

Jonathan Dwyer, PIT (JAC, @ARI, NE, BAL) – The window is probably closing on Dwyer’s fantasy viability, unless of course, it’s just beginning to open. Keep an eye on Rashard Mendenhall’s status next week because Dwyer’s value hinges on the starter’s availability.


Willis McGahee, DEN (SD, BYE, @MIA, DET) – McGahee didn’t find the end zone but racked up 125 rushing yards on 16 carries. He’s clearly the RB to own in Denver, although it’s hard to say what’ll happen once Tebow takes over.

Michael Bush, OAK (@HOU, CLE, KC, BYE) – Bush didn’t see a whole lot of action in this bizarre game, but he’s still a guy who can punch it in close for TDs.

Stevan Ridley, NE (NYJ, DAL, BYE, @PIT) – BJGE got the lion’s share of work and put up all the numbers, while Ridley was held to 13 yards on seven carries.

Ryan Torain, WAS (BYE, PHI, @CAR, @BUF) – We’ll see next week what Mike Shanahan has planned for Torain.
Isaac Redman, PIT (TEN, JAC, @ARI, NE) – Redman gained just 49 yards on 15 carries while Dwyer stole the show. He’s safe to drop in shallow formats.

Lex Hilliard, MIA (BYE, @NYJ, DEN, @NYG) – The Dolphins were on a bye…stay tuned.

Jacquizz Rodgers, ATL (GB, CAR, @DET, BYE) – Rodgers only had one carry, but he gained 11 yards. Maybe it’s time to give this little spark plug more work?

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

Off The Top

WR Victor Cruz, NYG (BUF, BYE, MIA) – Two weeks ago, I recommended adding Cruz (now 60 percent owned), and after last week’s nine-target, 6-98-0 performance, I told you the young receiver had found a role in the Giants offense as a deep threat and is worth considering as a WR4/flex in all formats. Did you listen? Because his 11-target, 8-161-1 day in Week 5 was second-best in PPR formats (to Dwayne Bowe) and third-best in standard scoring league (only Bowe and Pierre Garcon were better).

WR Malcom Floyd, SD (BYE, @NYJ, @KC, GB) – Rivers knows he can count on Floyd, and with Antonio Gates and his health still a huge question mark, Rivers will need him. Floys (57 percent owned) has a bye and two bad matchups coming up in weeks 6-9, but in weeks 10-13 (GB, OAK, @CHI, DEN), he should get off.

WR Hines Ward, PIT (JAC, @ARI, NE, BAL) – So I guess the old man isn’t done. Ward caught seven passes for 54 yards and two scores in the rout of the Titans, and it seems the Steelers are a throwing the ball a whole lot in the red zone.

Digging Deeper

WR Steve Breaston, KC (BYE, @OAK, SD, MIA) – Breaston is quietly having a decent season, and is coming off his best game of 2011 (4-50-2). Both he and Dwayne Bowe caught a pair of TD passes, and it’s clear the Chiefs have figured out they have top throw the ball to win.

WR James Jones, GB (STL, @MIN, BYE, @SD) – Jones broke out in a big way in the Week 5 win over Atlanta, recording 5-140-1. He’s a big–play receiver who can take over a game at any point because of his size, speed and athleticism. He should be owned in all formats as the Packers have given him more time ovwer Jordy Nelson lately.

WR Darrius Heyward-Bey, OAK (CLE, KC, BYE, DEN) – Heyward-Bey had his best game as a pro, catching 7-99-1 in the win over Houston. That gives him 214 receiving yards in the past two weeks and makes him a must-add in 12-team leagues. The lingering knee injury that sidelined him during the first few weeks seems to be a thing of the past.

Scouring The Barrel

WR Doug Baldwin, SEA (BYE, @CLE, CIN, @DAL) – Baldwin’s been a breath of fresh air on a team that’s got little to get excited about, even with the weird win over the Giants. He’s worth adding in 12-team leagues that start three WRs.

WR Jason Hill, JAC (@PIT, BAL, @HOU, BYE) – The long TD was a fluke because of blown coverage, but it’s possible Gabbert has found a guy he likes throwing the ball to. Give him a shot in deeper formats.

WR Damian Williams, TEN (BYE, HOU, IND, CIN) – With the Titans throwing the ball a heck of lot this season and Kenny Britt out for the year, Williams could develop into a reliable red zone target for Hasselbeck.


WR Eric Decker, DEN (BYE, @MIA, DET, @OAK) – Decker got shut down on Sunday, and his value takes a big hit if Tebow’s at the helm in Week 7 and beyond.

WR Denarius Moore, OAK (CLE, KC, BYE, DEN) – Moore got blanked in the win over the Texans as Heyward-Bey and Jacoby Ford got the majority of looks.

WR Antonio Brown, PIT (JAC, @ARI, NE, BAL) – Brown wasn't much of a factor in Week 5. He was targeted four times, hauling in two passes for 23 yards.

WR Jacoby Jones, HOU (@BAL, @TEN, JAC, CLE) – The fault in Jones’ poor numbers in Week 5 lies with Matt Schaub, not Jones – who was targeted 11 times but finished with just one catch. Schaub was awful in this game.

WR Jabar Gaffney, WAS (PHI, @CAR, @BUF, SF) – Following the bye week and facing the struggling Eagles, it’s a great time to add Gaffney if he’s still available.

TE Ben Watson , CLE (@OAK, SEA, @SF, @HOU) – The Raiders are having a tough time covering TEs, so Watson might be worth a look in deeper leagues wher you main guy is on a bye.


Off The Top

LB Jamar Chaney, PHI (@WAS, BYE, DAL, CHI) – Chaney’s ownership has been increasing steadily since the season start, and he’s a great one-week play against the Redskins in Week 6. His 35 total tackles through five games are a nice base, and last week against the Bills he added a couple PD and an interception.

Digging Deeper

DB Sean Jones, TB (NO, CHI, BYE, @NOR) – With the Saints coming up twice in the next four weeks, Jones makes a decent add and solid DB2. He’s racked up 32 tackles in five weeks and the Bucs defense has been spending a lot of time on the field.

Scouring The Barrel

DL Brian Robison, MIN (@CHI, GNB, @CAR, BYE) – The matchups are getting even friendlier for the rookie defensive end, who’s already recorded 4.0 sacks in his last three games (DET, @KC, ARI). The Bears will spend most of their time trying to stop top-scoring DL Jared Allen, so Robison should get to Cutler at least once.


LB D.J. Williams, DEN (SD, BYE, @MIA, DET) – Williams had nine total tackles and a sack against the Chargers, making him a Top 10 LB this week.

DL Chris Clemons, SEA (@NYG, BYE, @CLE, CIN) – Clemons had three solos and two sacks – I’m on a roll!

DB Eric Smith, NYJ (@NE, MIA, SD, BYE) – Smith’s nine tackles were his highest total of the season thus far. Another great call!