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Antonio D'Arcangelis | Archive | Email
Staff Writer

Through The Wire - Week 1
9/4/12 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 ()

For my first column, I’m targeting players who may have been missed in your draft.


Off The Top

Andy Dalton, CIN (@BAL, CLE, @WAS, @JAC) – The second-year QB is dealing with a minor arm bruise, but he’s still an excellent backup option in 12-team leagues. While the preseason has been a bit slow, there’s no reason to believe Dalton won’t take another step forward after his solid rookie season.

Digging Deeper

Ryan Fitzpatrick, BUF (@NYJ, KC, @CLE, NE) – By now, you’ve probably heard that Fitzpatrick played the second half of last season with broken ribs. He’s a smart QB and while he doesn’t have the complement of weapons some other signal callers boast, he’s a decent spot starter (available in almost 40 percent of leagues) who can give you enormous games.

Scouring The Barrel

Ryan Tannehill, MIA (@HOU, OAK, NYJ, @ARI) – The Dolphins brass, a pretty unenthusiastic bunch, is quite excited about their young rookie QB. He earned the starting job over Matt Moore, who impressed last year, and he’s available in just about all redraft formats.

Running Backs

Off The Top

Kevin Smith, DET (STL, @SF, @TEN, MIN) – The ankle seems okay (he practiced Monday), and he’s the guy on the ground for the Lions. He definitely should be owned in more than 75 percent of leagues. I like him a lot more than Beanie Wells, who’s only available in about 12 percent of leagues.

David Wilson, NYG (DAL, TB, @CAR, @PHI) – He’s got a stronghold on the #2 RB job for the Giants and he’s got fresh legs. I’m expecting big things, even if Ahmad Bradshaw stays healthy. If Bradshaw doesn’t, Wilson could be an offensive ROY contender.

Digging Deeper

Jonathan Dwyer, PIT (@DEN, NYJ, @OAK, BYE) – Dwyer has charged up the depth charts due to injuries and could be the top Pittsburgh back for the first several weeks. He’s in great shape and looked explosive during the preseason, something he’s lacked in seasons past.

Jacquizz Rodgers, ATL (@KC, DEN, @SD, CAR) – Rodgers has eluded way too many drafts, especially considering how the Falcons plan to use him in 2012. He’ll be a change-of-pace back and receiving threat who I believe will be getting 10-15 touches/targets a game by midseason. Think Warrick Dunn.

Scouring The Barrel

Evan Royster, WAS (@NO, @STL, CIN, @TB) – Royster is atop the RB depth chart, and while that doesn’t mean a whole hell of a lot, he’s a minimal risk who’s available in about three-quarters of fantasy leagues.

Brandon Jackson, CLE (PHI, @CIN, BUF, @BAL) – Jackson (4 percent owned) has picked up a lot of steam during the preseason and has Cleveland coaches looking past Montario Hardesty in their search for a viable backup. Jackson has turned heads in the past and could be worth a flier in super-deep leagues.

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

Off The Top

WR Kenny Britt, TEN (NE, @SD, DET, @HOU) – A one-game suspension shouldn’t deter Britt from contributing as soon as he takes the field in Week 2. He’s still out there in a few leagues, so jump on him if you’re looking for a risky WR2 with oodles of upside.

TE Dustin Keller, NYJ (BUF, @PIT, @MIA, SF) – Any way you slice it, Keller’s going to be involved in the 2012 Jets offense. The team’s not going to break any offensive records, but regardless of who’s under center, Keller should be a top red zone target.

Digging Deeper

WR Mario Manningham, SF (@GB, DET, @MIN, @NYJ) – Manningham is a talented receiver and excellent route runner who’s improved each season in the league. He’ll be counted on to contribute right away as the 49ers square off in Week 1 against the juggernaut Packers.

WR Sidney Rice, SEA (@ARI, DAL, GB, @STL) – The latest info out of Seattle is that Rice (just 49 percent owned) is ready to go in 2012. He’s easily the best WR on the team and is slated to start in Week 1. What are you waiting for?

Scouring The Barrel

WR Davone Bess, MIA (@HOU, OAK, NYJ, @ARI) – Like Rice, Bess is a quality receiver who gets no love because he’s in a weak offense. He’s caught 260 balls for the Dolphins in the past four years, and he’s going to be a frequently visited option for Tannehill.

TE Zach Miller, SEA (@ARI, DAL, GB, @STL) – With Kellen Winslow out of Seattle, Miler should be a busy guy. He’s the non-blocking option and should see 6-8 targets per week.


Off The Top

DB Mark Barron, TB (CAR, @NYG, @DAL, WAS) – Everything about this guy’s situation in Tampa Bay points to IDP stud, from a relatively weak LB corps to a glaring absence of a playmaker and team leader. He’s a lock for 100+ total tackles.

DL Cameron Wake, MIA (@HOU, OAK, NYJ, @ARI) – For some reason, folks aren’t catching on that Wake provides immense value as a DL. He’s an excellent bet for 60+ total tackles and 10+ sacks, so there’s no reason he shouldn’t be rostered in leagues that require a DL starter.

Digging Deeper

LB Lavonte David, TB (CAR, @NYG, @DAL, WAS) –Like Barron, David steps into a nearly perfect situation for IDP success. He’s a versatile LB who’s slated to be on the field in nickel situations as well, which means he’ll get plenty of tackle opportunities when he drops in coverage, or blitzes the QB as a stunt-driven edge rusher.

DL Robert Quinn, STL @DET, WAS, @CHI, SEA) – Quinn has had his troubles, but he’s a solid DE3 who’s being ignored in drafts. Give him a shot in deeper leagues.

Scouring The Barrel

DB Antoine Winfield, MIN (JAC, @IND, SF, @DET) – It’s easy to forget about Winfield, who’s seems like he could have retired years ago. But he’s still the guy in Minnesota, and he’ll post quality numbers as long as he stays healthy. Also, keep an eye on rookie Harrison Smith at safety.

LB D.J. Smith, GB (SF, CHI, @SEA, NO) – Smith is the new starter in place of Desmond Bishop, and while the Packers rotate their LBs and he won’t be on the field at all times, he’s slated to see nickel snaps and could post 80-90 percent of Bishop’s IDP totals if he plays his butt off.