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Antonio D'Arcangelis | Archive | Email |
Staff Writer

Through The Wire - Week 2
9/10/13 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 ()

Note: Updates noted in red.


Off The Top

Jay Cutler, CHI (MIN, @PIT, @DET, NO) – Cutler is going to throw the ball a lot this season and he’s capable of posting big games. If your QB situation is tenuous, he’s worth a look – especially in leagues that don’t punish severely for INTs.

Digging Deeper

Terrelle Pryor, OAK (JAC, @DEN, WAS, SD) – Pryor’s second NFL start went swimmingly as he almost pulled off a win against a Colts team expected by many to compete for an AFC South title.

Scouring The Barrel

Geno Smith, NYJ (@NE, BUF, @TEN, @ATL) – Smith’s downfield throws looked much sharper than the balls Mark Sanchez has been delivering for the past few years, but it’s clear he’s a pretty raw QB. Still, the upside is there and while it might not pay big dividends in one-QB redrafts in 2013, two-QB leagues and keeper leaguers should take heed. They need some more parts but the Jets offense didn’t look nearly as bad as I thought it would.


Joe Flacco, BAL (CLE, HOU, @BUF, @MIA) – Flacco’s 2013 debut left a lot to be desired, from a low completion percentage (54.8 percent) to a 362-2-2 line that belied a generally weak offense. Flacco is currently missing a solid possession receiver who can free up Torrey Smith in the vertical passing game.

Carson Palmer, ARI (DET, @NO, @TB, CAR) – As expected, Palmer and the Cards took to the air in Week 1 and the veteran QB completed 26 of his 40 attempts for 327 yards and two TDs. Unfortunately, he threw an INT and lost a fumble, one of two on the day.

Alex Smith, KC (DAL, @PHI, NYG, @TEN) – Smith wasn’t spectacular in the Chiefs blowout win over Jacksonville but there was a never a reason for him to get crazy. His 173-2-0 line revealed a conservative game plan similar to his days in San Francisco. He should be rostered as a fantasy backup in all leagues.

Josh Freeman, TB (NO, @NE, ARI, BYE) – Score one for Tarkenton. Freeman wasn’t awful on Sunday but he wasn’t good, throwing for just 210-1-1 and compiling a 67.9 QB rating. At this point, I’d prefer Manuel (see below) as my backup.

EJ Manuel, BUF (CAR, @NYJ, BAL, @CLE) – Manuel did a lot of good things Sunday against a tough Patriots defense, throwing for 150 yards and two TDs on 18-for-27 passing. He also ran for 23 yards on three carries and could be worthy of a bye week plug-in when it’s time to do so.

Jake Locker, TEN (@HOU, SD, NYJ, KC) – The Titans didn’t need to do very much to post a win against the Steelers, who never got going in Week 1. Locker had just 125 passing yards and didn’t commit a turnover.

Running Backs

Off The Top

Shane Vereen, NE (NYJ, TB, @ATL, @CIN) – Owned in just 81 percent of Yahoo leagues, Vereen assumed lead running duties after fumbling woes put Stevan Ridley in Bill Belichick’s doghouse, promptly running for 101 yards on 14 carries and hauling in seven catches for 58 yards. Update: Vereen is out until Week 11 after having surgery on his wrist.

Digging Deeper

Fred Jackson, BUF (CAR, @NYJ, BAL, @CLE) – Jackson received a much larger workload than expected on Sunday, finishing with 67 rushing yards and 5-41-0 receiving. Spiller struggled to find daylight against the Pats but Jackson’s workmanlike approach yielded some decent chunks of yardage. He should be rostered in all 12-team leagues and could make a fantasy impact sooner than expected.

Joique Bell, DET (@ARI, @WAS, CHI, @GB) – Bell’s performance was overshadowed by Reggie Bush’s monster day, but there’s obviously room for a couple of successful backs in this vaunted Lions offense. Bell had just six carries for 25 yards, but two were for scores and the sure-handed back added 5-67-0 for a huge fantasy line. Bell is worth a start at flex in 12-team leagues and should be a decent, if sporadic, fantasy contributor this season.

Scouring The Barrel

Daniel Thomas, MIA (@IND, ATL, @NO, BAL) – Maybe the Dolphins weren’t kidding when they said Thomas (eight carries for 14 yards and a TD) would push Lamar Miller for carries. Stay tuned.

Da’Rel Scott, NYG (DEN, @CAR, @KC, PHI) – Scott is nothing to write home about but he assumed the entire backfield workload after David Wilson coughed up two fumbles. Look for the Giants to pick up one of the several experienced free agent running backs currently available (Michael Turner, Beanie Wells, Brandon Jacobs, Tim Hightower, Ryan Torain) but if that doesn’t happen, Scott could get more work.


Chris Ivory, NYJ (@NE, BUF, @TEN, @ATL) – Ten carries for 15 yards isn’t getting it done. Bilal Powell and Smith had much better days running the football.

Mark Ingram, NO (@TB, ARI, MIA, @CHI) – I warned a few fantasy friends not to trust Ingram in Week 1. He had just 11 yards on nine carries and Pierre Thomas was the superior runner and offensive weapon. Thomas is worth an add in all 12-team formats.

Bernard Pierce, BAL (CLE, HOU, @BUF, @MIA) – As expected, Pierce got some carries against the Broncos in the season opener but couldn’t find much running room. It’s a good sign that he toted the rock nine times and that Rice lined up as a receiver in several schemes.

Danny Woodhead, SD (@PHI, @TEN, DAL, @OAK) – Update: Just two catches for 16 yards on Monday night. Woodhead did not have any carries while Ronnie Brown appeared to get the bulk of third down work. Brown might be the better backup option in San Diego for now.

Kendall Hunter, SF (@SEA, IND, @STL, HOU) – Hunter rushed for 24 yards on six carries Sunday. He remains firmly entrenched as Frank Gore’s backup and I expect about a 70-30 split in carries this year between these two – barring injury.

Knile Davis, KC (DAL, @PHI, NYG, @TEN) – Jamaal Charles left Sunday’s game in the third quarter with a quad injury but team officials say it’s insignificant. Davis ran for 12 yards on four carries and caught one pass for 5 yards. Regardless of the Charles injury, there’s enough inherent risk of further injury to warrant Davis being owned in all 12-team leagues.

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

Off The Top

WR Michael Floyd, ARI (DET, @NO, @TB, CAR) – Floyd contributed 4-82-0 in the loss to St. Louis and he’s a worthwhile pickup if he’s still out there in your league. The Cards will have no choice but to throw the ball and Larry Fitzgerald attracts a lot of coverage.

TE Julius Thomas, DEN (@NYG, OAK, PHI, @DAL) – Even following the inevitable race to the free agent pool following Thomas’ Thursday night breakout (5-110-2), the young TE is still available in almost 50 percent of fantasy leagues. A red zone threat this dynamic should be owned in all leagues. He makes an excellent TE1 play against the Giants in Week 2.

Digging Deeper

WR Rueben Randle, NYG (DEN, @CAR, @KC, PHI) – He’s a talented young athlete but 5-101-0, while encouraging, is about the high side in terms of yardage output for Randle. If Nicks and Cruz stay healthy, Randle will have a hard time posting consistent numbers.

WR Brian Hartline, MIA (@IND, ATL, @NO, BAL) – Hartline’s 9-114-1 line is remarkable and it’s repeatable when you consider some of the Dolphins next few opponents. With Mike Wallace and the coaching staff off on the wrong foot, Hartline could get the lion’s share of looks coming his way in the first few games.

Scouring The Barrel

WR Julian Edelman, NE (NYJ, TB, @ATL, @CIN) – Edelman answered many of the questions heading into Week 1 by hauling in a pair of TDs and posting 7-79-2 on the day. It appears he’ll be a fantasy factor in 2013 after all.

WR Jerome Simpson, MIN (@CHI, CLE, PIT, BYE) – I don’t think he’ll have too many seven-catch, 140-yard games, but Simpson has been known to get hot and post decent numbers. He seems to be on the same page as Christian Ponder, who’s among the league’s worst starting QBs. Temper your enthusiasm for Simpson if you’re grabbing him this week.

TE Kellen Winslow, NYJ (@NE, BUF, @TEN, @ATL) – His 7-79-1 line shows there’s decent rapport between him and the rookie QB, so Winslow is worth a pickup if you need depth at TE and have room on your roster.


Kenny Britt, TEN (@HOU, SD, NYJ, KC) – Britt had just one catch for 15 yards in Week 1, but was only targeted twice. Expect his numbers to improve as he recovers from off-season knee surgery.

Josh Gordon, CLE (@BAL, @MIN, CIN, BUF) – One week down. He will serve the second game of a two-game suspension in Week 2.

Chris Givens, STL (@ATL, @DAL, SF, JAC) – The Cardinals made a point of clamping down on Givens (2-27-0) in week 1, only to be scorched by Jared Cook (7-141-2). While Week 2 might also be difficult, expect big things from givens in Week 3 against the Cowboys – who yielded 450 passing yards to Eli Manning on Sunday night.

TE Zach Sudfeld, NE (NYJ, TB, @ATL, @CIN) – Sudfeld (hamstring) laid a fantasy goose egg on Sunday after a massively hyped preseason. He’s safe to drop in favor of Julius Thomas, if only because Rob Gronkowski will be back soon.

Malcom Floyd, SD (@PHI, @TEN, DAL, @OAK) – Update: Floyd hauled in just one catch for 47 yards on Monday night and Rivers had a hard time getting him the ball in the second half as the Texans defense stepped up its game. Against more vulnerable defenses, it’s safe to say that Floyd will still be a threat.

Ryan Broyles, DET (@ARI, @WAS, CHI, @GB) – Update: Broyles was inactive on Sunday and his prospects for Week 2 look bleak. Week 3 might be a more realistic target for his return.

TEs Dwayne Allen/Coby Fleener, IND (MIA, @SF, @JAC, SEA) – Allen caught a 20-yard TD pass and Luck only connected once with Fleener. The initial outlook favors Allen, especially in the red zone. Update: Allen (hip) had an MRI after the game that came back negative. Pagano hopes he can play Sunday versus the Dolphins.

Robert Woods, BUF (CAR, @NYJ, BAL, @CLE) – Woods hauled in just one catch, but it was an 18-yard score that showed Manuel will be looking for him in the red zone. Get excited, Bills fans.

Rod Streater, OAK (JAC, @DEN, WAS, SD) – Streater was targeted a team-high eight times on Sunday and finished with five catches for 70 yards. He showed good chemistry with Pryor on the shorter routes and should be the possession receiver of value in the Raiders’ fledgling offense, even if the young QB continues to struggle to connect with him on deep balls.


Off The Top

LB Kiko Alonso, BUF (CAR, @NYJ, BAL, @CLE) – The rookie linebacker was an every-down defender against the Pats on Sunday, posting nine total tackles and recording both a forced fumble and fumble recovery. He’ll be an effective LB2 in IDP leagues.

DB LaRon Landry, IND (MIA, @SF, @JAC, SEA) – Landry is the DB to own on the Colts. He had 15 total tackles (10 solos) and a PD on Sunday.

Digging Deeper

DL Robert Quinn, STL (@ATL, @DAL, SF, JAC) – Quinn posted 3.0 sacks in the first game of 2013, going from IDP sleeper to star in the blink of an eye. I’m not bullish on him repeating that stat line, but he’s worth a pickup if you’re shallow at DE.

LB Jasper Brinkley, MIN (@CHI, CLE, PIT, BYE) – Brinkley had eight solos and a PD, but he’s likely to drop in production when Daryl Washington comes back from his suspension. For now, you can ride him, but a pickup-and-sell scenario could work.

Scouring The Barrel

DB Da’Norris Searcy, BUF (CAR, @NYJ, BAL, @CLE) – Searcy went from roster bubble to starting safety in the wake of the latest Jairus Byrd injury/drama. He was all over the field in Week 1, notching nine total tackles, a sack and returning a fumble for a TD. He’s worth rostering in most IDP formats.

DB Barry Church, DAL (@KC, STL, @SD, DEN) – Church is the only DB I’d want to own in Dallas and while the Tampa-2 isn’t usually the best IDP fit for safeties, Church could get freed up to make some of the big plays he did in Week 1, when he scampered for a fumble return TD to go along with eight total tackles and a FF.


DB John Cyprien, JAC (@OAK, @SEA, IND, @STL) – The rookie DB didn’t make any huge plays, but managed to tally three solo tackles in Week 1. If he stays on the field and meets expectations this season, he could be a Top 25 fantasy DB.

DL Calais Campbell, ARI (DET, @NO, @TB, CAR) – Despite being questionable (quad) heading into Sunday, Campbell recorded three solo tackles and remains a solid DL2 in IDP formats.

DL Corey Liuget, SD (@PHI, @TEN, DAL, @OAK) – Update: Liuget didn’t get to Matt Schaub on Monday, notching just two total tackles. He’ll start producing as he eases back into action from a preseason shoulder injury.

LB Bruce Carter, DAL (@KC, STL, @SD, DEN) – Carter posted nine total tackles and a sack, flashing some of the brilliance that have some pegging him as an emerging star in Monte Kiffin’s 4-3. His projected fantasy output seems to be on the rise.

DB Eric Reid, SF (@SEA, IND, @STL, HOU) – Reid arrived in a big way on Sunday, posting seven solo tackles and snaring an INT in his first NFL game. He also picked off another ball, a free-play heave by Rodgers that was negated by an offsides penalty. He could be an IDP stud from day one.

LB Jon Bostic, CHI (MIN, @PIT, @DET, NO) – Bostic yielded the starting job to D.J Williams and worked primarily on special tams Sunday. Update: He’s safe to drop unless he supplants Williams again.

LB Moise Fokou, TEN (@HOU, SD, NYJ, KC) – Fokou had six solo tackles and a fumble recovery ion Sunday and should continue to see decent IDP numbers as the season progresses.