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Through The Wire
10/31/06 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 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 will still be available in most deeper leagues.


Off The Top

Steve McNair, BAL – Judging from his performance last week, it looks like Air McNair has rebounded well from his concussion and the Ravens offense has successfully recovered from the obsolete machinations of the Fassel era. Who knew that getting rid of Fassel would mean more fuel for this offense? Steve won’t be available in every league, but if he is on the wire in yours, he can help you out in the coming weeks if you’ve got quarterback problems. He’s at home versus the Bengals on Sunday, and next week his Ravens head to Tennessee. Not bad matchups for McNair’s hot hand.

Digging Deeper

David Garrard, JAX – Garrard doesn’t have the game to be a top ten fantasy QB, but as a spot starter, he’s got some value if Byron Leftwich takes up permanent residence on Jack Del Rio’s bench. Last week the mobile Garrard did just enough to beat a slumping Philly team whose putrid run defense didn’t necessitate any big throws downfield from the Jags. I don’t profess to know how the Leftwich thing will play out, but if your waiver wire is uncharacteristically devoid of fill-in QBs, Garrard might be your answer.

Scouring The Barrel

Sage Rosenfels, HOU – I’m willing to go out on a limb and guess that Rosenfels is the first born Iowa-born Jew in NFL history. He’s got a great sense of humor (he once said his family had to make yarmulkes out of corn husks), he throws the ball fearlessly (3 TDs versus the Titans), and it might just be a matter of time before Gary Kubiak pulls the plug on the dreadful David Carr, despite his recent statements to the contrary. This week, he’s not really an option, but keep on the lookout for Sage sightings.


Joey Harrington, MIA – Joey’s still the man but the Dolphins face the ears this week. Stay away.

Charlie Batch, PIT – Ben Roethlisberger has once again suffered a setback. But his time, it’s not his dome or his appendix. He basically just pooped right in his pants during the Steelers loss to the Raiders. Last week, I said a healthy Batch is a lot better than a rattled Roethlisberger, and Bill Cowher just stuck his jaw out at me.

Tony Romo, DAL – A shout-out to my fellow Cowboys fans out there: My optimism has officially been restored. Bring on the baby backs.

Andrew Walter, OAK – If he’s starting for your fantasy team, you need to reevaluate your priorities in life.

Seneca Wallace, SEA – He put up solid numbers last week in a losing effort, but he faces an Oakland pass defense on Monday night that has been nothing but trouble for opposing quarterbacks. Just ask Big Ben.

Running Backs

Off The Top

Ahman Green, GB – There’s a chance somebody in your league got “skeered” and dropped the old man following the emergence of Vernand Morency and/or Noah Herron. Well it looks like there’s still some life in those legs. If he’s available, do not miss this opportunity. At the very least, he’s possible trade bait after the big week. But if he’s healthy, he’ll shred the weak rush defenses of the Jets, the Niners and the Lions during weeks 13-15.

Mike Bell, DEN – He’s actually available in one of my leagues, and after last week’s performance, I’ve got to include him here. But figuring out who Mike Shanahan will start at RB is akin to testing 9-volt batteries with your tongue. Stay tuned to the Tatum Bell injury updates and play your cards accordingly.

Mewelde Moore, MIN – Chester Taylor’s 2006 coming out party has been wonderful, but Taylor owners should take this opportunity to grab some easy insurance with Moore. He’s almost always available, and it’s not like this line’s going to stop blocking for Mewelde if Chester goes down. The Vikings have the Niners, the Packers, the Dolphins and the Cardinals coming up, so don’t disregard this guy as an option – given the right set of circumstances.

Digging Deeper

Cedric Benson, CHI – As the Bears continue to blow people out, we’ll see more and more of the embattled Benson. At the very least, he’s a must-have for Thomas Jones owners, but he’s capable of much more if he improves his attitude. Grab him if he’s out there.

Reuben Droughns, CLE – Riding the bench all year long on many fantasy rosters, Reuben’s been a constant source of frustration with both local law enforcement and the fantasy gaming community. Last week’s win over the Jets provided an opportunity for Droughns owners to cash in on what I consider his first quality start of the year. Unfortunately, it’s probably the last one he’ll turn in; he’s facing some tough run defenses for the remainder of the year.

Scouring The Barrel

Tony Fisher, STL – Stephen Davis may have fumbled away his spot behind Steven Jackson on the depth chart – at least I hope he has. And this Notre Dame alum is right there to slip in as the starter if something should happen to “The Dreadlocked One.”


Leon Washington, NYJ – He’s on a bye, and he’s already been snagged off most waiver wires.

Wali Lundy, HOU – I took my own advice, snatched Lundy off the wire and started him this past Sunday. I also took a shot on Vince Young in the same league and earned an important win to stay in first place in my division. I’m glad this column affords me the opportunity to do some serious waiver wire research. Any other takers on Lundy want to gloat right along with me?

Justin Fargas, OAK – Huggy Bear’s kid is probably a better waiver wire option than Jerry Porter. But that’s about all I can say.

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

Off The Top

TE Owen Daniels, HOU – The rookie’s breakout game may not have served too many fantasy owners, but I know somebody out there’s smiling. He available in most leagues and shot up the TE rankings to the top ten this week with 9/99/2. Daniels looks like the real deal, and since that roster spot is normally a crap shoot anyway, what do you have to lose?

Digging Deeper

WR Chris Henry, CIN – He has a knack for finding the end zone and spends a lot of time on the field with Chad Johnson and T.J. Housmandzadeh. He’s a decent #3 WR option at this point, so if he’s available, don’t hesitate.

WR Reche Caldwell, NE – Seven catches, 81 yards and a TD. Tom Brady likes to spread it around, but Ben Watson, Doug Gabriel, Caldwell and even Troy Brown had viable fantasy games against the Vikings Monday night. I’d be looking for more Laurence Maroney next week against Indy, but Caldwell – like Henry – is still a solid #3.

Scouring The Barrel

WR Michael Jenkins, ATL – The Falcons next three games? How about @DET, CLE, @BAL. While Atlanta will have the option of sticking with the red-hot passing game the next two weeks, they’ll definitely be forced to throw the ball (and to targets other than Crumpler) against the Ravens.


WR Mike Furrey, DET – He’s cuddly, he’s a gamer, and he’s a solid #2 WR right now.

WR Derek Hagan, MIA – Not a wonderful play this week, but I think Harrington will look his way a lot in the coming weeks.

WR Nate Washington, PIT – Obviously not a favorite of Big Ben, but Batch likes him. Stay tuned to the QB situation in Pittsburgh.

WR Marcus Robinson, MIN – Inactive on Monday night, the Vikings really missed him. You should pay attention to the injury report later in the week, but he’s really not a solid waiver wire candidate.

WR Asley Lelie, ATL – See Michael Jenkins above.

WR Peerless Price, BUF –
Facing a poor GB defense, Price might get some looks. But there’s still several better options out there.


Off The Top

LB Julian Peterson, SEA – I know how it goes. Nobody wants to waste a waiver wire pick on a defensive player when Wali Lundy is out there. But Julian Peterson is poised to do big things against an Oakland offense that tends to give up sacks and make the accompanying mistakes. He’s a consistent, veteran LB who seems very comfortable alongside Lofa Tatupu in the Seattle 4-3.

DB DeAngelo Hall, ATL – He’s had a couple slow weeks, but he’s still averaging over 10 points per game in my IDP leagues and he’s got a great chance at stepping in front of a few Jon Kitna passes this week in Detroit. I’m thinking about grabbing him myself.

Digging Deeper

LB Bradie James, DAL – As frequently as the Redskins run the ball, look for James to have a breakout game this week. He hasn’t pulled any Tedy Bruschis yet this season (where the heck was he Monday night?) and disappeared from the stat sheet, so start him confidently.

LB Mike Vrabel, NE – He’s had a quiet season so far, but Vrabel showed signs of life in the Pats win over the Vikings Monday night. He blitzes well, he plays respectable run defense, and he occasionally catches touchdown passes. In other words, he’s solid.

Scouring The Barrel

DL Chris Kelsay, BUF – In IDP leagues with a DL requirement, Kelsay’s not a bad option. He’s remarkably consistent (one sack in five of Buffalo’s seven games) and at least two out of his next three games (GB, @IND, @HOU) could mean a few more sacks.


DB Charles Woodson, GNB – Zero tackles against the Cards, but he snagged a Leinart pass for a pick and had a PD.

LB E.J. Henderson, MIN –
Another solid game on Monday night, he’s ranked among the top 20 fantasy LBs.

DL Tamba Hali, KC –
An off-week against the Seahawks, but don’t give up on him.

DB Ken Hamlin, SEA –
I said he’d be a good play against KC last week, and I was right – 10 solos and an assist.

DL Robert Mathis, IND –
I’m completely amazed he only finished with one tackle last week. But DL is a hit or miss position. Julius Freaking Peppers had just 2 points on Sunday night against Dallas.

LB Channing Crowder, MIA – He might finish with 15 tackles this week against a Bears team that will be running the ball the entire second half.