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Through The Wire - Wk 4
9/26/07 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 both offensive and defensive 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 many deeper leagues.


Off The Top

Jeff Garcia, TB – Even if the pickings are slim in your league at QB, this guy might still be available, especially coming off a bad week against the Rams. But the Bucs have been looking decent and they’ve got a few decent matchups in the coming weeks, including games against the Colts and Lions – although I might stay way next week versus the Panthers.

Brian Griese, CHI – He can’t be as bad as Rex Grossman, it’s just that simple. If you targeted Rex, you should own Griese, and you might even want to give him a start against the Lions (let’s not forget the points they allowed Philly to rack up on Sunday).

Digging Deeper

Kyle Boller, BAL – When McNair got pulled, we all assumed he re-injured his groin, and there’s some dissenting information on that. But when Boller got the call and didn’t lose, I think Billick might have realized it doesn’t really mater who’s the QB between the two. Honestly, it’s hard to hold a torch for any Baltimore QB right now, but the schedule is favorable for the next two weeks and if Boller’s starting, you could do a lot worse in a pinch.

David Carr, CAR – Delhomme’s injured shoulder could keep him out this week, and while Carr is a veteran QB that can sometimes look sharp, I still think he’s a bit of a desperation play against the Bucs.

Scouring The Barrel

Patrick Ramsey, DEN – If anything is really wrong with Cutler, Ramsey should be able to step in and do a good job. The one thing Ramsey has never had is decent pass protection, and during his days as the starter in Washington, I used to marvel at his toughness. Already labeled a first-round bust, Ramsey’s days with the the Jets did little to change that perspective – but again, it wasn’t his fault as he never got his chance. The Tulane product’s adequate size, strength and arm are highly prized tools which have made him a coveted backup, and as far as sleeper picks go, he’s way off everybody’s radar. But if you believe in the power of the Broncos’ line, he might be a decent pickup should anything long-term be wrong with Cutler, who’s ankle sprain is not considered to be serious at this point.

Kurt Warner, ARI – He’s baaaack! Actually, Cards HC Ken Whisenhunt said that Matt Leinart’s still the starter, but admitted the kid still doesn’t have a firm grasp of what he’s doing out there. Enter Kurt, who will play a few series here and there in the upcoming weeks to give opponents a change of pace. Keep in mind that Kurt’s got nothing to lose and he’s been a top-level fantasy QB in the past. He’s not a bad stash if you had confidence in Leinart but things get worse for Matt in Arizona.

Trent Edwards, BUF – This guy’s still developing, and while I’m not high enough on him yet to recommend a roster add, he should definitely be on everyone’s radar. He’s got NFL-QB size and strength, at 6’3” 230, but hasn’t really developed the mentality of a professional signal-caller yet. Think of him as a poor man’s Patrick Ramsey and keep in the barrel for now.


Trent Green, MIA – I handed you lucky SOBs Trent Green on a silver platter last week, and he responded with his best fantasy game of the season to date. Now he’s got Oakland, Houston and Cleveland. Game on.

Derek Anderson, CLE – I know, I know – decent numbers versus the Raiders, but with the Pats and the Ravens coming, things could get messy. You should have better options.

Kellen Clemens, NYJ – Pennington looked okay – so forget about him for now.

Running Backs

Off The Top

Correll Buckhalter, PHI – Brian Westbrook’s backup is somebody EVERY Brian Westbrook owner should carry. And with last week’s 2nd highest scoring RB on the shelf, he should be owned in just about every league. Westbrook is tough, but if he can’t go on Sunday, Buckhalter should have a big day versus the Giants.

Aaron Stecker, NO – Not an option this week as he’s on his bye, but he’ll step into Deuce McAllister’s role in New Orleans with the RB out for the season with a torn ACL. The guy has been a solid fantasy player from time to time when asked to step up, so he’s a good option if you’re running out of them. But Bush is now the #1 back in New Orleans and he’ll definitely get the bulk of carries now.

Digging Deeper

Brian Leonard, STL – Steven Jackson is out for at least a week with a partial groin tear, something that sounds to me like it should take a lot loner than one week to heal. So get on Leonard before you miss the opportunity. But before you get too excited thinking S-Jack’s backup is just going to step and put up S-Jack’s numbers, remember that he’s facing Dallas this week, there’s a reason he was the backup, and that the S-Jack’s numbers have sucked because the Rams suck. Still, if the groin injury takes more than a few weeks to heal, the Rams offense should start coming together and he’ll have his share of decent matchups.

Kenny Watson, CIN – Rudi Johnson’s hamstring injury forced Watson to shoulder the load on Sunday. While I’m assuming he’ll see lots of action this week against the Patriots, you’ll have to watch the injury report to se about Johnson’s status and I’m not too keen on the matchup even if Rudi can’t go. Rudi owners should probably grab him, along with folks looking for a desperation #3 this week.

Sammy Morris, NE – Sammy makes a quick return back to the wire with another good week. The Pats offense looks so darn good; I’ve got to think he’ll be a viable #3 or #4 in the next couple weeks against the Bengals and Browns.

Scouring The Barrel

Earnest Graham, TB – I could just say he’s the new DeShawn Wynn, or I could assume he’ll be the new Mike Alstott and dig a bit deeper. Up until last week, Graham made his mark on special teams. But in Sunday’s rout of the Rams, he snared two TDs on a few nice runs. Hmmm – well Cadillac’s the starter, Pittman take away carries, so honestly, I think he’s this week’s DeShawn Wynn, and the scouting reports aren’t indicating anything more. In fact, they read a lot like DeShawn Wynn’s.


Jamal Lewis, CLE – Still has the same schedule as Derek Anderson. Understand?

Kevin Jones, DET – Nice of the Lions to let Jones get a TD in that game against the Eagles. But I’d think twice about putting him in my lineup until he gets more than three carries for five yards and one catch.

Mewelde Moore, MIN – With Peterson fully in the fold and a brutal schedule coming, he’s no longer an option.

Najeh Davenport, PIT – He certainly looked good on that big TD run. If you started him last week, you ended up with an above-average day for a #3 RB. And honestly, the same thing could happen versus Arizona next week.

DeShawn Wynn, GB – I said he was a bottom of the barrel guy, but plenty of other waiver columnists included him as their #1 selection. Way to jump the gun, folks.

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

Off The Top

WR Kevin Curtis), PHI – He’s not available in too many deep leagues, but if he’s available in yours, you’ve got to grab him. Few receivers in history have had full games like this dudes’ first half on Sunday, so you’ve got to believe he’s McNabb’s new favorite target. Don’t hesitate to add him if he’s still out there.

WR Roddy White, ATL – He seems to like Joey Harrington better than Michael Vick, that’s for sure. The Falcons #1 pick in 2005, White has decent tools but has yet to become the receiver the Falcons thought they drafted. He has the top-end speed to take his game to the next level and be a consistent deep threat, but he’s been tentative over the middle. He also commits the cardinal sin of receiving, letting the ball come to his body too often instead of catching it with his hands, making him prone to drops. He’s being targeted consistently, he’s got a favorable overall schedule and his hands are steadily improving.

Digging Deeper

WR Brandon Jones, TEN – This kid has some serious potential. I’d even be willing to say that by year’s end, he’ll have compiled about 50/700/6. He’d be listed higher, but the Titans offense isn’t necessarily a juggernaut yet and he’s still only been targeted a total of 15 times during the three games this season, catching 10 balls. But his 4/73/1 performance Monday night shows he’s working his way into Vince Young’s comfort zone. While he’s on a bye this week, he’s got Atlanta, Tampa, Houston and Oakland the following four weeks.

WR Nate Burleson, SEA – The Seattle offense is clicking and Burleson’s been putting up great numbers. He’s a solid #3 or #4 WR option with a favorable matchup – and three out his next four are certainly favorable.

Scouring The Barrel

WR Roscoe Parrish, BUF – I can’t tell you what’s going to happen with just about everybody out in Buffalo, but I do know the Bills play the Jets on Sunday, which could mean a high-scoring affair and garbage TDs for Parrish. Losman should probably be out as couple of weeks with the MCL sprain, and while I’m not that high on Edwards, Parrish could make some things happen and he’s a solid returner that can sometimes take one back.

TE Jeff King, CAR – With Delhomme out, I don’t know if he’ll still be a consistently targeted receiver, but King has made the most of his opportunities even outside his regular duties in short yardage and goal line packages this year and could finish with top 10 TE numbers when it’s all said and done.


WR Derrick Mason, BAL – Yeah, this guy’s still great – and after his 8/79/1 performance Sunday, he’s ranked in the top 15 or 20 fantasy receivers.

WR Bobby Engram, SEA – Two direct hits in a row on my WR picks last week. Bobby put up a very respectable 5/62/1, a stat line that can be expected about every other week from him.

WR Dwayne Bowe, KC – How nasty were my Top WR picks last week? Bowe finished with 5/71/1, his best numbers so far this season. He should continue to flourish in that offense.

WR Brandon Stokley, DEN – I said he was no more than a matchup-dependent #3 WR play, and on Sunday his matchup only yielded him 3/36/0. Hopefully you had better options.

TE Eric Johnson, NO – 5 catches for 23 yards says to me that Johnson will get off his can as soon as the Saints offense does. Maybe they’ll get it together after the bye.

WR Sam Hurd, DAL – With Crayton healthy, Hurd will struggle to get targets.

WR Dennis Northcutt, JAC – He’s on a bye this week, and he probably isn’t someone you want as one of your starting WRs. But stay tuned.

WR Joe Jurevicius, CLE – not much on Sunday and a tough schedule upcoming. Shelve him.

TE Donald Lee, GB – Four catches, 44 yards, but Bubba got the TD.

WR Glenn Holt, CIN – He lost a fumble and finished with negative points. So I guess keeping him in the bottom of the barrel was a good move.


Off The Top

DL Jared Allen, KC – Coming off a huge game last week, Jared’s back in a big way. He’s probably a top five fantasy DL, and he might be available in some formats because he’s just coming back from suspension. Allen shows great instincts going after the ball, and uses his monster frame (6’6”, 270) to his advantage as an explosive hitter and tackler. He put up silly IDP numbers last year; you should get him in your lineup.

LB Angelo Crowell, BUF – I had him listed in Week 1, and since he hasn’t really blown up yet, he still might be out there. The Bills defense is in shambles, rookie LB Paul Posluszny just went down for the year with a broken forearm – joining a slew of other teammates on IR – and the offense isn’t in much better shape. So Crowell will get the majority of his team’s tackles, along with mighty mite extraordinaire Jim Leonhard.

Digging Deeper

LB Derrick Johnson, KC – He’s posted three nice scoring weeks and on a defense that’s on the field a lot, that’s bound to continue. He should be owned in most formats.

DB Marlin Jackson, IND – Marlin had a monster game against the Texans, and while Denver and Tampa Bay might not be idea matchups for a fantasy DB, he’ll be posting good numbers after the bye week.

LB Stephen Cooper, SD – I had him up on the wire a couple weeks back, and he’s put up three nice weeks. Make sure he’s healthy before you start him (he’s been nursing some injuries along with a few other Chargers defenders) but get him on your IDP roster.

Scouring The Barrel

DB Ellis Hobbs, NE – Ellis wouldn’t be the first tough-but-undersized player whose contributions on special teams bridged the way to more important assignments in the regular defense. There’s actually a lot of that going around. He’s got Cincinnati next week, and DBs facing the Bengals really seem to rack up the tackles. Go for it.


LB Paris Lenon, DET – Just a tackle and a sack in the most ridiculous game of the week. Chicago and Washington should give him more chances.

DB Antoine Winfield, MIN – Another stinker in my top of the barrel selections, Winfield did little on Sunday but gets Green Bay in Week 4 before his bye week.

LB Napoleon Harris, KC – Just four tackles on Sunday, but those numbers will improve in the coming weeks.

DB Marlon McRee, SD – Nothing special last week, but plenty of nicer matchups on the way.

DB Anthony Henry, DAL – Hell yeah. Henry blew up last week and made me look brilliant with 2 tackles, 2 INTs and 4 PDs. I love the Cowboys secondary right about now – Roy Williams, Ken Hamlin, a healthy Terence Newman and this guy.

LB Chad Greenway, MIN – He had 8 solos and a fumble recovery on Sunday, upper tier numbers for a LB.