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Through The Wire
11/4/08 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 may still be available in many deeper leagues.

I’ll be brief in my introduction this week, except to say that it was a tough week for Matt Schaub owners, who watched the Texans QB leave early following a knee injury. I was sick Monday – and not just after seeing Schaub put up a stinking goose egg from the most important slot on the fantasy roster. There’s a lot of issues with NFL QBs these days, so a few will be hot pickups on the wire in the coming days.

I welcome your e-mails and truly enjoy hearing from you regarding my waiver wire recommendations – whether they have helped or hindered your teams this season. Keep firing away and I’ll keep answering. Good luck this week, and please make sure you vote today if you’re registered.


Off The Top

Sage Rosenfels, HOU – Schaub truly isn’t that much better than Rosenfels, who’d capable of big numbers. He should be on your team with Schaub out for at least a month with a torn MCL and is probably the best of the QB waiver options in most deep leagues. I like him a tiny click above Rex Grossman.

Rex Grossman, CHI – Orton will be out about 2-4 weeks, and while the Bears have a tough stretch right now, they can win with Rex and the offense shouldn’t lose too much. He’s missing all the receivers he had the last time he was the starter, but he didn’t look terrible on Sunday.

Digging Deeper

Daunte Culpepper, DET – His past performances speak for themselves, but Dan Orlovsky hasn’t been all that terrible. It remains to be seen how he’ll be used or if he’ll start anytime soon, but he’s a great athlete with a passion for the game and a strong arm – even if he’s not the incredible runner he once was.

Brady Quinn, CLE – Most of the folks who stashed him before did so too soon and have most likely dropped him. Now, Derek Anderson’s sub par play this season and terrible second half against Baltimore has finally paved the way for Quinn to start, according to a Monday report.

Scouring The Barrel

Ryan Fitzpatrick, CIN – On a bye Week 10, but he’s obviously looking better as he gets more experience. Just don’t get too excited, because he’s still only a desperation fill-in.

Byron Leftwich, PIT – After the game nobody seemed to concerned about Ben Roethlisberger’s shoulder, and while I’m not sure about Ben’s status heading into Week 10, shoulder injuries are never good for QBs, so pick up Leftwich in the meantime just in case if you’re a Big Ben owner and the above options are already exhausted – because Byron knows how to get it done.


David Garrard, JAC – A poor fantasy performance from Garrard, but he should bounce back at Detroit next week.

Marc Bulger, STL – The Rams got killed, but Bulger made good on my promise that he’d throw for more than just one TD. He should be a good option down the stretch with his favorable schedule.

Chad Pennington, MIA – 281 yards passing but no TDs and an INT –his worst fantasy start since Week 3.

Joe Flacco, BAL – Flacco had the best passing day of his short career, totaling 248 yards and two well-thrown TD passes to Mark Clayton and Derrick Mason. He also hasn’t turned the ball over since Week 6.

Tyler Thigpen, KC – His numbers read like those of a college QB: 7-yd TD pass to Dwayne Bowe, a 37 yd TD pass from Mark Bradley, 22 yards rushing, and 164 passing yards. He’s developing into a dynamic player, but we’ll see how reliable he can be in the coming weeks: @SD, NO, BUF, @OAK.

Seneca Wallace, SEA – Other than the 90-yard TD pass to WR Koren Robinson, he totaled just 79 yards passing on the day. The Seahawks really could use Matt Hasselbeck back in action.

Running Backs

Off The Top

Tim Hightower, ARI – 22 carries for 109 yards with a TD during the team’s Week 9 win over St. Louis. He’s finally passed RB Edgerrin James on the depth chart and will continue to see goal line carries.

Cedric Benson, CIN – Benson helped the Bengals get their first win by rushing for 104 yards and a TD on 24 carries against the Jags. He’s on a bye Week 10, but he’s the starter and he’s running well. Let’s just hope he keeps his nose clean.

Digging Deeper

Jamaal Charles, KC – RB Kolby Smith has been placed on injured reserve and Larry Johnson’s still suspended, leaving Charles as the starter. Early reports out of Kansas City Star say HC Herman Edwards doesn’t think Charles has the chops to rush the ball 20 times a game, and that they’ll mix in RBs Dantrell Savage and Jackie Battle to spell the rookie.

Warrick Dunn, TB – Dunn (back) did not travel with the team to Kansas City for their Week 9 game, but starter Earnest Graham is having his knee examined after injuring it, so his status for Week 10 is uncertain. If there’s anything seriously wrong, Dunn’s value takes a big jump.

Scouring The Barrel

Michael Bennett, TB – If Dunn’s back is still bothering him, Bennett is veteran back the Bucs will ask to shoulder the load. It’s important to remember that Bennett led the team in rushing during the preseason with 208 yards on 45 carries – but he’s been quiet during the regular season since Graham and Dunn have been solid. Also, HC Jon Gruden said RB Cadillac Williams, who’s been sidelined for over a year with a devastating knee injury, “could possibly be of help to the team.” Stay tuned.


Ryan Torain, DEN – With RBs Michael Pittman and Andre Hall on IR and done for the year – and Selvin Young still possibly nursing a groin injury that kept him out Week 9 – it looks like HC Mike Shanahan might get what he probably wants: Torain as the default starter. Grab him if he’s still available, but check Young’s status before you plug him in.

Leon Washington, NYJ – He’s useful as a #4 fill-in in PPR leagues even when he doesn’t score – but Sunday’s 13 rushing yards and 2-42-0 receiving were a bit under his weekly average.

Ricky Williams, MIA – 39 total yards and no scores – not that wonderful.

Jerious Norwood, ATL – KA-boom! A consensus of weekly rankings put Norwood around the 34th best RB play for Week 9, but I had a feeling he’d run well against the Raiders. He totaled 63 yards and a TD on 13 carries, to go along with 2-20-0 receiving.

Chester Taylor, MIN – 63 total yards and three catches – a decent day for a #3 RB in IDP.

Ahmad Bradshaw, NYG – He totaled 5 carries for 20 yards, and the other two Giants backs ran well against the Cowboys. Bradshaw’s tough to start but could always break out if there’s an injury to Brandon Jacobs or Derrick Ward.

Leonard Weaver, SEA – Weaver had a foot injury, was questionable and didn’t play a down on Sunday.

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

Off The Top

WR Kevin Curtis, PHI – Curtis had 6 receptions for 83 yards during Philly’s win over Seattle. He’s looking good, seems recovered from his injury and will be a solid #3 WR option from here on out.

WR Rashied Davis, CHI – He’s still available in about three quarters of fantasy leagues and he’s got TDs in three straight games, although one was a fumble recovery in the end zone. Still – he should be owned in all12-team leagues.

Digging Deeper

WR Michael Jenkins, ATL – The No. 2 WR in Atlanta caught just 2 passes Sunday, but they were both TDs and went for a total of 64 yards. With Roddy White the highest per week fantasy average among WR in PPR leagues heading into Week 9, it makes sense that he’d be an increasingly featured receiving target in the Falcons offense.

WR Mark Clayton, BAL – 11 targets led to 4-87-1 against the Browns on Sunday. Flacco seems to be getting very comfortable with his receivers, which is a great thing for owners willing to take a shot on Clayton – who’s never really come into his own for the Ravens. Maybe Flacco – the strong-armed rookie out of Delaware – is the guy he’s needed.

Scouring The Barrel

WR Koren Robinson, SEA – I kind of discussed this with Seneca before. Take away the 90-yard bomb and it’s a pedestrian day. But any WR with that much big-play juice has some value on somebody’s fantasy roster. It probably isn’t going to be mine, but I wasn’t willing to take a shot on Mark Bradley on any of my teams last week either, and he’s looking sharp.

TE Brent Celek, PHI – In his seventh career start, Celek caught all six balls thrown his way for 6-131-0. Maybe he’s worth a look in deeper leagues that start two TE.


WR Kevin Walter, HOU – 4-47-0 wasn’t terrible, and it’s nice to see he’s involved every week. It should continue even with Rosenfels under center.

WR Bernard Berrian, MIN – Berrian had another big TD catch – a 49-yarder from Gus Frerotte that helped him finish with 2-104-1. That makes it four straight games with a score.

WR Matt Jones, JAC – He posted 7-69-0 – a solid day if unspectacular. Stay tuned to the reports out of Jacksonville to find out Jones’ status regarding his legal troubles.

TE Bo Scaife, TEN – 4-26-0 isn’t terrible, but the Titans just couldn’t get it going in the red zone to get him a score.

WR Ted Ginn, Jr., MIA – The second-year receiver finished Sunday with 3-38-0. WR Greg Camarillo actually saw 15 targets – over twice that of Ginn’s 7.

TE Kevin Boss, NYG – Boss’s nice game included 3 catches for 30 yards and a TD – his second in as many weeks and the clincher to making him a great bye week fill-in TE in Week 9. Stay tuned to his ankle injury, which could limit him in practice.

WR Mark Bradley, KC – Bradley connected with Thigpen for a TD – although probably not the way any of us expected – since he was the one who threw it. Either way, his involvement has increased rapidly since the Chiefs signed him and he looks like a decent option right now.


Off The Top

LB Paris Lenon, DET – I’m going to recommend Lenon one more time, and if he doesn’t get it done this week, I’ll never do it again. Still eminently available in IDP leagues everywhere, he’s got a perfect matchup against the Jags this week, and the next two after that: @CAR, TB, should translate into decent numbers. Lenon’s problem is that he doesn’t make too many big plays, but he sure cleans up a lot. In plenty of formats, that gets it done.

LB Stewart Bradley, PHI – He’s still available in some IDP leagues, he’s been relatively quiet lately and the Gtiants run the ball a lot up the middle. He should see plenty of action this week.

Digging Deeper

DB Atari Bigby, GB – Bigby’s back in action for the Packers, who also got back Pro Bowl CB Al Harris. Most IDPers haven’t caught on yet, so be the guy to snag him and watch him rack up points.

LB Chad Greenway, MIN – He’s coming off a big game versus the Texans and he should post good numbers against the Packers. I like his chances for 6-10 tackles.

Scouring The Barrel

DL Travis LeBoy, ARI – Stay tuned to the groin injury, but get LeBoy in action against the Niners if he’s healthy and starting. In week 1 at San Fran, he finished with 4 tackles,2 sacks and a fumble recovery. He’s feast or famine as far as IDP goes, but that’s pretty common with lineman, and he’s got a great matchup.

DB Roman Harper, NO – Coming off a bye and facing the Falcons Harper might be a nice pick-and-play for Week 10. He’s not on a ton of people’s radars and he’s been relatively consistent so far in ’08.


LB Mike Peterson, JAC – 5 total tackles, but no junk points. Overall, that’s pretty disappointing.

DB Terrence McGee, BUF – 7 total tackles (6 solo, 1 assist) but fellow DB Jabari Greer was the lucky Bills DB who got the pick off Brett Favre.

DL Dewayne White, DET – Four total tackles, two PD and an INT – a great game for any IDP, but especially excellent for a DL.

DB Brandon McDonald, CLE – 7 solos and a PD – the best numbers of any of the Browns DBs this week. Now that’s more like it!

LB Clint Session, IND – Just three solos and an assist, plus an assist on a special teams tackle. A slightly below-average performance from Session, but at least he’s involved.

DB Jason Craft, STL – Rams CB Ron Bartell got the start over Craft, who still got plenty of work filling in on nickel and dime packages but only compiled 3 total tackles.