Fantasy Football Today - fantasy football rankings, cheatsheets, and information
A Fantasy Football Community!

Create An Account  |  Advertise  |  Contact      

Staff Writer
Email Antonio

Antonio's Articles

Through The Wire
10/7/08 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.

Week 5 turned out to be another tough one for marginal QBs. Trent Edwards took a hard albeit legal shot from Cards safety Adrian Wilson – the only real fantasy impact the Arizona DB made all day long – and sat out the remainder of the game with a concussion. Jon Kitna was unceremoniously yanked – or so it appeared during the broadcast – and Bucs QB Brian Griese left Sunday’s 16-13 loss to the Broncos with a swollen right elbow.

Pay particular attention to the QB and WR updates included in this week’s column (there’s some bonus advice on a possible QB trade target in there) and while many of the WRs I recommended had solid games last week, there might be a few still available in plenty of leagues out there, including Brandon Stokley and Steve “Voluptuous” Breaston.

As always, I welcome your e-mails and would like to hear from you if my waiver wire recommendations have helped or hindered your fantasy progress over the past couple years – or so far in 2008. I’ll also answer a wide range of fantasy queries. I’ll even respond promptly to the occasional rebuke, or give you some helpful tips in the kitchen, as I’m an excellent cook.


Off The Top

Matt Schaub, HOU – Okay, so he spent Saturday night in the hospital with a viral infection. And in the Coxsackie Fantasy Football League, my opponents (we’ll call them the Bed & Breakfast Boys) started him anyway. I can just picture those two bickering over it later in the afternoon: “I thought you were going to check the inactives.” “No! I was making breakfast for the Pinkertons, our second-floor guests!” – or something like that. Anyway, Schaub was probably just puking his guts out last weekend, and he should be fine for Week 6. If he’s not, I’m sure somebody will tell us. His next four opponents: MIA, DET, CIN, @MIN. Scoop him up if somebody freaked out Sunday morning (or prior to that) and dropped him.

Digging Deeper

Kyle Orton, CHI – Another nice day from Orton (24-34, 334 yds, 2 TDs and no turnovers – that’s good for a 121.4 passer rating) is an indication he’ll be throwing the ball more as teams stack the line to stop the stylish, smoldering Matt Forte. Marty Booker, Rashied Davis, Devin Hester and TE Greg Olsen are all capable receivers – and when Brandon Lloyd returns he’ll have even more weapons at his disposal. His next four weeks: @ATL, MIN, bye, DET.

Scouring The Barrel

Matt Ryan, ATL – The rookie threw for 194 yards, 2 TDs and 1 INT, and is developing nice rapport with veteran receiver Roddy White. But the matchups aren’t especially promising until the last five weeks. Keep him on your bench until further notice.

Joe Flacco, BAL – I’m not the biggest fan of the Ravens offense, and Flacco’s not been lighting up the fantasy scoreboard this season (1 passing TD, 1 rushing TD, 4 INT) His matchups aren’t great, his receivers are old and less-than-explosive, and his coaches don’t seem to want him to open anything up anytime soon. His problems right now are poise and protection. The arm strength is there – and when the kid’s got time, he delivers the ball as well as most successful NFL QBs. But without a bookend left tackle and adequate shelter behind a cohesive line, Flacco will fall short of his potential.


Trent Edwards, BUF – Ouch. Just when your team is 4-0 and your NFL career looks like it’s taking off – you end up walking off the field with the help of coaches looking like an amateur drunk getting led to a cab. At least he’s got the bye week to recover and a favorable schedule.

Matt Cassel, NE – I like that Cassel threw the deep bomb to Randy Moss, and not just because I just traded Earnest Graham straight up for him (I’ve been trading like gangbusters – it’s that time of the year for me. It seems that every season I start making serious moves around Week 4). Cassel’s a guy who’s becoming more comfortable that I’d be targeting in trades even if he isn’t still available on the wire. The AFC’s looking wide open, really, and the Pats are still a pretty good team. If you remember how Tom Brady’s career started, you’ll remember that he started off slowly as well (0 TDs in his first three games and 2 lost fumbles). I think Cassel can still post some big numbers as a bye-week fill-in. Check Cassel’s matchup during your #1 QB’s bye week – he could be a good fit that gives you a much-deserved W for making the extra effort, helping another squad with bye week woes and shoring up another roster slot of your own in a three-for-two or something creative.

Jon Kitna, DET – Turns out Kitna wasn’t benched – but that he was pulled at halftime after experiencing back spasms, according to HC Rod Marinelli. Kitna was 8-of-16 for 74 yards, not necessarily a mandate for fantasy owners’ confidence. This from “It started in the first quarter,” Kitna said. “A little back spasm at halftime, it just locked up and really I tried to go back out but I couldn’t really get out.” Keep an eye on his status heading into Week 6.

Marc Bulger, STL – Bulger has some vanilla matchups the rest of the way, and should make a capable fantasy backup. He’s a major risk as a #1, so I can’t condone that, but he’s not a bad guy to stash and keep your fingers crossed.

Kerry Collins, TEN – The bye gives Vince Young another week to recover, but Collins hasn’t lost a game yet in ’08 and should remain the starter in Tennessee until further notice.

Running Backs

Off The Top

DeAngelo Williams, CAR – Williams rushed for a career-high 123 yards (on 20 carries) and two TDs, not to mention a 25-yard TD reception – in the win over KC on Sunday. It was undoubtedly the most productive fantasy day of his football life, and will boost his value in a Ronnie Brown-like manner over the next couple weeks. He’s still out there in shallow leagues (owned in just 65 percent of Yahoo leagues – bizarre) and has received high praise from fantasy gurus heading into the past two seasons – although he’s never lived up to it other than the occasional big day every 10 games or so. I think the situation in Carolina with Jonathan Stewart (instead of the much-maligned DeShaun Foster) could lead to more consistent productivity.

Felix Jones, DAL – It was fitting to see Jones post a goose egg in Week 4 (coincidentally a Dallas loss) and have a monster day – 9 carries for 96 yards and a big TD run – the very next week. He’s still available in about 1 out of 5 Yahoo leagues, which means 1 out of 5 Yahoo leagues are full of idiots – or just consist of a crazy person versus his or her 5-11 cats.

Tim Hightower, ARI – I think most fantasy owners have gotten the hint that Hightower’s a solid RB #3 in just about any format, but many remain unconvinced, since he’s owned in just 28 percent of Yahoo leagues. He’s finding the end zone regularly, as the Arizona offense is loaded with offensive weapons and has a penchant for quick-hitting scores.

Digging Deeper

Le’Ron McClain, BAL – I wrote extensively on the guy in last week’s updates, but I can’t get away from him. People still seem to believe that Willis McGahee is a one-man show as long as he starts – but it’s just not true. McClain will continue to find ways to score.

Correll Buckhalter, PHI – Another injury to Brian Westbrook – this time two broken ribs – have thrust Buckhalter into the spotlight again. It’s just never going to feel comfortable starting him unless Westbrook’s officially out, which almost never happens.

Scouring The Barrel

Warrick Dunn, TB – An essential PPR guy who’s seeing lots of action in the Tampa offense. He should be owned in all 12-team leagues and currently rates as a RB#3 in PPR leagues (bye-week fill-in) and RB#4 (desperation bye-week fill-in and trade fodder) elsewhere.

Sammy Morris, NE – I still think he’s the guy who going to grind out a few of New England’s wins this year, but there will be games when the passing game surges and he’s left without a viable stat line. For now, pick him up if you need another RB and play him on a matchup-to-matchup basis against teams with better secondaries than D-lines.


Deuce McAllister, NO – Nothing much doing against the Vikings, but that was expected: the Vikes have one of the top run defenses in football.

Fred Jackson, BUF – A decent receiving day for a RB – 3/32/0, but Jackson had just one carry for 5 yards in a game that got out of Buffalo’s hands pretty quickly – rendering their usually balanced running attack essentially useless. He’s still a must-have backup in all PPR leagues.

Mewelde Moore, PIT – Moore filled in admirably as the feature back (99 rushing yards on 17 carries and 3/17/0 receiving, but he didn’t find paydirt and in two weeks, it’s likely that Willie Parker will return. Stay tuned to FWP’s injury status and evolve accordingly.

Ladell Betts, WAS – He finished with 9 carries for 44 yards and 1 catch for 7 yards Sunday against the Eagles – and helped the team crank out a key division victory with his play in the fourth quarter. He’ll likely get even more touches against the Rams in Week 6 if the Redskins pull ahead early and they can give Portis a break. Honestly, he’d be on my radar in deeper leagues as a possible #3 or #4 RB.

Ahmad Bradshaw, NYG – He had 11 carries for 65 yards in garbage time, including a 32-yard scamper down to the Seattle 7-yard line. Derrick Ward continues to hold a lead on the Giants depth chart, but as you saw again in Week 5, this is a team that runs the ball effectively and can score a lot of points. Don’t give up his roster slot unless you must.

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

Off The Top

WR Donald Driver, GB – I’ll start this off by saying that under no circumstances do I want to hear from any of you deep-leaguers screaming at me for including a guy owned in just about every fantasy league. Because somebody dropped Driver right before Sunday’s game in one of mine, and he finished with 3/68/1. Yes, Bob, I’m talking about you. And if I can grab him, I’m going to. And so should you. Because he’s Donald Effing Driver, that’s why.

WR Isaac Bruce, SF – There’s not much to say about Bruce other than “What are you waiting for?” He’s J.T. O’Sullivan’s spiritual leader in the journeyman QB’s confusing new role as NFL starter – he even got nabbed straight up for Aaron Rodgers in one of my leagues this week from one fantasy owner (Bob) who’s not yet seen the last reference to him in this column.

WR Bobby Engram, SEA – The veteran receiver was active for the first time in ’08, was targeted 12 times and responded with 8/61/0. An injury to Deion Branch makes Engram the unquestionable #1 in Seattle and a viable #3 WR in fantasy. Last year’s huge season tells me that as long as he’s healthy, he’ll continue to make plays and consistently contribute to rosters in all leagues.

Digging Deeper

WR Devin Hester, CHI – I picked up Hester for a spot start in one of my leagues Sunday and it paid off. He came through with 5/66/1 on just 6 targets. From here on out, Hester’s got a pretty favorable schedule, the Bears are moving the ball through the air with increased consistency, and there’s always the threat of him returning a bonus TD off a kickoff or punt.

WR Greg Camarillo, MIA – In last week’s updates, I wrote that Camarillo was “a decent #4 WR play in Week 5 against the Chargers” and that he could “get his first TD of ’08.” Well – he finished with 6 catches for 68 yards and a second-quarter score that put Miami up for good. He’s had between 5-8 targets each game and 3-6 catches, so don’t expect that crazy numbers.

Scouring The Barrel

WR Mike Walker, JAC – 12 catches in his last three tells me he’s David Garrard’s “new” favorite. But I know better than to trust any Jacksonville receiver, don’t I? Over the past couple years, excluding the second half that fantasy owners got from Reggie Williams last season, “Garrard’s favorite receiver” has been a lot like “my favorite Britney moment” – it’s in a constant state of flux.

WR Domenik Hixon, NYG – At Cleveland, you could see a similar situation to what happened in Seattle. Bob loves him (don’t you, Bob?) and surely benefited in at least one of his leagues from his big day. But read below regarding the prospects of a repeat performance.

WR Sinorice Moss, NYG – Just because he caught two TDs Sunday doesn’t mean you immediately go out and pick him up. There’s four Giants WRs ahead of him on the depth chart, including Plaxico Burress, Amani Toomer, Steve Smith and Hixon. Plax will be back as the unambiguous #1, so don’t get too jazzed up about their breakouts.

TE Alge Crumpler, TEN – He can’t help you this week, but he’s a sneaky pickup if you’ve got extra roster space. The four-time Pro-Bowler saw his targets increase to 6 in Week 5, which he converted into 2/15/1. I can’t give his performance a glowing review, since without the TD it’s pretty much garbage. But I’ll say that the man has earned the chance to get more looks inside the red zone. If the Titans plan on keeping the winning streak alive after their Week 6 bye, they’re going to have to stay one step ahead of opposing defenses – and using the versatile Crumpler is one way to do just that.


WR DeSean Jackson, PHI – Other than his punt return TD, Jackson was noticeably absent from the offense. Weird, considering how productive he was in previous weeks.

WR Kevin Walter, HOU – Even though Andre Johnson had his ’08 breakout and the QB situation is wild right now, 2/36/0 doesn’t disturb me. He’ll continue to get looks even with Super Andre and the rest of the offense going forward.

WR Muhsin Muhammad, CAR – 3/71/1 are yummy numbers for any #3 fantasy WR, a position which Muhammad can lay claim to proudly at this point.

WR Matt Jones, JAC – Jones saw 6 targets but finished with just 2/25/0. Walker really stole the show in the passing game on Sunday night.

WR Steve Breaston, ARI – I admit it. I’m a Breaston man. He tallied 7/77/0 and will continue to see favorable target numbers even when Anquan Boldin returns from injury.

WR Lance Moore, NO – He had 5/31/0 in Week 6 against the Vikes. It was a weird game, and he still saw targets. Keep him rostered as a #3 or #4 WR, depending on the depth of your league and WR situation.

WR Brandon Stokley, DEN – Eddie Royal went down with an apparent lower left leg injury on a punt return in the third quarter against the Bucs, and Stokley – after a nice 3rd down run from Pittman and a 16-yard completion to Tony Scheffler – promptly caught a pass in the flats and ran it in for a score. He finished with 6 catches for 52 yards on 7 targets, and probably helped a lot of fantasy teams in the proicess as their #3 WR. I hope you were among them.

WR Arnaz Battle, SF – A veritable stinker among several nice fantasy recommendations, Battle had 5 balls thrown his way but just 1 catch for 9 yards. And yes, I started him as my WR#3 in one league and it appears as if I’m going to lose – to the same guy who dropped Donald Driver in another (I’m talking to you again, Bob). Ouch. And he got a billion points from Antoine Winfield Monday night to seal the blowout. Keep your distance from Battle until he gets a couple more solid games in a row (at least 3-4/30-40/0-1) under his belt.

WR Jordy Nelson, GB – Jordy caught the only ball thrown to him Sunday for a 14-yard gain. That’s the lowest target total since Week 1, when he had zero catches. Not good, considering he was coming off two 4-catch games and 14 targets over the past two weeks.

WR Jabar Gaffney, NE – 3/35/0 means Gaffney was one big play away from a very nice fantasy day. He didn’t do a ton, but he didn’t lay an egg, either. It’s very possible that a Gaffney insertion (sounds kind of gross, I know) gave you enough points to pull out a win. Among the WRs he outscored this week: Brandon Marshall, Calvin Johnson, Santana Moss, Eddie Royal (inj), Anthony Gonzalez (inj), Bryant Johnson, Reggie Williams, Matt Jones, and Deion Branch (inj).


Off The Top

LB Zach Diles, HOU – It’s about time we make Mr. Diles an every-week IDP starter. He’s proven to be a playmaker and while I still know very little about him, he’s posted tackle totals of 13, 8, 6 and 9 in his first four games. And his matchups aren’t LB-oppressive at all the rest of the way.

DB Adam Jones, DAL – I’ve stayed away for a while, but I can’t help recommending the Artist Formerly Known as PacMan this week against the Cards. He’s a big-play specialist who hasn’t made any since Week 17 in ’06, and he’s due. I know I make use of the “he’s due” viewpoint a bit too often to be considered a conservative fantasy source, but I seem to be have a knack for knowing when DBs are going to have good days – and Jones is freakin’ due. Add him and play him through Week 9 – he’s going to rack up some picks and energize the Dallas secondary.

Digging Deeper

LB Takeo Spikes, SF – Eminently available in most IDP leagues, Spikes finds a way to post respectable tackle numbers and make a fantasy impact despite co-existing with the gargantuan numbers of LB Patrick Willis. He’s always been good when healthy, and I think he’s in a good defensive system in San Fran to continue bolstering IDP rosters.

DB Rashean Mathis, JAC – He’s a bit hit-or-miss, but he’s been on a tear in ’08 and last week returned another INT for a score. Mathis isn’t going to do that every week, but excluding the Week 7 bye, he’s got favorable matchups through Week 10. I also think his tackle totals will start spiking and he’ll continue to make the occasional big play.

Scouring The Barrel

LB Joey Porter, MIA – Channing Crowder doesn’t seem to be doing that much as the Miami LB corps heads into two solid IDP matchups in weeks 6 and 7. He’s playing with fire in his belly and he’s been motivating his teammates in recent weeks. I promise – you won’t regret adding him unless he gets hurt.

DL Kevin Williams, MIN – The Vikings defensive line has been uncharacteristically quiet this season – especially Jared Allen, who’s been seeing more double-teams than Jenna Haze. Now, the Vikings have Detroit at home and head to Chicago in Week 7 – matchups that should mean big numbers for Minnesota DL. If Jared Allen isn’t available, which he probably isn’t, take a flier on this guy in the next couple games.

DB Michael Griffin, TEN – The Tennessee defense has produced several standouts this season, and Griffin is probably the least well-known. He’s on a bye in Week 6, but you should consider adding him next week versus KC. His schedule, starting week 11, looks pretty favorable.


LB Paris Lenon, DET – Lenon had 9 total tackles, but just 2 solos. Fellow Lions LB Ernie Sims finished with 5 solos and 6 assists. Lots of gang tackling going on in Motor City, huh?

DL Darnell Dockett, ARI – The Cards sacked Losman and Edwards 5 times, with Dockett uncharacteristically absent from the party. But he did have 2 solos and a fumble recovery, preventing one of my top IDP calls from busting.

LB Adalius Thomas, NE – Thomas was New England’s leading tackler this week with 4 solos and 1 assist, chipped in a PD and had the team’s only sack. These aren’t spectacular numbers, but they’re solid – and they’re the best of any Pats defender in Week 5. The next three weeks could be lean for Pats LBs, however, so look for other options if you’ve got ‘em.

DB Antoine Bethea, IND – Probably my worst IDP call of the week, Bethea finished with just 3 solos and 1 assist, although secondary mates Marlin Jackson (10 solos, 1 assist) and Melvin Bullitt (10 total tackles, INT, PD) both went nuts. I just picked the wrong Colts DB, really.

LB Kawika Mitchell, BUF – Mitchell rebounded with a decent game – 6 solos and 1 assist. He also had a QB hurry, but in most leagues that counts for about as much as putting on your uniform correctly.

DB Anthony Henry, DAL – I said he’d have “some chances to make plays and should finish with 4-6 tackles.” Well – I hit the low end; Henry had 4 solos but didn’t actually make any of those wonderful plays I referred to.

DB Donte Whitner, BUF – Whitner delivered as promised with 8 solos and 1 assist, although Jabari Greer – who I said would see lots of action – finished as the leading Bills tackler with 9 solos, 3 assists and a PD.

LB LaMarr Woodley, PIT – 6 solos, 2 sacks. Now that’s a solid day – and another IDP feather in my increasingly florid cap.

DB Dre Bly, DEN – 4 solos, nothing else. Yet another uneventful day from a capable Broncos DB.