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 an almost limitless resource when it comes
to discovering fantasy value in strange places. 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 still be lurking in deeper leagues.
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Off the Top - Includes my premier
recommendations — sometimes players available either only
in more shallow leagues, and occasionally guys more readily available
who’ve been thrust into the fantasy spotlight.
Digging Deeper - Covers the next
tier of quality waiver wire specimens, usually players available
in a majority of online leagues.
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
Each week, I’ll also provide a brief update on the 30-40 players
I covered the previous week. It’s the best one-stop waiver-wire
column available on the Internet, and it’s only available
here at fftoday.com.
Feedback is always welcome,
appreciated and encouraged. I’ll get to as many e-mails as
Note: Each player’s
next four matchups are listed in parentheses ()
This week, four of the top ten players being snagged of the wire
are tight ends (due in part to the season-ending injuries to Owen
Daniels and Chris Cooley and byes of Visanthe Shiancoe and Zach
Miller). Excluding the juggernaut Vikings and respectable Jets,
the teams on bye this week are a combined 7-25 – and therefore
not too loaded with standout fantasy contributors. On the IDP front,
another talented bunch of stars is on bye, forcing teams to shore
up the ranks through free agency. Let’s get to it, readers.
Oh — before I forget — a special thanks to all the
great tracking work done on fantasyxpert.com.
For the all-important month of October, this column received the
rank for Waiver Wire Advice online, beating out all the other
Off The Top
Matt Hasselbeck, SEA (DET, @ARI, @MIN, @STL) – I’m
really looking forward to Hasselbeck’s upcoming schedule;
the veteran can still get it done despite playing for a team with
a shaky offensive line.
DEN (PIT, @WAS, SD, NYG) – Orton faces some tough competition
the next few weeks but could break out for a nice game or two
with WR Brandon Marshall at his disposal. He’s got just one INT
on the season, but you’ll have to live with a few more based on
the increased level of competition.
KC (@JAC, @OAK, PIT, @SD) – Cassel will be forced to attack
more down the field the next few weeks without Larry Johnson,
and should improve his somewhat pedestrian fantasy stats.
Jason Campbell, WAS (@ATL, DEN, @DAL, @PHI) – A right ankle
sprain against Philly might keep his from being 100 percent, but
the matchup against the Falcons could mean more third down conversions
and better overall numbers.
Scouring The Barrel
TEN (@SF, BUF, @HOU, ARI) – He’s still “Young” and has the ability
to take over any game with his legs. The win over the Jags should
give him confidence and guarantee a few more starts over Kerry
Collins, but the former Longhorn is only relevant in deep leagues.
Trent Edwards, BUF (BYE, @TEN, @JAC, MIA) – Edwards gets
his starting job back after the bye, but he’s still not
to be trusted. The matchup with Tennessee may be tasty, but it’s
still a desperation move to assume he’ll perform well, since
the Titans pass defense seems to be getting back on track.
David Garrard, JAC (KC, @NYJ, BUF, @SF) – Didn’t
take advantage of the favorable matchup but should rebound versus
SF (TEN, CHI, @GB, JAC) – He’s got obvious rapport with TE Vernon
Davis and has a great matchup this week in Tennessee.
Daunte Culpepper, DET (@SEA, @MIN, CLE, GB) – Stafford
ended up with the start on Sunday and Culpepper lost what shred
of fantasy value he had left.
Off The Top
Jonathan Stewart, CAR (@NO, ATL, MIA, @NYJ) – The Panthers
running game is definitely big enough for two studs, and Stewart
looked explosive on the tow TD runs against the Cards. Don’t
let him languish on the wire if he’s still there in your
Julius Jones, SEA (DET, @ARI, @MIN, @STL) – Believe me,
I know. But Jones is available in a small fraction of leagues
and has an excellent matchup against the Lions. Grab him if he’s
out there and plug him in.
HOU (@IND, BYE, TEN, IND) – His 23-carry, 126-yard, three-TD game
shows he can carry the load for the Texans and could supplant
fumble-happy (fumble-sad, really) Steve Slaton as the basis of
the team’s ground game. The compact back was universally available
until his breakout Week Eight performance, but he looked explosive
through the hole against the Bills and will be owned in just about
every league heading into the Indy game.
NO (@CAR, @STL, @TB, NE) – Bell wasn’t too impressive on Monday
night, but he still has value in an offense as potent as the Saints.
It wouldn’t be the first time folks lost faith in Bell only to
have him rebound with a slew of goal line carries and a couple
scores. Don’t be the guy who relegates him to the garbage heap
— because he’ll likely be back at some point with a multiple–TD
Jamaal Charles, KC (@JAC, @OAK, PIT, @SD) – Charles and
Dantrell Savage currently occupy the top two slots on the Chiefs’
RB depth chart because of the suspension to Johnson, although
Kolby Smith is also ready to return from knee surgery and has
practiced for a couple weeks. The Chiefs must decide no later
than Friday if Smith will be activated. If he is, he’ll
hurt Charles’ value — which drops to the RB4 level
after Week 11 anyway.
Scouring The Barrel
Morris, DET (@SEA, @MIN, CLE, GB) – Morris will fill in for
Kevin Smith should the second-year back miss any time with his
Justin Fargas, OAK (BYE, KC, CIN, @DAL) – Fargas played
well last week but has a Week Nine bye. He’s Oakland’s
most experienced offensive players and will be counted on heavily
down the stretch.
MIA (@NE, TB, @CAR, @BUF) – The Jets did a good job on Ricky,
keeping him out of the end zone and holding him to just 27 yards
on eight carries and 68 total yards.
LeSean McCoy, PHI (DAL, @SD, @CHI, WAS) – McCoy started
in Westbrook’s place as expected and had his best fantasy
game thus far, breaking off a 66-yard TD run agains the Giants.
Stay tuned to B-West’s status heading into the Week Nine
tilt with Dallas.
Chris Wells, ARI (@CHI, SEA, @STL, @TEN) – The Cards abandoned
the run after falling behind against the Panthers, but Wells looked
good in his limited touches (eight carries, 47 yards).
Shonn Greene, NYJ (BYE, JAC, @NE, CAR) – Greene came back
down to Earth after his huge Week Seven game and has a bye in
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Off The Top
WR Jeremy Maclin, PHI (DAL, @SD, @CHI, WAS) – Maclin makes
a solid WR3 in most formats and could have a big day in a shootout
versus the Cowboys, who might have a hard time keeping up with
him on his patented flag routes if they don’t get pressure
WR Percy Harvin, MIN (BYE, DET, SEA, CHI) – Keep an eye
on waiver wires this week for Harvin, who’s a great playmaker
but might be expendable because of the Minnesota bye.
Floyd, SD (@NYG, PHI, @DEN, KC) – Floyd has vaulted to second
on the Chargers’ WR depth chart following the placement of veteran
wideout Chris Chambers on waivers. Floyd is tall and talented
enough to emerge as a solid fantasy WR3 if he continues to get
WR Ted Ginn Jr., MIA (@NE, TB, @CAR, @BUF) – Ginn’s
two special teams scores have brought him back into the conversation.
But he’s so unreliable at making catches that he’s
still only a fantasy backup in standard leagues or WR3in TD-only
Scouring The Barrel
TE Fred Davis, WAS (@ATL, DEN, @DAL, @PHI) – Davis eluded
being picked up in many formats last week because of his Week
Eight bye, but the Cooley injury in Week Seven and subsequent
performance by Davis in that game (8-78-1) have opened the door
of fantasy significance for this second-year player from USC.
However, I should warn you that the injury to Daniels hasn’t
inspired me to recommend Houston backup Joel Dreessen.
WR Miles Austin, DAL (@PHI, @GB, WAS, OAK) – Austin is
now owned in about 95 percent of formats after another great game.
He’s the clear No. 1 receiver in Dallas going forward.
WR Nate Burleson, SEA (DET, @ARI, @MIN, @STL) – Burleson
remains available in one out of five leagues despite a great upcoming
WR Lee Evans, BUF (BYE, @TEN, @JAC, MIA) – Evans gets a
week off and hopes to rebound from a poor Week Eight (2-29-0).
Bryant, TB (GB, @MIA, NO, @ATL) – Bryant comes off his bye
and faces the Packers with a new QB – rookie Josh Freeman.
WR Mike Wallace, PIT (@DEN, CIN, @KC, @BAL) – Like Bryant,
Wallace will be a popular waiver wire snag this week following
his bye. He’s got big-play capability.
WR Kenny Britt, TEN (@SF, BUF, @HOU, ARI) – Britt has regressed
the past few games and rumors abound he’s hitting the dreaded
Off The Top
LB Jerod Mayo, NE (MIA, @IND, NYJ, @NO) – Mayo’s
been okay albeit relatively quiet since returning from injury
a couple weeks ago. Last week’s bye forced many teams to
delay adding him, so give him a shot again stat Miami team that
lives and dies with its running game.
LB Justin Durant, JAC (KC, @NYJ, BUF, @SF) – Durant returned
in a big way during the Week Eight game against the Titans. He
recorded 16 total tackles (12 solos) and showed why he is one
of the most coveted young LBs in the AFC.
Curry, SEA (DET, @ARI, @MIN, @STL) – Curry’s presence allowed
MLB David Hawthorne to go nuts last week against the Cowboys,
but the matchup versus Detroit favors the more athletic rookie.
Wilkerson, TB (GB, @MIA, NO, @ATL) – Wilkerson has established
himself as a reliable tackler and pass rusher since Gaines Adams
was traded to the Bears. Look for a big game versus an offensive
line that is the unquestionably the Packers’ biggest weakness.
DB Reed Doughty, WAS (@ATL, DEN, @DAL, @PHI) – Doughty should
clean up against an Atlanta team that yields the most points to
opposing DBs in fantasy football. He’s coming off a bye
and is still flying under the radar in most leagues.
Scouring The Barrel
DL Randy Starks, MIA (@NE, TB, @CAR, @BUF) – Over the past
two weeks, Starks has emerged as a stud DE with 14 tackles, 1.5
sacks and a fumble recovery. He’s only owned in a fraction
of leagues and should put up good numbers versus the Pats.
Marshall, CAR (@NO, ATL, MIA, @NYJ) – Marshall has been the
most consistent DB in the Panthers secondary and has a great matchup
this week against the Saints, who will throw the ball early and
often as Carolina tries to keep up. Marshall will cover Marques
Colston, who sees at least 10 targets a game.
LB Karlos Dansby, ARI (@CHI, SEA, @STL, @TEN) – Dansby
had a monster game (12 tackles) and has a relatively favorable
schedule from here on out. As long as he’s healthy, he’s
DL Mario Williams, HOU (@IND, BYE, TEN, IND) – Williams
was active but only registered a QB hurry – and no points
in standard leagues.
LB Will Witherspoon, PHI (DAL, @SD, @CHI, WAS) – A moderate
fantasy success in Week Eight, Witherspoon posted six total tackles.
He’s got a mediocre fantasy matchup this week but remains
a solid play as the Eagles starting MLB.
DB Brian Dawkins, DEN (PIT, @WAS, SD, NYG) – Dawkins had
eight tackles and a PD and should produce good numbers again this
week against the Steelers.
DL Adewale Ogunleye, CHI (ARI, @SF, PHI, @MIN) – Just one
solo tackle against the Browns, but Ogunleye also recovered a
fumble to avoid a total IDP loss. The way the Cards line and Kurt
Warner are struggling, he should do well at home versus Arizona
— just keep in mind that his value has taken a small hit
with the current rotation of Gaines Adams into the front four.
LB A.J. Hawk, GB (@TB, DAL, SF, @DET) – Hawk and the Packers
LBs are so hit-and-miss, I don’t know what I was thinking.
Not a steady enough guy for me to keep taking shots on, even when
the matchup seems right.
DB Jairus Byrd, BUF (BYE, @TEN, @JAC, MIA) – Byrd did it
again! But after picking off another two balls against the Texans,
he left in the fourth quarter with an apparent groin injury and
did not return. He’s on a bye Week Nine.