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 a limitless resource when it comes to discovering
fantasy value. 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
be lurking in deeper leagues.
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Off the Top - Includes my premier
recommendations. These are sometimes players available only in more
shallow leagues, and occasionally guys who are more readily but
are thrust into the fantasy spotlight because of opportunity or
Digging Deeper - Covers the next
tier of quality waiver wire specimens, usually players available
in a majority of online leagues. There are a lot of gems in this
range who can be plucked rather easily.
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
in. Make sure you read the fine print.
Each week, I’ll also provide a brief update on the 20-30 players
I covered the previous week. It’s the most accurate, comprehensive
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 ()
Off The Top
Carson Palmer, OAK (@MIN, CHI, @MIA, @GB) – Owning and
deploying Palmer is not for the squeamish. The soon-to-be 32-year
old veteran QB has thrown seven INTs in about 10 quarters of football
this season. But he’s also tossed five TDs in his last two
games, and he’s got a bunch of speedy receivers who can
take it to the house. The schedule over the next four weeks is
a favorable one, and with multiple injury/bye week issues plaguing
his contemporaries in Week 11, he’s not a terrible option.
Rex Grossman, WAS (DAL, @SEA, NYJ, NE) – Mike Shanahan
named Grossman the starter this past week and said he’s
got the job against Dallas. He’s not a lock for a decent
game – far from it – but he’s one of the better
options out there among universally available QBs.
Leinart, HOU (BYE, @JAC, ATL, @CIN) – The injury to Matt Schaub
(presumably a Lisfranc) seems like a bad one, so Leinart will
undoubtedly get the Week 12 start once the Texans come off their
bye. He’s worth a look in deeper formats if you lost Schaub or
Michael Vick, who’s dealing with broken ribs.
Scouring The Barrel
Young, PHI (@NYG, NE, @SEA, @MIA) – Yeah – Vick has broken
ribs, and that’s why he looked so terrible in the Arizona game.
There’s no timetable set and we don’t know much about when he’ll
be available, but it looks like Young will get the nod against
Palko, KC (@NE, PIT, @CHI, @NYJ) – The injury to Matt Cassel’s
hand is serious enough that the Chiefs are talking IR, which means
Palko is the default starting QB. He’s an unknown commodity at
this point and the schedule looks awfully tough, but that doesn’t
mean he can’t surprise some folks.
Tebow, DEN (NYJ, @SD, @MIN, CHI) – Tebow produced solid fantasy
numbers in Week 10, as expected, but attempted a mere eight passes
and completed just two. Fortunately for his owners, one was a
game breaking bonus TD to Eric Decker. The matchup with the Jets
looms large as a difficult test for this one-dimensional offense.
Andy Dalton, CIN (@BAL, CLE, @PIT, HOU) – The rookie wasn’t
all that sharp in the loss to Pittsburgh, but the windy weather
and tough opponent are good excuses. Unfortunately, neither of
those factors promises to get much more favorable in the coming
Matt Moore, MIA (BUF, @DAL, OAK, PHI) – Moore’s performance
(209-0-1, fumble) was sufficient for a Miami win, but abysmal
in fantasy terms. That said, he’s not a terrible play at
home in Week 10 against the Bills if you’re stuck with one
of the several injured or bye week QBs.
Off The Top
Ogbonnaya, CLE (JAC, @CIN, BAL, @PIT) – He’s not much of a
game breaker and the upcoming games don’t instill much confidence,
but he’s the main ball carrier as long as Peyton Hillis and Montario
Hardesty (both ruled out for Week 11) remain on the shelf.
Hunter, SF (ARI, @BAL, STL, @ARI) – The info on Frank Gore’s
injuries (knee, ankle) has been somewhat dubious, so it’s best
to scoop up Hunter if he’s still available in your leagues.
Barber, CHI (SD, @OAK, KC, @DEN) – After three inactive games
and sparse usage to begin the season, Barber has 39 carries, 128
yards and three TDs in his last four games. He should be owned
in all formats as a deep flex/Matt Forte handcuff.
Lance Ball, DEN (NYJ, @SD, @MIN, CHI) – The Broncos are
a running team, in case you missed Sunday’s game. With Knowshon
Moreno (torn ACL) out for the remainder of the season and Willis
McGahee nursing multiple injuries, Ball becomes a must-own back
in 12-team leagues. It’s obvious this crew will do anything
to grind out a win, and that game plan includes Ball – who
had 30 carries for 96 yards against the Chiefs.
Scouring The Barrel
Smith, DET (CAR, GB, @NO, MIN) – It’s unclear if Jahvid Best
will play from here on out, but picking up Smith shows they aren’t
totally committed to the Maurice Morris plan. Smith, who had four
carries for 19 yards and a couple catches on Sunday, could see
significant work once he gets back in the offensive mix.
Rodgers, ATL (TEN, MIN, @HOU, @CAR) – The Falcons have stepped
up Rodgers’ role in the last couple weeks, and it’s clear the
undersized back is talented enough to break off a big run here
and there. He could be a sneaky add who might pay off big if something
befalls Michael Turner.
Marshawn Lynch, SEA (@STL, WAS, PHI, STL) – Lynch showed
once again that he’s a big game player by rushing for 109
yards and a TD while hauling in 5-58-0 – his best fantasy
performance of the year in a tough matchup that resulted in a
win over Baltimore.
Ben Tate, HOU (BYE, @JAC, ATL, @CIN) – For the second straight
week, Tate had an excellent game despite huge numbers from backfield
mate Arian foster. With Matt Schaub out with a significant foot
injury, Tate will be even more fantasy relevant.
Roy Helu, WAS (DAL, @SEA, NYJ, NE) – Helu’s fairytale
Week 9 wasn’t to be repeated, but he did have 41 rushing
yards and three catches for minimal yardage, making him an okay
RB3 in PPR leagues.
Ivory, NO (BYE, NYG, DET, @TEN) – With Mark Ingram back, Ivory
(hamstring) was held out of Sunday’s game.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Off The Top
WR Denarius Moore, OAK (@MIN, CHI, @MIA, @GB) – He’s
the obvious top add this week after his monster game in Week 10.
I just feel bad for not including him last week, because I did
as a bonus sleeper pick in my Monday
Night Musings column at FanDuel.com’s Insider. Sorry,
WR Laurent Robinson, DAL (@WAS, MIA, @ARI, NYG) – I had
him here in my Week 9 column
and updated him last week, but if you haven’t gotten the
message, PICK UP LAURENT ROBINSON!
TE Scott Chandler, BUF (@MIA, @NYJ, TEN, @SD) – I like
Chandler’s matchups down the stretch; he should resume getting
looks in the red zone as the Bills start finishing off some more
drives against weaker opponents.
WR Earl Bennett, CHI (SD, @OAK, KC, @DEN) – In two games
since coming back from injury, Bennett has recorded 11-176-1.
He’s a favorite of Cutler’s and makes a solid WR3
in 12-team formats.
Brown, SD (@CHI, DEN, @JAC, BUF) – Like Bennett, Brown has
made a big impact the last two weeks, hauling in 9-176-1. The
Week 10 matchup against the Bears poses a unique challenge, as
last week Titus Young and Nate Burleson each outscored Calvin
Johnson in PPR leagues.
Scouring The Barrel
WR Harry Douglas, ATL (TEN, MIN, @HOU, @CAR) – If Julio
Jones misses any time, Douglas should continue to see targets.
The veteran receiver drew single coverage and caught eight passes
for 133 yards on 14 targets.
WR Julio Jones, ATL (TEN, MIN, @HOU, @CAR) – As mentioned
above, Jones reinjured his hamstring in Week 10 and finished with
just two catches for minimal yardage. Stay tuned.
WR Torrey Smith, BAL (CIN, SF, @CLE, IND) – The Ravens couldn’t
break through against the Seahawks, and Smith hauled in just three
receptions for 28 receiving yards.
WR David Nelson, BUF (@MIA, @NYJ, TEN, @SD) – Nelson drew
attention for handing his TD ball to a Cowboys cheerleader (his
girlfriend) and may have pissed off some folks in Buffalo, but
he certainly made his fantasy owners happy with the 4-31-1 line.
As a WR3, he did his job.
WR Steve Breaston, KC (@NE, PIT, @CHI, @NYJ) – With Matt
Cassel injured, Breaston’s value takes a huge hit. He’s
a marginal play in the coming weeks.
WR Jacoby Ford, OAK (@MIN, CHI, @MIA, @GB) – After a monster
Week 9, Ford injured his foot and could miss significant time.
He doesn’t have any value at the moment.
Williams, TEN (@ATL, TB, @BUF, NO) – Williams improved on
his Week 9 numbers with 5-107-1, a line that included a 43-yard
TD pass from Matt Hasselbeck.
Off The Top
DL Ndamukong Suh, DET (CAR, GB, @NO, MIN) – Suh has been
noticeably quiet this season (27 tackles, 3.0 sacks, PD in nine
games), but it’s about time for him to break out and help
the Lions win some games. Through seven games last season, he
already notched 28 tackles, an INT, TD and 6.5 sacks. The Detroit
offense is explosive, but the defense has been preventing them
from winning more games. He’ll be counted on during the
next few matchups.
LB Rob Ninkovich, NE (KC, @PHI, IND, @WAS) – The display
that Ninkovich put on Sunday night (five total tackles, two PD,
two INTs, TD) was testament enough that he should be owned in
most IDP formats. He’ll have plenty of chances to make some
big plays in the next couple weeks.
Scouring The Barrel
DB Cedric Griffin, MIN (OAK, @ATL, DEN, @DET) – It’s
a mixed bag in the next four matchups, but I like the tilts with
Oakland and Detroit. Griffin should be active in both games and
stands a good chance to pick up some PDs and a pick or two. He’s
long overdue in the INT department.
DL Trent Cole, PHI (@NYG, NE, @SEA, @MIA) – Cole’s
numbers were decent – four solos and a sack – but
he’s not the same player he was in the Jim Johnson defense.
LB Daryl Washington, ARI (@SF, @STL, DAL, SF) – The TCU
alum posted nine solos and a sack in the stirring victory over
the Eagles. He’s a solid LB2.
DB Joe Haden, CLE (JAC, @CIN, BAL, @PIT) – Haden had his
best fantasy numbers since Week 1, posting four solos and three
PD in the loss to St. Louis.