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 (@BAL, NO, @CIN, CLE) – Palmer (75 percent
owned) was the top fantasy QB of Week 9, tossing for 414-4-3 on
39-for-61 passing. The Ravens aren’t quite as vulnerable
as the Bucs, but Palmer’s Week 11 matchup versus the Saints
offers a shot at more big numbers.
Tannehill, MIA (TEN, @BUF, SEA, NE) – If you’re a desperate
Aaron Rodgers or RGII owner in need of a Week 10 QB, Tannehill
has a decent matchup and is available in about 80 percent of fantasy
leagues. I don’t have much more to say about his prospects, save
that he does have some receivers who are capable of big days if
he can get them the ball. Tannehill is clearly still developing
as an NFL QB, but the Titans defense is struggling right now and
the Fins should take advantage.
Scouring The Barrel
Blaine Gabbert, JAC (IND, @HOU, TEN, @BUF) – Again –
it’s tough to recommend a guy who’s yet to prove he
can be a consistent fantasy producer but sometimes you just have
to plug a guy into a favorable matchup and give him a shot. This
isn’t a terrible week to do it with Gabbert, who’s
owned in just 13 percent of fantasy leagues.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, BUF (@NE, MIA, @IND, JAC) – Fitzpatrick
continued his up-and-down season, throwing for 239 yards but no
TDs or INTs (18 rushing yards). He also fumbled away the Bills’
best shot at a TD during a late drive that would have pulled the
team to within one score.
Russell Wilson, SEA (NYJ, BYE, @MIA, @CHI) – Wilson was
a top five fantasy QB in Week 9, tossing for 173-3-0 and rushing
for 27 yards. He’s a solid fantasy backup with plenty of
Off The Top
Jacquizz Rodgers, ATL (@NO, ARI, @TB, NO) – Rodgers (60
percent owned) has a real shot to break through with his second
TD of the season when the Falcons travel to New Orleans to face
the Saints. It’s an excellent matchup for the receiving
component of the Falcons backfield.
Ballard, IND (@JAC, @NE, BUF, @DET) – Ballard has three straight
games with 10 or more fantasy points and Donald Brown is still
dealing with knee (and now, hip) problems. He should be owned
in all 12-team formats, despite his mere 60 percent ownership
Danny Woodhead, NE (BUF, IND, @NYJ, @MIA) – With some crucial
AFC matchups coming, the Patriots might turn to the very reliable
Woodhead for tough yards on third downs. He’s probably available
in more leagues than you’d think because of his Week 9 bye,
so check your wire and scoop him up if he’s out there.
Scouring The Barrel
Jones, OAK (@BAL, NO, @CIN, CLE) – He wasn’t used much after
Darren McFadden (high ankle sprain) and Mike
Goodson (ankle) went down with injuries in the Tampa Bay game,
but you can bet that Jones (4 percent owned) will get a lot of
reps in practice this week as the only healthy halfback on the
Raiders roster. Both he and Marcel
Reece (2 percent owned) will be hot pickups this week. Reece
had 8-95-1 receiving on Sunday as the Raiders fell behind and
almost exclusively looked to the pass down the stretch.
Brown, IND (@JAC, @NE, BUF, @DET) – Brown was questionable
heading into the game and only got one touch (a 7-yard reception)
as his balky knee started acting up again. Vick Ballard played
well and even if Brown can get healthy, he’s more of a fantasy
Brown, NYG (@CIN, BYE, GB, @WAS) – Brown had 20 rushing yards
and a TD on seven carries in the loss to Pittsburgh. He’s the
Giants goal line back and has flex value in all formats because
of Ahmad Bradshaw’s fragility.
Ronnie Brown, SD (@TB, @DEN, BAL, CIN) – Brown was a solid
flex PPR start in deeper leagues on Thursday, rushing for 38 yards
on six carries and adding 5-35-0 receiving. He’ll continue
to get touches for the Chargers.
Thomas, MIA (TEN, @BUF, SEA, NE) – Thomas tallied 62 total
yards in the loss to Indy and is getting about one touch for every
two that go to Reggie Bush. His value is similar to Andre Brown
– somewhere just after the top 25 fantasy backs.
Bell, DET (@MIN, GB, HOU, IND) – While Mikel Leshoure rushed
for three TDs, Bell didn’t disappoint, running the ball 13 times
for 73 yards and a TD and adding 3-36-0in the win over the lowly
Ronnie Hillman, DEN (@CAR, SD, @KC, TB) – Hillman took a
step backward Sunday with just two touches for nine total yards.
He’s still worth owning as a cheap stash in deeper formats.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Off The Top
TE Jermaine Gresham, CIN (NYG, @KC, OAK, @SD) – It’s
been a weird season for the game’s top tight ends, many
of whom seem to be either very present or very absent from their
team’s game plan, but Gresham has been relatively consistent.
He was a huge contributor on Sunday for Cincy, hauling in six
catches for 108 yards on his eight targets. He should be heavily
involved against the Giants.
WR Kenny Britt, TEN (@MIA, BYE, @JAC, HOU) – He’s
got a bye in Week 11, but his week 10 game will offer plenty of
opportunities for big plays. The Dolphins yield 23.4% more fantasy
points on average to opposing WRs, and Britt seems 100 percent
healthy now. He went for 5-67-0 with a 2XP and lost fumble on
Sunday. That last part isn’t great, but he’s still
an exciting player with lots of upside.
TE Brandon Myers, OAK (@BAL, NO, @CIN, CLE) – Myers had
the best game of his young career Sunday, catching eight passes
for 59 yards and two TDs on 13 targets from Palmer. He’s
got favorable matchups his next three games and seems to be coming
into his own with 23 receptions in his last four games and 39-442-2
on the season.
WR Golden Tate, SEA (NYJ, BYE, @MIA, @CHI) – All of Wilson’s
WRs should be getting another bump in value after the rookie quarterback’s
big day. Tate hauled in a couple TD passes (4-28-2) and rushed
twice for 21 yards.
Scouring The Barrel
Jones, BUF (@NE, MIA, @IND, JAC) – The Bills have a very favorable
schedule coming up from a receiving standpoint and Jones (7-15
percent owned) has been more involved lately. He also had a big
game and TD catch against the Pats his last time around.
WR Emmanuel Sanders, PIT (KC, BAL, @CLE, @BAL) –
Hilton, IND (@JAC, @NE, BUF, @DET) – Hilton had 6-102-1 on
11 targets Sunday.
WR Danario Alexander, SD (@TB, @DEN, BAL, CIN) –
Moore, OAK (@BAL, NO, @CIN, CLE) – TE Brandon Myers stole
the show with 8-59-2 and fellow receivers Rod Streater (4-54-1)
and Darrius Heyward Bey (5-74-0) had better games, but Moore still
WR Sidney Rice, SEA (NYJ, BYE, @MIA, @CHI) – Rice caught
four balls for 54 yards and a TD on Sunday in the win over Minnesota.
He’s quickly becoming a decent WR2 option.
WR Dexter McCluster, KC (@PIT, CIN, DEN, CAR) – McCluster
had 34 total yards in the loss to San Diego. He’s just a
bench player in deeper leagues at this point.
WR Drew Davis, ATL (@NO, ARI, @TB, NO) – As expected, Davis
didn’t do anything in Week 9 against Dallas.
Off The Top
DL Terrell Suggs, BAL (OAK, @PIT, @SD, PIT) – Suggs is
a risky play at LB but has been playing more snaps and is eligible
at DL in plenty of formats. If that’s the case in your league,
he should be on a roster and plugged in against the Raiders.
LB Lavonte David, TB (SD, @CAR, ATL, @DEN) – David is an
impact defensive rookie with plenty of IDP upside. He’s
coming off a 16-tackle game (14 solos) in Week 9 at Oakland and
is worth a start against the Chargers.
Carter, DAL (@PHI, CLE, WAS, PHI) – Matchups aside, Carter
has assumed the Sean Lee role in the Dallas defense. He’s an athletic
IDP option who can turn in double-digit tackles – and he’s now
worth using as an LB2.
DB Dawan Landry, JAC (IND, @HOU, TEN, @BUF) – Landry has
been relatively quiet this season but the matchup with Indy should
give him a chance at a bunch of tackles. Get him in your lineup
for Week 10.
Scouring The Barrel
Smith, HOU (@CHI, JAC, @DET, @TEN) – Smith isn’t a consistent
fantasy performer, but as the DE opposite Defensive POY candidate
J.J. Watt, he’s a guy with big upside. He’s a multi-sack threat
and the Bears give up tons of points to opposing DL.
Norman, CAR (DEN, TB, @PHI, @KC) – Norman had a big Week 9
(nine total tackles, 2 PD) and now has 52 tackles (34 solos) an
INT and six PD on the season. He’s worth a look in deeper formats
and has a favorable matchup against Peyton Manning and the Broncos.
Burnett, GB (BYE, @DET, @NYG, MIN) – Burnett had six solos
and an assist during Sunday’s win over Arizona. He’s still the
DB to own in Green Bay.
McCarthy, TEN (@MIA, BYE, @JAC, HOU) – Zach Brown (10 total
tackles, FR) and Akeem Ayers (eight total tackles, sack) were
better on Sunday, but McCarthy still managed to compile five total
Woodyard, DEN (@CAR, SD, @KC, TB) – It’s been a long time
since Woodyard disappointed fantasy owners. He added another four
solos and 10 assists on Sunday, giving him 75 total tackles on
the season. He’s a bona fide LB1.
Jordan, NO (ATL, @OAK, SF, @ATL) – NO (ATL, @OAK, SF, @ATL)
DeCoud, ATL (@NO, ARI, @TB, NO) – The Falcons defenders didn’t
get a ton of fantasy points on Sunday night, with DT Jonathan
Babineaux putting together the best game with seven total
tackles and a sack. DeCoud chimed in with three solos.
Bennett, TB (SD, @CAR, ATL, @DEN) – Bennett had just one solo,
but it was a sack. He now has 6.0 on the season.