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Antonio D'Arcangelis | Archive | Email
Staff Writer

Through The Wire - Week 13
11/27/12 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 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.

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 exceptional production.

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

Feedback is always welcome, appreciated and encouraged. I’ll get to as many e-mails as I can.

Note: Each player’s next four matchups are listed in parentheses ()


Off The Top

Ryan Fitzpatrick, BUF (JAC, STL, SEA, @MIA) – The Bills had a rough week against the Colts and Fitzpatrick passed for just 180-1-1, but he should bounce back this week against the Jaguars who are yielding big yardage through the air and haven’t truly shut down a QB since Week 2 when the Texans did all their work on the ground.

Digging Deeper

Russell Wilson, SEA (@CHI, ARI, @BUF, SF) – Wilson has five solid performances in his last six games but the Seahawks face a difficult challenge in Week 13; the schedule in weeks 14 and 15 is much kinder.

Scouring The Barrel

Jake Locker, TEN (HOU, @IND, NYJ, @GB) – The Texans are giving up huge chunks of passing yardage and Locker could be in line for his biggest fantasy day since Week 3 against the Lions (378-2-0, fumble, 35 rushing yards) when he tossed two long TD passes to Jared Cook and Nate Washington.


Alex Smith, SF (@STL, MIA, @NE, @SEA) – Smith didn’t see game action; he missed last week (concussion) and Colin Kaepernick got the start for the Niners. Update: HC Jim Harbaugh is expected to announce his starting QB by midweek. This is going to be interesting.

Mark Sanchez, NYJ (ARI, @JAC, @TEN, SD) – Sanchez fumbled after smashing into his lineman’s butt cheeks but still managed 301-1-1 in the dismal loss to New England on Thanksgiving night. It’s hard to say whether or not he’ll keep his job and/or capitalize on the favorable matchups over the next few weeks.

Chad Henne, JAC (@BUF, NYJ, @MIA. NE) – While he didn’t throw four TD passes this week, Henne led his team to victory en route to a 261-2-1 fantasy day, better than over half the rest of the other starting QBs in the league this week.

Colin Kaepernick, SF (@STL, MIA, @NE, @SEA) – The 49ers chose the electric Kaepernick to start against Chicago this week and the decision paid off as Special K threw for 231-1-1 and added 27 rushing yards and a TD on the ground. Because he adds mobility to the equation, he should be viewed as a low-end, deep-league QB1 for Week 13 against the Rams. Update: Even if Harbaugh goes with Smith against the Rams, it’s probably a good idea to hold onto Kaepernick. He has much more fantasy upside as a starter than does Smith.

Running Backs

Off The Top

Michael Bush, CHI (SEA, @MIN, GB, @ARI) – Bush had one of his best games of the season in Week 12, finishing with 60 rushing yards and two TDs. He’s in line for the majority of touches the next few weeks if Matt Forte’s ankle injury keeps him out of action. Update: There’s been little word on the severity of Forte’s ankle injury, but the smart money’s on Bush toting the rock quite a bit against the Seahawks this week.

Bryce Brown, PHI (@DAL, @TB, CIN, WAS) – Update: The rookie from K-State was impressive on Monday night against the Panthers, rushing for 178 yards with two TDs (65, 5) and adding four receptions for 11 yards. The downside was that lost two fumbles, but with LeSean McCoy (concussion) still on the shelf and Brown turning in such an eye-popping performance, it’s hard to imagine him not shouldering a full workload against the Cowboys.

Beanie Wells, ARI (@NYJ, @SEA, DET, CHI) – Wells, who is available in about 40 percent of fantasy leagues, returned to action (48 rushing yards on 17 carries) and scored a couple times but wasn’t a presence in the passing game per his usual stone-handed ways. He’ll shoulder most of the workload against the reeling Jets in Week 13.

Digging Deeper

Rashad Jennings, JAC (@BUF, NYJ, @MIA, NE) – Unless Maurice Jones-Drew makes it back this week and/or Jalene Parmele surges into fantasy relevance again, Jennings will be a decent RB2 play versus the Bills. Stay tuned. Update: Parmele pulled his groin early in the first quarter against the Titans. Neither he nor MJD will likely be ready to go this week, so the Jags will turn to Jennings once again.

Knowshon Moreno, DEN (TB, @OAK, @BAL, CLE) – Sunday morning’s news that Moreno would get the start rattled the cages of plenty of fantasy owners – folks who were told that rookie Ronnie Hillman would be the feature back throughout the week. Moreno’s pass blocking was solid and he finished with 85 rushing yards on 20 carries – a performance that will probably earn him another start.

Scouring The Barrel

Shane Vereen, NE (@MIA, HOU, SF, @JAC) – On Thursday, Vereen rushed 10 times for 42 yards and hauled in a huge TD pass that gave him 2-91-1 receiving for the day. He’s not a sure thing to get 10-15 carries every week, but he’s a good flex play against the Dolphins in Week 13.

David Wilson, NYG (@WAS, NO, @ATL, @BAL) – With Andre Brown down for the count (broken leg), Wilson could see in an increased role in the Giants offense. He’s a bit of a wild card and isn’t guaranteed to see much action but Ahmad Bradshaw is touting the rookie back’s ability to make big plays.


Jonathan Stewart, CAR (@KC, ATL, @SD, OAK) – Update: Stewart hurt his ankle on a 4-yard run just before the half on Monday night and left the game in the third quarter. He dealt with an ankle injury at the season’s outset and will likely yield the feature role back to DeAngelo Williams in Week 13.

LaRod Stephens-Howling, ARI (@NYJ, @SEA, DET, CHI) – LSH lost the starting gig to Beanie Wells and promptly dropped from the fantasy radar in Week 13 (one carry, 1 yard). He was reportedly having problems with his sore ribs and yielded the third-down role to William Powell.

Vick Ballard, IND (@DET, TEN, @HOU, @KC) – While Ballard got another start, he split carries with Donald Brown, racked up just 41 yards on 13 carries and was targeted just once in the passing game (no receptions).

Jalen Parmele, JAC (@BUF, NYJ, @MIA, NE) – Despite assurances that Parmele was the new go-to guy in the running game, Rashad Jennings was the better fantasy back for the Jags in Week 13. Parmele finished with 45 rushing yards on eight carries and one catch for 7 yards but Jennings ran for 43 yards on 16 carries and got the rushing TD. Update: The groin injury (they’ve been known to linger) knocks Parmele from fantasy consideration this week (he’s questionable).

Bilal Powell, NYJ (ARI, @JAC, @TEN, SD) – Powell ran for 40 yards and a TD and caught 2-13-0 in the Thursday night drubbing at the hands of the Patriots. He’s the goal line back on a pathetic team, but he’s got some value in deeper formats as a flex play and he didn’t lose a fumble during the Turkey Day Debacle.

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

Off The Top

WR Pierre Garcon, WAS (NYG, BAL, @CLE, @PHI) – Garcon emerged from Thursday’s game with Dallas with 5-93-1 on seven targets from RGIII – and his foot no worse for the wear. He’s a big-play receiver with major upside when healthy.

WR Davone Bess, MIA (NE, @SF, JAC, BUF) – Bess is a PPR maven who hauled in 7-129-0 on Sunday against the Seahawks. He’s among the most consistent PPR guys in the league but he’s scored just one TD despite 55 catches for 715 yards this season.

Digging Deeper

WR Donald Jones, BUF (JAC, STL, SEA, @MIA) – Jones is coming off two quiet weeks but should be able to make an impact in Week 13 against the Jags. He’s up to 38-410-4 on the season; good enough for an occasional WR3/flex play based on matchup.

WR Chris Givens, STL (SF, @BUF, MIN, @TB) – Givens is coming on strong for a rookie receiver and averages 21.2 yards per catch. He’s a viable deep threat and will get plenty of looks with Danny Amendola dinged up. While his Week 13 matchup is a difficult one, he should get loose at least once against the Bills in Week 14.

Scouring The Barrel

WR Mohamed Sanu, CIN (@SD, DAL, @PHI, @PIT) – Sanu is the unquestioned WR2 for the Bengals now, but he’s got a few tough matchups on the horizon. Still, he’s been effective the past few weeks (11 catches for 98 yards and four TDs in his past three games) and should be considered a decent WR4/flex with upside moving forward.

TE Robert Housler, ARI (@NYJ, @SEA, DET, CHI) – The 6-5, 220-pound Housler had his best game as a pro on Sunday, hauling in 8-82-0 on 11 targets from rookie Ryan Lindley. He’s a low-end TE2 with some upside in deeper formats if Lindley remains the Cards starting QB.


WR Kenny Britt, TEN (HOU, @IND, NYJ, @GB) – Britt hauled in his second TD of the season but finished with just 3-25-1 on the day. He’s a WR4/flex option with upside in 12-team formats.

WR Danario Alexander, SD (CIN, @PIT, CAR, @NYJ) – Alexander finally cooled off in Week 12, though he did finish with 5-74-0 in the OT loss to Baltimore. He’s got a tough matchup in Week 13 and was on the postgame injury report with a thigh bruise. Update: No new word as of Tuesday morning on Alexander’s thigh, so you’ll have to stay tuned throughout the week.

WR Mario Manningham, SF (@STL, MIA, @NE, @SEA) – The former Wolverine played well on Sunday (5-69-0 on five targets) but didn’t find paydirt during the blowout win over Chicago. He’s a possession receiver with marginal upside who could see a few more targets against the Rams.

WR Chaz Schilens, NYJ (ARI, @JC, @TEN. SD) – Schilens caught two passes for 28 yards against New England but lost a fumble, negating his minimal value.

WR Riley Cooper, PHI (@DAL, @TB, CIN, WAS) – Update: Despite a host of targets in Nick Foles’ first two appearances, Cooper saw just two targets on Monday night and recorded one catch for 7 yards.


Off The Top

DL Chris Clemons, SEA (@CHI, ARI, @BUF, SF) – Clemons doesn’t have great tackle totals this season, but he’s got 7.5 sacks and four PD. The Seahawks will come at Jay Cutler with everything they have and there’s a good shot Clemons has a big day.

DB LaRon Landry, NYJ (ARI, @JAC, @TEN, SD) – Landry is the Jets best run-stopping option in the defense’s second tier and he’ll probably see lots of big-play opportunities the next few weeks. Give him a chance as a DB2.

Digging Deeper

LB Justin Houston, KC (CAR, @CLE, @OAK, IND) – Houston is having a breakout year with 46 total tackles, 9.0 sacks, an INT and four PD. He’s a marginal LB2 but has enormous upside.

LB Anthony Spencer, DAL (PHI, @CIN, PIT, NO) – Spencer has had two monster games in a row and faces the fledgling Eagles in Week 13. He’s got 57 total tackles and 6.5 sacks on the season.

Scouring The Barrel

DB Chris Houston, DET (IND, @GB, @ARI, ATL) – The Lions best cornerback will be busy covering Reggie Wayne in Week 13, making him a solid play in deeper IDP formats as a DB2/flex.

DL Arthur Jones, BAL (PIT, @WAS, DEN, NYG) – With Pernell McPhee (thigh, knee) inactive again, Jones broke out in Week 12 with five total tackles (four solos) and 2.0 sacks. He’s a great sleeper play at this point in the season and benefits from playing alongside Terrell Suggs on blitzes and passing downs.


DL Robert Quinn, STL (SF, @BUF, MIN, @TB) – It was a rough week for my IDP recommendations, starting with Quinn. He and fellow Rams DE Chris Long got blanked in Week 12 against the Cards – a disappointment considering the favorable matchup.

LB Dannell Ellerbe, BAL (PIT, @WAS, DEN, NYG) – With six total tackles (four solos) and a sack, Ellerbe continued his IDP effectiveness. He’ll see plenty of tackle opportunities in Week 13 against the Steelers.

DL Brian Robison, MIN (@GB, CHI, @STL, @HOU) – Robison couldn’t break through the revamped Chicago line and get to Jay Cutler on Sunday, finishing with just two tackles.

DB Jairus Byrd, BUF (JAC, STL, SEA, @MIA) – Byrd tallied five solos and an assist in the loss to Indy. He remains a decent DB2/3 in deeper IDP formats.

DB Stevie Brown, NYG (@WAS, NO, @ATL, @BAL) – The Packers offense never really got going and Brown picked up just three total tackles.

LB Craig Robertson, CLE (@OAK, KC, WAS, @DEN) – Robertson had a slow day (two solos) but added a late fumble recovery to help out his fantasy owners.