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
Manning, NYG (OAK, GB, DAL, @WAS) – Manning is coming off
a bye week which means the Giants should be prepared, relatively
healthy, and ready for their Week 10 tilt with the Raiders who
Nick Foles lit up for seven TD passes on Sunday. He’s available
in a bunch of leagues and is worth a pickup as a bye week fill-in
if you’re a Tom Brady owner.
Foles, PHI (@GB, WAS, BYE, ARI) – Foles’ 406-7-0 day marks
the second time this season a QB has thrown for seven TD passes
in a game. I’m not very confident in Foles, but if he can be half
this good against the decent teams on his remaining schedule,
he’s worth a pickup.
Scouring The Barrel
Keenum, HOU (@ARI, OAK, JAC, NE) – Keenum (10-20 percent owned)
threw for 350-3-0, with all three TD passes going to Andre Johnson.
Head coach Gary Kubiak’s health is the main concern in Houston
right now but I expect a statement from someone in the organization
later in the week keeping Keenum as the starting QB over Matt
Seneca Wallace, GB (PHI, @NYG, MIN, @DET) –
Tannehill, MIA (@TB, SD, CAR, @NYJ) – Another mediocre day
from Tannehill (208-0-0, rushing TD) means you should probably
seek out one of the other starting QBs available on the wire.
When he does throw for TDs, he turns the ball over quite a bit
Locker, TEN (JAC, IND, @OAK, @IND) – The Rams defense continued
its stellar play, holding Locker to just 185-0-2 passing and a
rushing TD. I still like Locker’s upside and relative consistency,
but this wasn’t his day.
Campbell, CLE (BYE, @CIN, PIT, JAC) – Campbell was knocked
out of the game briefly with a rib injury but returned shortly
after and finished with 262-3-0 and 20 rushing yards. He’s on
a bye in Week 10.
Off The Top
Tate, HOU (@ARI, OAK, JAC, NE) – With the Texans season likely
lost and Arian Foster injuring his back early in Sunday night’s
game, Tate (60-80 percent owned) might get the majority of the
workload even if Foster can somehow play next week. Tate ran for
81 yards on 22 carries against the Colts and would likely be a
decent RB2 facing the Cards in Week 10.
James, TB (MIA, ATL, @DET, @CAR) – James is owned in just
40-70 percent of fantasy leagues while Doug Martin (who is likely
out for the rest of the season) is owned in 75-90 percent of leagues.
This is the craziness that comes from basing your fantasy moves
on the irrational mind of Greg Schiano. James ran for 158 yards
on 28 carries and hauled in 2-8-1 receiving and tossed a TD for
good measure. Forget Martin and go all-in with James.
Chris Ivory, NYJ (BYE, @BUF, @BAL, MIA) – He’s on
a Week 10 bye and is still available in 30-50 percent of fantasy
leagues. The Jets seem committed to him, so he should be owned
in all 12-team leagues. Ivory rushed for 139 yards and a score
in the stunning win over New Orleans.
Scouring The Barrel
Jennings, OAK (@NYG, @HOU, TEN, @DAL) – Darren McFadden reinjured
his balky hamstring and Jennings had a monster fantasy day, albeit
one that benefited from blowout/garbage time. The versatile back
finished with 102 rushing yards and a score on 15 carries and
7-74-0 receiving. He’s worth a pickup in all 12-team formats.
Ellington, ARI (HOU, @JAC, IND) – Ellington was on a Week
9 bye and is now owned in almost all 12-team leagues. You’ve probably
missed your acquisition window.
Tolbert, CAR (@SF, NE, @MIA) – Tolbert scored in his fourth
straight game, finishing with 24 yards and a TD to go along with
3-13-0 receiving. He’s an RB4 with decent scoring-only value.
Starks, GB (PHI, @NYG, MIN) – Update coming Tuesday.
Brown, NYG (OAK, GB, DAL) – Brown’s Giants were on a bye and
he is on track to return in Week 10. Meanwhile, David Wilson is
getting an MRI on his neck and there’s no word on whether Peyton
Hillis and/or Brandon Jacobs will retain their roster spots. Brown
had 385 rushing yards and 8 TDs in eight games for the Giants
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Off The Top
Emmanuel Sanders, PIT (BUF, DET, @CLE, @BAL) – The Steelers
offense is looking pretty potent right now, and Sanders (6-98-0
on Sunday) has 11 targets in each of the last two weeks. He’s
a WR4 with upside.
Brown, BAL (CIN, @CHI, NYJ, PIT) – Joe Flacco connected with
Brown (5-54-2) on a pair of scores, targeting the rookie receiver
nine times in the loss to Cleveland. He’s worth adding in 12-team
leagues and should keep producing during the next few games.
Riley Cooper, PHI (@GB, WAS, BYE, ARI) – While it’s
pretty safe to say Cooper will never have another game like he
did on Sunday (5-139-3, 18 rushing yards), the lanky wideout has
picked up his game wince Week 6 and is worth adding in all formats.
The upcoming schedule makes him a hit-or-miss play, but certain
matchups can be exploited.
Scouring The Barrel
Jerricho Cotchery, PIT (BUF, DET, @CLE, @BAL) – Cotchery
was one of four NFL receivers to haul in three TD passes on Sunday
and one of two who is owned in only a handful of leagues. His
Week 9 TD total surpasses his season totals all the way back to
2008 when he was a possession receiver with the Jets and catching
passes from Brett Favre. Yesterday, the Steelers exploited an
opening against the Pats, so don’t expect too many performances
like this one. Still, any WR who hauls in three TDs in a game
is worth considering.
Percy Harvin, SEA (@ATL, MIN, BYE) – Harvin was inactive
in Week 9 and an MRI revealed no further damage to his hip, despite
reports of a setback. If he’s somehow available still, he’s
worth a speculative add.
Marvin Jones, CIN (@BAL, CLE) – Jones had 4-66-0 on Thursday
night (no TDs) but should remain an important cog in the Bengals
offense going forward and a WR3/4 with upside.
Dobson, NE (BYE, @CAR, DEN) – Dobson played in 90 percent
of the Patriots offensive snaps on Sunday, hauling in five catches
for 130 yards and two TDs, including an 81-yard bomb that essentially
iced the game. With Kenbrell Thompkins a healthy scratch, it’s
clear the Pats like what they’ve been seeing from Dobson.
Kenny Stills, NO (DAL, SF, @ATL) – Stills caught 3-35-0
in Sunday’s loss but couldn’t reach pay dirt against
the stifling Jets defense.
WR/TE Tim Wright, TB (MIA, ATL, @DET) – The Bucs lost in
the end, but they got a productive day from Wright (4-58-1), who
is fast becoming a steady fantasy option and low-end TE1/WR4 with
Davis, ATL (SEA, @TB, NO) – One catch for 2 yards. The Falcons
are dead in the water and just about all their fantasy options
– excluding Tony Gonzalez at TE1 – are unreliable.
Off The Top
Campbell, ARI (HOU, @JAC, IND) – Campbell is one of the top
DL in the game (28 solos, two FR, two PD, 4.5 sacks on the season),
but he’s coming off a bye week where some owners may have been
forced to drop him. He’s also got a very favorable schedule coming
up, so grab him if he’s out there.
Burnett, GB (PHI, @NYG, MIN, @DET) – I’ll update again after
Monday night’s game, but it’s crazy that more IDP owners aren’t
taking advantage of Burnett’s high ceiling/upside, especially
in such favorable matchups. He’s never going to give you a stinker
and he’s capable of registering 10+tackles and big plays in any
DB Tracy Porter, OAK (@NYG, @HOU, TEN, @DAL) – I’m
betting that Porter gets at least one INT against the Giants and
comes away with a handful of tackles. He’s a veteran DB
with lots of upside in this matchup and he’s available in
plenty of IDP formats.
LB Nick Roach, OAK (@NYG, @HOU, TEN, @DAL) – The Raiders
defense is spending a lot of time on the field and Roach has been
the team’s most consistent LB since Week 6. He’s got
some decent matchups on the way.
Scouring The Barrel
Marks, JAC (@TEN, ARI, @HOU, @CLE) – Marks has been one the
bright spots on the Jaguars line this season. He’s got 16 solos,
three PD and 2.0 sacks through eight games and could be a decent
fill-in DL in deeper IDP formats.
LB Paul Worrilow, ATL (SEA, @TB, NO, @BUF) – Worrilow broke
out with 19 total tackles on Sunday against the Panthers, more
than doubling his season total. He’s worth adding as an
LB3 and giving a spot start against the Seahawks.
DB Bernard Pollard, TEN (JAC, IND, @OAK) – Pollard has
six tackles and a PD in the win over the Rams. Not amazing, but
Smith, BAL (CIN, @CHI, NYJ) – The Ravens lost a tough one
but Smith contributed nine tackles (seven solos) a sack and a
PD. He’s an excellent LB1 and Jameel McClain’s return hasn’t diminished
DL Jurrell Casey, TEN (JAC, IND, @OAK) – As expected, Casey
benefited from a porous Rams line, turning in his best performance
on 2013 with six solos and 2.0 sacks. I’m proud of this
LB Brandon Spikes, NE (BYE, @CAR, DEN) – Spikes only had
three solo tackles in the win over Pittsburgh. I’m not so
proud of this one.
Keisel, PIT (BUF, DET, @CLE) – Another poor pick for me, Keisel
tallied just one assist as the Patriots offensive line did a good
job keeping the Steelers defensive line off Tom Brady and the
ball carriers – except for Cameron Heyward, who turned in his
second straight solid IDP performance.
DB Darius Butler, IND (STL, @TEN, @ARI) – Butler had three
solos and no INTs, as Keenum didn’t turn the ball over.