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.
|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!
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 ()
Note: Tuesday updates
noted in Red.
Off The Top
Ben Roethlisberger, PIT (@CLE, @BAL, MIA, CIN) – Against
the Lions, Roethlisberger (66-75 percent owned) had a monster
game, throwing for 367 yards and four TDs. He was the top QB of
Week 11 and has an excellent matchup in Week 12 facing the Browns.
Cutler, CHI (@STL, @MIN, DAL, @CLE) – Even if Cutler misses
Week 12 (a tough matchup against the surging Rams), he’s got a
fantasy cakewalk in weeks 13-15 and decent matchups against the
Eagles and Packers in weeks 16 and 17. If someone dropped him
(35-65 percent owned), he’s worth adding for those matchups. He’s
week-to-week right now.
Scouring The Barrel
Tolzien, GB (MIN, @DET, ATL, @DAL) – If Rodgers can’t go in
Week 12, Tolzien will likely get the call again. He threw for
339 yards on Sunday but tossed three picks and didn’t find the
end zone. Minnesota’s weak pass defense gives him a much better
opportunity to post dent numbers. Stay tuned.
Alex Smith, KC (SD, DEN, @WAS, @OAK) – Smith had one of
his best games of the season, even if he couldn’t get a
win over the division rival Broncos. He threw for 230-2-0 and
rushed for 52 yards and remains a mid-level QB2.
Palmer, ARI (IND, @PHI, STL, @TEN) – Palmer actually had his
finest fantasy game of 2013, throwing for 419 yards and two TDs,
including a 91-yard bomb to Michael Floyd. There are a couple
good matchups left this season for Palmer, who’s a quality QB2
Mike Glennon, TB (@DET, @CAR, BUF, SF) – The Bucs blew out
the Falcons and Glennon was once again sharp, throwing for 231-2-0.
The rookie has just three turnovers in his last six games.
Off The Top
Rashad Jennings, OAK (TEN, @DAL, @NYJ, KC) – Jennings (22
carries for 150 rushing yards, including an 80-yard TD) is running
the ball well and will remain in a timeshare even when Darren
McFadden returns from his hamstring injury. He should be owned
in all formats instead of less than two thirds of Yahoo leagues.
Ball, DEN (@NE, @KC, TEN, SD) – Ball (35-50 percent owned)
is the secondary back in Denver, and as Peyton Manning (ankle)
and the Broncos rely more on their running game to wear down opponents,
he’ll get more touches. Facing the Chiefs, Ball turned in his
best game to date tallying 41 total yards and two rushing TDs.
Brown, IND (@ARI, TEN, @CIN, HOU) – Coming off a huge Thursday
night game (94 total yards, two TDs), Brown (25-55 percent owned)
should see lots of work when the Colts travel to Arizona in Week
12. Considering on the erratic play of Trent Richardson, Brown
should be owned in all formats.
Scouring The Barrel
Ogbonnaya, CLE (PIT, JAC, @NE, CHI) – Once again, Ogbonnaya
rewarded fantasy owners in PPR leagues with 69 rushing yards and
6-30-0 receiving, although he lost a fumble. He’s an effective
back when he gets his chances.
Antone Smith, ATL (NO, @BUF, @GB, WAS) – Smith rushed twice for
88 yards and a touchdown (a 50-yard run) and caught a four-yard
pass in Atlanta's Week 11 loss to Tampa Bay. It was an unexpected
performance from an unknown fantasy commodity, but it stands to
reason Smith has earned more touches going forward.
Andre Brown, NYG (DAL, @WAS, @SD, SEA) – He failed to reach
the end zone, but Brown had another solid performance, tallying
93 total yards in the win over Green Bay. He’s a decent
RB2 going forward.
Mark Ingram, NO (@ATL, @SEA, CAR, @STL) – Ingram had disappointing
week following a Week 10 breakout, notching just 29 total yards
in the win over San Fran. Next week, facing the paltry Falcons,
he should be used a lot more.
Dennis Johnson, HOU (JAC, NE, @JAC, @IND) – Two carries,
2 yards. As long as Tate’s healthy enough to play, Johnson
is simply a handcuff.
Rainey, TB (@DET, @CAR, BUF, SF) – Rainey busted out with
163 rushing yards and two TDs, adding two catches for 4 yards
and another score through the air. He’s putting up the kind of
numbers that folks expected Doug Martin cold garner heading into
2013. He should be owned in all leagues – even though he’s still
available in a bunch – and makes sense as a RB2 with upside going
Brian Leonard, TB (@DET, @CAR, BUF, SF) – He put together
an okay day in PPR leagues with 4-21-0 receiving and 16 rushing
yards, but Rainey is the clear favorite for touches in the Bucs
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Off The Top
Floyd, ARI (IND, @PHI, STL, @TEN) – I neglected to start Floyd
in one of my leagues and paid a dear price, as the NFL sophomore
blew up for 6-193-1. One of the top scoring WRs in Week 11, he
should be owned in all formats and has a great matchup against
Indy in Week 12.
Wright, TEN (@OAK, @IND, @DEN, ARI) – Wright is Ryan Fitzpatrick’s
go-to guy in the Titans offense and is as talented a receiver
as anybody in the AFC South division. He gets consistent looks
and makes tough catches, and while his value is greater in PPR
leagues, the TDs and yardage will soon start piling up as well.
Graham, HOU (JAC, NE, @JAC, @IND) – After a huge Week 11 (7-136-1,
lost fumble), Graham gets to face the Jaguars who have lots of
trouble stopping opposing TEs. Owen Daniels is still not back,
making Graham (25-40 percent owned) a must-own in 12-team leagues.
Streater, OAK (TEN, @DAL, @NYJ, KC) – I’ve been waiting for
Streater’s big game all season, but had given up on him in more
than one league. He had 6-84-1 in the win over Houston and is
a relatively easy and effective pickup considering his low ownership
rate and relative consistency as a possession receiver.
Cotchery, PIT (@CLE, @BAL, MIA, CIN) – UPDATE:
Scouring The Barrel
Rivera, OAK (TEN, @DAL, @NYJ, KC) – The rookie TE had his
best game thus far, tallying 5-54-1 on six targets in the upset
win over Houston. Even when Terrelle Pryor comes back, it makes
sense that Rivera will see more looks.
Jarius Wright, MIN (@GB, CHI, @BAL, PHI) – The second-year
pro out of Arkansas showed some of the brilliance of the latter
half of his rookie season, hauling in a couple of TD passes from
two different QBs in the loss to Seattle. He finished with 3-69-2
and will get plenty of targets facing the Packers.
Boykin, GB (MIN, @DET, ATL, @DAL) – Once again, Boykin saw
some targets (8) and hauled in 6-91-0, a solid outing in PPR leagues.
Austin, STL (CHI, @SF, @ARI, NO) – Austin had a Week 11 bye
and faces Chicago in Week 12. It’ll be interesting to see how
many targets he gets, because he had a monster Week 10 game with
Stills, NO (@ATL, @SEA, CAR, @STL) – Stills struggled to get
open against the stifling 49ers defense. Brees just didn’t have
enough time to get him the ball downfield. He’ll have a much easier
job in Week 12.
Matthews, MIA (CAR, @NYJ, @PIT, NE) – Matthews has a lot of
upside but didn’t get into the end zone. He still managed 4-52-0
on six receiving targets. Ryan Tannehill did a much better job
distributing the football and getting everyone involved.
Pettigrew, DET (TB, GB, @PHI, BAL) – Pettigrew contributed
3-37-0, an average day for the Lions TE. He should get more looks
next week against the Bucs.
Kearse, SEA (BYE, NO, @SF, @NYG) – Kearse left the game early
after suffering a concussion before scoring any fantasy points.
Percy Harvin projects to replace him on most snaps going forward.
Carlson, MIN (@GB, CHI, @BAL, PHI) – Carlson had 5-69-0 in
the loss to Seattle, but he appears to be a much bigger part of
the offense with Kyle Rudolph out of commission for the time being.
Off The Top
DL Julius Peppers, CHI (@STL, @MIN, DAL, @CLE) – In Week
11, Peppers enjoyed his best IDP performance since his 2009 days
with the Panthers – when he returned an INT for a score.
He didn’t score this time around, but he did make 11 tackles
(eight solos) and record 2.0 sacks. The Rams should be easy pickings
for this rejuvenated veteran.
DB Barry Church, DAL (@NYG, OAK, @CHI, GB) – Church made
14 stops against the Saints but the Cowboys’ bye in Week
11 surely meant some of his owners had to dump him. He’s
racked up 80 total tackles this season and is among the busiest
safeties in the game.
LB Kevin Burnett, OAK (TEN, @DAL, @NYJ, KC) – Burnett had
another excellent game (seven solos and a sack) in Week 11 and
should see plenty of action facing the Titans. He’s available
in about 75-85 percent of IDP leagues.
DB Alterraun Verner, TEN (@OAK, @IND, @DEN, ARI) – Verner
is one of those DBs who plays with consistency and big-time upside
as a tackler and pass defender, but doesn’t get a lot of
respect in IDP leagues because of everyone’s fascination
with LB and safeties over cornerbacks. I like his chances to post
big numbers in Week 12.
Scouring The Barrel
LB Brad Jones, GB (MIN, @DET, ATL, @DAL) – Jones is finally
healthy and had a huge game against the Giants, piling up 13 total
tackles (11 solos) and a sack. He’s worth starting the next
couple weeks as an LB2.
DL George Selvie, DAL (@NYG, OAK, @CHI, GB) – Selvie is
an excellent pass rusher and he’s coming off a bye week
where untold numbers of fantasy owners were forced to drop him.
He’s available in about 75-90 percent of IDP leagues and
has a solid Week 12 matchup.
LB DeMeco Ryans, PHI (BYE, ARI, DET, @MIN) – Ryans had
a relatively weak IDP outing, tallying just seven total tackles
(five solos) in the win over Washington, who never got the chance
to sustain long, grinding drives.
DB Eric Berry, KC (SD, DEN, @WAS, @OAK) – Berry had six
solos in the loss to Denver and couldn’t make any big plays
to stop Peyton Manning and the Broncos, who ran the ball well,
especially in the red zone.
DB Tramon Williams, GB (MIN, @DET, ATL, @DAL) – Good call
here – Williams had his best IDP performance of 2013 with
eight solo tackles a PD and INT. He’s got a chance for another
big game next week (albeit a risk-reward situation) against the
DL Sheldon Richardson, NYJ (@BAL, MIA, OAK, @CAR) – Richardson
has nine total tackles in the loss to Buffalo, his second best
IDP game of the season.
LB Vincent Rey, CIN (BYE, @SD, IND, @PIT) – Rey followed
up his Week 10 breakout with another big game, posting 12 total
tackles (seven solos) and a PD. Unfortunately, the Bengals are
on a Week 12 bye.
DL Cedric Thornton, PHI (BYE, ARI, DET, @MIN) – The solid
young DL had five solo tackles but couldn’t get to RGIII
in the win over Washington.