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: Updates noted
Off The Top
Cutler, CHI (DAL, @CLE, @PHI, GB) –
Manning, NYG (@SD, SEA, @DET, WAS) – Other than a big Week
1, Manning has turned in a bunch of fantasy snoozefests this season
– yet he’s still owned in 60-80 percent of fantasy leagues. This
is not a rousing recommendation, but if you’re hurting for a second
QB in Week 14 and Manning (who tossed for 235-1-1 against the
Redskins on Sunday night) is somehow available, he’s worth a look.
But I’d lean toward some of the guys mentioned below before I
trusted Manning to have a monster game.
Mike Glennon, TB (BUF, SF, @STL, @NO) – After a veritable
stinker against the Panthers in Week 13 (180-0-1, lost fumble)
Glennon looks to get on track versus a Bills team that’s
given up some big games this season to opposing QBs. There are
better options out there, but Big Mike (25-40 percent owned) is
one of the best that could still be available on the wire.
Scouring The Barrel
EJ Manuel, BUF (@TB, @JAC, MIA, @NE) – The rookie made
a few bad throws on Sunday, but his receivers dropped a few key
passes and fumbled away a couple of opportunities for a win against
the Falcons. Manuel finished with 210-1-0 and a rushing TD in
his third game back from injury and he heads to Tampa Bay with
a chip on his shoulder.
Smith, KC (@WAS, @OAK, IND, @SD) – While I didn’t wrestle
with the possibility of starting Smith this past week over Tony
Romo, it was a brief consideration that I wish I’d thought over
a bit longer, as Smith threw for 293-2-1 and rushed for 46 yards
– his third straight solid fantasy performance. He outscored Romo
by 10 points for the second straight week, and probably helped
a few fantasy teams hurting for a QB into their playoffs. This
week he’s got another excellent matchup, though the Chiefs will
definitely run the ball a lot against Washington.
Fitzpatrick, TEN (@DEN, ARI, @JAC, HOU) – Four turnovers costs
Fitzpatrick a decent fantasy line as he threw for 201-1-3 with
a lost fumble, 54 rushing yards and a TD on the ground. He should
fare better next week trying to keep up with the Broncos juggernaut
McGloin, OAK (@NYJ, KC, @SD, DEN) – Despite a favorable matchup,
McGloin (255-0-1) was a fantasy dud on Thanksgiving. He’s safe
to drop in all formats.
Weeden, CLE (@NE, CHI, NYJ, @PIT) – Fantasy owners who started
Weeden capitalized on the young QB’s best game of the season,
albeit in a loss to Jacksonville. Weeden threw for 370-3-2 with
a lost fumble, but I know the 95-yard TD pass to Josh
Gordon registered a few bonus points in some leagues. Unfortunately,
Weeden is now following NFL protocol for a concussion, possibly
leaving the Browns without a healthy, experienced starter for
this week’s game against New England if he or Jason Campbell can't
Schaub, HOU (@JAC, @IND, DEN, @TEN) – Keenum drew another
start and threw for 272 passing yards and an INT. His lone TD
came on a 5-yard run. While he’s got a good matchup in Week 14,
the Texans are clearly looking to provide Ben
Tate with more opportunities to get in the end zone and could
favor a more run-heavy attack.
Off The Top
Joique Bell, DET (@PHI, BAL, NYG, @MIN) – Bell (60-85 percent
owned) continues to perform well in both PPR leagues and standard-scoring
leagues with 435 rushing yards and six TDs to go along with 34-378-0
receiving. He’s a decent flex option in 12-team leagues
and had 128 total yards and a score in his most recent game.
Brown, IND (@CIN, HOU, @KC, JAC) – Brown is still available
in a bunch of leagues and got the start for the Colts Sunday (54
rushing yards, TD; 2-10-0 receiving) over the much-beleaguered
Trent Richardson, slamming the door on T-Rich’s fantasy value
and elevating Brown into must-own territory for the final stretch.
He’ll make a low-end RB2/high-upside flex for Week 14.
McGahee, CLE (@NE, CHI, NYJ, @PIT) – McGahee found pay dirt
for just the second time this year with 54 yards and a score and
2-14-0 receiving. He’s looking like the lead back again for the
Browns and is available in about 75-85 percent of fantasy leagues.
Dwyer, PIT (MIA, CIN, @GB, CLE) –
Scouring The Barrel
Davis, KC (@WAS, @OAK, IND) – Davis had a 108-yard kickoff
return TD, one carry for 20 rushing yards and 2-18-0 receiving
on two targets. He could get more second-half work against the
Redskins in Week 14 if the Chiefs pull away.
Smith, ATL (@GB, WAS, @SF, CAR) – After a 38-yard TD run on
his only carry in Week 13, Smith now has 145 yards and two TDs
on five carries this season for an average of 29.0 YPC. This is
Powell, NYJ (MIA, OAK, @CAR, CLE) – I took some e-mail heat
from one reader this past week for jumping to the conclusion on
Monday that Chris Ivory (ankle) wouldn’t play against the Dolphins.
While I may have been premature in writing off Ivory, Powell barely
outscored the Jets starter in PPR leagues (8.9 to 8.3) and neither
back found the end zone. Either way, both were relative disappointments
and only useful as flex plays in the deepest of leagues.
Hillman, DEN (@KC, TEN, SD, @HOU) – Hillman was another healthy
scratch as the Broncos rolled with a healthy-enough (although
quite weepy) Knowshon Moreno (ankle) and rookie Montee Ball (55-75
percent owned) – backs who combined for 211 total yards of offense.
Bolden, NE (@HOU, CLE, @MIA, @BAL) – Bolden was slated to
get the start with Stevan Ridley a healthy scratch (don’t get
in Bill Belichick’s doghouse), but it was LeGarrette Blount (44
rushing yards, TD) who achieved fantasy relevance in the run game
during Week 13 while Shane Vereen finished with 38 rushing yards
and 5-37-1 receiving.
Cunningham, STL (@SF, @ARI, NO, TB) – Zac Stacy (72 rushing
yards), who suffered a concussion in Week 12, got the start and
Cunningham received just two carries for 16 rushing yards.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Off The Top
Brian Hartline, MIA (@PIT, NE, @BUF, NYJ) – The Dolphins
passing attack is starting to resemble the group that engendered
such excitement in the preseason and Hartline (55-70 percent owned)
turned in a solid 9-127-1 effort in the win over the Jets.
Jennings, MIN (@BAL, PHI, @CIN, DET) – Let’s forget for a
second how bad the Vikings looked with Christian Ponder and Josh
Freeman at QB. They are 2-1-1 over their last four games and Matt
Cassel is capable of getting the ball to Jennings (50-60 percent
owned), who finished Sunday’s OT win with 7-87-1 and was a Top
15 fantasy WR a few years back.
Baldwin, SEA (@SF, @NYG, ARI, STL) –
Jones, BAL (MIN, @DET, NE, @CIN) – Jones didn’t get tripped
up by Mike Tomlin and could be a much bigger part of the offense
as the Ravens enter the final stretch of their season and position
themselves for a playoff run. Like Ginn below, he’s a risky play
but could get free for a score or two in the next few games.
Ginn Jr., CAR (@NO, NYJ, NO, @ATL) – Ginn is a risky, hit-or-miss
fantasy option best utilized in deeper leagues. But the Saints
defense gives up some big plays and defends TEs well, meaning
Ginn has a shot for big play or two especially considering his
added touches on special teams.
Scouring The Barrel
Holmes, OAK (@NYJ, KC, @SD, DEN) – Holmes (universally available)
broke out with 7-136-0 on 11 targets against the Cowboys on Thanksgiving
and should see more targets as the Raiders face the Jets this
week. He’s a sneaky dynasty and deep-league PPR flex play and
could provide some value in daily fantasy leagues.
Hemingway, KC (@WAS, @OAK, IND) – Donnie Avery is bound to
be in the doghouse after a sloppy performance on Sunday, opening
the door for Hemingway to put up some more numbers (3-42-1 in
the loss to Denver). The speedy receiver caught all three of his
targets in Week 13.
Edelman, NE (CLE, @MIA, @BAL) – Edelman didn’t get in the
end zone, but finished with 9-101-0 and a solid fantasy day. He’s
a WR3/4 with upside.
Burleson, DET (@PHI, BAL, NYG) – After a huge Week 12, Burleson
was targeted just once on Thanksgiving against Green Bay – laid
a big ol’ fantasy goose egg on Turkey Day.
Avery, KC (@WAS, @OAK, IND) – Avery had six targets but just
2-17-0 and a few costly drops. It’s possible he’ll be included
in next week’s offensive game plan, but the miscues hurt his chances
for another big game.
Patterson, MIN (@BAL, PHI, @CIN) – Patterson only caught one
of his four targets for 4 yards on Sunday, but he earned more
opportunities with a 33-yard rushing TD. He’s being used as a
poor man’s Percy Harvin in Minnesota.
Underwood, TB (BUF, SF, @STL) – Underwood totaled 3-51-0 but
the Bucs couldn’t get much going in Carolina on Sunday. Next week
he’ll have more chances for big plays.
Hunter, TEN (@DEN, ARI, @JAC) – Hunter also disappointed this
week, catching just 1-9-0 despite five targets from Ryan Fitzpatrick.
The Titans passing game is potent, but Fitzpatrick looks frequently
to Kendall Wright and Nate Washington, who combined for 11-158-0
Off The Top
DL Jared Allen, MIN (@BAL, PHI, @CIN, DET) – Allen isn’t
the hot commodity he once was in IDP leagues, but he’s been
a steady contributor over the last few games for the Vikes, totaling
17 total tackles, 1.5 sacks and two PD over his last four games
and 39 total tackles, 6.0 sacks and five PD on the season. He’s
worth a start or two over the next few weeks in some favorable
LB Nick Roach, OAK (@NYJ, KC, @SD, DEN) – He’s turning
it on down the stretch and is emerging as an LB1 in deeper IDP
leagues. Roach now has 32 solos, six assists, 4.5 sacks and an
INT in his last five games.
DB Tracy Porter, OAK (@NYJ, KC, @SD, DEN) – The big-play
cornerback gets to face the Jets and their uncertain QB situation
in Week 14, giving him a shot to do what he does best –
ballhawk with panache.
LB Zach Brown, TEN (@DEN, ARI, @JAC, HOU) – Brown’s
had a rough IDP season but has contributed big numbers his past
two weeks (16 total tackles, three PD, INT, sack) and should be
a busy man when the Broncos face the tough Tennessee secondary
– a group that allows the fewest points to opposing WRs.
That means Denver will likely run the ball a lot and give Brown
plenty of opportunities for tackles.
Scouring The Barrel
Allen, PHI (DET, @MIN, CHI, @DAL) – With Earl Wolff out in
Week 13, Allen stepped up and made a big INT and posted eight
total tackles. The Lions offensive approach gives plenty of opportunities
to opposing DBs, so Allen – as well as cornerback Cary Williams
– make decent IDP options in Week 14.
DL Kendall Langford, STL (@ARI, NO, TB, @SEA) – Langford
is available in just about all IDP leagues and has put together
a solid season, making 12 solos (one assist) and 3.0 sacks and
two PD over his last four games. The Cards give up plenty of points
to opposing DL, so a spot-start might be in order in deeper formats.
DL Michael Johnson, CIN (@SD, IND, @PIT, MIN) – Johnson
didn’t have any sacks but posted three solo tackles –
a poor line given the tasty matchup.
LB Wesley Woodyard, DEN (@KC, TWEN, SD, @HOU) – Woodyard
had a solid game, posting five solo tackles, a PD and an INT.
He’s regaining LB2 value.
DB Antrel Rolle, NYG (@WAS, @SD, SEA, @DET) – Rolle is without
question the Giants best defender in the secondary, adding seven
tackles and a PD on Sunday night in the win over Washington.
DL Cameron Heyward, PIT (@BAL, MIA, CIN, @GB) – Heyward
keeps getting it done, posting seven total tackles on Thanksgiving
night against Baltimore. He’s one of the most improved defensive
players in the NFL.
DB William Moore, ATL (@BUF, @GB, WAS, @SF) – Moore missed
out on a big pick six late in the second half but did manage to
record six total tackles, two PD and a fumble recovery. It was
one of his best games of 2013.
Cole, MIN (CHI, @BAL, PHI, @CIN) – With Erin Henderson out
for the second straight week to deal with personal (or DUI-related
legal) issues, Cole had another solid game, making nine total
tackles and adding a PD.