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Antonio D'Arcangelis | Archive | Email |
Staff Writer


Through The Wire - Week 15
12/10/13

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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 fftoday.com.

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



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

Quarterbacks

Off The Top

Joe Flacco, BAL (@DET, NE, @CIN) While the Ravens built their reputation as a running offense, todays version cant really move the ball down the field unless they chuck it and while Flacco hasnt had a great season from a turnover perspective, hes a strong-armed QB with upside in the right matchup and has 3,238 yards and 18 passing TDs on the season.

Digging Deeper

Ryan Tannehill, MIA (NE, @BUF, NYJ) Tannehill is owned in fewer leagues than Flacco but has thrown for more yards and TDs and has fewer interceptions this season (3,315-20-14, rush TD). Hes thrown five TDs to just two INTs in his last two games.

Scouring The Barrel

Matt Cassel, MIN (PHI, @CIN, DET) Cassel may not be the long-term answer in Minnesota, but hes a capable veteran coming off a solid game (265-2-0). With Adrian Peterson likely out for Week 15 if not the duration of the season, Cassel will be throwing the ball quite a bit. UPDATE: Christian Ponder (concussion) has been cleared to return in Week 15, but Leslie Frazier has yet to make a decision on who will start.

Updates

Jay Cutler, CHI (@CLE, @PHI, GB) Josh McCown will get the start on Monday night in place of Cutler, whos not yet ready to take the field. UPDATE: McCown tore up the Cowboys for five TDs (348-4-0, 16 rushing yards, TD) but Cutler (ankle) remains the starter when he’s ready according to Marc Trestman.

Eli Manning, NYG (SEA, @DET, WAS) Manning managed 259-1-2 in the loss to the Chargers and is off the fantasy radar for next week, even in two-QB leagues.

Mike Glennon, TB (SF, @STL, @NO) The Bucs running game was dominant enough to let Glennon throw for just 90 yards, but he did pick up two TD passes and throw two picks putting him in the bottom third of fantasy QBs this week.

EJ Manuel, BUF (@JAC, MIA, @NE) Manuel has his worst game as a pro, throwing for just 184 yards and tossing four picks in the loss to Tampa Bay. He could get back on track for Week 15, but dont hold your breath.

Running Backs

Off The Top

Bobby Rainey, TB (SF, @STL, @NO) Rainey is still available in 12-35 percent of fantasy leagues, and while he doesnt have a great matchup in Week 15, hes a huge part of the offensive game plan and its obvious hes a grinder with some upside.

Digging Deeper

Daniel Thomas, MIA (NE, @BUF, NYJ) Thomas had 105 rushing yards and a TD despite a questionable tag and ankle injury that some feared was season-ending just a couple weeks ago. After an impressive performance against the Steelers, hes right back on the flex radar for Week 15. UPDATE: While the Dolphins remain optimistic that Lamar Miller (concussion) will be cleared for Week 15, we won’t know anything until later in the week, probably in the moments leading up to game time. Even if Thomas doesn’t carry a full load on Sunday, he’ll be involved.

Chris Ogbonnaya, CLE (CHI, @NYJ, @PIT) With Willis McGahee nursing a head injury, Ogbonnaya could get the lions share of touches in Week 15. His production has tailed off but hes a complete back with minimal upside. UPDATE: McGahee will be monitored heading into Week 15 per league protocol. Stay tuned to the injury report.

Scouring The Barrel

Jordan Todman, JAC (BUF, TEN, @IND) - UPDATE: Maurice Jones-Drew (hamstring) is questionable for Sunday's game with Buffalo. If he sits, the load will likely be split between Todman and Denard Robinson. While MJD said the hammy is feeling better, Week 15 might be a good opportunity for Todman to show the Jags what he's got.

Toby Gerhart, MIN (PHI, @CIN, DET) If Adrian Peterson misses time as expected, Gerhart will shoulder the burden and should be worth an RB3/flex play against the Eagles. UPDATE: In addition to the Peterson foot sprain that has him seeing specialists but avoiding surgery, Gerhart is now listed as questionable after tweaking his hamstring late in the loss to Baltimore. Peterson is almost certainly a no-go, so if Gerhart can’t suit up the Vikings would be looking at special teams fill-in Matt Asiata, who has three career carries for 9 yards. Yuck.

Updates

Joique Bell, DET (BAL, NYG, @MIN) Bell rushed for 69 yards and a TD and caught 4-58-0, but he lost two fumbles in a sloppy game that saw multiple ball-handling miscues. Still, it was a fortuitous opportunity for Bell owners when Reggie Bush went down in pre-game warm-ups. UPDATE: Bush didn’t speak to the media following Sunday’s loss and is currently listed as day-to-day – though he’ll have an extra day to recover as the Lions host Baltimore on Monday night.

Donald Brown, IND (HOU, @KC, JAC) Brown faced a stifling Bengals run defense and managed just 11 rushing yards and 4-18-0 in the blowout loss. Hes relevant to the fantasy discussion in Week 15 but Id be looking for better options.

Willis McGahee, CLE (CHI, NYJ, @PIT) McGahee had just 33 rushing yards on 14 carries and caught a pass or no gain. He took a hard hit and suffered a concussion late in the second half and his status for Week 15 is unknown. UPDATE: McGahee is no sure thing to suit up in Week 15.

Jonathan Dwyer, PIT (CIN, @GB, CLE) LeVeon Bell got the start and Dwyer wasnt a factor on Sunday.

Knile Davis, KC (@OAK, IND, @SD) Davis totaled 47 yards from scrimmage and a TD, enough to reward owners who gave him a shot and put him on the flex radar for Week 15.

Antone Smith, ATL (WAS, @SF, CAR) Smith didnt get any touches on Sunday. Hes still worth grabbing in deep dynasty leagues. UPDATE: Smith actually injured his knee on special teams and left Sunday’s game before getting a touch. He’s day-to-day.

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

Off The Top

Julian Edelman, NE (@MIA, @BAL, BUF) Edelman is here to stay and Tom Brady trusts him as much as he does any other receiver on the team. On Sunday he posted 6-64-1 with a 2XP and remains a valuable WR3 with upside. UPDATE: Minus Rob Gronkowski (torn ACL, MCL), Brady will likely turn to Edelman even more. He’s the Pats top receiver this season and should be started in most formats in Week 15.

Digging Deeper

Marvin Jones, CIN (@PIT, MIN, BAL) Hes had a few quiet weeks and is generally a feast-or-famine fantasy producer, but Jones makes some big catches and benefits from a favorable matchup in Week 15 in Pittsburgh. Deploy him as a WR3/4 with upside in 12-team leagues.
Rod Streater, OAK (KC, @SD, DEN) Streater had 7-130-1 in the loss to the Jets and now has 50-787-3 on the season a pretty productive line for a fantasy afterthought. He should see plenty of targets in Week 15.

Scouring The Barrel

TE Jacob Tamme, DEN (SD, @HOU, @OAK) With Wes Welker suffering his second concussion of the season, hes probably not going to play on short rest Thursday night, opening the door for Tamme or Andre Caldwell to get more looks in the slot. Caldwell has a few drops this season so itd be wise to trust Mannings more familiar target in the veteran TE. UPDATE: Tamme was on the field for virtually every play in the second half following Welker’s injury. With Welker highly questionable/doubtful to play on Thursday, Tamme could make a sneaky TE/flex play and even see 8-10 targets.

Updates

Brian Hartline, MIA (NE, @BUF, NYJ) Hartline finished with 5-51-1 in the win over Pittsburgh and remains a solid WR3/4 with upside.

Greg Jennings, MIN (PHI, @CIN, DET) Jennings had a decent game with 5-53-0 but it was Cordarrelle Patterson who had the monster performance, with 5-141-1. Jennings should get more looks in Week 15.

Doug Baldwin, SEA (@NYG, ARI, STL) The Seahawks didnt have as easy a time with the Niners, and Baldwin grabbed 3-36-0 but failed to find the end zone. UPDATE: Percy Harvin, the main threat to Baldwin’s targets, is still battling a hip injury and listed as day-to-day.

Jacoby Jones, BAL (@DET, NE, @CIN) Jones hauled in 4-37-0 but a 77-yard kickoff return TD made him an excellent fantasy play. Hes worth considered as a Week 15 flex play.

Ted Ginn Jr., CAR (NYJ, NO, @ATL) Ginn was targeted five times but caught just two passes for 5 yards as the Saints dominated on both sides of the ball.

Andre Holmes, OAK (KC, @SD, DEN) He didnt score this week, but Holmes showed hes worth a look in deeper leagues, catching 3-63-0 in the loss to the Jets.

Junior Hemingway, KC (@OAK, IND) Hemingway had just one catch for 11 yards. Hes not relevant in redrafts (especially when Donnie Avery is active), but is a sneaky add in deeper dynasty formats.

IDP

Off The Top

LB Bobby Wagner, SEA (@NYG, ARI, STL) Wagner missed a couple weeks earlier in the season because of injury but has 49 total tackles in his last five games and is among the better young MLBs in the game.

DB John Cyprien, JAC (BUF, TEN, @IND) The rookie DB now has 87 tackles on the season (73 solos) as well as a sack, an INT and three PD. Hes not a bigplay guy just yet, but hes on the field for every snap and hes a decent DB2 with upside.

Digging Deeper

LB Paul Worrilow, ATL (WAS, @SF, CAR) Worrilow is for real and hes now at 100 total tackles for the season despite playing just nine games. Theres not a matchup he hasnt exploited for solid DIO numbers.

DL George Selvie, DAL (GB, @WAS, PHI) Selvie has 29 total tackles and 6.0 sacks on the season heading into Monday night against the Bears. Hes a DL2 with upside. UPDATE: Selvie had four solo tackles on Monday night but was called for a questionable “roughing the passer” penalty and didn’t record a sack.

Scouring The Barrel

DB Michael Griffin, TEN (ARI, @JAC, HOU) Griffin seems healthy and posted nine total tackles in Sundays loss to Denver. Hes been steady in recent weeks and could be primed for a big game.

DL Corey Wootton, CHI (@CLE, @PHI, GB) Hes used at different spots on the defensive line and has some upside in deeper formats. Stay tuned to how hes used in the Dallas game on Monday night. UPDATE: Wootton took a back seat but the spotlight belonged to DL Jeremiah Ratliff, who recorded three solos and a sack against his former team.

Updates

DL Jared Allen, MIN (PHI, @CIN, DET) Allen had two tackles and a sack in the loss to Baltimore and now has 7.0 sacks on the season.

LB Nick Roach, OAK (KC, @SD, DEN) Nine total tackles (eight solos) and a PD a decent line for the veteran LB.

DB Tracy Porter, OAK (KC, @SD, DEN) Porter has just four total tackles in the loss to the Jets, as Geno Smith turned the ball over just once.

LB Zach Brown, TEN (ARI, @JAC, HOU) Brown finished with five solos in the loss to Denver disappointing considering the matchup.

DB Nate Allen, PHI (@MIN, CHI, @DAL) The Lions passing game never got off the snow-covered ground, and Allen registered just one tackle.

DL Kendall Langford, STL (NO, TB, @SEA) Langford made six tackles against the Cards but failed to get to Carson Palmer.