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Antonio D'Arcangelis | Archive | Email |
Staff Writer


Through The Wire - Week 7
10/15/13

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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 four matchups are listed in parentheses ()

Quarterbacks

Off The Top

Ryan Tannehill, MIA (BUF, @NE, CIN, @TB) Tannehills ownership rate fluctuates severely from format to format, but he is available in at least 50 percent of most leagues. Hes got a few good matchups coming, including the Bills in Week 7 (Drew Brees owners take note) and Chargers in Week 11 (Romo owners might want to take a shot).

Digging Deeper

Jake Locker, TEN (SFO, BYE, @STL, JAC, IND, @OAK, @IND) Ive included the next seven matchups for you to consider the following: Jake Locker will probably miss the next three weeks recovering from hip and knee injuries, but hes on track for a possible return against the Jaguars in Week 10, when a favorable schedule begins in earnest. If you have the roster space, hes worth a preemptive strike.

UPDATE: According to head coach Mike Munchak, Locker is set to resume “football activities” and hasn’t been ruled out for the matchup with the 49ers in Week 7. While it’s unlikely that he’ll suit up on Sunday, this certainly bodes well for a possible return in Week 9 against the Rams.

Scouring The Barrel

Chad Henne, JAC (SD, SF, BYE, @TEN) Brees owners could do worse than rolling out Henne (currently 7-8 percent owned) in Week 7 against the Chargers if Gabbert (4 percent owned) remains sidelined with his hamstring injury.

UPDATE: Gus Bradley said Henne will be the Week 7 starter. The Chargers defense (and clock-eating offense) looked pretty good on Monday night but it’s the first game they’ve held the opposing QB in check.

Thaddeus Lewis, BUF (@MIA, @NO, KC, @PIT) Lewis (2 percent owned) injured his foot but had a solid fantasy day against the Bengals (216-2-0, rushing TD, lost fumble) and has a couple of decent matchups before things inevitably go sour and EJ Manuel comes back from his knee injury. He might be able to shed the walking boot and play Week 7 in Miami. The Bills have signed Matt Flynn but it appears Thad will be able to go in Week 7.

Updates

Andy Dalton, CIN (@DET, NYJ, @MIA, @BAL) The Bengals won a tight one over the Bills behind the excellent play of Dalton who had his finest fantasy performance of the season with 337 passing yards, three TDs and an INT. He added 17 rushing yards.

Joe Flacco, BAL (@PIT, BYE, @CLE, CIN) Flacco also had his best fantasy game of 2013, throwing for 342-2-0. He lost a fumble, but definitely provided a solid bye week fill-in for Matt Ryan owners.

Terrelle Pryor, OAK (BYE, PIT, PHI, @NYG) Pryor had 60 rushing yards and 216-1-3 in the loss to Kansas City. Hell have to corral some of the bad throws that plagued him in Week 6. Owners should be circling weeks 9 and 10 as Pryors fantasy coming out party.

Geno Smith, NYJ (NE, @CIN, NO, BYE) Smith had his worst game since Week 2 (201-0-2) and faces a tough schedule the rest of the way. At best, hes a low-end QB2 in the weeks following the Jets Week 10 bye.

Mike Glennon, TB (@ATL, CAR, @SEA, MIA) Glennon threw for 273-2-1 and added 20 rushing yards in the loss to Philly. This was actually his best matchup of the remaining Bucs schedule.

Josh Freeman, MIN (@NYG, GB, @DAL, WAS) The newly acquired Freeman was inactive for his first game with the Vikings. Matt Cassel played poorly against the Panthers, so Freeman could get his shot as soon this week against the Giants.

UPDATE: Leslie Frazier isn’t sure if Freeman will be ready to play in Week 7, but he does get an extra day of preparation with the Vikes playing the beleaguered Giants on Monday night.

Running Backs

Off The Top

Jacquizz Rodgers, ATL (TB, @ARI, @CAR, SEA) Rodgers (50-75 percent owned) has some tough matchups on the way, but he and Jason Snelling (20-60 percent owned) have value as long as Steven Jackson remains out.

UPDATE: S-Jax is unlikely to practice this week, let alone play. Rodgers and Snelling split carries at a 60-40 rate.

Andre Ellington, ARI (SEA, ATL, BYE, HOU) Ellington has been described as a lighter version of Darren Sproles. That, along with a few solid fantasy performances, has seen his ownership shoot up to 65 percent or more in some formats. He had 56 rushing yards and a score as well as 5-36-0 receiving on Sunday and hes owned in just 36 percent of Yahoo leagues.

Digging Deeper

Joseph Randle, DAL (@PHI, @DET, MIN, @NO) Demarco Murray (knee) is almost certain to miss multiple weeks and Randle is the guy to assume most of his running workload if Dunbar (foot) remains sidelined. Randle is owned in just a handful of leagues but is a must-grab off the wire this week.

UPDATE: Murray has a sprained MCL but is claiming he has a shot at playing in Week 7. I’m not buying it. Randle seems to have the edge over Lance Dunbar (hamstring) and Phillip Tanner, who has little upside.

Scouring The Barrel

Chris Ogbonnaya, CLE (@GB, @KC, @BAL, BYE) I included him in this column a couple weeks ago but hes still available in 80-95 percent of fantasy leagues and appears to be the main back on passing downs for the Browns, as evidenced by his 7-61-1receiving day and 24 rushing yards in the loss to Detroit.

Brandon Jacobs, NYG (MIN, @PHI, BYE, OAK) Jacobs is owned in about a quarter of fantasy leagues, but most of those dont have waiver wires that locked him after Thursday nights 106-yard, two-TD revelation. Hes worth a look heading into the next couple games.

Updates

Pierre Thomas, NO (BYE, BUF, @NYJ, DAL) Thomas had 80 total yards but was upstaged by a big fantasy day by Khiry Robinson, who had seven carries for 53 yards and a TD.

Willis McGahee, CLE (@GB, @KC, BAL, BYE) McGahee was limited to 37 rushing yards on 10 carries and one reception for 2 yards. He might not be worth much more than a marginal RB3/flex play until the Browns play the Jaguars in Week 13.

Ronnie Hillman, DEN (@IND, WAS, BYE, @SD) The Broncos didnt pull away from the Jaguars who put up a solid fight and Hillman had just four carries for 20 rushing yards and 2-16-0 receiving.

Zac Stacy, STL (@CAR, SEA, TEN, @IND) Stacy got the start against Houston and finished with 79 rushing yards on 18 carries and 2-11-0 receiving, Hes still worth grabbing as a bench RB with upside in favorable matchups.

Donald Brown, IND (DEN, BYE, @HOU, STL) Update coming Tuesday.

UPDATE: Brown rushed for 15 yards on three carries and caught 2-19-0 in the loss to San Diego. The Colts offense spent a lot of time on the sidelines as the Chargers dominated time of possession. Brown hauled in both his targets and looked sharp on his runs – but the team just couldn’t finish any drives because of several costly drops by Colts receivers.

Jackie Battle, TEN (SF, BYE, @STL, JAC) Battle didnt get a touch against the Seahawks, who were down 10-7 at the half but came back and won by a TD. Battle isnt worth a bench spot once Shonn Greene comes back from his knee injury.

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

Off The Top

Brian Hartline, MIA (BUF, @NE, CIN, @TB) Hartline is owned in about 60-85 percent of fantasy leagues, but he may have been a waiver wire casualty due to the Week 6 bye. He should be rostered in all 12-team leagues.

Digging Deeper

Brandon LaFell, CAR (STL, @TB, ATL, @SF) LaFell has 11-207-3 over his last three games but is owned in just 10-15 percent of fantasy leagues. That should change as this excellent red zone target comes off a monster game (4-107-1) and enters a favorable three-game stretch.

TE Joseph Fauria, DET (CIN, DAL,BYE, @CHI) When Lions OC Scott Linehan said Friday that Fauria would have a bigger role in the offense with Tony Scheffler sidelined, few took notice of the undrafted rookie out of UCLA. Id be surprised if anyone took advantage of his three-catch, three-TD day (1, 23, 10), but more red zone targets and TDs are should be expected down the road.

Scouring The Barrel

Marvin Jones, CIN (@DET, MYJ, @MIA, @BAL) A talented receiver in just his second season, Jones had the best game of his young career with 3-71-1 and 34 rushing yards on an end-around. He also had a TD in Week 3 and should see his targets increase over the next few games as Dalton starts getting more comfortable and taking more chances throwing the ball downfield.

Marquise Goodwin, BUF (@MIA, @NO, KC, @PIT) Goodwin returned in Week 6 from a hand injury that cost him the last four weeks of his rookie season, hauling in a 40-yard TD from Lewis and post in 2-51-1 on the day. Hes the primary deep threat in the Bills offense and could see some opportunities as opposing defenses roll most of their coverage to Robert Woods. Still, hes only worth grabbing in deeper formats.

Updates

Emmanuel Sanders, PIT (@NYJ, BAL, @OAK, @NE) Off to a good start here! Sanders caught a 55-yard TD from Ben Roethlisberger and finished with 3-70-1 in the Steelers first win of the season. Hes got more good matchups on the way.

Rueben Randle, NYG (@CHI, MIN, @PHI, BYE) Randle outscored both Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks on Thursday night en route to a 3-75-1 line an excellent fantasy day. Im 2-for-2 with wideouts so far

UPDATE: The Giants are apparently shopping Hakeem Nicks, most likely in an attempt to snag an extra second or third round draft pick from a playoff contender. This would only add to Randle’s already burgeoning value.

Terrance Williams, DAL (WAS, @PHI, @DET, MIN) Despite the return of Miles Austin, Williams caught a TD pass and finished with 2-27-1. It wasnt on the level of his Week 5 breakout, but its good to see him targeted in the red zone. TDs from all my top three WR recommendations this week!

Leonard Hankerson, WAS (@DAL, CHI, @DEN, SD) Hankerson was targeted six times on Sunday night but finished with just 2-36-0 in the loss to Dallas. And so it goes.

Austin Pettis, STL (@HOU, @CAR, SEA, TEN) The Rams got an early lead and never looked back, relegating Pettis (1-12-0) to the fantasy scrap heap in Week 6 as Sam Bradford (12-for-16, 117-3-0) focused on spreading the ball around and maintaining possession. He handed the ball off 24 times on the day and nine different receivers caught passes, none with more than two.

Rod Streater, OAK (@KC, BYE, PIT, PHI) Streater had 3-46-0 but Denarius Moore caught the Raiders lone TD.

UPDATE: The Week 7 bye gives the Raiders some extra time to get healthy and work on more ways for Pryor to get Streater the ball. I wouldn’t give up on him yet.

Keenan Allen, SD (IND, @JAC, BYE, @WAS) Update coming Tuesday.

UPDATE: Allen’s Week 6 performance (9-107-1) solidifies his status as an emerging WR3 with WR2 upside. He’s looking quite polished as a route runner and is clearly the new top WR for the Chargers. Philip Rivers targeted him 12 times in the game, a season-high for the impressive rookie.

IDP

Off The Top

DL Cameron Wake, MIA (BUF, @NE, CIN, @TB) Wakes injured knee should be okay for the tilt with Buffalo after the bye week, and hes been dropped in plenty of leagues following four weeks of relative inactivity.

UPDATE: If Wake can’t go, it might be a good time to give rookie DE Dion Jordan a shot in deeper IDP formats. It’s an excellent matchup at home versus the Bills and Jordan’s snaps have steadily increased.

LB DeAndre Levy, DET (CIN, DAL, BYE, @CHI) Despite a career year, Levy is still available in over half of IDP leagues. Hes already racked up 49 total tackles (37 solos), six PD, four INT and a defensive TD.

Digging Deeper

LB Danny Trevathan, DEN (@IND, WAS, BYE, @SD) Trevathan (41 total tackles, 1.0 sacks, three INT, six PD this season) has stepped up with Wesley Woodyard nursing a neck injury. Hes still being ignored in lots of IDP leagues.

DB Tyrann Mathieu, ARI (SEA, ATL, BYE, HOU) People just arent taking full advantage of Honey Badgers IDP value. Hes a big play waiting to happen and has 40 total tackles (39 solos) as well as a sack, INT and three PD. Hes a high-end DB2 with DB1 upside.

Scouring The Barrel

DL Sheldon Richardson, NYJ (NE, @CIN, NO, BYE) Richardson is a game-changing rookie DL talent whos off to a great start in 2013. Through just six games as a pro, he has 30 total tackles, 2.5 sacks and a PD all as a DT-eligible defensive lineman.

DB John Cyprien, JAC (SD, SF, BYE, @TEN) Cyprien has 41 total tackles (35 solos) this season and will be a steady IDP contributor as a rookie safety on a porous defense. The Jaguars defense is improving, but its a group thats going to spend a lot of time on the field this season.

Updates

DL Michael Johnson, CIN (@BUF, @DET, NYJ, @MIA) Johnson ended up playing despite some previous concussion symptoms and had three solo tackles, two assists and a PD a good fantasy day for a DE without a sack.

DB Morgan Burnett, GB (@BAL, CLE, @MIN, CHI) Burnett had nine total tackles in his second game of 2013. Hes a DB1 in most IDP leagues going forward, and hes through his bye.

DL Tommy Kelly, NE (NO, @NYJ, MIA, PIT) Kelly couldnt shake a knee injury and was inactive for Week 6. Stay tuned.

LB Kevin Burnett, OAK (@KC, BYE, PIT, PHI) My second Burnett recommendation wasnt as good. The veteran LB finished with just four solo tackles despite an excellent matchup with KC.

DB Devin McCourty, NE (NO, @NYJ, MIA, PIT) McCourty had three solo tackles but missed out on a big day as Kyle Arrington was the NE defensive back who came away with an INT.

LB Moise Fokou, TEN (@SEA, SF, BYE, @STL) Fokou had eight total tackles but a sprained knee forced him to leave the game in the fourth quarter. For now, hes off the IDP redraft radar.