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
Ryan Tannehill, MIA (BUF, @NE, CIN, @TB) – Tannehill’s
ownership rate fluctuates severely from format to format, but
he is available in at least 50 percent of most leagues. He’s
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).
Locker, TEN (SFO, BYE, @STL, JAC, IND, @OAK, @IND) – I’ve
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 he’s 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, he’s worth a preemptive
Scouring The Barrel
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.
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.
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
Pryor, OAK (BYE, PIT, PHI, @NYG) – Pryor had 60 rushing yards
and 216-1-3 in the loss to Kansas City. He’ll have to corral some
of the bad throws that plagued him in Week 6. Owners should be
circling weeks 9 and 10 as Pryor’s 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, he’s 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.
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.
Off The Top
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
UPDATE: S-Jax is unlikely to practice this week, let alone play.
Rodgers and Snelling split carries at a 60-40 rate.
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 he’s owned in
just 36 percent of Yahoo leagues.
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.
Scouring The Barrel
Chris Ogbonnaya, CLE (@GB, @KC, @BAL, BYE) – I included
him in this column a couple weeks ago but he’s 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 don’t
have waiver wires that locked him after Thursday night’s
106-yard, two-TD revelation. He’s worth a look heading into
the next couple games.
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.
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.
Hillman, DEN (@IND, WAS, BYE, @SD) – The Broncos didn’t 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.
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, He’s still worth grabbing as a bench RB with upside
in favorable matchups.
Brown, IND (DEN, BYE, @HOU, STL) – Update coming Tuesday.
Battle, TEN (SF, BYE, @STL, JAC) – Battle didn’t get a touch
against the Seahawks, who were down 10-7 at the half but came
back and won by a TD. Battle isn’t 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.
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
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. I’d 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.
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. He’s 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, he’s only worth grabbing
in deeper formats.
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.
He’s got more good matchups on the way.
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. I’m 2-for-2 with wideouts so
Williams, DAL (WAS, @PHI, @DET, MIN) – Despite the return
of Miles Austin, Williams caught a TD pass and finished with 2-27-1.
It wasn’t on the level of his Week 5 breakout, but it’s good to
see him targeted in the red zone. TDs from all my top three WR
recommendations this week!
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.
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.
Streater, OAK (@KC, BYE, PIT, PHI) – Streater had 3-46-0 but
Denarius Moore caught the Raiders lone TD.
Allen, SD (IND, @JAC, BYE, @WAS) – Update coming Tuesday.
Off The Top
Wake, MIA (BUF, @NE, CIN, @TB) – Wake’s injured knee should
be okay for the tilt with Buffalo after the bye week, and he’s
been dropped in plenty of leagues following four weeks of relative
Levy, DET (CIN, DAL, BYE, @CHI) – Despite a career year, Levy
is still available in over half of IDP leagues. He’s already racked
up 49 total tackles (37 solos), six PD, four INT and a defensive
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. He’s still being
ignored in lots of IDP leagues.
DB Tyrann Mathieu, ARI (SEA, ATL, BYE, HOU) – People just
aren’t taking full advantage of Honey Badger’s IDP
value. He’s a big play waiting to happen and has 40 total
tackles (39 solos) as well as a sack, INT and three PD. He’s
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 who’s 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
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 it’s a group that’s going
to spend a lot of time on the field this season.
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. He’s a DB1
in most IDP leagues going forward, and he’s through his
DL Tommy Kelly, NE (NO, @NYJ, MIA, PIT) – Kelly couldn’t
shake a knee injury and was inactive for Week 6. Stay tuned.
LB Kevin Burnett, OAK (@KC, BYE, PIT, PHI) – My second Burnett
recommendation wasn’t 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, he’s off the IDP redraft