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Antonio D'Arcangelis | Archive | Email |
Staff Writer

Through The Wire - Week 8
10/22/13 Users...
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!
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

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 ()

Note: Updates are highlighted in Red.


Off The Top

Andy Dalton, CIN (NYJ, @MIA, @BAL) – Coming off his best game of the season (372-3-0), Dalton is still available in about 20-30 percent of fantasy leagues. He’s past the easiest part of his schedule, but you could do worse than Dalton if you need a bye week fill-in QB for Week 8. He’s clicking with A.J. Green and has all the weapons he needs to succeed regardless of matchup.

Digging Deeper

Terrelle Pryor, OAK (PIT, PHI, @NYG) – Pryor is coming off a Week 7 bye and is available in 50-60 percent of fantasy leagues. While his Week 8 matchup is a difficult one, he should be viewed as a low-end QB 1 during his matchups with the Eagles and Giants in weeks 9 and 10, when five QB1s have their bye weeks. Jump on him if he’s in your free agent pool.

Scouring The Barrel

Case Keenum, HOU (BYE, IND, @ARI, OAK) – Keenum (1-5 percent owned) made his “case” for the starting job in Houston by bringing some life to the passing game and managing a 271-1-0 line. He lost a fumble but didn’t throw any interceptions, a huge plus for his chances of holding onto the starting job. He’s on a Week 8 bye but has a favorable schedule from weeks 10-14.

Kellen Clemens, STL (SEA, TEN, @IND, BYE) – Sam Bradford will miss the remainder of the 2013 with a torn ACL. Clemens is not the answer and provides little value in fantasy leagues, but I’m using this opportunity to point out that the Rams might pick up someone with the ability to use the varied weapons this team has at its disposal. Stay tuned.

UPDATE: Clemens has been tapped to start against the Seahawks. That could be an ugly game and considering the strength of the Seattle secondary, it’d be unwise to give Clemens a fantasy start.


Ryan Tannehill, MIA (@NE, CIN, @TB, SD) – Tannehill’s stat line (194-3-2, lost fumble) was marred by turnovers and the upcoming schedule doesn’t look all that great from a fantasy perspective. I’d rather have Locker for my QB2 (see below) the rest of the way.

Jake Locker, TEN (BYE, @STL, JAC, IND) – Locker came back earlier than expected and had 326-2-1 (as well as 29 rushing yards) in the loss to San Francisco. He’s got a Week 8 bye but figures to be a solid QB2 during the second half of 2013. Also – I’m glad I didn’t jump on the bandwagon and put Nick Foles in my recommendations for Week 7 like just about every other fantasy writer in the biz, instead focusing my attention on the talented Locker.

Chad Henne, JAC (SF, BYE, @TEN, ARI) – Henne piled up some decent yardage (318-0-1 passing yards) but finished without a TD pass against the Chargers. He could post similar numbers next week against the 49ers, who’ve been allowing opposing QBs some garbage time yardage in the second half.

Thaddeus Lewis, BUF (@NO, KC, @PIT, NYJ) – Lewis has the job, for now, but also had a rough Week 7 (202-0-1, 13 rushing yards) and can’t look forward to a favorable schedule on the fantasy horizon. Even in two-QB leagues, he’s a low-end play.

Running Backs

Off The Top

Zac Stacy, STL (SEA, TEN, @IND, BYE) – Stacy is still available in 25-50 percent of fantasy leagues and is the lead back in the Rams offense, which is now without Bradford. Stacy rushed for 53 yards against Carolina and scored his first career TD via a 4-34-1 receiving line. He’s a solid flex option going forward.

UPDATE: Jeff Fisher further solidified Stacy’s status as the lead back in St. Louis by calling him a three-down back with the instincts, intelligence and understanding of pass protections to shoulder the load. He’s shooting up the R.O.S. rankings.

Digging Deeper

Roy Helu, WAS (@DEN, SD, @MIN, @PHI) – I highlighted Helu’s upside in my Week 5 recommendations, and had him rostered (and starting) in two expert leagues yesterday, including the competitive CBS Sports IDP Experts league. Shanahan loves Helu – who now has 52 points (averaging 17 per contest) over his last three games. Still, he’s owned in just 30-50 percent of fantasy leagues and remains a big part of the Redskins up-tempo offense.

UPDATE: Helu is the every-down back in the Redskins “turbo” package, a hurry-up offense which will likely be an oft-used set against the Broncos; he’ll see about 12-15 touches or more in what promises to be a high-scoring affair.

Scouring The Barrel

Brandon Bolden, NE (MIA, PIT, BYE, @CAR) – It’s tough to tell if Bolden (10-30 percent owned) will continue to get opportunities, but he had 36 rushing yards on eight carries and a TD against the Jets (primary RB Stevan Ridley had 11 carries for 50 yards and a score). Monitor this situation heading into a favorable Week 8 matchup.

Peyton Hillis, NYG (@PHI, BYE, OAK, GB) – UPDATE: While it’s likely that Andre Brown will resume lead back duties once he’s healthy (Brown resumed practicing last week and a Week 10 return is probable), Hillis appears to be the guy for the Week 8 game at Philly. Just five days after signing with the Giants, the veteran back grinded out 36 yards and a TD on 18 carries and piled up another 45 yards on five receptions. It was a horrendous offensive display by both teams, but given the Eagles current woes, a similar situation could develop on Sunday. For one more week, Hillis provides some decent flex value, especially in PPR leagues.

Mike James, TB (CAR, @SEA, MIA, ATL) – Doug Martin has reportedly torn the labrum in his shoulder and will be out for the year, thrusting James into the spotlight. The rookie had 14 carries for 45 yards and 3-8-0 receiving in relief of Martin on Sunday.

UPDATE: Despite early Monday reports that Martin would miss the remainder of the season with a torn labrum, Barnum & Bailey ringleader Greg Schiano announced that the Bucs plan on Martin playing later this season. He said that participation in Thursday’s game is a “stretch” but that the injury is not-season ending. For now, consider Martin out indefinitely and James his likely replacement for at least Week 8.


Jacquizz Rodgers, ATL (@ARI, @CAR, SEA, @TB) – Rodgers has a monster game despite just 16 rushing yards on eight carries. The scatback posted 8-46-2 receiving and has performed like a high-end RB2 in PPR leagues since Steven Jackson went down.

UPDATE: Jackson is expected to practice on Wednesday, although he may wait another week before game activity. Rodgers still projects to get a lot of targets in the passing game.

Andre Ellington, ARI (ATL, BYE, HOU, @JAC) – Thursday night games are where production goes to die. Ellington had just three carries for 3 yards and two receptions for 10 yards.

Joseph Randle, DAL (@DET, MIN, @NO, BYE) – Randle filled in for 65 rushing yards and 3-28-0 receiving, meeting humble expectations in Demarco’s Murray’s stead.

UPDATE: Jerry Jones said Monday that Murray “could” play in Week 8 against the Lions. Randle seemed effective enough so it seems unlikely they’d risk a setback with Murray. Keep an eye on the injury report but expect Murray to be a game-time decision.

Chris Ogbonnaya, CLE (@KC, @BAL, BYE, @CIN) – Obgonnaya only rushed four times for 15 yards and didn’t catch either of his measly two targets in the passing game. It was a disappointing performance in a matchup that could have provided some moderate value.

Brandon Jacobs, NYG (@PHI, BYE, OAK, GB) – UPDATE: As expected, Jacobs was inactive, paving the way for Hillis to enjoy a glorious fantasy resurgence.

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

Off The Top

Harry Douglas, ATL (@ARI, @CAR, SEA, @TB) – Douglas went off for 7-149-1 in the win over Tampa Bay. With Julio Jones done for the season and Roddy White still nursing hamstring and ankle injuries, there’s little doubt which wideout will be receiving the most targets for the Falcons going forward.

Terrance Williams, DAL (@DET, MIN, @NO, BYE) – When Miles Austin went down with another hamstring injury, I included Williams in this column. But even with Austin active, Williams is emerging as a favorite target for Tony Romo. On Sunday, the rookie hauled in 6-71-1 on seven targets and now has TDs in three straight games.

UPDATE: Williams’ value continues to rise. Jason Garrett hinted that the Cowboys might shut down Austin for a while to allow his hamstring to heal up properly. With Williams and Cole Beasley providing a steady presence to compliment top target Dez Bryant and reliable veteran TE Jason Witten, it makes perfect sense.

Digging Deeper

TE Jordan Reed, WAS (@DEN, SD, @MIN, @PHI) – I added Reed (available in 65-75 percent of leagues) on a couple of my teams last week but neglected to find a starting spot for him in a 14-team league where I now need a huge night from Rueben Randle (and a sub-par performance from my competitor’s Adrian Peterson) for a victory. I should’ve known better; Reed blew up for 9-134-1 and solidified his place in the Redskins offense going forward. The 6-2, 243-pound rookie TE out of Florida was drafted in the third round and has drawn (football) comparisons to Aaron Hernandez. He’s now caught 13 of 15 targets in his last two games and should be added in all formats.

UPDATE: Reed played through a hip pointer on Sunday and it’s not expected to be a concern going forward. In one league, I’m feverishly shopping Tony Gonzalez because I’m about to go all-in on the dynamic rookie TE. Oh – and I won my matchup thanks to a good game from Randle and an AD dud.

Jarrett Boykin, GB (@MIN, CHI, PHI, @NYG) – Boykin exploded for 8-103-1 and should continue to see targets with Randall Cobb out and the devastating neck injury to Jermichael Finley including the TE’s status for the rest of the season, and possibly his career (Finley was still in ICU as of Monday morning). Boykin is owned in just 25-40 percent of leagues and is a must-own WR3 with upside in all formats.

Darrius Heyward-Bey, IND (BYE, @HOU, STL, @TEN) – Heyward-Bey (4-44-1, 30 rushing yards on Sunday night) is facing a Week 8 bye and has been inconsistent throughout his career, but the opportunities he’ll see in the Colts offense (with Reggie Wayne out with an ACL injury) outweigh the baggage.

UPDATE: Wayne has a torn ACL, making DHB – so far just a situational deep threat and red zone afterthought – the likely recipient of more targets.

Scouring The Barrel

Jeremy Kerley, NYJ (@CIN, NO, BYE, @BUF) – Kerley is still available in most 12-team redraft leagues and is Geno Smith’s top receiver. He had 8-97-1 on Sunday and 15-184-2 over his last three games. Add him.

Brandon Gibson, MIA (@NE, CIN, @TB, SD) – Gibson (4-15 percent owned) had 5-40-2 in the loss to Buffalo but is emerging as a red-zone favorite of Tannehill. He’s worth a look in deeper formats and has 29-322-2 on 41 targets this season for the Fins.

LaVon Brazill, IND (BYE, @HOU, STL, @TEN) – The Colts receiver is immensely talented and is no longer suspended. He’s yet to figure into the Colts offensive plans but makes sense as a super-deep sleeper with Wayne out for the season. He’ll get plenty of reps in practice over the next couple weeks and makes an interesting risk/reward stash.

UPDATE: Now Brazill becomes the situational deep threat with Hilton and DHB serving as the No. 1 and 2 receivers in Indy.


Brian Hartline, MIA (@NE, CIN, @TB, SD) – Hartline put up a solid PPR line (6-69-0) but couldn’t find the end zone as Brandon Gibson caught two of Tannehill’s three TD passes.

Brandon LaFell, CAR (@TB, ATL, @SF, NE) – Steve Smith (5-69-1) got most of the glory for abusing the trash-talking Janoris Jenkins and LaFell managed just 3-35-0 in the win over the Rams.

TE Joseph Fauria, DET (DAL, BYE, @CHI, @PIT) – Fauria followed up his breakout week with just one catch for 15 yards. He’s a decent option next week against the Cowboys, who’ve struggled to contain opposing TEs.

Marvin Jones, CIN (MYJ, @MIA, @BAL, CLE) – Jones had another excellent week, hauling in four catches for 57 yards and a TD. He now had three TDs on the season and is emerging as a viable WR4 in 12-team leagues.

UPDATE: It’s tough to run on the Jets, so both A.J. Green and Jones should receive plenty of targets this week.

Marquise Goodwin, BUF (@NO, KC, @PIT, NYJ) – Goodwin put up a goose egg against the Dolphins as the offense never really got going but grinded out a victory with a lot of help from a defensive score in the first half.


Off The Top

DL Cameron Jordan, NO (BUF, @NYJ, DAL, SF) – Jordan has 5.0 sacks this season through six games and is coming off a bye. He’s likely available in the majority of IDP leagues with thin benches – because there’s just never enough room to stash DLs on byes, is there? He’s got some favorable matchups the next few weeks.

LB Justin Houston, KC (CLE, @BUF, BYE, @DEN) – He’s been relatively quiet since his Week 3 breakout but appears to be healthy following a Week 4 head injury. He’s at 10.0 sacks on the season and is still out there in a few leagues.

Digging Deeper

DB Reshad Jones, MIA (@NE, CIN, @TB, SD) – I added Jones and plugged him in my Week 7 lineup and was rewarded with 10 total tackles (nine solos) and a sack. I’m sold – go ahead and add him if you’re looking for a consistent contributor with upside.

DL Geno Atkins, CIN (NYJ, @MIA, @BAL, CLE) – I’m sure Atkins has been dropped in about 50 percent of IDP leagues following what has been a disappointing season so far. Atkins benefited from relatively obscurity last season but after signing a huge five-year, $55 million extension for the Bengals, he’s often double teamed by opposing linemen and has struggled to make plays. While he’s got 4.0 sacks and his tackle numbers are way down, I’m expecting a rebound and a lot more consistency from the 300-pound interior lineman in the coming weeks.

Scouring The Barrel

LB LaMarr Woodley, PIT (@OAK, @NE, BUF, DET) – Woodley now has sacks in four straight games and seems to be over his knee issues. He’s got some upside in the next few matchups for the surging Steelers defense.

DB Earl Wolff, PHI (NYG, @OAK, @GB, WAS) – The rookie safety had his best game as a pro on Sunday, recording five solo tackles, a PD and an INT against the Cowboys. He’s got favorable matchups over his next four games and sports tons of upside on a defense that relies on its secondary to make plays.

LB Khaseem Greene, CHI (BYE, @GB, DET, BAL)– UPDATE: Greene was drafted by the Bears in the fourth round as the heir apparent to Lance Briggs at WLB and expected to just play special teams this season but the injury to Briggs (out six weeks with a fractured shoulder) likely thrusts him in the starting lineup. Greene is a former Rutgers safety who transitioned to OLB and was the two-time Big East Player of the Year. He’s here to stay and could make an IDP impact right away if he can outplay Blake Costanzo, the other Bears LB considered for playing time in relief of Briggs. The Bear inked Greene to a four-year deal in May and he’s already drawn comparisons to Bucs WLB Lavonte David.


DL Cameron Wake, MIA (@NE, CIN, @TB, SD) – Wake (knee) was active for Sunday’s game but the Bills did an excellent job neutralizing him, holding the elite pass rusher to just one solo tackle. Lewis did get sacked four times, but it wasn’t Wake who got to him.

LB DeAndre Levy, DET (DAL, BYE, @CHI, @PIT) – Levy continued his consistent 2013 season with eight total tackles (seven solos) and a PD in Week 7.

LB Danny Trevathan, DEN (WAS, BYE, @SD, KC) – With MLB Wesley Woodyard still out (neck), Trevathan collected eight total tackles and a PD in the loss to Indy. Paris Lenon got the start at MLB and finished with eight total tackles and two PD.

DB Tyrann Mathieu, ARI (ATL, BYE, HOU, @JAC) – Mathieu had his first disappointing IDP performance of 2013, collecting just two solo tackles on Thursday night. He’s still an emergent DB1/2.

DL Sheldon Richardson, NYJ (@CIN, NO, BYE, @BUF) – Richardson applied some solid pressure to Tom Brady but finished with five tackles on the day and no sacks, according to the preliminary stats. I watched the game and believe at least a half-sack will be added to his tally on a play where Brady fumbled right before the half (Pats OL Sebastian Vollmer recovered) and Calvin Pace was credited with the full sack. The official NFL Gamebook already credits Richardson with sharing the stop.

DB John Cyprien, JAC (SF, BYE, @TEN, ARI) – Cyprien had just four solos and an assist in what should have been a more productive IDP performance. The rookie safety should be viewed as a low-end DB3 going forward – he’s just too inconsistent to trust every week.