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Antonio D'Arcangelis | Archive | Email |
Staff Writer

Through The Wire - Week 9
10/29/13 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 ()


Off The Top

Ryan Tannehill, MIA (CIN, @TB, SD, CAR) – If Tannehill had some protection, he’d approach low-end QB1 status, but he just doesn’t have time to get the ball downfield to his deep threats. Losing Brandon Gibson will hurt, but there are a couple matchups down the stretch where he could put up decent numbers.

Digging Deeper

Jake Locker, TEN (@STL, JAC, IND, @OAK) – In his last four starts, Locker has 922-8-1 as well as 124 rushing yards and a TD. He’s an excellent option filling in for Week 9 bye QBs like Peyton Manning, Matthew Stafford and Colin Kaepernick.

Scouring The Barrel

Jason Campbell, CLE (BAL, BYE, @CIN, PIT) – He’s probably not worth adding in anything but two-QB leagues and 14-16 teamers (and his upcoming schedule is a difficult one), but Campbell looked sharp compared to Brandon Weeden and could provide some value as a low-end QB2.


Andy Dalton, CIN (@MIA, @BAL, CLE, BYE) – Dalton was my top recommendation last week and responded with 325-5-1, the best fantasy performance of his career and the top week for any quarterback other than Drew Brees. I’ve been harping on this all year long – Dalton is highly underrated as a fantasy QB and has already racked up 2,249-16-7 on the season.

Terrelle Pryor, OAK (PHI, @NYG, @HOU, TEN) – Once again, Pryor got off to a wonderful start, racing 93 yards for a TD – and the longest run by a QB in league history. Unfortunately, he fizzled for the remaining three quarters, totaling just 88-0-2 passing and finishing with only 13 more rushing yards.

Case Keenum, HOU (IND, @ARI, OAK, JAC) – The Texans were on a bye in Week 8 but Keenum will start in Week 9. Matt Schaub might be healthy but he’s not guaranteed to get his job back.

UPDATE: Schaub has a sprained ankle and will back up Keenum in Week 9. It’ll be difficult to roll the dice but desperate owners might have no choice. Keenum is probably a better option than Nick Foles or Mike Glennon.

Kellen Clemens, STL (TEN, @IND, BYE, CHI) – UPDATE: Clemens made a few terrible throws and looked overmatched against the Seattle defense, tossing two picks and accumulating just 158 passing yards. He’s not much of a fantasy option in any format.

Running Backs

Off The Top

Andre Ellington, ARI (BYE, HOU, @JAC, IND) – Ellington is still available in about 20-40 percent of fantasy leagues and got his chance to shine on Sunday, rolling for 154 rushing yards and a TD on 15 carries and adding 2-8-0 receiving in the win over Atlanta. If he hasn’t surpassed Rashard Mendenhall (toe) on the depth chart, something’s amiss in Arizona.

UPDATE: Bruce Arians said Mendenhall will resume his starting role when he’s healthy, but it’s pretty clear who they better back is in this offense.

Digging Deeper

Mike Tolbert, CAR (ATL, @SF, NE, @MIA) – Tolbert gets goal line carries and passing down work, making him a RB4 in 12-team leagues with some decent flex value. You could do a lot worse if your RBs are on a bye.

Scouring The Barrel

James Starks, GB (CHI, PHI, @NYG, MIN) – Starks ran seven times for 57 yards and a TD against the Vikings on Sunday night, likely earning himself more carries as the Packers look to reduce the workload on rookie Eddie Lacy. Starks could be in line for a few solid fantasy games as a low-end flex option starting next week against the Bears who are without LBs Lance Briggs and D.J. Williams.

Andre Brown, NYG (BYE, OAK, GB, DAL) – Brown is available in anywhere from 80 percent of leagues to less than 50, but he’s worth stashing if you’ve got the roster room. He’ll likely assume a large part of the workload when he gets back in action, and Week 11 makes sense as a possible return.

UPDATE: Brown said Monday he feels great and is targeting a Week 10 return.


Zac Stacy, STL (TEN, @IND, BYE, CHI) – UPDATE: Stacy ran well against a stout defense Monday night, picking up 134 yards on 26 carries and adding a reception for a 3-yard loss. While he didn’t find paydirt and sustained a late-game ankle injury that kept him out of some key goal line plays, he returned for the game’s final play. It’s a shame, because Stacy looked polished with his vision and awareness and sharp and explosive on his cuts. He’s getting X-rays on his left ankle and Daryl Richardson would likely pick up the slack if he misses any time.

Roy Helu, WAS (SD, @MIN, @PHI, SF) – Helu managed just 11 rushing yards on five carries and one catch (for 14 yards) on one target in Sunday’s loss to Denver. Alfred Morris was the more effective back but there’s no telling what Mike Shanahan’s plans are for Week 9.

Brandon Bolden, NE (PIT, BYE, @CAR, DEN) – Bolden has just 22 rushing yards on eight carries but scored a TD and caught 2-7-0. His value will decline once Shane Vereen returns.

Peyton Hillis, NYG (BYE, OAK, GB, DAL) – The veteran back rushed for 70 yards on 20 carries and added 3-15-0 on five targets in the passing game. Now that he’s just getting the hang of things, Andre Brown is getting healthy enough to resume action.

UPDATE: Don’t forget Brandon Jacobs and Michael Cox. This could be a full-blown committee by the time Week 10 rolls around.

Mike James, TB (@SEA, MIA, ATL, @DET) – Despite gaining just 39 rushing yards on 10 carries, James was pretty effective standing in for Doug Martin, adding 4-25-0 receiving and looking sharp on a few runs. He’ll likely get the call once again in Week 9, but no determination has been made on Martin for Week 10 and beyond.

UPDATE: Greg Schiano said Monday he hopes Martin will be able to play soon, and if we’ve learned anything, it’s that a Schiano Man never gives false hope.

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

Off The Top

Percy Harvin, SEA (TB, @ATL, MIN, BYE) – There’s still a few leagues out there (about 10-30 percent) where Harvin is still available on the waiver wire. While he’s already been ruled out for Week 8, the versatile weapon could be an enormous part of the offense when he’s active.

UPDATE: The Seahawks look like they could use Harvin right now.

Marvin Jones, CIN (@MIA, @BAL, CLE) – I told you a couple weeks ago to grab Jones and reiterated my belief he’d be a focal point of the offense moving forward. Well – Jones went off for 8-122-4 on Sunday. For those of you who listened, congrats. For those of you who didn’t, now you’ll have to fight for him.

Digging Deeper

Aaron Dobson, NE (PIT, BYE, @CAR, DEN) – Dobson had been wildly inconsistent this season, but with Danny Amendola clearly not 100 percent, he totaled 4-60-1 on five targets in the win over Miami. He’s a WR with upside but has some tough matchups coming.

Kenny Stills, NO (@NYJ, DAL, SF, @ATL) – A potent deep threat, Stills got behind the secondary for a couple long TDs (69, 42), racking up 129 receiving yards on just three catches and four targets. He’ll be hit-or-miss most weeks, but against defenses who tend to give up big plays, he’s a wise risk/reward option.

Scouring The Barrel

TE Tim Wright, TB (@SEA, MIA, ATL, @DET) – Wright appears to be a favorite target of Mike Glennon (19-195-1 on 26 targets over his last four games) and he plays a lot of WR for a guy with TE eligibility. Wright is worth adding in all 12-team leagues, especially two-TE formats.

Drew Davis, ATL (@CAR, SEA, @TB, NO) – Davis benefited from Ryan’s seven targets to the tune of 5-77-1 in the loss to Arizona. He’ll be off the fantasy radar once Roddy White gets healthy, but for now he’s being used quite a bit in the Falcons offense.


Harry Douglas, ATL (@CAR, SEA, @TB, NO) – White was inactive again and Douglas caught 12-121-0 on 18 targets from Matt Ryan – who clearly trusts him implicitly. Until White returns, Douglas remains a WR2.

UPDATE: White will probably miss at least another week, giving Douglas top dog status for the immediate future.

Terrance Williams, DAL (MIN, @NO, BYE, @NYG) – The rookie receiver (2-64-1 on Sunday) has now scored in four straight games. Play him with confidence at WR3 during the next couple weeks.

TE Jordan Reed, WAS (SD, @MIN, @PHI, SF) – As projected, Reed saw a boatload of targets (14) and managed a solid fantasy day for a TE (8-90-0), though expectations were high in this matchup. There’s only about four or five TEs I’d rather have moving forward.

Jarrett Boykin, GB (CHI, PHI, @NYG, MIN) – Boykin couldn’t repeat the brilliance of his Week 7 outing, but did snag five of his six targets for 89 yards. He’s a WR3 with upside.

Darrius Heyward-Bey, IND (@HOU, STL, @TEN, @ARI) – On a Week 8 bye, DHB could shine against the Texans.

Jeremy Kerley, NYJ (NO, BYE, @BUF, @BAL) – Kerley was targeted just four times by Geno Smith and totaled just 3-27-0 in the blowout loss to Cincy. All of the Jets had a bad week, so look for Kerley to bounce back against the Saints in Week 9.

Brandon Gibson, MIA (CIN, @TB, SD, CAR) – Gibson caught a short TD pass in Week 8 and then suffered a devastating knee injury (torn patella tendon) that will likely end his season.

UPDATE: It was confirmed Monday that Gibson’s season is finished.

LaVon Brazill, IND (@HOU, STL, @TEN) – We’ll see what happens in Week 9, but all indications are Brazill should get some looks.


Off The Top

DB Bernard Pollard, TEN (@STL, JAC, IND, @OAK) – Pollard may have been dropped by somebody in Week 8 due to his bye and he remains a solid safety with oodles of IDP potential.

LB Daryl Smith, BAL (@CLE, CIN, @CHI, NYJ) – Just take a gander at the Ravens next four games and give me one good reason why you shouldn’t pick up Smith if he’s available. I know a couple leagues where bye week issues forced desperate owners to cut bait on him in Week 8, and I’ll be doing my best to grab him.

Digging Deeper

DL Jurrell Casey, TEN (@STL, JAC, IND, @OAK) – Casey is likely available in almost all redraft IDP formats because he’s coming off a Week 8 bye. He’s a steady if unspectacular IDP contributor and he’s got a couple good matchups on the way.

LB Brandon Spikes, NE (PIT, BYE, @CAR, DEN) – Excluding the Week 10 bye, Spikes should put up excellent numbers for the next few weeks as the primary run-stopping LB on the Pats D.

Scouring The Barrel

DL Brett Keisel, PIT (@NE, BUF, DET, @CLE) – Keisel is heating up and had three solos, a sack and a FR against the Raiders. His upcoming schedule is favorable for opposing 3-4 DEs.

DB Darius Butler, IND (@HOU, STL, @TEN, @ARI) – Butler is a classic high-risk/high-reward cornerback with ball-hawking skills and a great Week 9 matchup. I’m using him in deeper formats this week and hoping for a pick six and a handful of tackles and PDs.


DL Cameron Jordan, NO (@NYJ, DAL, SF) – Jordan only had one tackle, but it was strip sack and he recovered the fumble, so it was a productive fantasy day.

LB Justin Houston, KC (@BUF, BYE, @DEN) – Houston also had one tackle (a sack) but it was his only appearance on the stat sheet. I’m downgrading him to an LB4 with upside.

DB Reshad Jones, MIA (CIN, @TB, SD) – Jones has seven assisted tackles but no solos – a bizarre stat line in a weird game.

DL Geno Atkins, CIN (@MIA, @BAL, CLE) – Wow. Another single tackle performance – and again for a sack. This is trending strangely.

LB LaMarr Woodley, PIT (@NE, BUF, DET) – Woodley was active for Sunday’s game but didn’t make any plays. Update tomorrow.

DB Earl Wolff, PHI (@OAK, @GB, WAS) – Wolff had just four solos in the loss to the Giants, who didn’t throw the ball much.

LB Khaseem Greene, CHI (@GB, DET, BAL) – I’ll provide a Week 9 update after we see how he’s used in the Bears D.

UPDATE: Greene is penciled in as Briggs’ replacement in the starting defensive lineup, for now.