Fantasy Football: Scrounging The Waiver Wire
Well, this past week was a hoot for injuries, upsets and disappointments. So, let’s see what the waiver wire holds for you if you want to shuffle your line-ups and find you’re in need of some roster help.
With Kevin Kolb’s concussion, Michael Vick is an obvious call (At this time, still available in 60% of ESPN leagues). After all, Kolb won’t even be cleared to try and practice till Friday, which means he’s not starting and probably not even playing this weekend. But I’m still not that confident of picking Vick up long-term. The offensive line in Philly is kind of offensive and it makes sense that a mobile Vick might be more likely to survive and produce in that sort of chaotic environment, but only for a short time. I guarantee you that teams are already looking at old game film of Vick to see how the Bucs and Panthers used to handle him before he went away for a little Federal rest stop. And if Vick starts running a lot and taking hits, remember he’s 30 and he may have lost a step from his peak days in Atlanta. Plus, he weighs just 215. Sure, Roethlisberger takes a lot of hits, too, but Big Ben hasn’t weighed 215 since his Pop Warner days. If Vick tries to make a living on the run, he’ll be in the trainer’s room keeping Kolb company faster than you can say “Donovan McNabb.” You might be better off considering somebody else as a replacement for any Philly QB, or for the injured Matt Stafford or the dinged-up Matt Moore. Someone like Kyle Orton (available in 65% of ESPN leagues), who looked pretty good against Jacksonville. Or you might consider Jason Campbell (available in 90% of ESPN leagues), who actually threw for a TD for against a much-tougher-than-last-year Titans defense. C’mon, when’s the last time a Raiders QB threw for a score in a regular season game? And this week Campbell’s playing the Rams.
And with Ryan Grant’s injury, Brandon Jackson (available in just 30% of ESPN leagues) is the obvious pick. But if he’s been scooped up or you’re just looking for a benchwarmer, consider Fred Taylor (available in 61% of ESPN leagues), the nominal starter in New England. Another option, though risky because of his fumbles last week, is Peyton Hillis in Cleveland. Jerome Harrison is the starter but he’s not a big guy and Hillis looks like the choice to spot-relieve him so Harrison doesn’t get worn down. And don’t go nuts just yet, but just keep an eye on Laurence Maroney, who was traded this week to the Broncos. He’s been an underachiever, but this could be a sign that Knowshon Moreno is more injured than the Broncos have let on or that they don’t have as much faith in Correll Buckhalter to carry the load as has been advertised. My advice if you have Moreno on your roster is that you listen closely to any trade offers you might get and don’t dismiss them immediately. Or if he’s your RB2 or a back-up, maybe start shopping him to any teams in your league that need RBs while he still has value. Just saying.
There was some good news on the WR front to balance out the disappointments. Denver’s Brandon Lloyd and Eddie Royal (available in 95% and 62% of ESPN leagues, respectively) racked up some catches and some yards against the Jags, though they didn’t score. But the production does look like a pale version of McDaniels’ old Patriots offense. The big news from the late game Monday night is that Malcom Floyd is still inconsistent but Legedu Naanee (available in just 22% of ESPN leagues) seriously stepped up his game and seems to have gotten Philip Rivers’ attention and trust. I’d target him. Heck, I already have in more than one of my leagues. But since he might not be available, give old Patrick Crayton (available in 96% of ESPN leagues) some consideration after a few more weeks go by if Floyd keeps doing his yo-yo act. He still has to learn the offense, but Crayton’s a reliable veteran receiver that knows how to step up and take advantage the more time Floyd spends in the dog house. And if you’re looking to shore up your bench, Tampa Bay rookie Mike Williams (available in 66% of ESPN leagues) caught 5 balls for short yardage, but managed a TD. Another option is a former Raven, Mark Clayton, who racked up 119 yards for the Rams’ Sam Bradford.
The only option that comes to mind is sort of risky because the Jags offense doesn’t usually target the TE. But there aren’t a whole lot of options for the Jags at WR, so this past week Marcedes Lewis got just 2 passes thrown his way, but they both went for TDs. Whether that’s the start of something new or a fluke is anybody’s guess at this point but it should put him on a lot of radar screens.
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