Mr. T’s Top 15 Fantasy Football Waiver Pickups of the Week
Of course Gronkowski disappears in the passing game and Big Ben gets shut down by the Eagles. He gets better-than-expected efforts from Peyton Manning and James Jones while even Pierre Thomas manages to get him eight points somehow. The game came down to Arian Foster and Houston's defense for me on Monday night and I came up points short. But here's the kicker: I started Jerome Simpson, who put up a bagel. You're probably wondering why I'd start Simpson and I'd tell you it's because my WR3 position is a little weak. Tennessee's defense is terrible and Simpson had the potential for some big plays after his 50 yards the week before. Then he gets hurt in warm-ups, it isn't reported at all, and he goes on to do absolutely nothing. I would've won the game had I started any other receiver on my bench. I'm now 1-4 and still leading the league in points. But that's life. That's fantasy football.
There are probably plenty of readers out there with similar problems. It's panic time and you're wondering how to salvage your season. Unfortunately this week's waiver wire fodder won't save your season with a DeMarco Murray or someone of that quality. But it's like last call at the bar: sometimes you take what you can get.
Christian Ponder (QB – Minnesota) – Available in 82.2% of ESPN Leagues
Ponder has two touchdowns in three of his last four games. Despite what they did against the Falcons in rainy conditions last week, the Redskins haven't really stopped anyone. Ponder should be able to help out if your QB is on the bye. (FAAB spend: $5)
Kevin Kolb (QB – Arizona) – Available in 83.4% of ESPN Leagues
Buffalo's defense made Alex Smith look like an MVP candidate last week. If Kolb only manages to get two-thirds of the numbers Smith got, you'll take it during these bye weeks. (FAAB spend: $3)
Jahvid Best (RB – Detroit Lions) – Available in 98.2% of ESPN Leagues
The Lions’ RB situation has been a mess all year and now it gets even messier. Assuming Best gets cleared by doctors, he should return from the PUP list this week. He’ll likely split carries with Mikel Leshoure going forward, working exclusively as the third-down back as well. He won’t have RB1 potential like he did when he was the clear starter, but he should be able to contribute as a flex player if he’s cleared. (FAAB spend: $14)
James Starks (RB – Green Bay) – Available in 94.1% of ESPN Leagues
The RB fun begins. Green Bay is one of two teams that lost their starting RB this past week. Unfortunately Cedric Benson's replacement isn't a plug-and-play situation. Owners will likely be jumping at Green as the next man up after he carried the load last week. But Green Bay doesn't like Green's blitz pickup and feels like he needs some more tutoring. Starks started last year and is my bet to be the guy, but that's not saying that much. If you remember him from last year, you remember he was rather miserable. Neither guy is saving your season. John Kuhn will be the man at the goal line either way. (FAAB spend: $12)
Alex Green (RB – Green Bay) – Available in 99.2% of ESPN Leagues
As mentioned above, Green isn't my bet to be the guy. He's worth owning, however, just in case he turns out to be. Just don't overspend. (FAAB spend: $10)
William Powell (RB – Arizona) – Available in 99.9% of ESPN Leagues
The next RB situation of note is out in Arizona where Beanie Wells is out until Week 12 and Ryan Williams is out for the season. Powell was getting the work as Williams' backup before he sustained a head injury last week. He'll be the fill-in for goal line work and a bulk of the carries going forward because LaRod Stephens-Howling is not an every-down back. Like in Green Bay, you don't want to invest too much in this situation, but Powell gets the nod in preference over Stephens-Howling for me. Arizona's offensive line is rather terrible. (FAAB spend: $8)
LaRod Stephens-Howling (RB – Arizona) – Available in 99.6% of ESPN Leagues
He probably has more value in leagues that include any kind of PPR and return yardage. He just isn't big enough to carry a full workload every week. (FAAB spend: $6)
David Wilson (RB – N.Y. Giants) – Available in 47% of ESPN Leagues
If you're looking for sheer talent, Wilson has more than any RB you'll find on waivers this week. With Andre Brown going down with a concussion, Wilson stepped into the backup RB role for the Giants and broke off a long touchdown run. Ahmad Bradshaw has a shaky injury history, so Wilson could pop to big numbers at some point sooner rather than later. (FAAB spend: $5)
Randall Cobb (WR – Green Bay) – Available in 81.2% of ESPN Leagues
Cobb flashed his potential again last week with 82 yards and a touchdown. The Packers will continue to try to get him the ball in the absence of Greg Jennings and he may see even more snaps in the backfield with Cedric Benson hurt. He'll be a factor with Greg Jennings out, but just not he's a high-risk, high-reward player. (FAAB spend: $15)
Jeremy Kerley (WR – N.Y. Jets) – Available in 66.8% of ESPN Leagues
Kerley has become the Jets' go-to receiver for the time being. Monday's game showed he has the trust of Mark Sanchez and he's holding onto the football, which is always a plus. The Jets will likely be throwing a decent amount because a) they can't run and b) they'll likely be losing in most of their games going forward. Kerley can be a decent WR3 fill-in during the byes. (FAAB spend: $10)
Kendall Wright (WR – Tennessee) – Available in 89.5% of ESPN Leagues
Matt Hasselbeck can't throw deep. He never really could and it's not going to start now that he's old. That eliminates Nate Washington from fantasy relevance and Kenny Britt still isn't 100% healthy whether it’s his knee or his ankle. Wright runs all the short routes that Hasselbeck can handle, so he's seeing more targets than any other Tennessee WR right now. He's especially valuable in PPR leagues. (FAAB spend: $10)
Brandon Gibson (WR – St. Louis) – Available in 92.6% of ESPN Leagues
With Danny Amendola out, St. Louis will have to find someone else who can catch the football. Gibson's the leading man for now, but he'll likely get shut down in tougher match-ups. (FAAB spend: $6)
Andre Roberts (WR – Arizona) – Available in 70.9% of ESPN Leagues
As mentioned above with Kolb, Buffalo isn't stopping anyone on defense so far this year. The coaching staff in Arizona has likened Roberts to Hines Ward for his route running and he's seeing a heavy amount or targets every week. Roberts could be a nice bye week fill in. (FAAB spend: $4)
Jared Cook (TE – Tennessee) – Available in 29.7% of ESPN Leagues
The Titans' staff said after last game that they did a poor effort including Cook in the game-plan through the first three quarters of the game. They fixed that in the fourth quarter and Cook managed a touchdown. Hasselbeck usually likes throwing to his TEs, so look for Cook to be a factor against the Steelers on Thursday night if you need a bye week TE. (FAAB spend: $5)
Coby Fleener (TE – Indianapolis) – Available in 86.4% of ESPN Leagues
Fleener got off to a slow start to the season, but he managed five grabs against the Packers. The Jets allowed Houston's TEs to run wild this past week, so look for Fleener to be productive if you need a TE this week. (FAAB spend: $2)
LeGarrette Blount (RB – Tampa Bay) – Available in 82.9% of ESPN Leagues
Tampa Bay seems to be regaining some faith in the big guy. He'll poach a few carries, including those near the goal line and possibly grab you a touchdown.
Devery Henderson (WR – New Orleans) – Available in 98.3% of ESPN Leagues
Henderson has been around for some time and never done enough to stick in fantasy glory. He has a chance to be the team's #2 receiving option if Lance Moore and Jimmy Graham can't get past their injuries during the bye week. He's worth a speculative add if you're looking for a WR and don't mind having him on your bench during his bye week.
Josh Gordon (WR – Cleveland) – Available in 99.7% of ESPN Leagues
The Browns' receiver situation changes week-to-week. Gordon was able to break a couple big plays against a mediocre Giants' secondary, but I wouldn't expect it to happen consistently.
Jordan Norwood (WR – Cleveland) – Available in 100% of ESPN Leagues
Norwood accumulated a lot of his stats during garbage time against the Giants as the check-down option. We need to see more from him too.