This week’s waiver wire gets a rejuvenated jolt after last week’s slim pickings, and a few of the players leading the way may not be who you expect.
As with any waiver wire report, you always have to not only err to the side of caution, but also ensure that the player mentioned fits your league setup.
Too often, fans simply read a waiver wire report that is hefty, and simply grab the player mentioned thinking he will produce, just because he is in the report, which isn’t always the case.
As if that’s not enough, fantasy owners are sucked into writers who simply scour their own league’s fantasy “waiver wire report” to find guys to create an article out of, hence the reason why most of them are produced on Tuesdays or later, so make sure you can utilize the mentioned player before you run out and grab him.
Let’s take a look at my fantastic four for Week 6.
Buffalo D/ST: I start this week’s report with a defense that has seemingly occupied more shelf space in most leagues than roster space.
The Buffalo Bills defense, before Week 5’s contest, led the league in interceptions with 8, and two of them being returned for scores.
But Buffalo added to that by grabbing three more INTs against the Eagles before the half, and five total turnovers in the game which added even more points to their season total.
In Yahoo! leagues specifically, Buffalo is still occupying space on waivers, and any manager could easily scoop them up and enjoy the ride for weeks to come.
The Bills get the Giants secondary in Week 6 that allowed a combined 315 yards to Seattle’s horrid defense. With Buffalo's passing attack, one could easily argue that Giants may wind up playing from behind next week against the Bills, suggesting that this upcoming contest would lend favor to more turnovers.
Devin Aromashodu – Vikings: This mention is more for owners who have an open spot on their roster who are willing to take a long-term chance on a potential prospect at WR.
Many Vikings fans and fantasy football owners were surprised to learn that Bernard Berrian was inactive in Week 5 without being listed on the Vikings injury report, and that was because of a disciplinary action on behalf of the organization.
It was already clear that Berrian was under performing yet again—only Vikings fans really know what I am talking about here—and with the benching, it was Devin Aromashodu who showed that, yes if you give me a chance, I can provide.
Again, for those of you who are looking for someone to add to a roster with an open spot, Aromashodu is a nice fit since his fantasy radar needle is beginning to point upward, while Berrian’s needle continues to point south. But for those looking for a bye week fill, Aromashodu is nothing more than high risk/ medium reward against the Bears this week, until we see more.
Curtis Painter – Colts: It’s always a difficult position to support when mentioning a QB this far into the fantasy football season, but there are still a few of you out there that are in search of a possible suitor for QB 2 on your roster.
Painter looked absolutely superb through two and a half quarters of play against Kansas City, but looked a little shaky the rest of the way. Still the guy completed 15 passes out of 27 attempts for 277 yards and two TDs.
Sometimes, when reading waiver wire articles, fantasy football owners don’t want to know about players who they need to pick up for the next week, rather, who they could entertain giving a shot for the weeks to come.
Painter is one of those guys, but he comes with a caveat.
In the next two weeks, Painter faces the Bengals and Saints—two unfavorable matchups—but afterwards, faces the Falcons, Jaguars, Panthers and Patriots who are all solid defense for a fantasy quarterback to exploit.
Painter is worth a grab for those of you in deeper leagues looking for a bye week fill down the road.
Victor Cruz – Giants: Back on September 27th, I first mentioned Victor Cruz as a guy you perhaps wanted to consider taking a strong chance on, as he seemingly passed Manningham in regard to passing consideration.
Well, Manningham has gone by the wayside, and Cruz continued to deliver making my claim true, so hopefully a few of you listened to me.
In a losing effort against the Seahawks in Week 5, Cruz yet again went off catching 8 passes for 161 yards and a score.
I told you back then that Cruz was going to be plugged in as the primary slot receiver, and even with Manningham as the primary wide-out number two, it was Cruz who made good on my analysis and proved yet again he is a worthy waiver wire grab.
If you are lucky enough to grab him NOW, make sure to do so this time, lest miss out.
Stay tuned for Greg Brosh’s selections.
Tim Tebow - Denver: I am still a bit surprised that the Broncos didn't at least give Tebow a chance to compete for the starting job once the lockout ended. But VP John Elway seemed to shoot Tebow down any chance he had, saying that the former Florida star didn't have the "it" factor to be an NFL starter. After a slow start, John Fox finally had enough of Kyle Orton during the team's game against the Chargers and made the switch to Tebow. Tebow didn't do much in regards to passing yards with only 79, but he did throw for a score and also showed he is willing to make things happen with his legs after rushing for another 38 yards and a rushing touchdown. Tebow had big games near the end of 2010, but don't forget this is a much different offense under Fox. Tebow will continue to start as long as he shows he can command the offense, but don't jump in and plug him in as a starting fantasy option just yet. At best, he might be useful in the right matchups and as a QB2 in leagues where you can start two quarterbacks.
Matt Cassel - Kansas City: Cassel got off to a terribly slow start in Weeks 1-3. But in the last two games, Cassel has started looking much more comfortable in the offense. After averaging 143 passing yards through the first three weeks, that number has jumped to 258 over the last two, with five touchdown passes and zero interceptions. He won't be a starting-caliber fantasy option, but he is starting to improve back to a QB2 again.
Alex Smith - San Francisco: Smith followed up a big game against the Eagles in Week Four with a three-touchdown performance against the Buccaneers Sunday. The biggest change that Jim Harbaugh has on Smith is his vast improvement in his TD:INT ratio, which now stands at 7:1. If Smith is still on your waiver wire and your QB2 is sliding, he could be worth a pickup. It's looking like Harbaugh's quarterback magic might be taking affect.
Jackie Battle - Kansas City: Lets face it, Thomas Jones is no longer the Thomas Jones we saw as a Jet. It was only a matter of time before Ken Whisenhunt had to make a switch. But unfortunately, Dexter McCluster is simply too small to be a lead back. Enter Battle, who rocked 119 yards off 19 carries against the Colts. An HB/FB in the mold of Peyton Hillis, Battle doesn't have a lot of speed and doesn't have much burst, but he doesn't give up on a run after the first tackle, keeping his legs in motion throughout a play. He won't blow up like Hillis did last year. But when you have a player run for over 100 yards given his first chance at a big role, he is always worth a pickup. Just keep in mind that the Chiefs have a Week-Six bye.
Delone Carter/Donald Brown - Indianapolis: After Joseph Addai went down with a hamstring against the Chiefs, the Colts gave Carter 14 touches and Donald Brown 8. The bad thing was that Carter was only able to total 22 carries off 12 carries, but he did get a cheap touchdown when the Colts were near the goal-line. Brown made more out of his opportunities, averaging 4.7 yards-a-carry off of those 8 carries. If Addai is out for any amount of time, the Colts figure to give Carter and Brown equal opportunities, but neither are anything more than flex options at best. We've seen what Brown can do as a starter and it's not pretty.
Jonathan Dwyer - Pittsburgh: It sucks when a player has so much fantasy hype going into the weekend, only for someone else to get the glory. We saw this with Isaac Redman and Jonathan Dwyer. Redman racked up 61 total yards, but cramps in the third quarter knocked him out for the rest of the game. Thus paving the way for Dwyer to go off for 107 rushing yards. If Rashard Mendenhall can return from a hamstring injury, Dwyer's value isn't all that great. But at the very least, he may have bumped his value up in dynasty leagues.
Bernard Scott - Cincinnati: With Cedric Benson's suspension looming, the Bengals' coaching staff may have started wanting to work Scott more into the offense early like we saw in Week Five. Scott rushed six times, more than any other game so far this year, but he only averaged 3.3 yards per carry. He did, however, score his first rushing score of the season and should still be on the radar if we wind up finding out Benson's fate for Week Six early this week.
Doug Baldwin - Seattle: Baldwin now has three 80+ receiving-yard games through the first five weeks. Against the Giants, he picked up a lot of the slack with Mike Williams (concussion) out, catching 8 passes for 136 yards and a 27-yard touchdown that sealed a win in an upset. Owners in larger PPR leagues should definitely pick Baldwin up this week. Just be aware that the Seahawks are on a Week-Six bye.
Darrius Heyward-Bey - Oakland: Buyer beware? Through two weeks, DHB has totaled 11 receptions, 214 receiving yards and a touchdown. But owners know it's hard to get excited about DHB because he has led us down this path before, only to stink it up the rest of the way. I have to include him on the waiver-wire list given his recent stats, but owners should keep his inconsistent history in the back of their minds.
Jason Hill - Jacksonville: Don't let Hill's Week-Five performance, 5/126/1, against the Bengals fool you. Outside of a 74-yard touchdown burn in blown safety coverage, Hill would have put up a meager four receptions for 52 yards.
Steve Breaston - Kansas City: With Matt Cassel reverting back to his glory days, Breaston has gone on a little three-game fantasy streak, capping Week Five with two touchdowns. The Chiefs should continue to get their passing game going after the Week-Six bye, making Breaston a decent low-end flex option. However, there is still a chance the Chiefs offense could peter out at the blink of an eye.
Damian Williams - Tennessee: Williams is on a two-week touchdown streak, but it's hard to imagine him being anything more than a low-end option in 14-16 team leagues.
Jason Avant - Philadelphia: As a true-blue Eagles fan, I can honestly say that Avant's 15 receptions over the last two weeks are nothing more than "right place/right time" numbers. As the third guy behind DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin, Avant simply isn't consistent enough to be able to put up WR3 stats over the course of the year. I'd ignore him.
Kevin Walter - Houston: While Jacoby Jones was getting all the hype, Walter got the points, hauling in five passes for 81 yards and a touchdown against the Raiders. Walter does a little bit of everything, but nothing about him really sticks out. Still, since Jones was only able to catch 1 of his 11 targets, Matt Schaub could look Walter's way more going forward while Andre Johnson sits.
Jake Ballard -New York Giants: Ballard now has two-straight games with a touchdown, but he is only a must-add option if you are that desperate because of injuries and bye weeks.