Waiver Wire Pickups
What a crazy week for fantasy football! Players are getting injured, teams are considering benching starters, and guys who are getting the chance to get on the field are taking every advantage of their opportunities. As the fantasy playoffs approach, the difference between your team making the post-season and watching it from the sidelines could be the difference of a waiver wire pickup.
Chad Henne (right) – 3% owned – After Blaine Gabbert suffered an elbow injury, the Jacksonville Jaguars turned to backup quarterback Chad Henne -and boy did he not disappoint. Although the Jags still lost the game, they took the Houston Texans into overtime and made things closer than many were expecting. Houston ended up pulling out the win in a 43-37 nail biter. But more impressive than the close game were the numbers put up by Chad Henne: 354 yards and 4 touchdowns. As the Titans come to town this week, all signs point to good things for the backup Henne, as Gabbert will be out this week yet again.
Colin Kaepernick – 5% owned – Not only did the 49ers torch the Bears on Monday Night Football, but their second round draft pick from Nevada proved to be a very successful addition in the win. Kaepernick threw for 243 yards and 2 touchdowns, while also running for 12 yards on the ground. There is early speculation that after such a strong performance, former starter Alex Smith might get benched in favor of the backup sensation. 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh would not deny that, saying they tend to go with the QB with the “hot hand”. Which basically means, the decision is still to be made on who will get the starting job going forward.
Ronnie Hillman - 19% owned – If you need a more long term option for your roster, target Ronnie Hillman. With the news that Willis Mcgahee suffered a torn MCL and will miss 6-8 weeks, Hillman should receive most of the workload. Last week against the Chargers Hillman had 12 carries for 43 yards, while the third running back on the roster (Lance Ball, 2% owned) had 6 carries for 65 yards and 3 catches for 21 yards. Ball will still be in the mix, but for fantasy purposes hopefully this will be more of a 70/30 split of touches.
Jalen Parmele – 6% owned – Coach Mike Mularkey has made it very clear that Parmele will get the start this week over the under performing Rashad Jennings. And while both of these guys will take a back up role to injured Maurice Jones-Drew, we are still not 100% sure that Jones-Drew will be available this season. Parmele had 24 carries and 80 yards against a very strong Houston run defense, and as the Jaguars face the Titans who have given up the 3rd most fantasy points in the league to running backs, look for Parmele to have a strong day with RB2 numbers.
Bryce Brown – 4% owned – After LeSean McCoy suffered a concussion in last weeks 31-6 loss to the Redskins, Bryce Brown seems to be next available option for the Eagles. The team is hoping to get McCoy back on the field as soon as possible to help rookie quarterback Nick Foles. But while McCoy has been on the field this year it has been very tough for him to get any production due to the offensive lines issues, so don’t expect huge numbers out of Brown, but he will get a lot of touches and that’s gotta count for something right?
Beanie Wells – 28% owned – Wells will be coming off the IR this week and is expected to start for the Arizona Cardinals. Beanie has been practicing for a couple of weeks now and it seems like the turf toe injury that sent him to the IR is feeling much better. As turf toe is one of the dreaded lingering injuries, be sure to keep an eye on his status after his first game.
Justin Blackmon – 26% owned – After being considered one of this year’s biggest fantasy rookie flops, Justin Blackmon finally made himself fantasy relevant. Blackmon caught 7 passes on 13 targets for an incredible 236 yards and a touchdown in the Jaguars overtime loss to the Texans on Sunday. Blackmon finally had enough good passes thrown his way for him to make a difference for the team, and he did not disappoint with his effort. Granted he only caught a little over half his targets, yet he still produced monster numbers, and many fantasy owners are already drooling over his upside for the rest of this year and next.
Danario Alexander – 25% owned – Another great week of performance from Alexander lands him on our waiver wire article again this week. Alexander had 11 targets for 96 yards and two touchdowns this week, and looks to be one of Rivers favorite targets. Not only is he developing chemistry with Rivers, but he is proving to be a receiver that Rivers can launch the ball up to and trust that either he will come down with it or no one will. After a very impressive catch in the end zone in the final minutes of the Broncos game, teams will start paying more attention to him on the field.
T.Y. Hilton – 24% owned – Another very strong fantasy performance from Hilton reminds fantasy owners why he should be on their team. Luck loves to throw to his big play receivers, and Hilton has undoubtedly earned that title. With 9 targets Hilton made 6 catches for 100 yards and two touchdowns. With the Colts facing the Bills next week look for Hilton to have enough targets to easily be a WR3 on most fantasy teams.
Ryan Broyles – 15% owned – Titus Young has once again proved to be a disappointment to fantasy owners, but this time it is for disciplinary reasons. Young just can’t seem to get on and stay on the field. With Young out, Broyles will get more looks this week against the Houston Texans team that gave up 354 yards to the Jacksonville Jaguars last week. Broyles will also benefit from the offense, as the team has the most passing attempts of any team in the NFL.
Marcedes Lewis - 8% owned – With Chad Henne in the backfield again this week, and the Jaguars headed to face the very porous Titans pass defense, look for Lewis’s value to increase. Last week against the Texans Marcedes caught 3 passes for 40 yards and two touchdown’s. Henne seems very comfortable with Lewis in the redzone and as we know in fantasy football, the redzone is where the fantasy points are scored.
Brandon Myers – 41% owned – Myers has now climbed to the 8th most targeted tight end all season, and with the number of good fantasy tight ends available decreasing, Myers has earned significant value. Last week the Oakland Raider caught 6 of his 10 targets for 55 yards and a touchdown. This week as the Raiders take on the Bengals look for Myers to once again be involved in the offensive game plan, as the Raiders have almost completely abandoned the run.
Visanthe Shiancoe – 2% owned – With the news of Rob Gronkowski’s broken forearm, and with Aaron Hernandez’s continued injury problems, Shiancoe’s value should go through the roof. The Patriots love to use the tight end and last week Shiancoe was on the field for 26 of 61 offensive snaps. Of course last week he was assuming the role of TE2 with Gronkowski still on the field, but if Heranadez can’t go this Thursday look for Visanthe’s role to increase dramatically.
Connor Barth – 43% owned – Headed down the stretch the Bucs are looking to make a playoff run, and that being said they will play it safe and kick some field goals as they have pretty good confidence in their defense. Not only do the Bucs have the opportunity to kick plenty of field goals, but they have the opportunity to score a good number of points as well which means more extra points for Barth. This has many chances left to put up numbers and has already posted an 81% make percentage with a long of 57.
Arizona – 39% owned – This is a defense you want to get your hands on fast. Coming off a bye week you may be able to find them on the waiver wire, and their schedule couldn’t be any more favorable to finish the season. The Cards face the Jets, the Seahawks, the Lions, the Bears, and the 49ers. None of those teams have been offensive powerhouses and all have struggled on offense at least a week or two this year. Also the Cards played great defense against a Falcons passing attack that has been hard to stop all year.