Waiver Wire Pickups
These final weeks of the regular fantasy football season will have very big playoff implications. Whether your team is trying to secure the top seed in the post season or just trying to make it in, now more than ever it will be important for your team to be active in acquiring some key waiver wire pickups. If you have any fantasy line up questions, make sure you check out our player rankings each week, or you can join our weekly chat room on Sunday mornings and get a last minute answer before kickoff.
Russell Wilson -23% owned – Averaging over 20 points the last 5 weeks, Russell Wilson has become a true fantasy threat. Wilson is on a four game run without an interception as the Seahawks have their eyes set on a playoff berth. Seattle knocked off the Bears in week 13 thanks to the Seahawks rookie QB putting the team on his shoulders. His fantasy production showed his in game efforts as he racked up 26 points against a very stout Chicago Defense. The Seahawks face the Arizona Cardinals next week, but after last week’s performance don’t let this matchup scare you from starting this young quarterback, he could be the perfect fill-in player for those Big Ben and Mike Vick owners.
Nick Foles – 6% owned – Finally, after yet another start, Nick Foles looked like the Nick Foles that everyone thought he might be from the pre-season. Andy Reid has already named Foles the starter for the rest of the year and the Eagles face some bad passing defenses to close out the season: Tampa Bay (32nd), Cincinnati (11th), Washington (31st), New York Giants (24th). The Eagles plan on seeing what they have in the 3rd round rookie and that bodes well for Foles in the passing game. If the rest of the season is anything like what Foles did Sunday Night, he could easily be a borderline QB1, especially when you factor in his mobility.
Vick Ballard – 37% owned – Donald Brown’s ankle continues to bother him and Ballard has received a significant amount of snaps because of it. The Colts want to use Brown as more of a power runner and Ballard as a passing down back. With the Lions game being a high scoring affair, forcing Luck to throw the ball more, Ballard’s chances increased and his value took off in PPR leagues. The Colts face the Texans twice, the Chiefs, and the Titans to finish the season.
Montell Owens – 1% owned – After injuries to three other running backs Montell Owens seems to be the only option left in Jacksonville. After getting 7 carries for 29 yards for an average of 4.1 yards per carry, we should temper our expectations with Owens. If he gets 20 carries, which could be likely considering the injuries to the rest of the roster, Owens could have a 80+ yard game, yet things must be bleak for you to need to start him. Owens only serves a purpose in deep fantasy leagues.
Joique Bell – 26% – Although Bell doesn’t see the majority of the work load in Detroit, he has put together back to back 10+ fantasy point performances. Bell had 7 carries for 81 yards and 3 catches for 21 yards against the Colts in week 13. Most of Bell’s yards came on one big play, and Mikel Leshoure continues to see the majority of the workload, but going forward the Lions face Green Bay, Arizona, Atlanta, and Chicago, and he could be worth a bench spot.
Chris Givens – 14% owned – With Danny Amendola inactive, Givens was forced to step in and play for a second week in a row. Not only did the Rams wide receiver play, he produced, and against a very good 49ers defense. Sam Bradford seems to have taken a liking to the rookie wide out. Bradford has targeted Givens 20 times over the last two games and Givens has posted 17.6 points and 9.2 points respectively. With Amendola at best questionable next week, look for Given’s number to be called yet again.
Golden Tate – 30% owned – What an explosion from Golden Tate, his fantasy value obviously is tied to the better play of Russell Wilson, but what wide out can produce without a good QB? Tate has 3 out of his last 4 games with more than 15 fantasy points and has caught 4 touchdowns in his last 4 games. As the Seahawks take on the Cardinals next week don’t let this deter you from playing this rising star. Last week Wilson helped Tate hang 15.6 on the Bears pass defense.
Josh Gordon – 24% – It’s very hard to put your fantasy team’s livelihood in the likes of a Cleveland Brown, yet Gordon’s numbers have been impressive as of late. Since the Browns week 10 bye week, Gordon has come on strong and proven he is a go-to target for his QB.
Donnie Avery – 21% owned – How can you not be a fan of any player that Andrew Luck is throwing to right now? Avery is not a possession receiver but more of a big play threat -and when I say threat, what I really mean is they really want to make sure he gets his chances to run underneath a few bombs every game. Avery happened to be the target to catch the game winner in week 13, and the Colts have some really good match ups for receivers left this year.
Mike Thomas – 1% owned -Ryan Broyles got to be the Lions next best WR2, for one quarter before leaving the game with a torn ACL. Mike Thomas should fill the void, but don’t set your expectations too high for Thomas. The Lions will probably try to get Brian Robiskie (who I like much better than Mike Thomas) involved in the WR2 duties as well.
Deep Sleeper: Riley Cooper- Owned in only 0.1% of all ESPN leagues, Cooper is opening eyes to a new white-boy connection in Philly. Both Cooper and Foles were 2nd stringers for most of the first half of the season, yet are now in the starting line-up. The two have developed a bond as Foles trusts the former Florida Gator quite a bit. For those in a gambling mood fresh out of luck, take a chance on this fantasy gem if you’re in a bind.
Deep Sleeper: Lestar Jean- This Texans rookie has only 4 catches this season, but two of them have been for 40+ yards. Slowed by injuries, Jean hasn’t gotten on the field the way most fantasy gurus had projected, yet has an opportunity to get clean-up action moving forward. The Texans could rest Andre Johnson, and Jean is his junior replacement. Worth the pick up if you have the bench room.
Dallas Clark – 23% owned – As we called it last week, Dallas Clark got heavily involved in the passing game for the Bucs and is becoming a nice safety blanket for Josh Freeman. Clark has now had a touchdown reception in 3 of his last 4 games. He is not a yards monster, but with all the injuries and lack of production at tight end this year, I think every team would take a touchdown and twenty or so yards every week rather than nothing. Clark has a great schedule to finish the season as the Bucs face the Eagles, Saints, Rams, then the Falcons. HUGE Potential to be a playoff producing tight end.
Brandon Myers – 22%- It’s really quite amazing that the Myers is only owned in 22% of ESPN leagues considering his production. Fantasy owners that have doubted him the last few games are now sure to fight over the 6-foot-3 Oakland Raider. Our very own Mike Rodriguez ranked Myer’s as his 5th overall Tight End in last week’s fantasy player rankings, which topped all experts at FantasyPros. Meyer’s went on to make 14 catches for 130 yards and 1 score in the Browns game.
Dwayne Allen – 14% owned – Allen, like most other tight ends, lacks the goal line production that made Rob Gronkowski and Jimmy Graham top 10 fantasy picks this year. Still, his work continues to see a consistent amount of targets and has not produced a Davis-Rudolph-Gates-Graham-Daniels dud game all season. Which is surprising for a tight end that splits looks with another very qualified player.
Kai Forbath – 5% owned – As the Redskins continue to search for an opportunity to make it to the playoffs, they will continue to trust the leg of Kai Forbath. The former Lou Groza award winner is a perfect 10 for 10 since getting the start in week 6 for the Redskins.
Cleveland – 27% owned – The Browns defense faces a Kansas City offense that has the worst turnover margin in the league. The only offense to give up double digit fantasy points to every defense they have faced is Kansas City. Last week of course being the only exception, which probably had something to do with the tragic murder-suicide by Jovan Belcher. Look for the Browns solid defense to have a big day against the Kansas City team that has nothing left to play for this year.