StrategySeptember 28, 2010


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Waiver Wire (Week 4) - 7 comments

By Scott Rozmus

The byes are upon us. Fantasy owners take note: your team cannot rely upon Dallas, Kansas City, Minnesota, or Tampa Bay players this week. To help owners during this time of need, this article focuses upon not only longer-term strategic moves, but also Week 4-only matchup plays. In addition, this week’s “Waiver Wire” also continues the strategy of peeking ahead into future bye weeks, particularly Week 5 when Miami, New England, Pittsburgh, and Seattle are off. Where relevant, I evaluate and discuss strategic alternatives these future byes present.

In identifying potential one-week fill-in candidates, I assume fantasy players participate in reasonable leagues, both in regard to size and sophistication. Accordingly, I hope not to waste space or the time of my editor and readers with suggestions that owners pick up the likes of the Jets defense, Nate Kaeding, or Matt Ryan as bye-week fill-ins; I assume such players are already on someone’s roster. Nevertheless, fantasy owners must do their homework and ensure competitors have not erred or simply given up on a decent fantasy player, leaving the gem waiting for you to rescue off waivers. Review prior installments of the “Waiver Wire” to identify potential candidates, previously discussed and assumed picked-up by now. Then, check your league’s waiver pool as there may be unexpected diamonds in the rough.

“SNATCH THEM” (at least for a week . . .)

QB: Chad Henne, Miami. Miami’s passing game is having fits. However, Brandon Marshall, along with a matchup against the Patriots’ surprisingly charitable pass defense in Week 4, makes Henne a sneaky bye-week fill-in. Sure, there is risk here. However, owners of Tony Romo, Brett Favre, Josh Freeman, or Matt Cassel need some option this week and Henne is owned in only 71% of ESPN leagues. He therefore could very well be available in your league. The Bills and Jets both put up points against the Patriots’ defense, so do not fear adding Henne if you need a bye-week filler.

QB: Mark Sanchez, N.Y. Jets. The former Trojan is owned in a mere 30% of ESPN leagues. Herein lies the fill-in opportunity. Points are points, and a fantasy win in Week 4 is a win. After an absolutely atrocious Week 1, the Jets’ signal-caller rebounded with solid performances in Weeks 2 and 3. Week 4 may prove especially tasty as Sanchez’ matchup against the Buffalo Bills will cure many fantasy ills. While I’d expect the Jets to pound the Buffalo into submission via the running game, I also expect New York to exploit their opponent through the air. Sanchez makes a decent pick-up as a result. Plus, as a future bonus, he will get Santonio Holmes back starting Week 5. Even though New York faces Minnesota that week, the Vikings are more formidable against the run than the pass. A Week 6 matchup against Denver closes out a three-week stretch where Sanchez could prove quite serviceable.

RB: Peyton Hillis, Cleveland. The Browns named Hillis their official starter following Cleveland’s Week 3 loss to the Ravens. Hillis certainly contributed, gashing Baltimore for 144 yards rushing and a TD to go along with 36 yards receiving. Upcoming games against Cincinnati, Atlanta, Pittsburgh, and New Orleans are not necessarily promising. However, Hillis appears at present to be the Browns most prolific offensive weapon. Owners in need should add him if he remains available.

RB: Willis McGahee, Baltimore. Ray Rice left Sunday’s game with some type of knee injury. The extent of his injury is unknown, but the way things have been going for the league’s elite RBs this year, owners should assume the worst. Grab McGahee if he is available. He has some value even if Rice turns out to be relatively healthy. However, if Ray is hobbled at all, McGahee’s value will skyrocket.

RB:Benjarvis Green-Ellis, New England. A higher-risk play, especially since the Patriots are among the least reliable producers of consistent fantasy RB scoring, let alone scoring from the same RB. However, in Week 3 at least, BGE received far more love than any other member of the Patriots’ backfield, earning 16 carries which generated 98 yards and a TD. He also added six yards on one reception in the passing game. Owners assuming Bill Belichick may go with the hot hand can seek to add Green-Ellis; however, note that Fred Taylor remains “the starter” in theory, and that fellow backfield touches vulture Sammy Morris appears on this Week’s “Watch Them” list given his increased role following the Kevin Faulk injury. The Patriots’ backfield largely remains its historic mess. Nevertheless, owners needing help this week may find Green-Ellis their best available option. The Pats face a Dolphins defense that certainly was generous against the Vikings’ Adrian Peterson in Week 2. Of course, Green-Ellis is no Peterson.

RB: John Kuhn, Green Bay. Desperate for a bye-week fill-in at RB? Consider the Packers’ fullback, John Kuhn. With Ryan Grant out for the season, Brandon Jackson (a prior “Snatch Them” listee) has received increased touches, as expected. However, Kuhn also is in the mix, earning near double digit carries each week and the occasional target in the passing game. Significantly, Kuhn’s relative power as compared to Jackson suggests that Kuhn will see action on the goal line. The possibility that he may vulture a touchdown or two increases given the Packers’ Week 4 opponent: Detroit. Owners in need should consider taking a flier on Kuhn for the week.

RB: Maurice Morris, Detroit. Jahvid Best injured his toe Sunday against the Vikings and was unable to return. The Lions are hush-hush when it comes to player injuries, so the exact nature of Best’s digit is unclear. However, it appears unlikely he will play in Week 4. Morris appears next in line. Desperate owners can add him as a short-term fill-in; however, no fantasy leaguer should expect statistics anywhere on par with what Best had produced. Morris’ career demonstrates that he may have occasional flashes, but also that he is not a week-to-week fantasy starter. Still, owners in a bind could do worse as Maurice appears in line for numerous touches.

WR: Austin Collie, Indianapolis. Collie likely already is rostered in your league. If not, snatch him up. Anthony Gonzalez is out for an extended period and Pierre Garcon also is nursing an injury. Even though other weapons such as Reggie Wayne and Dallas Clark remain fixtures in the passing game, the Colts’ offense is explosive enough that many touches, yardage, and even occasional TDs could come Collie’s way. Here is one player that surely would be more than a one-week filler; if he is available, grab him and plan to keep him for at least the entirety of the bye-week period, if not beyond. Upcoming games against Jacksonville and Kansas City look promising.

WR: Lance Moore, New Orleans. Picking which of the Saints’ supporting receiver cast will step up week-to-week honestly is a crap shoot. Players such as Devery Henderson, Robert Meachem, and Moore all have had strong games in the past in particular weeks that Drew Brees looked their way. However, the fickle nature of fantasy success among the Saints’ receiving corps–even Marques Colston has a couple of very poor games per year, as was the case in Week 3–makes relying upon these players dicey. Nevertheless, there is some correlation between games Moore has stepped up previously and games Reggie Bush is out of the lineup. Week 3’s contest against Atlanta was no exception, with Moore generating 149 receiving yards and two TDs on the six of seven targets he nabbed. No owner should expect similar numbers out of Moore in the coming week, if not weeks. However, Moore may make a nice bye-week fill-in, especially for as long as Reggie Bush is out of the lineup, when more looks go Moore’s way. Unfortunately, the way many leagues’ waiver wires work, Moore may be gone by the time owners read this article. If he remains available, note that the Saints next play Carolina, Arizona, Tampa Bay, and Cleveland–hardly a list of the NFL’s more formidable secondaries.

WR: Darrius Heyward-Bey, Oakland. Physically gifted, Heyward-Bey constituted a prototypical Al Davis selection as the Raiders reached for him early in the 2009 draft. His poor performance last year, coupled with Oakland’s general offensive difficulties, left Heyward-Bey off almost all fantasy radars. Currently, he is owned in less than 2% of ESPN leagues. In Week 4, Oakland faces the Houston Texans, whose high-powered offense likely will put the Raiders down early. Forced to play catch-up, the Raiders may look to Heyward-Bey and the results could be promising. In Week 2, for example, he received 13 targets, hauling in six for 80 yards. However, Darrius’ career has been anything but consistent as his one-catch, 11-yard, Week 1 performance demonstrates. A higher-risk pick generally, Heyward-Bey could represent value in Week 4 given Oakland’s matchup and he therefore makes a decent bye-week filler.

WR: Josh Morgan, San Fransisco. If teams keep double covering Vernon Davis and if Michael Crabtree continues his erratic play, Josh Morgan’s stock will only climb. Morgan was a focal point of the 49ers offense during a significant portion of their attempted comeback against New Orleans. Morgan made several difficult and critical catches during this stretch, no doubt adding to Alex Smith’s confidence in him. Make no mistake, Morgan is the WR2 on a run-first team that also features an elite, pass-catching TE. He is not going to win fantasy leagues for teams, but may–based on his matchup–help an owner squeeze out victory in a particular week. With upcoming games against Atlanta, Philadelphia, Oakland, and Carolina (Weeks 4-7), Morgan will encounter some favorable matchups near term.

TE: Dustin Keller, N.Y. Jets. To review the concepts introduced above regarding Mark Sanchez: Keller’s QB is overrated in fantasy; however, he is facing the hapless Buffalo Bills in Week 4. Keller, a prime target for Sanchez, is owned in a mere 36% of ESPN leagues. Braylon Edwards’ troubles and the current suspension of Santonio Holmes suggest Keller will remain a focal point in the Jets’ passing game, at least for Week 4. Accordingly, owners of Jason Witten, Kellen Winslow, Visanthe Shiancoe, or Tony Meoki need look no further (unless of course one of your competitors reads this article first).

TE: Marcedes Lewis, Jacksonville. By way of review, Lewis previously has appeared on our “Watch Them” and then “Snatch Them” lists in Weeks 2 and 3, respectively. Please see those prior articles for more detail. If owners have not jumped on the Lewis train, now may be the time. Jacksonville faces Indianapolis in Week 4, suggesting the Jaguars will be throwing early and often. Given the number of top TEs on a bye this week, Lewis should be a top fill-in candidate, assuming he remains available. He is not without risk, however, as David Garrard has had a couple of abysmal games already this year. Keep that in mind as you weigh your options at TE in this admittedly TE-challenged week.

K: Mike Nugent, Cincinnati. Owners looking for a bye-week K should start their search with Mike Nugent. The Bengals host visiting Cleveland this week, a matchup that appears in their favor. Cincinnati’s offense is likely to move the ball with relative ease against the Browns. Barring monsoon-like winds and rain, Nugent is almost sure to put up points; the critical question remains whether he will have at least a couple of field goals mixed in with his extra point tries. Given that Cincinnati’s offense has not clicked completely, I would expect Nugent to have at least a couple of field goal attempts, making him a worthy play. Owned in a mere 3% of ESPN leagues, Nugent likely remains available in yours.

K: Olindo Mare, Seattle. Seattle travels to St. Louis, whose porous defense is unlikely to shut down the Seahawks entirely. Seattle’s West Coast attack will move the ball against the Rams, setting Mare up for at least two field goals and one or two extra points. Fantasy owners interested in Mare should keep in mind that after the Rams contest, Seattle will have their bye in Week 5. Accordingly, it will be necessary to find yet another kicker. For this reason, Mare may be less attractive, particularly in leagues that charge for or limit their waiver moves. Owners in such leagues would be better off finding a kicker whose team is not on a bye until week 9 or 10. That way, owners need not worry about such a relatively trivial fantasy position for some time and can concentrate their efforts elsewhere. However, if you are comfortable switching kickers in and out, Mare likely is available for the picking. Less than 3% of ESPN league players own him currently.

K: Sebastian Janikowski, Oakland. Available in many leagues, Janikowski makes a higher-risk bye-week fill-in this week. Seabass actually had six field goal attempts in Week 3; the bad news, of course, is that he missed 3 of them, including a potential game winner with four seconds left on the clock. However, this performance could prompt some owners to cut Janikowski, increasing the odds he would be available to you. A bad week does not a season make. Oakland has moved the ball offensively and should continue to give Janikowski opportunities. In Week 4, however, the Raiders play against a tough Houston Texans defense. Oakland’s offense may bog down against the Texans and there is the possibility that Seabass could go points hungry. Remember, though, that Janikowski already has a multiple-field-goal game against the tough Titans defense, on the road no less. As a one-week fill-in, Janikowski should be serviceable. He also is intriguing in that his booming leg could help owners in leagues that enhance kicker scoring for distance. Finally, Oakland is not on a bye until Week 10, allowing owners to “fire-up and forget” Janikowski until late in the season, conserving waiver moves in the meantime. Seabass is a little more popular than our other kickers; however, he likely is available in your league as a mere 8.5% of ESPN leaguers currently have him on their rosters.

K: Josh Brown, St. Louis. The Rams have shown offensive life on occasion this year, although Steven Jackson’s injury could put a damper on St. Louis’ overall offensive output. Nevertheless, Rams K Josh Brown makes an intriguing bye-week pick-up and, perhaps, longer term play. With upcoming games against Seattle, Detroit, San Diego, and Tampa Bay, the opportunity for points from the Rams kicker seems good. Even assuming Jackson may be out or other than 100%, the Rams still are likely to move the ball against some of these upcoming, defensively-challenged opponents.

Team Defense: Seattle. The Seahawks face the Rams this week, albeit in St. Louis. While Sam Bradford has shown promise and Steven Jackson always is formidable, Seattle could make a nice, bye-week fill-in for owners in need of a defense. In leagues that count special teams scores as team defense points, note that Golden Tate had a nice, long punt return Week 2 against Denver. Although Tate did not take it to the house, he might do so on the turf in St. Louis. Seattle’s defense is not entirely unpopular, owned in 14% of ESPN leagues. However, this means they likely remain available in yours. Keep in mind, however, that Seattle takes Week 5 off. Thus, fantasy owners in leagues that limit or charge for waiver moves may want to consider an alternative.

Team Defense: Atlanta. Less than 5% of ESPN leagues have a team with Atlanta’s defense on their roster. Atlanta plays at home against San Francisco in Week 4 and at Cleveland in Week 5, matchups that could prove fruitful for Falcons owners. San Francisco just fired their offensive coordinator, and Cleveland has endured a rotation at running back as well as quarterback. Neither offense is a juggernaut. Accordingly, Atlanta makes both a likely available and decent option the next two weeks for owners in need.

Team Defense: Denver. The Broncos play at Tennessee this week. Tennessee’s erratic quarterback play weighs in favor of adding Denver’s team defense as a bye-week fill-in. Chris Johnson’s presence in Tennessee’s backfield weighs against it. Recognizing Johnson’s talent, the real-life Broncos are likely to load up against the run, relying upon a combination of bad QB play and Champ Bailey to eliminate the threat from Tennessee’s passing game. While a risky play, Denver’s defense could serve owners who are in a pinch this week. Denver’s defense already is popular among fantasy owners. Based on ESPN league statistics there is only a 50-50 shot the Broncos are available to you. Upcoming games against Baltimore (Week 5) and the N.Y. Jets (Week 6) portend “defensive struggles” that might enhance the value the Broncos represent short term.

Team Defense: Cincinnati. Since they already are owned in 82% of ESPN leagues, I almost left the Bengals off this list. However, those statistics mean that there is about a one in five chance the Bengals remain available to you. If so, grab them as their Week 4 matchup with Cleveland could prove bountiful. The Browns offense is anything but high-powered, making quite a nice matchup for any fantasy owner lucky enough to find this gem among the more typical waiver wire fodder. A pending Week 5 matchup with the admittedly resurgent Buccaneers nonetheless makes for a potential two-week value play prior to the Bengals’ Week 6 bye.

“WATCH THEM”

The line between “Snatch Them” and “Watch Them” blurs a bit during the bye-week period as owners may reach on waivers for a player who arguably fills an immediate need during the bye-week while also offering long-term upside. In these situations, waiver moves are analogous to poker, where a player may at times bet a hand he otherwise would muck based upon the specific “pot odds.” Think of it as situational gambling–for some teams, players on the “Watch Them” list will make worthy roster additions right now. Bid accordingly.

QB: Josh Freeman, Tampa Bay. Why focus upon a player on his bye week? Precisely because in many leagues, owners will cut Freeman, hoping that he drifts through waivers to be reclaimed moving into Week 5. Obviously, Freeman offers zero value in Week 4. He is on a bye and will not play. However, Freeman was quite a productive fantasy player the first two weeks of the season, finishing in the top 10 among QBs each week. While he may not sustain his performance at such a level throughout the season, the flashes Freeman showed suggest he would be a worthy number two QB and spot starter in most leagues. Consequently, fantasy owners should watch carefully their waiver wire moving into Week 4. If a competing owner cuts Freeman loose, consider putting in a bid for him as soon as the Week 5 waiver wire opens. Freeman’s opponents from Week 5 through 8 include Cincinnati, New Orleans, St. Louis, and Arizona offering a healthy mix of challenging to high-upside contests. Depending on what options fantasy owners otherwise have on their roster, Freeman’s near-term schedule suggests he is worth stashing away moving into Week 5. Expect to see Josh atop next week’s “Snatch Them” list.

QB: Kevin Kolb, Philadelphia. While perhaps the entire fantasy world was riding the Kolb bandwagon coming into this year, I was among a minority of pundits to go on written record questioning Kolb’s exalted fantasy status. Many, many experts ranked Kolb a top-10 fantasy QB coming into the season. In early season articles, I questioned not Kolb’s ability but the hype surrounding him. Andy Reid, previously Kolb’s lead cheerleader, has benched Kolb in favor of Michael Vick. Personally, I question whether Reid made this decision on his own or whether he was directed to do so from above since Reid previously had praised Kolb consistently and appeared strongly in the youngster’s camp. Regardless, Kolb is grabbing some bench.

The chaos now creates opportunity for fantasy owners. Kolb owners who bought into the pre-season hype likely are kicking themselves. Many may have jettisoned the young signal caller. This scene presents a classic “buy low” opportunity. For the price of a mere waiver move, owners with enough roster move can grab Kolb on the cheap. He presents long-term upside in dynasty and keeper leagues and for this reason, I would be surprised if he were available in such formats. However, even owners in redraft leagues have reason to speculate. Rumors are circulating that the Cleveland Browns are interested in acquiring Kolb. Assuming the Eagles move him, Kolb could immediately step in as a starter. While a long shot, the possibility exists; moreover, even assuming there is no trade, Kolb may re-emerge as the starter in Philadelphia if Vick is injured or plays poorly.

RB: Kenneth Darby, St. Louis. Once again, a top RB suffers injury, potentially creating opportunity both for his understudy and vulturing fantasy owners. This time, the injured stud is Steven Jackson, and the newly-crowned “hot pick of the week” may be Kenneth Darby. Darby is no beast, but the Rams’ upcoming schedule isn’t either, with games slated against Seattle, Detroit, San Diego, and Tampa Bay. Scour the injury reports and if Jackson’s future is in doubt, even for a week or two, move Darby up from “Watch Them” to “Snatch Them” and act accordingly.

RB: Sammy Morris, New England. Kevin Faulk is out for the year with a torn ACL. The Patriots recently traded Laurence Maroney to Denver. While the madness that is the Patriots backfield likely will continue, the absences of Faulk and Maroney suggest the chaos may be tempered. Many fantasy pundits jumped immediately upon BenJarvus Green-Ellis in the wake of Faulk’s injury. While a sound move, with Fred Taylor installed as the nominal starter, this leaves Sammy Morris as the third and remaining head of the Patriots current running back monster. In Week 3, Morris certainly saw the field, albeit for limited production of 19 yards on six carries. Watch how New England uses Morris in Week 4. With the Patriots off on a bye in Week 5, many fantasy competitors will lay off Morris. Savvy owners therefore may have the opportunity to grab him going into Week 6 or beyond as matchups dictate.

RB: LaDell Betts, New Orleans. The Saints released DeShawn Wynn (then re-signed him to their practice squad) and signed LaDell Betts in the wake of Reggie Bush’s leg injury. While Pierre Thomas should receive the bulk of all RB touches in the offense near-term, Betts may play a role as well. Remember, the Saints used Mike Bell often around the goal line in 2009. Were Betts to assume such responsibility as the Saints try to limit the pounding on Thomas, his value would skyrocket. Betts did not see the field in Week 3, however, so for now his value appears limited.

WR: Devin Hester, Chicago. Hester resides on rosters in a mere 15% of ESPN leagues. Meanwhile, teammate Devin Aromashadu can be found on over 80%. Fantasy owners are betting on the wrong Devin (see below). Aromashadu has fallen out of favor in Chicago. Meanwhile, the Bears passing offense is humming as Jay Cutler settles into Mike Martz’s schemes. The Bears face the Giants in Week 4 and then meet Carolina, Seattle, and Washington in Weeks 5-7. There are obviously some favorable matchups lurking near term. Hester’s value increase in leagues that count return yardage as he is the Bears’ top punt returner.

WR: Michael Jenkins, Atlanta. No, Jenkins is neither a family member, friend, nor client. He remains rooted to our “Watch Them” list because of the potential upside for someone not named Roddy White to perform in Atlanta’s passing attack. Unfortunately for Jenkins, his lingering shoulder has kept him out Weeks 1 through 3. Jenkins’ absence from the early season box scores likely banishes him from consideration among most owners seeking a bye-week filler. Consequently, he should be available in most leagues. Watch his progress and if he receives a fair number of targets (six or more) his first week back, consider Jenkins an acceptable bye-week pick-up, depending on his matchup.

“DROP THEM”

Just as I feel strongly that teams should not cut poorly performing players too soon, i.e., pre-season through Week 2 or 3, I likewise contend that the start of the bye-week period offers studious owners their first real opportunity to clean house. Now is the time to identify players currently occupying roster space yet offering limited upside. Scour the waiver wire frequently, noting which players have long been available but, more importantly, those players your opponents begin to cut loose. One man’s garbage may be another’s gold, if not immediately then later in the season. Indeed, sometimes a savvy owner will catch an opponent attempting quietly to launder a solid but unspectacular bye-week player through waivers. Pouncing upon that player even though it may mean eating zero points for a week could prove advantageous later, particularly for players cut early in the bye-week period by impatient owners. Obviously, to make room for such investments in fantasy success, owners must make hard decisions regarding the “dead wood” on their rosters. Consider carefully the following players whose upside for the remainder of the season appears limited. Eliminating these players in favor of more productive options is critical.

RB: Jerious Norwood, Atlanta. Norwood tore his ACL against Arizona and will miss the rest of the season. A free agent after this year, Norwood also missed significant time due to injury in 2009. Owners in all formats should cut Norwood as even his long-term value appears slight.

RB: Kevin Faulk, New England. Faulk is yet another RB out for the remainder of the year with a torn ACL. As with Norwood, Faulk’s long-term value is limited, in his case by age. The thirty-four year-old has little to no value in any fantasy format.

WR: Anthony Gonzalez, Indianapolis. Gonzalez is out 3-5 more weeks with a high-ankle sprain. As he is low in the pecking order among the plethora of receiving options available to Peyton Manning, fantasy owners in redraft leagues should cut Gonzalez immediately and find a better alternative.

WR: Devin Aromashadu, Chicago. No, the Bears are not on a bye in Week 4. However, they appear to have said good-bye to significant playing time for Armoashadu. A “sleeper darling” during the pre-season, Aromashadu has slipped to the WR4 or lower on the Bears’ depth chart. With TE Greg Olsen and RBs Matt Forte and Chester Taylor also in the passing mix, few balls appear headed Devin’s way, even in a Mike Martz offense. Indeed, Aromashadu was not even active for the Bears’ Week 3 contest with the Packers. It is time to cut him in favor of a more currently-productive option.

WR: Chris Chambers, Kansas City. Matt Cassel is throwing for little yardage. Many of his throws are going to the tight-end and there’s this Dwayne Bowe guy in the lineup also. Make a clean break with Chambers during his bye in Week 4. Don’t look back.

WR: Bernard Berrian, Minnesota. Berrian had his chance to shine in Minnesota’s offense sans Sidney Rice. Instead, Bernard has remained largely invisible. Unless your league is extremely deep, there has to be better value at the WR position. Berrian must go. Heave ho!

K: David Buehler, Dallas. Buehler. Buehler? Buehler . . . . Ferris Bueller might save the day in Dallas, but David Buehler likely will not. His erratic play thus far suggests there is little upside to keeping him on fantasy rosters during Dallas’ bye week. Owners can better utilize that roster slot in a myriad of ways. If a fantasy player, for example Buehler’s college roommate, remains fixated on owning him, remain calm. David likely will clear waivers and remain available for pick-up in Week 5 and beyond. For now, there are better options.

K: Ryan Longwell, Minnesota. Fantasy owners willing to take greater risk should cut Longwell this week and replace him with one of several options at kicker likely available in your league. Other than in very deep leagues, there will be several viable options available at the position (see above). Cutting a player with Longwell’s name recognition is intriguing as his availability may entice another owner to grab him, tying up a roster slot in the process. The fantasy player who makes such a move is likely the same owner who would draft a kicker other than in the last round. While such kicker-loving strategies may prove fruitful from time-to-time, generally they cost the overzealous owner. For Longwell in particular, note that the Vikings sluggish 2010 offense is a shadow of its former self. Ryan has talent, but his point production is likely to be on par with several kickers currently available on your league’s waiver wire. There is no need to carry two such players, therefore, at the expense of a lower-tier WR or RB that might have more upside down the road.

Team Defense: Dallas, Kansas City, Tampa Bay. Of the four bye teams, the only defense I would try to preserve on my roster is Minnesota. The Vikings team defense represents value at the position; therefore, a fantasy owner is better off cutting loose a lower tier WR, second K, or second TE and keeping the Vikings D during their off-week. In deeper leagues, it may be worth protecting Dallas as well, though quite honestly an owner could also simply play Team Defense matchups week-in and week-out, assuming your league allows either unlimited or a large number of waiver moves.

 
Scott Rozmus is one of a growing number of fantasy experts who write for the Cafe. You can catch up with Scott in the Cafe's forums where he posts under the name of Goose.
 
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7 Responses to “Waiver Wire (Week 4)”

  1. Great article!
    After last night’s game, I’m thinking another team defense to watch (or even snatch up) is Chicago. They’re owned in 34% of yahoo leagues. Peppers was a man among boys last night, and would have had about 4 sacks if he didn’t pick up holding calls instead. The refs were watching for Peppers to be held and calling it all night. The Bears also shut down the run game, which could mean more teams will pass on them, and with their QB’s getting hurried, we’ll see more interceptions. Also, if your defense gets points for kickoff and punt return TD’s, you may have noticed that DEVIN HESTER IS BACK!

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  2. Mo Morris and Josh Morgan get mentioned as pick ups yet the man taking over in the Bucs backfiled, LaGerrette Blount isn’t even worth watching? Weak.

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  3. User avatar bungle613 says:

    Incredible amount of effort Scott and greatly appreciated. Well done and nice piece.

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  4. Goose says:

    Thanks, folks.

    As far as SetYourself, in fairness, Blount may merit watching as he did get 6 carries in Week 3. However, he won’t help fantasy owners in Week 4 as he is on a bye. It would be worth mentioning that. Also, please note that my omission of Blount is not the same as claiming he “isn’t even worth watching” as you state, though I totally accept the criticism that Blount should be referenced somewhere as his stock is on the rise. Cafe visitors will note that Blount is featured elsewhere on the Cafe as one of this week’s sleeper players to watch, for example.

    With respect to commenting that suggesting pick-ups of Morgan and Morris is “weak” please review in fairness my comments, e.g., that Morris has proven not to be an every-week starter while Morgan is a WR2 on a run-first team that also features an elite TE. Neither player was suggested as a savior; rather they were offered as fill-in candidates depending on owners’ situations. Some owners have many players on a bye. Others have injuries and play in deep, 14-team leagues. Etc.

    In closing, there is no small effort expended scouring game statistics, injury reports, coaching quotations, and so forth each week as sources of information for this piece. All that information has to be crystallized and at some point submitted for publication so readers can have the article at their fingertips first-thing Tuesday. There no doubt will be some misses; earlier in the year, for example, a reader asked about Tony Moeaki as a “watch them” candidate. I welcomed the help and praised the idea. Likewise, with Blount. However, the earlier reader offered his insight quite positively; your comment seems a bit personal, as evidenced by your vitriolic use of the reference “weak” and your obvious rating of the article as a “1,” all because a single player was missed. If you were to review this season’s articles thus far, you’d note a series of very early and successful calls, including that on Michael Vick who is by far the top fantasy surprise/upside producer of this young season.

    Again, I thank you for identifying Blount. Also, I emphasize that readers always are free to form their own opinion and we are here to add value, not necessarily garner praise. I would request simply more professionalism, if that is possible. Thank you.

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  5. Goose says:

    Agree on the Bears defense as well. The Week 4 match-up at the NYG may be a bit dicey, but there are many, many worse options. Good call.

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  6. User avatar joejlitz says:

    Great article. I love the looks into Week 5 as well.

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  7. I would recommend Ivory over Betts in NO. Ivory is a very good fit for the Mike Bell role. He ran a 4.47 and is 6′ 220lbs. He did poorly in game action last week (bad fumble, low YPC), but he’s a young kid without much experience (hurt throughout college) who could turn it around quickly if he gets rolling.

    Torain needs to be mentioned. He got the same number of carries as Portis last week. There’s rumblings Portis will move to 3rd down duties and let Torain get more carries. In non-PPR leagues, he’s a must add and has a lot more upside than Kuhn, Morris, and Darby.

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