A pretty shallow waiver wire week couldn’t have hit at a worse time. Apart from a couple options at the top, there are many players that are very unpredictable. Play it smart. Try to exploit good matchups. If you are favored or in a close matchup, go for consistent players or players with a lot of touches that are likely to get at least some points for you. If you are an underdog, take a chance on someone that could have a big game … or could tank miserably. What have you got to lose?
Demaryius Thomas, WR, Denver – Thomas appears to have become Tim Tebow’s favorite target. And why not? He is a very big target that Tebow can still find while he is scrambling around all over the field. Thomas has great matchups for the heart of the fantasy playoffs, facing New England and Buffalo.
Felix Jones, RB, Dallas – If available, Jones appears to be the best pickup at RB this week. If nothing else, he should be a sure starter the next two weeks, given that Dallas previously released Tashard Choice and DeMarco Murray is done for the year. I would not expect Jones to equal his performance from Sunday (one of the best games of his career), but he will get carries and a respectable number of points.
Marion Barber, RB, Chicago – Apart from a very costly fumble (and running out of bounds at the worst time), Barber actually played pretty well. There is some chance that he could lose his job due to butterfingers, but it was Barber’s first lost fumble since 2009. While he merits a pickup, I would not start him unless he is clearly endorsed as the starter. Assuming he plays, he fits the bill as a player that will get you some points but probably will not have a huge game.
Jake Ballard, TE, New York Giants – Ballard continues to play reasonably well. He is facing a bit of an injury and a reasonably difficult matchup. However, there are not a lot of great TE options available this week.
Just when Matt Moore appears ready to save the day – he goes down. If he plays, he could be in line for a good game against Buffalo. Unfortunately, this is a horrible week to need a quarterback. You will likely have to troll around and just find someone with a good matchup. If somehow available, Tim Tebow vs. New England could be great. Andy Dalton vs. St. Louis or Joe Flacco v. San Diego (though only available in relatively few leagues) are also possibilities in an emergency. Hopefully, you have a backup on your roster better than most of the available options.
Donald Driver, WR, Green Bay – Driver has seen a resurgence in Green Bay of late and that should continue in Greg Jennings’ absence. However, it is extremely difficult to predict what matchup Aaron Rodgers will exploit in a given week. Unless you are over-matched in a playoff game and need to go for broke, I’d probably look to start someone that is more likely to be a consistent target.
Ryan Grant, RB, Green Bay – Grant seems to be a popular add this week after a good game. However, James Starks could be back, vulturing carries from a back that has been mediocre at best. You don’t need unpredictability like that for a playoff game.
Keiland Williams, RB, Detroit – Another popular pick this week, but may see two backs return that outrank him on the depth chart.
Marshall has over ten years fantasy football experience and maintains a fantasy football blog over at Sunday Morning Legend (In My Own Mind).
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