Working the Waiver Wire: Week 5 Free Agent Pickup Advice
As well as one can draft their fantasy football team, inevitably a combination of injuries and surprises arise throughout the year. As a result, working the waiver wire is a key component of winning your fantasy league. Here is some advice on whom to pick up and whom to leave alone in the free agent pool (for personal advice email larry at larrybrownsports.com):
So last week some of our recommendations for pickups included Lance Moore, BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Chad Henne, Brandon Lloyd, and Matt Bryant. We also told you to keep your eye on Willis McGahee who scored against the Steelers, and Kenny Britt who scored against the Broncos. Obviously we know what we’re talking about, so don’t be afraid to follow our advice.
As far as trends go, through four weeks of the season we have some good ideas about what to exploit and avoid.
Matchups to Avoid (at your discretion): Steelers defense, Ravens defense, Jets rush defense
Matchups to Exploit (at your discretion): Houston, Seattle, Jacksonville, and New England’s secondary. Oakland, Buffalo, Arizona, and Indy’s run defense. Start a defense playing Carolina, Buffalo, Arizona, and San Francisco.
Ryan Torain, RB, Redskins – Averaging 4.6ypc with Washington and scored a touchdown last week. Clinton Portis has essentially declared himself out for Sunday’s game. Torain is a decent add for this week and could get plenty of carries down the line.
Fred Jackson, RB, Bills – The trade of Marshawn Lynch opens things up for Jackson who racked up yardage totals last year. Don’t expect many scores out of Fred, but he could get you eight points as a bye week replacement.
Michael Bush, RB, Raiders – Darren McFadden sustained his annual injury and Bush should be ready to step in and take over. He probably is on someone’s roster, but check to make sure.
Paul Posluszny, LB, Bills – The tackling machine is back and had 12 tackles on Sunday. Make sure he wasn’t dropped in your IDP league.
James Anderson, LB, Panthers – Double-digit tackles in 3 of 4 games, plus he’s added in a pick and a sack. Looks like the new IDP stud on that defense.
*Make sure they’re not still available: Kyle Orton, Mark Sanchez, Patrick Chung
Shaun Hill, QB, Lions – Has thrown for 300 yards twice as Matthew Stafford’s replacement, can eclipse the mark again at home against the Rams.
David Garrard, QB, Jaguars – Recognize he has ups-and-downs, but there’s no reason why he shouldn’t play well at Buffalo on Sunday.
Bruce Gradkowski, QB, Raiders – You could do worse for a bye-week replacement. 250 yards and two touchdowns is reasonable to expect against San Diego.
Bears, Saints defenses – Bears get Jimmy Clausen and the Panthers, Saints play at Arizona where rookie quarterback Max Hall likely awaits.
Davone Bess, WR, Dolphins – Saw 12 targets on Monday and seven the week before. As long as they keep throwing it, he’ll post some decent numbers.
Steve Johnson, WR, Bills – Has touchdown catches in consecutive games and has been targeted more than any other Bills receiver. Ryan Fitzpatrick seems to like him, so he’s not bad for a deep spot on your bench.
Heath Miller, TE, Steelers – Ben Roethlisberger returns after the week five bye and Miller is one of his favorite targets. I’m guessing most owners in your league forgot about him, make sure you don’t.
Joel Dreessen, TE, Texans – With Owen Daniels below full-strength and Andre Johnson out, Dreessen was Matt Schaub’s top target. Don’t expect it to continue when Johnson comes back.
*Make sure they’re not still available: Brandon Pettigrew
Harry Douglas, WR, Falcons – He caught his first touchdown of the season, but between Tony Gonzalez and Roddy White, he doesn’t see many passes.
Danny Woodhead, RB, Patriots – Has touchdowns in consecutive games, but with Fred Taylor returning after the bye, Woodhead will see less action and could be inactive.
Shaun Phllips, LB, Chargers – Blew up with four sacks against the Cardinals. He does have six sacks on the season, but doesn’t get enough tackles to gain serious points in IDP leagues.
Charles Woodson, CB, Packers – Awesome player, but the chances of another pick six are slim. You can’t bank on that for IDP leagues.
Derrick Ward, RB, Texans – He looked like he was running in slow motion Sunday but still managed a score against the Raiders. He’s a good handcuff for Arian Foster owners.
John Kuhn, RB, Packers – Didn’t do much against the Lions, but he still remains a good bet to pick up a cheap touchdown or two.
Chris Ivory, RB, Saints – Ivory split carries with Ladell Betts and appears to be the better back of the two. Not too much value here, but it’s worth monitoring.
Danny Ware, RB, Giants – Ahmad Bradshaw has chronic foot problems and got nicked up Sunday night. Ware, not Jacobs, could become the featured back if Bradshaw were hurt.
T.J. Houshmandzadeh, WR, Ravens – Flacco went to him six times and he caught three passes including the game-winner. Keep your eye on the situation — there are a lot of mouths to feed in Baltimore but he could carve out a role.
Photo Credits: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images, AP Photo/Mike Groll