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Waiver Wire Wonders

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We’ve got a plethora of running back situations to discuss this week as more teams are moving to the dreaded committee, which is not good for the fantasy player. We’ll dig very deep into the position for those of you that are truly desperate. Some wideouts continue to impress as do a couple of kickers that likely went undrafted.  Keep an eye out for any improvements you can make to your team, and if you have room and no need, grab some players to keep them away from your opponent!

On to this week’s waiver wire wonders ...

Previously Listed Players
A new section this week, a place where we’ll talk about players that have previously appeared in this space. You may still have a chance at getting a player or two mentioned here. I have them all ranked above everyone else discussed in this week’s column. Just a quick gloss over instead of the usual separate section per player. Any suggestions as to format, drop me a line.

There was a little heat for my addition of running back Marshawn Lynch (Buffalo) on last week’s hot list, and that’s OK - I appreciate all feedback both good and bad.  For the second week in a row, Lynch was the runner relied upon on first and second down. He’ll continue to get the bulk of the work, likely in the vicinity of two-thirds of the fantasy action. He should be owned in all formats. 

Wideouts Kevin Walter and Jacoby Jones (both Houston) continue to perform well. The problem these guys have is that they are on the same team. They are both worth a roster spot and in a pinch can be a WR3. Demaryius Thomas (Denver) still intrigues me and is worth a roster spot, but he’s in a battle for playing time with the Broncos as Brandon Lloyd has now emerged as a threat. 

On the tight end front, New England continues to rely on rookie Aaron Hernandez.  With Kevin Faulk out for the year, the Patriots will continue to look in Hernandez’s direction. Another rookie, this one in Kansas City, Tony Moeaki is another tight end worthy of a roster spot. He is getting consistent action for the Chiefs and is a viable backup fantasy tight end.

Kickers like Mike Nugent (Cincinnati) and Nick Folk (New York Jets) are for real. Throw out the kicker rankings that you had on draft day and run some stats on the first three weeks of the season. This is a good enough statistical sampling for you to make some moves. Upgrade wherever you can, including at the kicker position.  Bye weeks are coming up, so if you don’t want to give up on the guy you drafted make some room to carry a second.

Smokin’ Hot
RB LeGarrette Blount, Tampa Bay
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have announced that they will be decreasing the workload of Cadillac Williams and that means an increase in the workload of Blount. Kareem Huggins will still be in the mix, and Earnest Graham fits in somewhere, but Blount will be the guy carrying the ball for the Bucs for the foreseeable future.

RB Kenneth Darby, St. Louis
Last week’s injury to Steven Jackson will set off a stampede to pick up his backup, so we have him on the hot list this week. Jackson is claiming that he only has a strained groin, so he appears to be on schedule to start this week. Jackson owners would be wise to grab Darby as insurance. 

WR Lance Moore, New Orleans
The New Orleans Saints have a ton of options, so it’s difficult to pinpoint who will be the best wideout for the Saints on a weekly basis. Six catches, 149 yards and two touchdowns is Moore’s way of saying that he should be owned in all formats. 

Solid Pickups

QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, Buffalo
Buffalo is a mess. The Bills went with Trent Edwards all preseason, he gets two regular season games, and now he’s been released. Yes, we’re talking about the Buffalo Bills here; not the greatest offense on the planet. They are going to be playing from behind in a lot of games, which translates into many reps for the starting quarterback. Against New England, Fitzpatrick threw for nearly 250 yards, not a bad outing. Of all the quarterback shuffling that is going on, Fitzpatrick is at least a guy that will be starting on a regular basis. 

TE John Carlson, Seattle
After another solid outing where he led all Seattle Seahawk receivers with nine targets, Carlson is a viable TE2. Bye weeks are coming up, so if Carlson is available grab him as your bye week fill in and enjoy.

WR Brandon Lloyd, Denver
A crowded situation is developing in Denver. Lloyd’s explosive week of 169 yards and a touchdown has him in the mix for future action. He’s not quite worth a steady spot in your starting lineup, but he is worth a roster spot in all formats. 

WR Roy Williams, Dallas
With Dez Bryant struggling to get on the field, Williams has quietly been picking up some stats. The Dallas offense finally got untracked, and it was Williams that exploded for more than 110 yards and two touchdowns. Like Lloyd, he’s not quite ready for a starting lineup spot, but he is worth a roster spot to see if he can establish some consistency. 

On The Radar
RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Danny Woodhead, New England
Many will have Green-Ellis ranked higher in their weekly free agent report, but I am recommending that you only exercise mild interest in Green-Ellis. Yes, he’s the guy that is carrying the load right now for New England, but that can change quickly. Bill Belichick likes to mix things up to keep opponents off balance, and with Fred Taylor and little Woodhead also in the mix, Green-Ellis is going to be a tough nut to crack as far as predicting when he’ll have a big game. The Patriots' running game isn’t going to be a focal point of their offense regardless of who is carrying the ball, so I see only a limited ceiling here for Green-Ellis. As for Woodhead, with Kevin Faulk out for the season, Woodhead will see the ball on third down thru the air. As with Green-Ellis, it will be tough to predict when either of these guys will have a big game. 

WR Deion Branch, Seattle
A bit of a reach here, but I see a decent ceiling here for the often disappointing Branch. Five catches for 60 yards, not a lot to get excited about, but his competition in Seattle leaves a lot to be desired. If Branch can continue to be consistent, then his fantasy value will continue to rise.   

Deep and/or Dynasty Only
RB Mike Goodson, Carolina
With rookie Jimmy Clausen taking over for the Carolina Panthers, Goodson is getting a ton of action in the air. A whopping eight targets this past week should get him on the radar for those of you in deep and dynasty leagues. 

RB Ryan Torain, Washington
Aaah, Mike Shanahan, despised by fantasy owners all across the globe. The Redskins have Clinton Portis at the top of their depth chart, and currently it is Torain and not Keiland Williams listed as their No. 2. This is a dynamic situation, but those of you that are desperate can apply here. Portis hasn’t looked that great, and he’s due to be hurt anytime soon. 

RB Chris Ivory, New Orleans
The New Orleans Saints are scrambling to bulk up their depth chart now that Reggie Bush is out for the next couple of months. Pierre Thomas’ backup has fantasy value, and right now it is Ivory and not Ladell Betts that is next in line in New Orleans. 

RB Danny Ware, Giants
We’re digging a little deep here, Ware is listed as RB3 on the Giants depth chart.  Only the desperate need to apply here.