With the dreaded NFL bye-weeks having come to a close this past weekend, one hopefully isn’t scrambling for a spot starter as often as was the case over the past month or two. But alas, this is no rest for the wicked…it’s the stretch-run baby! *Never* stop looking for players that can help your team, no matter how solid your roster may look…you may only be an ankle or knee away from having to plug one (or three) of these guys into your lineup. Hey, let’s hope not…but make sure every roster spot you have is working for you each and every game! So hide the women and children…here come the Week 11 waiver wire picks!!!
Nate Burleson WR Minnesota Vikings
No Randy, big problems in Minnesota, right? Not so fast! While not quite as explosive, Culpepper and crew can still light up the scoreboard with the best of them. And to anyone watching their game this past weekend, it was more than clear that in Moss’ absense, the go-to guy has become Nate Burleson. Eleven catches for 141 yards and a TD? That’s some nasty cheese! Granted the Packers secondary has more holes than your Uncle Jed’s underpants, but that’s an impressive performance indeed! With Moss expected to miss *at least* one more week, and the Vikes playing at home next week against a Lions D who isn’t scaring anyone, Burleson makes a pretty solid #2 starter in almost any league. Burleson is our #1 pickup of the week…that is, if he isn’t on a roster in your league already. Nate has made past appearances on this list as a solid pickup…but in case you were out of town those weeks…you know what to do!
Drew Bennett WR Tennessee Titans
This former college QB is a big target and doesn’t seem to be missing Steve McNair one bit…he torched the Bears for 6 catches for 148 yards and a TD this past weekend and is putting together a nice season for himself. Many were hyping Tyrone Calico as the heir-apparent #1 receiver in Titantown, but after being sidetracked with knee injuries, Bennett has quietly put together 500+ receiving yards in 9 games….not stud status by any means, but as a spot play, you could certainly do worse. The Titans are on the road this weekend against a pretty tough Jacksonville pass D, then face a Texans D that were lit up for 5 passing TDs this past weekend. If you’re forced to go three-wide, Bennett might be the third reciever you’re looking for.
Eli Manning QB New York Giants
With Warner taking another beating this weekend and the fading Giants looking for a spark after an embarrasing loss to the lowly Cardinals, Manning has been named the starter for the Giants this week. He’s a great talent, but a bumpy road is probable the next few games. The Falcons and Eagles are opportunistic defenses that may give Manning trouble. But the future is now in the Big Apple…if you only have one QB on your squad, make sure you have a second before your waiver-wire deadline. Big brother Peyton carry you to the playoffs, but little brother Eli might save your bacon!
Clarence Moore WR Baltimore Ravens
More over Herman…there’s a new Moore in town! Big Clarence burst on the scene in a big way this weekend with 5 catches for 45 yards and a Jet-killing 2 TDs! Moore is a massive target, going 6-6 and 211, and Boller just may have found a new red-zone favorite. With the Ravens pass game as poor as it is, it’s hard to rate Moore as any more than a Solid Pickup, but he’s one to watch…with a terrible Dallas pass D next on the schedule, Moore is less. Or more. Or less. Or…you get the idea.
Patrick Ramsey QB Washington Redskins
The stubborn Joe Gibbs finally benched way-overpaid and absolutely terrible Mark Brunell for Ramsey this week, and he’s the likely starter for the remainder of the year. Probably not a great boon to your fantasy squad, but the Skins have some pretty soft opponents in Week 15 and 16…the Niners and the Cowboys. If your stud QB goes down around playoff time, you have to like those matchups.
On the Radar
Maurice Hicks RB San Francisco 49ers
Quite honestly, I don’t know much about this practice-squad player from North Carolina A&T, but he rushed for as many yards in 8 carries as emerging bust Kevin Barlow did in 21! With the Niners pretty much in the tank, there’s a chance that Hicks might see some more considerable action in coming weeks. He’s probably not worth a pickup in any but the deepest leagues, but if you’re in a league where Running Backs are scarcer than an ugly chick on Fear Factor, he might be worth a gamble. Keep an eye on him!
Drew Henson QB Dallas Cowboys
With the Cowgirls in the tank and Vinny older than many Great Redwoods, expect Henson to snag the starting job in Big D as soon as this coming week. What’s that worth to your fantasy team? Probably not much…this year at least.
J. P. Losman QB Buffalo Bills
With the Bills in the tank and Bledsoe less mobile than many Great Redwoods, expect Losman to snag the starting job in Big B as soon as this coming week. What’s that worth to your fantasy team? This could be the best pickup you make all year! Well, not really. But thanks for reading this far!
Julius Jones RB Dallas Cowboys
I mentioned it last week, I’ll mention it again…the Cowboys will give JJ plenty of work the next few weeks if he’s healthy, and he may be reactivated as soon as next week. John Madden mentioned on MNF that he saw Jones and that he looked to be in very good shape.