What a monster offensive Week 12 we had! Cincinnati 58 Cleveland 48? Sounds more like a Cavaliers – Bearcats basketball game than a football game! Wow! Am I the only one that had this one pegged as a boring 10 – 3 affair? Even though your fantasy regular season may be wrapping up as soon as this week, your league may still not have a transaction deadline. And amazingly, even 13 weeks into the season, there’s still some talent on the waiver wire! Do you own Emmitt Smith? Jamal Lewis? Priest Holmes? Then step right up…time for our Week 13 Waiver Wire picks!!!
Antonio Bryant WR Cleveland Browns
OK, those of you who have been reading this column all year know that it’s quite rare for a WR to be a Smokin’ Hot selection. I think Nate Burelson made it one week, but I’m a sucker for a starting RB, even if they’re only going to be around for a week or two. But after some torrid waiver wire action in week 12, things have calmed down a bit, and Bryant had a huge game! For whatever reason, Holcomb seems to be able to spark the Browns offense, if not win games, and Bryant was the main beneficiary of that magic this past weekend. Bryant snagged 8 balls for 131 yards in one of the biggest shootouts in modern football history…and maybe in ancient football history too for that matter. Antonio has been languishing for a few years in Dallas, but don’t forget what a stud this guy was in college at Pitt. Biletnikoff Award winner, consensus All-American…his talent has never been questioned, and it seems his head is finally catching up to his body. Beware a tough schedule coming up for the Browns though…New England, at Buffalo, and San Diego is no cakewalk. But if you’re scraping for a decent #2 WR or a very good #3 WR, Bryant could suprise.
Najeh Davenport RB Green Bay Packers
As I’m writing this, it’s late in the Rams – Packers game and Najeh looks pretty good, putting up solid numbers and clearly establishing himself as the main ballcarrier in Ahman Green’s absense with 110+ rushing yards as I type. I mentioned this situation last week, advising to watch the news regarding the health of Green, and I’ll do the same this week. The Packers face a pretty tough Eagles defense on the road next week…no cakewalk. But the back for the Pack always seems to put up decent numbers, and Davenport makes a respectable #2 RB in many leagues should he get the start next week. And that’s the straight poop!!
Antowain Smith RB Tennessee Titans
What’s my name? Antowain. Ask me again and I’ll tell you the same. Smith filled in for game-time scratch Chris Brown and had a pretty decent game, rushing 21 times for a respectable 90 yards. Brown always seems to be dinged up…watch the news this week and if it looks like Brown will miss more time, don’t be afraid to start Smith against a questionable Colts defense next week. The Titans will look to control the ball and keep Payton and crew off the field…Antowain can pound the ball and do just that.
Larry Croom RB Arizona Cardinals
Larry who? That’s a phrase that may be spoken by millions of football fans this coming Sunday, but you heard it here…with Emmitt Smith out for a couple of weeks with a bad big piggy, Larry Croom will be the starting RB for the Arizona Cardinals this week. Croom is an undrafted rookie from UNLV and has a whopping 27 yards of rushing this season…25 of which were gained this past Sunday. He’s a questionable prospect, but against a Lions defense that isn’t scaring anyone, he might put up respectable fantasy numbers for a hard-up Emmitt owner. Wasn’t there a running back named Sylvester Croom back in the day? A name like Larry certainly doesn’t have the character of one like Sylvester, but we’ll all get to see how this character fares against Detroit on Sunday!
Kelly Holcomb QB Cleveland Browns
Welcome back Kelly…413 yards for 5 TDs! A nice day indeed! There’s every reason to believe that Holcomb is back at the helm for the Brownies, and he’s put up some pretty respectable fantasy numbers in the past when given the chance. As was mentioned in the Bryant blurb, the Browns have a brutal schedule the next few weekends. But if you’re in need of a QB, Kelly’s hot and might suprise against a banged-up Patriots secondary this coming weekend in Cleveland.
Steve Heiden TE Cleveland Browns
Heiden had one of the better games from a TE in recent memory this past weekend, with 7 grabs for 87 yards and a whopping 3 TDs! He won many a game for those of you who started him…liars!! I’m marking up last weeks Browns – Bengals game as a Twilight Zone episode and none of those crazy offensive stats are likely to be repeated ever again. Nevertheless, if there’s some special chemistry between Holcomb and Heiden that we didn’t know about, he’s probably a far better pickup than the dogmeat on your TE waiver wire. If you’re looking to ride a hot player, you could do worse.
Travis Minor RB Miami Dolphins
OK, the Dolphins suck, and that adjective might be applicable to many of Travis’ performances this season as well. But with 22 carries this past weekend, Minor looks to be the clear starter in Miami, at least for the moment. Unfortunately, those carries only produced 47 yards. But any starting RB has some value, as Minor as it might be. I’m funny, huh? And you always wondered who wrote those corny jokes on the Bazooka gum wrappers…
On the Radar
Billy Miller TE Houston Texans
It’s Miller Time! Miller looked like a future stud during the first year of the Texans, with 50+ catches for 600+ yards in 2002. But he’s been off the radar since, largely due to his smallish build and questionable blocking skills. But there was a Miller sighting this past weekend in Houston, with Billy catching 4 for 42 yards and a TD. Could this guy be the late-season TE pickup like Boo Williams was last year? Stay tuned.
Todd Pinkston WR Philadelphia Eagles
Ol’ Pinky has been putting up some pretty decent numbers the past few weeks. Despite possessing a figure capable of hiding behind a , Todd’s strung together a few good games, eclipsing the 100 yard mark against the Redskins, and actually outcatching TO this past weekend against the Giants. Of course, TO will always be the red-zone threat, but if you’re in a performance-heavy league, Pinky could be an OK #3 WR for ya.
John Navarre QB Arizona Cardinals
I watched this guy a few times when he started for Michigan and wasn’t especially impressed, but he has a strong arm and is starting for the Cards this week. I’m not sure a backfield of Navarre and Croom will strike fear into the heart of many defensive coordinators, but if you must have the Cards starter on your team, Navarre is your guy!
Chad Hutchinson QB Chicago Bears
Hey, he might suck…but he’s not Jeff George! Might be worth a flyer in a Dynasty league, but unless you’re in a 30 team league, he’s probably not worthy of your redraft roster. Yet.