Greetings, mortals! It’s that time again! Get the wife out of the house, the Cheetos back into the depths of the loveseat, and the lawn can wait for another day…football season is here! Your draft is over, the first game is in the books. And as suspected, the stout Lions defense holds the Seahawks scoreless, Alex Smith is amongst the weekly passing leaders, and the Rams fail to score a TD yet still beat the Broncos. Huh? Yup, it’s a crazy game. But with unpredictibily comes opportunity…if you know where to look. And on that note, young grasshoppa, we humbly present our first waiver wire picks of the season!
New Orleans Saints Defense
Hey, let’s be honest here….this weeks Smokin’ Hot pick is lamer than a Celine Dion concert. But alas, there’s just no glaring ‘pick me’ guy available this week. And we all know the Saints defense isn’t the best in the league either. But a quick glance at the schedule shows a matchup against the Packers this week. As much as I love Brett Favre, defenses are going to be all over him like a hobo on a ham sandwich all year. He’ll throw loads of picks, get beat up more than Chuck Wepner, and it’s hard to bad-mouth any defense in the league going up against the lowly Pack this year. There are some other picks in the column that may fit your team better, but if you’re looking for a one-week wonder, you ain’t going wrong with the Saints!
Michael Jenkins WR Atlanta Falcons
Team Vick is a run-first team, no doubt about it. But should they fall behind, they’ll have to break out the playbook and actually throw the ball from time to time. Third-year pro Jenkins looks to have the chance to blossom as Vick’s primary target this year, having a solid 77 yard game with a long TD to boot. A big target that has red-zone threat written all over him, snag Jenkins now…and profit!
Travis Henry RB Tennessee Titans
Wow, is the Titans backfield a mess or what? Chris Brown, Henry, and now Lendale White? Who to start? I’m not paying much to gamble as to who the winner of this battle ends up being…if anyone…but Henry looks like a good short-term play. Chris Brown lives in the trainers room and seems to have another case of turf toe, and White seems to have a sore ankle as well as an aversion to practicing. Henry’s the short-yardage back and is the only one of the three that has a decent season under his belt….he plowed in for 2 TDs this week and may end up with many more if White stays on the bench. Next week’s Chargers aren’t the best defending the red-zone run. If you’re hurting’ for a RB, O’Henry might be your man, particularly TD-heavy scoring leagues.
Cincinnati Bengals Defense
Marvin Lewis may not have quite the defensive personnel he had with the Ravens, but you can bet they have the same attitude!! They’re always going for the big play and led the league in interceptions last year. They had a monster game this past week…7 sacks, 2 fumble recoveries, a pick…they’ll give up more points than a lot of teams, but will rack up the takeaways too. If your scoring system rewards this, you can’t go wrong. And against the Browns next week..Lord have mercy!!!
Jerious Norwood RB Atlanta Falcons
Most thought it was a stretch when the Falcons picked up Norwood in the 3rd round of this years rookie draft, but those doubters are gone! Norwood looked outstanding in preseason and kept it up with a 66-yard game on only 10 carries this week against a supposedly solid Carolina defense. If Dunn were to go down, the Falcons might not miss a beat with Norwood, and they’re the best running team in the league. Norwood isn’t startable just yet, but you might have a real gem on your hands if you can stash him on your bench. I know the Bills fans out there are just dying for Buffalo to deal for him so they can wear their Norwood jerseys again…or at least the ones that haven’t been burned!! The Cowboys fans smile…
Doug Gabriel WR New England Patriots
Shock the Monkey baby!! Oh, sorry…wrong Gabriel. With Deion Branch getting shipped out of Foxboro, the Pats will need someone for All-Pro QB Tom Brady to throw to. Gabriel was recently acquired from the Raiders, where he showed flashes of brilliance as a deep-threat. While defenses key on the run game and Ben Watson, look for Gabriel to quickly become part of the offense and catch some long TDs. Starting a Pats receiver is always a bit of a gamble since they spread the ball around so much, but if you’re a gamblin’ man, throw Gabriel into the mix and you’ll win a few big pots this season. And there’ll be time enough for countin’ when the dealin’s done…
On the Radar
His arms are bigger than your legs, and he has a double-digit vocabulary, but despite these outstanding qualities Pittman seems to have become an afterthought for the Bucs since the Caddy arrived in town. But Williams didn’t play much during the game this week and rumor has it that back spasms were partially to blame. OK, and the fact they were 17 – 0 by halftime. But if you’re a Caddy owner or think he’s hurtin’, Pittman might be a nice fill-in in his absence.