Here’s a riddle for you: What do Warrick Dunn, Carson Palmer, David Carr, Matt Hasselbeck, Michael Vick, Rudi Johnson, and Darrell Jackson have in common? You guessed it…they’re all on bye next week. Ouch! But have no fear…there’s help out there for you in this week’s waiver wire column!
Mike Furrey WR Detroit Lions
He might have a name that sounds like a description of Robin Williams’ back, but it’s hard to argue with the numbers he’s been putting up of late. Eight catches for 82 yards and 2 big TDs gets my attention. And if you think this past week was a flash-in-the-pan, think again…he’s been thrown to early and often all season and he’s amazingly outperformed the likes of Reggie Wayne, Terry Glenn, Donald Driver, Chad Johnson, and Chris Chambers so far. I’m not sure he’s a great long-term prospect, but if you’re in the market for a receiver, ride this horse while it’s hot!!
Reggie Williams WR Jacksonville Jaguars
Reggie…Reggie…Reggie… For his first two seasons, this highly drafted Husky didn’t quite live up to his first-round billing, but the third-year receiver is picking it up for the Jags! A five catch 93 yard performance against the Skins this past weekend follows up a 95 yard game against the Steelers two weeks beforehand. Williams is a huge talent and could cause some damage if he continues to get looks. Matt Jones and rook Mercedes Lewis keep Reggie in single coverage and he’s quickly becoming a fantasy differencemaker. This Reggie doesn’t have his own candybar yet, but he may reward you with some big numbers in your win column rather than tempt your tastebuds with the sweet taste of crunchy peanuts and creamy nougat. And that’s almost as good, right?
Matt Leinart QB Arizona Cardinals
Perhaps he’s already long-gone in your league, but if not, know that Matt became the likely year-long starter in Zona this past weekend. The Cards have weapons and Leinart will have his share of both TDs and picks for the rest of the year. A decent backup or pinch starter based on matchup.
Doug Gabriel WR New England Patriots
Doug “Shock the Money” Gabriel has appeared in this column before, and he’s back like a Sledgehammer! The Pats receiving corps have been somewhat of a mess so far this year, but Gabriel is beginning to emerge as a go-to guy…or at least as close as it gets in New Englands “spread it around” passing philosophy. Doug caught 4 balls for 57 yards and a TD and makes a decent pickup on an improving Patriots offense.
Ron Dayne RB Denver Broncos
Dayne is back. Nobody really cares for the guy as an NFL player, but unless Samkon Gado can step up his game, Dayne is the ballcarrier for the Texans. Which is sort of like having the best set of teeth in the trailer park, but hey, you take what you can get. Dayne gained a rather paltry 58 yards on 22 carries and had three catches against the Dolphins last week.
Joe Jurevicius WR Cleveland Browns
“Frosted Lucky Charms, Magically” Jurevicius returned to the Browns lineup this week and caught a TD. A big red-zone target on a suddenly decent Browns passing attack might have some value down the line. Joe snagged 10 TDs for the Seahawks last year, and while that won’t happen this season, the man does know his way around the end zone. If injuries and byes are beating up your receiving corps, Jurevicius could be a servicable plug-in for deep league players.
Vernand Morency RB Green Bay Packers
I’m writing this column while watching the Monday night game…it’s just before halftime and Morency looks pretty decent. With Ahman Green’s body betraying him in Week 4 of a long season, Morency may be seeing a lot more carries than anyone expected. He’s a shifty runner who looks good catching the ball too. Vern could reach Smokin’ Hot status if he can keep up this performance and if Green continues to be gimpy.
On the Radar
Leon Washington RB New York Jets
This rookie has been getting some playing time for the Jets lately, and with Cedric Houston suffering a knee injury of unknown severity last week, Washington may have a growing role in the mess that is the Jets backfield. He’s a bit undersized but has the burst that Kevan Barlow doesn’t. He may not be worth a roster spot in any but the deepest leagues, but he’s one to watch. I fear we may have seen the last of Curtis Martin.