Thank goodness, there wasn’t the rash of injuries this week that we’ve had in the past. But not to worry…we’re serving up the Week 5 Waiver picks here, fresh and hot, and there are plenty!!! Let’s stop wasting time and get right down to business…
Amos Zeroue RB Oakland Raiders
The ‘Famous One’ has resurfaced in Oakland! After a stint in the ‘Burgh, part of during which he was being talked about as the successor to ‘The Bus’ (more on him later), Zeroue dropped off the fantasy map for a while but was reborn hard this past week. The Raiders spent much of the day playing catch-up in Houston Sunday, but Amos got 14 carries for 117 yards and a TD, as well as 2 catches. Many, including myself, have had their doubts that Tyrone Wheatley can carry the load for an entire season, but Justin Fargas was usually regarded as the successor. It now looks like Zero may be that guy. He’s not a big guy and is often spotted swapping duds with Gary Coleman and Emmanuel ‘Don’t call me Webster’ Lewis , but he’s got unreal cuts and is tailor-made to play on turf. The Silver and Black play indoors in Indy next week, and we may see a repeat performance from young Zeroue. My top waiver-wire pick of the week, and almost certainly available in all but the largest of leagues.
Moe Williams RB Minnesota Vikings
Boy, is the running-back situation a mess in Vikingland!! Michael Bennett reinjured his knee in practice and looks to miss *at least* two more weeks. And with Onterrio Smith likely to begin a 4-game suspension in the very near future for repeatedly puffing the wacky tobaccee, it would appear that Moe inherits the starting job. He’s been very productive in the past when given the opportunity, but hasn’t played very much this year. He’s a little banged-up himself, which is why he’s not a Smokin’ Hot selection. And rumors abound that Onterrio may get his suspension deferred again and start in Week 5. But if Bennett and Smith do indeed miss the next couple of weeks, Moe instantly becomes a startable back in any league.
Tim Rattay QB San Francisco 49ers
Here’s one of the guys I spotlighted in my pre-season sleeper article, and he had some nice stats this week. As much debate as there is amongst NFL fans, there’s one fact that is universally agreed upon. The Niners suck. Badly. But as I’ve said before, sometimes bad teams make for good fantasy quarterbacks. Rattay has been on the team for several years and knows the system well. While not possessing a rocket for an arm, he doesn’t need one for the West Coast offense and he could very well be the Niners QB for many years if things break his way. Ken Dorsey didn’t impress during his starting stint and Rattay won’t have to be a stud every week to keep the job. The Niners look to be on the short end of a lot of garbage time this year, and Rattay’s stats, and your team, stand to benefit. A pretty good backup at a bargain price, and a nice dynasty league selection for sure.
Jonathan Wells RB Houston Texans
Where did this guy come from? With Dom Davis out with an ankle injury and Tony Hollings having missed the prior two weeks due to injury as well, Wells wowed with a very solid 105 yard and a TD game. Many a fantasy owner expected Hollings to post those numbers, but Wells stole the thunder for the week. Wells was a highly recruited player who never lived up to potential at Ohio State and was hanging onto a roster spot by his fingertips in preseason. I tend to think this game was an anomaly rather than a precursor to success, but if reports have Davis gimpy again this coming week, Wells could be a decent play this week. Unless you’re die-hard Texans fan or his Mom, he’s available in your league. And I hear his Mom has a pretty good team, so I’m not sure he’s on her squad either.
Tatum Bell RB Denver Broncos
I said it last week, I’ll say it again. Tatum Bell will be the starter for the Broncos sooner than later. Make your move. Nuff said.
Shad Meier TE Tennessee Titans
With the Tight End position typically being a fantasy wasteland, a 9 catch performance gets my attention. Meier did just that against the Chargers this Sunday, with a touchdown to boot. Whether this will ever happen again, who knows. Maybe backup Volek had a connection established with Meier from practicing with the second-team. And the Titans did throw a whopping 58 times! But if Kinney misses more time with his calf injury, you could sure do worse at TE than Meier. That is, if you can live with the shame of having a dude named Shad on your team! You former Ben Gay owners should have no qualms about scooping this guy up.
On the Radar
Mewelde Moore RB Minnesota Vikings
Another guy who could benefit from the unrest in Minnesota. Moore is a rookie from Tulane, and until now, has been the 4th-string RB. But not much has to happen for him to get significant carries…keep an eye on him. He impressed in preseason, and he could suprise should the others succumb to injury / suspension in the next several weeks. And am I the only one that noticed that his first name is Edlewem spelled backwards? Creepy!!
Jerome Bettis RB Pittsburgh Steelers
Hey, I told you I’d be mentioning this guy! The Bus is quietly accruing one of the best Touchdown to Carry ratios in the history of football! To date, he has 18 carries for 22 yards…and 5 Touchdowns! Amazing! If Jamal Lewis had similar averages with his 387 carries last year, he would have finished with only 473 rushing yards rather than the 2,066 he finished with. Of course, he would have scored over 107 touchdowns! Makes Priest’s 27 look rather wimpy, doesn’t it? Here’s the scoop on Bettis; he’s almost completely worthless in a performance league, he won’t get many carries and won’t run for many yards. But if you’re in a TD-heavy league, The Bus could easily end up with 12+ TDs by the end of the year if things stay the way they are in Pittsburgh. Not a bad fill-in on occasion, huh? I’m looking at those stats a little more closely…why don’t they give this guy the ball a little more? OK, I’m dreaming…