Lot’s of key injuries this week, NFL depth charts continue to be tested, so too is the depth of the fantasy owner. Be sure to continually check the bottom of your roster to see if you can improve by picking up someone else’s discards from the previous week. The situation at running back in New England continues to be a revolving door, you should continue to avoid as it is nearly impossible to predict which guy will get the bulk of the work. Yes, Lawrence Maroney is gone for the season, but there are just too many guys to pick from. And just when you think you know the guy that will carry the load, he gets hurt, or the Patriots will go to the air with Kevin Faulk. Let’s get into this week’s waiver wonders…
WR Donnie Avery, St.Louis
Three weeks ago we brought up Avery as an “On The Radar” selection, this week he sits at the top as this week’s top selection if he is still available. Avery has seen his production increase to the point where he is a solid WR3 option. Last week he caught five passes for 65 yards and a touchdown. Look for those numbers to continue.
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, Cincinnati
I don’t like to repeat myself and drop in the same players in this column week after week, but I’m moving last week’s “On The Radar” selection up to be a “Solid Pickup” this week. Carson Palmer has been ruled out for week 8, and many believe he will eventually end up missing the entire season. For the second week in a row, no interceptions, and though only 164 yards and a touchdown, I’d prefer Fitzpatrick as a bye week fill in over guys like Brian Griese and whoever is playing quarterback in Detroit. The Bengals have some good weapons and they seem to be *almost* developing a running game. Fitzpatrick is a solid QB2 right now.
WR Antonio Bryant, Tampa Bay
Indications out of Tampa Bay are that Bryant will continue to be a starter even when Joey Galloway returns from injury. That coupled with 115 yards and a touchdown last week land him a spot in the top tier of free agent acquisitions this week.
WR Kevin Curtis, Philadelphia
A third wide out makes this week’s top list, but just by a hair. There are so many options for Donovan McNabb in Philadelphia, but coming off a groin injury, I suspect that Curtis will leap DeSean Jackson and Reggie Brown on McNabb’s target list.
On The Radar
RB Aaron Stecker, New Orleans
The Saints dodged a bullet as it was announced that Reggie Bush will only miss 2-4 weeks of action. With a bye week mixed in, that only translates to three games. Whew. Deuce McAllister will see the ground action, look for Stecker to pick up some of Bush’s air touches. He’s done it before, so he could even be used as a flex until Bush returns.
RB Lamont Jordan, New England
In general, I’d avoid the running situation in New England. This week, the Patriots announced that Laurence Maroney was placed on injured reserve, ending his season. Jordan was one of the announced inactives this week, and against the porous Denver defense, Sammy Morris ran for more than 100 yards in the first half alone. A knee injury knocked him out of the game, the BenJarvis Green-Ellis ran for 65 yards in the second half. Jordan should be back, even as soon as this week, pay attention on a weekly basis to see who is going to get the ground action and act accordingly. Oh, and by the way, Kevin Faulk is in the mix to take the air touches.
RB Maurice Morris, Seattle
I see a lot of leagues where Morris is available, grab him if you need running back help. He should be healthy again, as can be attested with his 56 yards on the ground this past week. Julius Jones really hasn’t done enough to lock Morris out of the rotation. Stash him on your bench and hope he emerges as the 75% back in Seattle.
WR Antwaan Randle-El, Washington
Nothing spectacular out of Randle-El, but he is starting to show some consistency. Four catches this past week, five the previous, three the week before that. Only 56 yards, but if the Redskins can find a way to get him into the end zone, his stock as a WR3 or flex goes way up.
TE Zach Miller, Oakland
I try to hit on every position every week, and with so much difficulty at the tight end position, I’ve made an effort to list at least one guy that I think is available in most leagues. Miller had a very good week, at least by tight end standards, four catches for 57 yards. He’s getting end zone looks as well, those numbers added to a touchdown catch would be monumental for tight ends based on their production as a whole this season.
Deep and/or Dynasty Only
WR Javon Walker, Oakland
Since the Raiders passing game is so unreliable, that lands Walker on the “Deep” list this week. Five catches and 75 yards would normally get a guy into the category above, I’d like to see another week from him before making a move. Those of you in need in deep leagues can grab him and hold to see what develops in Oakland.
WR Mike Furrey, Detroit
Here’s another guy that I need to see a little more from before I can give a full recommendation for. He and Shaun McDonald are essentially splitting down the middle, though Furrey is seeing the ball a little more often than his competition. The potential, as with Walker, is also here for Furrey to develop into a WR3/flex, but for now I’ll take a wait and see approach.
WR Jerry Porter, Jacksonville
Another moldy and oldy free agent wide out gets into the “Deep” list this week! With Matt Jones suspended for three games, this could be the opportunity that Porter needs to start to see the ball. He hasn’t done much (ie. anything) yet this season, but he’s another wait and see guy that I’d keep an eye on in the coming weeks.
RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis, New England
Honestly, I don’t think Green-Ellis will amount to much, even in the very long term. We discussed the Patriots situation above. Only those in extremely deep leagues and for those owners that are extremely desperate at the position need apply here.