Well, after that depressing Monday Night, I think we all need something else to think about than the Bears. Let's get this party started.
What's up, Fantasy Freaks! Since there's been a relative dearth of Fantasy information being posted here recently, I might as well put up my thoughts on what's turning into a really crazy Fantasy season. The consensus #1 overall pick hasn't lived up to his status, while a couple of also-rans from a Fantasy perspective have come up to take the crown. Rookies running wild, injuries galore, and a brand new defensive landscape to stream against. Let's get down to it!
Before we do all that fun, though, a minor disclaimer. I'm not a Fantasy expert. I've run the gauntlet from 0-for the season to undefeated champion, and everything in between. I've played in almost every type of Fantasy Football league except for Auction drafts and Franchise leagues. My favorite leagues right now are the two 2QB starter leagues, one of which I'm the defending champion. I'm also a big fan of scoring odd things, like return yardage for offensive players, and TFLs and 3-and-outs for Defenses. So some of my rankings might be skewed slightly (or majorly) by some of my experiences. Take them with a grain of salt.
Here are the guys I'm targeting this week for Waiver wire pickups. This one's gonna be a LOT longer than it would otherwise normally be, as there's a LOT of players that might not have been drafted at the beginning of the year but have made significant under-the-radar contributions thus far this year. Mebbe there's something fun in here you'd like to grab as well, eh?
Tim Tebow, QB, Den - Ugh. I hate recommending this guy anywhere. But he's a dual threat, and he's probably back to Starting for the Broncos again. Remember, Bye week. He was the top scorer last Fantasy Playoffs. Add as required.
Curtis Painter, QB, Ind - This guy's the real deal. Back to back QB1 type numbers. With the weapons of Indy. He's going to be a borderline QB1/QB2 for the rest of the season, and a sly matchups play in all but the most shallow of leagues.
Andy Dalton, QB, Cin - What's going on in Cincy this week? But, seriously, they're going against Indy. They suck. I mean, really, really suck. He has the potential for a 30 point day, but be happy if he gives you 15-20. That's probably the floor unless Indy finds the next Bob Sanders.
Alex Smith, QB, SF - Bye week filler ONLY. I really have no idea how he's putting up stats right now. Seriously. No idea. The guy's a historical vortex of sucktitude, and hasn't had a remotely decent season yet. I can't explain it, but ride it as long as it lasts.
Charlie Whitehurst, QB, Sea - Somebody's gotta start out there. And Whitehurst didn't seem too terrible in a relief effort. If you're buying, know exactly what you're buying. A low-end QB2. That's it. He's not going to wow anybody with his skills, and he's not gonna post 30 in a given week. But he should be good for at least 10, especially when he's playing in the insane Qwest Field.
Jackie Battle, RB, KC - As much as we here in Chicago love the guy, Thomas Jones is simply no longer an NFL feature running back. And for all of his skills, Dexter McCluster is not an every-down back in any way, shape, or form. Battle is never going to put the moves on anybody like Chris Johnson. He's more likely to run them over ala Jerome Bettis. But 19/119 is nothing to sneeze at, and he wasn't a liability in passing situations. Go, get, and enjoy.
Montario Hardesty, RB, Cle - Looks like Hillis is starting to wind down a little bit. Montario has gotten 29 touches in the last 2 games, and they've got Oakland this week. Call this a low-end buy for now, betting on an inevitable Hillis injury.
Donald Brown or Delone Carter, RB, Ind - Obviously, this is a pure speculation add at this point. Joseph Addai is injured again, and we don't know the severity. If he's out for a significant amount of time, one of these guys is an obvious add. Keep in mind, though, that Indy is NOT a running offense. For better or for worse, they run through their QB. So don't expect any high-end numbers here. From either of them.
Jacob Hester, RB, SD - Again, this is a speculative injury pickup. Mike Tolbert got concussed, and we don't really know what Ryan Mathews workload is going to be. Don't consider him a high-end pickup. Think more desperation move. But he could possibly do something if Tolbert's out long. They're also on a Bye, so I wouldn't add THIS week, but he could be useful NEXT week when we know what's up with Tolbert.
Pierre Garcon, WR, Ind - Curtis Painter seems to have some form of target fixation. Luckily, the target he's fixated on is a very skilled wide receiver. While this isn't quite Peyton Manning to Marvin Harrison, this connection will should be a solid WR3/Flex option for the rest of the season. I can't see myself benching any of Indy's top 3 receivers as long as either Painter or Peyton are under center.
Victor Cruz, WR, NYG - If you don't know about this guy, you haven't been paying attention. Most fantasy "experts" have been looking at this guy as a sleeper for the last couple of weeks. And he's been delivering. Even with at least 3 other mouths to feed, he's gotten his stats. Plus, there's this absolutely stupid catch he made. Seriously. Look at that again. Not even Megatron could pull that rabbit out of his hat. And that's some HIGH praise for a Wideout!
Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR, Oak - Yes, he's got Jason Campbell tossing the rock. Yes, Darren McFadden will get his and will get stuff that might otherwise be going towards DHB. But the guy's got skills. Serious skills. And he's likely the undisputed #1 option in this offense. In his first game back, he got 7/99/1. He'll be a real boom or bust candidate. But when he booms, it'll get you 15 points minimum. And he should boom more than he busts, even with Soupy under center. That should be enough to roll with him as a WR3/Flex candidate in most leagues.
Mike Sims-Walker, WR, StL - Here's a decent receiver returning from injury to a bottom-feeding team. Maybe they get better when they actually have a receiving threat. Any way you slice it, he's their best receiver, and it's not even really that close. He's not a WR1. He's a WR3/Flex play, likely. Pick him up as such.
Damian Williams, WR, Ten - He's scored in consecutive weeks against average at worst competition. He should keep this up. If you didn't get in on the Nate Washington love a couple of weeks ago, Williams should be a reasonable backup option. With Kenny Britt out for the season, Hasselbeck has to go somewhere with his passes, and Williams doesn't look to be a terrible option.
Steve Breaston, WR, KC - Really, that was the product of a terrible Indianapolis defensive effort. Still, you can't really tell me he's not going to be a part of this offense. With Jamaal Charles on the shelf and only Dwayne Bowe as the weapon, somebody else has to score points if this team's going to be doing anything this season. I'm going to bank on Breaston showing some flashes of his Michigan form.
Dane Sanzenbacher, WR, Chi -- As long as Earl Bennett is out, the Sanz is looking to be the Bears' best possession receiver. Keep a close eye on the injury wire for Bennett, as when he comes back, the Sanz will probably be relegated to Martz's doghouse. Consider this also a ringing endorsement of Bennett, the moment he comes back he'll easily be the best WR on the team. Pick him up as well, once you get the all-clear from the doctors.
Cincinatti WR, Cin - As stated above, Indy's defense is atrocious. They allowed 4 scores to Matt Cassel and Dwayne Bowe. While I'm not sure if the Dalton/Green connection is better than the KC one, it doesn't really have to be. As long as it's on par with the KC passing game, there will be points to be had. Obviously, be smart about this. Andrew Hawkins does not automatically become a WR1 because of the Indy defense. But Jerome Simpson probably becomes WR3/Flex worthy, and A.J. Green probably becomes a WR1, if he wasn't already. Jermaine Gresham is a great TE bye week filler, and has potential to be a low-end TE1 for the rest of the season.
Ben Obomanu or Doug Baldwin, WR, Sea - Take this for what it is. A desperation play. You've gotta go pretty deep to want to unearth one of these guys again. But they put together a pretty nice show against a good Giants defense this weekend, and as long as Mike Williams is sitting, they should get their targets. Don't set your sights high. If they are a WR4, that's a fantastic week. Deep minded owners ONLY need apply.
Jimmy Graham, TE, NO - He's really the only reliable pass catching target in the Saint offense that loves spreading the ball around. Really, it's an aberration when fewer than 5 players make a catch. And that's what makes Graham so remarkable. Pick him up wherever possible.
Aaron Hernandez, TE, NE - He's about as reliable a Fantasy prospect as you can ask for in New England. He'll get his targets, and he'll do something good with them. He's a borderline TE1 for the remainder of the season, and probably is flying under many radars currently.
Benjamin Waston, TE, Cle - He's been a PPR asset thus far this season. This team isn't very good at WR, so they'll be dumping off to the TE fairly often. Watson is reasonably skilled, and has been a borderline TE1 for a few seasons. And he gets Oakland at home. Enjoy the Bye week filler!
Jared Cook, TE, Ten - Really as a bye-week replacement only. He's on the field in the slot for every 3rd and not-short. You can't really get that kind of confidence out of the TE position anymore. He's not especially talented, nor will he command a ton of targets. But you can do worse on the Bye weeks.