Fantasy Football: 4 Hot Waiver Wire Players You Shouldn't Pick Up
For desperate waiver wire searchers, Week 4 was a Sunday from heaven.
Unusually high scores helped boost a number of unheard-of players into the fantasy stratosphere—at least for now.
From explosive receiver Brian Hartline to emerging change-of-pace back Jackie Battle to oft-targeted tight end Scott Chandler, the final day of September proved to be a roller coaster on the fantasy football free agent list.
As a result, the coming days should break into a transaction mayhem for many leagues. A plethora of up-and-coming talents are certainly worth a look, but not all of Week 4's high-scorers are worthy of a roster spot.
Which hot waiver wire additions should you ignore? On the coming slides, we'll examine four fluky stars who will do nothing but disappoint in October.
Note: Fantasy point totals and owned percentages based on default scoring in Yahoo! leagues.
Brandon Bolden (RB, NE)
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The Patriots' rejuvenated offense torched the Buffalo Bills for 580 yards and 45 second half points on Sunday, with running backs Stevan Ridley (106 yds, 2 TDs) and Brandon Bolden (137 yds, 1 TD) leading the way.
Ridley had one of the biggest games of his intriguing young career and is certainly worth starting in all leagues.
Bolden's big numbers, however, were far more surprising—the 22-year-old had just seven carries for 15 yards over his entire career prior to Sunday. The Ole Miss product then burst into the NFL spotlight by averaging over 8.5 YPC on a mere 16 touches against Buffalo.
His 20.8 points against the Bills ranked fourth among all fantasy RBs this week and will certainly raise plenty of eyebrows (and his seven percent owned ratio), but we need to see more consistent scoring against more proven defenses before we'll jump on the Bolden bandwagon.
James Jones (WR, GB)
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James Jones has always been one of the biggest enigmas of fantasy football.
Aaron Rodgers' inconsistent, game-to-game receiver favoritism results in an occasionally exciting but perennially frustrating track record for Jones.
Sunday was one of the good days—the third-year Packer racked up five catches for 56 yards and, most notably, two touchdowns. It's his second big game of the season, as Jones also got his 2012 campaign started off nicely with 81 yards and a touchdown in Week 1.
In his two appearances between then and now, though, Jones accumulated only 5.4 points. This pattern seems oddly similar to last year, when he topped 15 points three times but averaged fewer than 3.8 fantasy points over the other 14 games.
With Greg Jennings healthy again and Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, tight end Jermichael Finley and running back Cedric Benson also vulturing targets, Jones carries too much risk and not enough upside to bother picking up.
Scott Chandler (TE, BUF)
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Scott Chandler is a puzzler.
The 6'7", 260-pound tight end was drafted all the way back in 2007, but the Bills' passing offense is finally coming along and Chandler's Jimmy Graham-like size and surprising slot-route speed is finally being discovered by Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Unfortunately, though, he's only taking advantage of it sometimes. Chandler has a touchdown in three of four games this season and is averaging a fantastic 14.6 yards per catch, but he put up a dud 2.2-point performance in Week 3 against lowly Cleveland in between 9.8, 11.3 and 18.2 point outputs.
Add into that inconsistency the facts that Chandler has already almost halved his entire 2011 yardage total and that his Week 5 status is also uncertain due to a possible concussion, and Chandler is an iffy play for now.
Brian Hartline (WR, MIA)
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As much as Brandon Bolden, James Jones and Scott Chandler grabbed the waiver wire spotlight on Sunday, Brian Hartline's whopping 253 yard outburst absolutely blew them away.
The 2009 draft pick from Ohio State had, by far, the best game of his career Sunday. His 12 catches for 253 yards and a touchdown were enough for 31.3 fantasy points, the Week 4 high among all WRs (even Roddy White's 169 yards and two scores couldn't match him).
In fact, it accounts for over half of his entire fantasy production—60.9 points—in all of 2011.
But Hartline averaged less than seven points over his first three games and has a tough month of matchups coming up—Cincinnati, St. Louis, the New York Jets and a bye. Plus, it's tough to count on Ryan Tannehill maintaining the poise he displayed in Arizona this weekend.
Keep an eye on him for sure, but Hartline may not be as brilliant of a pickup as he seems.