Fantasy championships—AKA the ones that really matter—are made on the waiver wire
We aren't all lucky enough to draft Robert Griffin III, Drew Brees, Arian Foster, Jamaal Charles, Calvin Johnson, Reggie Wayne, Victor Cruz, A.J. Green, Jimmy Graham and, most importantly, Greg "Young GZ" Zuerlein.
There are, in fact, some people out there who didn't have a draft worthy of bragging on every message board imaginable.
There are some of us who need the waiver wire.
The pickups have been noticeably lacking this year, and the options continue to be thin, but with bye weeks and injuries piling up, it would still be smart to seek some roster help.
Note: "Percent Owned" comes from ESPN standard leagues.
Quarterback: Jake Locker, Tennessee Titans (8.0 Percent Owned)
If you are planning long term, however, the real waiver wire steal is Locker. The former Washington star hasn't played since suffering an injury early in Week 4 against the Houston Texans, but he was really starting to establish himself as a potential fantasy star.
Locker threw for 378 yards and two touchdowns and added another 35 on the ground against a Lions defense that has actually been better than you think in 2012 (14th in the NFL in yards per pass allowed).
When healthy, the Hurt Locker has the perfect blend of throwing and rushing ability to make him a fantasy star. Throw in a secretly dangerous Tennessee receiving corps of Kendall Wright, Kenny Britt, Nate Washington and Jared Cook, and Locker is primed for a big second half of the season.
Running Back: Felix Jones, Dallas Cowboys (51.4 Percent Owned)
DeMarco Murray is hurt. In other news, the sky is blue.
Dallas' talented but oft-injured RB once again went down this week, and while he avoided a major scare, he'll likely miss some time. Even if he does return quickly, he won't suddenly not be injury-prone anymore.
Enter Jones. Felix is no Baumgartner, and he's broken fantasy hearts before, but he'll get more touches than Phillip Tanner and he looked more than capable against the Ravens on Sunday (18 carries for 92 yards).
He'll be the major beneficiary whenever Murray hits the bench, and thus is a must-add.
Wide Receiver: Brandon Gibson, St. Louis Rams (24.8 Percent Owned)
After one week without Danny Amendola, it's clear that Gibson is Sam Bradford's new favorite target.
Whatever that's worth.
Chris Givens pulled in 85 yards on three catches, but it was Gibson who got a team-high nine targets and turned them into seven catches for 91 yards.
The former Cougar has never been a major star, but he's averaging almost two yards per catch more than his previous career high, and he's already tied his career high with two touchdowns.
Gibson appears to be taking his game to the next level with an increased opportunity, and that makes him a smart addition to your fake team.
Tight End: Jermaine Gresham, Cincinnati Bengals (32.1 Percent Owned)
Gresham, along with everyone else on this team, will have to play second fiddle to A.J. Green, but it's pretty clear that he has that role locked up.
After pulling in three catches for 68 yards and a score on Sunday, Gresham has now out-produced Andrew Hawkins, his biggest competition for looks, in four straight weeks.
On the year, the big man has pulled in 25 balls for 306 yards and two scores. That's about four catches for 50 yards per game and a touchdown every three contests.
It's not sexy, but his production has hit a big uptick as of late and considering the disappointment of the tight end position this year, Gresham serves as a lower-end TE1 in most leagues.
Defense: New York Giants (42.2 Percent Owned)
Speaking of disappointing.
The Giants are 4-2 and coming off a huge road win against the San Francisco 49ers, but a team with Jason Pierre-Paul, Osi Umenyiora and Justin Tuck shouldn't be 14th in the NFL in sack percentage.
Nonetheless, the Giants showed what they are capable of on defense by holding the Niners, who had previously been running through teams, to a meager three points and three turnovers.
This team won't define consistent, but there is just too much talent on the defensive side of the ball to leave on free agency.