Welcome one and all to Top Fantasy’s Special Waiver Wire Edition; a column we will be running for the remainder of the season to afford you—the Intrepid Fantasy Manager—an insider’s look at players who are undoubtedly on your waiver list that you may not be aware of, and may not have even considered.
At this point in the season, everyone is going to do just about anything they can to give them that edge, and the waiver wire is the best place to start—the rest is up to you.
As we gaze into the ever growing plethora of players becoming available, I want to focus on a couple of key players for both Offense and Defense , as well as two players that could be a nice quick fill-in for this week.
So here it is, the no frills, no messing around Waiver Wire Edition, enjoy!
(Okay, so next week we’ll get a bit more creative, but let’s lay the ground work first!)
The Potential Offensive Diamonds in the Rough
Lance Long, WR - Kansas City: If you’re wondering why I’m not mentioning Chris Chambers , it’s due largely to the fact that he has shown a significant increase in waiver-wire activity since the announcement of Dwayne Bowe’s sudden suspension; if he is still available please grab him now….go hurry, I’ll wait for you to come back. I promise!
Lance Long has been a PPR leaguer’s dream playing primarily in the slot, and considering KC’s penchant for utilizing the check down/over-the-middle option at receiver, Long becomes an absolute must over the next couple of days.
Long has 12 catches for 104 yards over three games and considering the Chiefs will play mostly from behind the rest of the way, the chances for Long to come up big every week is huge; the fact that Bowe is out for a month makes his chances undeniable. Pick him up and stash him.
Brandon Gibson, WR - St. Louis: Although it appears the Rams and Spags aren’t ready to commit to Gibson just yet, the fact remains that Spags really has no choice. Burton is done, and Avery alone won’t cut it, which means Gibson should start seeing time very soon, if not this week.
The reason for this mention is this: He is a guy worth taking a chance on as a role player if you have a matchup that you would rather replace, and since the Rams have just started to find their passing mojo, he could be a huge sleeper.
There are other options for the club to consider, but the likelihood that Gibson gets the nod is higher than said options.
James Casey, TE - Houston: Hopefully, you’re not in one of those leagues where the other managers like to immediately grab handcuffs for no reason, and hopefully you will go and grab this guy right…about…NOW!
The Texans and Kubiak have already said James Casey will” become a big part of what we do over the next seven games.”
Casey has sure hands and has already shown himself to be a competent fill in for the injured Daniels. The Texans rely heavily on their use of the TE, and considering the TE position has been fantasy gold this year he is a no brainer pick up this week—if he is still available.
Maurice Stovall, WR - Tampa Bay: Stovall has made good on his new starting opportunity despite his numbers not showing it. The Buccaneers have had a huge problem with consistency at the WR position all year long, and Stovall has shown a great deal of consistency since playing.
He is the guy who has kept Tampa competitive in their last two games; he has great size and speed, and despite the rest of the fantasy world discouraging you away from him, I say pick him up especially in deeper leagues. After New Orleans, the Bucs face a weak Atlanta secondary, and an even weaker Carolina secondary after that.
The emphasis the past two weeks in fantasy have been goal line backs, and although I think the passing game will pick up again, the Seahawks love this guy and what he can do in the open field AND in the trenches.
Forsett is a great pickup for all formats including PPR, Standard, TDO, and even Dynasty considering the Seahawks will look towards the future with Forsett.
The Defensive Gems Waiting To Be Picked.
Landon Johnson, LB - Carolina: Last week I mentioned Johnson and it paid off with him having six tackles and an assist showing the importance of the WLB position in the Carolina Cover Two scheme.
Going forward he is definitely your man, and if you didn’t listen last week don’t miss out this week as he is sure to provide for the remainder of the year.
The DE/DT spot has been overlooked this year in regard to Fantasy points and Edwards is a solid pick in a scheme that focuses on pass pressure up front. He is sure to be available in nearly all leagues and formats.
Pat Watkins, DB - Dallas: Ken Hamlin is done and Watkins is the guy to take over playing opposite of Gerald Sensabaugh. I picked this guy up a couple of week ago in my ESPN league along with Sensabaugh and he has been a good source of points in a mild fill in role—now he is an everyday starter.
There have been a ton of injuries to DB’s and if you’re one of those managers suffering through that, Watkins is a solid pickup in IDP leagues.
Dannell Ellerbe, LB - Baltimore: Ellerbe is another plug-in name afforded by the much maligned Baltimore defense. But despite that fact, the Ravens play their Linebackers with full faith and role a lot of traffic to their notice making ANY LB worth a pickup in Baltimore so long as they are starting; Ellerbe is no different.
Tavares Gooden, the man he is replacing, is dealing with a concussion that is a lot worse than the team thought, so Ellerbe’s stay could be longer than you would think.
Brandon Johnson, LB - Cincinnati: Keith Rivers is still dealing with a nasty calf injury and Johnson is as solid as a fill in as it gets. Although his role may be temporary, he is worth a transitory pickup at LB if you’re hurting.
Fantasy Quick Shots For What Ails Ya!
Jason Snelling, RB - Atlanta: Snelling gets the nod as Michael Turner will sit this week—or possibly longer—and is worth a one week pick up if you’re hurting at RB.
Turner could play, but it is very unlikely, and Snelling isn’t close to coming back from the hip injury which means the Falcons will play Snelling. He will also be a featured option out of the flats and in goal line situations making him a nice PPR pick up.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB - Buffalo: Fitzpatrick has shown himself—both last year and this year—to be a quality backup, and with a change in the guard in Buffalo and Mr. Checkdown NOT being on the field, the chances of the strong arm QB going downfield and finally using the weapons the Bills actually have is a very high probability.
If you need another QB or just a week fill in this is the guy you want.
Good luck this week everyone, and be sure to check back for updates or additions as they may come. Look for the word UPDATE in the title going forward.