Fantasy Football Week 8: Top 10 Waiver Wire Pickups

Keegan FergusonCorrespondent IOctober 27, 2010

Fantasy Football Week 8: Top 10 Waiver Wire Pickups

0 of 10

    HOUSTON - AUGUST 28: Quarterback Jon Kitna #3 of the Dallas Cowboys makes an adjustment on the play during a football game against the Houston Texans as he waits for center Phil Costa #67 to hike the ball at Reliant Stadium on August 28, 2010 in Houston,
    Bob Levey/Getty Images

    The difference between a win and a loss in fantasy often comes down to last minute pickups. Many of the biggest performers from last season (Chris Johnson, Brett Favre and Drew Brees) haven't singlehandedly won games the way the did a year ago.

    Each week it's important to look for guys who can maximize your score and guarantee a win. Let's take a look at the 10 best pickups for fantasy football this week.

10. Jon Kitna

1 of 10

    ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 25:  Quarterback Jon Kitna #3 of the Dallas Cowboys drops back to pass against the New York Giants in the second quarter at Cowboys Stadium on October 25, 2010 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    The 38-year-old Jon Kitna will be the starter for the Dallas Cowboys until Tony Romo comes back from a broken collarbone. If you play in a two-quarterback league or are really desperate, Kitna might not be a bad option.

    He hasn't started a game in two years, but he does have a strong arm and weapons at his disposal. Miles Austin, Dez Bryant, Jason Witten and Roy Williams are all strong players and should be able to get open for Kitna.

    Don't expect too much out of him, especially in the first few weeks.

9. Tarvaris Jackson

2 of 10

    DENVER - DECEMBER 30:  Tavaris Jackson #7 of the Minnesota Vikings breaks into the open field for a long run during fourth quarter of the football game against the Denver Broncos at Invesco Field at Mile High on December 30, 2007 in Denver, Colorado.  (Ph
    Steve Dykes/Getty Images

    This is a bit of a risky pick here. If he plays this week, and I think the odds are good, I think Tarvaris Jackson will play well. He quarterbacked a far less talented Vikings team to a playoff appearance in 2008 and has taken all the training camp reps with the first team in the past two seasons.

    He won't be as green as some backup quarterbacks with the first unit, and he can occasionally scramble. If he plays, Tarvaris could be very effective.

8. Troy Smith

3 of 10

    SEATTLE - SEPTEMBER 12:  Quarterback Troy Smith #1 of the San Francisco 49ers looks on during warm ups prior to the NFL season opener against the Seattle Seahawks at Qwest Field on September 12, 2010 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty
    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

    I'd probably have Tarvaris ahead of Troy Smith, but there's no guarantee that Brett Favre doesn't insist on playing. Smith got the nod this week to play against the Denver Broncos in London.

    The Broncos are giving up the fifth most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season. While Smith has struggled as a professional, he may be able to manufacture points and yardage against a porous Bronco defense.

7. Davone Bess

4 of 10

    MIAMI - OCTOBER 24:  Receiver Davone Bess #15 scores a touchdown against linebacker Lawrence Timmons #94 of the Pittsburgh Steelers  at Sun Life Stadium on October 24, 2010 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)
    Marc Serota/Getty Images

    According to ESPN, Davone Bess is owned in only 22 percent of leagues. How that's possible I don't know. He's been Chad Henne's second favorite target and is clearly his favorite third down receiver.

    If you play in a PPR league, Bess is a must have flex back because he generally nets somewhere in the 5-7 catch range.

    He's also scored touchdowns in his last three outings. While he won't score every week, he certainly is worth picking up.

6. James Jones

5 of 10

    I know that is not James Jones, I couldnt find a photo
    I know that is not James Jones, I couldnt find a photoJonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Green Bay receiver James Jones had a big game against the Vikings, catching four passes for 107 yards. He is a deep threat, much like Greg Jennings.

    With Donald Driver suffering from a thigh injury and Jermichael Finley out for the season, Jones' stock is on the rise. The Jets, the Packers' opponent this week, haven't been as good against the pass as last season. Jones will likely get some touches.

5. Steve Johnson

6 of 10

    ORCHARD PARK, NY - OCTOBER 10: Steve Johnson #13 of the Buffalo Bills runs the sideline against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Ralph Wilson Stadium on October 10, 2010 in Orchard Park, New York. The Jaguars won 36-26 (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
    Rick Stewart/Getty Images

    Steve Johnson is one of Ryan Fitzpatrick's favorite targets. In the last two weeks he has nearly 200 yards receiving and three TDs.

    This week, the Bills are facing a terrible Chiefs pass defense. Look for Johnson and Fitzpatrick to exploit the Chiefs all game long.

    Johnson is both a big play threat and a possession receiver, so he is capable of having games with lots of catches. He is an especially nice pickup if you play in a PPR league.

4. Patrick Crayton

7 of 10

    SAN DIEGO - OCTOBER 24:  Brandon Meriweather #31 of the New England Patriots up ends Patrick Crayton #12 of the San Diego Chargers during the fourth quarter at Qualcomm Stadium on October 24, 2010 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Image
    Harry How/Getty Images

    Philip Rivers has been the most prolific quarterback in the league through the first seven weeks of the season. However, Malcom Floyd and Legedu Naanee are both out this week. Patrick Crayton, a slot receiver, will get quite a few more targets going forward.

    Crayton isn't that explosive, but he is a good route runner and has good hands. While Antonio Gates will be targeted in the red zone, Crayton will likely be the second option for Rivers. He's a nice option at the flex position.

3. Matt Hasselbeck

8 of 10

    SEATTLE - OCTOBER 24:  Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck #8 of the Seattle Seahawks passes against the Arizona Cardinals at Qwest Field on October 24, 2010 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

    Matt Hasselbeck always disappoints. He has been a starter in this league for some time, but he never manages to put up big numbers. He's finally found some chemistry with wideout Mike Williams, however, and gets to play the Raiders this week.

    The Raiders have given up big points this year to quarterbacks, and Hasselbeck might be a good player to plug in if you're suffering from injury at the quarterback spot. Expect him to put up in the 10- to 18-point range, but nothing beyond that.

2. LeGarrette Blount

9 of 10

    TAMPA, FL - OCTOBER 24:  Running back LeGarrette Blount #27 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers straight arms safety Oshiomogho Atogwe #21 of the St. Louis Rams during the game at Raymond James Stadium on October 24, 2010 in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by J. Meric/Ge
    J. Meric/Getty Images

    Cadillac Williams' production has faltered this season with the Buccaneers. His carries have steadily declined, and LeGarrette Blount is slowly taking over the load. He is the Bucs' third down back because he is a better receiver and blocker.

    Blount will supplant Williams as the starter before the season's end if Williams keeps up his 2.5 YPC average. Additionally, the Bucs play the Cardinals this week, who are yielding more than 20 points per game to opposing running backs.

1. Ryan Fitzpatrick

10 of 10

    ORCHARD PARK, NY - OCTOBER 03: Ryan Fitzpatrick #14  of the Buffalo Bills gets a pass off with pressure from Jim Leonard #36 of the New York Jets   at Ralph Wilson Stadium on October 3, 2010 in Orchard Park, New York. The Jets won 38-14. (Photo by Rick St
    Rick Stewart/Getty Images

    Ryan Fitzpatrick has had several solid starts this season. In the last two weeks he has exploded for 594 yards and seven touchdowns. 

    This week, despite being owned in only 17 percent of ESPN leagues, Fitzpatrick should be a starter. Unless you have a player like Peyton Manning, Drew Brees or Aaron Rodgers who you start rain or shine, Fitzpatrick is a guy worth looking at.

    This week he will get to tee off against a terrible Chiefs secondary and has several legitimate options at wide receiver. The emergence of Steve Johnson alongside Lee Evans has helped this winless team's aerial attack. If Fitzpatrick is available, I recommend picking him up.