Fantasy Football Week 8: Top 10 Waiver Wire Pickups
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.