Fantasy Football Week 9: 10 Waiver Wire Pickups For the Savvy Fantasy Owner
Of course it depends on who is available in your league, but sometimes, a waiver-wire pickup can save your season. Or at least one week of your season.
Maybe your backup running back or third string receiver just isn't producing for you.
Inside are 10 good backup plans if your team is hurting for some points.
No. 10: Greg Camarillo, WR, Minnesota Vikings
2010 Statistics: 6 catches, 63 yards, 1 touchdown
If you pick up Camarillo, it wouldn't be for what he HAS done, it's for what he could do, starting this week.
Randy Moss is gone and Percy Harvin is going to be slowed by his bum ankle. That means the Vikings should be playing backups at both receiver positions.
Chances are Bernard Berrian has already been snatched up in your league. But he's had the dropsies all year, so Brett Favre may target Camarillo, when he isn't giving the ball to Adrian Peterson or Visanthe Schiancoe.
No. 9: LaRod Stephens-Howling, RB, Arizona Cardinals
2010 Statistics: 13 carreis, 94 yards, 1 TD
It seems as if head coach Ken Wisenhunt has rewarded LaRod Stephens-Howlings great special teams play with a few chances at running back. Last week against the Bucs, he carried the ball four times for 41 yards and scored a huge second half touchdown.
Most owners in your league probably already have Beanie Wells and Tim Hightower, but because the Cardinals would be wise to run the ball this week (Derek Anderson/Max Hall), LSH isn't a bad guy to have on your roster.
BenJarvus Ellis-Green ran over the Minnesota defense last week, especially in the second half. As the Vikings season sinks further and further into the doldrums, the ferocity of their defense might follow.
No. 8: Kris Brown, K, San Diego Chargers
2010 Statistics: 4 field goals, 5 PAT, 17 points
Brown was released by the Texans in early September and was just signed three weeks ago to replace the injured Nate Kaeding, so he's probably not on anyone in your league's radar.
Although he missed a long game-winner against the Patriots in Week Seven, he made both his other attempts that day, and made all three attempts against the Titans last week.
If he didn't play for the number one offense in the NFL, he probably wouldn't be a great sign. The Chargers running game probably can't be counted on in the redzone which means there's a good chance they'll have to settle for field goals.
And because the Chargers play two of their next three games inside domes, Brown is a good pickup.
No. 7: Tony Moeaki, TE, Kansas City Chiefs
2010 Statistics: 24 catches, 280 yards, 2 touchdowns
The Chiefs passing game has struggled virtually every week this season: they rank last in the NFL with 164 yards per game. They remain atop the AFC West, however. Defense and the No. 1 rushing attack are the main reason why.
But Kansas City knows that in order to cash in the division title and make some noise in the postseason, they'll have to improve the passing game. The safest way to do so (without just throwing screens to Dwayne Bowe) is to involve the tight end more. Simple curls and posts over the middle should open things up for the rest of the offense.
And Charlie Weis--who always featured something for the tight end in New England—has already started to fold Moeaki into the mix. He has multiple catches every week, and is averaging better than 10 yards per catch.
Leonard Pope has not been the answer for KC. More of Moeaki might be.
No. 6: New Orleans Saints D/ST
2010 Statistics: 4th ranked total defense, 8th ranked scoring defense
If you or someone else in your league bailed on the Super Bowl champs defense during the past few weeks because they haven't been creating nearly as many turnover-into-touchdowns as they did last year, it might be time to give them a second chance.
Especially this week. The Saints have pretty good stats (4th in yards allowed, 8th in points allowed), and this week they are playing the Panthers. Carolina is dead-last in the NFL in yards per game, and while that doesn't directly translate into fantasy points, it should.
Because they're playing Drew Brees, the Panthers will be so far behind that (unless they want to be seen as surrendering) they will throw the ball plenty. In a blowout, that should yield a few sacks, a few turnovers, and maybe a defensive touchdown. Carolina is tied with Arizona for the most turnovers in the league.
No. 5: Antwaan Randle El, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers
2010 Statistics: 11 catches, 129 yards, 0 TD
Mike Wallace is the big threat down the field, but Randle El is a nice second option. He should have had a touchdown catch last week at New Orleans, but was tackled at the one yard line.
Even though he was just signed this offseason, Randle El is comfortable with Ben Roethlisberger, Hines Ward, and offensive coordinator Bruce Arians who were all there during Randle El's first stint in Pittsburgh.
Arians was even Randle El's wide receivers coach in 2004 and 2005: now he's the playcaller for Pittsburgh.
With all the attention that Ward, Wallace, Heath Miller and Rashard Mendenhall garner—it would be easy for the defense to overlook him.
And don't rule out his involvement in a trick play, either throwing or running for a touchdown.
No. 4: LeGarrette Blount, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2010 Statistics: 43 carries, 222 yards, 3 TDs
This is a repeat from two weeks ago (check it out here, I was saying this BEFORE Blount totaled 192 yards on 33 carries the past to weeks!), but in case you didn't listen back then, maybe you can snatch him up now.
The Bucs may have finally found their feature back, after experimenting with Cadillac Williams and Earnest Graham. Blount provided a huge boost to the Bucs offense last week when they needed him in the second half against Arizona.
This week, they have another momentous game at a dome, at Atlanta. The Falcons run defense is pretty good (sixth in the NFL), but Blount is a great player steal if he's available in your league. He's young, doesn't have the tremendous mileage that Williams and Graham do, and, at 250+ pounds, is hard to bring down.
By the end of November, he should be averaging nearly 20 carries per game.
No. 3: Patrick Crayton, WR, San Diego Chargers
2010 Statistics: 22 catches, 339 yards, 0 TD
The Chargers have the number one passing offense in the NFL. This week they are playing the Houston Texans, who have the worst-ranked pass defense in the entire NFL.
So if you have Philip Rivers and/or Antonio Gates, you're set for a bundle of points. But Houston defensive coordinator Frank Bush will do everything he can to stop Antonio Gates from having a monster day.
Both starting wide receivers for the Chargers, Malcom Floyd and Legedu Naanee are nursing sore hamstrings and might not be able to go on Sunday. That means Crayton will get his share of chances to be Rivers second option.
No. 2: Roscoe Parrish, WR, Buffalo Bills
2010 Statistics: 26 catches, 340 yards, 1 TD
Parish has the pedigree to be a great wide receiver, having played behind Andre Johnson at Miami. And he was a 2nd round pick back in 2005. Now he hasn't lived up to that selection, yet.
But in 2010 he should far exceed his previous career bests in catches and touchdowns. (He's only nine catches and 12 yards shy of doing so). More to the point, the Bills have built a fairly dynamic passing game under Ryan Fitzpatrick and Chan Gailey.
Lee Evans is the key, and Steve Johnson is the main second option. But the Bills almost never throw to their tight end and their feature back Fred Jackson only has seven catches.
That means Parrish should continue to be the third wheel, which isn't a bad spot for a team that is 0-7, desperate, and playing pretty good football.
No. 1: Chester Taylor, RB, Chicago Bears
According to ESPN.com, less than 45 percent of the league owners have Taylor on their roster. That's not surprising since he has only 44 carries all season and because Matt Forte is a duel threat at catching and running.
But for whatever reason, Mike Martz has barely used Forte all season. Aside from his 166 yard, two-touchdown day in Week 5, Forte is averaging less than 12 carries per game.
This week, the Bears play the Bills, who have (by more than 30 yards per game) the worst run defense in the NFL. The last time Chicago played a below average defense, Carolina, Taylor carried the ball 18 times, Forte 22 times.
They'll run in order to get a lead, and then run to kill the clock. Taylor should be a receive 15-20 carries and a few passes out of the backfield.