Fantasy Football Waiver Wire: 10 Pickups If You Are Desperate
As the NFL seasons transitions into its second trimester, the fantasy picture is starting to come into focus. The next six weeks of football will see much of this season's early groundwork fine-tuned. Some early trends will become patterns, while others prove to be anomalies.
If you can forecast which is which, then this is the perfect time to make a move to patch that gaping hole in your lineup. Week 5 has been particularly eventful—and with so much tumult, getting the right answers to these problems in Week 6 can mean the difference down the stretch.
Is Mike Shanahan going to stick with Rex Grossman? Who will fill the void Jason Campbell left? Is Kevin Kolb ever going to turn it around? What will Denver do without Brandon Lloyd?
And since I know you're strapped for fantasy cash, here are the 10 most unlikely bargain-bin pickups that could provide a fix.
Tarvaris Jackson, QB Seattle Seahawks
Wipe that puzzled look off your face and scoop your chin off the floor—I said "unlikely" and "bargain-bin," didn't I?
The fact is that Jackson has played very well the last two weeks, with 319 yards and three touchdowns against the Atlanta Falcons, while completing better than 68 percent of his passes against the New York Giants. As the young Seahawks offensive line continues to mature, look for Jackson to get more time to look down-field at guys like Sidney Rice and Doug Baldwin as the season progresses.
Kellen Winslow, Tampa Bay Buccaneers TE
In a year that eight tight ends already have over 300 yards through six weeks, Kellen Winslow has just 257 yards on 27 receptions and no touchdowns.
Look for all of those numbers to spike as the season unfolds.
Winslow may have just 27 receptions, but he is fourth in the league in targets for tight ends with 46. That means he is catching just 58 percent of his total chances right now, something the Bucs expect him to remedy as he becomes an important cog in their offense.
Willis McGahee, RB Denver Broncos
McGahee has been impressive this season, but the Broncos are falling behind in too many games—causing his red-zone opportunities to plummet. He has just one touchdown on the season.
But he has come on particularly strong of late—piling up 228 yards these past two weeks while averaging 7.4 yards per carry.
Expect the Broncos to put a heavy workload on him as they try to protect Tim Tebow with a good ground game and plenty of check-downs in the passing game.
Kevin Kolb, Arizona Cardinals QB
Kevin Kolb has been off to a disappointing start in Arizona, but it hasn't all been bad.
You can count on certain fantasy numbers to stay fairly consistent with him, as he has passed for over 230 yards in every game so far—with a high upside for more.
Another thing Kolb has done well so far is throw the deep ball—already with two passes over 70 yards, though interceptions have been a big problem.
But a bet against Kolb is also a bet against Larry Fitzgerald to haul in the lion's share of those jump balls, and I don't know of anyone who would advise that over the course of a season.
Seattle Seahawks Defense
The Seattle Seahawks are seventh in the league in run defense—forcing teams to pass almost exclusively. With a promising young safety tandem in Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas (above), Seattle's secondary should improve as the season continues.
Perhaps more importantly, expect them to not be hung out to dry as often. Seattle's offense should be able to keep them off the field longer than they have as the offensive line solidifies and they begin to sustain more drives.
Mike Williams, Tampa Bay WR
Mike Williams has stumbled a bit out of the gate, but the Bucs are not giving up on him—he is tied for sixth in the league in targets with 52.
As the Bucs continue to roll, expect opposing teams to take some of the double-teams off of Williams to try and cover more pressing threats.
He could be a real second-half surprise.
Mark Ingram, RB New Orleans Saints
Don't expect Ingram to generate many yards, but be an opportunist when it comes to his chances; the Saints prolific offense likes him at the goal line, and with plenty of red-zone opportunities look for Ingram to add to his three touchdowns in the second half of the season.
Eric Decker, WR Denver Broncos
Surprisingly, Eric Decker had already been outperforming Brandon Lloyd all year. But now that the prolific fantasy wide receiver has been dealt to San Fransisco look for Decker to get even more opportunities.
Doug Baldwin, WR Seattle Seahawks
To the surprise of everyone—including Seattle's coaches—the undrafted rookie wide receiver has done nothing but catch 20 passes for 330 yards and two touchdowns. In his short audition, he has shown quickness, breakaway speed and a knack for picking apart zone defenses.
Now that he has earned the trust of his coaches and quarterback, expect his role in the offense to expand.
Tim Tebow, QB Denver Broncos
Tim Tebow may not be everyone's idea of the perfect quarterback, but if the price is right he's a guy who should get a very good look.
Whether it adds up to wins or losses is irrelevant by fantasy standards.
The Broncos will take it slow with Tebow—transitioning to a run-first offense. Ironically, that is exactly what Tebow might prefer to do himself, and his propensity to take off in the red zone could help to compensate for any shortcomings in his fantasy value as a passer.