Week 11 Waiver Wire: And the Injuries Just Keep on Comin'
Injuries continue to be a huge factor this year and have affected some of the best players in the league. But even though these things can suck the life right out of your team, you deal with them and move on because, hey, this is fantasy football—not fantasy badminton.
Still, with guys like Andre Johnson, Darren McFadden, Jahvid Best and Ahmad Bradshaw all recovering at a snail's pace, and now Matt Schaub, Willis McGahee, Calvin Johnson and Jeremy Maclin all banged up as well, what do you do?
Hopefully you stashed a little depth on your squad that you can plug right in there—but what if you didn't?
This is where the all-important waiver wire comes in handy, and why you need to know exactly who is worth picking up and who you can safely drop.
Pickup: QB Rex Grossman (Washington Redskins)
Well, it wasn't his greatest game on Sunday, but at least Sexy Rexy is back in there doing his stuff.
Coach Shanahan must have finally realized what a mistake it was to have put his faith in QB John Beck, so it looks like Grossman will get the reins for at least a little while, if not through the end of the season.
His ability to put up large numbers every once in a while makes him intriguing as a backup QB for your fantasy team, especially with so many others falling like flies around the league.
Pickup: QB Vince Young (Philadelphia Eagles)
Turns out Michael Vick broke a couple of ribs in the first quarter of the game on Sunday, yet didn't tell the coaching staff because he wanted to complete the game.
Well...you probably should have told them you dumbass because your awful play was painful to watch and played no small part in your team losing the game!
That said, Vick fantasy owners need to grab Vince Young if he's available in case he can't play against the Giants next Sunday night. I mean really, how much worse could Vinsanity do for your team?!?!
Pickup: QB Matt Leinart (Houston Texans)
With starter Matt Schaub possibly done for the season with a Lisfranc injury, Matt Leinart will be called upon to play under center for the Texans for as long as he is needed.
By no means is he the answer to all your prayers at QB, but because Houston has one of the league's better sets of skill-position players (running backs, wide receivers and tight ends), Leinart is certainly worth a look if you were a fantasy owner of either Schaub or Kansas City Chiefs QB Matt Cassel (out indefinitely due to hand surgery).
Pickup: RB Lance Ball (Denver Broncos)
This one is a bit of a reach, especially if you don't have Willis McGahee and/or Knowshon Moreno already on your fantasy team, but Ball at least did well enough in their absence on Sunday to be trusted should he end up having to start due to injury.
McGahee looks like he'll be fine, but Moreno supposedly will need season-ending knee surgery, so keep an eye on the news throughout the week just in case grabbing Ball off the waiver wire becomes a necessity.
Pickup: RB Joe McKnight (New York Jets)
LaDainian Tomlinson has a sprained left MCL, the same type of injury that slowed him down considerably a few years ago while playing for the Chargers in the playoffs.
Couple that with the fact that he's been playing at a less than mediocre level since the first month of the season, and it looks like the Jets will finally have their chance to get McKnight involved in the offense.
With Shonn Greene playing only so-so at best this season, as well as being a terrible pass-catcher out of the backfield, look for New York to get the explosive McKnight into the game enough to see at least 10 touches per week for as long as LT21 is out.
Pickup: RB Donald Brown (Indianapolis Colts)
Brown has looked pretty good running for the Colts as of late, though it's likely he'll lose some playing time once Joseph Addai comes back from his injury.
It's possible, however, that with this season being lost, Brown gets an extra-long look from the coaches in the last six games to see if he has anything worth holding onto for next season.
Again, this one is a pretty hardcore long-shot, but if injuries have left you desperate, you could do worse.
Pickup: WR Steve Smith (Philadelphia Eagles)
If you happen to own Jeremy Maclin, Steve Smith could be a nice player to grab as a "just in case."
With DeSean Jackson out and Maclin all banged up against the Cardinals, Jason Avant found himself having quite a bit trouble getting open for Vick, so Smith became his guy for the majority of the game. Stevie ended up with 47 yards and five catches on 10 targets, numbers that may get better next week if Maclin can't make it.
Maclin (hamstring, separated shoulder) will have a tough time suiting up to play against the Giants next Sunday night, so it's quite possible Smitty will be the one getting a start based on how he played in his stead last game.
Pickup: WR Vincent Brown (San Diego Chargers)
Vincent looked pretty awesome out there on Thursday night against the Raiders, though his playing time may not stay the same if Malcom Floyd returns to the lineup next weekend (which is in serious question right now).
Still, he definitely put on a show and could easily end up passing Floyd on the depth chart seeing that Malcom is about the most average receiver in the NFL when healthy anyway.
Pickup: WR Harry Douglas (Atlanta Falcons)
If Julio Jones ends up missing more time with another bum hamstring, Douglas will certainly be worth a look on the wire seeing how he grabbed eight balls for 133 yards lining up opposite Roddy White in his absence.
Douglas was actually billed as one of the fastest receivers in the NFL when he started playing a few seasons ago, so you wouldn't just be picking up a slouch who has no chance at success. Harry was a real prospect back in 2008 and could just now be growing into his potential.
Julio looks like he may need some time off to really cure that injured hamstring, so go ahead and take the chance on Douglas here.
Pickup: WR Titus Young (Detroit Lions)
With news that Calvin Johnson (undisclosed injury) is iffy to play in Week 11, those of you who have him on your fantasy team might want to take a real hard look at rookie Titus Young.
Obviously Young won't be a savior for your team, but he has had four games of 50-plus yards so far this season, including two in the Lions last two games (he also had a touchdown in one of those games).
Titus is a real playmaker and will be the one Stafford will look to most against Carolina next weekend should Megatron miss the game.
Pickup: WR Jerricho Cotchery (Pittsburgh Steelers)
This one is more for just Week 11 and maybe Week 12, depending on when Emmanuel Sanders makes it back into the lineup.
That said, Jerricho was clearly the WR3 for the Steelers this past Sunday as it looks like Hines Ward was demoted from that position into the WR4 slot against the Bengals.
With Ward being as slow (and old) as he is, he simply can't keep up with the pace of the game anymore, so the coaching staff decided to use the dependable Cotchery in three-receiver sets over him. The move made a huge difference with J-Cotch catching two balls for 29 yards and the game's first touchdown.
Just know that this is only a move good for one or two weeks as the aforementioned Sanders will take back the WR3 slot upon his return.
Drops: RBs Peyton Hillis, Maurice Morris, LaDainian Tomlinson and WR Hines Ward
The next handful of players are a few guys you might have been holding on to, but can probably cut ties with at this point:
Peyton Hillis - RB - Cleveland Browns
Hillis has already been ruled out for Week 11 and has been largely ineffective even when he does make it out onto the field. If you're hurting bad at RB, go ahead and keep him on the off-chance he turns things around, but don't expect any miracles.
Maurice Morris - RB - Detroit Lions
You probably grabbed him when you saw that Jahvid Best was going to be out for awhile, but my bet is that you haven't even used him. If you have, you were likely just as disappointed with the results as it seems the Detroit coaching staff is.
The signing of Kevin Smith and slight usage of him on Sunday despite his only being on the team for a short time indicates that a change is coming to the backfield real soon, whether it be with Smith leading the way or a return of Best.
LaDainian Tomlinson - RB - New York Jets
The guy has basically done nothing since Week 3 of the season, and now that he's injured his knee again, you can't expect production to take a turn for the better anytime soon.
Cut him loose and go take a chance on someone else at this point.
Hines Ward - WR - Pittsburgh Steelers
If you were holding onto the old man hoping that he'd somehow find the elusive fountain of youth, you can put your hopes to rest now...both he and the Steelers have called off the search.
Click here to see the Full List of Waiver Wire Pickups and Drops from every week of the season
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