Throughout the fantasy season, every team goes through numerous ups and downs. Players get hurt or lose playing time, running backs see fewer carries, receivers fewer targets, and so on.
Many teams are made or broken by the waiver pickups they make during the course of the season. So, here are the top waiver wire pickups that could have been made this year by fantasy owners.
Tim Tebow: Tim Tebow has been a pretty solid fantasy option for owners who were able to pick him up. While his raw stats may not be that impressive, he's had some big games for his owners and usually is a decent fantasy start if the matchup is right.
Antonio Brown: Antonio Brown has really been a good player this season. He's been consistent this year, something that you can never complain about when it comes to picking up guys off of the waiver wire.
Brandon Pettigrew: This may come as somewhat of a surprise, but Pettigrew has quietly put together a nice season, especially in PPR leagues. He wasn't a name called on draft day, but he has produced some big games for his owners this season.
Cam Newton, although not a personal favorite of mine, has been fantasy gold for his owners. While his passing has been somewhat inconsistent due to a lot of turnovers, where he's really come through for owners is in the rushing department.
Cam has 13 rushing touchdowns. While a huge amount of those have seem to come on quarterback sneaks, he's still score them so I have to give him his credit. I think he's like a younger version of Michael Vick, in terms of fantasy production on the ground, but without the injury risk. Newton went largely undrafted on draft day, and anyone who picked him up has not been disappointed.
Although DeMarco Murray has been lost for the season due to an ankle injury, he was absolutely killing it for fantasy owners this year when Felix Jones went down with an injury.
Murray burst onto the scene with a 235-yard performance a couple of months back, and had it not been for the injury, he would've easily surpassed the 1,000-yard mark, despite barely playing in the first month of the season.
Murray was on my fantasy team, and he really helped me down the stretch to give me the push I needed in order to get into the playoffs.
He was an awesome pick up, and should be drafted high in next year's fantasy drafts. It's a shame that he had his season cut short, but he certainly made the most of the time he had.
Yes, another Cowboy. When Miles Austin went down with a hamstring injury, Laurent Robinson stepped in and filled his shoes, and then some.
Robinson is on pace to have 1000 yards receiving, and he already has eight touchdowns. He even scored a TD in five straight games, something you'll rarely see in a waiver wire guy.
Perhaps what has been even more impressive is that even when Miles Austin came back last week, which demoted Robinson to the WR3 position for Dallas, he was still able to have a ton of success and have a huge game against the Giants.
Everyone who picked him up off the waiver wire certainly knows it was well worth it.
On draft day, he was either selected late or went undrafted, largely because he was seen as the backup to Knowshon Moreno.
Well, McGahee owners, many of whom picked him up off the waiver wire earlier in the season, have not been disappointed. He's rushed for over 100 yards six times this season.
Although he's had some poor games, he's been beneficial more often than not to his owners this year, which is all you can really ask for when taking a guy who wasn't even the starter on his team when the season began.
I have to admit, Torrey Smith is a personal favorite of mine. Every time Joe Flacco drops back and throws up a deep ball, you know you're going to see Smith diving and trying to make a spectacular play. Early in the season, he had a monstrous 150-yard, 3-touchdown game, which really put him on the map.
While he's had some bad games since then, he's produced pretty well for his owners, and he is always a huge threat to put up a monster day, which is an upside that fantasy owners really like to see.
Torrey Smith may not always put up fantastic numbers, but when he has a good game, he really goes off. He was a great flex addition to any team that was able to claim him off waivers.
Victor Cruz is one of the better waiver-wire pickups that I can recall in recent years. Cruz has been an absolute stud for anyone that was lucky enough to claim him earlier this season.
Since he became relevant in the offense in Week 3, he's only had one bad game. He has almost 1,200 receiving yards already this season.
Cruz is arguably good enough to be your WR1, if you just go by the numbers. He's been tearing it up all year and shows no signs of slowing down any time soon.
If you have him on your team, congratulations, you've got the best waiver-wire pickup of the 2011 fantasy football season.