Monday, October 1, 2012

Post Week 4: Waiver Wire Wednesday

Week 4 Waiver Wire Wednesday

For the third consecutive week I am going to be using the Waiver Acquisition (W.A.), Non-Waiver Acquisition (N.W.A.), and Do Not Add (D.N.A.) tags to rate the players. If you need a refresher about what the rankings mean, check out this old post. I am also going to be putting the owned percentage for Yahoo! leagues next to the player, just like last week. 

The new element this week is that I am going to group players by position. The failure to do that least week was an oversight on my part, but I am going to try to be just as thorough as I was last week. There will be many players listed as D.N.A, many listed as N.W.A, and few listed as W.A. As of week four there aren't a whole lot of players who are just breaking out, so there are similarly fewer great options on waivers. The Cowboys, Lions, Raiders, and Buccaneers all have week 5 off. 

If you are curious about my past waiver listings: Week 1, Week 2, and Week 3.
Weekly player rankings from Week 4.


The quarterback pool is pretty shallow on waivers these days. There are 16 quarterbacks owned in 80%+ of leagues and 20 quarterbacks owned in at least 50% of leagues. Fortunately, there are still a few guys who would be worth an add if you have no one to cover you during the bye weeks.

W.A. Ryan Fitzpatrick @ SF [47%] - Ryan Fitzpatrick has a terrible matchup with the 49ers this week, but he is still one of the better options to play in place of Romo or Stafford. Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller are both back and should be fully healthy this coming week, but the 49ers have a stiff run defense. The 49ers are a great running team and after watching what the Patriots did to the Bills this weekend, Fitzpatrick should throw the ball a lot. He likely won't outperform other potential adds like Andy Dalton [63%] or Jay Cutler [72%], but at 47% he is much more likely to be available in your league.

D.N.A. Jake Locker @ MIN [40%] Matt Hasselbeck @ MIN [2%]- So old-man Hasselbeck is likely to be starting this week against Minnesota. I'm not sure how I feel about that from a fantasy perspective. I think I'll just avoid him completely.

N.W.A. Christian Ponder vs TEN [26%] - Ponder has a chance to play big against the Titans, but he hasn't been very high-scoring or predictable thusfar this season. With Ponder averaging about 200 yards and one touchdown per game, you're probably better off taking a chance on someone else. On the up-side, Tennessee is playing bad defense this season.

N.W.A. Russel Wilson @ CAR [21%] - After an amazing preseason, the only really notable thing that Wilson has accomplished thusfar is getting the replacement refs fired...all-in-all, not a bad rookie season. I would be surprised if the Seahawks don't give Matt Flynn a try in the near future, with Wilson averaging about 150 passing yards per game with 1TD and 1INT. His running, which was highly touted heading into this season, has only netted 80 yards through 4 games. If he was every going to have a breakout performance, it would probably be against the Panthers. Play him if you are in need of a really big game, but know that there is a chance he will score 4 or fewer points. I like the matchup for him against the Panthers.

D.N.A. Sam Bradford vs ARI [21%] - Sam Bradford has been pretty up and down this season, but he hasn't done anything to suggest to me that he can beat the Cardinals defense. He could have a big game, but I would avoid him this week.

D.N.A. Matt Cassel vs BAL [15%] - Cassel has been good for over 250 passing yards per game so far this season, but that hasn't really translated into fantasy points. You would do best to avoid him this week against the Ravens defense.

N.W.A. Kevin Kolb @ STL [10%] - While he isn't racking up passing yards, Kolb is going for nearly 2 touchdowns per game and has really hit a groove over the last two weeks. Unlike Skelton, the Cardinals are winning with Kolb rather than in spite of him. I think he finally proved himself despite the terrible offensive line. He doesn't face a terrible matchup against the Rams, so he could be a serviceable fill in for Romo or Stafford in deep leagues.

D.N.A. Ryan Tannehill @ CIN [5%] - Tannehill had a nice game last week, but he only has 2 touchdowns compared to 6 interceptions this season. I would avoid him, even against the Bengals defense. At some point their corners are going to get healthy.

Running Backs:

As opposed to some seasons where running backs slowly drop off with injuries, the running backs this season are just reaching their peak as of Week 5. There really isn't a whole lot to be found on waivers at this point in the season, but you can still take a few flyers if you are in desperate need this week. 

W.A. Jackie Battle @ NO [21%] - Battle surprisingly started against the Chiefs last week, but he wasn't nearly as efficient as Ryan Mathews. I think Mathews will probably get the start after getting nearly 6 yards per carry, but Battle has probably carved out some goal-line work for himself in the future. If you need a back this week, you'll probably have to grab him off waivers.

W.A. Bilal Powell vs HOU [19%] - Powell saw more snaps than Shonn Greene last week, and he is looking to take over the starting spot from Greene. Chris Johnson was surprisingly successful against the Texans last weekend, and while you shouldn't expect anything close to 100+ yards from Powell, he could be a moderate play.

N.W.A. Brandon Bolden @ NE [8%] - This guy had a great game against Buffalo and was used extensively behind Ridley. I can't promise that he's going to do anything this week against the Broncos, but with very little coming off waivers he could be a decent add.

N.W.A. Evan Royster vs ATL [14%] - Another guy to play if you absolutely must have a running back. He could become the #3 back behind Alfred Morris and Ryan Grant is Grant is activated, so keep a close eye on the situation.

Wide Receivers:

The wide receiver position is somewhere that you can find great options every week if you know where to look for them. There is always someone out there who can help your team.

W.A. Brian Hartline @ CIN [24%] - Hartline absolutely blew up in week 4 with 253 yards and a touchdown. I put him down last week and I can admit that I was wrong about him. The targets are there, so he should be a decent play whenever you need him.

W.A. Andre Roberts @ STL [13%] - I've been pushing Roberts for the last 3 weeks, but he hasn't been picked up in many leagues. He will probably get a lot more attention after his two touchdown performance against the Dolphins. He gets plenty of looks from Kolb and should be a consistent scorer all season.

N.W.A. Brandon LaFell vs SEA [49%] - Odds are that LaFell is going to be dropped in more leagues than he is added after his zero catch game against Atlanta this weekend, but that should not have been a surprise to anyone. The Falcons have done a great job this season stopping opposing wide receivers. The Seahawks are less efficient, so LaFell should be back to worth playing for people with lots of receivers on BYE this week.

N.W.A. Domenik Hixon vs CLE [4%] - If Hakeem Nicks is out again, Hixon is going to be the guy you want to start in week 5. It is becoming abundantly clear that the Giants can effectively use exactly two receivers, and that the second receiver is typically the more successful one. I wouldn't grab him off waivers unless there is seriously negative news about Nicks before Wednesday.

 **Edit: (Thanks to Redhawk for pointing out that I did not save this edit before) Hakeem Nicks is still doing poorly. He is getting tested and is not improving. Hixon becomes a great add.

N.W.A. Donnie Avery vs GB [23%] - Austin Collie is officially out for a long, long time and either Avery or T.Y. Hilton is going to slide into the WR2 role for the Colts. Donnie Avery has the leg up in that race and should get the start this week against the Packers. If you need a player and can't grab Hartline, feel free to try Avery out for a week.

W.A. Donald Jones @ SF [3%] - Donald Jones was my sleeper of the week for wide receivers and he performed admirably. This week will be a lot tougher against the 49ers defense, but he is still going to get a solid number of targets in an offense that is going to need to pass to move the ball.

N.W.A. T.Y. Hilton vs GB [5%] - If you don't trust Donnie Avery to be the #2 guy in Indy, you could give T.Y. Hilton a shot. He had a big game before the bye week, but there is little evidence to suggest that he will have another good game this season. If you have an extra bench spot or are in a very deep league he could be a valuable add.

D.N.A. James Jones @ IND [31%] - Jones has been the best Packers receiver so far this season, but I just don't see that lasting for much longer. He is a good player, but he isn't as good as Jennings or Nelson. I wouldn't bother playing him if you can help it, even though the matchup with the Colts is pretty positive.
**Edit: The news on Jennings is pretty negative at this point. Jones could be a could grab off waivers if you need a week 5 fill-in player.

D.N.A. Joe Morgan vs SD [0%] - While he will probably jump over 0% after his 80 yard touchdown reception, that was only his second catch this season. You shouldn't add him under pretty much any circumstances.

Tight Ends:
W.A. Scott Chandler @ SF [29%] - Chandler has reached the end zone in three of four games this season, but doesn't really grab many yards. He is either going to net you a nice reward in touchdowns or disappoint you in yards. If you absolutely need a tight end, you will probably have to grab him off waivers.

W.A. Greg Olsen vs SEA [53%] - There aren't a whole lot of valuable tight ends on waivers, and Greg Olsen is likely to be a highly sought after commodity if he is available in your league. You'll have to grab him off waivers if you need him badly.

N.W.A. Jared Cook @ MIN [50%] - Cook is very variable in terms of fantasy production, but he is a pretty good option if you were counting on Pettigrew or Witten this week you could look towards Cook to get you through this week.

D.N.A. Coby Fleener vs GB [30%] - Coby Fleener probably isn't worth adding or playing this week. The Packers aren't great against tight ends, but the Colts aren't committed to getting Fleener the ball and he hasn't had much success so far this season.


  1. It seems like your commentary is geared towards how you feel about these player's prospects in this upcoming week, or near future. I think long term analysis would be more beneficial, because most waiver wire adds are just long term depth or stash and hope they get opportunity players.

    1. For the most part, those players to stash and hold don't need to be picked up off waivers. You can grab them on Saturday afternoon and hold them. Waivers are typically geared towards picking up short-term prospects or players who just had big games to cover bye weeks.

      I see your point though and will work on a list of long-term depth players.

    2. I disagree. At this point in the season I look at waivers for one-week fill-ins when my starters are on BYE or hurt.

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  3. Is Rashard Mendenhall not on here because a) he's too obvious/shouldn't be on waivers in most leagues (my league is 8-team and he's available), b) he's not a good play this week, or c) you don't feel he's worth adding?

    1. Mendenhall is absolutely worth adding. I didn't put him on here because he was owned in over 50% of leagues (he is at 67% owned right now), so less than half of readers would find the information beneficial. He is owned in every one of my leagues.

  4. Great tips in here!

  5. I have Pierre Garcon, Marques Colston, Greg Jennings, Should I drop 1 for Andre Roberts pickup. I'm looking at Garcon.

    1. I think you'd regret those moves. While Jennings and Garcon have been injured, both are much better options than Andre Roberts in the long run. You could trade either player for someone better than Roberts.

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