Week 14 Waiver Wire
December 5, 2011 | Eliot
Week 13 has turned out to be quite the week for a few guys on the Waiver Wire. Of the top 20 Fake Football performances across the league at least 3 of them are probably on your waiver wire in Ponder, Orlovsky and Thomas. Fairly unprecedented if you look at the last 6 weeks – the only potential waiver add in the top 20 of PPR leagues was John Skelton‘s Week 10 performance when he put up 315 yards and 3 TDs vs. Philly.
We’re headed into Playoff season which means hopefully your lineups are set, and you’re not scrounging for replacements. It’s imperative that you back your studs up, so Ray Rice owners – go claim Ricky Williams if he’s out there (he had a nice day anyway yesterday). 4th tier WR’s are not as important as backing up your starters at RB.
Good luck for those who made the playoffs, hopefully a few of these guys will get you to the next round. Don’t forget to follow me at @EBlessTFF on Twitter, happy to answer any add/drop questions or lineup quandaries you may have.
Christian Ponder, QB MIN – Ponder put together one of his better games of the year putting points on the board for the Vikings in every quarter. He finished the game 29/47 for 381 yards, 3 TDs and 2 INTs. 2 of his touchdowns went to Percy Harvin who has helped elevate the young quarterback’s game in the absence of Adrian Peterson. The plays wend for 52 and 48 yards. Ponder has a fake football playoff schedule that includes going to Detroit, home vs. New Orleans (who Matt Stafford just put 408 yards up on) and on the road in Washington.
Dan Orlovsky, QB IND – On most weeks nobody on the Colts is an advisable fantasy play, but when matched up against one of the worst passing defenses and down big, we don’t care about the flow of the game, we care about putting up statistics, which Dan the Man did on Sunday. Down 31-3 going into the 4th Orlovsky led 3 TD drives the final 2 which were capped off by passes to Pierre Garcon. He finessed with 353 yards, 2 TDs and a pick. His fantasy matchups aren’t great in the playoffs as Indy goes to Baltimore then is home vs. Tennessee and Houston but he might be worth a flier and a desperation play (particularly vs. Tennessee) and might get some more garbage stats at the end of games as the Colts churn towards 0-16.
Keep an eye on: Donovan McNabb CHI? (they’re in ‘talks’ reportedly), TJ Yates HOU (lets see what AJ’s status is before endorsing him), Tarvaris Jackson SEA
Players who shouldn’t be on waivers but if are, grab them: CJ Spiller BUF, Roy Helu WAS
Marion Barber, RB CHI – Forte owners, you DID back up your stud right? Oh you didn’t? Now’s your chance, hopefully you’ve got a nice waiver position because it looks like the Marion Barber show for the Bears from here on out. Make no mistake, Marion Barber is no Matt Forte. He doesn’t have the change of direction (or pace) that Forte does but he can catch the ball out of the backfield which is important in the Martz offense. He was a serviceable back for Dallas for several years, and hasn’t had the wear and tear that he typically would have this late in the season. Kahlil Bell may steal some carries but I think this job will be Barbers to lose. Pick him up.+
Brandon Saine, RB GB – James Starks re-aggravated his ankle injury in the second quarter of Green Bays win over New York which led to the emergence of Rookie Brandon Saine. Saine accumulated 45 total yards on the day and looked much more dynamic than Ryan Grant. His 4 receptions led the Packer backfield and they’ll look to keep the 23-year old involved if Starks needs to miss any time. Saine should be picked up by Starks/Grant owners, especially in PPR leagues, as we know the Packers are willing to break in young talent late in the year (see: Starks, 2010).
Steven Ridley, RB NE – Shanahanigans? Nope…Belichekigans. Ridley, not The Law Firm, not Woodhead, not Faulk, and not Vereen (who was inactive) led the Patriots in carries vs. the Colts. When the Pats got up big (as they’re likely to do the rest of the way – check their schedule) they handed the ball to Ridley down the stretch. He finished with 8 carries for 33 yards, which was almost 20 moor than BJGE. Ridley is not a guy your going to plug n’ play in your playoff run, but he’s definitely worth a stash on your bench in case BJGE gets hurt or Belichik smartens up and starts playing his young talent (a la Shanahan/Helu).
Players who shouldn’t be on waivers but if are, grab them: Brad Smith BUF,
Demaryius Thomas, WR DEN – Welcome back to fantasy relevance Mr. Thomas. I’m not sure where you’ve been since Week 2…of 2010. Thomas is a raw talent, your prototypical “big” receiver at 6’3″, 235 lbs. Came out of Georgia Tech (sounding familiar yet?) as a 1st round pick, 22nd overall, for the Bronco’s and has been battling injuries all year. By far his best game of the year, Thomas caught 4 balls for 144 yards and 2 TDs from everybody’s favorite QB Tim Tebow. Thomas is a risky play going forward since the Bronco’s are not going to throw the ball if they don’t have to, but he does have stellar matchups vs. New England and at Buffalo in Weeks 15 and 16. Thomas could be a high risk, high upside Flex option to close out the fantasy season.
Donald Driver, WR GB – Driver turned in a decent fantasy day, albeit without racking up a huge amount of yardage. His 2 TDs were crucial and it was clear that Rodgers was comfortable going to the veteran in a big moment on the field. Driver is battling with some serious competition in Green Bay for targets and he’s nothing more than backup add to either Greg Jennings or Jordy Nelson, but should one of those guys go down he’d likely be the first beneficiary of additional targets.
Andre Roberts, WR ARI – Roberts is quietly putting together a nice season alongside Larry Fitzgerald and Early Doucet in Arizona. He led the Cardinals with 6 catches for 111 yards outpacing both aforementioned Arizona wide receivers. Roberts and Kevin Kolb were on the same page all game, and he seems to have benefited from their 1st string QBs return. He’s got a tough schedule down the stretch facing San Fransisco, Cleveland then at Cincinnati. He could be a nice sleeper play Week 15 vs. Cleveland with Joe Haden blanketing Larry Fitzgerald, it could open up more lanes for Roberts to make plays.
Chaz Schilens, WR OAK – Schillens has stepped his game up big time in the absence of Jacoby Ford and Denarius Moore. Carson Palmer looked his way often vs. Miami and he responded with 6 catches for 89 yards with a long of 30. No other Raider player had more than 3 catches so Schillens clearly was Palmers favorite target on this day. Schillens has now put together back to back solid performances. If Moore and Ford continue to stay on the sideline, he’s got a nice matchup Week 14 at Green Bay where I’d consider him as a flex play, especially in a PPR league.
Logan Paulson TE, WAS – With news that Fred Davis could be suspended for the remaining 4 games of the year, the Redskins may have to turn to their 3rd string TE Logan Paulson, an undrafted free-agent out of UCLA. Paulson has performed decently in limited action (didn’t play in Week 13) and has 7 catches for 95 yards on the year. Washington historically has made good use of their TEs as both Davis and Chris Cooley (injured) have had fantasy success in recent years. Grossman is a check-down machine so Paulson could be a sneaky add this week in anticipation of Davis’ suspension.
Jacob Tamme TE, IND – Tamme appeared to benefit from Orlovsky at the helm securing 5 catches for 49 yards on 6 targets. Tamme is a big TE, who lacks speed but runs good routes. He’s got the same tough schedule down the stretch but he’s likely to remain consistent with 50 yards receiving, mixing in at least a TD or 2 in the final 3 fantasy weeks.
Olindo Mare K, CAR – Mare has put up 29 points in his last 3 weeks combined as Carolina has been able to move the ball and put up points recently. He’s got a decent chance to kick 2 or more FGs vs. Atlanta in Week 14 and has a very good matchup in Week 16 vs. Tampa Bay in a game that Carolina should put up 30+.
Denver DST – If you’re a matchup DST player you were happy with Denver putting a TD on the board, and not so happy with the amount of points they gave up to Ponder and the Vikings in Week 13. They’ve got another good matchup on paper when they host Chicago and their depleted offense. No Matt Forte, and no Jay Cutler mean Marion Barber and Caleb Hanie will be the primary ball handlers facing the Denver D. Hanie is coming off a 3 INT day and Kansas City was able to hold them to a measly 3 points. Grab Denver and start with confidence.