As the season progresses, there are not as many surprises, but there are injuries and there are the dreaded bye weeks to contend with. These factors still make monitoring the waiver wire a key aspect of fantasy squad management. Some players will be your “one and done” variety as temporary fill ins, but others will justify their long term value to your team.
Entering week six action, let’s take a look at some players who could help you this week, or for a longer stretch.
Josh Freeman, Minnesota Vikings – So the Pirate is now a Viking, in what is no doubt an interesting landing spot for him, for sure. Things became toxic quickly in Tampa Bay, but Freeman gets a nice fresh start in Minnesota, where they are currently led by backup QB Matt Cassel, filling in for perennial flop QB Christian Ponder. Don’t be surprised if this works out well for Freeman.
Nick Foles, Philadelphia Eagles – From the latest new reports on QB Michael Vick, the Eagles starter could be out of the lineup the next two weeks after injuring his hamstring against the New York Giants. Enter Foles, who while not as mobile as Vick, is more than capable of running the offense effectively. With a glorified opportunity to show the Eagles brass what he is made of, Foles could be a decent spot start in the instance of a bye week dilemma.
Brandon Weeden, Cleveland Browns – Back in the starting saddle with QB Brian Hoyer out of the season, Weeden while not a top flight option at the position, could present a solid replacement with some nice upcoming games against the Detroit Lions and the Green Bay Packers. He has some nice weapons downfield and a running game that is starting to come together. Couple that with the drive to prove himself yet again, he might surprise.
Willis McGahee, Cleveland Browns – It took him a few weeks, but it looks like McGahee is really starting to settle into his role as lead back for the Browns. With a solid performance this past week against Buffalo, McGahee is shaping into a pretty solid RB2 as long as he can stay healthy.
Zac Stacy, St. Louis Rams – Here is a guy making a case fo himself as the best backfield option for the Rams in 2013. Granted it was against the hapless Jacksonville Jaguars, but nonetheless he had a solid afternoon that could have been better if he wasn’t derailed early with a rib injury. He is reported to be fine and even though the matchup is a bite more difficult against the Texans, Stacy more than deserves roster consideration.
Mike Goodson, New York Jets – He is more of a wait and see proposition, as RB Bilal Powell has a somewhat firm grip on the starting gig for now. That said, Goodson may very well find his way back to fantasy viability sooner as opposed to later. If you have a spot on your roster to store him, it might be worth the gamble. **UPDATE** Powell wasn’t lights out on Monday night against the Atlanta Falcons, so things could get interesting in the New York Jets backfield.
Pierre Thomas, New Orleans Saints – I am always hesitant to recommend a running back in an offense like this, that most definitely favors the pass over the run. That said, Thomas has been pretty valuable as a receiver out of the backfield, and given the position is so thin in regards to respective options, Thomas represents solid value off the wire for sure.
Alshon Jeffery, Chicago Bears – Chances are this guy was drafted late or recently scooped up off the wire after an impatient owner dropped him after week three. Well if by chance he is available, Jeffrey is really starting to live up to the early off-season hype with some dominant performances. His recent play will also ease double teams on WR Brandon Marshall, so if you have either of these players, smile.
Justin Blackmon, Jacksonville Jaguars – Welcome back! Patient owners were rewarded this past week as Blackmon showed no rust as he returned from a league mandated four-game suspension to start the season. If impatience led Blackmon to the waiver wire, make a play for him now. But realize despite the stellar performance, the Jaguars quarterback situation is just terrible.
Keenan Allen, San Diego Chargers – When WR Malcom Floyd went down in the second week of the season, Allen came in with some solid enthusiasm for sure. With each passing week, he’s been more and more involved in the offense, at the expense of WR Eddie Royal. With the emphasis on passing in the Chargers offense, Allen is worth a look see without question.
Percy Harvin, Seattle Seahawks – If you have a spare spot on your roster, you might want to stash Harvin away. He is running and eligible to come off the PUP list in week seven. He is a gamble for sure, but if you have the opportunity or luxury to be patient, he could pay dividends later in the season.
Brandon Pettigrew, Detroit Lions - While I am not a huge fan, he along with teammate TE Tony Scheffler are seeing more targets with the loss of WR Nate Burleson. Like any TE not mentioned in the top five it is a crap shoot, but in this high octane offense, both Pettigrew and Scheffler are worth a look in a pinch.
Delanie Walker, Tennessee Titans – He’s been accused of having cinderblocks for hands, never a good description when you are a receiver. That said, QB Ryan Fitzpatrick seems to look to his tight end and despite the aforementioned moniker, the ball is not clanking off Walker’s paws at an alarming rate. He is a stretch, but in deeper leagues, if the matchup is right, Walker could be a serviceable option.
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