By Mike Cannici
I have decided to not include the percentage owned per league anymore, as my research has shown way too many leagues because of dead teams are skewed. Whatever league you are using, the percentage owned is almost always listed in the players section if you were interested. The fact is, if you see the name on here go look to see if he’s available, chances are at least half the players listed will be unowned. This list is not as long as usual but that’s what tends to happen as the season goes on, there’s less fantasy “surprises” coming out of the wood work. Anyone who may be available in your league that you don’t see on this list, you can always email us at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org for any questions or comments. Enjoy and good luck this week.
David Garrard (JAC) – Garrard has now strung together two solid performances in a row and has some pretty good matchups the next 5 weeks. He’s a pretty good matchup play going forward and has finished in the top 12 fantasy QB’s each of the last two seasons, so the potential is definitely there.
Josh Freeman (TB) – Freeman put up 280 yards and a TD last week in a win over the Bengals and has posted 19 or more fantasy points in three of the Bucs four games thus far. Mike Williams is looking like a future star in the making and he and Freeman could be a great combo for the next few years. He has some great matchups coming up as well including the Saints in week 6, followed by the Rams, Cardinals and Falcons. As a bye week filler or matchup play, you could definitely do worse, and did I forget to mention, he can run a little bit too.
Mike Hart (IND) – Hart came in for the injured Joseph Addai(shoulder) and posted solid numbers (50yards and a TD) including the game sealing score. He ran hard and does have some speed. Donald Brown is nursing a hamstring injury and hasn’t practiced in two weeks and Addai’s week 6 availability is still up in the air. If you’re looking for a potential starter on a great offense, Hart just might be your man. All Addai owners need to grab him immediately as well as anyone hurting at the RB position like I am in a few of my leagues.
Earnest Graham (TB) – Graham had only three touches in Sundays win against the Bengals, but made more out of those three than the other Bucs RB’s. Graham had just three carries but ran for 65 yards and a TD. Cadillac had eleven carries for just 3 yards and Kareem Huggins had just one carry. Rookie LaGarette Blount finished with just four carries for 3 yards. This backfield right now is a bit of a mess, but Graham is a pretty good add. Remember, back in 2007 Graham had 898 yards and 10 TD, so he has the potential to put up some pretty decent numbers going forward.
Derrick Ward (HOU) – Ward had another decent day, outperforming starter Arian Foster in a blowout loss at home to the NY football Giants. Ward finished with only one carries but it did go for a TD, therefore giving him the more productive day out of the two. Foster apparently suffered a “minor” leg injury during the game but claims it is nothing. That very well may be the case, but if he were to miss time it would be Ward who would take over the workload. Ward makes for a solid add especially since Foster has yet to go through the pounding of an entire season and remember Ward did rush for a 1000 yards just two short years ago so he does have the talent.
Brandon Jacobs (NYG) – I’m not sure he was dropped in any of your leagues, but he was in a few of mine and you need to rush out and get him. Ahmad Bradshaw had 16 carries to Jacobs 10 but Jacobs was the goal line back and did find the end zone. It looks like Jacobs has calmed down and has found a little bit of his swagger once again. The team may have a little bit more of a split in touches going forward in order to keep both backs fresh especially with Bradshaw’s history of ankle and foot injuries. Bradshaw is still the better bet of having the “Big” game going forward, but those looking for a decent flex starter from time to time, Jacobs is a pretty good option, especially this week against the Lions 28th ranked rush defense.
Danny Amendola (STL) – A few weeks back I suggested grabbing this guy especially in PPR leagues and in some deeper standard leagues. With the season ending injury to Mark Clayton, Amendola now appears to be the main guy and leads the team in targets and receptions. He’s not a great bet to score a lot of TD but unless Laurent Robinson proves he can stay healthy, Amendola should lead the team in all receiving categories, (except maybe TD) for the rest of the season. He’s my number one waiver add for receivers this week off this list and possibly number one overall in PPR leagues.
Nate Burleson (DET) – Burleson had a solid game in his return from a two week layoff with an ankle injury finishing with four catches for 56 yards and a TD. The guy has a lot of potential, and some people believing Calvin Johnson’s shoulder injury could be serious, Burleson gets a huge boost in value. The biggest question with Nate is whether he can stay healthy. If your struggling at the receiver position you could probably do a lot worse, so take a shot and see what happens.
Brandon Tate/Julian Edelman (NE) – The trade of Randy Moss was processed after last week’s waiver article was posted so I will insert him here. This kid has been a return man for the Pats so far this season but now will step into the starting role opposite Wes Welker. He’s got good size (6’1) and tremendous hands and speed to go along with it. We cannot be quite sure yet if he’ll be a superstar but the Patriots love to throw the ball and he will be a big beneficiary of those passes. Fellow receiver Julian Edelman figures to get a lot more looks as well as the season goes on and is worth a look especially in PPR leagues as he fits that Wes Welker mold. Edelman performed very well in limited time last year with 37 receptions for 359 yards and 1 TD. Tate and Edelman both could provide fantasy owners a lot of value going forward so don’t be late to the party and grab the jack and coke before the store closes.
Anthony Armstrong (WAS) – This kid as a lot of potential in this offense. Armstrong put up three catches for 84 yards and a great leaping catch of 48 yards for a TD late in the game. Joey Galloway is basically a non factor so Armstrong could be that solid #2 receiver in McNabb’s offense. He can get down the field and also run good cross routes so go out and grab him if any of the above guys are unavailable. He could be a potential waiver gem and be a solid flex play if he can put together a few more games. He’s worth a speculative add in 12 team or deeper leagues.
Marcedes Lewis (JAC) – This guy was mentioned a few weeks back and has been on a role ever since. Lewis has posted double digit fantasy points in four of five games thus far and has scored 5 TD. David Garrard seems to love him in the red zone and if you’re a Jermichael Finley owner like me and are looking for a replacement, Lewis just may be your guy. This obviously depends on your league structure and who’s sitting on the waiver wire. I know I’m putting a bid in on him in two of my leagues this week and so should you if you’re in the market for a TE.
Ben Watson (CLE) – Watson is currently ranked 12th amongst TE in fantasy points in PPR leagues thus far. He has been uncharacteristically consistent and I don’t see that changing even if rookie Colt McCoy has to go under center. QB’s Jake Delhomme and Seneca Wallace are both suffering from high ankle sprains and McCoy may get his first start of the year this Sunday in dreaded Pittsburgh. Watson may be the only receiver to hold any value with McCoy playing because he may have to throw a lot of short passes so Watson and RB Peyton Hillis should be the most valuable in the passing game. He’s another guy to take a look at if you’re a Finley owner.