Well, we have 4 weeks in the books and the bye weeks are about to begin with Baltimore, Cleveland, Dallas, Miami, St. Louis and Washington all about to take the week off. For this and the three weeks that follow, depth will be very important and ignoring the waiver wire could prove to cost fantasy owners some very important wins. So let’s take a look at the most appealing guys left on free agency in a lot of leagues.
Jacoby Jones, WR, HOU – If you didn’t see Andre Johnson’s injury, it looked TERRIBLE. He caught the ball, turned up field and crumpled to the ground like someone shot him. These non-contact injuries tend to be more severe and while the news has been good so far, I am still considering Johnson to be out for at least two weeks and his fantasy-owners should plan accordingly. Jones was a popular sleeper last season as he is similar to AJ in many ways and the Texans’ offense is now looking for someone to fill that role. If I owned Johnson, I would run to get Jones off the waiver wire before someone else scoops him up and you miss out on all the targets that Jones should be about to see.
Ryan Torain, RB, WAS – Everytime I answer a question or give advice on a Redskins RB, I give the Shanahan disclaimer. Mike Shanahan hates fantasy owners and you can NEVER be surprised to see his starter or feature back change. Ever. Ryan Torain was the guy I thought was the best feature-back to lead the team in carries and Hightower has never been in that role before and Helu looks more like a third down back. Out of left field, Torain was put in and tallied 135 yards and a TD. Washington is on its way to the Bye week for this week, but Torain has to be considered the top fantasy-option among Redskins backs and can’t be left on free agency. But, don’t expect this to be a long-term deal with his injury concerns.
Laurent Robinson, WR, DAL – Dallas is about to head into the bye week and Austin is going to get healthy again before too long. But Ogletree had appeared to be the one you want while Austin is out, but Robinson showed this week that he is the guy you want after 7 catches for 116 yards.
Stevan Ridley, RB, NE – This is the second week in a row where I thought Ridley looked better than Law Firm and I am starting to get concerned for the value of both Woodhead and Law Firm. This week Woodhead was almost completely irrelevant and both Green-Ellis and Ridley saw double digit carries as well as found the end zone. On six fewer carries, Ridley out rushed Law Firm by 22 yards. I would pick up Ridley but I am not excited to need to use any of three Patriot backs until we can be sure how they will be used.
Eric Decker, WR, DEN – Lloyd was back and he was still putting up numbers. Why Decker is only owned in just over 60% of leagues is beyond me. 5 catches for 56 yards and two TD’s adds up to a quality outing for fantasy owners. As we head into the bye weeks, you can do a LOT worse than starting Decker in your flex.
Steve Breaston, WR, KC – The Chiefs brought in Breaston to be a complimentary deep threat to play opposite Dwayne Bowe. Now that Charles is gone and the running game is lacking, Breaston is forced to play the role of possession receiver. I wouldn’t recommend picking him up unless your in a deeper PPR league… but he has value going into 4 straight weeks of 6 teams on bye.
Victor Cruz, WR, NYG – This guy just looks like a play maker on the field. You get the sense that anytime the ball gets into his hands, he has a chance to take it all the way. Apart from a bonehead play that almost backfired big-time, his 6 catches for 98 yards looks pretty impressive with both Nicks and Manningham in the lineup. And for the record, I DO think he gave himself up on that play. He didn’t trip, he just flopped down face first between two defenders and left the ball there as he went back to the huddle. He likely assumed someone touched him as the defenders were RIGHT there and I highly doubt he’ll make that mistake again.
Scott Chandler, TE, BUF – He is a fine play if your guy is on a bye week or even in a TD only league, but after this week we know that Buffalo is not yet an elite offense and Chandler has only REALLY been effective around the goal line. There is really no reason to hold a bench spot for Chandler in your standard league. I just find it too hard to trust a guy with one career catch before this season.
Johnny Knox, WR, CHI – With the woes that the Bears offensive line is trying to fight through, the Bears’ passing game won’t be more than mediocre this season and Cutler only has time to find an open receiver or check down to Forte in the flat. I don’t think you should drop Knox unless you really like a free agent, but I don’t see starting him anytime soon so don’t be afraid to in order to make room.
Chad Ochocinco, WR, NE – He still might find a way to a productive part of Brady’s offense but I don’t see it happening anytime soon and even when it does, after so many weeks of no production he needs to build trust with a couple of solid performances in a row.
Hines Ward, WR, PIT – I still see Ward on some rosters and unless your league counts points for Dancing with the Stars, this is crazy. Ben can’t stay on his feet OR healthy this season and Ward has lost his touch due to age. Get him off your team already folks!
Carnell Williams, RB, STL – Steven Jackson sure looks to have lost a step, but he is still better than Cadillac Williams. Now that Jackson is healthy again, you can drop Williams. He is not worth the bench spot.