Once again, it is time for waiver wire pickups and here are some of the guys that need to be picked up. Also, bye weeks start, so depth is an important issue as well as being aware of which teams are on a bye week this week. Pittsburgh and Indianapolis do not play this week, so set your lineup accordingly.
Pick ‘Em Up
1. Jake Locker – Titans
It looks like the Titans are going to have to be a pass heavy offense since they cannot get the ground game going. It might be the offensive line, but also could be Chris Johnson being a step slower and little hesitant once he gets the ball. Nonetheless, Locker looks like he can handle it and has the weapons to succeed in Kenny Britt, Nate Washington, Jared Cook, and rookie Kendall Wright. Pick him up and play him when the matchup seems
2. Ryan Fitzpatrick – Bills
Fitz is a Top-10 QB right now and with the news that CJ Spiller’s injury is not severe expect him to continue to strive. Spiller provides that safety valve that QBs love to have, he can turn a dump pass into a 75 yard TD and Fitz gets points for that too. This week Buffalo takes on New England, expect a shootout and a lot of fantasy points in that one.
1. Tashard Choice – Bills
Two Bills to pick up? Yes, Choice will be the man getting the carries this week in Buffalo. This is just a bye week replacement as Spiller will be out this week, Fred Jackson will return, but at what capacity is still unknown. If you have somebody on your bench worth dropping, it would be advisable.
2. Jacquizz Rodgers – Falcons
This guy was mentioned in last week’s article – Week 3 - in the backfield battles segment. He keeps getting more and more touches in the high-powered Falcons offense. He can also catch passes out of the backfield, which makes him more valuable for Atlanta and your fantasy team. He still may not be the starter in Atlanta right now, but after this week, he might not be available on the waiver wire for you to pick up.
1. Andrew Hawkins – Bengals
Hawkins has quietly put together a good season so far as the Bengals number two receiver. His fantasy points have increased each week and even
though he might level off, he will still get between six and eight passes thrown his way a game. Also, the emergence of AJ Green as a Top 3 receiver in the NFL will allow Hawkins to see single coverage all season.
2. Ramses Barden – Giants
He could be Kevin Ogletree, which really hasn’t done much since his breakout performance opening night. He also could end up being one of Eli Manning’s favorite targets by the end of the season. He had nine catches this past week and with Hakeem Nicks injury history he could see the playing field very often this season. Even if he won’t get the start next week, definitely worth having for when he does get the call.
1. Heath Miller – Steelers
An oldie, but goodie. Miller has been in the league for a while and this year looks like a comeback year him. He has at least one touchdown in each week and seems to be striving as Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown are getting all the defenses’ attention.
2. Dennis Pitta – Ravens
It seems that no matter who the TE is in Baltimore, he will succeed. Flacco loves to use his tight end and Pitta is his favorite target as he leads the Ravens in receptions. His success will continue as long as “Joe Cool” is behind center.
It’s surprising how people have not jumped on these guys and picked them up. Now, it is reasonable to not think the Cardinals as a team are for real, but it is their offense that is keeping them down. The defense has been remarkable and they also have one of the best return men in the league in Patrick Peterson. Arizona plays the Dolphins this week, pick them up if they are available.
1. Robert Meachem – Chargers
The guy that looked like he could be Philip Rivers’ favorite target coming into the season has been a huge disappointment. Malcolm Floyd and Antonio Gates are those guys, also Ryan Mathews returned and that’s more bad news for Meachem.
2. Roy Helu – Redskins
He was just placed on IR by the Redskins, so his season is over, but for some reason he is owned in way too many leagues. Helu owners more than likely took him in hopes that he would succeed in Shanahan’s offense, instead Alfred Morris has been that guy.
3. Shane Vereen – Patriots
When fantasy drafts were first starting it looked as if New England was going to be a time-share backfield between Vereen and Stevan Ridley. Vereen’s injury problems along with Ridley doing nothing wrong has put Vereen as the backup and therefore brings minimal fantasy value to your squad.
4. Replacement Refs
1. Washington Redskins
Again, they will be mentioned every week just because of Mike Shanahan and his tendency to switch his running backs whenever he feels like it. Alfred Morris is still the man to own in the Redskins backfield. Keep an eye on newly signed Ryan Grant and Evan Royster, but there are plenty of better options out there to get fantasy points than those two.
2. Arizona Cardinals
The door has finally opened for Ryan Williams to take over the reigns of the Cardinals’ backfield. Beanie Wells was injured in this past Sunday’s game against the Eagles and Williams flourished, picking up 83 yards on only 13 carries. While he has not found the end zone, expect that to change this week.
3. New York Jets
Last year it looked as if Shonn Greene might have turned the corner and into the running back the Jets thought they were getting when he drafted out of Iowa. This year, he reverted back to his old form in which the team has him on a short leash. Bilal Powell has gotten more and more action as the weeks go on. Expect the Jets to stick with Greene for the time being, but if he continues to struggle look for Powell to pick up the slack.
4. Atlanta Falcons
They make another appearance here as Jacquizz Rodgers looks to be the back of the future. He is used in the passing game and Michael Turner just has too many miles on his legs to where he won’t be getting the workload that he used to.
Ben Hogan is the producer of MSL and a long-time fantasy sports guru. Follow him @NotTheGolfer for any fantasy or lineup questions throughout the week.