Waiver-Wire Pickups, Keeper Sleepers and Spot Starts: Week 5
Let me warn you that when you read the names on the Quarterback section of this column, you’re going to start laughing. I make no promises on the success of these players, but they have a chance to help your team in some way or another. As for the WR and RB’s though, they should make solid additions to your team, so here are your waiver wire, spot start and keeper sleeper alerts for week 6…
Dwayne Bowe (KC): Bowe seems to be getting better each game, and this past weekend was the culmination of his true potential, where he caught 8 passes for 164 yards and a touchdown. He may have been claimed last week after a 77 yard/1 TD performance, but if not (he was a free agent in one of my leagues), put in your claim ASAP. He’s obviously the favorite target in the KC passing game and should be a solid third receiver for your team for the remainder of the season. Not to mention he’d be a killer prospect to have in a keeper league.
Patrick Crayton (DAL): Crayton has had chances to shine this season and before this past weekend has done nothing with them. However, whether it was a flash in the pan or Crayton is finally catching on, he exploded this past weekend to the tune of 184 yards and 2 touchdowns. Put in a claim on Crayton for WR depth, but don’t expect him to repeat that performance again this season. T.O. can appreciate a good game from his sidekick for one week, but if those aren’t his stats next weekend, expect him to be barking at Romo soon.
Jerry Porter (OAK): While Ronald Curry was Josh McCown’s favorite target, it appears that Culepper’s favorite is Jerry Porter, who caught two touchdowns (Culpepper’s only two passing TDs) in this weekends game. I have a feeling they’ll let Culpepper throw the ball more once he gets more comfortable in the offense (not to mention the injury to LaMont Jordan may hamper the running game), so Porter could be on the receiving end of some more solid fantasy games in the near future.
Andre Davis (HOU): If you didn’t heed my advice last week and your league uses a waiver system, you can probably still put in a claim on Davis. With Andre Johnson and Jacoby Jones out for at least another week, Andre Davis should again be the man this week for Houston. Don’t expect him to repeat his stats from last week (117 yards and a TD), but he should still be prominently featured in this offense.
Bobby Engram (SEA): Last week I mistyped and put in the name Nate Burleson as a suggested pickup. If available, the player I meant to put in was Bobby Engram. In more competitive leagues, I’m sure he’s already picked up, but there’s a chance he’s available in your league. He has consistently gotten about 60 yards each game this year and has a TD in each of his past two games, so he’s obviously Hasselback’s second favorite target, which should equate to decent fantasy stats from here on out.
Sidney Rice (MIN): While he might not be a fantasy starter yet, this guy definitely has some skills (which were on display this weekend when he made a great touchdown grab right over the head of the cornerback covering him). He finished the game with 75 yards and a touchdown. He’s a good sleeper pick this week and if he has another good game or two, you should start thinking about adding him to your squad as a third receiver or spot start here and there.
Derek Anderson (CLE): It pains me to put Anderson on this list as I’ve given him zero credit up to this point, but he has proven that he was a much better start for the Browns than Charlie Frye was. He’s also delaying the three step process that I’ve mentioned in the past, possibly postponing Brady Quinn’s first NFL start to next season if he keeps up his performance and the Browns keep winning. If you’re looking for a backup quarterback, Anderson should be a solid backup most of the remainder of the season.
Kurt Warner (ARI): This is a tricky one that I can only recommend for Matt Leinart owners at this point. How can you start a quarterback that doesn’t even start his own NFL game? That is the question people are asking about Warner, as he’s not started the past two weeks, but come in in relief of Leinart and performed well in both games. If Warner plays a significant amount this next week, it might be time to consider him as a quality backup for your team. If the Cardinals can keep winning, they’ll have to play the guy who gives them the best chance at playoff contention, and that guy is Kurt Warner.
Trent Edwards (BUF): With Losman injured, Edwards threw his first touchdown last weekend, more than the team had thrown in the first three games combined. Losman is expected to be out again this weekend, so Edwards will get the call. I can’t suggest that you start Edwards at this point, but keep him in mind if you’re in severe need of a quarterback and Losman continues to play crappy football when he returns.
Joey Harrington (ATL): Let it be known that I am not suggesting you pick up Harrington with the idea that you consider him starter material. Harrington should only be picked up for a bye week or injury spot-start until he can prove that he is not a complete failure. He has played pretty well the past two weeks and he could easily return to the Joey that we all know and hate, but who knows…maybe the Atlanta offense is coming around?
Gus Frerotte (STL): With Bulger on the pine for the next couple weeks, Frerotte could be a decent play if he can survive the onslaught he’s sure to endure behind that mess of an offensive line. He has the weapons though, with T. Holt, Drew Bennett, Steven Jackson and Randy McMichael…can he make use of them though is left to be determined.
Earnest Graham / Michael Pittman (TB): In case you missed it (and if you have Carnell Williams on your team I hope you didn’t!), "Cadillac" Williams suffered an injury that is potentially career ending injury this past weekend. If you own him, you should immediately drop him and look to pick up one of his backups, Graham or Pittman. It appears that Graham will get the goal line carries and Pittman is used more in the passing game, so both players will probably get average fantasy stats at this point. If one of them establishes himself as the number one back in Tampa Bay though, they should produce some usable fantasy stats for your team.
Justin Fargas / Domanic Rhodes (OAK): With LaMont Jordan’s back injury, which might keep him out for a few weeks, you have to take a hard look at the backup runners on a team that piled up nearly 300 yards rushing this past weekend. After Jordan left the game with 74 yards rushing, Fargas filled in for him nicely, racking up 179 yards on 22 carries (8.1 yards/carry!). The Raiders have a bye week next weekend, but if Jordan misses some extended time due to his injury, Fargas and Rhodes (coming off a suspension this week) should be the one’s prospering. Don’t count on high touchdown numbers though, as apparently Daunte Culpepper has decided that he’ll get all of those himself.
Sammy Morris (NE): Apparently Maroney has a hurt groin, explaining why he didn’t play this past weekend. This may have hurt fantasy owners (ME!), because the game was Monday night and you didn’t really know his true status until game time. Luckily I still won my game, but you might not have been so lucky. In any case, Morris had a field day (117 yards and a TD) in Maroney’s relief against the Bungles defense and has become a handcuff to Maroney at this point, so make sure you pick him up if you’re a Maroney owner and he’s still available.
Jerious Norwood (ATL): Although predicted as a sleeper this year, Norwood hasn’t had the opportunity to shine yet. He is most likely available in your league at this point and if you want some RB depth and have a roster spot to put him, you might consider picking up Norwood and stashing him on your bench until he busts off a few long runs and the team is forced to play him more often.
Selvin Young (DEN): Handcuff alert! If you’re a Travis Henry owner, you probably realized that he was injured in the game this weekend and is not getting an MRI on his leg to see if it will cause any future implications. If Henry doesn’t play for some reason, Young is the guy who will get the carries in a potent Denver running attack.
Aaron Stecker (NO): The Saints had a bye last week, so maybe no one picked him up, but Stecker should take over most of the straight ahead running opportunities and goal line carries for the Saints in McAllister’s absence, so if you’re in need of RB depth, look for Stecker.