Waiver-Wire Pickups, Keeper Sleepers and Spot Starts: Week 11

Well, it’s Week 11, so the bye weeks are over and in one of my leagues a few teams have already clinched the playoffs. There is a chance that your team could be out of the running by now, or that it has secured a playoff spot and you are looking to re-enforce your roster for the last few weeks. The tough part though, is that by this point in the season, most players have pretty much established themselves in terms of fantasy value. I can’t promise you anything from the players below, but there’s a possibility that they could help your team overcome an injury or a bad match-up, so here are your waiver-wire suggestions for this week…

Quarterbacks

Kurt Warner (ARI): Showing complete disregard for his injured non-throwing elbow, Warner put up some quality stats last week. He is no longer playing in goal line situations due to the elbow, but anywhere else on the field he is a threat, as his receiving corps is always threatening. He’s got some great match-ups coming up, starting with this week in Cincinnati, so Warner might be worth giving a look if you’re in quarterback trouble.

Brodie Croyle (KC): It’s apparently the Brodie Croyle era now in Kansas City, as he replaced a beat up Damon Huard in last weekends game. While Croyle won’t get you Tom Brady numbers, he should be able to manage 200 yards and a score on a regular basis…but don’t expect him to lead your team to a playoff victory.

Running Backs

Maurice Morris (SEA): It’s hard for me to put Morris on this list, as in the past he has proven to be a terrible backup for any owners who had Shaun Alexander. However, he did combine for over 100 yards rushing/receiving last night and score a TD (although it was against the 49ers), but if you’re an Alexander owner, or just a manager who is in rough shape at the running back position, you might consider Morris.

Selvin Young (DEN): If he wasn’t picked up in your league yet, and especially if you’re a Travis Henry owner, Young is a absolute necessity at this point. He racked up over 100 yards and a score last weekend with Henry sidelined and it is not looking good for Henry’s future for the rest of the season.

Wide Receivers

Andre Johnson (HOU): Johnson has been sidelined since week 2 with a knee injury, but he is expected to finally start this week against a weak New Orleans secondary, which should be a great match-up for him. If the original AJ owner got impatient after 9 weeks, there’s a possibility that he found his way to the waiver-wire…if he’s there, he’s a mandatory pickup.

Chris Henry (CIN): If all the owners in your league were waiting to see how Henry responded in his first game back from his suspension, then I’ll assume most owners are putting in a waiver claim this week. Henry played well, with four receptions for 99 yards and should only get more comfortable during the rest of the season. He could make a good play as a teams third receiver going into the playoffs.

D.J. Hackett (SEA): Hackett was most likely picked up last week after his 58 yard/TD performance, but just in case he wasn’t, grab him now. Deion Branch is continuing to take his time coming back from injury and Hackett had a great game last night in his absence, going for over 100 yards and another TD. Even when Branch returns, the Seahawks seem to be leaning towards being a pass first team for the rest of the year, so Hackett should be a strong play for the remainder.

James Thrash (WAS), Justin Gage (TEN), Ruvell Martin (GB) and Mark Clayton (BAL): Here are some receivers that should have been on Matt’s "Shocker" list for this week, and I expect them to sink back down to fantasy anonymity for the rest of the season. However, if you’re a gambling man (or woman) and have some hunch that they could repeat with some decent fantasy stats in the future…be my guest and scoop them up.

Tight Ends

Leonard Pope (ARI): Had a solid receiving game with 52 yards this past week and appears to be a red zone target as well, as he had 2 TDs as well. He’s playing some bad defenses in the next few games, so he could make a good spot start for a few weeks.

Randy McMichael (STL): Is the St. Louis offense finally coming around? McMichael had his first touchdown of the season last weekend and if they can start playing with any type of consistency, McMichael might have some fantasy impact down the stretch. Worst case scenario…he gets you about 30-40 yards receiving (something he’s been pretty consistent at doing most of the year).

Alge Crumpler (ATL): Crumpler is apparently nearing 100% health at this point, and he had a decent game last weekend with 39 yards and a score, but I think this offense is just too sporadic at this point for Crumpler to make an impact. However, if you’re an Atlanta homer, maybe you want to take the chance?