The Wire: Waiver Wire Pickups for Week 4, 2008

Here’s a look at the players to target on your league’s waiver wire this week. This list is ordered by the percentage of ESPN leagues in which the player is available; even if you’re not a ESPN user, it’s a decent indication of how likely you are to find the player on waivers in your league. We also note here how strongly we feel about this pickup with three categories: Instant Starter, Grab ‘n’ Stash, or Desperation Pickup.

Correll Buckhalter, RB, Eagles (5.6% owned, Desperation Pickup) – Although starter Brian Westbrook’s ankle injury isn’t as bad as initially expected, he’s still listed as day-to-day and there’s a potential he won’t be able to go this Sunday. If you’re a Westbrook owner, you better have Buckhalter on your waiver claim list just in case.

Brian Griese, QB, Buccaneers (6.9% owned, Grab ‘n’ Stash) – Don’t expect him to throw 60+ times on a regular basis (or ever again most likely!), but you can expect Griese to put up decent fantasy stats if you’re in need of a backup quarterback. The team seems to be focusing on the passing game lately for some reason (just ask Earnest Graham owners), but he’s got some tough matchups the next few games, so you probably won’t want to lean too heavily on him right away. However, late in the season he could be the man who limps your team into the playoffs as he gets to play defensive lightweights such as Detroit and New Orleans.

Brandon Lloyd, WR, Bears (8.0% owned, Instant Starter) – While Griese was bombing it to Antonio Bryant, Kyle Orton of the Bears was doing just the same to Brandon Lloyd, who seems to be his new favorite receiver. Lloyd has racked up 190 yards and a touchdown on 11 receptions over the past two games and could be a decent WR3 play for the time being.

Antonio Bryant, WR, Buccaneers (9.6% owned, Grab ‘n’ Stash) – While throwing for over 400 yards, Griese looked Bryant’s way for 138 of them on 10 receptions. He hasn’t been all that consistent yet this season, so I recommend you wait and see if Griese continues to look his way before plugging him into your lineup, but he’s worth a roster spot if you have someone else to drop.

Gus Frerotte, QB, Vikings (11.6% owned, Grab ‘n’ Stash) – Finally Minnesota has a quarterback that can actually throw the ball! Frerotte has proven to be a bit inconsistent when given the chance to start in the past, but he can’t be any worse than Tarvaris Jackson was (if you had him on your roster.) If you’re looking for a backup quarterback and your starter has a late season bye week, you might pick up Frerotte and let him sit on your bench while he develops chemistry with his receivers. He should be putting up halfway-decent stats in no time for the Vike’s with defenses looking Adrian Peterson’s way.

Chansi Stuckey, WR, Jets (16.6% owned, Instant Starter) – He was on here last week as he had two scores in two weeks…and what do you know?…he’s back after catching his third touchdown in three weeks. His yardage totals aren’t anything special (around 40 yards a game), but the fact that Favre is looking to him consistently in the red zone can only mean good things for his fantasy value.

Michael Bush, RB, Raiders (21.3% owned, Grab ‘n’ Stash) – As with Stuckey, Michael Bush was on this list last week…but apparently enough people weren’t looking for a backup running back and he’s still widely available. With Fargas out for the time being with a groin injury, Bush and Darren McFadden are handling the workload in Oakland…and there’s generally plenty to go around. JaMarcus Russell and the wide receivers are not showing enough consistency to change the team from anything but a run-first offense. In case you were interested, Bush has 30 carries for 145 yards and a touchdown over the past two games.

Matt Jones, WR, Jaguars (24.2% owned, Desperation Pickup) – He’s not going to WOW anyone, but he’s still getting the most looks in the Jags passing game and is worth a bye-week plug-in if you miss out on the other receivers on this list.

Waiver wire defense(s) of the week: Denver (@KC), Philadelphia (@CHI), Carolina (vs ATL)

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