The Wire: Waiver Wire Pickups for Week 13, 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, but 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.

J.J. Arrington, RB, Cardinals (11.6% owned, Grab ‘n’ Stash) – Tim Hightower still has a hold on the “starter” designation, as well as the goal-line carries, but with the team passing the ball so much and Hightower running so ineffectively, it’s Arrington who could have the most value heading into the playoffs. If you’re a Hightower owner, you want Arrington on your roster for sure insurance if anything.

Maurice Morris, RB, Seahawks (15.7% owned, Desperation Pickup) – He had a big game on Sunday, but with a short week ahead it could be Julius Jones that gets the bulk of the carries. You should not be relying on a player like Morris to get you into the playoffs, but maybe you are…

Mark Bradley, WR, Chiefs (24.1% owned, Desperation Pickup) – Maybe your roster is solid throughout, but you’re in need of one receiver to give you a consistent eight points or so. If that’s the case, than maybe you’re interested in Bradley as he’s one of Tyler Thigpen’s favorite targets.

Shaun Hill, QB, 49ers (25.3% owned, Desperation Pickup) – Hill has two touchdowns in each of the past three games, but I get the feeling that starting him this week is like betting black on roulette a fourth time after hitting three times in a row already…it’s bound to come up red (in other words, he’s bound to put up a stinker!) Maybe you’re a big gambler though?

Michael Jenkins, WR, Falcons (29.9% owned, Desperation Pickup) – If you’re just trying to limp into the playoffs, you might consider playing Jenkins who consistently is putting up decent numbers each week…but if you have to count on players of his caliber, it might be too late.

Ahmad Bradshaw, RB, Giants (30.0% owned, Grab ‘n’ Stash) – If you’re a Brandon Jacobs and/or Derrick Ward owner, you’ll want Bradshaw as you head into the playoffs. He’s a great insurance policy for one of the best running games in the league.

Pierre Thomas, RB, Saints (35.8% owned, Instant Starter) – It looks like Reggie Bush should be returning sometime soon (maybe?), but I still think Thomas will have some value as Bush is used in the passing game a bit. Brees is opening up huge lanes for Pierre by throwing for 300+ yards every week it seems and last night you saw the dividends it can pay as he hit pay-dirt twice.

Le’Ron McClain, RB, Ravens (41.6% owned, Grab ‘n’ Stash) – If consistency is not one of the things you value from your running back position, than by all means grab McClain. There’s no method to the madness that is the Baltimore backfield, so it’s basically the flip of a three-sided coin as to which Raven running back will get the numbers on a given day.

Peyton Hillis, RB, Broncos (48.7% owned, Grab ‘n’ Stash) – It appears that the job is Hillis’ to lose at this point, after running fairly well the past three weeks. While you probably don’t want to start him against the Jets this week, he’s worth grabbing and considering for the weeks following that (probably during your playoffs…so only use him if you’re desperate.)

Dustin Keller, TE, Jets (49.8% owned, Instant Starter) – Keller has emerged as one of Brett Favre’s favorite targets and while he won’t see as much action in the red zone as Kevin Boss (see below), he still makes for a solid play each week and should be universally owned at this point.

Kevin Boss, TE, Giants (57.6% owned) Instant Starter – Boss has emerged as Eli Manning’s number one target in the red zone, as he has a touchdown in the past four games in which he has at least one reception. Look for this trend to continue.

Jeff Garcia, QB, Buccaneers (61.3% owned, Desperation Pickup) – He had a nice, two touchdown game this past weekend and has another solid match-up this Sunday when the team hosts New Orleans.

Anthony Gonzalez, WR, Colts (62.7% owned, Instant Starter) – Peyton Manning has the Colts offense playing well again and they have a nice schedule coming up (CLE, CIN, DET, JAX), meaning a lot of looks for all the receivers on the team.

Justin Fargas, RB, Raiders (63.2% owned, Instant Starter) – He finally broke the century mark, but still hasn’t found the endzone yet. Luckily for him, his next few opponents do not feature the strongest of defenses (KC, SD, NE, HOU), so he could be a sneaky play heading into the playoffs.

Ted Ginn, Jr., WR, Dolphins (64.3% owned, Instant Starter) – With leading receiver Greg Camarillo out for the season, look for Ginn to see even more looks from Pennington.

Tyler Thigpen, QB, Chiefs (67.7% owned, Instant Starter) – Thigpen continues to put up solid numbers and at this point he makes for a decent starter depending on the matchup.

Matt Cassel, QB, Patriots (77.8% owned, Instant Starter) – While I’m sure he’s already owned in all the competitive leagues out there, there’s still nearly a 25% chance that he’s available. If he is, pick him up ASAP as he seems to have the New England offense running on all cylinders at this point and has two straight 400 yard passing games.

Waiver wire DEFENSES of the week: Arizona (@PHI), Miami (@STL), Indianapolis (@CLE), Dallas (vs SEA)

Waiver wire KICKERS of the week: Rian Lindell (vs SF), Adam Vinatieri (@CLE), Nick Folk (vs SEA), Neil Rackers (@PHI)