The Wire: Waiver Wire Pickups for Week 14, 2008

As we head into the playoffs, there’s a pretty good chance that your team is already set and you are not in need of any desperation picks. Just in case though, 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.

Domenik Hixon, WR, Giants (7.0% owned, Desperation Pickup) – With Plaxico’s accidental gun shot wound, combined with his legal troubles now, I think it’s safe to write him off for at least the fantasy football playoffs. His backups are seeing immediate dividends, including Domenik Hixon, who has caught 11 balls for nearly 130 yards over the past two games.

Devone Bess, WR, Dolphins (7.1% owned, Desperation Pickup) – With starter Greg Camarillo out for the season, it’s been Bess who is filling in for him and he has done pretty well lately. Over the past two games he, like Hixon above, has 11 catches, with his going for over 170 yards.

Mark Clayton, WR, Ravens (7.8% owned, Desperation Pickup) – More so than Davone Bess or Domenik Hixon above, Clayton has been a wild man the past two games, turning just seven receptions into 240 yards and two touchdowns. While you shouldn’t expect this kind of production each week, he could be worth a chance if you need some big time luck to win you a playoff game.

J.J. Arrington, RB, Cardinals (16.2% 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.

Amani Toomer, WR, Giants (35.0% owned, Instant Starter) – As with Hixon, Amani Toomer is seeing more looks with Burress out of the lineup and has nine receptions for 115 yards and two scores over the past two games.

Le’Ron McClain, RB, Ravens (52.4% owned, Grab ‘n’ Stash) – McClain got the bulk of the carries again on Sunday for the second straight week…can he make it a third this week? You flip the coin if you’re in need of running back help.

Pierre Thomas, RB, Saints (54.2% owned, Desperation Pickup) – Even with Reggie Bush back (he was not effective at all), expect a big dose of Thomas this weekend, but he’ll have to do a lot with his carries as the team continues to pass the ball most of the time.

Peyton Hillis, RB, Broncos (62.3% owned, Instant Starter) – Hillis has been a man on a mission the past few weeks that he’s gotten the start and he’s delivered with four touchdowns and 129 yards last week against the vaunted Jets run defense. Expect big things from him this week against the Chiefs as he adds a much needed balance to this offense.

Kevin Boss, TE, Giants (63.1% owned) Instant Starter – As with Hixon and Toomer, Boss should see slightly more looks with Plax out, which makes his already decent stats even better.

Dustin Keller, TE, Jets (67.7% owned, Instant Starter) – Keller has become the most consistent receiver in this offense and should continue to be throughout your fantasy playoffs. There are not a whole lot of other tight ends that I’m starting over Keller at this point.

Isaac Bruce, WR, 49ers (69.3% owned, Instant Starter) – If you’re in a competitive league, he’s probably gone, but he’s put up solid numbers the past two weeks, catching 13 balls for 192 yards and two touchdowns.

Justin Fargas, RB, Raiders (69.3% owned, Instant Starter) – As with Bruce, if you’re in a competitive league, he was probably never on the free agency list, but just in case, it’s worth picking him up as he has 189 yards and a touchdown over his past two games.

Waiver wire DEFENSES of the week: Indianapolis (vs CIN), New England (@ SEA), Arizona (vs STL), New York Jets (@ SF)

Waiver wire KICKERS of the week: Ryan Longwell (@ DET), Matt Bryant (@ CAR), Jeff Reed (vs DAL)