The Wire: Waiver Wire Pickups for Week 15, 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.

Tashard Choice, RB, Cowboys (13.0% owned, Desperation Pickup) – With Marion the Barbarian out with an injury, rookie Tashard Choice filled in pretty well, rushing for 88 yards and catching five passes for and additional 78 yards. If Barber misses another game, Choice could make for a decent RB or flex play this weekend against the Giants.

Deion Branch, WR, Seahawks (13.7% owned, Instant Starter) – Branch had two touchdowns against his old team, the Patriots, this past Sunday. While you shouldn’t expect those kind of touchdown numbers from week to week, it finally looks like he is healthy and can be productive for your fantasy team.

Tatum Bell, RB, Broncos (15.5% owned, Desperation Pickup) – Obviously we couldn’t have a Broncos running back last longer than a few weeks in the spotlight, so this week we’re moving on to Tatum Bell with Peyton Hillis suffering a season ending hamstring injury last weekend. Bell could split carries with Selvin Young, so you may want to wait and see what kind of numbers he can put up, but he’s worth the risk if you’re in dire straights at the position!

Devone Bess, WR, Dolphins (23.0% owned, Instant Starter) – 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 three games he has 20 catches, with his going for over 245 yards.

John Carlson, TE, Seahawks (45.5% owned, Instant Starter) – Over the past three weeks Carlson has two touchdowns to go along with 16 receptions and nearly 190 yards.

Matt Schaub, QB, Texans (58.2% owned, Desperation Pickup) – Schaub came back with a vengeance this past weekend, throwing for over 400 yards and two touchdowns against the Packers. He faces a tough Titans defense this week, but with Andre Johnson, Kevin Walter and Steve Slaton on the field, he has plenty of targets to throw to.

Pierre Thomas, RB, Saints (63.4% owned, Instant Starter) – Even with Reggie Bush back, expect a big dose of Thomas each weekend as he provides the offense with much Peyton Hillis-like balance (although Hillis is now out for the year!)

Waiver wire DEFENSES of the week: Seattle (@ STL), Washington (@ CIN), New England (@ OAK), Miami (vs SF)

Waiver wire KICKERS of the week: Adam Vinatieri (vs DET), Joe Nedney (@ MIA), Shaun Suisham (@ CIN)