The Wire: Waiver Wire Pickups for Week 16, 2008

As we head to the CHAMPIONSHIP, 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.

LaMont Jordan, RB, Patriots (4.4% owned, Desperation Pickup) – Maybe it was the return to his old team that got him revved up for the game on Sunday, but he somehow racked up 97 yards and a touchdown on just 12 carries. Will he put up these numbers again while splitting carries with Sammy Morris and Kevin Faulk? Probably not. Is it possible? I guess anything’s possible.

DeSean Foster, RB, 49ers (11.4% owned, Desperation Pickup) – If you’re a Frank Gore owner, you should already have Foster on your roster. Otherwise, he’s worth a look as he could get another start this weekend against a bad Rams defense if they decide to rest Gore a little longer. Foster played pretty well last week when given the start, rushing and receiving for a combined 101 yards.

Deion Branch, WR, Seahawks (25.4% owned, Instant Starter) – While he didn’t have quite the game I expected, Branch did lead the team in catches and yards (both tied with tight end John Carlson), as well as targets, so they’re looking his way.

Tashard Choice, RB, Cowboys (30.5% owned, Instant Starter) – Marion has not been a barbarian the past few games and it looks like Choice could be in line for the bulk of the carries for the remainder of the season as Barber nurses a toe injury. Choice has been great in relief of Marion and led the team in rushing and receiving in last weekend’s game.

Cedric Benson, RB, Bengals (36.5% owned, Desperation Pickup) – He had a pretty big game last week against the Redskins, where he rushed/received for a combined 161 yards. Don’t expect this to happen again next week, but he’s worth a shot as an emergency start if somehow you made it deep in the playoffs with very little running back depth.

John Carlson, TE, Seahawks (57.8% owned, Instant Starter) – He’s the 7th best tight end in the league in terms of fantasy points and he has some pretty decent matches over the next two games. If you’re starting someone worse in the Championship game, you might consider checking to see if he’s a free agent.

Matt Schaub, QB, Texans (67.1% owned, Instant Starter) – Shaub has been solid since returning from injury and makes a decent start against an Oakland secondary that was just destroyed by Matt Cassel and the Patriots.

Pierre Thomas, RB, Saints (78.0% owned, Instant Starter) – I assume he’s owned in all competitive leagues out there, but it was another week and another big day for the Saints running back. He adds the straight ahead running style that Reggie Bush can’t offer to the position, but he also catches passes, making him very useful from a fantasy perspective.

Waiver wire DEFENSES of the week: New England (vs ARI), San Francisco (@ STL), Cleveland (vs CIN), and maybe Carolina (@ NYG…if Brandon Jacobs doesn’t play)

Waiver wire KICKERS of the week: John Carney (vs CAR), John Kasay (@ NYG), Joe Nedney (@ STL), Kris Brown (@ OAK)