The Wire – Week 4: Time to wake up and smell the Coffee

Here’s our waiver wire recommendations heading into week four, leading off with a guy who should have been a mandatory handcuff heading into the season, but apparently was not. As usual, The Wire is organized into four categories: Get ’em in there, Pick up and hold, Stopgaps, and Pretenders. “Get ’em in there” are the players worth of a start right away, while “Stopgaps” are the players who will get you through a short-term injury or bye week. “Pick up and hold” is just what is sounds like and “Pretenders” are those players who might have had one good week and immediately picked up in every Yahoo Public league out there…don’t waste a roster spot and waiver claim on them. In addition, you’ll find the Yahoo! ownership rank (in parenthesis) for each player so you know which guys have a better chance of being available in your league.

UPDATE! I’ve added Tashard Choice and Dante Rosario to this list after last night’s game, just to let you know.

Get ’em in there

  • Glen Coffee, RB, 49ers (48%) – It looks like Frank Gore will be out a week or two, so all of you who handcuffed Coffee to him in the draft are happy right now…the others, not so much. Glen didn’t play all that well, but he was going against a tough Vikings defense. He should put up decent numbers in Gore’s absense, as the team plays the Rams and Falcons in their next two games.
  • Denver DEF (64%) – Who ever thought they’d be the top ranked defense after three weeks?! Seems that they’re the real deal.
  • Correll Buckhalter, RB, Broncos (67%) – He had 108 yards on Sunday and while he splits carries with Knowshon Moreno, he makes for a decent injury fill-in RB2 or flex play from week-to-week.
  • Mike Sims-Walker, WR, Jaguars (69%) – Sims-Walker is trying his hardest to wrestle the WR1 role away from Torry Holt and now has 12 receptions over his past two games. He makes a decent WR3 or flex play at this point.
  • Brent Celek, TE, Eagles (79%) – This guy is one of the best tight ends in the league so far this season and is still only owned in 79% of the leagues out there. I assume he’ll be taken in at least 95% after Sunday’s 104 yard and a touchdown performance.

Stopgaps

  • Kyle Orton, QB, Broncos (50%) – He’s only averaging around 220 yards per game passing, but he does have a touchdown each week and has zero interceptions…very un-Orton-like at this point. He should be a decent backup quarterback from here on out as I see the Broncos passing game improving each week.
  • Pierre Garcon, WR, Colts (54%) – I might have misjudged this guys abilities, as he’s quickly becoming one of Manning’s favorite targets. I’m still not confident enough to start him as my WR3 unless one of my regulars is hurt or something, but one more good performance and I’ll be saying, “Get em’ in there.”
  • Fred Taylor, RB, Patriots (59%) – A Patriots running back actually got 100 yards! Looks like Taylor has established himself as the teams primary running back as long as he stays productive. He can fill-in for an injury or bad matchup if you’re real thin at the RB position.
  • Todd Heap, TE, Ravens (63%) – He’s not doing anything spectacular, but he’s putting up decent numbers each week if your team is in need of help there.
  • Ricky Williams, RB, Dolphins (66%) – He’ll get around 10 carries per game behind Ronnie Brown, so if he can break a big one he is capable of putting up decent numbers if your team is in a bind. Just keep your expectations realistic when he’s in there.
  • Ahmad Bradshaw, RB, Giants (78%) – Even as the backup he’s getting plenty of chances and after his 104 yard performance on Sunday, he now has a 5.7 yard per carry average on the season.
  • Donald Brown, RB, Colts (80%) – He’s getting about half the carries for the Colts already, including the important ones in the fourth quarter, so you know the team things highly of him.
  • LeSean McCoy, RB, Eagles (84%) – Although Brian Westbrook should be back next weekend, McCoy should be owned in 100% of leagues now as he’s shown what he can do when Westbrook takes the day off.

Pick up and hold

  • Mike Wallace, WR, Steelers (4%) – The rookie showed what he can do this weekend, catching 7 passes for 102 yards. He’s taken over the WR3 spot in Pittsburgh and isn’t looking back. Holmes and Ward will be the primary targets in this offense, but in keeper leagues especially, Wallace is worth a look.
  • Jacoby Jones, WR, Texans (9%) – I’m not sure he can consistently put up numbers as the teams third receiver, but he’s worth a look as he has a touchdown in two straight weeks now.
  • Andre Caldwell, WR, Bengals (10%) – He’s getting plenty of looks early in the season, which is a bit surprising given that he’s the team’s fourth receiver. In leagues that reward for return yards, he might be worth a roster spot.
  • Jerome Harrison, RB, Browns (13%) – He played the majority of the snaps in Jamal Lewis’ absence, not James Davis. The Browns look awful, but it’s worth keeping an eye on Harrison if Lewis continues to be sidelined.
  • Sidney Rice, WR, Vikings (15%) – If Favre continues to get more involved in the offense, Rice could benefit, but for now he’s too inconsistent to start.
  • Tashard Choice, RB, Cowboys (37%) – With Marion Barber already out of the game, Choice played a big role when Felix Jones was also injured during the game. Even when the other running backs on the team are healthy, Choice has proven he can run the ball well and should get some chances. Who knows the status of Barber and Jones next week, but Choice is worth stashing on your bench if you have room.
  • Earl Bennett, WR, Bears (42%) – Cutler hasn’t forgotten about Bennett, who had four receptions for 80 yards on Sunday. He’s not the team’s homerun hitter, but as this passing game gets better and better, Bennett (as well as Knox and Hester) should benefit.
  • Michael Jenkins, WR, Falcons (42%) – He’s quietly racked up 12 receptions through the first three games for over 150 yards and while he won’t have many breakout games for you, he could put up 6-8 points or so if that’s what you’re looking for out of the WR3 spot.
  • Jason Campbell, QB, Redskins (47%) – He may have had his best game against the Lions, but he’s still averaging around 270 yards and a score this year. I wouldn’t start him until he puts up decent numbers against a team NOT from Detroit, but he’s worth keeping an eye on in case you’re really hurting at the QB position.
  • Vernon Davis, TE, 49ers (53%) – Through three games, he has nearly half the receptions he had ALL last season and has already matched his touchdown numbers with his two TD performance on Sunday. Maybe this is the year he sheds the “bust” label…but I’ll need more proof.
  • Mark Sanchez, QB, Jets (60%) – It pains me to say it, but Sanchez has played great so far this year and is already fantasy-backup quality if you need help. He’s a must own in a keeper league.

Pretenders

  • Daniel Fells, TE, Rams (0%)See Ben Watson, week 1.
  • Dante Rosario, TE, Panthers (1%) – He played decent last night against the Cowboys, but I don’t have enough faith in Carolina’s passing game to want him on my team. The Panthers also have a BYE this week.