The Wire – Week 6: Week of the Wide Receiver

Here are our waiver wire candidates going into week six. As usual, you’ll find players who are either [Startable], a [Stopgap] to get you past a BYE or injury, [Worth a look] and spot on your bench, or [One-week-wonder]s who don’t warrant a roster spot, so you make your roster moves accordingly. You’ll also see the percent owned in parenthesis (and if you see an asterisk by the players name, it means they’re on a BYE this week.) We begin with a whole slew of wide receivers, a few of which racked up some serious stats (Miles Austin, Austin Collie, Jeremy Maclin) this past weekend.

UPDATE: Added Chad Henne to the list (Oct-13)

Wide Receivers
  • [Startable] Antonio Bryant, TB (69%) – He seems to be getting healthier with each week and at this point I’m fairly confident putting him as my WR3, even with their inexperienced quarterback.
  • [Startable] Sidney Rice, MIN (67%) – Rice continues to be one of Favre’s favorite targets and is good for around five receptions, 60 yards or so and maybe a touchdown. He’s worth playing as a WR3 if you don’t have better options.
  • [Worth a look] * Michael Crabtree, SF (70%) – With the performance San Francisco put on display this weekend, I’m sure the team’s management will be strongly considering making some changes to key positions…including wide receiver? He’s still more of a keeper league prospect, but he could be worth the gamble if you have a roster spot.
  • [Worth a look] Mohamed Massaquoi, CLE (60%) – Don’t give up on Massaquoi already if you were one of those who snatched him off waivers last week. Sunday’s game with the Bills was very windy and neither side could throw the ball with any success. Keep him on your bench for now, but don’t be surprised to be putting him back in your lineup in a week or two.
  • [Worth a look] Eddie Royal, DEN (60%) – Royal was finally involved in the offense and while he didn’t find the endzone, he still had 10 catches for 90 yards. He’s a borderline WR3 until he can prove that he’s a consistent part of the offense though.
  • [Worth a look] * Miles Austin, DAL (54%) – Unfortunately he has a BYE this coming week, because with Roy Williams out on Sunday, Austin took it upon himself to single-handedly beat the Chiefs. I’m not sure he repeats his 250 yard, two touchdown performance ever again, but he still could have some value if Williams misses any more time or because Romo will fight to get him in the line-up on a weekly basis.
  • [Worth a look] Kenny Britt, TEN (43%) – For the remainder of the season, it appears the Titans passing game is going to be very inconsistent, so Britt doesn’t really make a strong play. He’s a great keeper league prospect though if you have a roster spot to spare.
  • [Worth a look] Donnie Avery, STL (34%) – Not sure you can play a Rams receiver (or any player) with much confidence, but Avery has 11 catches over the past three games and is obviously a big part of the passing game in St. Louis.
  • [Worth a look] Lance Moore, NO (33%) – He’s had the BYE week to heal his injuries and should now begin his re-integration process into the Saints passing game, which hasn’t looked all that spectacular over their past two games. It was only last season that he racked up over 900 yards and 10 touchdowns.
  • [Worth a look] * Austin Collie, IND (32%) – While I picked Pierre Garcon to have a big game last night, it was his teammate Austin Collie who ended up with the big night. He’s still rotating with Garcon, but if he continues to build up chemistry with Peyton Manning, he’ll become a solid WR3 play.
  • [Worth a look] Jeremy Maclin, PHI (30%) – For some reason Maclin took over the role that DeSean Jackson usually plays and ended up with a HUGE day, catching passes for 142 yards and two scores. Don’t expect Jackson to have zero catches very often and while Maclin obviously has some talent, I’m not sure he becomes “startable” until he can string a few good games together.
  • [Worth a look] Andre Caldwell, CIN (28%) – Strangely, Caldwell seems to see the most action when the game is on the line. I’m not sure exactly why that is, but it doesn’t help fantasy manager’s sanity all that much when they have to wait over three quarters for him to make a touchdown grab and actually put up some fantasy stats.
  • [Worth a look] Hakeem Nicks, NYG (24%) – Nicks now has two scores in the past two games and is showing some of the skills he put on display in the preseason. Mario Manningham suffered a chest contusion in the game and while he’s not expected to miss any time, it could open the door for some more reps for Nicks.
  • [Worth a look] Mike Wallace, PIT (13%) – He’s a risky play from week-to-week, but great in a keeper league. I took the gamble on him this week and it paid off, but I won’t recommend you start him all that often unless the matchup is really good.
  • [Stopgap] Nate Washington, TEN (49%) – He ended his three game touchdown streak this weekend, but he’s still one of the top targets in the Titans passing game.
  • [Stopgap] Chris Henry, CIN (18%) – His reception numbers aren’t anything to write home about, but he’s putting up decent numbers with what he can get.
  • [One-week-wonder] Dennis Northcutt, DET (1%) – Nortcutt saw more reps with Calvin Johnson out (knee injury.) Don’t expect that this will be a regular thing.
Quarterbacks
  • [Startable] Matt Hasselbeck, SEA (74%) – Hasselbeck returned in a BIG way (241 yards, 4 TD) against the Jaguars and makes a great backup (or starter depending on how hurtin’ you are at the position!)
  • [Startable] Kyle Orton, DEN (73%) – He continues to win AND put up numbers on a Broncos team that appeared to be in shambles at the beginning of the season. You now need to consider starting Orton on a weekly basis depending on who your alternatives are.
  • [Worth a look] * Chad Henne (8%) – He looked like a seasoned veteran against the vaunted Jets defense last night. I’m not sure he’ll keep up that level of play over the next few games, but it’s worth keeping an eye on him to see if he can (although he has a BYE this week.)
  • [Worth a look] Josh Johnson, TB (7%) – Minus the three interceptions this weekend, it seems as if Johnson is improving drastically each week. While he’s still working on the passing aspect of the job, he’s been very productive running the ball when necessary, with almost 100 yards over three games. He might be the one bright spot to come out of the team’s 0-5 start.
  • [Stopgap] Jake Delhomme, CAR (28%) – He’s only good for about 200-250 yards and a touchdown, but maybe that’s better than what you’re currently getting out of your backup.
Running Backs
  • [Startable] Jamal Lewis, CLE (57%) – I struggled to assign the “startable” label to Lewis, but with his performance on Sunday (which probably pissed off a lot of Jerome Harrison owners out there!) there was no way I couldn’t. He should be the main man once again in Cleveland…just remember that he does play for the Browns.
  • [Worth a look] Shonn Greene, NYJ (17%) – Keep an eye on this guy tonight to see if he’s waiver-worthy or just a keeper league prospect.
  • [Stopgap] Sammy Morris, NE (45%) – With Fred Taylor out and Laurence Maroney dancing around ineffectively (as usual), Morris is once again the primary tailback in New England. He’s only worth starting as a BYE week or injury filler, or possibly in the flex spot if necessary though.
Tight Ends
  • [Worth a look] Jermichael Finley, GB (20%) – Before the Packers BYE, Finley had a huge 128 yard, one touchdown performance. He’s definitely someone to consider this week against the Lions.
  • [Worth a look] Tony Scheffler, DEN (17%) – With the Broncos passing game improving on a weekly basis, Scheffler is finally seeing some more looks. Keep an eye on him and see if Orton grows to like throwing to the tight end, which is something he never did too often in Chicago.
  • [Stopgap] Visanthe Shiancoe, MIN (64%) – One of Favre’s favorite targets in the red zone. Shiancoe is right in there with Todd Heap with guys who are border-line startable/stopgap guys each week.
  • [Stopgap] Benjamin Watson, NE (55%) – I thought Watson would disappear into the fantasy-depths after his two touchdown performance in week one, but he’s still hanging around and scored a touchdown this Sunday. He seems to be Tom Brady’s first target in the red zone with Randy Moss seeing loads of coverage, but he still isn’t putting up numbers worthy of a weekly start.
  • [Stopgap] Marcedes Lewis, JAX (16%) – He’s still getting a few receptions a game and if your really hurting for depth at the TE position, he could fill in for a while.
  • [One-week-wonder] Jeff King, CAR (0%) – He’s not consistent enough to start, hence the 0% ownership prior to this past weekend.