The Wire – Week 14: Who's Starting Vince Young in the Playoffs?

Here are our waiver wire candidates for week fourteen. 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. This week we start off with a few quarterbacks who’s play has improved dramatically over the next few weeks. Early in the season, did you ever imagine starting Alex Smith or Vince Young (or Bruce Gradkowski?) in the playoffs? Me neither.

  • [Startable] Vince Young, TEN (60%) – Apparently Vince Young can throw the ball, which is something I wasn’t aware of until about two weeks ago. He now has 628 yards and three touchdowns in the past two games and should have a great game against the Rams this week.
  • [Startable] Alex Smith, SF (59%) – He’s been one of the best quarterbacks in the league over the past three games (and was probably in the free agent pool of your league for the majority of that span!) As long as the 49ers continue to spread the field and throw a lot, Smith can put up solid numbers.
  • [Stopgap] Kyle Orton, DEN (75%) – I’m not high on his match-ups over the next three weeks (@IND, OAK, @PHI,) but maybe he’s the best you have to offer.
  • [Stopgap] David Garrard, JAX (71%) – Garrard now has two decent passing games in a row and could do alright this weekend against Miami.
  • [Stopgap] Matt Hasselbeck, SEA (75%) – Hasselbeck has been one of the most frustrating quarterbacks this year, but if you want to take a gamble, he has nice match-ups with Houston and Tampa Bay over the next two weeks.
  • [Worth a look] Bruce Gradkowski, OAK (3%) – Gradkowski is a 500% improvement over JaMarcus Russell, but I’m still not starting him against the Redskins this weekend.
  • [One-week-wonder] Jason Campbell, WAS (28%) – Even with a 367 yard, three touchdown game against the Saints, I’m still not a believer.
  • [One-week-wonder] Chad Henne, MIA (14%) – I can’t believe Henne out-shined Tom Brady. Unbelievable 🙁
  • [One-week-wonder] Brady Quinn, CLE (7%) – Jeykll and Hyde. He’s too risky to use  with the championship on the line.
  • [One-week-wonder] Michael Vick, PHI (4%) – I’m assuming Vick was on the field a lot because he was playing his old team. Even if he played more in the next few games, unless you have some crazy QB-flex spot, he’s not worth the start.
Wide Receivers
  • [Startable] Pierre Garcon, IND (82%) – Garcon has outperformed teammate Reggie Wayne over the past few games and is still available in about one fifth of the leagues out there.
  • [Startable] Robert Meachem, NO (77%) – Alright, after racking up 142 yards and a score against the vaunted Washington defense (and after six touchdowns in the last five games,) Meachem should be owned universally.
  • [Stopgap] Devery Henderson, NO (67%) – Henderson is still getting plenty of looks each week, but his failure to find the endzone the way his teammate does is the difference between the Startable and Stopgap tags.
  • [Stopgap] Donnie Avery, STL (56%) – Keep an eye on his shoulder injury before putting him in your line-up.
  • [Stopgap] Kenny Britt, TEN (50%) – He’s a “must own” in keeper leagues; plus, Britt has a touchdown in three straight games and is one of Vince Young’s favorite targets.
  • [Worth a look] Antonio Bryant, TB (64%) – I’m sure Yahoo! is proud after featuring Antonio Bryant on their fantasy football website as a guy ready to go big, then watching him go out and catch five passes for 116 yards. While maybe we didn’t have the same foresight (and his match-up this weekend is brutal…Darrelle Revis anyone?) he is still someone worth a WR3 or flex play if you’re struggling to fill out your roster for a big playoff game.
  • [Worth a look] Davone Bess, MIA (14%) – Bess is like Wes Welker-very-lite. He won’t rack up the touchdowns, but he does get a lot of receptions. He has some decent match-ups down the stretch as well if you’re in a PPR league.
  • [Worth a look] James Jones, GB (11%) – Although inconsistent, he could put up some decent numbers in your league’s playoffs with games @CHI, @PIT and at home versus Seattle in week 16.
  • [Worth a look] Josh Morgan, SF (6%) – It seems like overnight that the 49ers discovered that they had a passing game, but Morgan isn’t complaining. He now has 12 catches over the past two games and had a touchdown last week.
  • [Worth a look] Devin Thomas, WAS (6%) – He had the game of his career against the Saints, with seven catches, 100 yards and two scores, but Thomas has shown some flashes this year and is a big keeper league candidate.
  • [Worth a look] Louis Murphy, OAK (4%) – Murphy racked up most of his points last week on a 75 touchdown bomb, but he’s obviously got some speed. Like Devin Thomas, he’s primarily a keeper league prospect at this point.
  • [Worth a look] Chaz Schilens, OAK (2%) – Keep an eye on these Raiders receivers, as they have a solid match-up in week 16 against the Browns in what could be your league’s championship.
  • [One-week-wonder] Earl Bennett, CHI (29%) – Bennett scored his first touchdown of the season and will be lucky to find the endzone again this year in what has become a joke of a Bears passing game these past few weeks.
  • [One-week-wonder] Sam Aiken, NE (2%) – One 81 yard touchdown catch (which was incredibly lucky to begin with.) He’s only useful when opposing teams are doing a good job covering Welker and Moss.
Running Backs
  • [Stopgap] Mike Bell, NO (67%) – He’s getting a fair number of carries each week, but unless he scores a touchdown, Bell doesn’t have a whole lot of value to your team.
  • [Stopgap] Rock Cartwright, WAS (65%) – Great match-up with the Raiders this weekend…just beware that he has run like crap over the past few weeks.
  • [Stopgap] Jerome Harrison, CLE (32%) – Probably got lucky with two receiving touchdowns last week, but with Jamal Lewis out for the year, Harrison seems to be the starter for the Browns and has a nice playoff schedule (PIT, @KC, OAK.)
  • [Worth a look] Carnell Williams, TB (80%) – Had his biggest game of the season (in terms of combined yards) against the Panthers, but has a tough match-up with the Jets this week.
  • [Worth a look] Justin Fargas, OAK (28%) – If you’re looking for 6-8 points from your RB2 or Flex, maybe Fargas is the guy you’re looking for.
  • [One-week-wonder] Marshawn Lynch, BUF (79%) – It has to be very frustrating for Fred Jackson when the team finally denotes him the starter, then he gets outplayed by Lynch. Don’t get too excited about Beast Mode though, as he only has nine carries and two receptions combined over the past two games.
  • [One-week-wonder] Correll Buckhalter, DEN (58%) – Just when you’re ready to write Buckhalter off for dead, he rushes for 113 yards. He’ll continue to split carries with Knowshon Moreno, but he’s the less attractive of the two in terms of fantasy potential.
  • [One-week-wonder] Leonard Weaver, PHI (5%) – He’s a fullback who’s seeing an expanded role with Brian Westbrook out.
  • [One-week-wonder] Mike Tolbert, SD (0%) – One catch for 66 yards and a touchdown…from a fullback.
Tight Ends
  • [Stopgap] Zach Miller, OAK (62%) – Miller has proven to be one of Bruce Gradkowski’s favorite targets over the past three weeks.
  • [Stopgap] Dustin Keller, NYJ (51%) – You’re rolling the dice with Keller at this point.
  • [Stopgap] Fred Davis, WAS (32%) – Davis has a touchdown in two straight weeks now and is obviously one of Campbell’s primary targets when they get in the redzone (which isn’t very often.)
  • [Worth a look] Jermichael Finley, GB (34%) – He can only catch a touchdown on Monday Night Football (where he has three this year.) Maybe he can break that trend against the Bears this weekend though.
  • [Worth a look] Bo Scaife, TEN (12%) – Scaife now has 10 catches, 124 yards and a touchdown in the past two games. With Tennessee throwing the ball more (or at least more effectively,) Bo Scaife is reaping the benefits as Vince Young’s safety valve.