Working the Wire: Planning ahead

Fantasy Football Fantasy Football Strategy

 By Kevin Payne

This column is geared toward “standard” 12-team leagues and based upon a $100 free-agent budget. Please, please adjust for your league based upon both the number of teams (I’m in a 24-team league, for example) and budget. This column is posted every Tuesday to, hopefully, accommodate the various waiver schedule. I’ll update it in the comments section during the week; please keep in mind a lot can change from Tuesday to Sunday.

This week there are slim pickings on the waiver wire with few viable options available. Of course, this will end up being problematic for many teams with another six NFL teams on bye. It might be a good week to make a trade and add depth by making a 1-for-2 deal or do the opposite if you’re past the bye weeks and want to add a stud by providing depth for someone else.

Finally, there still might be a diamond in the rough of the players listed below who might be able to help you fantasy team.


Secondary Targets

Hail Mary

Mark Sanchez, PHI – Nick Foles‘ injury opens the door for Sanchez to line up under center for the Eagles. The attraction of Sanchez is being attached to the high-powered Philadelphia offense. Sanchez had mixed results in relief of Foles on Sunday, tossing two touchdown passes with a 9.2 YPA, but he also had two interceptions. A full week of practice with the starters will help, and the offensive line is getting healthier by the week. Sanchez will get an extra day of reps playing the Monday night game and has a good home matchup against the Panthers, who have given up 26.2 points per game. FAAB: $2-4; 2-QB Leagues: $15-25


Secondary Targets

Alfred Blue, HOU – Blue would have made the “Primary Targets” section if there was more information on Arian Foster‘s groin injury, and if Houston wasn’t on bye this week. Blue has established himself as the clear handcuff to Foster over Jonathan Grimes and is big enough to handle goal-line work and agile enough to catch passes. If Foster misses time, Blue would have a nice matchup Week 11 against the Cleveland Browns. FAAB: $4-8

Terrance West, CLE –
The Browns backfield has been anything but predictable this season, and it was evidenced once again Sunday when West got the most touches. Oddly, Isaiah Crowell has the best yards per carry mark with 4.9 (West is 3.7) yet it appears West will get the most touches of the team’s running backs. Cleveland’s running game has struggled since the Alex Mack injury, but West should be good for another 15-plus touches Thursday against the Bengals. FAAB: $4-8

Hail Mary

Marion Grice, ARI – Stepfan Taylor is out at least two weeks, leaving Grice the backup to Andre Ellington. Grice finished Sunday with five carries for 12 yards but vultured a touchdown from Ellington. Taylor had 14 touches a couple games ago against the Raiders, so it’s reasonable to think Grice will be in line for 8-10 touches while Taylor is out. Grice is also only an Andre Ellington injury away from being a starting running back. FAAB: $2-4

Daniel Thomas, MIA –
There’s little upside with Thomas, who has never averaged more than 3.7 yards per carry in a season. Thomas, who was cut earlier this season by Miami, got 11 touches Sunday in relief of Lamar Miller, who is dealing with a shoulder injury. Damien Williams ($1 or FCFS) is also in play, especially if Miller’s injury proves more than minor. FAAB: $1-2


Primary Targets

Kenny Stills, NO – Stills has developed something of a decent floor, catching at least four passes in each of his last three games with 72, 57 and 103 receiving yards. Stills has the speed to stretch the field and sees a lot of single coverage with teams focused on Jimmy Graham and Marques Colston. Drew Brees has thrown for at least 293 yards in each of his last six games and appears to have developed a good rapport with Stills. On a week with few good waiver options, Stills should be at the top of your list if you need bye week help. FAAB: $5-10

Hail Mary

Kenny Britt, STL – With Brian Quick out for the season it appears that Britt has become the top option in the St. Louis passing attack. Austin Davis has struggled his last few games, but Britt caught St. Louis’ only touchdown against the 49ers. Until this last game the Rams defense hasn’t been very good, meaning the offense will have to throw plenty the rest of the season. FAAB: $2-4


Secondary Targets

Kyle Rudolph, MIN – This might be jumping the gun a little as the Vikings are on bye this week, and Rudolph is not guaranteed to return Week 11, though that’s the plan. In Rudolph’s absence, Teddy Bridgewater the last two weeks has leaned heavily on Chase Ford, who has 11 catches for 127 yards and a score over that span. Logic would dictate that Ford’s production would hopefully transfer to Rudolph once he returns to the field. FAAB: $3-6

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