2011 Watch List #6

I have never been a big waiver wire user, unlike some owners in the league I manage. I subscribe to the theory of building your team in the draft, not buying your championship through wire transactions. My opinion is not as strong as it used to be, thanks in part to FFS and being a “wire whore,” so to speak in two of the three leagues I play in. Those leagues do not charge, like my league does ($10) to make a move.

For the most part finding a Hillis or Vick, like many owners did last year is the exception on the wire, not the norm. Depending on your league specific, such as roster size, number of teams and scoring some of these players may or may not be available. This season there have been a few “hits” when it comes to the wire. For example, Eric Decker and David Nelson have been two of the better scoring acquisitions.

Now that the BYE weeks have started owners tend to scramble to fill players who are not playing that week. That is where this list can come in useful if you did not draft with BYE weeks in mind

WIDE RECEIVER
Victor Cruz NYG
Okay, I will give Cruz his due credit after putting up solid numbers the past 3 weeks (17-369-3 TD) as the #3 WR in the Giants offense.  Nicks and  Manningham are still the top WRs for the Giants, but Cruz continues to be heavily targets by Manning, including 11 on Sunday. Chances are he might not be available in your league, but he is one to grab for the season. Week 6 the Giants host Buffalo.

Doug Baldwin SEA
The change at QB to Charlie Whitehurst seemed to be the catalyst for Baldwin this week as he was targeted 6 times in the second half, making good on a 27-yard TD pass. This is the second week in a row Baldwin has led the Seahawks in receiving with injuries and ineffective play by the rest of the receiving corp, Baldwin might be a WR to watch, especially if the Hawks roll with Whitehurst. SEA is on a BYE in week 6.

Darius Heyward-Bey OAK (7-99-1 TD)
I am not a big Raiders supporter outside of McFadden. The passing game is questionable, at best with Campbell at QB, but there is a good chance Heyward-Bey is available (owned in less than 5% of CBS leagues). Injury set him back for a few weeks, but he is healthy and has put two back to back weeks to turn heads. He is the top targeted WR (29) in the Oakland offense and could keep the good weeks rolling vs CLE in week 6.

Jerome Simspon CIN (4-40)
While is hasn’t put much together outside of his week 2 performance (4-136) Simpson continues to get some good target numbers from Dalton, 32 targets over 5 weeks. He had 7 targets this past Sunday and you would feel it’s a matter of time before he can put everything together. Just remember he is the third option in the passing game behind Green and Gresham.

Early Doucet ARI (8-92)
Doucet might be a higher consideration if the passing was more consistent in Arizona. Larry Fitzgerald is the uncontested #1, but it’s been Early who has put up some good numbers to start opposite of him. This is his second good game of the season going 8-92. He has been targeted 38 times by Kolb, compared to 42 for Fitz.  Playing from behind, if the passing game gets going this year, Doucet could benefit. Arizona is on a bye in week 6.

Damian Williams TEN (6-66-1)
I mentioned him (and Hawkins) last week as a possible acquisition after the loss of Britt. He had 1 reception last week for a 4-yard TD and this week he extends that scoring streak to 2 games and adds 66 yards. He was the targeted 11 times by Hasselbeck, 3 more than Nate Washington. He looks to be the Titans #2 WR.

James Jones GBP (5-140-1 TD)
Consider Jones a good option to help cover players on their BYE week. He put up season high numbers versus the ATL on Sunday as he only had 9-88 entering week 5. Look for Jones to be the #3 WR in a three wide out set for the Packers. He could see an increase in playing time IF one of the other WRs go down. Green Bay plays STL in week 6.

RUNNING BACK

Jackie Battle KCC (19-119)
With the running game still in disarray it was little used, Jackie Battle putting on a ground pounding performance against Indy. Thomas Jones and Dexter McCluster have been ineffective in the backfield for the Chiefs who have now won 2 in a row. Battle could be the spark the Chiefs needs to replace Charles who was lost for the year with an ACL. Watch for Battle to grab more playing time.

Delone Carter IND (12-22-1 TD, 2-12)
Carter should have been a HC for owners who drafted Addai in their league, if not and he is he might be worth a pick up now that Addai left Sunday’s game with a hamstring injury. Carter scored his first NFL TD on a short 3-yard run as Addai’s replacement. Week 6 has the Colts playing a tough Cincinnati defense, if Addai cannot go, Carter will start.

Jacob Hester SDC (11-47, 2-13)
With injuries to both Ryan Mathews and Mike Tolbert, San Diego might turn to their backup fullback, Hester who would finish the game vs Denver in place of Tolbert. It’s a situation to watch in San Diego as they have a BYE in week 6. Chances are both Mathews and Tolbert will be able to go, but Hester could have value down the road.

TIGHT END

Joel Dreessen HOU (5-112-1 TD)
With Andre Johnson for a few weeks, Matt Schaub has turned to Foster and his tight ends to pick up the void in the passing game. This week Joel Dreessen was the beneficiary as he scored on a 56-yard TD pass from Schaub. He was pretty much an irrelevant fantasy player through 4 weeks, but could be slotted as a BYE week cover or until AJ returns to the lineup. HOU plays at BAL in week 6.

Notables: Jonathan Dwyer PIT RB, Brandon Pettigrew DET TE

Week 5:
WR: Lavelle Hawkins TEN, Damian Williams TEN, Laurent Robinson DAL, Josh Morgan SFO, Victor Cruz NYG, Doug Baldwin SEA, Jacoby Jones HOU
TE: None
RB: Issac Redman PIT, Mewelde Moore PIT, Ryan Torain, Stevan Ridley
QB: Andy Dalton CIN

Notables:

Week 4:
WR: Victor Cruz NYG, Torrey Smith BAL, Nate Washington TEN, Donald Jones BUF
TE: None
RB: Kendall Hunter SFO, Bernard Scott CIN, Daniel Thomas MIA, Alfonso Smith ARI
Notables: James Casey TE HOU

Week 3:
WR: Nate Washington TEN, David Nelson BUF, Eric Decker DEN
TE: Scott Chandler BUF, Evan Moore CLE, Fred Davis WAS
RB: Roy Helu WAS, Thomas Jones KCC, Dexter McCluster KCC
Notables: Preston Parker, WR TBB, Antonio Brown, WR PIT, Titus Young, WR DET, Brandon LaFell, WR CAR

Week 2:
WR: Randal Cobb GBP, Early Doucet ARI, Ted Ginn SFO, Eric Decker DEN
TE: Ben Watson CLE, Evan Moore CLE, Fred Davis WAS
RB: Darren Sproles NOS, Marcel Reece OAK, Carnell Williams STL
Notables: Jason Avant WR PHI, David Nelson WR BUF, Jacoby Ford WR OAK, Brian Hartline WR MIA

Week 1:
WR: Eric Decker DEN, Antonio Brown PIT, Brian Robiskie CLE
TE: None
RB: Delone Carter IND, Roy Helu WAS, Deji Karim JAX
Notables: Kendall Hunter RB SFO, DeMarco Murray RB DAL, Stevan Ridley RB NEP, Jerome Harrison RB DET, Greg Little RB CLE, Jerome Simpson RBCIN, Dezmon Briscoe WR TBB, Denario Alexander WR STL

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