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Fantasy Football: Week 13 Waiver Wire Pickups

Week 13 looks to be another slow week for the wire. No significant injuries occurred, so there are not many likely fantasy game-changers that can be had on the wire. Here are my picks:

Kyle Orton, QB, Kansas City Chiefs

Orton steps into a much better situation, receiver-wise, in KC. Moving on from Brandon Lloyd and Eric Decker, Orton gets access to talented wideouts Dwayne Bowe, Steve Breaston, and Jon Baldwin. We’ll see if Orton can pick it back up with a change of scenery.

Maurice Morris, RB, Detroit Lions

Morris has a shot to be the primary back this week against New Orleans. Kevin Smith is listed as questionable with a high-ankle sprain. If Smith can’t go, Morris looks like a solid flex play option for most teams.

Donald Brown, RB, Indianapolis Colts

Brown has had one of his best stretches of his career during the last three games. He has averaged 77 yards per game and has scored three touchdowns. However, he has a few tough tasks ahead of him in Baltimore and Houston coming up.

Johnny Knox, WR, Chicago Bears

Knox and QB Caleb Hanie looked to have a nice rapport going against Oakland, leading to Knox’s game high 145 receiving yards. He has also scored a touchdown in the last two weeks and looks to be one of the top players off of waivers this week.

Doug Baldwin, WR, Seattle Seahawks

Starter Sidney Rice looks to miss this week’s game against the Eagles, leaving the door wide open for Baldwin to pick up the slack. Baldwin only had 60 yards, but also had 10 targets. Look for Baldwin to have a nice week this week.

Greg Little, WR, Cleveland Browns

Little finally found the endzone last week. QB Colt McCoy’s favorite target looks like a solid WR3 on most teams, as he’s been averaging about 50 yards a game over the last five weeks.

Malcom Floyd, WR, San Diego Chargers

Before getting hurt, Floyd has 243 yards and a touchdown in the last three games he played. He’s looking to come back this week, and looks to be an interesting fantasy play. QB Philip Rivers has been anything but good this year, so I suggest you watch Floyd’s progress.

New England Patriots Defense/Special Teams

Nothing much can be said other than they’re the lucky team playing the Colts this week.

Denver Broncos Defense/Special Teams

The Tebow Effect seems to have taken ahold of this defense, which hasn’t given up more than 13 points in three straight games. Don’t take them lightly anymore.

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Fantasy Football: Week 7 Waiver Wire Pickups

Do you really want this guy starting on your team?

While last week’s waiver wire picks were mostly on byes, this week’s look to give you that instant boost you might need if you’re on the verge of not cracking fantasy playoffs. Deals have happened upon the trade deadline Wednesday evening, and the biggest include the trading of QB Carson Palmer to the Oakland Raiders for a ridiculous guaranteed 1st round pick in next year’s draft as well as a conditional 1st rounder in 2013. Vince Lombardi said it best: “What the hell is going on out here!?” Jokes aside, is Palmer a worthwhile look on the waiver wire?

Carson Palmer, QB, Oakland Raiders

Palmer hasn’t played since 2010, where he put up mediocre numbers (82.4 QB rating, 26 TDs, 20 INTs), and with starter Jason Campbell out indefinitely with a broken collarbone, Palmer now has a few nice toys at his disposal. Palmer, however, since having elected not to receive Tommy John surgery on his throwing arm, has lost his arm strength and has decreased accuracy. He might be a better pure passer than Campbell, and should be a roster stash on desperate teams until we actually see him get some playing time.

Matt Moore, QB, Miami Dolphins

Yes, Matt Moore didn’t look very nice in last Monday’s matchup against the Jets, but let’s face it, he was facing one of the league’s better defenses. Moore gets to face a very weak Broncos defense Week 7 and he’ll surely be better, I promise.

DeMarco Murray, RB, Dallas Cowboys

Murray looks to replace the banged up Felix Jones in the Cowboys Week 7 game against a bad Rams team. He’ll probably be splitting time with Tashard Choice, but I think Murray will get the majority of carries due to his potential as well as Choice’s poor play last Sunday.

Maurice Morris, RB, Detroit Lions

The Lions may have dealt for RB Ronnie Brown from the Eagles, but I guarantee you that Morris will get the majority of the snaps for the Lions come Sunday. Morris received 25 snaps behind Jahvid Best last week, and should see a ton more considering Best suffered his second concussion of the season last Sunday against the 49ers.

Montario Hardesty, RB, Cleveland Browns

Hardesty is probably the most talented back on the list of players available, and will get to showcase it this Sunday. Starter Peyton Hillis, who may or may not be a part of the Madden Curse, has undergone hamstring surgery and could be on the shelf for a while. Hardesty should be owned by everyone, however, this week he does not face a good matchup against Seattle, one of the league’s best defenses against the run.

Greg Little, WR, Cleveland Browns

Little is now QB Colt McCoy’s prime target in Cleveland. Little had his best game of the year so far last Sunday, compiling six receptions for 72 yards. Look for him to get progressively better statistics-wise week-in and week-out.

Demaryius Thomas, WR, Denver Broncos

Thomas looks to step up into a big role since the Broncos decided to give away Brandon Lloyd for a bag of peanuts. Thomas should take over the second starting WR spot behind Eric Decker. I really like Thomas because he has the size and skill to be a Brandon Marshall type eventually. There’s a reason the Broncos took him before Dez Bryant in the 2010 NFL Draft. The only concerns about him are that he’s extremely injury prone.

Arrelious Benn, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The former Fighting Illini standout isn’t a staple on fantasy rosters just yet, but presents a good big-play threat every game. The Bucs’ offense has been quite a letdown this year, but if QB Josh Freeman picks it up at some point, Benn can be quite valuable.

Lance Kendricks, TE, St. Louis Rams

Kendricks, who played big in the preseason, finally came to light in the regular season last week, catching four balls for 71 yards. New WR Brandon Lloyd should open up more space for Kendricks to run and may surprise even more throughout the year.

Dallas Cowboys Defense/ST

America’s team looked great against the high-powered Patriots, holding Tom Brady to just two touchdowns and even intercepting him twice. If the Cowboys defense could keep up their play, you can expect huge gains from them in the upcoming weeks, as they face St. Louis this week, Seattle in Week 9, Washington  in Week 11, and Miami in Week 12.

 

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Your 2011 Fantasy Football Sleepers

Saints' TE Jimmy Graham can end up in the top 3-4 in the rankings

By Blake Pon

As I’ve stated before, I consider myself a fantasy guru. For as far as I can remember, I don’t believe I have ever missed fantasy playoffs in a league that I took seriously. I don’t finish in first place every year, but I sure as heck never finish below fourth place. A huge reason is for this is researching sleepers for the year. Sleepers can give your team a complete 180 degree turn mid-season. Last year, you saw guys like Brandon Lloyd, Hakeem Nicks, Mike Williams (Tampa Bay), and Darren McFadden go from undrafted/late-round draft picks to top ten fantasy studs. Doing your research is key, so I’ll help you out a bit by giving you my predictions on who can help you win your league.

Jimmy Graham, TE, New Orleans Saints

Why you should draft him: The corpse of Jeremy Shockey is finally gone, and now the former University of Miami (FL) basketball/football standout has his chance to shine. According to ESPN, the Saints attempted 661 passes in 2010, the second most in the NFL. Not only that, but 23 percent of the time those passes were to the TE. It’s also important to note that in the last three games of the season, Graham had 11 receptions and four touchdowns. You can snag this guy around the twelfth round, and he’ll likely finish top five amongst TEs this year if all goes as planned.

Kendall Hunter, RB, San Francisco 49ers

Why you should draft him: In all honestly, you probably don’t even need to draft Hunter as he’ll likely be available in the free agents list. Frank Gore has only played a full season once in six years, so having Hunter on your team likely means he’ll get at least a start or two during the season.

Mike Thomas, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars

Why you should draft him: Yes, his quarterback situation is iffy, but Thomas still managed to catch 66 passes and snag four TDs playing behind Mike Sims-Walker. With Sims-Walker in STL, Thomas is in the driver’s seat in Jacksonville and should undoubtedly improve upon his impressive sophomore season.

Tim Hightower, RB, Washington Redskins

Why you should draft him: If you haven’t been following the pre-season, all you need to know is that Hightower has been absolutely beastly. He has averaged 6.8 yards per carry (albeit with only 25 carries) and has scored three times in three preseason games. Don’t forget that Coach Mike Shanahan has a knack for utilizing his runningbacks to their full potential, and frankly, it’s looking like Hightower’s year.

Delone Carter, RB, Indianopolis Colts

Why you should draft him: The rookie out of Syracuse is poised to become Indy’s goal line back due to his aggressiveness and physicality running the ball. Take a late-round flier on him, as he should be due around six to possibly even ten touchdowns this year, with the exception of low yardage per game. Javarris James even managed to score six touchdowns last year in the same role.

Mario Manningham, WR, New York Giants

Why you should draft him: Look, “Super Mario” may not be a sleeper, per se, but I think this is a guy who is very undervalued in almost every league. Eli Manning is due for at least 25-30 touchdowns per year, and we all know Hakeem Nicks won’t be getting every single one. Manningham is going in rounds 7-10 in a lot of leagues, and will likely finish ahead of a lot of the receivers going ahead of him.

Mike Sims-Walker, WR, St. Louis Rams

Why you should draft him: Sims-Walker seems to be the number one wideout in the promising Rams’ offense. Quarterback Sam Bradford is bound to have a breakout year, and Sims-Walker will be his top guy.

Deji Karim, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars

Why you should draft him: After news broke that Rashad Jennings will be out for the entire season, Karim looks like a solid flier in leagues with 12+ teams. We all know the deal with Maurice Jones-Drew, and if does end up going down, Karim’s value will skyrocket.

Jared Cook, TE, Tennessee Titans

Why you should draft him: As stated before, Cook was compared to the likes of Calvin Johnson when he got drafted in 2009. Cook stands at a tall 6-5 and ran a 4.49/40. Also, he now has Matt Hasselbeck in the pocket, and he loves his tight ends. Cook also finished the season strong, catching 15 passes for 196 yards and a touchdown in his final three games last season.

Josh Freeman, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Why you should draft him: Freeman has been going anywhere from rounds 6-10, which may look a little late by the end of season. Freeman is getting overlooked despite throwing only 6 INTs last year, which was second to only Tom Brady. Efficiency pays off in fantasy, and Freeman is exactly that.

Greg Little, WR, Cleveland Browns

Why you should draft him: The rookie looks to be starting along side Mohamed Massaquoi and can make for a viable slot receiver for the improving Colt McCoy. Should be drafted in late rounds of deep leagues.

Cleveland Browns Def/ST

Why you should draft them: The Browns might not be the most menacing defense out there, but looking at their first two month’s worth of match-ups, they look like a viable option for anyone in need of a defense. They play a weak Bengals team week one, followed by a Kerry Collins-led Colts’ offense, followed by the Dolphins and Titans. Weeks 6 through 8 have them facing Oakland, Seattle, and San Francisco.

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