So, anything interesting happen this weekend? No? How about Monday night? Did you see anything which made you go hmmmmmm? No, well maybe this week’s installment of waiver wire targets will have you talking. I’ll get to Survivor picks on Wednesday. Remember, bye weeks start this week!
Christian Ponder – Wow, has Ponder looked great over the first three weeks. I’d drop a player like Russell Wilson (as I did today) for Ponder. Ponder has great match-ups over the next three weeks and then alternates bad and good match-ups over the next four. He’s got a chance to remain a top 10 QB this season.
Jake Locker – Locker had a great match-up this week and exploited it to the fullest. I like Locker and Ponder almost the same and a lot depends on your roster makeup and your QB1 if you choose to use Ponder or Locker as bye week replacements. Ponder should probably be avoided in weeks seven and nine while Locker should be avoided this week and in week nine.
Shaun Hill – Hill brought the Lions back in the fourth quarter last week after Matthew Stafford’s injury only to be foiled by Jim Schwartz’s incompetence as a coach. Hill is a must add if Stafford’s injury keeps him out this week. Hill has always put up numbers in the Lions offense.
Nick Foles - Has the Michael Vick death watch begun? Andy Reid’s tepid endorsement of Vick this week makes me think that if Reid wants to save his job, he’s going to need to get production out of the QB position (and perhaps rely on LeSean McCoy a bit more – he’s pretty good from what I hear). Foles is the backup to Vick and could be a nice addition if you have a deep bench.
Mikel Leshoure – I mentioned Leshoure last week and told everyone to temper their excitement a bit. However, Leshoure’s performance last week (and the Houdini act that Kevin Smith put on) move Leshoure to the top of the list. He should be your first waiver claim unless you are stacked at RB. He’s going to start for the remainder of the season and it looks like the Lions might actually incorporate the run a bit (unlike say the Saints).
Saints Running backs – Cut them all except Darren Sproles. One of the reasons I don’t like to back the Saints in Survivor pools is because they can’t salt a lead away by running the ball. They seem unable to do so even though they have some talent in the backfield. However, there is no reason for you to waste a roster spot on Mark Ingram, Pierre Thomas or Chris Ivory.
Ryan Williams – It looks like Beanie Wells cannot stay healthy and even when he is he is not an effective runner. Williams looks to be the main RB in Arizona, but he hasn’t shown the ability yet to overcome a poor offensive line. I lIke Williams a bit better than a low end RB like Cedric Benson, but I don’t expect top 15 RB stats from him this year.
Jacquizz Rodgers – Rodgers was on the field for two more snaps than Michael Turner last week. Could we be witnessing the changing of the guard or at least a time share? I think so. Rodgers is far more explosive and versatile and in PPR leagues could potentially be a RB2.
Tashard Choice – I think he’s a one or two week pickup at best. He’s never shown consistency and Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller should both be back within the next two weeks. However, if you need someone for this week you could do worse.
Ryan Grant – That thud you heard was Alfred Morris owners banging their collective heads on their collective desks. I can’t see Grant holding any value this year unless there are injuries which take out all three running backs ahead of him. Stranger things have happened, but leave him on the waiver wire unless you are in the deepest of leagues.
Bilal Powell – Shonn Greene isn’t very good. Or at least it doesn’t seem that way. At some point the Jets will need to make a change. Powell is the next man up and has looked solid if unspectacular over the first three weeks. The Jets have tough match-ups the next two weeks against San Francisco and Houston so temper any expectations.
Jonathan Grimes – I don’t know who this guy is, but the New York Jets just signed him off of the Houston Texans practice squad. Monitor him in all leagues as Shonn Greene can’t hold on to the starting RB spot all season. And Bilal Powell isn’t Walter Payton.
Daniel Thomas – Thomas subbed in for Reggie Bush after Bush’s injury for the Miami Dolphins. Thomas ran well and picked up a TD along the way. However, he also turned the ball over. The extent of Bush’s injury is unclear, but if he’s out this week I see a time share between Thomas and…
Lamar Miller – Miller came on for Thomas after his fumble in week three. Miller is a bit more explosive and will likely share any carries with Thomas if Bush is hurt rendering both useless in most leagues.
Leonard Hankerson – Hankerson did not do much until the end of the game in week three. However, after the game, Coach Mike Shanahan said that Hankerson had earned a starting role. Hankerson will start for Pierre Garcon until Garcon is healthy. Then, Hankerson will slide over and take Josh Morgan’s place in the starting lineup. The Redskins offense has been prolific, but production from the WR has been uneven so far. I’d expect a WR3 type player from Hankerson going forward.
Ramses Barden – Barden was spectacular against the Carolina Panthers last Thursday. However, when Hakeem Nicks returns to the lineup, it is likely Barden heads back to the bench (though he may now be third on the depth chart in front of Domenik Hixon). I don’t think Barden gets a ton of looks without an injury to either Victor Cruz or Nicks, but he’s shown he can perform if given the chance.
Jerome Simpson – Simpson returns from suspension this week and will likely slot right into the starting lineup for the Minnesota Vikings. He’s got a million dollar body, but a ten cent head so we’ll see how long he stays out of trouble. That said, the Vikings have some nice match-ups over the next three weeks though Simpson will likely be no better than fourth in the offensive pecking order behind Peterson, Harvin and Rudolph.
Jordan Cameron – This Cleveland Browns player had five receptions in week three. He’s still listed as the number two tight end in Cleveland, but he’s only behind Ben Watson. Young QBs (well young to the NFL) often look to their TEs in times of need. Brandon Weeden will have a lot of times of need over the rest of the season. Cameron is to be monitored in deeper leagues.
Heath Miller – I was wrong to avoid Miller last week as he picked up another couple of TDs. The Steelers defense isn’t very good and their running game is missing in action so Miller may well continue to get looks at least until Rashard Mendenhall returns (or someone picks up the slack in the Steelers backfield). I still do not see Miller as a long term solution.
TE playing the Titans – Just a friendly reminder that the Titans still stink against TEs. They play the Houston Texans this week so see if Owen Daniels is around.
Arizona Cardinals – I hope you took my advice on the Cardinals and if not you are now convinced they have a chance to be match-up proof all year long. If they are still on your waiver wire, I’d be tempted to make them the number one priority over any other player this week.
Baltimore Ravens – The Ravens face the Cleveland Browns on Thursday night at home. They should terrorize Brandon Weeden.
Cincinnati Bengals – They could be a sneaky play on the road against the Jacksonville Jaguars, but I would only add them if I’m desperate. They haven’t looked good and the Jags do have MJD in the backfield.
Chris Garosi is a contributor for District Sports Page. One of his favorite sports memories is witnessing Wilson Alvarez’s no-hitter at Memorial Stadium in 1991. Chris has played fantasy sports since the pre-Internet days and participates in any league for any sport to which he’s invited. He even won an XFL fantasy league. Really. You can follow him on Twitter at @chrisgarosi.