If you are looking to turn your season around on the waiver wire in Week 9, you may as well look elsewhere. However, if you are looking for some playoff insurance or a bye week sub this weekend, there are some intriguing pickups available to all.
Here is the deal. This is one of the slimmest weeks of the year for quality pickups. Most of these guys recommended are either one week fillers or someone you want to stash for the playoffs. The point being, only one of these guys is anyone I would recommend sticking in your starting lineup on a week to week basis.
Finally, one rule I have tried to keep this season is not to recommend anyone more than one week. I can’t stand reading someone’s waiver wire column and seeing the same guy in there for three weeks. Unfortunately that rule will be broken today due to the low emergence of any real fantasy sleepers this week.
Matt Hasselbeck, Tennessee Titans -Will the real Matt Hasselbeck stand up? Is he the same guy who put up 104 1 TD, and 2 interceptions against Houston or is he the guy that put up 224 and 1 TD against Indianapolis? I think the Houston game was a rarity and he is more like the player we saw Sunday. He has a Cincinnati Bengals defense coming up that gave up over 300 yards in the air to Charlie Whitehurst and Tarvaris Jackson! With so many great QBs on a bye this week, I wouldn’t be scared to pickup and start Hasselbeck if you need him.
Kyle Orton, Denver Broncos - Wait, Kyle Orton? Isn’t he on the bench? Have you seen Tim Tebow play? It is not only an embarrassment for the Denver Broncos, it is an embarrassment for the NFL. He is horrendous! Orton coming back into the lineup is inevitable and he will have a healthy Demaryius Thomas, healthy Eddie Royal, along with Eric Decker. He had double digit fantasy games in his first four games, and even a 20 spot in my non-PPR league against the Packers in Week 4. He has the Patriots, Bills, and Chiefs to round out the season along with a revenge game against the Bears. There is a sneaky sleeper in waiting here.
Javon Ringer, Tennessee Titans - It is officially over for Chris Johnson. The Titans have finally swallowed their pride and gave Ringer almost every snap in the fourth quarter. Johnson is technically still the starter but the writing is on the wall. The blocking problems are still there on the offensive line, but he has some great matchups during the fantasy playoffs against Buffalo, New Orleans, and Indianapolis. Those matchups alone make Ringer very enticing in your money weeks.
Chris Ogbonnaya, Cleveland Browns - Ogbonnaya saw a lot of work Sunday with Peyton Hillis and Montario Hardesty on the sidelines due to injury. I don’t see him as some kind of diamond in the ruff, but if you need a starting running back this week, he could be one of the few starters to own his backfield. He will have a rough Houston Texans defense coming up, but there is always the possibility that the Texans look past the Browns (something quite common in the Gary Kubiak era). Keep an eye out on the injury reports this week and if Hillis and Hardesty haven’t practiced this week, Ogbonnaya could be an intriguing play this weekend if you need help in the running back spot.
Kevin Faulk, New England Patriots - I see Faulk as more of a stash than someone you will plug in to your lineup right away. He came back Sunday and was immediately put to work with six carries and five passes. With Faulk, it is a week to week prospect because he will have big days and days where he puts up single digits. Keep in mind that this is a team that plays in a cold city, and with the winter season coming up, the Patriots are bound to run the ball more, giving Faulk more opportunities. Take him if you have room, but using him is a very high risk/high reward play.
Percy Harvin, Minnesota Vikings - Harvin is entering a bye week so you won’t have the option to use him for two weeks. However, he was used as both a runner and a receiver in Sunday’s win against the Carolina Panthers, even vulturing Adrian Peterson at one point. That makes Harvin a very intriguing play as we enter the playoffs. He did leave Sunday’s game with sore ribs, but with two weeks to heal, Harvin should be good to go when the Vikings come back in Week 10 against the Green Bay Packers.
Doug Baldwin, Seattle Seahawks - I wrote about Baldwin a few weeks ago but I bring him up again because of the slim available inventory of receivers this week along with a great matchup this week. With wide receiver studs like Calvin Johnson and Steve Smith on a bye week, you could do a lot worse than Baldwin this weekend.
Malcom Floyd, San Diego Chargers - I am going to go out on a bit of limb here. The San Diego Chargers offense is a mess this season. Defenses are taking Vincent Jackson out of the passing game, leaving Floyd with some nice mismatches. Floyd now has two 100 yards games in his last three. He is certainly a risky play because I do expect Jackson to break out of this slump. However, the Chargers are facing a Green Bay Packers team this weekend with a weak passing defense and a high powered offense. Floyd is a real sneaky play here, but I do expect him to get double digits in a game that is likely to see a lot of scoring.
T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Free Agent - Housh is an interesting guy to keep your eyes on. He is working out for the Oakland Raiders this week as a free agent. What makes him so intriguing is that he has worked out with new Raiders quarterback Carson Palmer throughout the entire offseason. I also read a few reports that indicate he would play the slot if he does sign with the Raiders. This could immediately make Housh Palmer’s go-to guy in a great spot on the field. Again, not someone I’d claim and start immediately upon signing with the Raiders, but someone certainly worth stashing if you have some room to gamble on your roster if he does make the roster.
Ed Dickson, Baltimore Ravens - The Ravens will be playing arguably their biggest game of the season thus far as they travel to Pittsburgh next Sunday for a big division showdown. The Steelers are going to be out of their minds looking for revenge on the early season beating the Ravens handed them. The Ravens are going to have a hard time getting anything going on defense. However, the only receivers open last Sunday for the Patriots (against the Steelers) were Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski. He isn’t anyone I would bank on to turn my season around, but he may be the only player open on a Steelers defense that will be all over the field on Sunday night.