The 2010 fantasy football season may go down as one of the least predictable years ever. Looking back at this crazy year, most fantasy drafts ended up being busts.
The so called fantasy football experts got most of it wrong missing out on guys like Arian Foster and over valuing players like Cedric Benson. Interestingly enough you had a better chance building your championship team this year through the waiver wire than the draft.
Playing the fantasy football waiver wire is a tricky game. It requires patience, foresight, and the ability to look at a player’s situation objectively. Remember, any starting quarterback or running back can look like a monster for one week in the right situation. Having the ability to see through that and find that diamond in the ruff that will shine for an entire season is a talent all in itself.
The season may not be over yet but I think we are far enough along to start analyzing studs and duds. I went back and looked at all of the guys that fell through the draft and onto the waiver wire and I was stunned at the amount of talent available this year on waivers. If you picked up any of these players chances are you are contending for a playoff spot. While leagues vary in size of 6-16, I based this roster on an 8-10 team league. Without further a due I give you the 2010 All Waiver Wire Fantasy Football Team.
Peyton Hillis, Cleveland Browns – May I present your 2010 Fantasy Football Waiver Wire MVP! This one was so obvious that I can’t believe everyone missed out on him. I picked up Hillis a couple of years back when he was with the Broncos and he was a monster. The issue with Hillis has always been health. Hillis has remained healthy all season thus far and has just been a complete animal. Hillis is currently blowing away guys like Adrian Peterson, Chris Johnson, Frank Gore, and Maurice Jones-Drew. Imagine the value of your team if you would have taken Roddy White or Aaron Rodgers with your first pick over Adrian Peterson or Chris Johnson, picked up Arian Foster later, and grabbed Hillis on waivers.
Mike Tolbert, San Diego Chargers – If he played a full season as the starter, I tend to think he’d be a top five or top eight running back. Tolbert has been a reliable play most weeks going five in a row with a score and producing three 100+ yard games. Keep in mind that he was playing behind both Ryan Matthews and Darren Sproles most weeks and he still put up good numbers. Over the last several weeks as a starter he has been more productive than most top guys. He is going to be a big part of this offense going forward with or without Matthews which makes him a great player to plug in during the post season.
Kyle Orton, Denver Broncos – I am one of those so called “experts” that completely missed this one. I had Orton ranked #26 in my 2010 fantasy football quarterbacks preview. In Chicago he was a dink and dunk quarterback and even last season played a rather conservative game. The Broncos have aired it out this season with Orton having some monster games. He hasn’t been as consistent as Vick but for a guy you got off of waivers he is having a better season than drafted players like Eli Manning, Tom Brady, Matt Ryan, and Joe Flacco.
Steve Johnson, Buffalo Bills – Johnson was a name I went back and forth on because he was actually drafted with final picks in a lot of drafts. However, most drafts saw Johnson undrafted. Once the QB change was made in Buffalo he flourished. He is currently ahead of guys like Miles Austin, Andre Johnson, DeSean Jackson, and Reggie Wayne who were probably taken in the early rounds of your draft.
Mercedes Lewis, Jacksonville Jaguars – Here is a guy that just about everyone missed out on in their drafts. Dallas Clark owners are kicking themselves for missing out on Lewis. In all honesty, almost none of the highly ranked tight ends have panned out this year in fantasy football. Lewis is currently the number two tight in points and far ahead of the rest of the pack. Getting a tight end that gives you the points of a decent starting wide receiver is critical in winning fantasy football. Lewis does that and more.
Todd Heap, Baltimore Ravens – I wish I took my own advice. I picked up Heap on waivers and after two weeks dropped him for Brandon Pettigrew. Pettigrew is nice but Heap is far better. Heap is currently ranked number four among all tight ends ahead of players like Vernon Davis, Dustin Keller, and Tony Gonzalez. Not bad for a guy most didn’t expect to be productive at all this season.
Chicago Bears – The Bears are back and so is their ferocious defense. Nobody saw this one coming and the Bears were one of the few defenses that went undrafted. To put into perspective how good they are for fantasy owners, they are a full 25 points better than the New York Jets this season that not only went first, but even went with high draft picks in some drafts. The have five double digit games through 12 which is really impressive for a defense, undrafted nonetheless.
Dan Carpenter, Miami Dolphins – There really isn’t a whole lot of attention paid to kickers in fantasy football, but they can be the difference in a tight game. I don’t take kickers before my last pick because of situations like this where some of the best kickers wind up on the waiver wire. Dan Carpenter has been one of the few bright spots for the Dolphins this season. Six of Carptenter’s eleven games have been double digits. Take a how many single digit losses you have at the end of the season and think about how different your record would have been with a kicker like Carpenter.
This article first appeared on Technorati.
Join ESPN Insider today for the best sports analysis online, plus ESPN The Magazine!