The fantasy football regular season is more than halfway over. For some of you, Week 7 will be your must-win game. That is why it is so important to find that right bye week filler or starter on the waiver wire to save what could be a disappointing season.
Matt Cassel, Kansas City Chiefs – It may be time to get on the Chiefs bandwagon. Cassel and Dwayne Bowe have been hot the last few weeks and it appears that the Chiefs are adjusting to life after Jamaal Charles. The emergence of Jackie Battle as a capable running back will open up the pass even more for Cassel. It is hard to argue with 517 yards and five TDs in his last two games. I am not ready to throw him in my starting lineup, but when your waiver wire option is probably him or John Beck, I’d take Cassel.
Sam Bradford, St. Louis Rams – Does this have anything to do with the acquisition of Brandon Lloyd? In the words of a famous ex-V.P. candidate, “You betcha!” You’d never know it by the numbers, but the Rams have a ton of weapons on offense. Lloyd is now reunited with his former coach now Rams’ offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. Add in the return of Bradford’s go-to guy last season (until he got hurt) Mark Clayton, and a healthy Steven Jackson and this offense has enormous potential if they can get it clicking in time for the fantasy football playoffs.
Carson Palmer, Free Agent – The trade date is coming for the Bengals and according to various reports, the Oakland Raiders are pushing hard to acquire the quarterback. If Palmer winds up on the Raiders, he will immediately have more weapons than he has had in years, maybe ever between the speedy receivers and elusive running backs. If he can come in and get something going, you could have a top ten QB on your hands come the fantasy playoffs. I’d never drop anyone you need for him until you see the deal go through, but if you have the room on your roster, why not?
(Editor’s Note: Since publishing, Palmer has been traded to the Raiders…Get him!)
Greg Little, Cleveland Browns – Little got the start this week and had a nice day for the Browns. He would have had a touchdown as well if he didn’t trip up a few yards from the end zone. He led the team with 12 targets and with those kinds of opportunities and he is bound to have some big days over the next few weeks.
Mark Clayton, St. Louis Rams – Clayon could be a very sneaky pickup this week. Clayton returns from the PUP this week to a Rams team in desperate need of a go-to receiver. Clayton and Sam Bradford were on fire last season before he got hurt. It is a new offense and he will be rusty, but he could be a top 20 WR by the time the playoffs come around or better. The Lloyd trade could hurt or help his value depending upon how much attention defenses pay to Lloyd. If you have the room on your roster, I’d absolutely take a shot with Clayton and see what happens.
Danario Alexander, St. Louis Rams – Speaking of the Rams, Alexander got the production this week with Mike Sims-Walker benched. Alexander had a very nice game, even without a score. He would have had a monster day if not for dropping a long touchdown. If you need a bye week filler over the next couple of weeks, I’d certainly take a chance on him. I will.
Earnest Graham, Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Graham produced as promised with a big game for savvy owners who plucked him off the wire last week. I did but unfortunately I had to drop him back due to other needs on my roster. The Blunt situation is up in the air but most reports indicate that he will be out until after the bye. With so many great running backs on a bye week this week, he will probably be one of the first taken on your wire depending upon everyone’s needs.
Montario Hardesty, Cleveland Browns – The talent is there and with Peyton Hillis possibly missing a week, he could be a nice bye week filler for you this week. Some of the top running backs in fantasy like Ahmad Bradshaw and Fred Jackson will be on a bye, so the need will be there. If Hillis misses this week’s game, Hardesty could do damage against the Seahawks.
Jake Ballard, New York Giants – Ballard is starting to gain the confidence of Eli Manning and seems to be a bigger part of the game plan more and more as the season goes on. He didn’t have a touchdown but he did have over 80 yards receiving on Sunday. I see this kid developing more and more each week into a potential red zone threat for the Giants. I wouldn’t sit one of your tight end studs for him, but if you need a bye week filler over the next few weeks he is worth a shot. Keep in mind that Ballard is on a bye this week, so you’ll have to wait to use him.