If you are serious about winning your fantasy league football championship, stay on top of your fantasy football team throughout the year.
Each week during the NFL fantasy football season, KFFL brings you its Fantasy Football Waiver Wire, which breaks down players to pick up. Be aggressive when picking up fantasy football free agents. Even if you do not need a player, you can tuck him away for depth or block others from adding him to their fantasy football team.
Note: Percentage of polled leagues in which player is available in parentheses
Fantasy football free agents: Priority additions
The following players should be high on your radar and are worthy of being added immediately to your fantasy football team.
John Carney or Garrett Hartley, New Orleans Saints (55 percent, 89 percent)
It appears the Saints will hang on to both Carney and Hartley, for now, with the latter likely still handling the field goal duties. Hartley could end up being deactivated on gamedays until his role is determined. N'awlins is coming off a bye, meaning Carney was probably let go in many setups. The Saints offense gives its kicker one of the best fantasy foundations.
Carney's only miss in seven field goal tries this year came on a blocked attempt. It would be best to grab Carney first; you may be able to get away with switching to Hartley afterward. We won't go as far as advising you to handcuff this situation, but you should be quick to the waiver wire if you want to get a head start here. Employing 12 straight games of Saints kicking can be an unfair advantage.
Fantasy football free agents: Look to acquire
The following players will have greater significance in deep fantasy football leagues. In shallow fantasy football leagues, they are not as high of a priority but should be considered based on your fantasy football team's needs.
Nate Kaeding, San Diego Chargers (33 percent)
With his off-week out of the way, the Bolts boot can pick up where he left off, ranking in the top five in field goal tries per game (2.67) in the last four weeks (three Chargers games). Kaeding will need to show more from long range than his 1-for-2 output in the 40-49 category - that's all he has attempted from 30-plus yards this season - but San Diego knows how to move the ball and put points on the board.
NEW - Robbie Gould, Chicago Bears (37 percent)
Gould makes for a potentially permanent play for the rest of '09 since he's coming off a bye week. He had at least two field goal tries in three of his first four games of the year. He faces the Atlanta Falcons in Week 6; they've allowed the second most field goal tries per game in the last four weeks.
NEW - Jason Elam, Atlanta Falcons (48 percent)
Elam has seemingly worked past his Week 1 case of the shanks, but his 0.67 average of field goal tries per game and his 3.67 extra-point attempts per contest in three games since Week 1 mean Atlanta has not needed Elam's foot for long distances. A blowout win versus the San Francisco 49ers in Week 5 skewed his numbers a bit in favor of one-pointers. You shouldn't expect him to kick six extra points and just one field goal every week; this offense will give him consistent tries regardless. His Week 6 opponent, the Chicago Bears, have allowed the most field goal tries per game in the last four weeks.
Fantasy football free agents: One-week plays
The following fantasy football pickups are for those who need injury or bye week replacements. They are not players you immediately acquire - unless your team is in dire straights. Some have, however, shown some life and should be followed in case they materialize as options beyond their temporary use.
NEW - Shaun Suisham, Washington Redskins (93 percent)
The Canadian ranks near the bottom in terms of field goal tries per game (1.25 in the last four weeks), but if there is a week to use him in '09, his Week 6 dance with the Kansas City Chiefs would be it. The Chiefs have given up 2.50 three-point attempts per contest and have yielded the same number of extra-point tries per game since Week 1.
About Tim Heaney
Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous outlets, and recognized as a finalist in the Fantasy Sports Writers Association awards. The Boston University alum competes in Tout Wars and LABR and has won several industry leagues in both baseball and football.
During baseball and football season, hear him every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore. On Thursdays, he visits 106.1 FM WMTI in New Orleans and Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, where he often crashes other shows, as well.
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