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.
Chris Ivory, New Orleans Saints (71 percent)
Chester doesn't have to be a rester
Ivory trampled the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 6 for 158 yards on 15 carries, looking more like a featured back than Ladell Betts. With Pierre Thomas (ankle) and Reggie Bush (leg) not making much progress in returning from their injuries, Ivory will be a popular pickup this week. Games like his, even against a struggling Bucs' run D, aren't ignored. Is he worth it?
The positives: Thomas and Bush are slow healers, and locking up Ivory could give you the Saints' featured back for the rest of the year. Plus, even when one or both come back, Ivory could still receive a piece of the running back touches to keep everyone fresh - perhaps those around the goal line, which he's built for.
Raw talent oozes from the powerful back, but footballs do the same from his hands. On Sunday he suffered his third fumble in his last four games. Though he didn't lose the rock, his slippery hands remain a bugaboo for him. Also, Saints backs ran 30 times in Week 6. Julius Jones, though he's depth, had nine carries. Ladell Betts, six. The Saints are still a committee. Will N'awlins run that many times frequently?
The Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers present tougher matchups in the next two weeks. Ivory can't be counted on as anything more than a flex play given how fluid this backfield can be. Beware: He'll probably cost a bunch in FAAB given this near midway point in the season, but he might not present enough long-term returns to provide proper statistical returns on a large percentage bid.
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.
Danny Woodhead, New England Patriots (65 percent)
The most PPR-centric back on the Pats, Woodhead hauled in five passes for 52 yards while also rushing for 63 yards on 11 carries in Week 6. He's averaging 6.4 yards per carry in his changeup role - not bad for fantasy depth. BenJarvus Green-Ellis remains the top dog with Fred Taylor (toe) still MIA. Even when Taylor comes back, Woodhead shouldn't lose his role as the pass catcher in this backfield.
NEW - James Starks, Green Bay Packers (90 percent)
Despite promising Week 5 and 6 performances from Brandon Jackson, the Packers' running game needs more juice. Starks (hamstring) is expected to be activated off the Physically Unable to Perform list to practice this week. He missed all of training camp, though, and probably won't do much in game action yet.
Doesn't mean you can't stash him. The 6-foot-2, 218-pound rookie can run inside and catch passes. He'll probably be dead weight for a few weeks, but if you're running out of options, thinking ahead doesn't hurt. John Kuhn is a fullback by nature, and Jackson's production is erratic. With Jermichael Finley (knee) on Injured Reserve, the Pack would be wise to try out any potential running sparks.
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.
Chester Taylor, Chicago Bears (62 percent)
Taylor's touches have been erratic in recent weeks, but that doesn't mean he isn't capable of producing fantasy-worthy numbers with a limited workload. In Week 7 the Bears face the Washington Redskins, a team that has given up an average of 24.0 carries for 124.8 yards (5.2 per attempt) and 0.75 scores per game to running backs in the past four weeks. Through the air, where Taylor may have his best chance of exploiting the defense, Washington has yielded an average of 6.75 receptions for 52.5 yards in that time. If you find yourself in a desperate position, consider Taylor a reasonable spot play in Week 7.
Le'Ron McClain, Baltimore Ravens (99 percent)
Are you desperate for a bye replacement? McClain faces the Buffalo Bills in Week 7; they've allowed 197.0 yards and 1.33 rushing scores per game to opposing backs in three outings since Week 2. You can't bank on McClain logging more than a few touches per game behind Ray Rice and Willis McGahee, but sometimes backs with goal line potential can be just enough when you need a placeholder.
About Cory J. Bonini
Cory is KFFL's General Manager. In late 2002, he joined the KFFL staff as a research analyst and has been involved in fantasy sports since 1996. A member of the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, as well as Fantasy Sports Writers Association, Bonini has been featured in print, on radio and on scores of websites. Bonini co-hosted Big Lead Sports on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio from 2011 to 2012.
Bonini was recognized with the 2010 Best Article in Print Award from the FSWA and was a finalist for the same award in 2011. In '11, he finished first overall in the FSWA NFL experts challenge that featured 60 of the industry's best competitors.
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