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: 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.
Washington Redskins (46 percent)
The Redskins faced the Chicago Bears in Week 7. Result: four interceptions (all by cornerback DeAngelo Hall) and four sacks. That offensive line is dreadful. The Detroit Lions, Washington's Week 8 enemy, allowed 2.00 sacks, 1.00 interceptions and 1.00 fumbles lost per game in the last four weeks with Shaun Hill under center.
That isn't bad, but with quarterback Matthew Stafford (shoulder) returning Sunday for his first 2010 action since Week 1, this is an opportunity to squeeze one more week out of the 'Skins before their Week 9 bye. Their pass rush isn't as good as Chicago made it look, but Washington is serviceable enough to put pressure on Stafford, who was sacked 24 times and threw 20 picks in 10 games during his rookie '09 season. The Lions' offense can put up points, though, and this matchup is stronger for Washington in leagues that don't heavily penalize for points and yards allowed.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (87 percent)
Tampa's run D has been pillaged throughout the year, and the Bucs have earned just 0.33 sacks and 0.67 fumble recoveries per game since Week 4. In that time, though, they've picked off 1.33 passes per contest. In the Arizona Cardinals' Max Hall (concussion), they'll face another rookie quarterback this week; he's less polished than Sam Bradford of the St. Louis Rams, whom the Bucs kept relatively in check last week despite not registering many fantasy accolades.
Hall suffered a concussion but will start if ready. If he can't go, that would mean Derek Anderson would take the reins - still a positive matchup for an opposing defense. In the last three weeks, with both quarterbacks taking snaps at some point, Arizona's QBs have been sacked 5.00 times per game while allowing 1.33 interceptions and 1.67 fumbles lost per outing. This is a case where you can take a chance on a matchup for replacement value.
Is one of your six teams on bye? Do you need to play the matchups? The Jags are typically one of the most ineffective fantasy defenses, producing only 1.25 sacks, 0.25 interceptions and 0.25 fumble recoveries per game since Week 3.
Enter new Dallas Cowboys quarterback Jon Kitna, whose statuesque play is a magnet to opposing pass rushes - even one as inconsistent as the Jags'. Sure, the Cowboys have ample weapons, but even with Tony Romo (clavicle) in at quarterback, they gave the ball away often.
The prospects of Kitna's generosity to fantasy defenses - even with a stripped-down playbook - at least gives Jacksonville a boost for desperate defense divers. If your league doesn't overly penalize for points and yardage allowed, even better.
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, who competes in the prestigious LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.
He appears frequently, including every Sunday, on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, as well as every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.
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