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.
Ladell Betts, Washington
Redskins (89 percent)
Clinton Portis suffered a concussion in Week
9, but he had already been making his fantasy owners dizzy. In his stead, Betts
compiled 70 yards on 15 totes (4.7 yards per) with a touchdown. Even if Portis
plays next week, Betts will probably see a sizable workload from here on out
to keep the vet fresh. If Portis sits, a better dual threat with fresher wheels
would assume his reps.
NEW - Darren McFadden, Oakland Raiders (41 percent)
It's never quiet in Oakland, not even on a bye week. Amid all the extracurricular activities during their week off, McFadden's return to practice might have been overshadowed. The talented but injury-prone back has returned to the field and expects to play in Week 10.
Now, we aren't saying McFadden is going to come in and wow us right away. He was averaging just 3.1 yards per carry and had scored just once through the first four games. He is a favorite of Al Davis, though, and we know that type usually gets the PT (just look behind center). McFadden received 22, 17 and 14 utilizations before his Week 4 injury. Down the line: He faces the Cleveland Browns in Week 16.
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.
Smith could have more PT with LJ gone
Kolby Smith, Kansas
City Chiefs (95 percent)
The release of Larry Johnson points to a workload
split led by Jamaal Charles, but Smith will
also contribute. He carried four times for 17 yards while also registering a
four-yard grab Sunday; it was his first action since Week 9 of last season.
Sure, that O-line won't make it easy, and he'll be a flex play at best. However,
if you missed out on the already widely owned Charles, don't wait on the stashable
Smith; he projects as their best goal line candidate.
Derrick Ward, Tampa
Bay Buccaneers (55 percent)
Ward accomplished little on the ground but recorded 54 receiving yards and
found paydirt once on three receptions in Week 9. He's the third-down back,
but he appears to be available in too many leagues. Rookie quarterback Josh
Freeman will continue to check down, and it isn't a bad idea to own Cadillac
NEW - Larry Johnson, Free Agent (40 percent)
LJ's time is up in KC. Where will he land? That's still up in the air, but if it's the right situation (read: New England), Johnson could be a valuable back. He didn't have much help from either the passing game or the offensive line on the Chiefs, but he showed he could hold down a full role and stay healthy.
It's tough to pick him up when he's without a team, but he's a decent stash option if you are in dire need of an RB. If you wait for him to sign, you'll likely miss out in the rush to get him.
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.
LenDale White, Tennessee Titans (58 percent)
OK, so we missed the mark slightly with White as a sleeper last week; White's reps can be erratic given Chris Johnson's presence. White ran the ball four times for just three yards last week. The week before, in Jacksonville, White was utilized 13 times, including seven in the fourth quarter to close out a win.
This week, the Titans will face the Buffalo Bills, who are coming off their bye week. Buffalo has surrendered 192.3 rushing yards and 1.67 rushing touchdowns per game to this position over the last month (three games). The first average is the worst in the league. White's work this week should be closer to what it was in Week 8, and it'll come against one of the worst run defenses.
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 LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.
During baseball and football season, he appears on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio on Thursdays and Sundays, and every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.
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