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.
Ryan Torain, Washington Redskins (59 percent)
Since we last informed you about Torain's fantasy waiver wire value, he lost a competitor for touches in Keiland Williams, who was released. Running back Clinton Portis suffered a groin injury and may be relegated to third-down work. In other words, Torain's value is soaring. He rushed for 70 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 4.
Torain's workload should remain high for at least the short term and perhaps the rest of the way. There is serious potential here, and fantasy owners need to react if you didn't upon our last recommendation. Fantasy owners have to pick up Torain, who's at a 41 percent ownership rate, immediately - this is a now-or-never situation.
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.
LeGarrette Blount, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (79 percent)
Catch this Torain before it's too late
Last week we told you to snag Blount off the wire if you had room to stash him throughout his Week 4 bye. Based on his ownership percentage, we felt the need to remind you.
The team wants to take some work off Cadillac Williams' shoulders; Blount will at least have goal line utilizations moving forward and is in essence Tampa Bay's No. 2 back. The 6-foot, 247-pounder, who reminds head coach Raheem Morris of former fullback Mike Alstott, gained 27 yards on six carries in Week 3 while also plunging to paydirt.
Tampa also will probably mix in fullback Earnest Graham, scatback Kareem Huggins and Kregg Lumpkin, but the troubled yet talented Blount has enough shiftiness to be a decent changeup back to the plodding Williams. Blount's touchdown potential alone is worth a depth addition. If you have enough running backs to get by for this week, think ahead and stash Blount.
Ladell Betts and Chris Ivory, New Orleans Saints (87 percent, 69 percent)
In Week 4 with Pierre Thomas (ankle) sidelined, Betts (19 utilizations, 70 total yards, four receptions) and Ivory (12 carries, 67 yards for a notable 5.6 average) helped the Saints march, albeit against a vulnerable Carolina Panthers run D. Either way, they proved they could handle the load without the injury-prone Thomas and the also brittle Reggie Bush (leg), who'll miss at least another month.
N'awlins trusts both Betts (five red zone utils) and Ivory (two) as the goal line approaches. There's more upside with the preseason star Ivory, but his second straight week with a fumble works toward keeping him as the No. 2. Betts knows the offense and is the better performer in point-per-reception formats; he'll probably remain the majority option if it's just the two of them. This would remain a potentially angering split with Thomas out, but both are useful as depth and fill-ins. Target Betts first.
Mike Bell, Philadelphia Eagles (90 percent)
LeSean McCoy (rib) has a fractured rib, and his status is unknown. This shouldn't stop McCoy owners (at least) from picking up Bell in the meantime. He's expected to take the first-team reps in practice this week.
Bell has just 20 yards on 12 carries this year but has shown decent ability around the goal line - a place where the Eagles continue to show consistency in production. Bell wouldn't fully replace McCoy's point-per-reception value, and hasn't been anything more than a part-timer in his brief career. The Iggles might look outside for help, too, depending on the severity of McCoy's injury. They've reportedly inquired about the Buffalo Bills' Marshawn Lynch.
However, Bell will provide decent bye week insurance in deep leagues and looks like a handcuff McCoy owners should stash moving forward, even if McCoy plays this week.
Fantasy football free agents: Watch list
These fantasy football free agents shouldn't be on your immediate list. They may have had a big week. They may have talent but are buried on the depth chart and merely awaiting an opportunity. Still, fantasy football players must know who they are for their potential contribution in the future.
NEW - James Starks, Green Bay Packers (99 percent)
Do the Packers have a starting running back right now? Brandon Jackson and John Kuhn are holding down the fort with OK performances since Ryan Grant went down for the year, but they're not going to propel Green Bay's running game.
What about Starks? The 6-foot-2, 218-pound rook at least has the talent to do so - a serviceable combo of between-the-tackles running and pass-catching capability. He hasn't really displayed overwhelming power for his size, but at least the Pack is high enough on him to be planning on giving him a whirl.
Starks, currently on the Physically Unable to Perform list and ineligible to come back until after Week 6, missed his '09, senior season at Buffalo. Early-season reports said he would be activated not long after the soonest possible day. Those deep leaguers who are looking for a backfield spark and have the roster size to stash players for a little while shouldn't ignore Starks.
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.