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: 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.
Dickson getting comfy in B'more
Ed Dickson, Baltimore Ravens (78 percent)
Dickson's nine looks in Week 3 make 20 for the season. This past Sunday was also Dickson's second five-catch game of 2011 and included a pretty 18-yard crossing-route TD. Baltimore knows the 6-foot-4, 255-pounder is a weapon over the middle (see his decimation of the Pittsburgh Steelers' LBs), and Joe Flacco has chemistry with him. Dickson is an ideal backup and will often carry flex value in leagues where carrying two-TE rosters is normal.
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.
Visanthe Shiancoe and Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings (83 percent, 93 percent)
Shiancoe and Rudolph have been targeted a combined 15 times all season and remain somewhat handcuffed with the way Donovan McNabb's passing has been. But if you know McNugget, you know that he loves throwing to tight ends when everything is right. Shiancoe found paydirt Sunday from a red zone look; that has defined most of his fantasy value. Rudolph's three targets in Week 3, while nothing to fawn over, represented his highest single-game total so far.
The Vikes are being ultraconservative with Percy Harvin (illness), who's already a constant health risk, and Michael Jenkins and Bernard Berrian are hardly answers in opening up the O. Minny's situation under Bill Musgrave is prime territory for joining the multitude of teams that frequently employ two tight ends.
This could easily be a cannibalization situation. Rudolph has more upside, but the vet Shiancoe has experience on his side; that probably means something to McNabb. No need to chase them this week, even with their solid matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs. You can probably get a few more weeks to see which one McNabb favors.
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 - Randy McMichael, San Diego Chargers (91 percent)
The veteran tight end is likely to replace Antonio Gates (foot) again this week. McMichael has a fantastic matchup and could benefit from Malcom Floyd (groin) battling an injury.
The Dolphins have allowed tight ends to average the most fantasy points per game in the league through three weeks (15.0). This translates to 8.33 grabs for 105.0 yards and 1.00 touchdowns per contest.
Add McMichael if you're looking for a one-week (and perhaps longer) fill-in that has a strong chance of posting quality fantasy numbers in the short term. At worst, he is depth for your squad ... until Gates finds his way back to the field.
NEW - Anthony Fasano, Miami Dolphins (95 percent)
Fasano is in position to have a decent day against the San Diego Chargers, who have allowed three touchdowns in the last two games to the position. Granted, he isn't Rob Gronkowski, but he isn't Leonard Pope on the other end of the spectrum, either.
The Bolts shut out Visanthe Shiancoe in Week 1, but since have folded to the position by allowing the second most standard fantasy points per game (13.7). This one really could go either way, but if you are in a desperate situation in a deep league, or can play two tight ends, Fasano's matchup makes him a worthy gamble as the Chargers try to slow down Brandon Marshall.
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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