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.
Darrius Heyward-Bey, Oakland Raiders (95 percent)
Has DHB's time come?
Perhaps the light bulb finally went on? DHB has 11 catches for 214 and a score in the last two games, and Jason Campbell has looked his way 19 times. That is tough to ignore, even if it is Heyward-Bey.
He still struggled a little with drops in Week 5, but it is very encouraging that he was thrown to 12 times. The 24-year-old speedster could finally be starting to put it together in his third year, and Campbell is showing trust in the former first-rounder. Heyward-Bey's 34-yard touchdown reception was mostly his doing after he slipped an ankle tackle and raced to the stripe.
We remain skeptical, but could this be the beginning of Heyward-Bey's ascension into consistent fantasy relevance? It is worth taking a chance on him to find out. The Raiders play the Cleveland Browns, Kansas City Chiefs, Denver Broncos and San Diego Chargers, respectively, in the next four weeks.
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.
Greg Little, Cleveland Browns (86 percent)
Cleveland head coach Pat Shurmur said he needs to spark the offense, and that lightning he is looking for will come from Little ... or, at least that is what Shurmur hopes will happen. At 6-foot-2, 220 pounds, Little is a dominant physical presence but is trying to acclimate himself to the pro game after missing the 2010 season in college.
Little will move into the starting lineup opposite Mohamed Massaquoi. He will now deal with better coverage, although that should be offset by the increase in opportunities. Outside of the tight ends, Little is probably the Browns' best red zone weapon through the air.
The Browns have several pass-friendly matchups coming up: Oakland Raiders (Week 6), San Francisco 49ers (Week 9), St. Louis Rams (Week 11), with average matchups slated in Week 7 (Seattle Seahawks) and the Houston Texans in Week 10.
NEW - Dane Sanzenbacher, Chicago Bears (95 percent)
Thanks to the Bears' shaky O-line and wide receiver corps, the rookie has emerged as a moderately stable outlet for cheap dump-off receptions. He isn't explosive, but he's the most consistent thing the non-Matt Forte receiving game plan has going. You won't find much upside, but you could find some 10-point weeks in PPR leagues if you need a plug-in.
Before his Week 8 bye, Sanz faces two favorable fantasy secondaries in the Minnesota Vikings and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
NEW - Doug Baldwin, Seattle Seahawks (93 percent)
Baldwin plays a crucial safety valve role in the Seattle offense, and it isn't just Tarvaris Jackson (chest) with the penchant to look his way. Charlie Whitehurst targeted Baldwin six times in the rookie's Week 5 breakout performance (8-136-1). He caught five balls for 84 yards the week before.
The 5-foot-10, 189-pounder plays best out of the slot. Seattle has had no quality play to speak of from the tight end position this year, so Baldwin has seen more work than expected. The Seahawks are on a bye in Week 6, but they return to face the Cleveland Browns, Cincinnati Bengals, Dallas Cowboys and Baltimore Ravens in the next month.
Add him for depth and spot plays in deeper PPR leagues.
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.
Brandon LaFell, Carolina Panthers (87 percent)
LaFell has just 13 catches for 181 yards and one TD on the year, so don't get too excited over this recommendation. He has a fantastic matchup in a game that should involve a plentiful amount of passing. Cam Newton's Panthers could find themselves in need of playing catch-up, which bodes well for the second-year receiver.
The Atlanta Falcons have allowed the third most fantasy points per game in the last month (29.0) to the wide receiver position. This stems from permitting 14.00 receptions, 204.3 yards and 1.75 scoring grabs per contest.
Check out LaFell on the wire if you are in a desperate spot because of injuries or bye weeks.
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.