Fantasy Football Waiver Wire
Free Agents to Pick Up in Your Fantasy Football League
If you are serious about winning your fantasy league football championship, it is important to stay on top of your fantasy football team throughout the course of the year.
Each week during the NFL fantasy football season, KFFL brings you its Fantasy Football Waiver Wire, which breaks down players who should be on your radar to pick up in your league. Sitting on your hands and not being aggressive in picking up fantasy football free agents is not a wise move. Sometimes, even if you do not need the player for your starting lineup, it is wise to tuck the player away for depth as well as to block others from adding the player to their fantasy football team.
Fantasy Football Free Agents: Priority Additions
The following group of players should be high on your radar and are worthy of being added immediately to your fantasy football team.
Kyle Orton, Quarterback, Chicago Bears
- Orton completed a season-high 24 passes in 34 attempts for a career-high 334 yards with two scores in Week 5.
- He has efficiently completed 61.9 of his passes this year, and he has tossed for at least two scores in each of his last three contests.
- The Purdue alum has steadily climbed into the immediate acquisition section, and it's time to shed the negative connotations of his prior game-managing style. He's available in about 59 percent of leagues polled.
Marc Bulger, Quarterback, St. Louis Rams
- Bulger regained the starting job after the firing of head coach Scott Linehan, who replaced the struggling Bulger with veteran Trent Green in the role before their Week 4 contest.
- The pitiful Rams attempted at least 31 passes in their last three games, mainly because they trailed early. They'll likely continue to air it out in offensive coordinator Al Saunders' system. Boasting running back Steven Jackson and wideout Torry Holt, the offense shouldn't remain dormant.
- The former 4,000-yard passer could be a solid bye week replacement or backup if your quarterback play is questionable. He's available in 53 percent of leagues polled.
Tim Hightower, Running Back, Arizona Cardinals
- The rookie short-yardage bruiser ran for a 17-yard score in Week 5, along with his typical two-yard grind. His 37 yards and two scores were the highest single-game totals in his short career.
- Hightower has been used in tandem with aging running back Edgerrin James, recording at least eight utilizations in each game this year. In Week 4, the Cards abandoned the running game in a shootout with the New York Jets.
- Hightower's 29 percent availability rate in leagues polled hasn't changed since last week. Grab him now as that number should drop.
Correll Buckhalter, Running Back, Philadelphia Eagles
- Despite playing in Week 5, starting running back Brian Westbrook (ankle, ribs) sustained fractured ribs and is now uncertain to play in Week 6. His absence would elevate Buckhalter to the starting role once again.
- Buckhalter excelled when given the chance, combining for 109 rushing yards, eight receptions, 68 receiving yards with two touchdowns in Weeks 3 and 4 in 35 cumulative utilizations. He saw only three in Week 5 when Westy was starting.
- He's available in 28 percent of leagues polled.
Cedric Benson, Running Back, Cincinnati Bengals
- In his first 2008 action, Benson posted 10 carries for 30 yards against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 5. He received nine fewer utilizations than starter Chris Perry.
- The team's release of running back Kenny Watson (hamstring) handed Benson the No. 2 running back job for last week. Perry showed more symptoms of fumbleitis late in Week 5, and it could be only a matter of time before the Bengals give Benson a larger workload.
- Watson is expected to re-sign with Cincy sometime before their Week 6 contest, but he would likely remain in an infrequent change-of-pace role.
- Benson is available in about 80 percent of leagues polled and would be a solid speculative pickup if you have roster space or own Perry.
Greg Camarillo, Wide Receiver, Miami Dolphins
- Camarillo grabbed a season-high six passes for 68 yards while scoring for the first time in 2008. He leads Dolphins wideouts with an average of 4.67 receptions per game in the last four weeks (three contests).
- Trusting Dolphins receivers has been a difficult task this year, but Camarillo's offensive role compares to that of former Dolphins wideout Wes Welker (New England Patriots). He was targeted eight times in Week 5 and has been sought out seven times per game on average in his last three outings.
- Camarillo should be a target in point-per-reception formats. He's available in almost every league polled.
Steve Breaston, Wide Receiver, Arizona Cardinals
- Breaston didn't waste the opportunity given by sidelined wideout Anquan Boldin (head), catching seven passes for 77 yards one week after a performance of nine for 122 yards.
- With Boldin possibly missing next week's contest, Breaston would once again step into the No. 2 role. Boldin could return after the team's Week 7 bye.
- In Arizona's high-powered offense, it wouldn't necessarily detract from Breaston's fantasy value if both were in the offense at the same time. He has averaged 9.50 targets in his last two contests.
- He's available in approximately 52 percent of leagues polled.
Bobby Engram, Wide Receiver, Seattle Seahawks
- Although Seattle didn't reach the end zone in Week 5, Engram led all Seahawks wideouts with 12 targets in his first game of the season. Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck's (knee) favorite receiver hauled in eight of those for 61 yards.
- Hasselbeck suffered a hyperextended right knee in Week 5 but is expected to be fine for Week 6.
- The Seahawks have restocked their offense with Engram and wideout Deion Branch back in the fold. Expect Seattle to lean more heavily on the passing game in the near future, especially if Hasselbeck is healthy.
- Engram, who's coming off a 94-reception campaign, has been stashed on fantasy rosters throughout the season but is still available in approximately 31 percent of leagues polled.
Greg Olsen, Tight End, Chicago Bears
- As quarterback Kyle Orton develops, he's finding the physically gifted Olsen. After catching four passes for 35 yards and a score in Week 4, Olsen registered three catches for 87 yards in Week 5, including a 52-yard catch-and-run.
- The tight end has been a big part of the Bears offense all season. Fellow tight end Desmond Clark had just two catches in Week 5 and hasn't hauled in more than two passes per game all season. Olsen could be emerging as the fantasy favorite at the position for Chicago.
- Olsen is available in about 47 percent of leagues polled.
Shaun Suisham, Place Kicker, Washington Redskins
- The Redskins have succeeded partly due to the leg of Suisham, who has faced 3.5 field goal attempts and 2.25 extra point attempts per game in his last four outings. He has registered 10.5 kicker points per game in that duration.
- Suisham's attempts have been consistent as head coach and play caller Jim Zorn's system has been clicking. Suisham has lined up for at least three field goals in three of his last four games.
- He is available in about 81 percent of leagues polled.
Olindo Mare, Place Kicker, Seattle Seahawks
- Mare encompassed the entire Seahawks offense in a 44-6 drubbing against the New York Giants in Week 5. He has converted all eight of his field goal attempts in the past three games.
- The vet has averaged 2.67 field goal attempts and 2.33 extra point tries per contest in their last three games. He posted back-to-back games of at least 12 kicker points before the offense was silenced against the "Big Blue."
- Mare is on the wire in about 87 percent of leagues polled.
New York Jets, Defensive Team
- The Jets have allowed 31.3 points per game in their last three contests, but that number is skewed by a 56-35 shootout victory in Week 4 over the Cardinals. Arizona's overloaded passing attack put up 35 second-half points after the Jets scored an unanswered 34 in the second quarter.
- New York has otherwise offered steady fantasy scoring by averaging 2.7 sacks and 2.6 total turnovers per game while allowing 84.3 running yards per contest in that same span.
- The Jets are coming off a bye and in Week 6 play the Cincinnati Bengals, who have given away the ball three times per game, on average, in the last four weeks. "Gang Green" can be found on the wire in about 70 percent of leagues polled.
Fantasy Football Free Agents: Worth a look
Fantasy football leagues come in all shapes and forms, so the following group of players will have greater significance in deep fantasy football leagues. In shallow leagues, they are not as high of a priority but should be considered based on your fantasy football team's needs.
- Marcedes Lewis, Tight End, Jacksonville Jaguars - Lewis is nothing if not consistent, having been targeted four times in four of his five games this season. He scored his first touchdown of the year in Week 5 on a 24-yard reception. Unlike the Jags' cluster of wideouts, Lewis sees a weekly dose of targets from game-managing quarterback David Garrard, despite reaching three receptions in just one game this year (Week 1). Lewis is available in about 93 percent of leagues polled and should be targeted by fantasy owners starved for a tight end with a constant offensive role.
- NEW - Ahman Green, Running Back, Houston Texans - We're not joking. Green actually returned to the field in Week 5 and registered 12 totes for 47 yards. He should remain the No. 2 back behind dynamic rookie Steve Slaton even if Chris Taylor (quadriceps) is able to play in Week 6. We're not at all saying Green will be a consistent fantasy factor, but his inclusion into the offense as Slaton's foil makes him a good depth option if you're thin at running back. There isn't much to lose if you have the roster space. If he injures himself again, he becomes an easy drop; if he sees 10 utilizations per contest, he could be a useful fill-in when needed. He's out there in about 73 percent of leagues polled.
- NEW - Joe Nedney, Place Kicker, San Francisco 49ers - Nedney continues to float on the wire despite a revival season. He is 10-for-12 this year in field goal attempts, with both miscues coming from the 40-yard bracket. He also has made all 11 of his extra point attempts for a Niners offense that at times can show some firepower. Nedney's three-point Week 5 performance against the New England Patriots might have scared many owners off, but he had recorded at least seven kicker points in each of his previous four outings. With bye weeks in full swing, many fantasy owners are starting to cycle kickers, and Nedney should be one of those targeted. He's on the wire in about 60 percent of leagues polled.
- NEW - Jason Elam, Place Kicker, Atlanta Falcons - A rapidly maturing Falcons offense is giving the former Denver Bronco new life. He is perfect in 11 field goal attempts while going 5-for-5 in field goals of 40 yards or longer, including a 50-yarder at home in the Georgia Dome. His new home field, where he has six games left to play this year, also gives him an added climate-controlled advantage. Elam, who ranks fourth in the NFL with 45 kicker points, is available in approximately 62 percent of leagues polled.
Fantasy Football Free Agents: Watch list options
The following fantasy football pickups should not be players you immediately acquire - unless your team is in dire straights. These players are, however, options that are showing some life and should have an eye kept on them to see if they materialize as worthy options. This group also includes one-week plays for those who need bye week or injury replacements.
- Matt Cassel, Quarterback, New England Patriots - Despite throwing two interceptions in Week 5, Cassel looked somewhat capable against the San Francisco 49ers, completing 22 of 32 attempts for 259 yards and a 66-yard scoring strike to wideout Randy Moss. The deep play was a positive sign for the Pats offense regardless of the opponent. Week 6 would be a good time to grab Cassel for a one-week play. The San Diego Chargers have allowed the second most yards per game (288.0) along with 1.50 touchdowns per contest to opposing quarterbacks since Week 2. Cassel sits on the wire in about 30 percent of leagues polled.
- NEW - Gus Frerotte, Quarterback, Minnesota Vikings - Frerotte has averaged 230.7 passing yards in his last three outings but has only passed for two touchdowns while tossing two picks in that stretch. He has made positives strides, though, in connecting with wide receivers Bernard Berrian and Bobby Wade. Frerotte ranks as a solid one-week play given his strong-play matchup against the Detroit Lions in Week 6, but if you're desperate at quarterback, the veteran has done a serviceable job directing Minny's offense. He is available in about 79 percent of leagues polled.
- NEW - Chad Pennington, Quarterback, Miami Dolphins - You could argue for running back Ronnie Brown being the team's top quarterback right now given his success running the wildcat, but Pennington has posted back-to-back games of at least 226 passing yards. His main appeal this week, though, comes in the form of a Houston Texans defense that is allowing 224 air yards and 1.33 passing touchdowns per game to opposing quarterbacks in the last month (three games). If you're hurting for a quarterback, Pennington has a strong-play matchup this week and is on the wire in about 62 percent of leagues polled.
- Mike Walker, Wide Receiver, Jacksonville Jaguars - Walker, who missed all of last season with finger and knee injuries, has posted back-to-back solid fantasy weeks, including a six-catch, 107-yard outing in Week 5. Don't look for his Week 5 output to become a pattern, but he has a chance to emerge from the pile of Jags wideouts, which has been dominated by receiver Matt Jones. If you're looking for a boom-or-bust wideout in deep leagues, Walker should receive some attention. He's available in almost every league polled.
- NEW - Early Doucet, Wide Receiver, Arizona Cardinals - The injury to Anquan Boldin (head) gave Doucet his first pro action in Week 5, and the rookie posted solid numbers with six catches for 42 yards. In this high-octane passing game, the speedy Doucet can be considered an upside one-week play against the Dallas Cowboys. Dallas could be without cornerback Terence Newman (hernia) for as long as six weeks, meaning their nickel and dime packages will be depleted. This should leave room for Doucet to register some catches. If you're thin at wideout this week due to byes or injuries, you could find him on the wire in almost every league polled.
- NEW - Donte' Stallworth, Wide Receiver, Cleveland Browns - After missing the first five games this year, Stallworth (quadriceps) is expected to play in Week 6. The Browns have struggled offensively this year, and Stallworth's return gives them a solid receiver who is dangerous in space. He should see some targets if the opposition focuses on wideout Braylon Edwards and tight end Kellen Winslow (illness), whose status is up in the air for Week 6. If Winslow can't go this Sunday, Stallworth should be sought out more often. Those looking for a Week 6 boom-or-bust wideout should try Stallworth, who is on the wire in about 57 percent of leagues polled.
- NEW - Benjamin Watson, Tight End, New England Patriots - Watson has just three catches for 17 yards on the season, but he was targeted six times in Week 5 against the San Francisco 49ers. The well-known fantasy hype machine looks to have pushed up-and-comer David Thomas out of the picture as Thomas hasn't been utilized since Week 3. A Week 6 matchup with the San Diego Chargers would be productive. The Bolts rank last in the league with one touchdown allowed per game to the position in the last four weeks; they come in at 31st in both receptions (6.25) and receiving yards (81.5). Watson is available in about 70 percent of leagues polled.
About Tim Heaney
Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous publications, and recognized as a finalist in FSWA's awards. The Boston University alum competes in Tout Wars and LABR and has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.
During baseball and football season, he's on The Reality Check with Glenn Clark every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore. He hits the airwaves every Thursday at 9:30 a.m. ET on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, where he often crashes other shows, as well.
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