Waiver Wire Wonders - Week 5 fantasysharks.com Jul 13 '78
Wideouts continue to dominate what we are finding on the waiver wire; we've got plenty listed this week in several categories. A tight end and another kicker make it into this week's top category, and don't be afraid to pull the trigger on these guys to improve what you have at those positions. We dig deep for some running backs for those in deep/dynasty leagues. Though there were impressive performances by a couple other backs this week, we recommend caution as we are not sure these guys will be able to repeat those stellar numbers.
On to this week's wonders ...
WR Brian Hartline, Miami
A disappointing Week 3 performance (one catch for 43 yards) kept Hartline out of last week's listing. Twelve catches for 253 yards (and a touchdown) in Week 4 lands him in this week's top grouping. We are hoping that Hartline will not end up being an "every other week" performer (nine catches for 111 yards in Week 2). Based on this past week we are recommending him as one of the top free agent additions this week. Ryan Tannehill looked to Hartline on almost every pass play, and threw in his direction regardless of the coverage. Hartline will no longer be a secret to opposing defenses, but look for him to be a solid WR3 from this point forward.
TE Scott Chandler, Buffalo
This high recommendation comes regardless of Chandler's status for the upcoming week. He left last week's game with a head injury, and early indications are that it will not be serious. Prior to the injury, he found the end zone twice on his way to a day that totaled four catches for 62 yards. Ryan Fitzpatrick has hit him four times this season for touchdowns, a valuable statistic for a fantasy tight end.
WR Leonard Hankerson, Washington
Still owned in less than 50 percent of online leagues, Hankerson gets repeat billing in this week's top listing. In mentioning him last week, we believed his playing time would not be affected by the return of Pierre Garcon, and it was not. His final stats were seven catches for 57 yards, but more importantly he was targeted 11 times. The numbers from this week are going to be typical of him every week going forward.
K Greg Zuerlein, St. Louis
Another week, another listing of a kicker in the weekly waiver story. Zuerlein has not missed this season, connecting on all 12 attempts, which have included three from 50-plus and five from 40-49 yards. Especially in those leagues that score bonus points based on the length of kick, don't hesitate to upgrade your current kicker over to Zuerlein. Every fantasy point counts. If you have someone like Mason Crosby or Alex Henery (among others), slide over to Zuerlein and enjoy the increased production. The No. 2 fantasy kicker is not going to be sitting on the waiver wire for much longer, especially when our friends at fleaflicker.com have him listed as a top three pickup at his position this week.
WR Andre Roberts, Arizona
Kevin Kolb has brought some energy and efficiency to the Arizona passing game, and starting opposite Larry Fitzgerald, Roberts has enjoyed some solid production. He doubled his Week 3 performance by catching six passes for 118 yards and two scores. That brings his touchdown total up to four in four games, impressive numbers. The Cardinals are riding high, one of the few undefeated teams this season. Look for Roberts to continue to put up enough fantasy numbers to warrant a start at WR3 or the flex position.
WR James Jones, Green Bay
Greg Jennings re-aggravated his early-season injury, which is beginning to feel like something that is going to linger off and on all season. With his status up in the air, his position on the field will fall to Jones. With Aaron Rodgers also finding his stride, this is a perfect time to hop on the Jones bandwagon. He found the end zone twice this past week (five catches for 56 yards). We look for this kind of production to continue, especially with Jennings limited.
On the Radar
RB Brandon Bolden, New England
When a running back comes out of nowhere to explode for more than 100 yards and a touchdown, that sends the fantasy community running to the nearest waiver wire to put in a claim. The numbers from last week (137 rushing yards on 16 carries) are gaudy, though it should be noted that these numbers came on a day when the Buffalo defense could stop no one. Stevan Ridley also ran for more than 100 yards (two touchdowns), and even Tom Brady found the end zone on the ground, so these aren't the kind of numbers that runners from the Patriots are going to repeat on a regular basis. Of note here is that Bolden is ahead of Shane Vareen on the depth chart, but still behind Ridley. With Danny Woodhead also in the mix, the backfield in New England is crowded, but Bolden is worth a roster spot as the backup to Ridley.
WR Donald Jones, Buffalo
Jones might have landed higher on this list if it were not for leaving last week's game with a head injury. His status for this week is unknown, so plan accordingly. Prior to the injury, he made the most of his two catches, posting 90 yards and a touchdown next to his name in the stats column.
Deep and/or Dynasty Only
RB Jackie Battle, San Diego
Here's another running back where the numbers from the past week are inflated (two touchdowns). According to fleaflicker.com, he is one of the top adds at his position, but we don't anticipate a repeat performance. As retribution for his fumble in Week 3, Ryan Mathews found himself on the sideline at the start of this week's game. Battle responded by finding the end zone twice on minimal yardage. Mathews will be back as the starter next week, but this is a situation worth watching as the Chargers clearly have no reservations about giving Battle the ball.
RB Ryan Grant, Washington
Reaching into the depths here, the Redskins signed the free agent this past week. With Roy Helu and Evan Royster hurting, Grant will spell Alfred Morris. We probably wouldn't even drop Grant into the story this week, but coach Mike Shanahan has a way of shuffling things up at the running back position. Deep and/or dynasty league owners need only apply here.
RB Jonathan Grimes, New York Jets
The Jets made a move to sign Grimes away from Houston's practice squad. He's a long way away from seeing the playing field, but Shonn Greene has looked terrible this season (among other Jets players), so anything is possible down the road.
Doug Coutts can be reached at email@example.com.