You hesitantly tip-toe to the front door, stumbling past bikes, balls and a carved jack-o-lantern that looks eerily like Tony Romo. Stretching out your hand, you ring the doorbell and patiently wait for an answer. "Trick or treat!" you say, holding out you bag. With a thud, something is tossed in your bag and off you go to the next house. Identifying free agent fantasy football players at this stage in the season can be a lot like going trick-or-treating was as a kid. Did you get a Snickers or a box of raisins? I'm here to shine the flashlight down deep in to the bag of potential adds and tell you who are the "tricks" and who are the "treats."
So what is in that deep, dark bag known as the waiver wire this week?
Titus Young came up big on Sunday as Matthew Stafford registered his first multi-touchdown game of the season. Young hauled in all nine passes thrown his way for 100 yards and two touchdowns. Our friends at www.fleaflicker.com show that Young is currently owned in only 45 percent of leagues. When Nate Burleson landed on Injured Reserve, many people assumed that Brandon Pettigrew would see an increased role. The Lions have been involving Tony Scheffler quite a bit in the passing game this season and he only had one less target than Pettigrew this week. Young is the player whose value sees the greatest increase going forward. Think Reese's cup: the perfect blend of talent and opportunity. These are the treats you hope your bag is full of.
Young wasn't the only likely free agent wide receiver to have an impressive outing this week. St. Louis' Chris Givens is owned in only 10 percent of leagues and had more than 60 yards to go with a touchdown in London on Sunday. A closer look reveals that Givens might not be exactly what he appears. He certainly has big play ability, but Givens has yet to catch more than three balls in any game this season. A rookie drafted in the fourth round, Givens is a talent that is developing the trust of Sam Bradford, but fantasy owners should be a bit more cautions. "Big play" receivers notoriously frustrate fantasy owners. Rookie receivers can be equally hard to figure out. Danny Amendola should return soon and will likely limit some of Givens' time on the field. While Givens can take a one catch afternoon and make it in to a decent outing, he can also disappear and hurt your team. This one has all the makeup of not being exactly what it looks like. It looks like chocolate. It cramps your jaw as you chew it like gum. It tastes like...well, it tastes like a Tootsie Roll. Pass on this one.
After starting out the season hampered by a hamstring injury, Dustin Keller was dropped in many leagues. At this point of the season the New York Jets' tight end is owned in only 49 percent of leagues. Keller has looked good each of the last two weeks, hauling in seven catches in each outing. The Jets are on bye this week so you may want to wait on him unless you have an injury or upcoming bye of your own to address. This one looks like a Butterfinger to me. Not so fast, though, this isn't the real deal, full size variety. Keller is more the fun size variety that can never quite be your go-to choice week after week. Enjoy it while it lasts.
Some people will look at the catches that Ronnie Brown had on Sunday and instantly give him consideration as an add. His seven catches for 85 yards would normally make him an attractive receiver pick up, but Brown is a running back and the conditions in Cleveland led the San Diego Chargers to resort to dumping the ball off with regularity. If you own Ryan Mathews you probably should consider Brown as a handcuff, but otherwise he has very little value. The only thing worse than a box of raisins in the bottom of your bag is a toothbrush. You can't even trick your younger brother in to trading you a Tootsie Roll for a toothbrush. Completely worthless!
The waiver wire can be a mixed bag full of tricks and treats. You never know what you are getting until a few weeks pass. That's why Fantasy Sharks is here to help you make sure you take home a load of tasty treats ... and don't forget to brush your teeth.