CHRISTMAS on THE WIRE
By Shawn Gallagher – DFW Writer
Every week we’ll take a look at players that could be future waiver wire darlings in the coming weeks. Our goal is to identify the players that are trending in the right direction and have a possible opportunity for increased playing time in the very near future. It’s always hard to grab guys after they’ve broken out, so if you have the roster space you might want! to give some of these guys a shot before it’s too late. This column is also a good opportunity to showcase one of the all time great shows in television history, HBO’S “The Wire”.
A few quick notes on this column
We are focusing mainly on Dynasty value when we recommend these players, although some could certainly work as popular pickups in Redraft and Keeper Leagues as well.
We are once again trying to predict future value, looking to see whose value could rise within the next few weeks or months, with the Waiver Wire in mind.
Each league is different, so don’t think you have to go and add all these players listed, but they are at least worth monitoring, especially if you have roster space.
Some of these players mentioned could already be on a dynasty roster, but could very well be acquired cheaply in a trade, possibly even a throw-in in a larger deal.
Special Edition: CHRISTMAS on THE WIRE
Merry Christmas from all of us here at DFW, and for this week’s WIRE column, we of course decided to use a Christmas Theme, while also remembering that some fantasy leagues still have their championship games this week, so best of luck to everyone with those games. Congratulations to all those that have already won their fantasy championships, as we know those wins are hard earned, and also congrats to those owners that made the playoffs as well, as its quite an accomplishment just to do that. I’ll also share a few of my favorite Christmas songs during this column, and we’ll start with a classic regarding a couple who spent Christmas Eve together, “In the drunk tank” :)
The Pogues – Fairytale of New York
Mark Sanchez – HOLD - I certainly can’t blame any owners who have already moved on from Mark Sanchez, as there have been some pretty bad days with Sanchez as of late. The reasoning behind holding onto Sanchez stems from the likely scenario where Sanchez gets a change of scenery. Its very possible that Sanchez is given a fresh start next year with a new team in a new city, and if anyone could use a change of scenery, its this guy. If Sanchez stays in New York, its very likely that he’ll be given a new coach and offensive coordinator, and he’ll likely be given another chance there in 2013, especially due to the monster of a contract they’ve given him.
Tim Tebow – HOLD - Its become a lost season for Tebow in New York, as many of us thought that he’d ultimately start over Mark Sanchez at quarterback for the Jets this season, but it never happened. Tebow has been blamed quite a bit in the Jet locker room it seems, yet they’ve never given him a legitimate shot to play much there, in any capacity. Tebow remains a polarizing player in real life and in dynasty circles, but any owners holding on to him need to at least see what happens to him in the offseason, as he’ll be given a fresh start in a new city. We all know that Tebow has the right attitude and work ethic that other teams would appreciate, its just a matter of opportunity in this case. Perhaps Tebow can land wherever his former coach and mentor Josh McDaniels lands, as McDaniels was the original coach to believe in Tim Tebow, after Urban Meyer anyway. Other hot rumors have said that Tebow will finally find his home in Jacksonville next season, either way its best to ride Tebow into the new year and see what the future holds. Just think, “Last Christmas” Tim Tebow was a starting quarterback leading his team to the playoffs, unfortunately this Christmas is a different story.
Wham! – Last Christmas
Greg McElroy @ Buffalo - At the end of a very dysfunctional season, dynasty owners and Jets management will at least get to see a small audition from Greg McElroy, to see exactly what his future in the NFL could be. As Eminem once said: “You only get one shot do not miss your chance to blow, this opportunity comes once in a lifetime, yo!!”
Michael Vick – HOLD or Buy LOW - New rumors have linked Michael Vick to the New York Jets of all things, and it seems likely that he’ll be given another starting job somewhere next year. The 32 year old Vick still seems to have something left in the tank in his NFL career, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see Vick as an NFL starter for at least another 2 seasons. Vick could potentially play a little longer than most his age, considering he missed a few seasons when he went to prison earlier in his career.
Terrelle Pryor @ San Diego - We’ve been talking about Pryor for quite awhile here in this column, and the tune hasn’t really changed. The Raiders need to evaluate Pryor in different roles, including the role of quarterback of course. Dynasty owners also need to see what the Raiders have in Pryor, considering that if a position change is needed for Pryor to stay in the NFL, it needs to happen soon, as position changes take transition time. Pryor is still a freak of an athlete, so owners would be wise to hold on to him, at least for now.
Brandon Weeden – HOLD - A poor performance from Brandon Weeden, where he was outplayed by Kirk Cousins a couple of weeks ago, may have cost Browns coach Pat Shurmur his job. New ownership is moving in, with a new GM and Head Coach likely arriving in Cleveland sometime this offseason. While Weeden will be closely evaluated by this new regime, I don’t see them making a change at quarterback at this point. Weeden has had an up and down year, but it is still a rookie year despite his advanced age, and I’d expect the new management to prioritize other positions besides quarterback as they start their first year. I could see the Browns bringing in another quarterback to at least compete with Weeden next season, but I wouldn’t expect them to draft one high or sign a big free agent at quarterback.
The Killers: Great Big Sled
Colt McCoy @ Pittsburgh – Colt McCoy has been mentioned here before of course, and hopefully will work with the new Browns front office to help find him a new home next season. McCoy could get another shot somewhere in 2013, and hopefully a chance to compete for a starting job again. Dynasty owners need to hold on a bit longer to figure out what McCoy’s future is going to be.
Ryan Fitzpatrick – SELL – It seems likely that the Bills will be looking for a new quarterback this offseason, and quite possibly could be parting ways with Ryan Fitzpatrick, or at the very least, benching him. Dynasty owners should sell the 30 year old Fitzpatrick sometime soon, before the Bills make a final decision to cut him or bench him. Fitzpatrick has done well for himself to transition from a career NFL backup to a high paid starter in Buffalo, but time seems to be running out on his career as a starting NFL quarterback.
Bryan Hoyer @ San Francisco - The Ryan Lindley era has finally come to an end in Arizona, Bryan Hoyer should at least get one NFL start this year, and it would be good for dynasty owners to at least see what Hoyer can do with a depleted Arizona offense. A quality performance from Hoyer may be the only thing that could stop Arizona from trying to find a new quarterback next year, so stay tuned!
Jacquizz Rodgers vs. Tampa Bay - A meaningless final game where Atlanta has already clinched home field advantage in the NFC playoffs should likely see extended time for anyone who is a backup for the Falcons. With Michael Turner needing some rest for the playoffs, it is very possible that Jacquizz Rodgers could see an extended look this week. Dynasty owners could at least get a deeper look at what Rodgers could do if given a larger role in the Atlanta offense.
Montario Hardesty @ Pittsburgh - A late game injury against Denver may sideline Trent Richardson for the final game of the season, and maybe for a long term outlook its best for the Browns to shut down T-Rich during this last game. Montario Hardesty has served as a serviceable backup for Richardson, and once again a quality handcuff to have for all T-Rich owners. Hardesty may get another start this week against Pittsburgh, which at the very least should give dynasty owners an extended look at Hardesty in a featured back role.
Band-Aid – Do they know its Christmas?
DuJuan Harris @ Minnesota - The roller coaster ride known as the Green Bay running game has seen a resurgence of our old pal Ryan Grant, who has found new life in Green Bay once again. Lost in the shuffle here is young DuJuan Harris, a smaller yet speedy back who has also seen an increased role in the Green Bay running game. Pay close attention to this situation as the playoffs begin, as Harris could be getting a larger role in the Green Bay running game, and the 30 year old Ryan Grant isn’t a long term answer anymore.
Beanie Wells – Sell – Its been reported this week that Chris “Beanie” Wells will likely be leaving Arizona for another team next season, and Beanie has mentioned that he hopes to play this week for the Cards so that he can “audition for 31 other teams”. The problem here with Beanie is what has always been his problem since his days at Ohio State, and of course its his inability to stay healthy. Beanie should land somewhere else next season, but its no guarantee he’ll be a starter, and it seems unrealistic that all of a sudden he would be cured of the injury bug at that point. Sell Beanie now, while he is apparently healthy and still listed as a starting running back.
John Denver and The Muppets – The 12 Days of Christmas
Stephen Hill – Dynasty Stash – It hasn’t been easy for Stephen Hill, in his rookie season, dealing with the real life soap opera known as the New York Jets. Hill is a project NFL wide receiver who needs more time to develop and mature. At just the age of 21, Hill is worth a stash as the Jets are expected to keep him around next season, even if just about everyone else could be heading elsewhere.
Jordan Shipley @ Tennessee – Jordan Shipley was mentioned earlier this year in this column, after he found a new home in Jacksonville. Shipley had a big game for Jacksonville this past week, and was targeted 10 times by quarterback Chad Henne. Much like Henne himself, the 27 year old Shipley may have found new life in Jacksonville.
Hall and Oates – Jingle Bell Rock
A.J. Jenkins vs. Arizona - Its been a lost rookie season for 49ers 1st round pick A.J. Jenkins, its as if he’s been “red-shirted” this season by head coach Jim Harbaugh. Recent injuries to Mario Manningham and Vernon Davis could push Jenkins into action this week and in the playoffs. Hopefully Jenkins has been studying the offense pretty hard this season, as dynasty owners may get their first look at Jenkins in action.
David Paulson vs. Cleveland - Unfortunately for the Steelers this past week, not only did the Bengals knock them out of the playoffs, but also knocked starting tight end Heath Miller out with an ACL injury. Rookie David Paulson should at least get a game here to show what he can do if given a shot at the tight end position. Big Ben loved going to Miller, so its possible that someone like Paulson could be a popular target this coming week and going into 2013.
Bing Crosby and David Bowie – Little Drummer Boy
Chargers Defense vs. Oakland - Both teams here don’t have much to play for in Week 17, but I’d expect the Chargers to show a bit more electricity in this game, as they will get one last chance to “BOLT UP” for departing coach Norv Turner, while the Raiders will have likely already checked out for this season. Turner will leave the head coaching ranks once again, and likely get another shot as an offensive coordinator somewhere, as he actually seems to do that job very well.
Bucs Defense @ Atlanta - In most situations this would not be a recommended start as Atlanta has a high powered offense for defenses to deal with. Its rather likely that Atlanta will take an opportunity to rest Matt Ryan and their key offensive players this week, so the Bucs D could put up some big numbers against Atlanta backups. You know Greg Schiano will want his D to go all out and finish the season strong, even if its against a Falcons team full of backups.
Run DMC – Christmas in Hollis
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from all of us here at the Warehouse! Thank you to those who have been reading our WIRE column this season, your support has made this a great season here for us! Don’t worry, we’ll have plenty more fun here at DFW in the New Year!!!
Encore: Dan Fogelberg – Same Old Lang Syne