Tuesdays 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.
Ryan Lindley vs. San Francisco – The Cardinals have amazingly stayed in contention this season despite losing starting quarterback Kevin Kolb and starting running backs Beanie Wells and Ryan Williams. Backup quarterback John Skelton is currently starting for Arizona, but hasn’t really impressed anyone thus far. Rookie Ryan Lindley could be getting a shot sometime this season, for a team desperately in need of a boost.
Jason Campbell vs. Carolina – Jay Cutler remains one of the most frustrating quarterbacks to own in a fantasy league, and it is also important to remember that injuries have hindered Cutler in each of the past two seasons. Owners relying on Cutler would be wise to add Campbell as a handcuff, and if needed to start, Campbell would serve as a nice fill-in for a fantasy team especially during bye-weeks. At the very least, Jason Campbell could save the Super fans of “Da Bears” from a potential heart-attack of Caleb Hanie or Rex Grossman, as they’ve had in the past.
Vince Young – Free Agent – It has been a rough few months for Vince Young, after his bankruptcy information was released, and we heard rumors that “Vinsanity” was spending around $5,000 a week at chain restaurants like “The Cheescake Factory” and “TGI Fridays”. Young may be getting some good news in the future however, as he is scheduled to work out for the Arizona Cardinals sometime this week, so this could be his chance to salvage his career and make some money again.
Terrelle Pryor – Dynasty Stash – The combination of Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart as your team quarterbacks would be great if this were 10 years ago at USC, but in 2012, both are aging and underwhelming options in a dysfunctional Oakland offense. It wouldn’t be surprising if the Raiders decided to give Terrelle Pryor a shot at quarterback this season, as he clearly has the most upside of any Raider quarterback, and they need to look towards the future. The new Raiders regime can also simply blame the old regime for last year’s Carson Palmer trade if they ultimately do decide to move on from Carson Palmer. Pryor has always been a great athlete with tremendous speed and size, so it is possible that he could succeed in the NFL at another position if he ultimately doesn’t make it as a quarterback.
Jonathan Dwyer vs. Washington – In another Mendy-free game, Jonathan Dwyer drew the start and performed admirably against the Bengals this past week. With the Steelers eyeing the post-Mendenhall era next season, Dwyer seems to have at least given himself a shot to become their next featured running back.
Joique Bell vs. Seattle – With the uncertainty in the Lion backfield this season, Joique Bell has quietly made an impact with the team. Known for strong receiving ability, Bell makes for a really nice PPR option, even if he’s not a full-time back. The loss of Jahvid Best and the disappointment of Kevin Smith have made Joique Bell a quality option, especially with several teams having a bye week.
Montell Owens @ Green Bay – The news isn’t good in Jacksonville for star running back MJD, who is expected to be out for an extended period of time. Most MJD owners also already own Rashard Jennings as the appropriate handcuff, but you will now see other running backs getting some carries in addition to Jennings as well. It might be worth a shot to take a chance on Montell Owens, who had a nice preseason this year, and might play a larger role in Jacksonville from this point forward. Perhaps we’ve found a theme song for Montell, if he indeed does become a star running back someday.
Evan Royster – Dynasty Stash – Alfred Morris a.k.a. “ALF” is all the rage right now in Washington, and rightfully so. We also know that any Shanahan running back can never be too secure in that offense. With Roy Helu suffering a season ending injury, Evan Royster is waiting patiently for his shot, knowing that Mike Shanahan changes his feature running back more often than most other coaches do. Just in case you were wondering what ALF was up to right now, he’re a good clip!
Eddie Royal @ Cleveland – It wasn’t that long ago that Eddie Royal was seen by many as a receiver with a very high ceiling. Now in San Diego, Royal is quietly starting to get more targets from Philip Rivers. With others like Floyd and Meachem disappointing, Eddie Royal could see a larger role in the San Diego offense this season.
Juron Criner @ Kansas City – Like many rookie wide receivers, Juron Criner has started out slow in his first season with the Oakland Raiders. Criner has been active these past two weeks, and indications are that he’s picking up the Oakland offense much better now. With the Raiders passing game continuing to find a go-to receiver, Criner has a shot to play a much larger role in Oakland going forward.
Cecil Shorts III @ Green Bay – There hasn’t been much to cheer for in Jacksonville this season, however, the speedy Cecil Shorts has quietly emerged as a speedy target for both Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne. Shorts already has several long touchdowns on the season, and is just 24 years old, a nice story out of Mount Union College.
Plaxico Burress – Free Agent – Interesting to see that Plaxico hasn’t been given another chance in the NFL as of yet. Burress has reportedly been working out every day in hopes that he’ll get another call. It was just a season ago that Plax had 600 yards receiving and 8 touchdowns, so it is still possible he could get another chance this year.
Dane Sanzenbacher – Dynasty Stash – 2012 has given us the emergence of Brian Hartline who has broken through after a career as a solid slot receiver at Ohio State. Dane Sanzenbacher played a similar slot receiving role at Ohio State, and was actually mentored by Hartline himself. Sanzenbacher has battled to stay in the NFL after going undrafted a season ago, and the Bears have been impressed with his strong work ethic. If Sanzenbacher continues to work hard and improve, we could see him having a “Hartline” type impact sometime in the future.
Steve Maneri vs. Oakland – The Kansas City offense has been a real mess this season, but when we last saw them, a former offensive tackle in Steve Maneri emerged as one of the top receivers for new quarterback Brady Quinn. With Tony Moeaki struggling this season, Maneri has quite an opportunity from this point forward. Perhaps Brady Quinn can give Maneri some of his “Myoplex” to give him a boost as well.
Rob Housler vs. San Francisco – With starting tight end Todd Heap out with an injury, Rob Housler emerged as one of the top targets of new quarterback John Skelton in Arizona. With many playmakers out with injuries, Housler could be playing a much larger role for the Cardinals this season.
Logan Paulsen @ Pittsburgh – Starting tight end Fred Davis went down with a season ending injury this week for the Redskins. Logan Paulsen is now called on to help fill the void left by Davis, and it is important to remember that young quarterbacks like to utilize the tight end quite a bit in most situations. Paulsen was targeted quite a few times with Davis out this past week by RG3.
Chris Cooley – Back in Washington – With Fred Davis out in Washington, the Redskins have just announced that they’ve re-signed former tight end Chris Cooley, who was released by the team this preseason. Cooley has an awareness of the Redskin offense, and serves as a nice speculative add on the waiver wire this week. As of this publishing, reports are that the Redskins have signed Cooley again, but no word yet if he will be able to play this coming week at Pittsburgh
.Manti Te’o @ Oklahoma – Te’o is having a sensational year at Notre Dame this season, and even is getting Heisman Trophy consideration, which is remarkable for a defensive player to be able to do. Te’o looks to be an IDP monster when he reaches the NFL next season, and certainly is fun to watch on Saturdays. This week’s challenge will be a good one for Te’o, as he’ll be facing a really nice offense in Oklahoma.
Browns Defense vs. San Diego – With several teams on bye this week, the Cleveland defense could end up being a sneaky good play. Overall as a unit, the Cleveland defense has been a bit underrated this season, and the Chargers and Philip Rivers have been very turnover prone as of late.
Packers Defense vs. Jacksonville – The Jacksonville offense can be a real mess even when everyone is healthy, but the possibility of Jacksonville being without Maurice Jones-Drew and Blaine Gabbert makes them a fantastic team to play your defense against. Green Bay also is a good defensive play next week when they host another battered offense in the Arizona Cardinals.
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