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.
Here are some Waiver Wire options to help us survive the cold November Rain
Colin Kaepernick vs. Chicago – Colin Kaepernick played a large role in the 49ers offense this week after starter Alex Smith suffered a concussion. Kaepernick possesses an accurate arm and good mobility, and he could certainly challenge Alex Smith for the starting job in the future, even when Smith is fully healthy. Kaepernick may get a few more starts this season, and this may be his chance to take the job and run with it if things go really well.
Ricky Stanzi vs. Cincinnati – Kansas City is a complete mess right now, and chance are becoming increasingly likely that their next starting quarterback is playing somewhere in college right now. It would be a good idea for the Chiefs to at least give Ricky Stanzi a shot at the quarterback job now, to see if he has any value or
future. with Matt Cassel and Brady Quinn both having their struggles, the Chiefs certainly wouldn’t be hurting anything by giving Ricky Stanzi a look this season, and you never know what could happen if he’s actually given a shot here.
Michael Vick – Buy Low – A concussion suffered by Michael Vick may have officially ended the Philly careers of Vick and Andy Reid for that matter. The Eagles may want to start the rebuilding process with Nick Foles in charge, however, now would be a really good time to try and buy Michael Vick low in dynasty leagues. Many of the problems this year in Philly were blamed on Vick, and it seemed like he took a bit too much of the blame for the team’s problems. I think Vick could start for several other NFL teams, and be effective for at least a couple more years. Expect Vick to be starting somewhere else next year, and now could be the time to get him on the cheap.
Colt McCoy – Dynasty Stash – Barring an injury, Colt McCoy won’t likely get to see any NFL action this season; however, McCoy is still seen by many as having upside and potential, given the right NFL offense and situation. McCoy will likely be on a different team next season, and could get another shot at a starting quarterback gig. Its also important to see that Colt still has support of college teammates like Jordan Shipley, who sang this gem at Colt McCoy’s wedding a couple of years ago.
Danny Woodhead vs. Indinapolis – Woodhead has been a favorite of coach Bill Belichick for quite some time, always seeming to find ways of getting the ball in the Patriots offense. Currently with the recent suspension of Branden Bolden and ineffectiveness of Shane Vereen, Woodhead finds himself getting more action in the offense behind starter Stevan Ridley. Woodhead has always had pass catching ability, and makes for a nice fill in for teams in need of running back help going into the stretch run this season.
Travaris Cadet @ Oakland – The loss of Darren Sproles has opened up new opportunities for Saints running backs recently. Travaris Cadet and others are now getting an extended opportunity to pick up many of the touches that Sproles would’ve received. Cadet has solid receiving ability, and will be picking up action in the return game for the Saints as well. Dynasty owners in deeper leagues could take a look at Cadet as possibly being “The next Sproles” as far as his role in the high-powered Saints offense.
Jeremy Stewart vs. New Orleans – Jeremy Stewart was recently signed by the Raiders in an effort to aid in their struggling running game with starter Darren McFadden battling injuries once again. Stewart is a solid power running back and could end up seeing more carries for Oakland in the future, as it now appears that he already passed others like Taiwan Jones on the running back depth chart. As we know, McFadden’s injury issues continue to haunt his owners, ans someone like Stewart could end up as the beneficiary of the carries and touches that McFadden used to receive. Whatever you do, make sure you don’t confuse Jeremy Stewart with 80′s pop star Jermaine Stewart :)
Knowshon Moreno – Dynasty Stash- Injuries and other issues have landed Knowshon Moreno in the doghouse in Denver, as he has been inactive for most of this season, and clearly passed on the depth chart in favor of Willis McGahee and Ronnie Hillman. Moreno is still only 25 years old however, and is likely to receive a shot with a new team next season. Moreno was a highly touted first round pick just a few seasons ago, and this could be a case where the guy simply needs a fresh start and to fully heal whatever injuries are ailing him. Owners in deeper dynasty leagues could take a chance with Moreno, and hope that his dynasty situation improves sometime this offseason.
Johnny White @ Detroit – With Cedric Benson still out for the Packers for the time being, the running back void in Green Bay remains. Recent signee Johnny White could get an extended look in Green Bay, after having a bye week to get caught up on the Packer offensive scheme. White is still very young and has plenty of upside that could provide a spark to an otherwise very lackluster Green Bay running game.
Giovani Bernard @ Virginia – In this week’s college watch we take a look at North Carolina running back Giovanni Bernard, who has been under the radar this season with the Tar Heels. Bernard hasn’t received the same exposure as other NFL prospects and Heisman candidates have, but Bernard is certainly someone to look at in dynasty leagues. A prized recruit of former coach Butch Davis, Bernard battled injuries early in his career, but has rebounded nicely as a dual-threat running back that some have compared to Lesean McCoy. Here is a recent highlight video of Bernard from this season at North Carolina.
LaVon Brazil @ New England – LaVon Brazil, a speedy rookie receiver from Ohio University, is starting to see some increased action in the Colts offense. Brazil has been developing chemistry with star quarterback Andrew Luck, and looks to emerge as a deep threat for Luck in the long-term for the Colts. With Reggie Wayne getting older, we could see Brazil, and some younger Colts receivers stepping up and taking larger roles in what is turning into a high-powered offense in Indianapolis. Owners in deeper leagues should definitely take a flyer on Brazil, as he’s certainly shown flashes of talent in his short NFL career. Frank Sinatra couldn’t have said it better regarding the value of Brazil!
Mohammed Sanu @ Kansas City - Sanu, a rookie from Rutgers recorded his first NFL touchdown this past week, and has had an increasing role in the Cincinnati offense. Only AJ Green has been receiving more targets than Sanu has recently, and you can see he’s starting to gain respect from quarterback Andy Dalton in the young Bengal offense.
Mike Thomas vs. Green Bay - The highlight of a lackluster NFL trade deadline day involved WR Mike Thomas getting shipped from Jacksonville to Detroit. The entire Jacksonville offense has struggled mightily this year, so I’m sure Mike Thomas is pleased to have a change of scenery. Thomas gets a fresh start in Detroit and is working on learning the Lion offense. The Lions claim that they’ve been very high on Mike Thomas ever since he was drafted out of college, so this could be the big career break that Thomas has been looking for.
Keshawn Martin vs. Jacksonville - The Texans have one of the top offenses in the league, and what is really intriguing about them is that they have plenty of young talent at the receiver position making things look good for their future. Martin is a speedy receiver out of Michigan State that has been contributing in the receiving and return game for the Texans recently. Martin’s role has been steadily increasing, as the rookie continues to master the Houston offense. Owners in deeper dynasty leagues should especially be looking to stash Martin on their roster, with the emphasis being on 2013 and beyond. Its been awhile since we’ve had a good “Keyshawn” in the NFL, so it might be time for a new one.
Jonathan Baldwin – Dynasty stash - It has been a rough start to Jonathan Baldwin’s career in Kansas City to say the least. A heralded first round pick from just a couple of years ago, Baldwin has yet to live up to high expectations with the Chiefs. With current state of the Chiefs offense being in disarray right now, its hard to imagine anyone having consistent success there, and Baldwin may have suffered because of this. It is likely that Baldwin will get a new head coach and quarterback next season, and with that hopefully a boost to his dynasty value, as next season will still only be his 3rd year in the league, and he still has plenty of upside.
David Ausberry vs. New Orleans - Raiders Tight End Brandon Myers has been quite a waiver wire steal this season, putting up some quality numbers in a shaky offense. Myers suffered a concussion this past week, and we could see someone like David Ausberry picking up many of the targets that Myers had been receiving. Ausberry is a former wide receiver turned tight end, and has the hands and speed to potentially make a difference in the Oakland offense.
Saints Defense @ Oakland - Right now you could argue for any team’s defense starting against the Raiders, but I especially like the Saints this week, as I expect the Raiders to commit multiple turnovers in an effort to try and keep up with the high powered Saints offense. This may be the first time since the “bountygate” scandal that we can go ahead and trust the Saints defense, which could have a tremendous game in their visit to “The Black Hole” this week.
Rams Defense vs. N. Y. Jets - The Rams aren’t known for having a great defense, however, they have a juicy matchup with Mark Sanchez and the highly dysfunctional Jets offense coming into town this week, and a just as juicy matchup against the depleted Cardinals offense next week. With bye weeks still giving owners a headache, the Rams D makes for a nice waiver wire plug-in during these final bye weeks.
Jonathan Hankins @ Wisconsin – In this week’s college watch, we highlight Ohio State’s run stopping DT Jonathan Hankins. Hankins possesses great quickness and athleticism for someone who is over 320 pound. Hankins could really become a future IDP NFL stud in the future. Here is a video highlight clip of Hankins from earlier this season.
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