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.
December: Fantasy playoff edition!!!
Well its now December, which either means you are preparing for a fantasy playoff game this week, or preparing for next year’s dynasty rookie draft and improving your roster. In either case, we here at the wire are here to help you win now and of course win later, as the battle to become “Top Gun” is intensifying, as we travel on the highway to “The Danger Zone”.
Greg McElroy @ Jacksonville – Greg McElroy got his first taste of NFL action this past week in relief of Mark Sanchez, and brought the Jets to a comeback win over the Cardinals. McElroy has a chance to get some more action this season in what could be an “audition” to see if he’s an NFL caliber quarterback. With the Sanchez/Tebow train seemingly off the track right now in New York, McElroy just might be worth a look, and is also under a team friendly contract for the next couple of seasons as well.
Kevin Kolb @ Seattle – The word is that Kevin Kolb is getting close to regaining his starting role in Arizona with the underwhelming Ryan Lindley continuing to struggle for the Cardinals. If Kolb is cleared to play again soon, he may get one last chance to show he can be a franchise quarterback for the Cardinals. Arizona management desperately wants Kevin Kolb to start and succeed for the team, as the Kolb acquisition is looking like a complete bust at this point. There are four games left in the season, and this may be a final audition for Kevin Kolb to make it as a starting NFL quarterback, and become the Arizona “Desert Rose” we’ve all been waiting for.
Terrelle Pryor – Dynasty Stash – Much like the main character in the movie “Rudy” , Terrelle Pryor finally got to dress in an actual game this past week, although unlike “Rudy” he didn’t actually get in the game. The Raiders are going nowhere fast, and ultimately they need to see what they have in Terrelle Pryor. The debate rages on whether or not Pryor can make it as an NFL quarterback, but the fact remains that Pryor is a tremendous athlete who is tall and very speedy, and could end up being very effective if he were to change his position to tight end or wide receiver perhaps. Hopefully Pryor gets some NFL action somewhere before this season is over.
Blaine Gabbert – HOLD – Yes, it pains me to recommend a “Hold” on Blaine Gabbert right now after 2 poor seasons with Jacksonville, with the current season ending in “IR” status. Gabbert is a hold for be for two main reasons, the first being that its tough to cut bait on any player after just two NFL seasons in general, and second because it has been reported that his college offense at Missouri was far different than any NFL offense, and a long adjustment period was certainly possible. Arm Strength and accuracy were never problems for Gabbert, perhaps he needs a change of scenery and/or a good mentor quarterback to learn from, or perhaps a “Father Figure”.
Peyton Hillis @ Cleveland – Peyton Hillis has been essentially a bust for Kansas City this season so far, and will likely be looking for a new home next season. If there is one game Hillis could break out in, I would expect its this game in what could be a “revenge game” against the Browns. Hillis should be amped up for this game, and I’d expect Kansas City to give Hillis some more touches against his former team. Also, Hillis is still only 26 years old, so he may find new life again next season on another team, so I wouldn’t stick a fork in his career just yet.
Jordan Todman vs. N.Y. Jets – With an injury depleted backfield right now in Jacksonville, recent signee Jordan Todman could be making an immediate impact. Jacksonville has been dealing with injuries all year to their running game, and just lost Rashard Jennings due to injury this past week. Todman is just 22 years old, and may have a chance at a significant amount of carries for the remainder of this season, and may have found the right fit with the Jags.
Ronnie Hillman – HOLD – We’re still waiting for the big breakout week for Ronnie Hillman to happen, and Knowshon Moreno has been picking up a lot of the touches Hillman was originally supposed to receive. I’d recommend holding Hillman, as he’s still just a rookie getting adjusted to the NFL game, and I’d also expect Moreno to leave after this season, and we’re near the end of the McGahee era due to his age and injury history anyway. I anticipate that Ronnie Hillman will spend much more than one year on “Rocky Mountain Way”.
Kevin Elliott vs. N.Y. Jets – Kevin Elliott, a free agent signed by Jacksonville this offseason won a roster spot in Jacksonville with a very impressive training camp this summer. With the Jaguars offense getting hit with the injury bug, Elliott is now starting to get some attention in their offense. A recent injury to Cecil Shorts could really give Elliott the boost he needs to get on the fantasy radar, and deeper dynasty league owners should at least monitor Kevin Elliott. Speaking of “Elliott” do you realize that Steven Spielberg’s “E.T.” movie is now 30 years old???? Its an all time favorite of mine since childhood!
Marvin Jones vs. Dallas – A significant injury to Mohammed Sanu has opened the door up for other Cincinnati receivers to make an impact for the rest of this season. Fellow rookie Marvin Jones got his first career start at wide receiver this past week, and could be seeing a larger role in Cincinnati as he continues to learn the offense.
Mike Thomas @ Green Bay – The time is now for Mike Thomas to step up and make his recent trade to the Lions pay off. With the recent exile of Titus Young and season ending injury to Ryan Broyles, the Lions receiving corps needs Thomas to step up and play a larger role for the rest of the season. I’d expect defenses to throw the kitchen sink at Calvin Johnson at this point, and Thomas could be the beneficiary of more targets at this point forward.
Devier Posey – Dynasty Stash – Just about everything has been going great for the Houston Texans this season, unfortunately rookie Devier Posey hasn’t played a role in their success at all. Posey has been inactive for most of this season in Houston, much like he was mostly suspended in his final season last year at Ohio State. Posey, a 3rd round draft pick, showed flashes of quality NFL talent earlier in his career at Ohio State, and my guess is that the adjustment process to the NFL game is still taking time, much like it does for most NFL rookie receivers. Patient dynasty owners should stash Posey on their roster, and check back in 2013, as hopefully Posey shows some progress by then.
Tony Scheffler @ Green Bay – Another Detroit receiving option to recommend here, as tight end Tony Scheffler has been spending time as a slot receiver for the Lions while the team deals with the losses of both Ryan Broyles and Titus Young. Dynasty owners in need of a waiver wire tight end or receiving option could ride Tony Scheffler for the remainder of this season. In honor of the crazy Titus Young, I have some hardcore “Motor City Madman” here for you!
Benjamin Watson vs. Kansas City – Ben Watson, while not necessarily a legitimate long-term answer at tight end, certainly has been coming along nicely as a short term waiver wire option for those in need of a tight end. Watson was targeted 9 times this past week against Oakland, which was more than any other Browns receiver. Brandon Weeden has developed a trust in Ben Watson, and owners in high need of a tight end could certainly benefit from Watson at this point.
Jacob Tamme @ Oakland – In a performance that reminded dynasty owners of his old connection with Dallas Clark, Peyton Manning connected with Jacob Tamme early and often this past week against Tampa Bay. The Raider D was hit pretty hard last week by fellow tight end Benjamin Watson, so I’d expect Jacob Tamme to pick up where he left off last week.
Jaguars Defense vs. New York Jets – You’ve gotta like the Jaguars D this week, as the three headed qb monster of Sanchez/Tebow/McElroy doesn’t really strike fear into defenses, and this could be McElroy’s first career start on the road. Owners in need of a waiver friendly defense could benefit from Jacksonville this week.
Browns Defense vs. Kansas City – We’ve been riding this Browns Defense for several weeks now in this Waiver wire column, but the fact is that Browns D is still available in plenty of leagues, and has another really good matchup this week with the Chiefs and a reunion with Brady Quinn. Despite it being a “revenge game” I don’t like Brady Quinn’s chances against an underrated Browns D this week.
Bills Defense vs. St. Louis – The Bills Defense makes for a nice waiver wire add especially at the end of the year here as the poor weather conditions often help out the defenses in games played in Buffalo. A young Rams offense on the road, could certainly struggle in Buffalo, especially if we start to see heavy winds, rain, or snow in Buffalo.
Good luck to everyone in their fantasy playoff games, and may you all have the “Eye of the Tiger” !!!!!!!!!
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