October 25, 2011

Crazy Gabey's Week 7 Pickups

 By: Gabriel Harber

This was the kind of week the waiver wire was made for.  It’s likely at least a few of the teams in your league suffered some crippling blows, and if you’re one of them, now is the time to take control and assure you come out no worse for the wear.  Conversely, stealing someone else’s preferred fill-in can sometimes strike the final nail in their coffin, eliminating potential competition while strengthening your own roster.

In my mind at least, week 7 will be referred to as the St. Running back’s Day Massacre.  Hightower, McFadden, Lynch, Graham, Mathews, and a few others all went the way of the buffalo.  In addition, we saw guys like Santana Moss, Matt Ryan, and Matthew Stafford all come away hobbling and in danger of missing time.  If you’re fighting for a playoff berth and suffered a crucial setback this week, stay calm, we’ve got your back(up).
Here’s the rundown.
The Pick-Ups
Roy Helu:  For those of you not judicious enough to sell high on Hightower at halftime (I kid), you may be left in tight spot.  You waited out the Torain drama and mysterious shoulder ailments, only to have your hopes built up with an above average first half performance Sunday, and then promptly crushed.  Torain is likely already taken, but Helu offers some significant upside as the more natural talent and the guy the Redskins are most likely to give a shot, sensing their season slipping away.

DeMarco Murray:  If your one of those lucky enough to be in a league where Murray wasn’t snagged last week, and you have the number one priority, this is your pick.  Congratulations.  Just temper your expectations knowing that he’s already had his best game of the year, and be content with the 70 yards and a TD he can give you each game, if that.

Michael Jenkins:  It’s always tough to recommend a guy who’s played in well over 100 games coming off a “career” day, but that’s what I’ll do here.  Christian Ponder displayed good poise and rhythm with Jenkins, and it seems he’s most comfortable with him out of all the receivers.

Michael Bush:  Bush is a waiver wire pick-up article stalwart, appearing at least once each season it seems.  Why should this year be any different?  Run DMC has proven to be anything but durable over his young career, and Bush stepped up (like he always does) and proved he’s more than capable of handling the workload in McFadden’s absence.  An increased emphasis on the running game should boost his value too.

John Beck:  Losing Santana Moss and Tim Hightower hurts, but as long as he continues leaning on Fred Davis I think he could be a serviceable bye week fill-in.  If you’re looking for a long term replacement though, you may need to look elsewhere.

Tim Tebow:  TEBOW TIMEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!  Seriously though, after this Sunday if you loved him, you love him more, if you hated him, you hate him even more, and if you started him, you cursed under your breath all game until the final 4 minutes.  I’m not sure exactly what the future holds, but if he’s available he should be on your roster, if for nothing more than a trade piece to a desperate owner.

Delone Carter:  The lone bright spot in Sunday night’s shellacking, Carter has officially supplanted Addai (as if that’s noteworthy.)  If the Colts can establish any sort of passing game going forward, Carter could be in line for a few more weeks like this.

Visanthe Shiancoe:  I had a hunch last week that Ponder would lean on his talented TE much like Favre did during his tenure with the Vikings.  Ponder did indeed latch on to him, and with McNabb having done nothing of the sort, Shiancoe is laying around most wires.  I think the stat line this weekend could be indicative of normal production.

Early Doucet:  As teams continue focusing on Fitzgerald, Doucet keeps posting respectable numbers.  After a slight lull for a few weeks, leaving him on many wires, he’s posted back to back noteworthy performances and solidified himself as a WR3 in most formats.

Christian Ponder:  We’ve already talked about his two favorite targets, so there’s not a whole lot left to be said.  In a single week he resurrected a Vikings passing game that simply did not exist.  Unlike Beck, I actually see him as a long term solution if you need help at QB.

Antonio Brown:  Is there something wrong with my eyes, or was Aaron Rodgers traded to the Steelers?  The last 3 weeks Big Ben has done his best his best elite QB impression, and Antonio Brown was this week’s beneficiary.  I believe that of all the receiving options (outside of Mike Wallace), Brown has the most potential.  A stalled out running game and the need for quick passes due to effective pass rushing make Brown an interesting option.

Jabar Gaffney:  With the injuries to Moss and Hightower, Gaffney suddenly became relevant to the Redskins' offense.  He went for 4 catches and 68 yards Sunday, and figures to be in for an increased workload until Moss returns.  He’s still not the number one option, as that role now passes on to Fred Davis, but he should get enough targets per game to be worth an add.

Demaryius Thomas:  Even with Tebow’s lackluster showing in the first 55 minutes, Thomas was clearly the favorite target, eventually getting into the end zone at the end of the game.  Moving forward he can be treated as low end WR3 with huge upside if Denver gets their offense figured out.

Anyone but Kregg Lumpkin:  Whatever the question is in Tampa, Lumpkin is not the answer.  Pay close attention to what the Bucs do this week as depending on who they add, he might be worth a pick-up.

Marion Barber:  In touchdown heavy leagues, with back to back scoring weeks, Barber has officially landed himself on the radar.  If anything were to happen to Forte, he would immediately vault into RB2 territory.

And there you have it.  Heading into week 8 we have a disproportionately large number of running back adds, which should work well for some of you.  Just remember to add wisely, and as always, don’t panic.

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