At this point in the season, the emergence of high impact waiver-wire pickups is pretty rare. Unless of course you’re in a dynasty/keeper league, in which case I will have a special column just for you later on this week. But for the rest of us, there is limited upside to most of the players that remain available. There will be guys like Bilal Powell and Marcedes Lewis who randomly have big days, and in deeper leagues even those guys might be taken, but for the most part it’s like hitting a buffet after Tony Siragusa. There’s just not much left.
So here is your abbreviated pickups list for non-standard leagues, with a larger look at dynasty leagues coming later on this week:
Two QB Leagues – Chad Henne
The byes are now over, so the only way you would really feel comfortable with Henne is if you just lost Vick, Ben or Cutler to injury. In that case, Henne looks prettay, prettay good, especially with matchups against Buffalo and Tennessee looming. We obviously saw his ceiling against Houston on Sunday, but Henne has put up some decent numbers when he gets a high volume of attempts in his career. And with MJD out for the foreseeable future, and either Rashad Jennings or someone named Jalen Parmele as the primary runner, why wouldn’t Jacksonville try to see if Henne and Justin Blackmon can build some chemistry?
PPR/Return Yardage Leagues – Julian Edelman
What you call lazy, I call efficiency! Edelman really fits the bill for both league types, and if you happen to be in a PPR league that includes return yardage points, well then this blurb is just for you. After starting a couple of games earlier in the year, Edelman got hurt, Brady and Welker kissed and made up, and it appeared that we would never hear from Edelman again. He came back Week 7 primarily as a return man before making a splash again this week with 58 yards receiving, a 47 yard rush and both a receiving and return TD. With Aaron Hernandez perpetually banged up, Brandon Lloyd not producing much, and Deion Branch straight up released, there was already an opening for Edelman to get some looks before the Gronkowski news even hit. With Gronk out at least a month, Edelman becomes a solid pickup in all leagues, and if you want a poor man’s Percy Harvin for the rest of the season in PPR and/or Return Yardage Leagues, he’s worth the top Waiver priority and a huge chunk of FAAB dollars.
TD-Only Leagues – Lance Ball
With Willis McGahee possibly sidelined with a knee injury, the role of Peyton’s sidekick falls to Ball and Ronnie Hillman. Hillman is clearly the more talented of the pair, but he’s also pretty raw, and doesn’t have Peyton’s trust the way McGahee does. Ball has never been given the chance as a starter, and for good reason, but he does have the size to be useful on the goalline. So even if McGahee plays next week, John Fox may want to reserve the short yardage carries for the sturdier Ball. If McGahee is out for an extended period of time, I expect Hillman to eventually take over the bulk of the carries, but for now Ball presents a low-cost option in TD-Only leagues.
IDP Leagues – Nick Fairley
It’s rare that defensive tackles are notable in IDP leagues; even if you are required to start one, it’s likely that you stream them from week-to-week if you don’t have Haloti Ngata. In the last couple of years, Ndamukong Suh was supposed to enter the must-start zone with Ngata, but between lack of maturity and lack of development, he hasn’t made that leap yet. In fact, over the last month, his production has been dwarfed by that of his neighbor on the Detroit line. Fairley has had his own maturity issues, but unless he plays in Denver or Seattle, hopefully he can stay away from his vices. In any event, Fairley has racked up 14 total tackles and 3 sacks in the last three games, better stats than most DE’s and some LB’s. He’s likely benefitting from the attention Suh draws, but IDP is not always about playing the best player, it’s about gunning for stats. And right now, Fairley’s the one getting the stats. He’s worth more than a stream if you’re lacking on the D-Line.