Normally, I start with a little opening about the week and dive into the picks for the waiver wire. This week, I’m going to go a little different to open…

It’s one thing to get waiver advice from this site. It’s another thing to get it from someone who is in first place. It’s even nicer when they’re the same person. That is exactly the case right now in the Razzball Writers League, where I am the top banana by myself at 6-1. Hooray for me at the halfway point. Enough chest-thumping, let’s get into the meat of the column.

This week is going to be a very key one on the waiver wire. This is Week 8 and each of the next two weeks feature six teams on bye. If you make the right move this week, you can potentially sit back and reap the benefits while your opponents scramble each week trying to make moves. First, the byes. This week, it’s San Francisco and the New York Giants. Week 9 features Atlanta, Buffalo, Chicago, Detroit, Green Bay and Tennessee sitting out. Week 10 has Houston, Indianapolis, Minnesota, New England, San Diego and Washington at home on the couch. Week 11 is a little easier with Baltimore, Dallas, the Jets and Jacksonville on a bye. And Carolina and Pittsburgh close it out on Week 12.

We’re going to have to keep this in mind as we evaluate our selections.

 

Quarterbacks

Target Carson Palmer of Arizona to help you get through the byes. His offensive weapons are finaly starting to fire as Michael Floyd has scored in each of his last two games. Andre Ellington looks very good right now out of the backfield and makes life easier for Palmer. His schedule (PHI, at DAL, STL) looks pretty easy on paper.

Andy Dalton of Cincinnati can also be a big key to bye-week success. Dalton has a tough one with Baltimore this week but games with Cleveland and Jacksonville offer promise on the big bye weeks. AJ Green should be back at full speed which always helps. Yeah, he probably is gone but it’s worth a look and he fits the theme this week. You might have to trade for him which is also going be a theme on this column too.

Colt McCoy of Washington is an interesting proposition. Going to Dallas and Minnesota on consecutive weeks sets up for a potential to put up a good number of points. The problem is that the Redskins are talking about Robert Griffin III coming back this season. Washington is 2-5 and four games behind Dallas for the top spot in the division. The Cowboys-Redskins game is on Monday night so you can get painted into a corner quickly.Monitor the news on RGIII as we get closer to the weekend but I’m not going to jump on him. He’s put up mediocre results at best and I wouldn’t want to risk my season on a mobile quarterback coming back off of his second knee injury in as many seasons.

Kyle Orton of the Bills has thrown for 297 yards per game and five total touchdowns in his three starts. He made Sammy Watkins look great last week but the Bills had to go to the last second, literally, to beat Minnesota. He has the Jets this week so he can be used if you want to stream quarterbacks. Going forward, he has a bye, then Kansas City and Miami. Like I said…one week only on Orton.

 

Running Backs

This is where the column gets interesting. We have several options to choose from and some of them are total traps.
Tre Mason of the Rams is one of those players. Mason has the potential to be a breakout like Zac Stacy was last season or he could get buried in an RBBC situation if and when Stacy gets let out of the doghouse and Benny Cunningham figures out what his role is on the depth chart. While Jeff Fisher figures out ways to screw with us, look at Mason’s schedule the next few games. He’s at KC, at Arizona and at San Francisco before hosting Denver. Those are three of the top five teams in terms of rush defense (Arizona #1, Denver #3, San Francisco #5; KC is #18). Mason had 27 snaps in the last game and Cunningham had 19 so he’s not a clear number one back.

Unless Tre Mason is the second coming of Kool-Aid Man, he’s going to be rushing into brick walls and you’ll have to temper your expectations with him.

Then there’s Denard Robinson of the Jaguars, a guy called Shoelace. He was the first Jacksonville running back to look like a real NFL player this season with 127 rushing yards and a touchdown against Cleveland. Jacksonville’s next three games (Miami, Cincinnati, Dallas) scream out rushing bonanza so that’s working with him.
The other thing working against him is Gus Bradley apparently hates his running backs. The Jaguars have a weak offensive line to begin with. Toby Gerhart hasn’t been right since getting horse-collared in Week 1 at Philadelphia. Storm Johnson was supposed to be the man but was put on a secret carry limit of 10 carries against Tennessee two weeks ago. Storm had two carries last week. Safe to say the sun is shining and that’s not good for Storm as he fades into a complimentary role.
Robinson looks like the player to get this week if you need help at running back. Or just want to screw over your league mates.

Buffalo has become a mess at running back this week. Fred Jackson is out potentially for multiple games with a groin injury. CJ Spiller might be out for the season with a collarbone problem. That brings up the less-than-intimidating duo of Anthony Dixon and Bryce Brown. The Buffalo running game could be in for a few good games with its favorable schedule.

But who do you take? Dixon has 175 carries in his five-year career and is good for about two touchdowns a season. He has 12 receptions so you can forget about him in PPR formats. Brown has 878 yards and six touchdowns in two full seasons in Philadelphia. He came to Buffalo in the offseason and has been a healthy scratch so far in 2014. Brown also adds the extra pass-catching dimension so he should be your PPR target in the wire of those two.

Brown also has the potential for breakout games. He has three career games of more than 110 yards and posted back-to-back chart-busting games in 2012. Do you remember when he posted 43-347-4 on the ground in a two-week span? He might be able to do something like that again when the Bills take on the Jets this week. Dixon looks like a one or two week play depending on Jackson’s groin while Brown should have longer value as he fills in for Spiller.

Do not pick up Arizona RB Stepfan Taylor. Yes, he had two scores this past week but he is like the Chiefs and Joe McKnight. Who? The guy who scored twice against Miami and you never heard from him again. Yeah, that’s what Taylor is.

 

Wide Receivers

You can’t go wrong with Odell Beckham Jr of the Giants. He proved us right last week with a two-touchdown game. Well, you could go wrong since they are on a bye this week but Eli Manning has the right kind of chemistry with him to let the rookie have a solid second half of the season.
Cecil Shorts III of Jacksonville disappointed last week but he remains a nice pickup even in PPR leagues. Allen Robinson has quietly put up solid numbers as well if you want to go a little deeper on the Jags.

The Seattle wide receiver situation has gone plum loco after Percy Harvin was traded the Jets for a conditional pick. They’re left with Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse as the top two targets. Baldwin had a 7-123-1 game in the loss at St. Louis and he has the better potential to put up the bigger numbers for the rest of the season. Seattle is going to need to pass when Marshawn Lynch has difficulties running against nine men in the box. That leaves Baldwin outside in man coverage and with a couple of moves he can be gone. Tight end Cooper Helfet is only worth rostering in the deepest of leagues.

Don’t forget about Mike Evans of Tampa Bay. Evans missed a couple games with an injury before Tampa’s bye week. Louis Murphy had a couple good games in his place but Evans should be ready to start again. Couple that Mike Glennon under center and the possibility of a Vincent Jackson trade and this could make the rookie the WR1 on the Bucs depth chart. Even if VJax stays put, he should put up good numbers with Minnesota, Cleveland, Washington and Atlanta next for the Bucs.

 

Tight Ends

Jimmy Graham played Sunday and did nothing, hopefully he does more this week. The position continues to run thin but there is hope. I’ve started to see this name crop up a little more on various waiver wires and if you can’t get him, trading for him should be a snap.

Jason Witten is your best option here. The Dallas tight end is on bye on Week 11 which gets you through the huge bye weeks. In Weeks 9 and 10 the Cowboys take on Arizona and Jacksonville which are gold for tight ends. This season, he has 23-266-1 which is nowhere near what we’re used to with him. His numbers are down there in the Heath Miller range (27-275-1) so it gives you an idea who he compares to.
Keep an eye out for Larry Donnell of the Giants who is another buy-low candidate. If he gets dropped tomorrow, be ready to pick him up Friday. The Giants take on Indy, Seattle, San Francisco, Dallas, Jacksonville and Tennessee coming out of the bye. Donnell should be back on the rise against those opponents.

 

Kickers

Randy Bullock of Houston continues to put up solid numbers (3FG, 2XPT) like he did last night in the loss to Pittsburgh. Nick Folk is someone to pick up with Buffalo, KC, Pittsburgh, the bye and Buffalo again in the coming weeks—all are favorable matchups.

 

Defenses & Special Teams

This week, we can stream Buffalo DST against the Jets and they’re coming off a solid outing against Minnesota (five sacks, two interceptions). Miami (at Jacksonville) is also a good play. Kansas City DST has three solid matchups in a row with St. Louis, the Jets and Buffalo so they would be an excellent way to get through the big bye weeks. You’ll probably have to get these guys in a trade since I doubt they’d be on the wire now.

 

Hopefully this helps. If you can prepare now (and also follow me on Twitter), you can sit back and watch the rest of your league panic on those weeks and collect wins in the chaos. Good luck!

  1. Darth Stout says:
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    Witten just isn’t drawing targets. My waiver wire options are awful. Is Charles Clay primed to finish the season better than Witten? This situation has turned deadly.

    • Andrew Nordmeier

      Andrew Nordmeier says:
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      @Darth Stout: It is lethal at TE. Clay should be better ROS but Witten’s matchups have the potential to get through the big byes

  2. Nick says:
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    Would you drop anyone for Donnell in a 10team – non- prr? Since I only have Witten, I would not mind the option of Larry on my bench but as you mentioned, Witten has a nice schedule ahead (as long as Escobar does not steal his thunder). My roster looks like this with 3 WR, 2RB & 1 flex start (+TE,K,D);

    QB-Rodgers
    WR-Cobb, Edelman, A Johnson, Beckham, Sanu
    RB-Murray, A Williams, R Jennings, T Mason, Ingram, McKinnon
    TE-Witten
    D-Detroit
    K-Crosby

    I was thinking Sanu as a drop with Greens return eminent but then theres Williams who might be sucked into the black hole as Giants are on bye then R Jennings might be back.

    I will also need a QB for week 9 with Tannehill, A Smith, Dalton, Bortles, Hoyer & Carr all available so I think I can wait another week on that..

    THANKS!

    • Nick says:
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      @Nick: btw Donnell is on waivers as someone just dropped him & I have the #5 claim (dont worry about wasting a claim, our waivers are only from dropped players in the league)

    • Andrew Nordmeier

      Andrew Nordmeier says:
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      @Nick: Sanu’s value would take the biggest hit on that list so he would be the right drop for Donnell. Week 9 QB should be Dalton against the Jags.

  3. Derrick says:
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    Montee Ball was just dropped in my 12-man PPR league.

    Must add? I could drop DeAngelo Williams for him.

    Also, take a flier on RG3?

    • grindtime says:
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      Ball better to hope for than Williams but both don’t have much of a chance

    • Andrew Nordmeier

      Andrew Nordmeier says:
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      @Derrick: Ball is worth a shot and I would consider dropping D-Will for him. A healthy Ball should get more looks in close while the ball might not even get out of Cam’s hands.

      The downside is that Carolina’s schedule is pretty good after this week and I’m starting to buy low on Cam and Kelvin to load up for a big run at the end.

      RGIII–No. Never been a fan of him and I don’t know how he will be in a “live fire” situation so I want to see him get a game under his belt first before I think about getting him.

  4. Scott says:
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    Who to drop for Palmer this week? I’ve got plenty of non-WR1s. Which is worst? OBJ, Mike Evans, Jordan Matthews, Percy Harvin, Brian Quick.

    • Andrew Nordmeier

      Andrew Nordmeier says:
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      @Scott: Jordan Matthews is the drop.

  5. Dom B says:
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    Rank in order ROS Roddy White, Michael Crabtree, Kelvin Benjamin, TY Hilton, Doug Baldwin, Percy Harvin Brandin Cooks, Malcolm Floyd, Andre Holmes. THANK YOU JAY !!!!!!!

  6. Sam says:
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    Deep league, +1 PPR

    I’ve got great depth at RB, but my WR other than Demaryius Thomas are pretty weak.

    Would you deal Chris Ivory for Desean Jackson? Ivory is my RB3or4, but I’m still able to play him at FLEX most weeks if I want.

    • Andrew Nordmeier

      Andrew Nordmeier says:
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      @Sam: Not really. Washington’s QB situation is in flux with a maybe=-healthy RGIII and Colt McCoy battling for snaps. Ivory has looked running the ball for the Jets and has made us all but forget Chris Johnson even exists.

  7. friar says:
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    I’ve got a team that is very strong everywhere except QB (Matt Ryan in a 12-team league). Knowing Ryan will be on bye in week 9 (and may very well suck in weeks 8, 10, and 11 when he’s not playing at home), I’m trying to line up another option at QB.

    One option would be to make a trade. Brees and Wilson are both past their byes, and I might be able to package Ryan with someone from my bench to make the QB upgrade. Also, Kaep’s owner is now riding Brady, and so is shopping the SF QB.

    I could also turn to the waiver wire, where Palmer is available (as is Orton, but his week 9 bye would still leave me without a QB).

    Which course do you think I should pursue (trade or pickup)? One note is that my team, at 6-1, is on track to make the playoffs, so I primarily want to make the move that will give me the best chance of winning from week 14 onward. Thanks!

    QB: Ryan
    RB: Charles, L. Bell, Bernard, Mathews, Rainey, Ball
    WR: Dez, Megatron, Torrey, Hopkins, Patterson
    TE: Olsen, Donnell

    • Andrew Nordmeier

      Andrew Nordmeier says:
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      @friar: Ryan + Donnell = QB upgrade

  8. Randy says:
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    How would you rank these RBs ROS… Vereen, Tre Mason, Ingram, Sankey, and Denard Robinson? This is a TD heavy league. 6pt=TD, 1pt=25 yards.

    • Andrew Nordmeier

      Andrew Nordmeier says:
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      @Randy:
      Vereen–little competition
      Mason–big chance to seize starting job
      Ingram–muddy backfield
      Robinson–questionable OL and Gus Bradley hates us
      Sankey–Whisenhunt has no clue how to use his RBs–Jackie Battle, vulture, really?

  9. I got Jamaaled by a bear says:
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    I can do the browns against the raiders or pick up the dolphins against the jags? whats the better play?

    • Andrew Nordmeier

      Andrew Nordmeier says:
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      @I got Jamaaled by a bear: Miami. We’ve seen Oakland have flashes of brilliance (31-28 against SD) and the Browns have been involved in late meltdown games which are unpredictable to say the least.

  10. Little giants says:
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    Hey man , waiver question!

    I have a claim set for denard Robinson by dropping storm johnson. Now after the first wave who would you target.

    – second wave going to drop Markus Wheaton for one of these; Andrew Hawkins, jordan matthews, jermaine kearse, travaris cadet, anthony Dixon , & bryce brown
    – what order would you with?

    It’s a 10 team .20 ppr league(basically not really a ppr)

    –next keep my Texans D who are in Tennesee

    Or drop Texans d to add one of these:

    Cowboys D vs Redskins

    Bucs D vs Vikings

    Vikings D @ Tampa

    Dolphins D @ Jacksonville

    • Little giants says:
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      @Little giants:

      My team:

      QB; brady & romo

      My RBs are ; gio Bernard, Ahmad Bradshaw, ben Tate, jeremy hill, tre Mason , Braden Oliver & plan on adding denard Robinson.

      Wrs: demaryius thomas, Kelvin benjamin, cordarrelle patterson, odell beckham jr, michael Crabtree & wheaton who I plan to drop .

      TE’s Ertz & jordan Reed.

      D/st- Texans

      Kicker- prater, keep prater or drop for either shayne Graham , Kai Forbath or Mason crosby?

    • Andrew Nordmeier

      Andrew Nordmeier says:
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      @Little giants: Wheaton for Dixon or Brown.

      Buf RBs, Kearse, Hawkins, Mathews, Cadet.

      Keep the Texans…Clowney might be back and Watt can do great things. And Tennessee looks clueless.

  11. Mike says:
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    Would you pull the trigger on this offer.

    I get Oliver and Hilton for Graham and Lacy

    Half pt PPR, 12 man league. Currently have Keenan as my Wr2 and have ellington and miller at rb, so Lacy is a flex. Jordan Reed is would be my TE if deal is done, currently 6-1.

    • donut says:
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      @Mike: God no

  12. Nick says:
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    Ingram or T Mason at flex this week?

    • Nick says:
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      @Nick: I have Murray & McKInnon at RB1/2

      • Andrew Nordmeier

        Andrew Nordmeier says:
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        @Nick: Ingram. No Pierre.

  13. Brian Anders says:
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    Trade question:

    Would you take Gronk and VJax for Julius Thomas?

    • Andrew Nordmeier

      Andrew Nordmeier says:
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      @Brian Anders: Nope. Different story if VJax gets traded

  14. Montezuma's Revenge... right now says:
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    to be fair, joe mcknight was injured immediately after his good game, so really can’t blame him for not being heard from after.

    • Andrew Nordmeier

      Andrew Nordmeier says:
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      @Montezuma’s Revenge… right now: That too…but he wasn’t much of anything to write home about with a healthy Jamaal Charles.

  15. Blake says:
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    Trying to follow your bye week strategy. Someone just dropped Donnel and I need a TE in my 10 team H2H Standard (No PPR) pts league. I have the following roster:

    QB: J Cutler
    WR: D Thomas
    WR: TY Hilton
    WR: D Hopkins
    RB: G Bernard
    RB: M Lynch
    TE: J Amaro

    B: C shorts
    B: K Allen
    B: T Richardson
    B: R Hillmans
    B: J Gordon
    B: C Palmer

    Need Palmer for next week and I don’t want to drop Gordon. And I have tried to trade Richardson but no one wants him. I need donnel for the rest of the season – suggestions?

    • Andrew Nordmeier

      Andrew Nordmeier says:
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      @Blake: Then drop T-Rich. Bradshaw is doing well enough that T-Rich is nothing more than an afterthought to me.

  16. Cafuné

    Maxi says:
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    Hey, I’m not completely screwed this week for byes (that will be in weeks 9/10), but I want to pick someone up now to make weeks 9/10 easier.

    12 team, 1PPR league with only 4 (count ’em, 4!!) bench spots. My bench is currently Mathews (haven’t been able to use him in my IR spot because NFL.com or the Chargers won’t officially put him on the IR!!!), Beckham, Megatron and Wayne. Week 10 is Wayne and Mathews’ bye, but I’ll also have to put Rivers and Vereen on bye then, hence the need for a RB.

    My WRs are currently Julio Jones, Megatron, Reggie Wayne, Beckham, and I just picked up Doug Baldwin to start alongside Jones this week, but am seriously thinking of dropping injured Wayne in favor of a RB because I will only have 1 active RB for week 10, and my only healthy ones are Vereen and Hillman.

    My potential RB targets are Denard Robinson, Antone Smith, Andre Williams, or someone from the STL backfield. Would you drop Wayne or Beckham for any of them? Wayne might be hurt for the next few weeks, and if Megatron or Baldwin step-up, I don’t think I’ll need both since it’s a 2WR + flex league.

    Thanks for the help!

    • Andrew Nordmeier

      Andrew Nordmeier says:
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      @Maxi: Wayne should go out of that group. Robinson would be the best option out of that group since yesterday’s news is jeff Fisher hates us and will go RBBC in an unpredictable manner.

      • Cafuné

        Maxi says:
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        @Andrew Nordmeier: Damn, Robinson just got scooped off waivers yesterday afternoon, so now I’m down to Anthony Dixon, Antone Smith, Stepfan Taylor (weirdest “Steph” spelling ever), Lance Dunbar or Joseph Randle?

        I really only need a RB for week 10, assuming Mathews comes back and gets some touches vs Oliver.

        thoughts?

  17. David says:
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    Yo man!

    I would really appreciate any advice. In a 10 team, standard league someone offered me j. graham and andre johnson for shane vereen and r. hilmann. I need wide receivers. Would you do it

  18. Frank White says:
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    What’s up Andrew.. I need a TE this week and picked up Clay. Good move or should I grab Clay Harbor??

  19. Scott says:
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    Ok, QB is on a bye. All your WW recommendations were snapped up by others. I am left with a trade: I get Tannehill and Michael Floyd. He gets Tre Mason and OBJ. What’s the over/under?

    • Andrew Nordmeier

      Andrew Nordmeier says:
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      Take that deal. Floyd should get a good amount of looks since Larry Fitzgerald is nothing more than the World’s Most Expensive Decoy. Tannehill has been quietly effective

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