NFL Fantasy Fixer-Uppers Week 9
Whether you are cruising to a playoff spot, fighting for your playoff life or toiling in the basement the waiver wire is something you should scour each and every week. There is always a player who can be added to help your team or keep a player away from someone else's team. Whatever your reason the waiver wire is important. Very important. Let's take a look at some players who may be worthy of a waiver claim this week.
Carson Palmer, QB, Arizona Cardinals (43% owned ESPN leagues)
After Sunday’s three touchdown performance against the then first place Dallas Cowboys the word is officially out on Palmer. Or at least it should be. Truthfully, I’m surprised he is currently available in more than half of the leagues out there. He missed three games early on with a nerve issue but has thrown for multiple touchdowns in each of the five games he has started and doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. Palmer has the weapons (Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd) and a running game with Andre Ellington who hauled in a touchdown toss of his own on Sunday. The Cardinals are for real and they will need to be on top of their game in the tough NFC West. Grab the former Heisman winner now because I fully expect his ownership to jump through the roof this week.
Mike Evans, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (32% owned)
If you had Week Nine as when the rookie would bust out you can collect your winnings. Evans torched the Browns secondary on Sunday finishing with season-highs (or career-highs if you want to be technical) with seven catches for 124 yards and two touchdowns. He was bothered by a hamstring injury earlier in the year but appears to be healthy now. Even healthier is the slew of opponents Evans should be primed to torture in upcoming weeks. Atlanta and Chicago both rank in the bottom quarter of the league in pass defense. Vincent Jackson is still a prime number one receiver which also means Evans should draw the opponents second best cover man. Factor in that Tampa should be behind in most games which means more passes. That could lead to some big games down the stretch. Make sure those big games happen for your team and not against it.
Anthony Dixon, RB, Buffalo Bills (21% owned)
Another ownership shocker here. Perhaps it was because the Bills were on a bye last week but I digress. C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson are both hurt and won’t be back for some time. That means the Bills will use some short of platoon between Dixon and Bryce Brown. Right? Well, let’s look at this a bit closer. Two weeks ago Dixon outtouched Brown 22-to-7 which leads me to believe that Dixon is the lead back going forward. The Bills have been surprisingly competitive this year and host a Kansas City squad ranked 19th against the run. While Dixon’s 2.0 yards per carry against the Jets leaves a lot to be desired there is something to be said about rostering a starting running back. Dixon should be that back in Buffalo.
Alfred Blue, RB, Houston Texans (7% owned)
Perhaps the biggest takeaway from Sunday’s Texans-Eagles tilt was Philly’s signal-caller Nick Foles going down with a broken collarbone but we’ll get to that later. The biggest takeaway from Houston’s standpoint should be the fact that Arian Foster left the game early with what appeared to be a groin injury. He hopped off the field and then slammed his helmet down in frustration. Now I’m no doctor but an athlete knows his body, especially an athlete who has dealt with injuries in the past such as Foster. Houston has a bye this week but if Foster is forced to miss any time it should be Blue whom the Texans call upon to tote the rock. Widely available in most leagues he is worth a waiver claim if you are in need of running back help.
Mark Sanchez, QB, Philadelphia Eagles (<1% owned)
Let it be known that I am an Eagles fan. Let it also be known that you cannot hear the audible sigh coming out of me while I’m writing this. Let it also be known that Sanchez might not actually be as bad as most people believe he is. Here’s hoping. Sanchez entered the game on Sunday and promptly led the Eagles to the road victory by throwing for 202 yards and two scores. Yes, he did also throw two picks but one of those came on a deflection off of a receiver’s hands. I can’t fault Sanchez for that. In all honesty he looked good in his Eagles debut and was impressive in the preseason. Philly has a ton of offensive weapons surrounding Sanchez and don’t forget that he took the Jets to back-to-back AFC Championship games in his first two seasons. One of the more “game-ready” backups in the league Sanchez is nothing if not an intriguing pickup this week.
P.S. – Butt fumble
If there’s a player you were thinking about that I didn’t mention here ask away in the comments. Or if you want a more immediate response you can ask me on Twitter @therichwhiteguy.