Waiver Wire Watch, Week 16: Where it’s Tim Tebow time!

Denver Broncos rookie QB Tim Tebow takes off up the middle on a 40 yard TD run against the Oakland Raiders at the Oakland Coliseum in Oakland, California on December 19, 2010. Tebow ran for 78 yards and a TD in the Broncos 39-23 loss to the Raiders. UPI/Terry Schmitt Photo via Newscom

Welcome to an abbreviated version of the Waiver Wire Watch. It’s Week 16, and most fantasy teams have been eliminated or on cruise control, so instead of listing virtually every player available on the waiver wire, I’m just going to highlight a few players at each position that might be able to help fantasy teams in Week 16. As always, I’m going to limit my scope to those players available in at least 40% (or thereabout) of ESPN leagues. I’ll put the player’s percentage-owned next to their name.

Let’s start with the quarterback position, where I still find it amazing that Josh Freeman (69.8) is still available in 30% of leagues. Not only has he been very consistent this season, but he has a great matchup with the Seahawks in Week 16. I suspect he’ll be in my Top 12 when my rankings come out on Wednesday…Ryan Fitzpatrick (31.3) has the Patriots at home this week, and barring a snow storm, that’s shaping up to be a pretty good matchup. New England showed on Sunday night that its pass defense still leaves something to be desired…David Garrard (46.4) had a strong game against the Colts and has a terrific W16 matchup with the Redskins’ porous pass defense…Need a deep sleeper? Both Tim Tebow (4.0) and Rex Grossman (0.3) have nice matchups with the Texans and Jaguars, respectively. I wouldn’t trust either guy over a more established option, but if you’re desperate, you could do worse. These are some bad pass defenses we’re talking about.

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Waiver Wire Watch, Week 15: Where Ryan Torain is once again the Redskins’ starting RB

Washington Redskins' running back Ryan Torain runs for a short gain against the the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the second quarter at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland on December 12, 2010. UPI/Kevin Dietsch Photo via Newscom

Every week, I highlight a few players that you should target in waivers. I use the ESPN league data when filtering players, so the only guys eligible for discussion here are those that are available on the waiver wire in at least 40% of ESPN’s leagues. I’ll list each player’s percentage-owned after their name so you have an idea of how available they are in leagues around the country. I’ll always try to mention a few players that are available in 90% of leagues for those of you in 12-team leagues or leagues with big rosters. I’ll rank them in the order I’d pick them up in a league with a high-performance scoring system.

Please note that these rankings are for total value through the end of the year. Players with particularly good matchups this week are in bold.

Josh Freeman (59.0)
Save for a bad game against the Steelers in W3, Freeman has been solid all season throwing for at least one TD in 12 of 13 games. He’ll also add 10-40 rushing yards, which helps the bottom line. He should be able to post nice numbers in a W15 matchup against the Lions.

Jon Kitna (18.2)
Kitna has a pretty good matchup with the Redskins, who have struggled to stop the pass this season. He has thrown at least one TD in seven of his last eight games, so I’d expect 200+ yards and 1-2 TDs against Washington in W15.

Matt Hasselbeck (14.3)
The Falcons have struggled against the pass and Hasselbeck has shown that he can be productive against suspect secondaries. It would certainly help if Mike Williams and/or Ben Obomanu could make it back, since the Seahawks lost Deon Butler to a broken leg.

David Garrard (43.2)
I’m not psyched about Garrard’s matchup with Indy. He played well against the Colts in W4, but the Jags will continue to feature the run, so I don’t see another three-TD game in his near future. Still, he’s a decent matchup and has had success against the Colts recently.

Ryan Fitzpatrick (33.6)
I do like the idea of Fitzy in W16 against the Pats (though they’ve managed to shut down Mark Sanchez and Jay Cutler in recent weeks). But the Dolphins are pretty tough against the pass, so I expect I’ll rank Fitzpatrick in the high teens this week.

Jason Campbell (6.7)
Campbell played well in a good matchup against the Jags in W14 and now he has another good matchup against the reeling Broncos. Campbell has had his share of stinkers (W6 against the 49ers and W11 against the Steelers come to mind), but he has played well in good matchups, so I’d expect a good line this week against the Broncos.

Kerry Collins (1.2)
Talk about inconsistent. Collins went from dreadful against the Jags in W13 to great (fantasy-wise) against the Colts in W14. He has the Texans in W15, so I’d expect good fantasy numbers.

Sam Bradford (34.5)
What’s happened to the rookie? He had a run of six straight games with at least one TD pass, but has failed to throw any in the last two weeks. His matchups the next two weeks are decent, but his recent failings have shaken my confidence in the youngster.

Drew Stanton (0.7)
Stanton was shaky against the Packers, but Green Bay is tough to throw on. The Bucs should be a bit easier, especially with Aqib Talib out for the season.

Chad Henne (46.9)
With back-to-back stinkers, as well as losing his job midseason, I’m not sure how Henne is owned in almost 47% of ESPN leagues. He does have the Bills and Lions the next two weeks, so if you’re really desperate, you could do worse. (See below.)

Alex Smith (6.7)
Smith torched the Seahawks, but the Chargers are another story.

Matt Flynn (0.0)
He had one good drive against the Lions, but threw a costly pick in the endzone. I am not optimistic about his chances against the Pats, who have played pretty good pass defense of late.

Jake Delhomme (1.4)
Ugh.

Tarvaris Jackson (0.9)
UGH.

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Waiver Wire Watch, Week 14: Where Tashard Choice says, “Finally.”

ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 31: Tashard Choice  of the Dallas Cowboys looks on against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Cowboys Stadium on October 31, 2010 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Every week, I highlight a few players that you should target in waivers. I use the ESPN league data when filtering players, so the only guys eligible for discussion here are those that are available on the waiver wire in at least 40% of ESPN’s leagues. I’ll list each player’s percentage-owned after their name so you have an idea of how available they are in leagues around the country. I’ll always try to mention a few players that are available in 90% of leagues for those of you in 12-team leagues or leagues with big rosters. I’ll rank them in the order I’d pick them up in a league with a high-performance scoring system.

Please note that these rankings are for total value through the end of the year. Players with particularly good matchups this week are in bold.

Ryan Fitzpatrick (34.0)
He had a brutal first half in a so-so matchup, but the Vikings’ defense plays pretty tough at home. Over the next three weeks he has CLE, @MIA and NE. That W16 matchup against the Patriots is tasty.

Jon Kitna (14.1)
It wasn’t a great matchup against Indy, but Kitna fared pretty well. He has PHI, WAS and @ARI over the next three weeks, so even without Dez Bryant, he should still be able to post solid numbers down the stretch. Romo’s pending return could be a headache, but I don’t think the Cowboys are going to rush him back.

David Garrard (42.1)
The Jags are running the ball more and more and it’s eating into Garrard’s numbers, though he has rushed for a TD in each of the last two weeks. He’s startable in W14 (OAK) and W16 (WAS).

Sam Bradford (36.3)
Do I see a chink in the rookie’s armor? After a string of five consecutive games with at least 251 yards passing or two TDs, Bradford had his first bad game since Week 5…against the Cardinals no less. I’m not terribly optimistic about his chances against a relatively tough Saints pass defense.

Matt Hasselbeck (14.3)
His matchups down the stretch (@SF, ATL, @TB) are pretty favorable, but with Mike Williams 1.0 out, Hasselbeck is running out of options, and fast. Hopefully, Ben Obomanu can shake off that lacerated hand and make it back by Sunday.

Troy Smith (4.4)
After hooking up with Vernon Davis for a long TD, Smith finished with decent numbers on the day. He has a nice matchup this week against the Seahawks, but should be avoided after that (@SD, @STL).

Jason Campbell (6.2)
It’s not always pretty, but Campbell is capable of putting up good fantasy numbers when the stars align. He has two good matchups coming up (@JAX, DEN) before a date with the Colts in W16.

Chad Henne (47.7)
He had three picks against the Browns. What is the Jets’ defense going to do to him?

Drew Stanton (0.3)
He was decent in a tough matchup with the Bears. I wouldn’t want to use him against the Packers this week, but his W15 matchup with an Aqib Talib-less Bucs secondary isn’t a bad matchup.

Kerry Collins (1.2)
Maybe dreadful is too strong of a word to describe Collins’ performance against a sketchy Jags’ pass defense. 169 yards and two TDs…no it’s not too strong. He has the Colts this week (so-so) and the Texans in W15 (great matchup) before traveling to KC.

Jake Delhomme (1.1)
Congratulations to Jake Delhomme, who threw a TD without throwing an interception for the first time this season. Assuming Colt McCoy can’t make it back, he has a decent matchup with the Bills this week.

Jimmy Clausen (1.0)
Very good matchup, but he hasn’t thrown a TD pass since W4, so why are you reading this?

Tarvaris Jackson (0.7)
He threw two TDs and three picks against the Bills. The Vikings would be better off giving him some reps to see where he’s at heading into next season, but they appear to want Favre back under center if he’s healthy. We’ll see.

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Waiver Wire Watch, Week 13: Where we have to talk Frank Gore owners off the ledge

GLENDALE, AZ - NOVEMBER 29: Runningback Brian Westbrook  of the San Francisco 49ers carries the football on a 8 yard rushing touchdown past Adrian Wilson  of the Arizona Cardinals during the second quarter of the NFL game at the University of Phoenix Stadium on November 29, 2010 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

It’s Week 13, which means we’re in crunch time in most fantasy leagues. If your roster is a mess, there’s not much we can do at this point, but if you need a win this week to make the postseason, there may be a player or two who can help.

I use the ESPN league data when filtering players, so the only guys eligible for discussion here are those that are available on the waiver wire in at least 40% of ESPN’s leagues. I’ll list each player’s percentage-owned after their name so you have an idea of how available they are in leagues around the country. I’ll always try to mention a few players that are available in 90% of leagues for those of you in 12-team leagues or leagues with big rosters. I’ll rank them in the order I’d pick them up in a league with a high-performance scoring system.

Please note that these rankings are for total value through the end of the year. Players with particularly good matchups this week are in bold.

Josh Freeman (56.6)
If you’re looking for a solid QB to run out there every week the rest of the way, Freeman is your guy. He has two solid matchups (ATL, DET) and two good matchups (WAS, SEA) the rest of the way, so he should be able to give you borderline QB1 numbers over the final month of the fantasy season. His somewhat Week 12 outing against the Ravens marked only the second time all season that he didn’t throw for at least 212 yards or toss two TDs.

Ryan Fitzpatrick (33.4)
The Bills have that Bad News Bears feel about them. I find myself rooting for Buffalo every week. He finished with decent numbers (265 yards, TD, INT) in a terrible matchup, and would have had 300+ and 2 TDs if not for Stevie Johnson’s dropped TD in overtime. The matchup this week isn’t great (@MIN), but Fitzy is still a solid start. I love him in W14 and W16 against the Browns and Patriots, respectively.

Jon Kitna (13.9)
I wouldn’t want to start him this week against an angry Colts’ defense, but his W15 (WAS) and W16 (@ARI) matchups are great, and in W14 he faces an Eagles defense that just got torched by Jay Cutler.

Matt Cassel (49.5)
He may not be the greatest QB in the world, but he’s taking full advantage of Dwayne Bowe’s ascendancy to stud status, tossing 12 TDs in the last four games. With Denver’s lowly pass defense up next, he’s a great pickup this week, though things get tougher in W14 against the Chargers.

Sam Bradford (30.6)
I watched quite a bit of the STL/DEN game, and Bradford is cool, calm and collected, especially for a rookie. I’m waiting for one of those nightmare games, but it just hasn’t come. His last ‘bad’ game was in Week 5 against the Lions (215 yards, 2 INTs), but other than that, he has thrown at least one TD in every game and has tossed five TDs in the last two weeks. He has a great matchup with ARI this week and is startable the rest of the way outside of a W14 date with the Saints.

David Garrard (47.3)
It wasn’t pretty through the air in a terrible matchup, but Garrard had a brilliant TD run to save an otherwise forgettable fantasy day. The Titans aren’t a great matchup, so Garrard is just a mediocre start this week. He has nice matchups in W14 (OAK) and W16 (WAS), however.

Chad Henne (47.7)
Henne had a nice outing (307 yards, 2 TDs, INT) in a good matchup against the Raiders, and should find more success through the air this week against the Browns. In fact, the rest of his schedule is pretty nice, outside of a W14 road trip to face the Jets.

Matt Hasselbeck (14.1)
I don’t like his matchup this week (CAR), but otherwise, Hasselbeck has decent matchups to close the season.

Jason Campbell (6.6)
It looks like Bruce Gradkowski is out again, so Campbell should take over. His matchup this week is poor, but things ease up in W14 (@JAX) and W15 (DEN).

Derek Anderson (3.7)
Troy Smith (4.7)
Jake Delhomme (1.2)
Jimmy Clausen (0.9)
If you are in a situation where you’re considering picking up any of these guys, I feel for you. I really do.

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Waiver Wire Watch, Week 12: Where Maurice Morris is fantasy relevant once again

MINNEAPOLIS - SEPTEMBER 26: Running back Maurice Morris  of the Detroit Lions carries the ball against the Minnesota Vikings at Mall of America Field on September 26, 2010 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Vikings defeated the Lions 24-10. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

Every week, I highlight a few players that you should target in waivers. I use the ESPN league data when filtering players, so the only guys eligible for discussion here are those that are available on the waiver wire in at least 40% of ESPN’s leagues. I’ll list each player’s percentage-owned after their name so you have an idea of how available they are in leagues around the country. I’ll always try to mention a few players that are available in 90% of leagues for those of you in 12-team leagues or leagues with big rosters. I’ll rank them in the order I’d pick them up in a league with a high-performance scoring system.

Please note that these rankings are for total value through the end of the year. Players with particularly good matchups this week are in bold.

Shaun Hill (8.8)
In his last six full games, Hill has averaged 290 yards and 1.8 TDs, so why is he still available in 91% of ESPN leagues. He has a great matchup this week (NE) and the fantasy playoffs (@TB, @MIA) look pretty good too.

Ryan Fitzpatrick (32.4)
The Bengals weren’t a great matchup for Fitzy, but he shredded them to the tune of 316 yards and four TDs in a big comeback win. He has proven that he’s startable even in bad matchups, but Week 14 (CLE) and Week 16 (NE) look tasty, assuming the weather in Buffalo cooperates (and that’s a BIG assumption).

Josh Freeman (59.1)
Freeman has now thrown two TDs in each of his last three games, and has thrown for at least 212 yards or two TDs in nine of 10 games this season. In other words, he’s been really consistent, and with a favorable fantasy playoff schedule (@WAS, DET, SEA), he’s a nice guy to have on the roster.

Sam Bradford (28.4)
Bradford is posting the best rookie season of any QB since Matt Ryan. He had two more TDs (along with 233 yards) against the Falcons on Sunday, and has a couple of nice matchups (@DEN, @ARI) coming up. And while other QBs will be battling the elements, Bradford will be playing indoors during the entire fantasy playoffs (@NO, KC, SF).

Jon Kitna (11.7)
Kitna has posted back-to-back three-TD games in the last two weeks against a pair of pretty good pass defenses. The next two weeks (NO, @IND) are kind of tough, but Week 15 (WAS) and 16 (@ARI) are tantalizing, assuming Tony Romo is still sidelined.

Matt Cassel (43.8)
After a tremendous 469-yard, four-TD effort in Week 10, Cassel posted a solid 193 yards and two scores against the Cardinals. The schedule for the next two weeks is nice (@SEA, DEN) and he wouldn’t be a terrible start in Week 15.

David Garrard (53.3)
It wasn’t pretty, but Garrard mustered 254 yards and two scores against CLE, though he did turn the ball over four times. He has a terrible matchup this week (@NYG), but can be used in Week 14 (OAK) and Week 16 (WAS) as part of a QBBC.

Matt Hasselbeck (14.3)
He posted good numbers (366 yards, TD) in a bad matchup, and other than a semi-tough matchup against the Panthers pass D in Week 13, his schedule is quite favorable down the stretch.

Bruce Gradkowski (0.9)
He replaced the ineffective Jason Campbell and is likely to be the starter going forward. He has nice matchups in Week 14 (@JAX) and 15 (DEN).

Tyler Thigpen (0.9)
Okay, he looked pretty awful against the Bears, but everyone is struggling against Chicago’s pass defense right now. With OAK, CLE, BUF and DET up in the next five weeks, Thigpen isn’t a bad guy to use in deeper leagues.

Derek Anderson (3.8)
He hasn’t been terrible lately, throwing for one TD in each of the last four games. Other than a Week 15 game in Carolina, the schedule looks pretty nice down the stretch.

Colt McCoy (4.2)
He has accounted for one TD (two pass, one rush) in each of the last three games, but other than a Week 14 trip to Buffalo, the schedule is pretty rough.

Brian St. Pierre (0.1)
Well, the schedule is pretty nice, so there’s that…

Rusty Smith (0.0)
He’s taking over for the Titans at the right time, with the Texans and Jags up the next two weeks. Throw in another date with Houston in Week 15, and Smith could post surprisingly decent numbers down the stretch.

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