Waiver Worthy Week 5: Buy ‘Em or Deny ‘Em

There were some surprising performances from Week 3, but does that mean the players are worth owning?  Let’s take a look:

Shaun Hill – Detroit Lions – Quarterback
It was an impressive day, going 34-54 for 331 yards, 2 TD and 2 INT.  It was his second 300+ yard day of the season and the third consecutive game he has attempted at least 43 passes.  Is that really what anyone envisioned from the Lions offense in 2010?

The bigger thing to look at is that Matthew Stafford is closing in a return to the field.  While the word is there is a possibility of him returning in Week 5, it is hard to imagine him coming back before the Week 7 bye week.  That means two more weeks of Hill, most likely, who is clearly being given the opportunity to produce.  If you are in a two-quarterback format he’s worth owning while he’s a starter, but he’s not going to be the QB once Stafford is healthy.

Depending on your other options, he’ll be worth using against the Rams in Week 5.
Verdict – Deny ‘Em

Ryan Torain – Washington Redskins – Running Back
There had already been rumblings that Clinton Portis’ grasp on the Redskins starting job was slipping away.  Now, a groin injury may have simply accelerated the process.

Torain looked good yesterday, going for 70 yards and a touchdown, and could begin seeing more and more carries in the offense even if Portis is not forced to miss some time.  Just consider that his 70 yards yesterday was a higher total then Portis had had in any game thus far in 2010 (his high was 63 in Week 1).

Running backs are tough to come by, so grabbing Torain now would be an intelligent move.
Verdict – Buy ‘Em

Sam Bradford – St. Louis Rams – Quarterback
He threw for 289 yards, a new career high, along with 2 TD and 1 INT.  He’s out produced what was expected of him, especially given the receiving corps he’s working worth and has at least one touchdown in all four games this season.

However, before we get too excited, he’s also thrown at least one interception every week and has not played against the cream of the NFL.  He’s a rookie and will remain inconsistent (as we have seen with all the interceptions), making it difficult to trust him.

In two-quarterback leagues I could see it, especially since he’s all but guaranteed his job the remainder of the way.  I wouldn’t want him as a starter, however.
Verdict – Deny ‘Em

Ryan Fitzpatrick – Buffalo Bills – Quarterback
The Bills cut Trent Edwards, handing the keys to the castle over to Fitzpatrick for the rest of the season.  The team in general looked terrible against the Jets this week, and Fitzpatrick really was no exception.  Yeah, he had two touchdowns, but in 27 attempts he had just 128 yards (12 completions).

He was better in Week 3 against the Patriots, throwing for 247 yards, 2 TD and 2 INT, but is that really enough to impress us?

Like Bradford, in two quarterback formats he’s worth owning, but that’s about it.
Verdict – Deny ‘Em

Chris Ivory – New Orleans Saints – Running Back
With Pierre Thomas and Reggie Bush out, Ivory was asked to step in and share carries with Ladell Betts to fill the running back spot.  Ivory was the more impressive runner, picking up 67 yards on 12 carries (Betts had 47 yards and 13 carries, but added 4 receptions for 23 yards).

However, there are three factors working against him:

  1. This is a Saints offense that is always going to be geared more towards the pass
  2. Pierre Thomas is not expected to be out for a significant amount of time
  3. Ivory didn’t get the most carries in this game and the Saints are a team that always spread the ball around

That’s just too much working against him, isn’t it?  Neither Betts nor Ivory are going to be worth adding at this point.
Verdict – Deny ‘Em

Brandon Pettigrew – Detroit Lions – Tight End
He has developed into the go to receiver for Shaun Hill.  Yesterday he had eight receptions for 91 yards (he tied for the team lead with 11 targets).  Over the last three weeks he has 22 catches for 243 yards.

The one big negative is that he hasn’t scored a TD yet, but you have to think that it will come in time.  The former first round draft pick certainly has the talent to be a must use option from week-to-week, and after a disappointing rookie campaign he is finally beginning to put things together.

In fact, in his rookie year he had just 30 receptions and only twice more then four in a week.  It’s hard to say that he’s become a must own option, but if your tight end is on a bye week, he’s certainly worth using as the fill-in.
Verdict – Buy ‘Em

David Nelson – Buffalo Bills – Wide Receiver
He exploded for four catches for 75 yards.  Does anyone really care?  He had gone without a catch the past two weeks and really has no upside.  There’s no reason to even consider him at this point.
Verdict – Deny ‘Em

Derrick Ward – Houston Texans – Running Back
He left the Giants a few years back to join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where it was thought that he would see the bulk of the carries and develop into a must use fantasy option.  He was coming off 1,000 yard campaign, despite sharing touches with Brandon Jacobs after all.  That didn’t happen, however, and now Ward has reemerged as a reserve for the Houston Texans.

He had a great game yesterday, getting 12 carries for 80 yards and a touchdown, but he’s never going to overtake Arian Foster (16 carries, 131 yards, 1 TD) on the depth chart.  It’s just hard to imagine him making much of an impact on a weekly basis to justify stashing him.  He has been awful as of late (409 yards on 114 carries in ’09 and only 4 yards in the three prior games).

He did a good job of taking advantage of Foster’s absence in the first quarter (he was sat down for missing a team meeting), and maybe he earned more touches, but it’s not enough to change my perception of him.
Verdict – Deny ‘Em

Bruce Gradkowski – Oakland Raiders – Quarterback
He threw for 278 yards, 2 TD and 2 INT in Week 4, as he continues to show that a quarterback can move the ball in the Raiders offense.  This was the first time he completed more then 50% of his passes (24-39), and has 4 TD and 4 INT on the season, however.

Those aren’t very encouraging numbers, are they?  With a less then stellar receiving corps, this offense is going to run through Darren McFadden most of the year.  Gradkowski’s hold on the job is not guaranteed either, with Jason Campbell waiting on the sideline.

Like the other QB on this list, he’s only worth considering if you are in a two-quarterback format at this point.
Verdict – Deny ‘Em

What are your thoughts on these players?  Who would you pick up?  Who would you avoid?

Make sure to check out the rest of our Week 5 Rankings:

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