Waiver Worthy: Week 12 Fallout: Marion Barber, David Nelson and More

by Will Overton

It’s crunch time in fantasy football leagues around the world. The playoffs are going to be starting within the next couple of weeks, and for most of us the trade deadline has passed in our leagues which means the only means we have to make changes to our teams is the waiver wire.

 At this point you have to start looking at upcoming schedules along with recent statistics, because its essential to be planning for the fantasy playoffs and looking for favorable matchups. So this week we’ll look at some players who had nice games and could be waiver wire targets this week. I’ll give my take on the legitimacy of the recent successes, but also look at prospect for future success in determining if these players are ones to buy or deny.

 Cleveland Browns Receivers: I am going to lump all of the Browns Receivers in one category because none of them are really owned in many leagues and there have been a variety of Browns receivers piquing interest on the wire this year. Mohammed Massaquoi was the guy at the beginning of the year who was supposed to be lead receiver, though it hasn’t panned out. Josh Cribbs has had his moments this year where he has had some success. Yesterday a new receiver emerges in Jordan Norwood who caught 4 passes for 69 yards and a TD. And Greg Little remains the teams most consistent receiver leading the team in targets again with 13 and catching his first touchdown of the season. No one other than Little is consistent enough to warrant a look in fantasy leagues, but Little has emerged into a nice option. The problem is that with five game remaining, four of them are against the Ravens and Steelers which give the Browns one of the worst fantasy playoff schedules out there. Little is still a somewhat appealing option, and he should be a good play against the Cardinals in week 15. I would stay away from all Browns unless in a deep league, but if you have to own one, it’s gotta be Little and no one else.
Verdict: Deny ‘Em

David Nelson – WR, Buffalo Bills: Early in this season I brought up Nelson’s name in one of these waiver reports and encouraged people to buy him, and here I am doing it once again as he is still owned in just 24% of leagues. Nelson is now on pace for 65 catches, 700 yards and 7 TD’s if he stays healthy. And excepting last week’s game, in which the whole Bills team came out flat, Nelson has been playing better of late. Nelson has four or more catches in five of his last six games. He also has a TD in three of his last four. The Bills do have Stevie Johnson and he is hands down the teams number one guy, but they really like to throw the ball. The Bills lost their top running back and without a trustworthy backup they will most likely be throwing the ball and throwing it often. Four of the Bills last four opponents rank in the bottom half of the league in passing yards against so there could be a lot of success in store for Nelson.
Verdict: Buy ‘Em 

Matt Moore – QB, Miami Dolphins: I don’t think the Dolphins intended to find a starting quality QB in Matt Moore, but it certainly appears that is what they have. This past Thanksgiving Moore nearly led the Dolphins to a fourth straight win, coming up just short, while he threw for 288 yards and a TD without throwing a pick. Moore now has 7 TD’s and just 1 INT in the last four games, including two 3 TD games. Moore has also surpassed 200 yards in three of those games. And Moore also has a very favorable schedule over the final five games with matchups against New England and Buffalo’s very shaky pass defenses. They also face Oakland and Philly who are giving up some of the most TD passes in the league. If you were a Matt Schaub owner looking for a QB, or you’re worried your QB might be on the shelf the last couple games than Moore is a good option to grab.
Verdict: Buy ‘Em 

Marion Barber – RB, Chicago Bears: It was obvious today that if the Bears are going to stay in the playoff hunt they are going to need their running game to do it. Matt Forte has turned into one of the better backs in the league this season, but Marion Barber should not be forgotten about. Going into today Barber had scored in five of seven games becoming a true and legitimate goal line TD vulture.  Barber did not cross the goal line today, but he did rush the ball 10 times for 63 yards. Hanie was not clicking well with Forte and he only saw 12 carries in total. Barber won’t surpass Forte, and there won’t be a real time share either. But Barber will start seeing more carries and this might not be the last time he hits double digits in carries to go with his TD vulture ability. If you need a RB or are in a deep league Barber isn’t a bad choice, because the pickings are quite slim.
Verdict: Buy ‘Em 

Who is everyone else targeting this week on the waiver wire? Any of these guys you see as worth using a waiver claim on? Let us know your opinions, and feel free to ask any questions.

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  1. Muddy Cleats 18 says:

    hey there,
    looking for some playoff depth and was wondering about these guys:
    Phil – Cooper
    Atl – Douglas
    SF – Hunter
    SD – Brown
    also Sea Def or Tenn Def in playoffs.

    • Muddy Cleats 18 says:

      just saw Knox – CHI was available as well….

      • Will Overton says:

        Of the choices you have I like Knox the most. It looked like Hanie was very comfortable with him yesterday and he could/should be the go to guy going forward. Hanie isn’t great but he has to throw somewhere and Knox seems like his guy.

        The Titans have a couple tough games the next two weeks (Buffalo & NO), but than a couple favorable ones against Indy and Jax. Seattle though really doesn’t face a great offense other than Philly this coming week for the rest of the season. They’re really close in ability, but Tennessee may have something more to play for so I am leaning that way, just not these next two weeks.

        • Muddy Cleats 18 says:

          was looking at Tenn for weeks 15/16. I have jax in week 17 vs ind. playoffs are weeks 14-17.
          only problem is I am going to the Tenn/Indy game and it will be hard to root against the colts in person…

          • hahaha…what’s more important, fantasy or a team that will already have locked up Andrew Luck by Week 17?

            As for your waiver pick-up, I agree with Will here. I’d put Knox at the top of my list, with Douglas as the fallback option.

  2. Randy says:

    What do you think of Johnny Knox? It appears he is Chicago’s biggest playmaker and Caleb Haney’s “go to” guy, but, I know there is risk in banking that Haney can get him the ball consistently. Right now, I have Fitzgerald, Lloyd, and Miles Austin…but due to lackluster QB-ing for the first two, they are rarely in contention to have any of the “boom” peformances that Knox had yesterday.

    Also, of the list of TE candidates likely to be free agents (e.g. Celek, Gresham, Chandler, Fasano, etc)…who do you think has the best matchup this coming weekend, and how would you compare these matchups to that of Fred Davis? The bottom line is that I HAVE to win to have a shot at the playoffs, and TE is the only position remaining that I can tinker with to get the best roster.


    • Will Overton says:

      I like Knox, but I don’t think I would play him over Fitz or Lloyd. Until Austin proves he is healthy I can see playing Knox over him.

      Out of the TE’s you listed I do like Brent Celek the most, however I think Fred Davis upside makes him a slightly better play, even against the Jets. Davis is the Skins best reciever and Scott Chandler proved last week that a TE can be productive against the Jets.

    • Randy, I concur with Will here. Playing Knox over the other two is way too big of a gamble. Hanie did find him on Sunday, but who’s to say that is going to happen again? The Bears’ have misused him all year, so it is tough to suddenly expect him to be a stud option every week. The other two offer more upside, especially if Kolb does return this week.

      As for the TE, I still believe in Davis, but the TE rankings will be up tomorrow so let’s revisit this then 🙂

      • Randy says:

        I anxiously await your rankings, but if there is a sneak peak you can provide for Fred Davis vs. Celek, please let me know. We have a ‘free agency’ period this evening, and now is the ideal time to pick up Celek if it gives me the best chance to win this week (a must win to make the playoffs!) 🙂

      • I can tell you that I do have Davis ranked ahead of Celek. While Revis was beaten up in Week 12, he’ll likely come out with something to prove this week. That’s going to leave Grossman to work his RB and TE, meaning Fred Davis could be in for a big day.

  3. Ramblin' Wreck says:

    Looks like Eli Manning may have a tougher than some schedule in the fake playoffs. Who would you rather have as a back-up in a PPR, Matt Moore or Flacco? These are the only real choices on the WW and both seem to have decent match ups.

    • Will Overton says:

      Eli plays the Cowboys and Redskins in weeks 14 & 15, both matchups aren’t great, but I’d probably still use Eli for those rather than your backup options.

      Week 16 Eli faces the Jets which is tough, and I like Matt Moore that week against New England’s secondary. Vince Young just lit that group up for 400 yards.

      Than in week 17 the Giants have the Cowboys which could be a HUGE game and you have to use Eli there.

      So long story short, I like Matt Moore for that week 16 matchup when Eli faces the Jets.

  4. Muddy Cleats 18 says:

    Trying to figure out some playoff stuff…
    I have Kasay as my Kicker and he has some great matchups. Just wondering what you thought of week 14 at Tenn? Would it be better to get an indoor kicker(Hanson vs Minn) or roll with Kasay outdoors…with a not so stellar rb/wr group I try to get the most points I can from the kicker/TE/Def positions.
    BTW – dropped Pats and Jags Def and picked up Sea/Tenn defs for the playoffs weeks 14,15,16. got lucky in waivers cause everybody picking up for this week.

    • I actually like the Pats schedule for much of the rest of the season, but that’s alright.

      It’s not like Kasay is going to be kicking in Buffalo or Green Bay, so I wouldn’t go too crazy. If you have someone that you can drop to grab Hanson as well, there’s definitely no harm, though.

  5. Don says:

    I need to win this week. I have to decide between Vince Young and Matt Moore.
    I also need to choose 3 recievers. I have Vincent Jackson, Calvin Johnson, Laurent Robinson, Victor Cruz or Damien Williams.

  6. Jason says:

    In a standard Non-PPR league. I have AP and Steven Jackson, AP is hurt S.Jax has a horrible matchup. I decided to pick up a few RBs. I have to play 2 RBs out of the following: Donald Brown, Marion Barber, Toby Gerhart.
    This is a playoff push need to win game!

  7. Don – For the QB I would go with Young. As for the WR, Cruz & Calvin Johnson are must plays. The third I’d roll with Laurent Robinson. Jackson has been way too hit or miss to trust.

    Jason – Tough spot. I think you still have to take your chances with Jackson as he does offer the most upside. Gerhart is probably the other one I’d use. If you don’t want to use Jackson, I’d roll with Brown.

  8. Richard says:

    Quick question. Would you start Stevie johnson after the drops he had this past weekend? My other choices are Anquan Boldin and Damien Williams or Brent Celek. It’s a flex spot. WR/TE

  9. sam says:

    As one of two girls on a league. I need to make the playoffs. In my league we play a defensive player. We get one point for every three tackles, two points for sacks. What DP would you recommend?

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