by Will Overton
The fantasy playoffs are right around the corner and there is no more important time to use the waiver wire correctly than right now. You can’t make moves just for the sake of making a move, but you need to be on top of things in order to male the right moves at the right time.
More than ever, matchups play a huge role in who you pick up from the wire, almost more than talent at times. Early in the season you assume talent wins out, but now a better player against a better defense doesn’t always make the most sense.
I have highlighted six guys who are on a majority of the waiver wires out there who could make for a nice grab this week:
Willis McGahee – RB, Cleveland Browns: Let’s get something out of the way now, I am not a fan of McGahee. I think he’s mostly washed up, with just enough still left in the tank to be of some value for the next two weeks. On Sunday McGahee was once against the Browns leading rusher, showing us they aren’t totally done with him yet. McGahee had 57 yards on 14 carries with a TD for what is his best performance of the year so far. He’s going to continue to split carries, but over the next two weeks he takes on the Patriots and Bears, two of the worst run defenses in the league. These might be the last two weeks he has value, but if you need a back he could be your guy.
Montee Ball – RB, Denver Broncos: With Knowshon Moreno dealing with a bone bruise the workload at running back was split for Denver. Moreno took the bulk of the carries, but Ball got 13 carries and turned it into 117 yards. So far this season Ball has gotten most of his work in the fourth quarter of blowouts. This time though he was playing in big moments against a good defense and having a heck of a day. Moreno will continue to be the featured back in Denver, but Ball might have earned himself a more active role the last few weeks.
Julian Edelman – WR, New England Patriots: The production of the Patriots receivers has been a bit all over the place with no one outside of Rob Gronkowski having consistent value. Right now Edelman is the main man for the receivers though. Edelman caught nine passes on 12 targets for 101 yards, his second straight week leading the receivers in targets and catching nine passes. Edelman has been up and down, but he’s back up now and New England has a very favorable schedule for the fantasy playoffs.
Andre Holmes – WR, Oakland Raiders: Talk about coming out of nowhere, Andre Holmes broke onto the scene Thursday for the Raiders catching seven passes for 136 yards as the far and away leading receiver that day for Oakland. It may feel a little fluky with him coming out of nowhere like this, but if you watched the game he looked legit. The Raiders get the Jets this week which sounds tough, but they are much worse against the pass then the run. Holmes could be a that breakout flier on the waiver wire who changes the course of the fantasy playoffs.
Heath Miller – TE, Pittsburgh Steelers: The once popular fantasy tight end has now become an under the radar fantasy option who is going largely unnoticed. This last week Miller caught eight passes for 86 yards. He now has 21 catches combined in his last three weeks. While he has only found the end zone one time this season, it feels like just a matter of time and he had a TD overturned on Thursday. Miami isn’t great against tight ends and so Miller could be a nice play this week and going forward. The Steelers seem to be committed to throwing the ball often right now and Miller is going to benefit from it.
Dennis Pitta – TE, Baltimore Ravens: Early on this season it looked like this would be a completely lost season for Dennis Pitta, but all the sudden it sounds like he could be back this week. Pitta had a really solid rapport going with Joe Flacco last season and the team needs a second option to go with Torrey Smith, especially a goal line option which Pitta is. He would’ve been a top ten tight end to start this season so he could be a huge grab if he comes back healthy.