by Will Overton
If you’re still playing for something this week you are likely in a finals matchup or a semi-finals matchup. If that’s you, congratulations and best of luck. If you’re in that position you’re probably also not too keen on using the waiver wire to help win a title. Your stubbornness can come back and bite you though.
Matchups aren’t something, but they can mean a lot and they can make or break a championship run. For example, this week I was stubborn and chose to use Bobby Rainey who has given me a couple big performances because I thought he was the more talented running back. I still think he was the more talented running back I had to choose from, but his three points against a tough San Francisco defense really hurt me.
You don’t want to go crazy or get to cute with your matchups, but you have to consider all options at all times, even in finals week. Here are some guys who would make nice waiver wire pickups either because of opportunity or because of matchups.
Kirk Cousins – QB, Washington Redskins: Have you been winning in spite of your quarterback play so far in the playoffs? Or maybe you have someone like Carson Palmer who is about to take on the Seahawks or Matt Ryan getting ready to face the 49ers. If you need a QB off the wire, this should be one of your first options. Cousins got the start yesterday and ended up with 381 yards and 3 TD’s. You say it was just the Falcons, but next week it’s the Cowboys, an equally juicy matchup. The Skins want to show off Cousins, either to see what they have or get his stock up for an offseason trade. I wouldn’t be even a little surprised by another 300 yard and 3 TD performance from him.
Jordan Todman – RB, Jacksonville Jaguars: If you need a running back off the wire, good luck, there aren’t many options out there. This is one potential option though if MJD is out another week. Jones-Drew could play next Sunday, but the Jags might not be in a hurry to rush him back considering where they stand right now. Todman went over 100 yards on the Bills, and next week’s matchup with the Titans is nice too. The Cardinals just lit the Titans up on the ground, so you wonder if the Jags can’t do the same. Unfortunately we won’t know who is starting until next weekend probably, so if you need a back, grab Todman and hope for the best.
Julian Edelman – WR, New England Patriots: I know what you’re thinking, Julian Edelman shouldn’t be on the waiver wire. I agree, but clearly someone out there doesn’t agree, because he’s unowned in half of all leagues. Edelman just topped 100 yards for the third time in four games yesterday and he has 37 catches in his last four games. As for that stigma about him that he’s just a possession receiver? That can be tossed out the window now too since he has 4 TD’s in his last four games. Edelman is the number one target in New England now and he should be owned and played in all leagues.
Doug Baldwin – WR, Seattle Seahawks: Speaking of number one targets; Has Doug Baldwin emerged as the guy in Seattle now that Percy Harvin is done? It’s been Golden Tate considered as the de facto number one most of the year, but it’s Baldwin putting up the numbers lately. Baldwin had six catches for 71 yards and a TD yesterday. In four of his last five games he has at least 60 yards. In three of his last four games he has a TD catch. I don’t love the matchup coming up with Arizona, but I’m starting to really like Baldwin and he could be a nice WR3 in 12 team leagues and even some 10 team leagues.
Jerrel Jernigan – WR, New York Giants: Here is your deep league special of the week, really probably only applying to teams in 14 team leagues or deeper. Victor Cruz suffered both a concussion and a knee sprain in yesterday’s game and there’s already talk of him being shut down for the last two games with Giants going nowhere fast. The popular picks to step up in his place are Hakeem Nicks and Rueben Randle, but they both did nothing yesterday while Jernigan had seven catches and 67 yards. The Giants have a nice matchup with the Lions coming up and while Jernigan is likely going to be the number three WR to start out, he could be the most productive one at the end of the day.
Timothy Wright – TE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: This guy has been pretty hot and cold all year, meaning he has been picked up and dropped several times in your league probably. I’m still a believer in the Tampa tight end trapped in a wide receiver’s body. He caught seven balls for 82 yards and a TD yesterday, his second straight week with a TD. The Rams defense isn’t bad, but he was playing San Francisco yesterday and came up big. Mike Glennon really seems to have taken a liking to Wright and hopefully it translates to success this week.