We like to keep it fresh here at Waiver Wire Scoops and this week we’ll take a team-by-team approach on which players should be added in shallow and deeper leagues. We’ll also talk about which guys have downward trends and could be considered as waiver-wire fodder. To be frank (even though my name is Mike), this article is a beast and I know that a vast majority of you guys just look at the players mentioned without even reading the explanation. First of all, there is a ton of good info in these pieces and you don't know what you're missing. Secondly, I do appreciate you checking this out and I want to make it easier on you. Therefore, the players that I would usually provide will be listed at the top sorted by position. You’ll also find a number in parenthesis which indicates their value compared to the collective list (all things being equal and there isn’t a glaring need). Every player listed in the top section will have a corresponding section for his respective team.
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Tim Tebow (3)
Matt Cassel (12)
Alex Smith (16)
Curtis Painter (22)
Jackie Battle (1)
Delone Carter (2)
Earnest Graham (10)
Donald Brown (17)
Jonathan Dwyer (18)
Allen Bradford (23)
Kregg Lumpkin (24)
Jacob Hester (28)
Early Doucet (4)
Darrius Heyward-Bey (5)
Doug Baldwin (6)
Damian Williams (7)
James Jones (8)
Steve Breaston (9)
Greg Little (11)
Naaman Roosevelt (13)
Harry Douglas (14)
Jason Hill (15)
Kevin Walter (19)
Jason Avant (21)
Ben Obomanu (25)
Devin Aromashadu (26)
Jake Ballard (20)
Lance Kendricks (29)
Brandon Fells (30)
Shallow- C.J.Spiller has taken not been a major part of the offense at all after just getting two carries for 13 yards accompanied by two receptions on Sunday. He only had four carries in his previous two games combined as well. The reason why he is a suggested add is all about upside. Not to mention he does sport an impressive 7.1 YPC on his 15 totes on the year. He has been let loose in a number of leagues for owners in a shallower league in a bye-week pinch or desiring a hot player to add. Spiller would immediately become a high-level RB2 should F-Jax miss time.
Deep- Naaman Roosevelt led the Bills in targets on Sunday against a formidable Philly pass D. Roosevelt hauled in five balls for 41 yards including some of the clutch variety. He has the speed outside and is likely to be the favorite to start across Stevie Johnson in two-wide sets. Donald Jones is expected to miss up to six weeks with a high ankle sprain and Roosevelt is considered as a high-upside player to add in 14-team leagues.
Cut- David Nelson would been in the shallow-add section, but he has really fallen flat on his face. Nelson had just one catche for six yards following his stinker in Week 4. The former target monster only got two on Sunday. Roosevelt arguably has more value than Nelson at this point.
Scott Chandler should have never really been added in most leagues in the first place, but a one-catch, one-target game is your cue to let him go.
New England Patriots
Shallow- Aaron Hernandez was a post-route running machine on Sunday against the Jets. Tom Brady looked for him three times in the first quarter all on throws down the field. Hernandez finished the game with a team-high nine targets (more than Welker) and finished with 56 yards on five receptions. Hernandez has a enormous upside and is the favorite to finish second on the team in receiving yards from this point.
Not Shallow- Stevan Ridley wasn't the same back on Sunday. He wasn't hitting the hole as hard and had rookie feet in the backfield during the few times the Jets got penetration. There's a pretty good chance that Ridley's current owner is going to cut bait, but he deserves a little more leash. BenJarvus Green-Ellis had huge holes to run through all game and it's a bit unlikely he'll be able to build off his game. Ridley should remain owned in 12-team formats.
Cut- The Pats are scoring at will and have hit 30 in 13 games in a row and there’s really nobody worth cutting outside of Danny Woodhead.
New York Jets
Shallow- Only Shonn Greene, Santonio Holmes, Plaxico Burress, Dustin Keller and LaDainian Tomlinson should be owned in 10-team leagues right now.
Deep- Jeremy Kerley looks to have overtaken Derrick Mason for the WR3 role on the team. Jerry Kerl, as I affectionately call him, is a speedster out of TCU and is locked in as the punt-return man for the Jets. He scored a TD and caught all three of his targets against the Pats.
Joe McKnight was one probably my favorite player to add in deeper leagues last week with Shonn Greene looking hesistant to make decisions in attacking the hole. Greene looked a lot better and embraced the contact, which is the main reason why the Jets turned to him to begin with. McKnight has looked good and has really unearthed himself as a handcuff.
Cut- Mark Sanchez has regressed this season and the Jets are thriving in their new innovative horizontal passing game. If the Jets know what's best for them, they will have to stretch the field. Sanchez is not worth owning in 12-team leagues for his inconsistencies.
Shallow- Daniel Thomas should be owned in even six-team leagues.
Deep- Anthony Fasano might be getting some more looks as a hot-read tight end with Matt Moore stepping in under center. Of course there are probably about 20 tight ends better than him though.
Cut- Reggie Bush looked like he was primed for RB2 production after a strong preseason and Daniel Thomas resembling a long-term project. As fate would have it, Bush has been nothing of the sort with just 3.0 YPC and his role diminishing on third down. He can be cut in most leagues and trade him for a pizza or even an item on the dollar menu.
Shallow- The Ravens only really have two options that should be owned in 10-team formats: Ray Rice and Anquan Boldin.
Deep - Ed Dickson had nine catches in his last two games combined and perhaps the bye week could have him more involved in the offense. He's someone to think about for owners in deeper formats looking for a stop-gap option.
Cut- You didn't think Torrey Smith was going to evolve into a reliable option after his three-TD game, did you? If Lee Evans doesn’t play, then he could be a desperation play in deeper leagues.
Shallow- Jermaine Gresham pulled in five balls for 21 yards and a touch. It was his third score of the year and he is emerging as a low-end TE1 in most formats.
Bernard Scott is still waiting in the wings for Cedric Benson's suspension to become officially. He should remain owned in all leagues.
Deep- Many analysts, including me, were high on Jerome Simpson, but then he got high. He is slowly but surely working his way back to relevance. A.J. Green is emerging as a must-start option, but Simpson wasn't too shabby with seven targets for 40 yards on Sunday. Simpson did have nine targets in the opener and is looking like an decent bye-week option in 14-team leagues.
Cut- Andre Caldwell shouldn't have been added in the first place, but Simpson is the WR2 on this team.
Shallow- Hines Ward had a team-high eight targets on his way to the two touchdowns in the dominating win over Tennessee. He hasn't been the same guy as previous years, but Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders haven't made noticeable strides. Hansel is a low-upside guy that could be useful over the next month.
Deep- Jonathan Dwyer was a popular deeper sleeper coming out of Georgia Tech (by me anyway) and nothing really came to fruition. On Sunday the Yellow Jacket galloped 74 yards on his first carry and finished with 107 yards on 11 carries. The outburst boosted his career YPC to 6.8 on 20 carries. Very niice. The Steelers already announced that Mendenhall would retain his featured-back status once he is healthy, so Dwyer is nothing more than a handcuff.
Cut- Isaac Redman is very unlikely to become a featured back after the emergence of J. Dwyer.
Shallow- Montario Hardesty is already on his way to becoming a commitee back to Peyton Hillis. There were also reports last week that Hillis could be requesting a trade. Sure, the rumors are fairly unsubstantiated, but even an eternal optimist couldn't spin that positively for Hillis.
Deep - Pat Shurmur announced that Greg Little has won the starting X job for the Browns and will play out of the slot in three-wide sets. Nobody on the Browns has done anything of note to this point, but the fact that Colt McCoy put it up 61 times indicates that there could be some potential value for some potential person. Potentially. Little hasn't done much following his preseason, he does have some decent upside and is worth owning in 14-team leagues.
Cut- Did you know the only four teams not to make it to the Super Bowl are the Jaguars, Lions, Texans and Browns? Is this relevant? No.
Shallow - It sounds like Andre Johnson could be back this week. Therefore, the only guys worth owning in 10-team leagues are Johnson, Arian Foster, Owen Daniels, Ben Tate and Matt Schaub.
Deep - Kevin Walter asserted himself as the second-best WR on the Texans with 81 yards and a score on Sunday. His TD was designed to go to him on a five-yard in and he was fairly reliable by catching five of his six targets.
Shallow- Nate Washington has yet to make a splash with just 62- and 69-yard games since Kenny Britt suffered a torn ACL. Be patient, folks. Washington had eight targets on Sunday and an explosion is imminent. I assure you. Jared Cook is also a guy that should be owned in 12-team leagues.
Chris Johnson pulled his hamstring during the blowout against the Steelers. CJ2K added he would have went back in the game, but it was out of hand. Javon Ringer should be added as a handcuff.
Not Shallow- Damian Williams had an astonishing 11 targets on Sunday to propel him into the 12-team league neighborhood. He did score a TD in Week 4, but the lack of targets he him a guy to ignore in most formats. Not anymore. If a guy gets more than 10 targets on a team with some questions at WR, then there's only one thing to do... Add him.
Cut- The Titans D was torched by Big Ben for five touchdowns. Their front seven is above average, but guys like Jason McCourty can't cover.
Shallow- It’s Jacksonville. They’re 29th in total offense and 32nd in passing yards. Maurice Jones-Drew is the only guy worth owning in shallow formats with Mike Thomas as a borderline option as well.
Deep- Jason Hill came out like gangbusters on Sunday to the tune of five catches for 126 yards. Hill got open on a post pattern for a 74-yard score and showed his ability to separate while the ball is in the air. He will forever be linked to saying Darrelle Revis is "overhyped", but he’s someone that 14-team owners should not and think about grabbing him.
Cut-Deji Karim was a popular player to add in the preseason with MJD’s balky knee raising a red flag. Even those his meniscus is worn down, MJD looks great and is the only thing the Jags have going. Not to mention Karim hasn’t done much with a 2.0 YPC on the season.
Shallow- Delone Carter figures to be the lead back with Joseph Addai possibly missing the next month with a hamstring issue. Carter hasn’t really done much on the season to this point by failing to eclipse the 50-yard mark in any game this season and has only a 3.0 YPC average. In case you haven’t noticed, the Colts are 0-5 and they will be looking ahead to their future and see what they have in the Syracuse product. He and Donald Brown will likely split the duties in some capacity; however, Carter is the overwhelming favorite to have breakout capabilities.
If you need you to tell me Pierre Garcon needs to be added, chances are you're struggling this year.
Deep- Running backs are hard to come by in deeper leagues, so Donald Brown Is worth a scoop for those looking at trash on their wire.
San Diego Chargers
Shallow- Thanks largely due to Champ Bailey and the Broncos focusing on Vincent Jackson, Malcom Floyd was able to bust up the Broncos for 100 yards and a score. Floyd got a team-high seven targets and would have had a bigger day if not for one big play getting called back for a penalty. Antonio Gates may or may not return for Week 7 (Week 6 is a bye), which would have an impact on the Floyd’s value. He should be owned in just about every league until Gates proves he is healthy.
Possible Team Name: Malcom Tents
Deep- Jacob Hester got 11 carries on Sunday with Mike Tolbert dealing with concussion symptoms and Ryan Mathews fighting through a calf injury. He was able to muster a respectable 4.3 YPC against the weak Denver run D and made a case to the coaching staff he is capable of being a complementary piece. The Chargers are on a bye and it’s a bit unlikely that Mathews or Tolbert miss time.
Cut- Randy McMichael hasn’t done much in the absence of Gates and there’s no reason to hold onto him as the bye week strikes in Week 6.
Shallow- The Oakland receiving corps has been quite the headache this year. Darrius Heyward-Bey is the current flavor of the month with his back-to-back big games. DHB got a team-high 12 targets on his way to 99 yards and a TD on Sunday. He has leapfrogged Jacoby Ford and Denarius Moore for having the most value. I do believe Jacoby Ford should be owned in most leagues as well with his seven targets on Sunday. It’s easy to see the Raiders still believe in him with the creative ways they try to get him the ball. Don’t forget that Hue Jackson said he expected Ford to grab 80 balls in the preseason. That’s not happening though.
Deep- There’s not much to discuss here. Your waiver wire may have a better option than…
Cut- Denarius Moore became the newer version of Ghost to the Post by laying a goose egg on Sunday and he even fumbled a punt. A garbage-time TD salvaged his day last week and it’s clear that the return of Ford has hindered his prospects.
Shallow- Jackie Battle made his claim down the stretch by jamming the ball down the throats of the Colts to complete his day of 119 yards on 19 carries. The Kansas City Star reported earlier last week (which I posted on Twitter) that Battle had a chance of emerging as the lead back. Well, he did and it’s time to pick him up in most formats for his upside.
Deep- Steve Breaston might have been inspired by the recent play of the Wolverines as he hit paydirt twice on his four catches for 50 yards. This is most likely to be his best game this season. On the other hand, no other wide receiver was targeted more than two times outside of Bowe and Breaston. The Chiefs have been a disaster before last week. What a difference two weeks makes though. Breaston has a low upside and a lot of people in shallower leagues might overreact in grabbing him.
Matt Cassel has also built up some value. A four-TD game will do that.
Cut- It’s the last year of Thomas Jones’ contract. I’ll bet you the amount of money of his next deal that the Chiefs won’t be bringing him back. I’m kidding of course. Battle probably has the inside track at goal-line carries and should also lead the team in attempts.
Shallow- It’s Tebow Time. He’s not the next Cam Newton, so don’t bend of backwards and add him over guys like Jackie Battle (unless you’re in dire straits for a QB). After watching the game again I noticed that Tebow only went past his second read just once. The other times he scrambled even without the presence of pressure. The Broncos are likely going to utilize more max-protect plays to give him less options and more time to throw the ball.
Deep- Brandon Fells could become a favorite option of Tebow. Fells has clearly been the best option at tight end over guys like Julius Thomas and Dante Rosario.
Cut- Kyle Orton’s days are numbered and Purdue will no longer be the leader with three starting quarterbacks in the league (Brees and Painter).
Shallow- For some reason Ryan Torain is only owed in 74 percent of ESPN leagues. He has the most short-term value, but the propensity to suffer a season-ending injury makes him an eternal sell-high guy. Tim Hightower and Roy Helu should remain owned in most formats due to this being such a volatile situation.
Deep- Jabar Gaffney might be the least sexy player to add in all leagues, but he has been a sizable part of the offense. He has cleared 50 yards in all four games and has a respectable 17 receptions on the year. Changing gears to tight end, despite the ugly numbers in his last two, Fred Davis should be owned in most leagues as well.
Cut- Don’t be quick to cut Helu and Hightower unless it is for a player with a nice ceiling. Sistine Chapel style.
Shallow- Victor Cruz is riding high right now. Although, the ball is riding low with the way he coughs it up and he's not invincible. Cruz really has to be owned in all leagues following his recent outbursts. Maybe I’m being stubborn, but I’d rather own Manningham. Mario did have more targets until Cruz busted out late in the game. Cruz finished with 11 and Manningham had nine. Both should be owned in all leagues until the smoke clears.
Deep- Jake Ballard has jumped ahead of Travis Beckum as Eli’s favorite TE target. Monster Ballard (I hope that name catches on) has scored in his last two games and is someone to consider during the bye weeks.
Cut-There really isn’t much on this team that has seen their value decrease enough to cut them. I’ll ride with Manningham until Kevin Gilbride says otherwise.
Shallow-Miles Austin tweeted he’s ready to roll. Who the hell needs an MRI with that? There is really nobody outside Felix Jones, Miles Austin, Dez Bryant, Tony Romo and Jason Witten that should be owned in 10-team action.
Deep-If you don’t believe in Twitter, then Miles Austin practiced on Monday. Laurent Robinson is clearly the WR3 on the team. Use that info any way you like. DeMarco Murray hasn’t done anything to prove he is the handcuff and should make an impact. That means that Tashard Choice is the second option.
Cut- Kevin Ogletree and Jesse Holley. You knew that though.
Shallow- It’s overwhelmingly clear that the NFC East is the crappiest division to write about when it comes to players to add off the wire.
Deep- Jason Avant was yet another U of M wide receiver that looked like he had M supporting him. Avant hauled in nine catches en route to 139 in the loss to the Bills. He is not going to be a safe guy to play in just about every league with Jackson and Maclin safely entrenched at the one and two. Steve Smith is also luring in the slot. In all seriousness, the league is passing more than ever, so why can’t we handcuff wide receivers?
Cut- Ronnie Brown didn’t have a carry on Sunday while Dion Lewis had two. If McCoy goes down, there will likely be a time-share scenario. There’s no reason to handcuff Brown to a committee back.
Shallow- Brandon Pettigrew is quickly emerging as one of the better tight ends in the league. The Lions use him down the field as well as screens to the tight end. He has 27 targets in his last three games and is clearly the second option in the offense. Any chance we can call him Starscream?
Deep- Titus Young is on his way to passing Nate Burleson at the WR2 spot. Young has shown some nice ability to get open and bust zone coverage. Keiland Williams has also made it abundantly clear that he is the handcuff to grab for the oft-injury Jahvid Best.
Cut- Nate Burleson is in a fantastic position, but sometimes the right position isn’t always everything... That’s what she said.There has to be someone on a 14-team waiver wire with more upside than the Nevada product.
Shallow- James Jones is a talented dude and to be honest I was planning on drafting him in every league this year. Sadly, he signed with Green Bay, thus eliminating any chance he had of become a go-to target. The Packers are so loaded at WR that I can safely say every single one drafted was a reach in every league or mock I have done this year (over 200). Jones does have scores in back-to-back games, so add him if the mood so strikes you.
Deep- Shaky Smithson. He’s not a player to add, but he certainly has a really cool name.
Cut- The Packers are who we thought they were.
Shallow- Jay Cutler only had four picks on the season and it’s almost a miracle that he didn’t turn over the rock on Monday Night Football with all the pressure in his face. He’s a decent QB to start in some circumstances.
Deep- Dane Sanzenbacher led the team in targets thanks to three looks in a row as the Bears move the ball down the field at the end of the game. Sanzenbacher finished with six catches for 64 yards and looks to be the best option among the Chicago wide receivers for fantasy. That is really like winning the tallest midget contest though.
Cut- Any Chicago skill player that doesn’t wear 22.
Shallow- Don’t cut Percy Harvin.
Deep- Devin Aromashodu became Donovan Mc5’s favorite option down the field and tried to hit him on fly routes on several occasions. He had 81 yards on his two catches and five targets on Sunday. McNabb still can throw a great deep ball and D.M. has the highest upside after Percy Harvin. He’s still not worth owning in the vast majority of leagues.
Cut- 28 and 12 are the only two guys that figure to have value in one of the worst offenses in the league.
New Orleans Saints
Shallow- The Saints are rolling with a three-headed monster at running back. All three are worth owning in most competitive leagues and should be ranked as follows: Darren Sproles, Mark Ingram and Pierre Thomas. Thomas will need an injury to Ingram or Sproles to ever crack the top-35 backs for the weekly rankings.
Deep- Jimmy Graham has really dominated Drew Brees’ attention. Based on that, Saints receivers on the wire are likely on it for a reason. They should be ranked: Marques Colston, Lance Moore, Robert Meachem and Devery Henderson. Aren't ranking fun?
Cut- Meachem and especially Henderson are safe to cut in most leagues.
Shallow- Raheem Morris stated that he is expecting starter LeGarrettte Blount to sit on Sunday against the first-place Saints. Earnest Graham figures to be the new lead dog with his experience and skills as a receiver. Believe it or not, Graham leads the team in receptions and YAC. The Bucs are likely to trail for this game and will likely need to lean on Graham for screens and swing passes.
Deep- Allen Bradford got five carries in his first game as a pro. He’s more of the prototypical back at 235 pounds and 5’11 and could run away with the job. He’ll need a lot to go his way, but at least the USC product has a nice matchup. Kregg Lumpkin has the opposite of a cool name and it sounds like something one would link to a partner as a sign of disrespect. I can see someone saying, "Oh her? Nah man, I lumpkin’d her the other night." Right?
Shallow- Harry Douglas could become quite the asset in the event of Julio Jones missing time with a bum hammy. Douglas is a speedster that can be used to stretch the D. That ability should help allow Roddy White to roam through zones and leaving defensive coordinators a bit apprehensive in putting eight in the box. He could be a nice spot-start option against the Panthers.
Deep- Jacquizz Rodgers and Jason Snelling are likely to spilt the duties as handcuffs. The higher upside does go to Rodgers for his youth and explosiveness.
Cut- Michael Turner, Roddy White and Julio Jones are a top-five trio at the skill positions. There isn’t much behind them though.
Shallow-Greg Olsen has scored in three consecutive games. He’s a low-end TE1.
Deep- I touched on Legedu Naanee last week and he followed up by leading the team in targets this week. He’s far from a guy you’ll start with confidence and he has Brandon LaFell breathing down his neck for the starting gig. Cam Newton is airing it out for three receiving options to have value in deeper leagues though (Smith and Olsen).
Cut- Carolina’s rushing attack isn’t exactly made from bits of real panther. Despite the slow starts, don’t cut DeAngelo and Stewart.
San Francisco 49ers
Shallow- Kendall Hunter has assured the fantasy world that he is Frank Gore’s handcuff. Gore has a knack for getting hurt Hunter should be owned in most leagues.
Michael Crabtree has every opportunity to step up his game now that Braylon Edwards and Josh Morgan are out of commission. He’s a low-end WR2 this week at Detroit.
Deep-Alex Smith is busting out as a decent bye-week play and appears to have a grasp on Jim Harbaugh’s system. He is equipped with a stellar defense and it looks like he and his tiny hands have been coached up not to be so careless with ball.
Ted Ginn is likely going to start against the Lions. If you have the guts to start him, I hope you tried out for that Nickelodeon game show like 15 years ago (called Guts). Kyle Williams should also get some extra snaps and will probably get more targets than Ginn. Ginn’s big-play ability makes him the guy though.
Cut-I’ll assume nobody is holding out hope that Anthony Dixon is going to pass Kendall Parker on the depth chart.
Shallow- Doug Baldwin found his way onto Waiver Wire Scoops earlier in the year and now he’s back with a vengeance. Baldwin stole the show like the Baldwin brothers wish they could by catching eight of his nine targets for 136 yards and a score. He’s an undrafted rookie from Stanford and has looked very good in exploiting soft coverage to this point. That could change now that he is on the defensive coordinators’ radar and could get some bump-and-run pressure. If there’s a dud on your roster that is driving you nuts, then go ahead and make the switch (you can ask me on Twitter to confirm on dropping said dud).
Deep- Ben Obomanu surprisingly led the team in targets and even showed off his lame TD dance on Sunday. Obomanu is a capable slot receiver and the Hawks should be utilizing the pass more now that it’s clear they can’t run the ball after five weeks. Obomanu is for leagues deeper than 16 teams.
Cut- There’s a pretty good chance that only Sidney Rice and Marshawn Lynch are the only two Hawks owned in your league. Don’t cut those guys.
Shallow- Early Doucet was on Waiver Wire Scoops last week (and I didn’t see him on any other major site), so what does he do? Oh just 16 targets that yielded eight catches for 92 yards. He is lapping Andre Roberts for the starting gig opposite Larry Fitzgerald. He making great strides and he should have scored on Sunday as well (penalty called it back). He was a 14-team guy least week and he’s on the brink of being 10-team worthy in some formats.
Deep- LaRod Stephens-Howling is healthy and figures to be the best option behind Beanie Wells. Wells was questionable coming into Sunday and he’s one of the most injury-prone backs in the league. The Cardinals are going to be playing from behind a whole lot and LSH should lead the team in reps sans Wells.
Cut- Andre Roberts was the WR2 to start the year. Alfonso Smith also takes a backseat with LSH ready to rock.
Shallow- Danario Alexander looks to be the odds-on favorite to be the best wide receiver on St. Louis.
Deep- Lance Kendricks is still someone to keep an eye on in deeper leagues. He has a bad case of the drops and hopefully the bye week did him some good. Bradford needs a tight end to succeed and Kendricks is capable of being that guy.
Cut- Cadillac Williams has already been hurt. It’s all downhill from there.
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