Waiver Wire Watch: Week 9
Editor’s Note: We’re happy to announce the arrival of 4for4 Contributor Pat Fitzmaurice (formerly of Pro Football Weekly), who is working in conjunction with Senior Editor John Paulsen to compile this list of the top waiver wire pickups each week.
Here is a look at the top waiver wire pickups for Week 9. To be eligible for discussion, the player must be owned in 50% or fewer ESPN leagues, though we’ll stretch the rules a bit for the RB position, which is usually very thin. We’ll also include suggested bid prices (with a $100 budget) for those leagues that use Free Agent Acquisition Budgets. Of course, player value depends on league characteristics and team needs. Players are listed by position in order of importance. For extremely shallow or extremely deep leagues, be sure to review our Rest-of-Season Rankings (updated every Tuesday) to get an idea of how to value players not on this list.
* Players with an asterisk next to their name were mentioned in last week’s Waiver Wire Watch.
Bengals QB Andy Dalton* ($8)
Dalton has been blisteringly hot over his last three games, averaging 344.7 yards a game during that stretch and racking up 11 TD passes. The “Red Rifle” torched the Jets for 325 yards and five TDs on Sunday. Not bad for a weak-armed game manager, eh? It’s hard to tell whether this hot streak is just that — a streak — or if it portends a permanent uptick in Dalton’s career. But you don’t have to answer that question. You just have to place a high enough bid to obtain a scorching-hot quarterback. (Editor’s Note: In 2012, he had two different hot streaks: eight TDs from Week 2 to Week 4, and nine TDs from Week 9 to Week 11. He failed to throw more than one TD in nine of the 10 other games, but threw 13 interceptions in those games.)
Raiders QB Terrelle Pryor* ($4)
For weeks we’ve been touting him as a waiver-wire jewel, and yet Pryor’s ownership rate in ESPN leagues was only 25.3% as of Week 8. What do we have to do to convince you? Pound a shoe on the table Nikita Khrushchev-style? Or did Pryor’s 93-yard TD run last week do the trick? Actually, that was about all Pryor did last week. He threw for only 88 yards with no TDs and two interceptions, and he had 13 rushing yards not counting the long TD run. But a lot of that had to do with how the game evolved, with Oakland nursing a lead against Pittsburgh from the start. And obviously, so much of Pryor’s value is tied to those big runs that occur with regularity. He has two good matchups coming up, so grab him now.
Titans QB Jake Locker* ($2)
It still might be premature to conclude that Locker has turned the proverbial corner, but the signs are encouraging. He’s produced two or more TDs in four consecutive games, and three of those games were somewhat difficult defensive matchups. Locker has also completed 64.7% of his passes over his last three starts. The defensive matchups are getting easier. This seems like a good time to invest.