Fantasy Football Week 9: Waiver wire pickups

As we begin the second half of the season, injuries are becoming more and more prevalent throughout the league so it is imperative that you choose players off of waivers carefully and be mindful of their match-ups. If you are in 10 and 12 player leagues, a lot of you are 4-4 or 3-5 and need to begin making a move before you find yourself on the outside looking in. It’s also a time to clean house and consider dropping early round draft picks that have not panned out.

Take Steelers RB Rashard Mendenhall for example. Not only has he played but three games this season, but he’s found himself in a very crowded backfield, which includes Isaac Redman and Jonathan Dwyer. And here’s a stat for you Mendenhall owners out there who are still waiting for that ‘big game’ from him; he has only rushed for more than 100 yards in a game twice since December 5, 2010! Now that we’ve got your attention here are this week’s pickups…

 Titus Young-WR-Lions- Since Nate Burleson is now out for the rest of the season, Young has more than admirably filled in for the veteran exploding for 100 receiving yards and two touchdowns last week against a pretty good defense in the Seahawks. He was targeted nine times and caught nine passes! Does it get much better than that? In his last two weeks he has 15 receptions for 181 yards and two scores and now he’ll go up against a Jags defense that is 22nd in the league vs the pass. He is currently 58% owned in ESPN leagues and around 40% in most others. For those Jordy Nelson owners not sure if he’ll play this weekend, Young could be a decent replacement, especially in PPR leagues.

Carson Palmer-QB-Raiders- We’re not sure why Palmer isn’t more widely owned especially when compared with other quarterbacks who are putting up similar or less impressive numbers as he is. For example, Tony Romo has thrown for 132 more yards than Palmer but has more interceptions (13) than Palmer (5). Their fantasy points are similar (Palmer has 4 more than Romo), but Romo is owned in 90% of leagues while Palmer stands at 49%. The Raiders’ veteran QB has thrown for around 300 yards or more in four of the seven games this year so you know he can still bring it. And if you look at the remaining schedule, some of the teams he’ll face are just calling out his name; K.C., N.O.,T.B., Carolina, and S.D. Need a replacement for Eli in week 11? Carson will be facing the 4th worse defense in football, the Saints, at the Black Hole. Read more…

Avoid drafting these 10 potential Fantasy Football busts

Photo: Marc Serota/Getty Images

1. Reggie Bush-RB- Dolphins- Whenever his name comes up, not long after, the word ‘injury’ undoubtedly follows. Although last season was an anomaly for Bush, he did manage to miss 20 games over the 2010 and 2009 seasons. He rushed for 1086 yards and 6 TDs last season but can you sleep at night without wondering if or when another injury could impede his season? Is his 6 TD’s worth that kind of worry?

2. Rashard Mendenhall-RB-Steelers- My rule of thumb when it comes to running backs coming off of ACL or MCL or any major injury is “let the buyer beware.” Mendenhall is such a back. He tore his right ACL in week 17 and more than likely will begin the season on the PUP list. He wasn’t having a great season before his injury and without knowing how viable a RB he’ll be this year, try to avoid drafting the sexy name, and seek another option instead.

3. Josh Freeman-QB-Buccaneers- Freeman and the next potential bust, Vincent Jackson almost go hand in hand. Mark Sanchez wasn’t the only QB to regress last year. Freeman managed to finish the season with the league’s second most picks, 22 against 16 TDs. Rookie sensation Doug Martin, (one of our Rookie’s to consider this season), will be making up the majority of an already lackluster offense in Tampa Bay; taking some of the pressure off of Freeman. Unfortunately when games get out of hand, he’ll be forced to air it out and that’s when INT’s begin to mount up. Stay clear.

Read the rest of the list here…

Runningback backups you should have on your Fantasy roster

One need only look at the injury riddled year it was for running backs in 2011 to see how handcuffing a backup could save your season. Just look at the names of some of the backs that suffered an injury which in most cases required surgery:

Jamaal Charles-Chiefs- Torn left ACL

Adrian Peterson-Vikings- Torn left ACL; Meniscus Damage

Rashard Mendenhall-Steelers- Torn right ACL

Jahvid Best-Lions- Multiple concussions (missed 10 games in 2011)

Beanie Wells-Cardinals- Right knee surgery

Knowshon Moreno-Broncos- Torn right ACL

Mark Ingram-Saints- Turf toe; Knee injury (played in only 10 games in 2011)

Consider this; how many times does a QB get hit or sacked in a game? How many times does a wideout get tackled in a game? And then, how many times does a featured back get tackled in a game? Clearly the RB gets the most hits because he controls the ball longer and gets the most carries of anyone on the team. The QB, of course handles the ball on every play but he has protection from his linemen and does not hold  it for any length of time. So with this scenario it’s logical that the RB will suffer the most injuries of any player on the field. Read more here…