Top 10 Waiver Wire Pickups for Fantasy Championship Week

Top 10 waiver wire pickups for Fantasy Championship Week

12/18/12 in NFL   |   Matthew_Shovlin   |   735 respect

If you're looking forward to reading this right now, congratulations - you're probably in your fantasy league's championship. I'm sure it's been a long season of ups and downs, loaded with injury scares and stressful waiver wire decisions. It's particularly difficult for me to write this column this week, as I was just booted from my playoffs in the most heart wrenching fashion - I lost by 1.92 points as a result of Chris Johnson's 94-yard TD run on Monday night, and would have crushed any other team in my league. Anyway, I'll still take a look at the players available in most leagues and let you know who the top options are:

Quarterbacks
Blog Photo - Top 10 Waiver Wire Pickups for Fantasy Championship Week
Russell Wilson (SEA): 
I told you all to pick up Russell Wilson if you needed a quarterback last week, and I think anyone who listened to me owes me a gift basket or something. Wilson went off against the Bills and had one of his best games as a pro, racking up 205 passing yards, 92 rushing yards, and four total touchdowns. He's been a QB1 worthy quarterback in five of the past seven weeks, and will be a borderline QB1 option this week, despite facing the stingy 49ers defense.

Sam Bradford (STL): Bradford had what may have been his best game of the season as well last week, putting up 377 yards and three touchdowns against the Vikings. He'll be hard pressed to throw the ball 55 times (as he did on Sunday) on a regular basis, but if he's going to do it again, he'll have a great chance this week against the Buccaneers. The Bucs have a high powered offense, the top ranked run defense, and the bottom ranked pass defense - a perfect formula for Bradford to sling it all game. He'll be risky, but if you're really in need of a quarterback, he'll be a decent play.

Tim Tebow (NYJ): Most of the world is split regarding their opinions of Tim Tebow, but one thing you can not deny is that he puts up some nice fantasy numbers when he gets a chance to play. With reports coming from the Jets' beat writers that there's "no way (Sanchez) starts," Tebow has a good chance of getting the nod. With his ability to run the football and be effective in the red zone, Tebow will be a solid option for quarterback needy teams and those of you in two-quarterback leagues, assuming he starts for the Jets.

UPDATE: The Jets have named Greg McElroy the starting quarterback for Sunday's game. Tebow is no longer worth picking up.

Running Backs

DeAngelo Williams (CAR): 
There's a good chance he's already been picked up (or was never dropped) in your league, but he's still available in 41% of Yahoo leagues so I figured I'd throw him on the list. Williams had his best game of the year on Sunday against the Chargers' 7th ranked run defense, and will now host the Raiders, who have given up 4.5 yards per carry and 17 rushing touchdowns this season. Williams ran for 93 yards and caught two passes for 51 yards and a touchdown against the Chargers. With Jonathan Stewart unlikely to return this week due to a high ankle sprain, Williams will be a solid fantasy option against the lousy Raiders.


Jackie Battle (SD): With Ryan Mathews breaking another collarbone, someone is going to have to get touches out of the Chargers' backfield, and that someone is likely to be Jackie Battle. Battle's upside is limited because he really can't do anything besides run straight through a hole, but he's a reliable goal line option and should see a good handful of carries if the Chargers can keep the game close against the Jets this week.

Shane Vereen (NE): This is a super risky one, because no one besides Bill Belichick himself really knows whether or not Stevan Ridley is stuck in the doghouse. Ridley played only one snap after fumbling in the third quarter on Sunday - his second fumble in the past two games. However, Ridley is very rarely involved in passing situations, so his lack of playing time could have been due to the fact that the Patriots were in comeback mode. If Ridley does end up in the doghouse, Vereen would likely be the primary back against the Jaguars this week. Although Danny Woodhead got most of the work against the 49ers, that's because you can't run up the middle on the them - you can certainly run up the middle against the Jaguars.

Wide Receivers
Dec 16 2012; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Jacoby Jones (12) returns a punt in the fourth quarter of the game against the Denver Broncos at M&T Bank Stadium. The Broncos defeated the Ravens 34-17. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Jacoby Jones (BAL): 
Torrey Smith was diagnosed with a concussion on Sunday, so his status for this week's game against the Giants is up in the air. If he is sidelined, Jones will get the start opposite Anquan Boldin and fill the same deep threat role that Smith usually plays. The Giants are among the best teams to play against as far as fantasy receivers go, so Jones is certainly worth a pickup if you're thin at wide receiver.

Rod Streater (OAK): I'm thrilled that I get to have Streater on this list, as he plays for my favorite team and spent his college days at Temple with me. I promise you, however, that this is not a biased suggestion. The waiver wire is extremely thin in terms of wide receivers right now, and Streater is averaging four catches for 86 yards over his past three games. He's getting more and more looks as fellow receivers Denarius Moore and Darrius Heyward-Bey continue to be inconsistent on the field. Streater has pretty solid potential for teams in deeper leagues.

Tight Ends

Dennis Pitta (BAL): 
I put Pitta on this list last week and said he'd be back to his early season ways thanks to the departure of Cam Cameron. He's still only owned in 32% of Yahoo leagues, so it doesn't seems many people listened to me, but they should have - he went off for 125 yards on seven catches with two touchdowns. You obviously shouldn't expect another performance that great, but Pitta looks to be back on the TE1 radar and should be picked up for any championship hopefuls in need of a tight end.

Defense

San Diego Chargers: 
The Chargers' defense has had good fantasy performances against good offensive teams in three of their past five games. They'll host the Jets this week, whose offense looked plain old disgraceful on Monday Night Football against a Titans' defense that gives up the third most points in the NFL. The Jets don't even know who their quarterback is going to be, so the Chargers look like a safe bet to put up some solid fantasy points this week.
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