Waiver Wire Pickups - Week 6

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By now you should have a pretty good idea if your team will be in the running this season. Barring freak injuries or suspensions, your roster will remain the same as you just tinker with it to make it as strong as possible.

Each week new options are popping up and strengthening your bench for the future is most certainly a priority you should be focusing on.

To help you do so, here are some waiver wire options that you might want to take a look at before your league counterparts can beat you to the punch.

Each and every year there are a few guys that lay around on the waiver wire for a few weeks before exploding onto the scene and becoming fantasy legends like Ryan Grant from a year ago.

It's important you keep evaluating your talent each week and don't be afraid to drop someone on your roster that has been getting by on name recognition alone.

Kyle Orton Bears, QB - Did you ever think a Bears quarterback would find himself relevant in the world of fantasy football?

Count me among those who never thought it would happen and yet, here he is.

With seven TD passes in his last three games, Orton should definitely be on your radar or on your roster depending on how deep your league is. Some may want to dismiss last week's performance because he picked apart the lowly Lions.

However, he performed solidly against the Bucs in Week 3 (268 yds, 2 TD, 2 INT) and the Eagles in Week 4 (199 yds, 3 TD, 2 INT). Both teams are comprised of a tough defensive unit and the K.O. Kid surely held his own.

Chad Pennington Dolphins, QB - Most assumed the Dolphins would just roll over and die this season at the hands of the competition. But that hasn't happened and they've pulled off incredible back to back wins against the Patriots in Week 4 and the Chargers this past weekend.

In deeper leagues, or if your starter is on a bye, Pennington could prove to be a good option. He's gone over the 226 yd mark in every game except for one, and has the Texans up next in Week 6.

This might actually work.

Ahmad Bradshaw Giants, RB - If you have an extra spot on your bench, Bradshaw might be an interesting pickup.

He's not someone that's going to provide immediate help if you're depleted at the position. But as the season wears on incumbent Giants starter Brandon Jacobs, the speedster out of Marshall could pick up some extra carries and turn in some jaw dropping plays.

Tim Hightower Cardinals, RB - For those of you who took Edgerrin James to solidify your RB2 position, Hightower has to be your arch nemesis right now.

Hightower is the fantasy footballer's nightmare because he is an extremely effective TD vulture and has been tearing down the Edge's fantasy production all season.

He's scored a touchdown in every game except for Week 3 and is sitting pretty with five heading into Week 6 of the season.

Steve Breaston Cardinals, WR - Sticking with the Cards, you're going to want to monitor Breaston or take advantage of Anquan Boldin's absence right away.

Boldin is currently down after suffering a sinus fracture that occurred when he was absolutely destroyed by Jets S Eric Smith. He was out last weekend and Breaston filled in nicely, racking up 70 yds.

This weekend the Cards will welcome Dallas to Arizona and Breaston should get even more looks as the 'Boys will be focusing most of their attention on Larry Fitzgerald.

Devin Hester Bears, WR - Hester looked as if he finally started to figure out how to run a route against the Lions and if this Bears offense starts clicking on a consistent basis, Hester could be gold.

He was a deep threat the minute he joined the offensive huddle and will be even more effective if he can run the slant to perfection.

Brandon Stokely Broncos, WR - The original Wes Welker when he was with the Colts, Stokely is starting to pop up again on our radar after hauling in a combined 13 catches the past couple weeks.

There a few factors working in Stokely's favor. Rookie standout Eddie Royal is dealing with a reoccurring ankle injury. Quarterback Jay Cutler loves to throw and Stokely certainly knows how to play small out of the slot.

Greg Olsen Bears, TE - It's amazing how even mediocre quarterback play can make players fantasy worthy.

Olsen has always had the talent to become a game changing tight end, but the Bears just couldn't figure out how to use him.

I'm not sure when, but the light bulb went on in offensive coordinator Ron Turner's head recently and Olsen is showing off some impressive skills.

A touchdown in Week 4 and finished with 87 yds in Week 5 with a beautiful 52 yd reception against the Lions.

In a world where fantasy TE's outside of the top six are all about the same, Olsen may have the talent to stand out.

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So do you think Orton will put be a pretty good fantasy QB for the rest of the season? I'm thinking about dropping Garrard to pick him up. Thoughts?

And I know you told me to hold onto Ryan Grant but he still hasn't given me double digits in fantasy points. Should I dump him for Hightower? Felix Jones and Mewelde Moore are also available in my league.

Olsen responds: Here's the difference between Orton and Garrard.

Garrard is consistently hovering around 200 yds a game and a TD. Nothing more nothing less. He's not going to win you too many games on his own, but won't lose them for you either.

Orton on the other hand is the wild card.

He's looked fantastic these past few weeks and if he can keep it up, Orton will be a valuable fantasy commodity.

But please use caution when trying to read too much into this situation. For instance, look at these numbers:

vs. Detroit, Week 2: 289 yds, 4 TD
vs. Minnesota, Week 3: 278 yds, TD
vs. Seattle, Week 4: 232 yds, 2 TD

Those are Rex Grossman's stats from 2006 when the Bears went to the Super Bowl. Everyone jumped on the bandwagon when he got hot and then crashed and burned when Grossman went down in flames.

I like Orton alot and playing against the NFC North should provide some great matchups down the road. If you want to take a chance, go for Orton and see what happens. Garrard isn't exactly a hot fantasy commodity and if Orton does mess up down the road, you shouldn't have too tough of a time finding a competent replacement.

I wouldn't drop Ryan Grant for Tim Hightower or Mewelde Moore.

Moore isn't going to be a starter for much longer because Willie Parker should be back for Week 7. Hightower is good at what he does around the goal line, but not worthy of dropping Grant.

That being said, Felix Jones is the only player I'd consider dropping Grant for.

But you have to realize that Jones hasn't gotten more than 10 carries in a game this season and is another high risk/reward player.

Grant still is working his way back from injury and Sunday against the Falcons was another step in the right direction. He's going up against a Seahawks defense in Week 6 that just got done giving up 254 rushing yards to the Giants.

If there's someone else on your bench that you haven't used or don't plan to use, make room for Felix and keep Grant around.

If that's not an option, I'd try to give Grant one more chance to shine this weekend. If he doesn't, all bets are off and it's time to start thinking about someone else.

How about dropping Collins for Orton? I have been struggling with QB, having Garrard as my number 1, and have shuffled through lower level QB's like Collins and Cassel. Also, I'd like to put some faith in Cedric Benson, but he was real dissapointing last week. Thoughts?

Olsen responds: I think dropping Collins for Orton would be a good idea, simply because he has the tremendous upside potential you look for in a fantasy football player. More than anything, Orton should be a great situational quarterback going forward based on who and where he's playing that particular week.

Collins is steady, but Orton can deliver the big game.

As far as Cedric Benson is concerned, I'm not sold on him playing any better in Cincy than he did in Chicago. The only thing working in his favor is that incumbent starting RB Chris Perry can't hold on to the ball and rarely cracks thirty yards rushing a game.

Eventually I think C-Bed is going to win the starting job more by default and not by something he does. If you're going to hang onto him, I'd suggest waiting a couple weeks until he works himself into game shape and by then he'll probably be starting.

But even then, temper your expectations because, after all, it is Cedric Benson we're talking about.

I have Orton and Garrard, who should I start in week 6?

Olsen responds: Orton. Go with the K.O. Kid and don't look back.

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Matt Wood is a web editor for suntimes.com and editor of CenterstageChicago.com. He is also a contributor for satirical sports publication The Heckler. Have a fantasy question? E-mail him.

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This page contains a single entry by Matt Olsen published on October 7, 2008 7:35 AM.

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