Recently in Fantasy Football Pickups Category

We're halfway through the NFL season and nearly two-thirds of the way through most fantasy regular seasons. By now, you know what's up with your team.

Most teams are in three categories.
1: You're firmly entrenched in the playoffs, and your roster only needs the occasional tweaking for injuries. You can take some risks, speculate on guys with good playoff matchups and generally coast until things get hot. It's good to be in this category.
2: You're in the playoff hunt, but still need a few wins to get in. This is a critical juncture for you. You gotta make moves, but don't want to get too crazy with your lineup. Don't sacrifice a win today for what might be a playoff berth tomorrow.
3: You're in the lower half of the league, and need to make moves ... fast.

I have a team in each of these positions. I almost would rather be completely out of it than in a losing battle for a playoff spot. At least then you can focus your attention on other things, like scouring the "rouge" leaders in your fantasy CFL league (what, is that just me?).

The guys below are mostly for groups 1 and 3. The waiver wire is a barren wasteland of sure-fire talent these days, especially for quarterbacks and running backs. You need to take some chances if you're a couple games out of a playoff spot, and you can afford to take some fliers if you've already got one wrapped up. Hopefully these guys will help.

If you thought character meant anything in the NFL, Kenny Britt's performance on Sunday should be example No. 243,000 why it doesn't. Nobody cares about what you do off the field as long as you produce in between the lines.

Case in point: Britt, the Titans wide receiver who got into a bar brawl on Thursday night, then came back for 200 yards and three touchdowns on Sunday. He probably would have been suspended, except Tennessee didn't have many other receiving options with Justin Gage out. So in walks Britt, and has one of the best performances of the season.

You can find any number of other cases, like Braylon Edwards, who got a DUI earlier in the year, then went on to catch a pair of touchdowns in the following game. How about Bengals RB Cedric Benson, who was arrested for assault over the summer but was suspended nary a game.

And don't get me started on Michael Vick, who seems to be doing just fine after his jail stint for dog fighting.

If you can play, you can stay. And if you can stay, we'll take you on our fantasy team - especially if you rack up 40 points in a week.

The search for the next Kenny Britt starts here, with the Pickups of the Week:

For the first time this year, I was sweating out a Monday night game, trying to eke out 12 points from the Tennessee defense. I could see the writing on the wall as the Jaguars drove down the field in a meaningless 30-point game, desperately trying to put a garbage-time touchdown on the board and break my fantasy spirits.

Fortunately, a goal-line interception saved the day and I squeezed out a two-point win in a game literally nobody else in the world cared about. Ahhh, gotta love the fantasy football world.

We've all been there before, watching a boring Monday night game and rooting for meaningless plays to save our week. My question to you: Would you rather be the one trailing and rooting for your guys to score points, or would you rather be ahead, playing the role of hater against your fantasy opponent?

Personally, I'd rather be down, rooting my team on to score. I feel like it gives me some control over my team, even though we all know we have none, no matter the situation.

While you ponder the fantasy debate of the day, check out this week's top pickups:

I'm in San Diego for the week, soaking in the sun, planning a wedding and thoroughly enjoying not being a Chargers fan. They blew another one this past weekend, against the Raiders, no less. Watching Norv Turner coach is like watching your fantasy opponent run up a huge score: You see it happening right before you, but there's nothing you can do about it.

Those who care about football hate this guy out here. Of course, 90 percent of the people are at the beach and haven't even heard of Norv Turner, so good for them.

The thin pool of running back relief gets even thinner this week, so hopefully you're not in dire need of a bye week replacement. On the plus side, there are receivers galore, but who knows which will pan out. That's why I'm here.

Week 5 Pickups

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There are some cardinal rules that a good fantasy football player always follows. You always get a top-tier running back in the first two rounds. You always handcuff that running back (make sure you draft their backup). You always wait until the last round or two to draft a kicker. And you always make sure your backup quarterback doesn't have the same bye week as your starter.

Well, I broke that final rule, drafting Tom Brady and Chad Henne - who both have Week 5 off. Way to go, Wood.

So, in case you're in the same boat as me - in desperate need of a serviceable QB, or any other position - here are some quality pickups for Week 5. Remember, do as I say, not as I do ...

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Welcome to the first bye week of the NFL, just another pothole in the bumpy road to fantasy glory.

For your records, here are the Week 4 byes: Dallas, Kansas City, Minnesota, Tampa Bay. Please do me a favor and don't be the guy who starts three players on a bye this week.

You need bye week help? Wood feels your pain, and is here to help.

About the bloggers

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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