Waiver Wire Wonders: Blair White Shines in Austin Collie's Absence
Blair White (WR, Colts) - Blair White probably represents the most notable option this week, as White managed five catches and two touchdowns in the Colts loss to the Patriots. While Austin Collie made his return to action after suffering a concussion a few weeks back, the Colts removed him from play yet again, with what appears to be another setback. Given the cautionary nature with which teams are handling concussion cases this season, I would not be the least bit surprised to see Collie miss extended time. Hence, Blair White looks like he has a high probability of seeing more time in the starting lineup, where with Peyton at the helm, everybody wins.
Ben Obomanu (WR, Seattle) - Ben Obomanu is quietly emerging as a threat in Seattle and continues to flirt with fantasy relevance, as he caught five passes for 87 yards and a touchdown this weekend. Couple that performance with four catches and 60 yards last week and a touchdown catch the week before that, and Obomanu seems to be on the verge of becoming a top producer in Seattle's offense. At this point, Obomanu is best suited for depth in either very deep leagues or formats that require three starting wide receivers. If he continues to improve, he may have wider appeal.
Joel Dreessen (TE, Texans) - Filling the void for the injured Owen Daniels, Joel Dreesen posted a huge game that included four catches for 102 yards and a long touchdown reception. Dreesen has been rather inconsistent, and Owen Daniels has a chance to return next week, but if he doesn't, Dreesen makes a decent plug for owners struggling to find a tight end post trade deadline.
Nate Burleson (WR, Lions) - Nate Burleson has been off and on as a legitimate waiver wire pickup all season, but its been tough to fully get behind him, mainly because the quarterback situation in Detroit keeps changing. At this point, it looks relatively safe to assume that Shaun Hill has the job for the rest of the season, barring another injury, and Hill and Burleson have good chemistry. This weekend, Burleson tallied an impressive seven catches for 97 yards and a touchdown, which brings his total receptions in the past four games to 25. Hence, he looks to have the consistency issue under control.
Dimitri Nance (RB, Packers) - Dimitri Nance is simply a guy to keep your eye on, as we're short on running back options this week. Nance got 12 carries (mostly garbage time) in the Packers' blowout win against the Vikings, and he only managed to gain 37 yards total, but his 3.1 yards per carry easily bested Brandon Jackson who struggled, and barely managed two yards per carry. Jackson has been helpful to his offense in terms of blocking and catching passes, but Nance may see action going forward on running plays.
TJ Houshmandzadeh (WR, Ravens) - I knew something had been missing this fantasy season as there's been an itch we just couldn't scratch: we haven't gotten to test our recall on how to spell "Houshmandzadeh." Fortunately, Housh made a return visit to the end zone on a nice post pattern where he cruised past the defense on a clockwork 56-yard connection from Joe Flacco, and put himself back on the map. Housh has played a secondary role in the offense this season, but his 79 yard, one touchdown effort could be enough to merit a larger role in the coming weeks. Again, Housh shouldn't be considered as a fantasy starter until we see more production, but we all know what he is capable of and he showed he still has the speed, so keep him on your radar.
Ryan Fitzpatrick (QB, Bills) - At first glance, guys like Jon Kitna and Colt McCoy looked like solid adds after this week's action, but we all know those guys are not going to play with consistency. One week Kitna throws for three touchdowns, another it's 183 yards and three picks. Colt McCoy, on the other hand, was just beginning to show his leadership and athleticism, and looked about a week or two away from fantasy stardom with Carolina coming next week and Buffalo in three weeks, but instead, he suffered an untimely ankle injury. So your best bet at quarterback looks to be Ryan Fitzpatrick, who mustered a giant comeback and huge stats this week, throwing for 316 yards and four touchdowns. That makes five multi-touchdown games in eight starts and a ratio of 18 touchdowns to nine interceptions on the season for Fitzpatrick.
Sidney Rice (WR, Vikings) - In case you didn't notice, buried somewhere under the heaps of negative Brett Favre publicity after the Packers shelling of the Vikings, is another storyline: Sidney Rice finally returned to action after missing the first ten weeks of the season due to injury. He led the Vikes with 56 yards on three catches. Rice is only owned in about 62 percent of leagues, so he should be added in leagues where he remains on the wire, as he could be provide a nice spark for the fantasy playoffs.
Weeding through those unwieldy waiver wires requires a keen eye and a quick trigger. Thus, Waiver Wire Wonders provides a weekly snapshot of players worthy of consideration who should be available on a good portion of league waiver wires. Enjoy those pickups.