Welcome to the first edition of our in-season “On the Wire” spectacular, coming to you every week from the sadness of your own heart. If you’re players are underperforming or injured, we’re here to pick you up for the low, low price of four installments of free.
We’ll keep it short and simple — listing a few players each week who could upgrade your team and a few sleepers who might perform well in the next week. If you like what you see, go get them on your waiver wire, and if there’s anyone else you are considering picking up for your fantasy squad, bring him up in the discussion in the comments below.
Here are a few potential fantasy free agents who could help your team this week:
Mike Bell, RB, New Orleans Saints: He’ll have a rough time this week against the Eagles, but as long as Pierre Thomas is out, he’ll get the bulk of the Saints workload.
Cadillac Williams, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: His knees seem better now, but what the hell did they put in there? He looked stronger than ever and bionic on Sunday. He’ll share time with Derrick Ward, but he’s a decent RB3 to consider at this point.
Michael Bush, RB, Oakland Raiders: Bush will be a short-yardage, goal line back for the Raiders, a team who will run the ball plenty this year. When he spells Darren McFadden, he could also be spelling your fantasy team.
Earl Bennett, WR, Chicago Bears: In his second season with the Bears, he’s finally emerging as a possession receiver for Jay Cutler.
Davone Bess, WR, Miami Dolphins: The receiver-by-rotation model the Dolphins are using makes him a risky pickup, but Bess was the Dolphins’ leading receiver this weekend. If that moves him up the Dolphins’ depth chart, he’ll continue to have value in PPR leagues, but he’s unlikely to score a lot of touchdowns.
Pierre Garcon, WR, Indianapolis Colts: If not Garcon, it’s Austin Collie, but whoever fills in for Anthony Gonzalez will have value and will face Miami this weekend.
Laurent Robinson, WR, St. Louis Rams: So they do have someone besides Donnie Avery? Robinson was a sleeper back when he was with the Falcons, but he has finally caught on in St. Louis. They could use the help.
Steve Smith, WR, New York Giants: If undrafted, the other Steve Smith could be a stud in PPR leagues this season as Eli Manning’s No. 1 guy.
Percy Harvin, WR, Minnesota Vikings: Looks like they’ll use him in this offense. You could, too. Harvin’s explosive and could be Brett Favre’s new Chansi Stuckey.
John Carlson, TE, Seattle Seahawks: If no one in your league drafted him this year — probably unlikely — you should correct that. He’s a young tight end who should be one of the top two targets in the Seattle offense, and he’s a great red zone option for Matt Hasselbeck. His two-touchdown performance on Sunday could be repeated against other NFC West opponents throughout the season.
Jeremy Shockey, TE, New Orleans Saints: Don’t expect him to do that every week, but Shockey could be a solid tight end for you this season if your current guy was disappointing in the first week.
Mark Sanchez, QB, New York Jets: He won’t win you any games, but Sanchez could be a Joe Flacco-like rookie quarterback this season if the Jets continue to dominate Baltimore-style. He has potential as a backup.
Chaz Schilens, WR, Oakland Raiders: Write this one down. Schilens is out right now with a broken foot, but upon his return, he should be the No. 1 in Oakland, where JaMarcus Russell seems able and willing to make big plays. Louis Murphy stood out last night, but Schilens could easily take over that role very soon. Consider this one a longer-term investment.
Washington Redskins, D/ST: St. Louis meets Albert Haynesworth this week. Who wants a Bulger sandwich? How about a pancake?