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Waiver Wire: Vikings WR Simpson among top fantasy pickups

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Justin Boone, TSN.ca
9/25/2012 11:27:02 AM
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Each week, TSN.ca NFL Editor Justin Boone will run down the top waiver wire pickups with a focus on the coming week and rest of the season.

QUARTERBACKS
 
Christian Ponder (at Lions)
Last Week - 21/35, 198 passing yards, 2 TDs, 7 carries, 33 rushing yards
Hopefully you scooped up the Vikings' quarterback after seeing Ponder on our waiver wire list after Week 1. Ponder is now coming off his best game of the season and it happened against one of the league's best defences. With wide receiver Jerome Simpson set to rejoin an offence that already features Percy Harvin, Kyle Rudolph and Adrian Peterson, the Vikings have put together a solid young core of playmakers for Ponder to work with. 
 
Andy Dalton (at Jacksonville)
Last Week - 19/27, 328 passing yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT
The Bengals went on the road and mounted a strong attack against an injury-depleted Redskins' defence. Dalton put together his second straight 300-yard, three-touchdown game. Sure, the Bengals' passer has picked on the Browns and Redskins in those two weeks, but next up is the Jaguars' defence that hasn't exactly been a shutdown unit so far this year.
 
Others to consider - Ryan Fitzpatrick (vs. Patriots), Kevin Kolb (vs. Dolphins), Shaun Hill (vs. Vikings, if Matthew Stafford is out)

RUNNING BACKS
 
Mikel Leshoure (vs. Vikings)
Last Week - 30 touches, 134 yards, 1 TD
Leshoure exploded onto the scene, instantly becoming the lead ball carrier in the Lions' backfield. If by some miracle he is still on your waiver wire, spare no expense acquiring him.
 
Ryan Williams (vs. Dolphins)
Last Week - 14 touches, 95 yards
Williams received more touches than Beanie Wells in Week 3 and the results were clear. Williams is a far more explosive back, averaging 6.4 yards per carry, while Wells rumbled to only 2.3 YPC. Williams gained confidence as the game went on and despite the questionable offensive line in Arizona, Williams was still able to make plays. With Wells potentially dealing with turf toe, Williams is an intriguing pickup this week.
 
Pierre Thomas (at Packers)
Last Week - 10 touches, 66 yards
While it's difficult to explain what's happening with the Saints this season, it's even more challenging to understand their backfield. Darren Sproles was purely involved in the receiving game in the first two weeks, but led the club in carries in Week 3. Thomas, who has been their main ball carrier, became the passing back last week, with four catches for 55 yards. Meanwhile, former first round pick Mark Ingram has done next to nothing. Sproles is the back to own here, but Thomas' value is increasing.
 
Bilal Powell (vs. 49ers)
Last Week - 12 touches, 64 yards
Jets head coach Rex Ryan has already said that Powell will likely carve into Shonn Greene's carries. It's not surprising, since Greene has been highly ineffective as the starter. Powell had a better YPC in Week 3 and generally looks like the better back in the Jets' offence. Stash him on your bench and see if he can wrestle the job away from Greene full-time.
 
Others to consider - Daniel Thomas/Lamar Miller (at Cardinals, if Reggie Bush is out), Tashard Choice (vs. Patriots, if C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson are out), Lance Ball/Ronnie Hillman (vs. Raiders, if Willis McGahee is out)

WIDE RECEIVERS
 
Jerome Simpson (at Lions)
Last Week - Suspended
In the pre-season, Simpson was touted as one of the stars of Vikings' training camp. Now he returns from his suspension, into an offence that has performed better than expected through three weeks. Simpson will give the Vikings the deep threat they have been lacking and with Harvin and Rudolph drawing attention, Simpson could be an interesting fantasy player as well.
 
Nate Burleson (vs. Vikings)
Last Week - 10 catches 69 yards, 1 TD
All the attention was on Titus Young coming into the season, but it's been the veteran Burleson who has remained the Lions' second option on the outside. Don't trust Young's stat-line from last week (5-75-1), since most of his production came on a 46-yard Hail Mary that fell into his hands at the end of regulation. Burleson is still getting the job done and you can't argue with his 17 catches already this season.
 
Others to consider - Andrew Hawkins (at Jaguars), Cecil Shorts (vs. Bengals), T.Y. Hilton (Bye)

TIGHT ENDS
 
Kyle Rudolph (at Lions)
Last week - 5 catches, 36 yards, 2 TDs
Much like Ponder and Leshoure, I hope you took our advice in previous weeks and picked up Rudolph. If you did, he rewarded you with two touchdowns last week and has three so far on the year. With Harvin being a smaller, speedier receiver, Rudolph gives the Vikings a big red zone target and is emerging as a low end TE1 the rest of the way.
 
Fred Davis (at Buccaneers)
Last Week - 7 catches, 90 yards
Davis was certainly drafted in your league, but if another owner dropped him due to his poor showings in the first two games, then this is your tie to strike. Davis led the Redskins in receiving this week and should be a threat in their offence on a weekly basis.
 
Others to consider - Joel Dreessen (vs. Raiders), Jordan Cameron (at Ravens), Heath Miller (Bye)

Jerome Simpson (Photo: Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

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(Photo: Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
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