Pinch-hitting for TSN.ca NFL Editor Justin Boone, Scott Cullen runs down the top waiver wire pickups with a focus on the coming week and the rest of the season.
All of these players are available in at least 35% of TSN.ca Fantasy Leagues.
Carson Palmer (at Buccaneers)
Currently ranked 14th among quarterbacks in fantasy points, Palmer isn't far off from being a low-end starter anyway, particularly now that he's hit a groove with WR Denarius Moore, but going against the Buccaneers' pass defence, which is allowing 310 passing yards per game, has tended to be a favourable matchup.
Brandon Weeden (at Ravens)
It's not the best week to go looking for quarterbacks on the waiver wire, but Weeden isn't a bad option against a Ravens team that isn't nearly as ferocious defensively without ILB Ray Lewis and not nearly as gifted in pass coverage without CB Lardarius Webb. Weeden struggled against San Diego, but in the previous four weeks, he averaged 274 yards passing (including 320 yards at Baltimore in Week Four) and 1.5 touchdowns.
Others to consider - Christian Ponder (at Seahawks), Matt Cassel (at Chargers), Matt Hasselbeck (vs. Bears), Ryan Tannehill (at Colts)
Jonathan Dwyer (at Giants)
Dwyer suffered a calf injury in the win over Washington, but he also delivered his second straight 100-yard game, making it difficult for head coach Mike Tomlin to bump Dwyer out of the starting lineup even if Isaac Redman or (less likely) Rashard Mendenhall are deemed healthy. The Giants defence was tough against Dallas' running game last week, but they're still giving up 4.6 yards per carry and allow 113.0 yards per game, both of which suggest that there will be opportunity for a physical runner like Dwyer to grind out some yards.
Daniel Thomas (at Colts)
While Thomas is behind Reggie Bush in the Miami scheme, he took over after a Bush fumble in the third quarter against the Jets, finishing with 42 yards on 15 carries. Thomas also has three touchdowns in his last four games -- the only one of those in which he didn't score, he had just four carries for four yards at Arizona -- so if you need a fill-in back or flex play for this week, Thomas against an Indy defence allowing 4.8 yards per carry is a favourable matchup.
Others to consider - Donald Brown (vs. Dolphins), LaRod Stephens-Howling (at Packers), Jacquizz Rodgers (vs. Cowboys), Andre Brown (vs. Steelers)
Josh Gordon (vs. Ravens)
If I'm going to throw out the possibility that Brandon Weeden will be able to pass against the Ravens, might as well look to his deep threat as a likely candidate for a productive day. Gordon has yet to catch more than three passes in a game, but has 286 receiving yards with four touchdowns over the last four weeks. Going up against the Ravens' secondary, Gordon will have opportunities to get open down the field.
Andre Roberts (at Packers)
Far be it from me to pass judgement on how people are running their fantasy teams, but it must be nice to be so deep at wide receiver that you don't even need the guy averaging 9.0 fantasy points per game, good enough to rank 22nd among all wide receivers. You know who ranks 27th, with 8.3 fantasy points per game? Larry Fitzgerald! The guy who keeps drawing the double teams that allows Roberts to rack up yardage. With 14 catches for 168 yards over the last two weeks, despite mediocre quarterback play, Roberts is a worthy replacement on many rosters for this week and beyond.
Cecil Shorts (vs. Lions)
While rookie Justin Blackmon is the popular one in Jacksonville, Shorts is the productive one, putting up a dozen catches for 195 yards over the last couple games. He's not particularly efficient and an unpolished receiver with a green quarterback presents some risk, but Shorts is doing enough to warrant consideration agains a Lions pass defence that has only been okay this season, allowing 214.1 yards per game with 10 passing touchdowns.
Others to consider - Brandon LaFell (at Redskins), Kendall Wright (vs. Bears), Santana Moss (vs. Panthers), Titus Young (at Jaguars)
Greg Olsen (at Redskins)
Olsen has put up modest numbers (seven catches, 54 yards) over the last couple weeks but, going against the Redskins, who have allowed a league-high 19 passing touchdowns, is a decent time to plug Olsen in as a filler if you normally have one of the New England tight ends (Rob Gronkowski or Aaron Hernandez) or San Francisco's Vernon Davis on a bye this week.
Others to consider - Jermaine Gresham (vs. Broncos), Brandon Myers (vs. Buccaneers), Dennis Pitta (at Browns)
Scott Cullen can be reached at Scott.Cullen@bellmedia.ca and followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tsnscottcullen. For more, check out TSN Fantasy on Facebook.