Fantasy

Injuries, Byes make waiver pickups crucial

Brian Griese had a huge statistical day in Chicago.
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - With injuries around the NFL piling up and the beginning of bye weeks, using the waiver wire is more critical than ever. Therefore, it's time to look at who might still be available to help you without breaking up your team through a trade.

Brian Griese, QB, Tampa Bay - Griese had a huge statistical day in Chicago, posting 407 yards passing, two TDs and three INTs in a 27-24 overtime win. It will be a little tougher this week against Green Bay, although injuries in the Packers secondary may allow him to put up decent numbers (Charles Woodson - toe, Al Harris - spleen). Week 5 is against a Denver defense that would have trouble stopping the Florida Gators' offense.

Gus Frerotte, QB, Minnesota - In his first start since December 2007, Frerotte posted respectable numbers - 204 yards, one TD pass and one interception. But his upside is limited because the team's emphasis will always be on Adrian Peterson and Chester Taylor running the ball.

Kerry Collins, QB, Tennessee - Collins might be the "best available" quarterback after Griese and Frerotte, but a less-than-favorable matchup against Minnesota and a trip to Baltimore makes him a bad pickup unless you are looking far down the road. However, with the likely alternatives as JaMarcus Russell or Chad Pennington it might be all you have. Hopefully you will not have to start him and he is simply insurance.

Correll Buckhalter, RB, Philadelphia - Although Brian Westbrook's injury was less serious than expected, it would make sense for the Eagles to be very conservative when dealing with their fragile superstar. It makes Buckhalter a good choice for this weekend's action and a good guy to have on the bench, because he has established himself as the No.2 guy ahead for Lorenzo Booker.

Le'Ron McClain, RB, Baltimore - McClain has put up double figures in both games and his two TD runs, despite Willis McGahee being back in uniform, indicates he might be able to continue. He is the team's goal-line back as shown by his four chances in Week 2 and he converted the multiple opportunities into two scores.

T.J. Duckett, RB, Seattle - With Maurice Morris injured, it appears that Duckett is Julius Jones' primary backup and will get on the field enough to be an emergency starter. The team is off this week, so picking up Duckett is likely not a high priority.

Antonio Bryant, WR, Tampa Bay - He was the receiving star last week in Tampa Bay's 27-24 overtime win against the Bears and with Galloway's continuing injury problems figures to be solid this week in Green Bay. Don't expect 10-138, but he will be better than average.

Hank Baskett, WR, Philadelphia - Rookie DeSean Jackson has gotten all of the publicity, but Baskett has been pretty good too. Even with Reggie Brown back in uniform, Baskett collected eight catches for 85 yards last Sunday against the tough Pittsburgh Steelers defense. He had 102 yards and a TD in the season opener. Against a Bears defense than ranks 28th against the pass (249.7 ypg), he might continue to shine.

Brandon Lloyd, WR, Chicago - It looks like Lloyd has become Bears QB Kyle Orton's favorite receiver. His total catches have increased each week from two to five to six and his 124 yards and a touchdown last week was a huge surprise. Playing the Eagles this week, who love to blitz, opens up the possibility for a big play and Lloyd would be the most likely candidate.

Amani Toomer, WR New York Giants - The Giants are on a bye this week, but with Plaxico Burress being suspended for the Week 5 game against Seattle, it would appear that Toomer is setup for a big game. If you are willing to wait one week the rewards might be huge.

Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Steve Schwarz at sschwarz@sportsnetwork.com.