Erin Skelley, aka "Erin the Fantasy Girl" on Texans Radio/SportsRadio 610 in Houston, dishes out waiver wire magic for Week 4.
Perhaps long-term relationships are unattainable. Of course, I mean fantasy relationships – the complicated and sometimes tumultuous marriage between owner and player. Week in and week out, owners are forced to bench or drop a player – often of star caliber – in favor of the guy with fresh legs and limited war wounds. And that guy lasts until his inevitable injury, or the other one returns. Or Mike Shanahan changes his mind. It's an endless spin cycle of find-and-replace. This is why guys like Tashard Choice are knights in shining armor for fantasy owners. After league-leading rusher C.J. Spiller suffered a shoulder injury Sunday, Choice stepped in and rushed for 91 yards on 20 carries. Of course, he probably got you nothing. Choice was either unclaimed or on the bench in your league, and leagues everywhere. Over the previous two games, he had tallied only four fantasy points.
As a Spiller owner, I am suffering through the typical stages of loss: shock, sadness and now, waiver wire exploitation. It's what we do in fantasyland. And Choice may be only a one-game starter with Fred Jackson's imminent return, but I accept that. In the words of Duran Duran's Simon LeBon, "Some people call it a one-night stand, but we can call it paradise."
Here are a few "choice" pickups for your consideration:
Tashard Choice, RB, Buffalo Bills – Remember the magic from December 2008? His services as the Cowboys' third-stringer were certainly appreciated during the fantasy football playoffs then (Ahem, I am especially grateful). Fantasy owners could use that Choice charm now, even if it's temporary, and especially if you're 0-3 with Chris Johnson and Kevin Smithanchoring your crew. With your RB faction depleted, your week-to-week strategy is in full force. Choice is worth the gamble, even against the Patriots defense. But keep your eye on Jackson's status. Available in 91 percent of Yahoo! leagues.
Ryan Williams, RB, Arizona Cardinals – Another option to consider at RB, Williams filled in for the turf toe-plagued Beanie Wells on Sunday in spectacular form with 13 carries for 83 yards and several big runs. Wells' status is still uncertain, in typical injury report fashion. Williams is a good one to claim and stash, even if you don't use him this week. He will be serviceable down the road. Available in 63 percent of Yahoo! leagues.
Christian Ponder, QB, Minnesota Vikings – So much for matchups. The young QB is quietly putting together nice numbers, even against good teams. On Sunday, Ponder threw for 198 yards (21 for 35), including three touchdowns, one by foot. And this was against the 49ers! Next up, the Detroit Lions and their sub-par secondary. Available in 87 percent of Yahoo! leagues.
Kyle Rudolph, TE, Minnesota Vikings – While he didn't record a lot of yards (36 on Sunday), he delivered near the goal line with two touchdowns. And that makes three touchdowns for the year. This week's matchup against the Lions is good for Rudolph, as they yield the fifth-most points to tight ends. Available in 60 percent of Yahoo! leagues.
Mikel Leshoure, RB, Detroit Lions – Sorry, Kevin. Leshoure is the new captain, with Sunday's performance: 26 carries for 100 yards, plus 34 receiving yards and a touchdown. Oh, what to do with Smith? Drop him for one of the guys on this page. Don't worry, he won't know. Available in 42 percent of Yahoo! leagues.
Matt Schaub, QB, Houston Texans – OK, this isn't a claim-him suggestion, but rather a start-him suggestion. Yeah, many fans across the nation watched Sunday's matchup vs. Denver because of Peyton Manning. But it was Schaub's day, completing 17-of-30 passes for 290 yards and four touchdowns. Nice numbers, yet Schaub was activated in only 13 percent of Yahoo! leagues. Fantasy owners will have to reconsider starting him this week when the Texans take on the struggling Tennessee pass defense. Hello, Andre Johnson.
*Erin Skelley joins Texans Radio every week on SportsRadio 610. Follow her on Twitter @erinskelley. She'll babble fantasy to anyone who will listen. *