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Waiver Wire Warriors - Prepping For Week 4
Dennis Leonard
September 29, 2005

“Damn, it feels good to be a gangsta.” – Ghetto Boys*

Hello again and welcome back to Waiver Wire Warriors. Last week was a shining example of why I love this obsession hobby we call fantasy football. I won in both leagues, which puts me at 2-1 in each. But I didn’t just win. I pulverized my opponents, rolled their corpses up in a carpet, and threw them off a bridge. Not only did I set my local league’s all-time high score I did so against an undefeated team who scored an amazing number of points himself. (Don’t you hate it when you waste games like that on your league’s cellar dwellers?) I also racked up a hefty amount of points in my Huddle league, which puts me only 2 points away from the overall point leader.

But you didn’t come just to hear me crow. (Though I do appreciate your tolerating my doing so). With Week 4 not far off we’ve got work to do, so let’s get down to it. Because whether you're 0-3 or 3-0, there’s always improvements and line up decisions that need to be made.

The New Recruits

Mark Brunell – WAS QB: Screw it. Pennington, Fiedler, and Warner are suddenly unavailable for some-to-all of the rest of the season. Vick, Leftwich, and McNabb are all playing hurt. And there are a host of other quarterbacks who are underperforming for NFL and/or fantasy purposes. So Brunell deserves consideration in medium and large leagues primarily because he’s a healthy, starting QB who has registered some statistical signs of life.

In large leagues, Brunell might be gone. But he’s only owned in 6% of Fanball leagues, so he should still available for most. I had hoped to collect Week 4’s data before evaluating/recommending this guy. And hopefully you’ll still be afforded that luxury. However, I suspect there are some teams out there who might appreciate a little recon on Brunell when cuing their waiver wire requests this week, given the rash of injuries at the QB position so early the season.

Brunell didn’t play much in Week 1 and what time he did get was against a suddenly scary Bears’ defense. The best I can say about Brunell in Week 1 is that he went 8 of 14, completing 57.13% of his passes for 70 yards, no scores, but no interceptions. (That’s honestly better than I’d have expected from him). However, in Week 2 Brunell got some late-game action going against Dallas. He racked up 291 yards (7th most in Week 2), 2 TDs, and only 1 INT. And he completed 58.8% of his passes. Considering Dallas is only allowing an average of 232 passing yards per game and a slightly lesser 57.3% completion ratio to opposing QBs, at least Brunell beat those averages. And the Redskins won. And He was also a top 6 fantasy QB that week.

Also on the plus side:

  • He and the Redskins had an early bye, which means that’s out of the way and he’ll be available to use from here on out;
  • The ‘Skins hopefully used their time off to polish up their game. Because Brunell could use some dusting and a little polishing;
  • Santana Moss is stepping up and opposing defenses must still respect Clinton Portis, which should help open things up a little for the passing game;
  • Brunell sports the same completion ratio as Roethlisberger (58.3%), which makes them both top 20 QBs in that regard;
  • Very low 2.1% INT-to-pass ratio - same as Palmer - the 12th lowest in the NFL;
  • Ties Drew Brees with a 87.2% quarterback rating – 12 th best in the NFL; and
  • Faces some beatable defenses in the coming Weeks in the Seahawks (only 1 INT to date), Browns (their defense is terrible), Chiefs (allowing the 8th most passing yards), 49ers (highest average passing yards per game), Giants (4th highest passing yards per game), and Oakland (2nd highest average passing yards per game).

The biggest downsides to Brunell are his lack of stud receiving options and poor offensive line play. For example, Brunell has been sacked 6 times in like a game and a half. That’s not good thing for an aging veteran to endure. And he’s never thrown more than 20 TDs in his career. However, if you’re hurting for QB bench depth, Brunell isn’t going to kill you. He should contribute every week and – as Week 2 indicates – he’s capable of some surprisingly good production from time to time. So unless you’ve got obviously better options staring you in the face, don’t be too proud to pick up Brunell. Productive quarterbacks are getting harder and harder to come by on waivers.

Alvin Pearman – JAX RB: During the preseason I wrote an article entitled “Tandem Sleepers” for the Huddle, in which I recommended a late-round draft combination of Pearman and Labrandon Toefield. The idea was basically to corner the back ups behind Fred Taylor, who has demonstrated more than his fair share of injuries in the past. While Taylor is running well this season, and handling a large number of carries, that doesn’t mean his handcuff(s) have lost all value. They don’t call him “Fragile” Fred because he cries during sad movies.

Toefield, on the otherhand, appears to have lost ground to Pearman on the depth chart. So if you’re a Taylor owner, or you followed my advice on the Pearman/Toefield combo going into the season, it appears that Pearman is the guy to have going forward. While his value is mainly due to his handcuff status, he should see some relief work and does return kicks, if you get points for that stuff. (Toefield now appears expendable, in the event you have more promising waiver wire prospects available). Pearman may not present much value to non-Taylor owners but those of you in large leagues could do worse than adding Pearman for some very, very speculative depth at the RB position.

Frank Gore – SF RB: Winds of change are rumored to be gathering in San Francisco. Not quite sure what that means, but Kevan Barlow hasn’t done anything special this year, so maybe his job is in more jeopardy that I would have thought. Barlow is averaging a very mediocre 3.4 yards per carry (which was padded by his best stats to date in Week 3) and has only scored once. Gore is averaging a much better 4.9 yards per carry in relief, which is actually the 9th best of all running backs who have carried the ball at least 15 times this season. So a switch at running back is very possible at some point because the Niner’s passing game is actually working pretty well right now. If the Niners can secure a win against Arizona next week they’ll be 2-2 and very much in the hunt within their division. So it isn’t that hard to believe that Coach Nolan might attempt to tweak the offense in an attempt to string together a decent first season for himself. Since the Niners’ primary weakness right now is their running game, any of the “alleged” changes to the starting roster would likely be to the run game.

Gore was a sleeper pick for some folks going into the season, so I raised an eye brown when I saw that he was only owned in 30% of all Fanball leagues. If he’s available, Gore is totally worth stashing on your bench as an investment in running back depth. He’ll likely get his shot later in the season and blossom into a serviceable #3 RB, or provide you with trade bait. And while Gore isn’t seeing enough action right now to be presently useful, it is worth noting that he got more combined opportunities on offense last week (9) than in any prior week (6 in Week 1, only 5 in Week 2). Barlow owners who do not own Gore should probably start to worry, so if that’s you – and Gore is on waivers – add him immediately.

T.J. Duckett – ATL RB: Duckett should be owned in any competitive league, but this looks like a great week to play him if you’re looking for a bye week/injury replacement.

  • This week’s opponent, the Vikings, have allowed the 3rd highest average rushing yards per game: 142.3;
  • Duckett is averaging a respectable 4.3 yards per carry, which is the 14th best in the NFL for running backs who have carried the ball at least 15 times this season;
  • The Vikings are allowing the 4.7 yards per carry to opposing runners, which is the NFL’s 3rd highest;
  • Duckett has scored in each of his last three games; and
  • He has not fumbled the ball.

With Thomas Jones, Droughns, Ronnie Brown, and Willie Parker taking the week off, don’t hesitate to plug Duckett in, if you’ve got him. You drafted him for weeks just like this. So use him.

Brandon Jones – TEN WR: I’ve been wondering which Titans’ WR would emerge as a reliable receiving alternative for Steve McNair. Lately, Brandon Jones has been getting the looks: 15 in the last two games. Only Drew Bennett saw more in that same span (18). Remarkably, the next highest was Erron Kinney (only 9… over last two games… more on him later). If this trend continues Jones could be the “other” Titan’s receiver worth owning. Jones was targeted 2, 6, then 9 times in Weeks 1 through 3 respectively. You’ve gotta love the direction those numbers are heading in.

The Titans are also averaging 34.3 pass attempts per game (12th most in the NFL) so there is some good upside to be found in Titans’ passing game. Considering the Titans’ first two opponents were the Steelers and the Ravens – and the Titans squashed the Ravens – there is a reasonable basis to believe that all Titans’ skill positions are due to improve as their opponents become softer, which only adds to the aforementioned upside.

Jones makes a decent short-term WR investment until we can measure his success/involvement in the upcoming games versus the Colts and Texans (the Week 5 Texans are obviously the more favorable match up, if you’re looking to cover a Week 5 bye). If Jones continues to see a heavy number of looks in the passing game, he’ll be worth holding – and potentially starting - beyond that point. While I wish his reception ratio were higher than 52.94% (has gone 9 of 17 for 99 yards and a TD over the last three weeks), he is a rookie. Patience is advised, as he could turn it on later in the season, a la Michael Clayton last year.

Brian Finneran – ATL WR: I’ve been getting some emails requesting that I dig deeper into the waiver wire; mostly from people in really big leagues who have very few options at their disposal. Ask and ye shall receive.

During Dez White’s absence, Brian Finneran has emerged in several areas worthy of note. During the last three weeks:

  • He was thrown to 2, 6, then 9 times, respectively (see the trend, love the trend);
  • Accumulated 12, 35, then 57 yards, respectively (ditto);
  • Averaged 6.0, 7.0, then 14.3 yards per catch (ditto);
  • Leads all Falcons’ pass targets – besting even Alge Crumpler – with 11 receptions;
  • Posted a very, very respectable 78.57% reception ratio (caught 11 of 14 passes);
  • Has seen 4 passes in the red zone and actually reeled in a TD in Week 2. (No Falcons’ pass target has more than 1 receiving TD yet); and
  • Has not dropped any passes.

These modest stats and trends point to a player who is making the most of the opportunities he’s getting. While the Falcons are not much of a passing team (averaging only 23.3 pass attempts per game – NFL’s 2nd fewest), part of that equation has historically been the lack of any legitimate pass targets outside of Crumpler. Michael Jenkins and Brian Finneran are now doing their parts. So it will be interesting to see if the offensive play calling continues to involve Finneran and Jenkins at an increased level.

Finneran’s short-term out look is highly dependant on whether the Falcons’ coaching staff is willing to once again start Dez White at receiver, assuming White is ready for action (White suffered a hamstring injury in Week 2). However, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution couldn’t get a straight answer from Head Coach Jim Mora about that on Monday. And if Coach Mora has seen Finneran’s stats (above), I can see why he isn’t jumping at the chance to slide White back into the line-up: Finneran is simply producing. In contrast, White has only caught one of his two passes this season for a nonexistent 11 yards. While Finneran is a long shot, he’s only owned in 1% of Fanball leagues. Since Finneran is one coaching decision away from securing a starting spot, he serves up that super-deep upside some of you have been thirsting for.

Greg Lewis – PHI WR: I’m not super excited about Greg Lewis, but there’s no denying that he’s become an integral member of the Eagles’ offense. Here’s some data on Lewis over the last three weeks:

  • Targeted 9, 7, then 9 times, so he is consistently involved;
  • Those 25 pass targets tie Lewis with Bobby Engram, Antonio Bryant, and Drew Bennett as the 21st most targeted wide receivers in the NFL;
  • He’s caught 15 of those passes for a decent 60% reception ratio;
  • In leagues that award points for receptions he’s tied with the likes of Marvin Harrison and Bobby Engram for about the 30th most productive wide out;
  • He is outperforming the likes of Coles, Drew Bennett, Michael Clayton, Isaac Bruce, Reggie Wayne, and Jerry Porter, all of whom were likely drafted well before Lewis;
  • It does not appear that rookie Reggie Brown has a significant role in the Eagles’ offense, which some had predicted might cut into Lewis’ potential production;
  • McNabb is officially no longer a rushing quarter back, which means he should pass the ball more than he has in the past, which should help all Eagles’ receivers;
  • The Eagles’ Week 4 opponent – the Chiefs – have surrendered the NFL’s 8th most receiving yards to date (767); and
  • The Eagles’ wide receivers have one of the easiest schedules this year.

Lewis has yet to have a monster game and with Owens, Westbrook, and L.J. Smith getting the first looks. So Lewis is probably a bye week filler/injury replacement in small to medium sized leagues, but a legit #3 WR in large leagues. But he’s consistently performing at a higher level than more well-known WRs who are probably starting for many teams. So it would be foolish to dismiss Lewis’ relative value.

Jeremey Shockey – NYG TE: Shockey is merely the latest recommendation of using a tight end as a TE/WR flex in leagues that allow it. The Giants are simply getting it done on offense this year, scoring the NFL’s most points to date and averaging almost 320 yards a game. Since 220 of those yards per game are arriving via air mail, it’s pretty clear there are some receiving opportunities to be harvested. Here’s what you need to know about Shockey right now:

  • Currently has 194 receiving yards, which is the most of any Giants’ pass target, 2nd most of any tight end, and 26th most for all WR/TE flex players;
  • He’s caught 13 of the 17 balls thrown his was for a superior 76.47% reception ratio;
  • He’s getting the second most looks in the Giants’ passing game, next to Burress;
  • The Giants’ receiving corps has a fairly easy schedule this year; and
  • He’s scored on his only red zone reception of the season.

Even in leagues that do not require you to start a TE, Shockey may have been drafted. If he is available, he is worth adding immediately. If you own him, or can acquire him cheaply, he should serve as a rock-solid #3 WR/TE as he is currently producing as a top-36 receiving target for fantasy purposes.

Erron Kinney – TEN TE: If you’re in a TE-mandatory league and find yourself picking over scraps at that position, Kinney is worth a serious look. While the Titans have two productive tights ends in Kinney and the oft-injured Ben Troupe, Kinney has not only been the more productive, but his stats are prettier in many aspects, and he his involvement seems to be trending up compared to Troupe’s. Allow me to elaborate:

  • Was targeted 6, 2, then 7 times over the last 3 weeks, which indicates a slight upwards trend. (Troupe saw 5, 2, then 3 targets, which indicates a slight downward trend);
  • Kinney’s 15 pass targets are the 11th most of any tight end in the NFL;
  • Kinney has caught 14 of those 15 passes for an amazing 93.3% reception ratio, which is the 4th best of any pass target in the NFL. Troupe has a lesser 70% reception ratio;
  • Kinney’s 14 receptions are the 4th most of any TE; Troupe has only 7.
  • Kinney has 135 yards in 3 games; Troupe only 55;
  • Kinney is averaging 9.6 yards per reception; Troupe is averaging 7.9; and
  • The only category Troupe wins in is TDs. Troupe has 2 and Kinney has 0.

In touchdown-only leagues Troupe is obviously the better play. But in point per receptions leagues Kinney has actually outperformed Troupe – despite the lack of TDs – do to the fact that he’s caught so many passes this year. And because Kinney’s production is coming from yards and receptions, his production is much more consistent from week to week. Big piciture: while Kinney is someone who may not be worth owning for the entire year (except in very large leagues) he’ll do in a pinch on any given week.

Jay Feely – NYG PK : Feely is performing very well for a kicker who is largely available. He is only owned in 22% of all Fanball leagues, but he’s nailed 11 of 11 extra points (the most of any NFL kicker right now) and all 5 of his field goal attempts. Yup, he’s perfect on the season so far.

The Giants are racking up more points than any other NFL team (92 to date), which took me off guard. And kickers on high scoring teams thrive for fantasy purposes. This weeks’ opponent, the Rams, aren’t getting scored on a ton but they are allowing an average of 22.3 points per game; only 11 teams are allowing more. So Feely makes a decent play this week and, at this rate, could easily end up a top-12 fantasy kicker by the end of the year. He’s consistent, productive, and affordable. You can’t ask for more. The only thing to keep track of is any potentially lingering effect of a minor back injury from Week 2. It was just a tweak, and he performed well enough in Week 3, but I’d be remiss in my duties if I didn’t at least mention it.

Ravens’ DEF: You heard me.

The Ravens’ DEF is near the bottom of the barrel in terms of average per-game fantasy production, so they’re legit a Waiver Wire Warrior candidate regardless of how highly they were drafted. Only the Texans DEF sucks worse right now, which illustrates my point with deadly clarity.

However, coming off their Week 3 bye, you’ve gotta believe the Ravens will be looking to right Baltimore’s sinking ship against a vulnerable Jets’ team reeling with injuries at several key positions. Besides, over the last three weeks the Jets’ offense has accumulated only the 6th fewest yards per game and have tied Baltimore (ironically) for the 5 th most sacks allowed. If you’re still holding this squad, this is a great week to play them, as third string Jets’ QB Brooks Bollinger is in way over his head versus what has to be a very angry Ray Lewis & Co. And if the Baltimore owner in your league is understandably frustrated with the Ravens’ DEF, now is the time to submit a low-ball offer.

Veteran Recommendations

Trent Dilfer – CLE QB: Three weeks in a row. No, I’m not going to shut up about this guy yet. Dilfer faced his first real DEF in Week 3 against the Colts and did well enough to justify a spot on someone’s bench for the rest of the season. Admit it: the Colts DEF is for real this year and Dilfer still managed 208 yards (15th most in Week 3) connected on 22 of 29 passes for a 75.9% completion ratio (4th best in Week 3), and while he didn’t throw any TDs, he didn’t thrown any INTs, either. That’s certainly better than Kyle Boller fared against the Colts in Week 1 (141 passing yards, 1 INT, plus he got hurt) and about the same as Byron Leftwich in Week 2 (198 passing yards, 11 rushing, no TDs, no INTs, also injured by the Colts). Seeing as how Dilfer matched Leftwich’s production against the Colts, but made it out of the contest without injury, I’d say Dilfer has done the best job of any QB to face the Colts thus far. Not too shabby.

On the season Dilfer has also thrown the 9th highest average passes per game (34.7) and the 6th highest average yards per game (274). Since those stats have come against some great defenses (Bengals and Colts) and Dilfer has established that he can torch weaker ones (Packers in Week 2), this is one QB who deserves a home in virtually every league. Dilfer’s schedule is a mixed bag from here on out, but there are as many easy games as there are hard. While he and the Browns have Week 4 off, and then play the Bears in Week 5, he’s still worth adding as a #2 or #3 QB in the mean time. I simply cannot fathom why he is only owned in 11% of all Fanball leagues. Though, I suspect Warner and Pennington owners will be by shortly to kick his tires. Perhaps you can get there first, then negotiate a trade.

Shaun McDonald – STL WR: expect all the waiver wire attention to be on Kevin Curtis this week. However, for those in deep leagues, McDonald could still be useful, especially if you get points for his punt return duties. Suffice it to say, if Isaac Bruce misses any significant time McDonald’s role will increase. I already did a fairly through historical analysis on this guy after Week 1, so here’s what he’s done in 2005:

  • Has caught 8 of his 12 passes for a good 66.66% reception ratio;
  • Those 8 receptions are only 1 less than Bruce’s 9, if you can believe that;
  • 3 of his 12 looks (or 25%) came in the red zone, which is by far the highest percentage of any Rams’ receiver; and
  • has accrued 82 yards for a 10.2 yard per reception average, which isn’t bad;

While McDonald was real quiet in Week 3, seeing only one pass, he’s clearly effective when given the opportunity. Depending on how much time Bruce misses, his level of involvement should see a nice bump, which makes McDonald a decent short-term investment in medium and large leagues until Bruce’s situation gets figured out.

Rian Lindell – BUF KR: I told you after Week 1 that Lindell was a stud. But nooooo, some of you didn’t listen. Sure, he had a quiet Week 2, but he still connected on the only kick he was asked to make. In fact, he’s made every kick he’s been asked to make (9 field goals – a second most of any NFL kicker – and 2 extra points) He’s also the second most productive fantasy kicker in spite of that quiet Week 2 performance.

At this point, barring a major set back, Lindell will have out grown the Waiver Wire Warriors. He’s just been that good. Why Lindell is only owned in 43% of all Fanball leagues is beyond me, but suffice it to say, with all the struggling and injured kickers out there, and given Lindell’s current stats, I’d say that’ll change sooner than later.

49ers’ DEF: I don’t have time for a detailed analysis, but this is a pretty good play. Warner is down. McCown was horrible last year. And the Cards’ running game is stuck in neutral. Furthermore, the Cards are tied with Green Bay for scoring the 6th fewest points per game, has committed the 6th most penalties on offense, and are tied with the Jags for giving up the 4th most sacks thus far. While the Niners are giving up a lot of points and yards, they have accumulated the 3 rd most sacks in the NFL: 11

Guys I Thought About Recommending In More Detail, But Opted Not To

Kevin Faulk – NE RB: I spent quite a bit of time on an extended analysis of Faulk, only to learn Wednesday morning that he will likely miss the next 8 weeks with a leg injury. Rats.

Doug Gabriel – OAK WR: Gabriel is back faster than I thought he’d be from finger surgery. He only saw 3 passes last week, but hauled in 2 for 35 yards and a score. And those two catches in Week 3 make Gabriel the 3rd most productive Raider wide receiver for fantasy purposes over the last three weeks. Weird.

It remains to be seen how involved Gabriel will be going forward. Last year Collins spread the ball around pretty well, so the Raiders’ #3 WR was at times productive. However, with the addition of Randy Moss and Lamont Jordan, and increased use of their tight ends, there are more options on offense for the Raiders this year. We’re just going to have to wait and see on Gabriel. Plus, if you’re in a league that awards individual points for return yards, Gabriel isn’t returning kicks any more, which makes him an even less attractive option relative to last year.

Koren Robinson – MIN WR: Last week I recommended the “other” Vikings’ receivers (all of whom produced, might I add)… except Robinson. A reader emailed me and asked me why I omitted Robinson. Truth be told, I did consider including him last week. However, he’s simply a boozehound and a bust. And even if I were willing to assume that he was sober and motivated with this second chance of his (both of which are likely), the Vikings have a very crowed receiver corps. Culpepper has had one good game against a weak offense and two bad ones. And Burleson will be back sooner or later, too. Robinson merely struck me as the odd man out last week, which he was. Granted, he’s returning kicks and may see some additional involvement on regular offense going forward, but his contributions will probably be either too sporadic or insignificant for anyone to rely on. While he is/will be a popular speculative upside waiver wire pick up, I recommend letting someone else waste a roster spot on him.

Antonio Chatman – GB WR: Ferguson was immediately productive in Javon Walker’s absence, but Chatman still has a role, as he went 2 of 2 for 37 yards and scored last week. But until Chatman’s pass targets see an up-tick (they actually went down after Walker got hurt, if you can believe that), he’s just too risky to recommend. Chatman is now returning punts, however, if you get points for that. He might be worth adding in larger leagues, but I recommend taking a “wait and see” approach before you stick him in your starting line up. In small and medium sized leagues, he’s still keeping an eye on, but not yet worth acquiring.

Kevin Curtis – STL WR: With Isaac Bruce potentially unavailable, Curtis is now the hot pick up in most leagues. He went 5 for 5 last week for 56 yards and a TD in relief of Bruce, so the upside is clearly there. Of course, that’s a big part of why he was recommended here TWO WEEKS AGO! So I hope you were able to add Curtis already, because now he’s on everyone’s radar screen. Though, if you can still get to him at this point, do so.

Plaxico Burress – NYG WR: head case though he may be, he is a player worth trading for, if you don’t have to over pay. Burress is clearly the Giants’ #1 receiving target (targeted 32 times; next highest is Shockey with 17), but his reception ratio is very low: 40.54%. If Burress could improve that reception ratio, his fantasy production would explode. As it is he’s a top 20 WR. Thus, he’d normally be outside the scope of this article. Still, he’s likely undervalued by many of his owners – especially in point per reception leagues – and potentially unrealized value *is* something this article concerns itself with. So I’ll keep it short and just mention that it is worth your while to discretely test his owner’s willingness to deal him, especially if that owner is deep at WR, hurting at other positions, and you’ve got some bench players they could use.

Neil Rackers – ARI KR: Ah, you already knew about him. Call me a skeptic, but without Kurt Warner – who in my opinion was doing an underrated job of keeping the chains moving in Arizona – the Cardinals may not have as many scoring opportunities going forward. I fear Rackers’ potential will be hindered accordingly. So while Rackers is fantasy’s current #1 kicker, I expect that title to be short-lived.

Josh Scobee – JAX KR: I just couldn’t stomach the idea of writing yet about another kicker this week. But this guy looks useful.

Bengals’ DEF: Fantasy’s best defense, meet fantasy’s worst offense. I’m gonna make a point of watching this game, as the Texans look to get worked over like a jail house snitch on both sides of the ball in Week 4. This match up gets my vote for “most obvious play of the week,” so if the Bengals’ DEF is available, or you already own them, you shouldn’t need any line up assistance with this one. Come Sunday, secure an adequate supply of your favorite beverage, pull up a chair, and enjoy the blanket party.

Other Team DEF match up I like this week: I don’t really many of the match ups that should typically be available this week. However, other options I like (but don’t love) include:

  • Falcons’ DEF: against the skitzo Vikings;
  • Saints’ DEF:against the struggling Buffalo Bills;
  • Cardinals’ DEF: against the Niners. I like this match up the least, given how Dallas failed to stop my Niners last week. But the Niners make enough mistakes that at least you’ll get something.

* Non-football note: if you’re a fan of hip hop, I came across an outfit from Seattle called the ‘Boom Bap Project’ a month or so ago listening to, which is a impressively diverse on-line radio station. (Their DJs play rock, folk, jazz, hip hop, blues, and pretty much everything else but opera and classical). If you’re like me, and find it hard to keep up with new music, KEXP does a good job of playing all the good, new stuff the likes of which will never be heard on the mega-corporate Clear Channel stations. Boom Bap’s June 2005 album ‘Reprogram’ was impressive not only because of its 15 track breadth, but because about half the tracks are really, really good. And it seems rare to find albums, of any genre, with more than 3 or 4 solids tracks on them these days.

That’s all I’ve got this week, folks. But fear not! We’ll be back with more diamonds in the rough next here at Waiver Wire Warriors. Good luck in Week 4 and game on!