Posted: 9:15 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2013
By Jon Benne
The fantasy season is starting to enter its stretch run, and it's time for owners to think about playoff races. Hitting on waiver wire pickups will be critical as injuries pile up and the bye weeks continue. The Browns, Patriots, Chiefs and Jets are all on bye this week. If you need a replacement for Josh Gordon, or simply want to find a roster stash, here are five receivers who could help. All players are owned in less than 50 percent of Yahoo! leagues.
Don't be scared off by Washington's goose egg against the Rams in Week 9. He's still one of Jake Locker's most reliable targets and is facing Jacksonville's defense this week. He's due for a big rebound performance after Ryan Fitzpatrick hurt his stat line for several weeks. The lack of touchdowns still makes him a low-end WR3 at best.
Tom Brady finally has his playmakers healthy and responded by shredding the Steelers last week. Dobson was a big beneficiary, grabbing five catches for 130 yards and two touchdowns. With Kenbrell Thompkins phased out of the offense (he was a healthy scratch Sunday), Dobson now has an undisputed starting job locked up. The Patriots have a bye in Week 10 before facing a Panthers secondary that's still vulnerable despite its elite front seven. Dobson could emerge as a second-half fantasy savior if Brady keeps clicking.
This might be considered cheating since Wright plays tight end, but he's listed as a WR/TE on Yahoo! and is quietly emerging as a real playmaker with Mike Williams out for the season. Wright got 58 yards and a touchdown against the Seahawks and is connecting nicely with Mike Glennon. If your league has him listed at both positions, that makes him an even more versatile option who could play at WR4, TE2 or the flex spot. The Bucs get the Dolphins this week.
Cooper probably won't catch three touchdowns again, but he's clicking with Nick Foles and could have real value as a WR3 down the stretch. When Foles had his other outstanding performance in Week 6, Cooper caught four passes for 120 yards and a touchdown. He should continue finding targets as long as DeSean Jackson keeps defenses occupied. The schedule is also favorable for Cooper -- the Eagles face the Packers in a potential shootout and get a dream matchup with the Redskins defense.
Nate Burleson is due back soon, but isn't expected to play in Week 10. That gives Durham at least one more week of being Calvin Johnson's wingman. Durham is hardly an every-week starter, but he does get a crumbling Bears defense and could see plenty of open looks with Charles Tillman and Tim Jennings focusing on Megatron. Only worth monitoring if injuries have depleted your roster.