Thursday, December 18, 2008

Dan Orlovsky: Finally fantasy relevent and other hot pickups

If you are lucky enough to enter your championship game or semifinal round this week, you are certainly trying to make some last-minute waiver wire pickups to bolster your chances of winning.
At quarterback, look no further than - drum roll please - Detroit quarterback Dan Orlovsky of Shelton.
After years of spot backup duty, thanks to injuries to starters Jon Kitna and Daunte Culpepper, Orlovsky has been pretty much the last man standing and the Lions have been forced to start the former UConn standout.
Fully recovered from a thumb injury, Orlovsky had a respectable game against the Indianapolis Colts last week with 233 yards passing and a touchdown. This week, with the pickins pretty slim at this stage on waiver wires, Orlovsky is rated as one of the top three pickups of the week on most fantasy football Web sites.
The key with him is he has a low turnover percentage and thanks to an elite receiver like Calvin Johnson he is able to post serviceable yardage totals.
Detroit is hosting New Orleans and the Saints' defense has conistency allowed huge fantasy production in recent weeks. With quarterback Drew Brees & Co. sure to torch the Lions defense for 30-40 points, Orlovsky will also have to throw more than usual.
Orlovsky is certainly the sleeper of the week. He could throw the ball 40-45 times for one or two touchdowns and around 250 yards.
Go team Orlovsky.
The only other fantasy-relevent quarterback likely available on your waiver wire this week is Chicago's Kyle Orton. Sure, he's a hit or miss player when it comes to fantasy production. But he's at home Monday night against a banged up Green Bay defense. He should post decent numbers, especially with the Bears needing the win to stay alive for the playoffs.
Reggie Bush and his gimpy knee have finally been placed on injured reserve and is lost for the season. If you don't have Saints backup Pierre Thomas, replacements to consider are Tampa Bay's Cadillac Williams, Cincinnati's Cedric Benson or the Denver running back by committee of Tatum Bell or Selvin Young.
Check out my Saturday fantasy football column for more advice and waiver wire possibilities.
PROGRAM NOTE: The final Northeast Fantasy Football radio show, co-hosted by myself and Register colleague Bill Cloutier, will be on WICC-600 tonight (Thursday, Dec. 18) from 9 to 10. You can also listen to us on the WICC Web site at

Sunday, December 14, 2008


Be advised that today's games could turn out wacky.
For example, Indianapolis looks like it has a golden matchup against the hapless Detroit defense. But there is the growing concern that many of the starters will be rested in the second half, especially if the game is a Colts blowout by halftime. You likely already know that back Joseph Addai is questionable and likely won't play. Even if he does start, it will be sparingly with Dominic Rhodes getting the bulk of the workload.
Also, San Francisco back Frank Gore is out with DeShaun Foster the starter. But don't expect much production going against the stout Miami defense.
Other backs to consider who are still available on many waiver wires are Cadillac Williams, Tatum Bell or if you are really desperate - Cedric Benson.
It also appears Tampa Bay quarterback Jeff Garcia will not start. Find another option if you have him active.
Avoid the Pittsburgh-Baltimore matchup if possible due to two defenses that are expected to stymie both offenses.
And good luck with the Dallas-Giants matchup. For the Giants, back Brandon Jacobs is out so Derrick Ward becomes a key player. But the Dallas "D" won't allow much production there. Expect Eli Manning to throw a lot with Amani Toomer likely having a good day.
And who knows what to expect from the Cowboys with the Tony Romo-Terrell Owens-Jason Witten saga. If you have these guys on your roster you have to obviously play them since this is playoff time. But this game becomes a crapshoot - Dallas needs the win but do the players care more about personal grudges?
Good luck today....and yes, play all Eagles players and their defense on Monday night.