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News-Herald Assistant Sports Editor Kevin Kleps doesn’t just write headlines and stories. He also checks on his fantasy sports teams. A lot. See if the moves and news from the world of sports affect your fantasy teams.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Fantasy football: Week 6 waiver-wire picks

Ladies and gentlemen, it's Tebow time.

Either my quarterbacks in the News-Herald fantasy league have been atrocious or I'm a little too excited to acquire a quarterback whose accuracy has been panned by the experts and is more of a bull in the backfield than a precision passer.

OK, it's the former, thanks to my mistaken belief that I could wait on a QB in the draft and start Josh Freeman.

Because of that, I'll be among the many this week who will put a bid on Tim Tebow, who was named the Broncos' starting quarterback on Tuesday.

So what should we expect? We have that and more in this week's waiver-wire picks.

As always, we select players who are available in a majority of the leagues on This week's group can be had in more than 90 percent of the ESPN formats.

1. Tim Tebow, QB, Broncos (owned in 2.7 percent of the ESPN leagues): He completed only 4 of 10 passes for 79 yards in relief of Kyle Orton on Sunday, and ESPN's Todd McShay will tell you he'll never be a productive NFL quarterback.

From a fantasy perspective, however, here's what we know: Tebow played extensively in Denver's last three games in 2010. In those contests, he threw for 651 yards, four touchdowns and three interceptions. He also rushed 31 times for 199 yards and three TDs (one score in each game).

If you play in a league in which 100 rushing yards is worth 10 points, 100 passing yards is worth four, all touchdowns are six and interceptions are minus-2, Tebow averaged about 27 points per game.

In two quarters last week, he threw for a score and rushed for 38 yards and a TD.

The Broncos are off this week, so you will have to be more patient than normal, but the numbers say this: Whether it's pretty or not, Tebow will produce.

2. Jackie Battle, RB, Chiefs (owned in 0.8 percent of the ESPN leagues): We discussed Battle on Sunday night in this space. Like Tebow, his team is on a bye this week. Unlike Tebow, he will be sharing the load with Thomas Jones and maybe Dexter McCluster. At best, Battle should be considered a flex play in a 10- or 12-team league.

3. Alex Smith, QB, 49ers (owned in 9.2 percent of the ESPN leagues): Either Jim Harbaugh is a genius or Smith is finally getting it. Maybe both. The No. 1 overall pick of the 2005 NFL draft had been considered a bust until Harbaugh came aboard, and Smith has thrown for 965 yards, seven touchdowns and one pick in the 49ers' 4-1 start. He has a passer rating of 104.1, and has 461 yards, five TDs and no interceptions in his last two games.

His matchup this week (the 49ers play at Detroit) isn't favorable. The Lions have one more interception (seven) than TD passes allowed (six) this season, but if you are desperate for a QB, Smith is an upper-end No. 2 passer and could be a spot starter in fantasy.

4. Doug Baldwin, WR, Seahawks (owned in 0.8 percent of the ESPN formats): The undrafted rookie has been Seattle's most productive receiver (20 catches for 330 yards and two TDs). In his last two games, Baldwin has 13 receptions for 220 yards and one TD. With Mike Williams out because of a concussion Sunday, Baldwin excelled. When healthy, Williams (eight catches for 79 yards and one TD in four games) shouldn't be much of a threat to Baldwin's production. Seattle is off this week, but Baldwin could be a decent No. 3 or 4 fantasy receiver from Week 7 on.

5. Donald Brown, RB, Colts (owned in 1.0 percent of the ESPN leagues): To be blunt, Brown only has value if Joseph Addai sits because of an injured hamstring. Addai had an MRI on Monday, and the Colts have yet to reveal the results. If Addai is out this week at Cincinnati, Brown likely would share carries with rookie Delone Carter. The latter is a rookie who has received much more work than Brown, a 2009 first-round pick who has been a disappointment. But Carter is averaging only 3.0 yards on 41 carries this season, and Brown had eight attempts for 38 yards last week. Neither Carter nor Brown will solve any backfield problems you might have, but Brown could at least be a decent one-week fill-in if Addai is too injured to play.

6. Benjamin Watson, TE, Browns (owned in 9.0 percent of the ESPN leagues): The Browns have said they want to get Evan Moore more involved, but Watson continues to be the Browns' best tight end. He has 11 receptions for 112 yards and a TD in his last two games, and last season he set career highs in catches (68) and yards (763). He's best a bye-week fill-in or an upper-level backup, but Watson can be a spot starter at tight end in deep leagues.

Past waiver-wire picks who remain undervalued: Victor Cruz, WR, Giants (owned in 38.3 percent of the ESPN leagues); Jabar Gaffney, WR, Redskins (6.4 percent); Jason Campbell, QB, Raiders (34.7 percent); Jermaine Gresham, TE, Bengals (38.5 percent).

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