But waiver wire pickups are not designed to be fantasy saviors, and treating them as such can have damaging results.
Here are the worst Wire Tap finds of 2008:
After watching Matt Cassel and Kerry Collins slip into the starting lineup with ease, fantasy owners were encouraged enough to gamble on Johnson when it was announced Tony Romo would miss a month with a bad digit. And why not? With Terrell Owens and Jason Witten, how could Johnson fail? But the veteran quarterback was horrid during his brief stay in the Cowboys' lineup, and anyone who gambled on him lost -- big time.
Following Green-Ellis' Week 7 performance (65 yards and a touchdown), a number of fantasy owners pounced on him, only to be disappointed the following week (nine carries for 16 yards and a score). Green-Ellis had one last hurrah against Buffalo in Week 10 (105 yards) but faded into oblivion after that. Those fantasy owners hoping the former SEC stud back would bring stability to the Patriots running game were left disappointed, if not bitter.
It's official -- Johnson's career is toast. But following a Week 3 performance against San Francisco (83 yards rushing, 48 yards receiving) fantasy owners weren't so sure. In fact, many thought Johnson would force rookie Kevin Smith to the sideline and have a nice year for an awful Lions offense. But Johnson went in the tank after the 49ers game and he hasn't reached 40 yards rushing (or 15 yards receiving) in any game since.
His 102-catch Week 1 performance got everyone to jump on his bandwagon, but other than a respectable Week 3 effort (eight catches for 85 yards) Baskett's year was an absolute dud (well, excluding his engagement to a Playboy playmate, that is).
This is the reason fantasy owners get sour about sifting through the waiver wire. Each week it seemed someone new in Chicago was showing promise. First Brandon Lloyd had a big week, then Rashied Davis, then Devin Hester. No one receiver offered any sort of consistency, and the only Bear players worth a darn in the passing game were running back Matt Forte (currently leading the team with 60 catches) and the team's maturing tight end, Greg Olsen. The wide receivers? Well, let's just say they made a lot of fantasy owners angry this year.
Considering how much the Cardinals like to pass the ball it seemed only natural that the team's tight end would have a big year. Fantasy owners showed favor for Patrick over Leonard Pope after the second-year tight end caught four balls for 30 yards in Week 2. But he never really took flight, and missed a significant part of the year. Through Week 16 Patrick has caught a total of just 10 passes.
Undrafted in most leagues, Nedney was snapped up as a free agent after his 15-point effort in Week 2. A few weeks later he posted 14 points against Philadelphia. But for the most part Nedney has been a bust; he's scored six or fewer points in seven games this year, and he ranks 16th among kickers in scoring.