The league in which I'm doing best drafted on May 2.
That's just a ludicrous date. NFL training camps didn't open for another 12 weeks. The baseball season was only a month old.
But it's an experts league, and those things draft at inconvenient times and on ridiculous dates. I'm 4-0, I've scored the second-most points in my division, and Randy Moss is carrying me. It doesn't hurt that I've had 51 fewer points scored against me than anyone else. You really can't beat the combination of luck and Randy Moss.
Elsewhere, across a football portfolio that is inadvisably large and diversified, I'm almost perfectly average. There are 1-3 teams, 3-1 teams, and 2-2s. The nice thing about owning more than a dozen teams, if you write about this stuff, is that you become familiar with essentially every predicament and dependence. The bad thing about owning so many teams, if you write about this stuff, is that somewhere you're going to be 1-3, and your fellow owners will treat you like Najeh Davenport treats a laundry basket.
Regardless of your team's record, however, Tuesday is a big day.
It's Waiver-Add Eve in thousands of leagues. This is when you need to identify priorities, expendables, and probabilities. That is to say, you need to ask these questions: What does my team need? What can my team afford to lose? Based on waiver priority, who do I have a reasonable chance to acquire?
Looking at percent ownership numbers in Yahoo! leagues, it's clear that there's really a ton of useful talent on waiver wires at the moment. Sammy Morris still isn't properly owned (33.2 percent), but things are improving. He was only 5.5 percent owned the week before. We can reasonably expect Monday's 117-yard effort to get Morris to 50 percent ownership, where he probably should've been in Week 2.
Here are ten players available in more than 90 percent of Yahoo! leagues who should be of considerable interest:
James Jones, Green Bay WR, 9.5
The rookie has at least four catches in every game thus far, he's on pace for over 900 receiving yards, and he scored his first touchdown in Week 4 against the Vikings. Jones has proven to be difficult to both cover and tackle. Green Bay is home against Chicago in Week 5, and Nathan Vasher (groin) and Charles Tillman (ankle) are injured. And every other member of the Bears is severely humbled.
Jason Campbell, Washington QB, 9.1
The Redskins get Detroit in Week 5. The Lions have allowed 293 passing yards per game. They gave up 313 passing yards to Josh McCown and 286 to Brian Griese. Tough to imagine that Campbell, coming off a bye, could possibly struggle here.
Ron Dayne, Houston RB, 4.6
The news on Ahman Green (knee) hasn't been especially promising, and the Texans get Miami in Week 5. See "Fargas, Justin." There's a troubling Rotowire note on Dayne's player page right now, though: "Texans head coach Gary Kubiak admitted he lost confidence in Houston's short-yardage package, which featured Dayne at running back, in Sunday's loss to Atlanta." Still, Dayne hasn't had fewer than 13 rushing attempts in a game when active this year.
Dominic Rhodes, Oakland RB, 2.9
The Raiders have a bye in Week 5, then Rhodes returns from his four-game suspension. No matter how LaMont Jordan heals, expect Rhodes to get carries. Even if Jordan (back) recovers fully within two weeks – which doesn't seem likely, but let's just say – it's in the Raiders' season-long best interests to limit him.
Leon Washington, New York RB, 2.5
He had eight receptions, 24 rushing yards on four carries, and a touchdown against the Bills last Sunday. Thomas Jones had 12 carries for 35 yards and two receptions for 20. This isn't necessarily likely to become a job-share, but during the offseason, the Jets said they'd give Washington opportunities. That's exactly what's happening.
Kurt Warner, Arizona QB, 2.2
It's tough to predict the exact split in stats between Warner and Matt Leinart. I'm not actually sure who should be called the understudy here. At St. Louis in Week 5, it's entirely possible that the Cardinals could get up by a wide enough margin that Leinart will be allowed to feel like he's still the Arizona quarterback. Warner is a nice bye week fill-in for Carson Palmer and Donovan McNabb owners, though.
Marcedes Lewis, Jacksonville TE, 1.3
There aren't any top-tier fantasy tight ends with byes this week, but Todd Heap does have an injury that might shelve him. Lewis is certainly getting looks, and he's getting a fair number of yards per catch (13.1).
Michael Pittman, Tampa Bay RB, 0.9
Well, duh. He'll probably be the most heavily-added player this week when it's all said and done. Earnest Graham is obviously a decent play, too, but I prefer Pittman. He'll get receptions and useful yardage totals each week; Graham is a threat to poach TDs. Even though the Bucs are rumored to be interested in Tiki Barber, Corey Dillon, Chester Taylor, Ricky Williams, Earnest Byner, James Stewart, both Pruitts, Bam Morris, Ronnie Harmon, or any Vicks capable of interstate travel, Pittman remains a respectable flex play until Tampa Bay actually acquires somebody else.
Selvin Young, Denver RB, 0.9
"He is a starter in this league." That's what Mike Shanahan had to say about Young after Week 2. Young saw the field in Week 4 before Travis Henry's knee/ankle injury. He's an intriguing player and a necessary handcuff, without regard to Henry's health. And Henry is a guy we'll have to hawk this week, probably until game-time. If you don't have respectable waiver priority in your league, skip Pittman and get this guy.