Waiver Wire Work

Brad Johnson
13-for-29, 162 Yards and 1 TD
It is not exactly a step up in Minnesota, but the Vikings are very glad that they have a veteran backup QB after Daunte Culpepper went down with an injury this past weekend. Johnson is a game manager who will run the offense efficiently and be asked to not make mistakes. His abilities to control a game took him all the way to the Super Bowl in 2002 and a victory in Tampa, but the weapons he had with that team were clearly superior to what he is being asked to operate with in Minnesota. Look for Johnson to have little impact in fantasy. In a deep league where QBs are a premium, he's a worthy addition. He's certainly better than Chris Simms, Alex Smith and QBs of that ilk, but he's maybe up to Aaron Brooks level. Expect production in the low 200s for passing yards and maybe a TD or two per game mixed with some interceptions.

Tim Rattay
56-for-97, 667 Yards and 5 TD
Some waiver pickups are clear and immediate. Rattay is a claim for the future. Chris Simms has really struggled in Tampa at the QB position. His biggest crime has been turning the ball over on a regular basis. Another poor performance like the Week 8 one, and Jon Gruden may look to change QBs. Tampa isn't in rebuilding mode. They are tied for the top seed in the NFC which will put Simms on a shorter leash. Rattay has some ability to start in the NFL. He is a smart QB who will effectively read defenses and is a rhythm passer. He won't throw the ball deep often, but can be effective moving an offense for long drives. Gruden might look to pump some life into that Tampa Bay offense and Rattay may be a player he uses to do that.

Dominic Rhodes
26 carries for 107 Yards and 2 TD
Rhodes is another long-term investment. Last season, the Colts were locked in to the No. 2 seed in the playoffs and Peyton and the rest of the offense took Week 17 off, at a critical fantasy playoff time. With the Colts looking to seal up a playoff bid and possible No. 1 seed earlier this season, the premise is there for them to sit the offensive stars again. In Week 17 of last season, Dominic Rhodes received the bulk of the carries, and would likely do so again this year. If Indy has the top seed locked up by Week 15, Rhodes would play a huge role in deciding fantasy champions. Rhodes is short, but built strong and has deceptive speed. He has a good history of being a strong runner when he's been in relief of Edgerrin James and in 2001 actually had an 1,100 yard season after James went down with an injury. This is a waiver pickup that could pay off when it matters most.