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Fantasy football

A new receiver in hand

Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo is a little banged up, so if you have him on your team, be prepared to call an audible. Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo is a little banged up, so if you have him on your team, be prepared to call an audible. (Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
By Ed Ryan
Globe Staff / September 30, 2011

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With only a $100 budget to spend on waiver-wire pickups for the fantasy season, I recently used $23 of that allotment on . . . Nate Washington.

Yes, I’m a bit desperate.

And no, I’m not desperate because my wide receivers are weak. I have Calvin Johnson and DeSean Jackson as starters and Santonio Holmes at the flex position. Actually, I’m stacked at receiver.

My problem is, I’m winless in this league. I have a solid squad, but bad luck and a couple of bad decisions have threatened to derail my season just one month in. So I justified overpaying for Tennessee’s Washington this way: My receiver depth is somewhat weak, and Washington’s bye week does not coincide with any of my starters’ byes.

With Kenny Britt down for the season, the talented Washington finally gets his chance to be a No. 1 target. He is averaging seven catches and 86 yards per game, and he’ll give me a legitimate bye week replacement.

Let’s face it, if I keep losing, it won’t matter what’s remaining in my waiver budget. Paying extra for Washington is worth it so my receivers remain strong.

At least that’s what I keep telling myself.

Three up:

Randy McMichael, TE, San Diego: Antonio Gates is hurting; he will either sit for a few weeks or play through foot pain. If you own Gates, don’t just hope he will keep playing. Pick up his backup, McMichael, before someone else does. The 10-year pro had four catches for 51 yards last week.

Kendall Hunter, RB, San Francisco: A rookie, Hunter is likely to earn more playing time because of the production and injury issues of starter Frank Gore.

Pierre Garcon, WR, Indianapolis: Many owners have discarded Garcon, but if Curtis Painter is the Colts’ quarterback, Garcon will become valuable again.

Three down:

Tony Romo, QB, Dallas: Playing behind a subpar offensive line has left Romo battered, and his top receiver (Miles Austin) won’t return until Week 6. Make sure you have a capable backup in case one of the hits Romo has been taking lands him on injured reserve.

Rashard Mendenhall, RB, Pittsburgh: A second-round pick in most leagues, Mendenhall has frustrated his owners. He is averaging about 50 yards per game and 3 yards per carry, with just one touchdown. Upcoming matchups with Tennessee and Jacksonville do not appear inviting.

Torrey Smith, WR, Baltimore: The hot pickup of the week - after 152 yards and three touchdowns - now faces the Jets secondary. Don’t get overly excited about this rookie from Maryland.

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