OLine Cohesiveness Boosts Waiver Wire Additions


By Vidur Malik



By themselves, offensive linemen obviously are obviously not draftable for a fantasy team.


But they could very well be the most influential players in football when it comes to deciding who you should draft.


After only three weeks, the 2011 NFL season has proven that.


A team’s offensive line is something you should definitely pay attention to when picking up players. Everyone who has Michael Vick as a starting quarterback is extremely frustrated at the Philadelphia Eagles’ o-line for not protecting their QB. The teams’ offensive linemen can’t take all the blame for the concussion and bruised hand he suffered in back-to-back weeks, but they should definitely shoulder a majority of it.


Vick is just one example of an elite fantasy player whose numbers could suffer because he plays with a suspect offensive line. The men in the trenches are extremely crucial to every part of a team’s offense, which makes them very important for your fantasy team.


When considering which players to pick up from the waiver list, think about their offensive lines. If the team has a strong line, it will probably boost the chances for a quarterback or running back to play well. By giving the quarterback more time to throw, the o-line could also give wide receivers a chance to run intricate routes and get open.


Teams like the New York Giants, Oakland Raiders and New England Patriots all have dependable offensive lines, and it’s a good idea to take a look at players on those teams when you’re adding someone from waivers. Look for players like Raiders running back Michael Bush, a big, bruising runner who excels in short-yardage situations and runs behind a solid line. Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz probably got picked up by fantasy owners all over the nation after his performance last week, and Torrey Smith of the Ravens, who also have a good o-line, was no doubt a popular pick-up. Both are examples of players who got opportunities to produce because their quarterbacks are usually not pressured.


The offensive line will probably mean the most to you during next year’s draft. At that time, consider a quarterback like Eli Manning or Joe Flacco over someone like Vick, who obviously has the potential to put up huge fantasy numbers but could also be sidelined because of injuries.


For now, you should keep this in mind as you make mid-season pick-ups. You never know which no-name running back or wide receiver could suddenly emerge as a starter because he benefits from a great offensive line.


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