Waiver Wire Madness: Week 11
November 10, 2014 | Jeff
The quarterback position has produced a few more names for the weekly streaming and 2QB league crowd with injuries and benchings piling up around the NFL. Lesser options like Josh McCown (Owned: 14% Yahoo, 4% ESPN) and Drew Stanton (Owned: 2% Yahoo, 1% ESPN) should be left on the wire, or used in extreme cases, but with bye week nearly over those names will likely reside on the wire for the remainder of the season. Three options stick out as weekly streaming options for those fake footballers who like to play matchups at the position, with Robert Griffin III (Owned: 46% Yahoo, 32% ESPN), Michael Vick (Owned: 12% Yahoo, 5% ESPN), and Mark Sanchez (Owned: 43% Yahoo, 39% ESPN) widely available. If you were a Carson Palmer owner or are currently starting an underperforming option like Cam Newton, check out those quarterbacks this week for some help. I prefer them in that order, with RG3 the best option moving forward.
The Denver Broncos running back situation finally found some stability with the emergence of Ronnie Hillman, but with Hillman now out 2-3 weeks with a foot injury, we have more waiver wire options to consider. C.J. Anderson (Owned: 6% Yahoo, 3% ESPN) will likely get the first crack at starting behind Peyton Manning in Week 11 and is a nice pickup for teams that need an immediate plug-in running back. The return of Montee Ball makes this situation a bit murky, but after Anderson pumped out 163 total yards in Week 10, I would bet on John Fox letting Anderson handle the bulk of the work while Ball gets back into the mix. Anderson has also caught seven total passes over the last two weeks, so he should chip in a bit extra in PPR leagues as well.
Our weekly Cleveland Browns running back update requires me to mention both Terrance West (Owned: 55% Yahoo, 67% ESPN) and Isaiah Crowell (Owned: 15% Yahoo, 24% ESPN), who each found the end zone in Week 10. West still looks like the front runner in this backfield, and while all three backs (including Ben Tate) are roster worthy, West is the only one I would feel comfortable starting unless bye weeks had me extremely desperate.
Be sure that Tre Mason (Owned: 46% Yahoo, 46% ESPN) is owned in your league, immediately. Mason was St. Louis’ lead back once again in Week 10 and even added notable receiving work to his repertoire, adding four catches for 33 yards to his stat line. Don’t even both with the rest of the running backs mentioned here if Mason is available, and his schedule lightens up moving forward which makes him a nice bet for the fantasy home stretch.
With Lamar Miller battling a shoulder injury and Daniel Thomas being Daniel Thomas, Damien Williams (Owned: 1% Yahoo, 1% ESPN) may be the Miami lead back this week. Williams led the Dolphins in Week 10 with 10 touches for 61 yards, but draws the Buffalo Bills on Thursday Night Football, which is not the tastiest running back matchup. If your squad is desperate for an immediate starter, Williams is worth a look this week but probably doesn’t have much long term value.
We have discussed Charles Sims (Owned: 30% Yahoo, 27% ESPN) here plenty in the last few weeks and he finally saw the field in Week 10, totaling 40 yards on 10 touches. Sims led the Bucs backfield in touches, but Bobby Rainey, Mike James, and Doug Martin are all still partially involved in this situation, making Sims tough to trust as a weekly starter right now. In any event, Sims is absolutely worth a roster spot and should be stashed in hopes that Lovie Smith hands over the keys to the Tampa backfield and lets Sims run the show later this season.
One last note, make sure your league is not the league where Adrian Peterson (Owned: 86% Yahoo, 72% ESPN) is still available. Thank you.
Before we get into the usual waiver wire names, please make sure Josh Gordon (Owned: 70% Yahoo, 61% ESPN) is not available in your league as the monster himself will be returning soon. I giggle like a school girl just thinking about it.
Jordan Matthews (Owned: 24% Yahoo, 24% ESPN) erupted on Monday Night and seems to have quite the chemistry with new Eagles quarterback Mark Sanchez. Matthews is yet another rookie to emerge from this historic 2014 draft class and has an excellent future ahead. If Sanchez can remain productive in Chip Kelly’s offense, Matthews should have more opportunities to shine moving forward. Add him immediately and go ahead and slide him into your flex spot for Philadelphia’s Week 11 matchup with the Green Bay Packers.
One more rookie to check on is Ariziona’s John Brown (Owned: 19% Yahoo, 8% ESPN), who caught yet another deep late-game touchdown in Week 10. Drew Stanton is in charge for the Cardinals for the remainder of the year, but Brown has been solid in Bruce Arians’ slot receiver role. Brown is worth an add in all formats and is going to be borderline flex-able in certain matchups.
It wouldn’t be Waiver Wire Madness without another boring shoutout to The Fake Football’s favorite Jaguars receivers Cecil Shorts (Owned: 41% Yahoo, 28% ESPN) and Allen Robinson (Owned: 36% Yahoo, 46% ESPN). I have worn out this column with Shorts and Robinson love over the course of the 2014 season, but both receivers were productive yet again in Week 10 as Shorts caught five of seven targets for 119 yards and Robinson snagged five of 10 targets for 60 yards. I understand that Jags fantasy options aren’t the sexiest players in fake football land, but Robinson is a reception machine and Shorts is a quality receiver when healthy. Blake Bortles spends quite a bit of time playing from behind and garbage time points are still points as far as fantasy matchups are concerned. I will take my 10+ point weekly PPR base line from Robinson and strut my way to victory each and every week. Except next week when Jacksonville is on bye….you get the point!
** UPDATE ** Allen Robinson is now out for the season with a foot injury. Look for Cecil Shorts to be even more involved in Jacksonville’s passing game moving forward
Returning soon from injury is Minnesota tight end Kyle Rudolph (Owned: 30% Yahoo, 9% ESPN). Rudy may see the field in Week 11 or 12 depending on how practices goes, and is a worthwhile option for teams hurting at tight end. Rudolph wasn’t exactly lighting the world on fire before his groin injury but he is still a moose in the red zone who could be productive for fantasy teams down the stretch.
Another underowned option to check out is Oakland’s Mychal Rivera (Owned: 34% Yahoo, 40% ESPN), who we discussed last week. Rivera saw another eight targets in Week 10 and caught six passes for 64 yards and a touchdown. Now sporting a three week average of seven catches on 9.3 targets for 61.7 yards and a score, Rivera is creeping his way into TE1 territory and should be scooped up, pronto.