Waiver Wire Madness: Week 9
October 27, 2014 | Jeff
Three potential waiver options jump out at the quarterback position for owners who are struggling with signal callers, or for those who enjoy the fine art of streaming. The first is Robert Griffin III (Ownership: 36% Yahoo, 73% ESPN). RGIII has been on the shelf with an ankle injury but could be returning to the Washington starting lineup as soon as Week 9. We all know what Griffin can contribute with his wheels, so he could easily be a bye week fill-in over the next few weeks if he is indeed active.
Another quarterback to check out is Carson Palmer (Ownership: 50% Yahoo, 13% ESPN), who has ownership numbers that are far too low. The Arizona passing game has some real options right now and Palmer has been solid since returning from a shoulder injury, averaging 277.3 yards and two touchdowns per game since Week 6.
Michael Vick (Ownership: 3% Yahoo, 3% ESPN) is another name to check out this week with Geno Smith being sent to the bench without dessert. I am not especially excited about Vick for fantasy purposes, but he does run quite a bit (69 rushing yards in Week 8), so that puts him ahead of the other remaining waiver wire muck.
Make sure the they are owned: Mark Ingram (Ownership: 69% Yahoo, 92% ESPN), Denard Robinson (Ownership: 57% Yahoo, 16% ESPN), Darren McFadden (Ownership: 61% Yahoo, 90% ESPN). And Buffalo is on bye this week but Bryce Brown (Ownership: 39% Yahoo, 3% ESPN) and Anthony Dixon (Ownership: 30% Yahoo, 4% ESPN) are still worth a shot as well.
The best little-owned waiver wire option this week might be Jonas Gray (Ownership: 6% Yahoo, 1% ESPN). Gray handled the bulk of the New England rushing work in Week 8, taking 17 carries for 86 yards. He will fall out of the game plan in certain scenarios for the Patriots but with the New England offense looking much better of late, Gray could be a fantasy weapon down the stretch as their goal line hammer.
The Baltimore backfield switched on us again Sunday morning, with Bernard Pierce labeled a “healthy inactive.” This gave rookie Lorenzo Taliaferro (Ownership: 9% Yahoo, 12% ESPN) the chance to run behind Justin Forsett as the Baltimore short yardage back and he responded with two short touchdown plunges. I would snag Taliaferro if I had bench room or needed a potential bye week filler, but starting him will likely be a gamble on whether he finds the end zone or not.
Juwan Thompson (Ownership: 2% Yahoo, 1% ESPN) is worth a look as Ronnie Hillman’s handcuff (that sounds weird, I know). Thompson pounded in a pair of scores on Thursday night and would be the next man up alongside Peyton Manning if Hillman goes down. It still would take an injury, but Thompson is a worthy lottery ticket if you have space.
If Reggie Bush misses any more time, Theo Riddick (Ownership: 2% Yahoo, 1% ESPN) is a name to check out in PPR leagues. With Bush sitting in Week 8, Riddick stacked up eight catches for 74 yards and a touchdown and is PPR flex worthy if Bush misses another game.
Charles Sims (Ownership: 8% Yahoo, 1% ESPN) is also a great option for running back deprived teams. Sims could be in the mix right away, which could be in the next week or two. The rookie was drafted in April by Tampa with high hopes and has been on the shelf with an ankle injury since the preseason. With the Tampa running game in the dumps, Sims could be a nice breath of fresh air and potential fantasy stretch run contributors like this are always worth a stash.
We have an explosion of rookies on the waiver wire scene this week, so let’s jump right in and see which members of this outstanding rookie class deserve our waiver attention this week:
Martavis Bryant (Ownership: 8% Yahoo, 1% ESPN) now has been targeted 12 times over the last two weeks by Ben Roethlisberger and has found the end zone three times in that same span. Fellow Pittsburgh receiver Markus Wheaton has taken a backseat to this rookie in recent games and Bryant could be a fantasy contributor in deeper leagues moving forward.
Donte Moncrief (Ownership: 3% Yahoo, 1% ESPN) is a stud and just may be the wide receiver who grows into a beast right alongside Andrew Luck. Unfortunately, Reggie Wayne will be back from injury in the very near future, so a bit of Moncrief’s shine is gone in the short-term. The good news is, Moncrief has seemingly taken over the WR3 role in Indy over Hakeem Nicks, so there should be useable fantasy weeks down the stretch despite Wayne’s presence. This guy is keeper/dynasty gold and is worth a bench spot right now as well.
I have talked about Allen Robinson (Ownership: 24% Yahoo, 4% ESPN) nearly every week in this spot and he is still not owned in enough leagues. Let’s go, people! Another 10 targets in Week 8 for this youngster, who is averaging just under eight targets per game this season. Not bad for a rookie who missed most of the Jacksonville preseason action with an injury.
John Brown (Ownership: 10% Yahoo, 3% ESPN) had a nice Week 8, but his target totals won’t be as consistent as the other options on this list.
Just one more name before we move to tight ends, and that is Andrew Hawkins (Ownership: 33% Yahoo, 10% ESPN), who is still under-owned in league despite being a PPR monster. Hawkins has received at least nine targets in six of seven games in 2014. Until Josh Gordon returns, this guy is a weekly PPR starter.
Nothing exciting at the tight end spot this week, so don’t go crazy with waiver priority or FAAB bids here.
Make sure Heath Miller (Ownership: 61% Yahoo, 19% ESPN) is owned before jumping in and snagging any of the rest of these uninspiring names below. Miller hasn’t been spectacular, but I like him as a “gamble on which TE will score a TD” bet most weeks.
Tim Wright (Ownership: 14% Yahoo, 3% ESPN) looks tempting and has scored in three of four games but his target totals are far too sporadic to count on him weekly. Leave him alone.
Mychal Rivera (Ownership: 0% Yahoo, 1% ESPN) was targeted nine times in Week 8, catching seven balls for 83 yards. This is a nice line for Rivera, but he had been thrown to just four times over Oakland’s previous two games.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins (Ownership: 2% Yahoo, 1% ESPN) and Jace Amaro (Ownership: 5% Yahoo, 2% ESPN) are two future beasts who are worth a look in deep leagues. Both young tight ends have seen their levels of involvement increase as the season has moved along, so they could potentially carve out bigger roles by fantasy playoff time.