Waiver Wire Pickups for Week 11
November 17, 2015 | Evan Sandel
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Jay Ajayi (18% Yahoo, 9% ESPN)
In the last two weeks Ajayi has outrushed Lamar Miller by two yards, a stat that becomes very significant when you consider that Miller has had a whooping 17 more carries. Miller’s position isn’t in terrible danger, as he’s continued to be effective on passing downs, but Ajayi has more than earned an increased roll going forward, especially since Lamar Miller will be a free agent in 2016 and the ‘Fins need to know what they have in the rookie.
An athletic specimen and one of the best backs of the 2015 draft, Ajayi only fell to the fifth round over concerns about the long-term health of his knee. These concerns appear to have been significantly alleviated, and even if the knee does deteriorate over time, that’s not a concern for redraft formats.
Add Ajayi as one of the best handcuffs out there, with stand-alone value that should continue to increase.
Danny Amendola (32% Yahoo, 22% ESPN)
With Julian Edelman out for the remainder of the regular season, Amendola will take over the voluminous role of slot receiver for the New England Patriots. Danny Amendola has ridiculously good hands, as proven by his 85% catch rate, which is best in the NFL for receivers who’ve caught at least 36 passes. And he has the speed and elusiveness to get significant yards after the catch, a skill he’s honed returning kicks for the Patriots and Rams over the course of his career.
Amendola also has the trust of the Patriots organization, something not to be undervalued considering Belichick’s sometime erratic personnel decisions. He was a significant part of the game plan in last year’s Super Bowl, catching 5 balls for 48 yards and a score. While Edelman’s injury may mean a slight uptick in the respective values of Brandon LaFell and Scott Chandler, the primary beneficiary will be Amendola. He’s a must add in all formats.
Jay Cutler (40% Yahoo, 26% ESPN)
Cutler has been rock solid since the Bears’ week seven bye, averaging 20.95 standard fantasy points per game. And perhaps more significantly to the Cutler leery, his TD:INT ratio over those three games has been 6:1. On the scale of reasonable expectations for a gunslinger like Jay, that’s remarkable ball security.
The resurgence of veteran tight end Zach Miller and the return of Alshon Jeffrey from injury have given Cutler some solid weapons to throw to, and with one of the best backfields in the league, apparently with or without Forte, defenses have to stay honest, which helps open lanes for Cutler and minimizes ball hawking.
Cutler has a tough matchup next week against Denver and week 15 against Minnesota for the fantasy semi-finals, but other than that his remaining schedule is fairly soft. Check your starting quarterback’s upcoming schedule, with particular attention to the fantasy playoffs, if you don’t like what you see, strongly consider adding Cutler.
Crockett Gillmore (12% Yahoo, 11% ESPN) and Maxx Williams (1% Yahoo, 1% ESPN)
Both tight ends caught four passes for 40-something yards and a touchdown on Sunday against a mediocre Jaguars defense. The Ravens are starving for weapons with seemingly their entire receiving core injured, and have rightly turned to their two play-making tight ends.
While Gilmore has had the more established role over the course of the season, he hasn’t excelled and is only a second year player himself. His role as the Ravens’ top tight end is far from entrenched. A third round pick in the 2014 draft, if the Ravens had tremendous faith in Gilmore it’s unlikely they would’ve invested a second rounder in another receiving tight end the very next year.
Regardless, it’s clear the Ravens envision a play-making tight end as a big part of their offense in the future.
If you need a bye-week filler for week 11, take Gilmore. If you’ve got room for a stash and feel like rolling the dice, you could do worse than Maxx.
Brock Osweiler – While coach Kubiak claims Manning only needs the week off to heal up, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Osweiler make more than one start. Osweiler is the Bronco’s QB of the future, but the team is very much in contention this year and it’s hard to imagine Peyton sitting for an extended period. Still, the upside here is sky-high. Osweiler is worth a spot start against a weak Bears secondary while we wait for more news on Peyton. He should also be nice and cheap on DFS sites.
Matt Jones – Shredded the Saints, but so does everybody. Jones has been a disappointment since a stellar game against the Rams in week two, don’t overreact and make this your first priority.
Zach Miller – Has had two consecutive stellar games, but simply won’t usurp Martellus Bennett.
Clive Walford – Has touchdowns in three of the last four and has Coach Del Rio claiming he’ll be more involved going forward, as the Raider’s offense looks more and more potent, this is a situation worth monitoring closely.
Michael Floyd – Sky-high upside, going bonkers lately. Dramatically under-owned at 61% Yahoo, 60% ESPN.
Andre Ellington – Did well against a stout Seattle defense. Must own handcuff to an aging Chris Johnson.