Waiver Wire Pickups for Week 3 September 21, 2015  |  Evan Sandel


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Running Back

Matt Jones (22% Yahoo, 16% ESPN)
On a fateful Sunday afternoon, two Washington running backs were thrown into the crucible that is the St. Louis Ram’s defensive line, and only one emerged.

Rookie back Matt Jones, a third round pick out of Florida, out-produced veteran Alfred Morris by 74 yards and two scores, with the benefit of only two more touches than Morris. If you take away Morris’s long of 35 yards, the disparity gets even more severe.

While there is limited data on Jay Gruden’s tendencies as a head coach, Washington is a franchise that just three years ago had no problem mortgaging the future for a rookie quarterback. It’s reasonable to expect a timeshare to develop in the nation’s capital immediately, with an outside shot for Jones to develop a feature roll. Add in all formats.


David Johnson (34% Yahoo, 46% ESPN)

David Johnson’s work was somewhat limited on Sunday, seeing only 6 touches with the offense, but he made the most of them netting 45 yards and a score. Johnson also returned the opening kick 108 yards to set the tone for the Cardinals, who netted 48 points on the day.

Johnson’s crazy 8.4 yards per carry was far more efficient than the rapidly declining Chris Johnson’s 3.6, however Johnson can be expected to continue starting in the absence of incumbent Andre Ellington.

Johnson’s role as the no.2 back should continue throughout the season regardless of whether Ellington or Johnson gets the start, an odd situation owed to Coach Bruce Arians disdain for starting rookies.

In 2013 Arians consistently started Rashard Mendenhall over then-rookie Ellington who provided far more efficiency.

Despite his incredible elusiveness, Johnson is actually larger than Ellington, and the third round pick is probably the best player in the Card’s backfield. He should earn more playing time as he continues to stand out and, “pays his dues” in the mind of coach Arians.

Johnson is an excellent stash for a fake team that can afford to wait a few weeks for him to carve out more volume, the fantasy GM who does so, could be rewarded tremendously.


Wide Receiver

Breshad Perriman (13% Yahoo, 30% ESPN)

The Raven’s first round pick (26 overall, 4th receiver taken) has missed all of preseason and the first two games of the season with a sprained PCL, but he’s due back soon and you’ll only ensure you’re the one to get him, if you add him before he hits the field.

The Raven’s are starving for offensive weapons and should put Perriman to work immediately, he can run a lightning fast 4.24, 40 which is especially impressive considering he has to haul a 6’2, 212lb frame at that speed.

Furthermore, Baltimore’s primary target Steve Smith Jr. is a tough bird, but if his age (36) starts to show, or he gets hurt, Perriman could find himself being ‘the guy’ on a good Baltimore team. And he has the skills to capitalize on the opportunity.

A speedster rookie, drafted as the fourth receiver overall, joins a team that’s starving for weapons and misses the first few games to injury. These are the exact circumstances under which Odell Beckham Jr. entered the league.

…What? They are.


Leonard Hankerson (4% Yahoo, 4% ESPN)

HankTime was targeted over aging receiver Roddy White by a surprising 11-1 ratio. White won the targets competition in week one 8-4, which is a little more in line with what was expected from the Falcons offense this season.

The absence of Tevin Coleman caused the Falcons to lean on the passing game in the second half of their victory over the Giants.

Hankerson’s history is uninspiring, but that may not be his fault. He comes from a Redskin’s team that has been atrocious offensively, and he was also buried under quality incumbents including, Pierre Garcon, Santana Moss and DeSean Jackson.

Now in Atlanta with the opportunity to play for a quality quarterback in Matt Ryan, and dwindling competition for touches as White ages and Coleman heals, Hankerson has an opportunity to make a career year of 2015.



Derek Carr (14% Yahoo, 11% ESPN)

The Raiders dropped 37 points on a good Raven’s defense, a defense that just a week ago held Peyton’s Broncos, one of the NFL’s vanguard offenses, to 19.

Illustratively, the Raiders were also held to 13 by Cincinnati, which is another quality defensive unit.

It’s going to be up-and-down for Carr, as it always is with developing quarterbacks, but the Raiders are poised to take a leap forward from their 3-13 finish last season.

The outline of Carr’s young offense appears to be settled and it’s time for it to start producing. Latavius Murray looks like the truth averaging 4.2 yards per attempt this season, against quality defensive lines. And the Arrival of Amari Cooper gives Carr a true no.1 receiver and allows Crabtree to operate as the second option, a role in which he should thrive.

With such a young core the Raiders will struggle to find consistency, but there’s tremendous upside here. Carr’s season-long potential is superior to the other options floating around on the waiver wire. If you lost Romo and didn’t draft a backup, this is an appealing option.


Tyrod Taylor (14% Yahoo, 18% ESPN)

Tyrod Taylor placed second in fantasy scoring for all quarterbacks in week 2, through Sunday. He’s very tempting to add after producing a gaudy stat-line and highlight reel, especially if you lost Tony Romo to a broken collarbone, or have been scared off of Sam Bradford after Sunday nights blunder. But there’s also significant reason to be cautious.

Taylor’s scoring came mainly from touchdowns. He had four, one through the air and one on the ground. Touchdown dependency is not good for a fantasy quarterback, and while Taylor may’ve finished second in fantasy points, he finished 16th in passing yards, and 18th in passing attempts. Taylor also tacked on a modest 43 rushing yards, but that won’t save him from mediocrity if he can’t continuously find the endzone in bulk.

The Bills are a run-heavy, defense-first team. Taylor has upside and should be added to teams that can afford another QB on the roster as a wait-and-see type. But if you’re desperate for an every-week starter, after a Dallas or Philly catastrophe, look somewhere more consistent.
Some ideas: Teddy Bridgewater (69% Yahoo, 47% ESPN), Alex Smith (27% Yahoo, 30% ESPN)


Tight End

Eric Ebron (16% Yahoo, 20% ESPN)

Eric Ebron found the endzone for the second consecutive week. Also, his targets doubled from week one. Ebron was the 10th overall pick in the 2014 draft, it’s rare that a tight end is drafted that high, he’s a special pass catcher and the Lions appear dedicated to ramping up his involvement from last year. If you’re shaky at the position, add this man now. Tight End is one of the shallowest positions in all of fake sports and you won’t be able to find this sort of talent on the waiver wire down the stretch.



Larry Donnell – Donnell and fellow Giant TE Daniel Fells see the same amount of work, therefore canceling each other’s fantasy value. Well, in week 2, Fells got hurt and Donnell found the endzone, It’s worth monitoring to see if Donnell can run away with the gig.
Dion Lewis – Worked over LeGarrette Blount on Sunday. Predicting Belichick’s RB usage is like pulling teeth, but at 34% Yahoo and 40% ESPN, Lewis still very under-owned. Add in all formats, especially PPR.

Dorial Green-Beckham – This young man’s first NFL reception was a touchdown catch over elite corner Joe Haden. DGB outran Haden then caught a high point throw that the smaller corner simply had no hope of interfering with. The only reason DGB fell in the 2015 draft, was his litany of off the field issues. He’s an elite talent and with Mariota looking better by the minute, this is one of the best stashes out there.

Taylor Gabriel – Still just a dart throw…but my absolute favorite dart throw.

20 Responses

  1. LBell says:

    Good read.
    Quick Question too: Have Keenan Allen as my WR2, but after the past horrific week2.. what it’s your take on him as a must start WR2?

    Seems like Stevie Johnson (taken in my league) is more favored by Rivers going forward this season, even though there were great news about Allen off season or the jump start in week 1? Any opinion on that ?

    My other WRs are ulio (WR1 every week ), Moncrief, Terrance WIlliams, and Golden Tate. What is your take going forward with WR2? Adding Perriman this week too as advised lol

  2. the imp says:

    Good read, slightly shallower league (only 4 bench spots), so always trickier to manage the wire with many good options:
    With this 12 team PPR crew:
    Bell/Forsett/Vereen/Blount (start 2)
    Are we ready to give up on Blount and/or CharlesJ for any of the following:

    I’m a little worried to pickup Decker or Perrimen with Jeffrey already hurt and Wright/Edelman on bye next week.


    • EvanSandel says:

      I invested in a lot of Charles Johnson myself, and just pulled the plug on about half that stock. I think they may end up going to him more down the line, but right now it looks like Wright is getting the big gadget plays and Wallace and Rudolph are gonna take all the volume.

      I would absolutely not give up on Blount yet, it’s gonna be tough to predict what Belichick does with his RBs, it is every year, but it’s not unlikely that Blount will regain a feature roll, and the Pats look to be a very prolific offense thus far.

      Your team looks good, but RB is more solid than WR right now. I’d drop Chuck and try to add another receiver, I’d say Decker but it looks like he’s hurt too (PCL.) Jones could make an adequate bye week filler. And it’s likely you’ll be able to drop him and add Perrimen later. I don’t see his ownership spiking until after he gets on the field.

      • the imp says:

        Thanks for your thoughts, especially regarding Blount. Totally had him cued up and ready to go for an upside option….will reconsider.

  3. Andy says:

    Thoughts on a Mike Evans for Ellington trade? 12 tram PPR…I’ve got Brown and Edelman already, so losing Evans not that huge. I’m OK at RB, so I can afford to wait a week or two for Ellington.

    • Evan Sandel says:

      I agree that if you’ve got Brown and Edelman, Evans is the guy you want to trade. But I might consider targeting someone else. I think rookie David Johnson has been impressive enough to force playing time, and I’m not sure CJ?K gets entirely relegated to the bench. I’m plugging Johnson because he can be had for a waiver bid and could therefore represent a lot of value.

      Ultimately, I can see Arizona’s backfield easily ending up as a “three-headed monster.” Wait for Evans to have a big game, which shouldn’t take more than that week or two you’ve got, then trade him for someone better than Ellington.

  4. Cutler says:

    Is Lamar Miller going to bounce back? Seems like Dolphins are reluctant to run the ball?

    can you provide some input to that? appreciate it

    • Evan Sandel says:

      As far as the ankle injury goes, I haven’t seen anything on that yet, which means it’s probably not bad. Keep an eye on how much he practices this week.

      As far as the Dolphins and Miller’s outlook: Miller is a good back and there is NOTHING behind him threatening to steal carries. The Dolphins are going to be a pass-first offense all year, because that’s their nature, they have a lot of receivers to feed and they expect a breakout year from Tannehill.

      Still, a prolific offense is good for everybody, even if you’re not the focal point. Especially if you’re the only back. Miller is a locked in RB2 with RB1 upside. Continue to start with confidence.

      • Cutler says:

        Thanks Evan- you the best.

        Add on question:
        Would a Miller- Forsett trade be worthy as a Miller owner, given your point on Miami’s pass offense and Forset’s mediocrity? Seems that they would be valued similarly – but want to hear your input as well

        Thanks again!

    • Evan Sandel says:

      Thanks Cutler,

      You’re right, they’re valued similarly. It’s a close call, considering both these backs had the same number of TD’s last year, and the season has only just begun. Both Yahoo and ESPN have Forsett ranked only slightly above Miller right now.

      If I’m choosing though, I’m gonna buck that trend and stick with Miller. He’s a younger back who’s been improving every year and he’s in a solid offense. I like for his role to continue to grow, and for him to be fed often when the Dolphins run to protect leads.

      As much as I love Perriman to make an immediate impact for the Raven’s that’s no guarantee. Only scoring 13 on the Broncos in week 1 scares me.

      All this said, it’s close enough that if I’m an owner of either player, I’d deal him for the other if I could get my opponent to kick in another significant piece.

  5. Evan Sandel says:

    1- Moncrief (Andre is already showing his age, I expect Moncrief to become the no.2 target in Indy.)

    2- Vjax (Evans getting healthy will eat into his production, but Winston loves his vet security blanket and the Bucs will often be behind and needing to throw.)

    3- Stevie (Watch out for Gates return, he could swallow all of Stevie’s production. But he’s old, missed the start and is off the juice now… I think Gates takes a big step back.)

    4- Charles Johnson (Tremendous upside, worth a stash if you’ve got the space. But for now Bridgewater prefers other targets.)

  6. pip says:

    What percentage of your FAAB budget would you spend on Taliafero, Hankerson and Gilmore?

    • Evan Sandel says:

      I hesitate to give exact figures with FAAB bidding due to all the extra factors involved, still, I could see investing as much as:

      15% on Taliafero- If you’re hurting at RB this is a good option, Forsett has been somewhat mediocre his whole career and could regress to the mean. Even if he doesn’t, Taliafero will get most goal-line looks due to Foresett’s diminutive stature.

      8% on HankTime- I don’t think you’ll have to shell out that much for Hankerson, as he’s a fairly under the radar player. 8% should be enough to secure him and it’s worth it for the upside.

      4% on Gilmore- At most. I hypothesize that Gilmore’s production will largely disappear once Perriman is healthy, as that should open up the passing game. Crockett will continue to be a strong play for the next few games, but I’m only interested in him as a spot start.

  7. William says:

    Could you rank these WR’s for the rest of the season. non-ppr league
    Vincent Jackson, Charles Johnson, Stevie Johnson , Donte Moncrief

  8. William says:

    Charles Johnson

  9. William says:

    Could you rank these WR’s for the rest of the season. non-ppr league
    Vincent Jackson, Charles Johnson, Stevie Johnson, Donte Moncrief

  10. Evan Sandel says:

    My waiver priority would be adding Jones, he may take over that backfield, meanwhile Dion is unlikely to be featured over Blount regularly.

    I don’t consider Agholor a drop just yet. SNF was awful, but Bradford has been out of the game for over a year. I need to see one or two more terrible games before I let go of the WR2 in a Chip Kelly offense.

    I’m okay with dropping Jennings. Even with C.J. making people nervous right now, you have enough talent to lose his relatively mediocre ceiling.

    Thanks for reading,
    – Evan

    • Johnny Boy says:


      Thanks for the quick response. I’ll prioritize Jones and then Lewis. I appreciate your input. I love reading your articles.


  11. Johnny Boy says:

    As an Alf owner, would you prioritize cuffing Jones or using my waiver claim on Dion Lewis at RB. are Agholor and Rashad Jennings drop candidates?

    My WR are: Julio, Evans, John Brown, Kendall Wright, Agholor, Martavis, Andre Johnson and Davante Adams…

    My RB are: Le’Veon, CJ Anderson, Alf, Jon Stewart, Rashad Jennings, DeAngelo Williams…

    What would your suggestion be?

    Thanks in advance.

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