Waiver Wire Pickups for Week 3
September 21, 2015 | Evan Sandel
Check out our NFL DFS Cheat Sheet!
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.
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)
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.