Waiver Wire Pickups for Week 4 September 28, 2015  |  Evan Sandel


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Running Backs


Karlos Williams (24% Yahoo, 24% ESPN)
It’s incredible to remember that Williams was a fifth round pick this year, considering he has out-produced every other non-qb rookie in fantasy point production, despite not inheriting a lead role. He has out-produced Buffalo’s incumbent feature back, LeSean McCoy by 9.3 standard fantasy points on the season, and appears to have played his way into an even committee with the veteran trade acquisition. It’s an exciting prospect, considering the Bills offense appears to be far more prolific than was expected. Rex Ryan takes the reins off Tyrod Taylor a little more each week and the new-look Bills are clicking on both sides of the ball. Off-field issues and the fact that he’s a converted safety hurt Williams draft stock. He can move his imposing 230-pound frame at 4.4-40 speed and has the raw talent to succeed, and it appears Rex will give him the opportunity to do so.


Lance Dunbar (16% Yahoo, 13% ESPN)

With both Dez and Romo sidelined the Cowboys have elected to go ultra-run-heavy behind their top-tier offensive line. While Joseph Randle will be the primary beneficiary of this development, Dunbar appears locked in for passing down work. Dunbar caught 10 passes for 100 yards to lead the cowboys in receiving yardage. Meanwhile the entirety of the Cowboys wide receiver production was a measly four catches for 49 yards, all to Cole Beasley. Dunbar will see more work in games where the Cowboys trail, but will have a significant role for the duration of Bryant’s injury. He’s worth an add, especially in PPR formats.


Wide Receivers


Rishard Matthews (32% Yahoo, 16% ESPN)

Matthews has scored and/or reached the 100-yard mark in every game this year. He’s solidly the Dolphins no.2 wideout behind Jarvis Landry, which is a valuable position in the Dolphins high-volume, pass-first offense. Matthews has eclipsed Greg Jennings and Kenny Stills, who appear to have fallen off the proverbial cliff. The concern with Matthews’s long-term development is the inevitability of DeVante Parker. The Dolphins invested a premium pick in Parker at no.14 overall. While Parker’s development has been slow, due to a foot injury that caused him to miss early practices and the majority of the Preseason, he’s being brought along to play a big role for the Fin’s. Joe Philbin has been forced to bring him along slowly out of necessity, but he’s healthy now and once he’s fully involved he should eat significantly into Matthews numbers. Matthews should continue to be very productive for at least a few more weeks and is worth an add while the Dolphins receiving core evolves, Parker is worth a stash if you can afford the bench spot.


Marvin Jones (20% Yahoo, 19% ESPN)

Jones has seen his targets go up every week this season and has scored in the last two contests. He has officially taken over Mohamed Sanu for no.2 WR duties on the Bengals roster. With passing-back Giovanni Bernard outplaying an underwhelming Jeremy Hill, the Bengals could place more volume on their passing game. Bye-weeks enter the picture starting next week and Jones is a solid fill-in with potential for growth.


Tight Ends


Charles Clay (17% Yahoo, 14% ESPN)

For all the attention Chip Kelley has gotten for kooky roster moves, one of the boldest decisions was the Bill’s decision to fork over a 5-year $38 million dollar contract with $20 million guaranteed to Charles Clay to pry him away from the Miami Dolphins. For reference, that’s twice as much guaranteed money as Gronk is currently getting. Yep. While that might look insane on the face of it, He’s also only a year removed from going for 759 and six scores on 69 receptions. Impressive numbers for a receiving tight end, numbers that would set or match Bill’s single season receiving records at the position, per Jay Skurski of The Buffalo News. Clay’s 2014 was marred by injury, yet he still managed to be productive, he should rebound solidly in Buffalo’s run-heavy scheme, which was once referred to as “tight end heaven” by MarQueis Gray, the Bills no.2 TE. Aside from being a good receiver, Clay is good with the ball in his hands, finishing fifth amongst tight ends for yards after the catch in 2013. Clay is an effective run-blocker and can even play halfback. There’s a lot for Rex Ryan to like here, and he surely knows it considering how much money the Bills shelled out to land the University of Tulsa product. Clay is already a top-10 tight end in standard scoring and with Tyrod Taylor looking like the truth, he’s nowhere to go but up.




Michael Vick (3% Yahoo, <1% ESPN)

The Steelers are in trouble without Ben Rothlisberger, who early analysis suggests will miss roughly six weeks with a bone bruise and MCL sprain on his left knee. Michael Vick figures to start in his place, Vick is a shell of his former self but the Steelers simply have too much offensive firepower to shut it down and go run-heavy, as the Cowboys have relented to doing. Antonio Brown and Martavis Bryant make for one of the best receiving tandems in the league, Heath Miller is having a solid year and perhaps most importantly, the Steelers feature back, Le’Veon Bell is utilized heavily in the passing game. Bell went for 70 yards on 7 catches in week 3. Vick has looked serviceable in his time filling in for the Eagles and Jets the last few years, in 2013 he produced seven touchdowns, two on the ground, and 174 yards per game, while getting only six starts. There’s still some juice in the tank and the Steelers offense brings the upside to him, he’s worth rostering if you’re hurting at QB. I’d take him over Fitzpatrick, Bortles and Winston, but not Carr or Taylor.




Dorial Green-Beckham – While he hasn’t yet found a roll in the middle of the field, DGB is unquestionably Tennessee’s first thought for endzone targets. One of the best stashes out there, snag him now.

Antonio Andrews – A UDFA in 2014, Andrews was a practice squad guy for the Titans last year. He was used as the lead back in week 3 and played well, earning 49 yards and a score on 12 carries. Considering his main competition is Bishop Sankey, he could actually earn the job. We’ll have to wait until after the Titans week 4 bye for more clarity, but worth a stash.

Thomas Rawls – Looked good behind Marshawn Lynch, there’s no long-term potential here since Lynch is only dealing with an agitated hamstring. Rawls makes for a good spot start or DFS play if Lynch misses another week.

Gary Barnidge – 30-year-old emerged over Housler as the starter for the Browns but I highly doubt we see that sort of production consistently, if ever again.

Tyrod Taylor – Rex Ryan appears to be taking the restrictor plate off the Red Dragon, and I’m done poo-pooing this guy. He’s still widely available with ownership at 38% Yahoo and 44% ESPN. Add in all formats.

12 Responses

  1. Ben says:

    I need a receiver. I have Dez and D. Adams on bench. And Wright is on a bye. Would you drop vereen or Jennings and try to pick up Marvin jones on waiver?

    • Evan Sandel says:

      Drop Jennings. It’s a fairly even 3-way committee over there, but Jennings has been disappointing for some time. Vereen has been the most productive back for the Giants and is worth holding onto a while longer, especially in PPR formats.

  2. Ron says:

    Would trading away Alshon Jeffery, J Stewart, and Gurley for Lacy and Torrey Smith be too much in a 10 team PPR league?

    • Evan Sandel says:

      I would deal J-Stew + Gurley OR Alshon, but not both. You don’t need Torrey Smith, see if dropping him from the equation will allow you to keep either Gurley or Alshon.

      If that doesn’t fly, I’d pass. It’s too early to bail on Gurley and Alshon, I know slow starts are frustrating, but they both figure to be the focal points of their respective offenses.

  3. WaiverB says:

    Evan – great post. Standard league : which one would you consider dropping: Terrance Williams or Golden Tate?

    Will T-Will possibly bounce back? Dez will still be out for couple more weeks/ season. As Weeden will start throwing those long ball to T-Will?

    • Evan Sandel says:

      It’s a close call though, as these are both boom-or-bust WR3’s. Stick with T-Will and let Tate go. Williams has some (limited) breakout potential, as the Cowboy’s (temporary) no.1 receiver. Meanwhile history has shown that Tate’s usage in Detroit has been very limited when Megatron is healthy.

      I’m not sure I think Williams will “bounce back” he’s just a little more likely to ‘boom’ than Tate.

  4. Cutler says:

    Evan – For PPR 14 team league, who should I prioritize in getting?
    Dorial Green-Beckham or Ted Ginn Jr.


    • Evan Sandel says:

      If you’re trying to cover for bye in the next week or two, Ginn.
      If you have enough depth for a stash, Green-Beckham.

      I don’t think he’ll stay a stash too long, he’s already their preferred end zone target, and Harry Douglass looks like, well, Harry Douglass. He’ll be involved regularly, sooner than later.

  5. Wendy says:

    Would you drop Martin or Woodhead for Karlos Williams or D Freeman, hurting at RB as my starters are Forsett and Anderson. Have gurley, Martin, Woodhead and Blount. Standard scoring any hope for Forsett and Anderson to turn things around?

    • Evan Sandel says:

      Woodhead’s role has continued to decline as the Chargers continue to get their first round pick, Melvin Gordon, closer to true feature status. I’m comfortable dropping Woodhead in a standard scoring format and I would prioritize adding Freeman. After going off last week, he’s a must-start, even heading into Houston.

      I’m more hesitant about dropping Martin for Karlos, but still advise pulling the trigger. Martin hasn’t looked great, and the Bucs are going to be trailing (therefore throwing) a lot. Also Sims appears to have assumed the roll of passing back, which is more bad news for Martin if the Bucs don’t get better in a hurry. If you decide to go ahead, this would be your second priority waiver.

      Also I think it’s only a matter of time until we see something special from Gurley, and Blount has eased fears of a Dion Lewis takeover. You won’t be hurting at RB much longer.

  6. JC says:

    Would you drop Ronnie Hillman for any of these running backs? I have CJ Anderson

    • Evan Sandel says:

      The timeshare development in Denver is frustrating. But with Juwan Thompson out for multiple weeks, Anderson’s role remains assured for the immediate future.

      With the Broncos next three games against the Vikings, Raiders and Browns, all shaky run-defenses, I believe C.J. gets it going. Therefore, yes I’d drop Hillman for K. Williams, it’s still a risk however, as you’re sacrificing a handcuff.

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