The Waiver Wire – Week 5
October 2, 2017 | Doug Shain
The Waiver Wire – Week 5
Every league is different so doing a generic waiver wire article is difficult because nothing in season long fantasy is one size fits all. Lucky for you, nothing about what I do is generic. Every week I’m going to bust out a list of players that are available on some percentage of waiver wires (I try to keep the list to guys under 50% owned). I’m going to tell you if you need to run and get them right now, keep an eye out for them, or run and hide. I’ll also make sure to give you a streaming options if you’re like me and only draft one QB, TE, or DEF. I won’t talk about kickers because kickers aren’t real players and you should be ashamed to play in a league that starts one (I’m in two; misery loves company). Before we start, he’s a quick look at the six categories of free agent players that we will be talking about:
Let’s Get Crazy – Players I think can be league difference makers and would spend a significant amount of my budget on
Due Diligence – Players that you should bid on but that I won’t be upset if I miss out on
Optical Illusions – Players that are intriguing but who may not be exactly what they seem
Look But Don’t Touch – Players that I’ll be keeping an eye on but am not yet ready to commit to; grab if you have a very deep bench
Dream the Stream – Quarterbacks, Tight Ends, and Defenses that have solid matchups this week and are worth a stream
Just in Case –players under 90% ownership that should be owned in all leagues
Now that that business is out of the way, it’s on with the show!
|Let’s Get Crazy||Deshaun Watson (HOU) – 32%||Alvin Kamara (NO) – 45%||Will Fuller (HOU) – 31%||Cameron Brate (TB) – 49%|
|Jared Goff (LAR) – 22%||Wendell Smallwood (PHI) – 58%||Cooper Kupp (LAR) – 43%|
|Latavius Murray (MIN) – 15%|
|Wayne Gallman (NYG) – 2%|
|Aaron Jones (GB) – 11%|
|Due Diligence||JD McKissic (SEA) – 2%||Branden Oliver (SD) – 5%||Taylor Gabriel (ATL) – 22%||Tyler Kroft (CIN) – 1%|
|Elijah McGuire (NYJ) – 2%||Robert Woods (LAR) – 9%||Ed Dickson (CAR) – 3%|
|Alex Collins (BAL) – 9%||Josh Doctson (WSH) – 11%|
|Andre Ellington (ARI) – 22%||Geronimo Allison (GB) – 14%|
|Giovani Bernard (CIN) – 19%||JuJu Smith-Schuster (PIT) – 1%|
|Terrance Williams (DAL) – 5%|
|Devin Funchess (CAR) – 25%|
|Robby Anderson (NYJ) – 20%|
|Optical Illusion||Alfred Morris (DAL) – 4%|
|Look But Don’t Touch||Corey Clement (PHI) – 2%||Tommylee Lewis (NO) – 0%||Jonnu Smith (TEN) – 1%|
|Darren McFadden (DAL) – 16%||Justin Hardy (ATL) – 0%|
|Matt Breida (SF) – 12%||Brice Butler (DAL) – 1%|
|Dream the Stream||Jay Cutler (MIA) – 30%||Austin Sefarian-Jenkins (NYJ) – 7%||New York Jets – 3%|
|Philadelphia Eagles – 40%|
|Just in Case||Cam Newton (CAR) – 89%||Adrian Peterson (NO) – 58%||Danny Amendola (NE) – 50%||Charles Clay (BUF) – 66%|
|Doug Martin (TB) – 83%||Tyrell Williams (LAC) – 80%|
|Bilal Powell (NYJ) – 71%|
|Rob Kelley (WSH) – 66%|
|Duke Johnson (CLE) – 61%|
Let’s Get Crazy
Week 5 is our first week of byes so it would stand to reason that we need to look around for some people to fill in. Kirk Cousins, Matt Ryan, and Drew Brees are all off in Week 5 and you could do a lot worse at QB than firing some action towards Deshaun Watson or Jared Goff. Watson is a dual threat that seems to have grasped that offense very quickly. He’s a guy that should probably be starting in 12-14 team leagues anyway at this point, while Goff is leading one of the highest scoring offenses in the NFL. Don’t fear the Seattle matchup in Week 5 either; Seattle’s defense is not what it once was…RB is a much less worrisome position with the byes but you still do have Devonta Freeman, CJ Anderson, and Chris Thompson on a bye to go along with Dalvin Cook being lost for the season. Clearly the player with the most direct line to touches is Latavius Murry. He’s been a capable NFL RB in the past and I have no doubt that he can fill in and be a FLEX/RB3 type of play going forward…Wendell Smallwood was fairly impressive in Week 4 and should continue to split the work with LeGarrette Blount. The one area where we can be sure that Smallwood will excel is in the passing game where he’s taken over for the injured Darren Sproles. Like Murray, he’s a FLEX play for sure and maybe a low-end RB2 in PPR leagues…Alvin Kamara looks like the best RB on the Saints and with New Orleans going on a bye he may go a little under the radar this weekend. He’s only available in 55% of Yahoo leagues but it’s worth taking a look at your waiver wire to see if yours is one of those leagues…We don’t know the extent of the injuries to Ty Montgomery and Jamaal Williams as of this writing, although it looks like TyMont could actually play in Week 5. I’m not sure I’m buying that and I’d still invest in Aaron Jones. He looked good on Thursday night and if he has a clear path to snaps then he’s in the mix as an RB3…Wayne Gallman sure looks like the best RB on the Giants. Normally I’d throw him in the “Look But Don’t Touch” category but I’d hate for him to come out and pull and Elijah McGuire type of game and then be unavailable. I wouldn’t put 20% of my FAAB on him or anything, but if you have the bench space and the moves to do it, I’d give him a look. He’s probably fifth on my list out of the five guys I mentioned but I do like him more than anyone else that’s out there outside of those other four…Apparently one bad game was all it took for Cooper Kupp to go back down under 50% ownership. He should be owned in all leagues. He’s not a WR2 or anything but in a PPR league he’s a solid FLEX play and bye week fill in. There won’t be a WR on the Rams that will be more consistent on a week to week basis this year…Will Fuller will go fast off the wire this week given his 2 TD game in Week 4 and that’s probably the right call. There most likely isn’t a WR with more upside available in your league. I don’t know if he’s an every week starter but in weeks where the Texans have a good matchup, I’d have no issue using him as your WR3 or FLEX play…Don’t forget that Cameron Brate is the starting TE in Tampa Bay. I know that OJ Howard is the sexier name but it’s Brate that will most likely help you win your matchup each week. He’s not an automatic start but if you’re riding a volatile TE then he’s someone worth having on the roster that you can just plug and play.
The hot waiver wire pickup this week is going to be JD McKissic. I’m not opposed to grabbing him but I’m pretty sure that we just saw his best game of the season. I don’t see him rising above bye week flll-in status given the depth at RB that the Seahawks have…It appears that Alex Collins is the real deal, at least in small bursts. I know that in Week 3 he was strong because of a couple of big runs in garbage time, and in Week 4 he was the beneficiary of a couple of big runs against one of the worst run defenses in football, but he seems like the guy that John Harbaugh trusts to get the job done at the moment. I’m not sure I’m rushing out to get anyone on this team at the moment, but if you are short at RB (like you just lost Dalvin Cook), Collins is a guy you can grab and plug in for now. Just keep in mind that despite his success on the ground, Collins was outsnapped 40-17 by Buck Allen…I’d go get McGuire now if you still can. He won’t put up a monster game like this every week but there’s a reason he was pushing for playing time even before Matt Forte go hurt. He showed why in Week 4…Branden Oliver continues to get on the field over Melvin Gordon in passing situations. With the way that the Chargers are playing, there are going to be a lot of passing downs this year. You must own him if you own Melvin Gordon…Andre Ellington isn’t really an RB but that’s where he’s listed and that’s where you’ll have to use him. It looks like he is the guy to own in the ARI backfield right now. He’s their version of Duke Johnson, who is CLE’s version of David Johnson. Just don’t grab Ellington expecting him to be as good as David Johnson…Joe Mixon doesn’t seem to have figured out the NFL game yet. Even if he does, Bernard isn’t going anywhere. His skill set means that he’s getting on the field no matter who the starter is…There are a lot of WR out there that you can go out and grab if you need one. I’d probably want Gabriel, Woods, or Funchess if I had an immediate need for a starter; Doctson and Smith-Schuster if I could be patient and wanted a lottery ticket that could explode later in the year. Allison, Anderson, and Williams are somewhere in between. All of them have a path to work but none of them are really reliable enough to start yet…I know that it was the Browns, but boy did Tyler Kroft look good filling in for Tyler Eifert. He’s a pretty safe start going forward in 12+ team leagues…Ed Dickson will get targets but I wouldn’t feel comfortable starting him unless he was facing a bad defense (whereas I’d start Kroft regardless and not feel the need to stream him).
There really weren’t too many guys that went off in Week 4 that could end up being a flukey pickup but it won’t shock me if people flock to Alfred Morris. There’s a notion out there that he’s the guy to own if Ezekiel Elliott ends up having to serve his six game suspension. His “big” game in Week 4 only adds to that myth. Don’t be fooled. If Zeke gets suspended, it’ll be Darren McFadden, not Alfred Morris that assumes RB1 duties.
Look But Don’t Touch
That’s right, Darren McFadden will be the #1 RB in Dallas if Ezekiel Elliott has to serve his suspension. The reason he’s been inactive in every game is not that Dallas doesn’t like him, it’s that they do like him and want him fresh if Elliott’s suspension is upheld. Do I know this for sure? No, I do not but I believe completely that this is what’s happening. Nothing else has come out about DMC that would lead up to believe that there’s any real reason for his inactive status. If you own Elliott, go grab him now. If you don’t own Elliott, you can wait until the suspension is resolved before you invest…Nothing has changed over the last three weeks with Corey Clement. He’s getting intermittent touches and won’t be someone you can play until his workload increases. Keep him on your radar, don’t invest yet…If you own Carlos Hyde (already banged up), you have to own Breida. I’m shocked that he’s only 12% owned right now. If he were to get the starting job, he’d be an RB3 right away…I’ll wait and see what’s up with Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu before I invest too much in Justin Hardy. He’s not a great WR but if the targets are there, then he’s a guy you have to own in that offense. Right now the targets aren’t there, after the bye week they may be…Tommylee Lewis is on the field a lot for the Saints. Drew Brees apparently likes him. That’s enough for him to be a guy that I’ll keep an eye on, especially if Willie Snead’s hamstring injury lingers…I prefer Dez Bryant and Terrence Williams for the Cowboys but boy, Brice Butler sure seems to make a big catch every week. I think he’s probably more of a DFS play but if something where to happen to Williams then Butler could end up being Alvin Harper to Dez’s Michael Irvin…No movement yet on Jonnu Smith. He’s definitely not ready to be owned but his athleticism is real and if he were to get more involved in the offense then he’d be an interesting add.
Dream the Stream
The Tennessee Titans can’t stop anyone in the passing game. Jay Cutler needs a big game this weekend. Week 5 is the first real home game in 2017 for the Dolphins. I think they come out and have a big game against Tennessee. I wouldn’t want to rely on Cutler for more than a week but as a replacement for Brees or Ryan, he’s more than acceptable. I’d still rather own Waston for this week but if he’s not available, then Cutler is my next choice…Start any TE against the Browns. This week, it’s Austin Seferian-Jenkins’s turn to step up. Josh McCown seems to like him and Week 5 should be the week he gets into the end zone for the first time this season…The Jets have been playing well the last few weeks. Cleveland starts a rookie QB. Even on the road, I think the Jets are a viable streaming option this weekend…If the Eagles are available though, they are the top streaming option for me in Week 5. Arizona is terrible on offense, even more so when they are an early start on the East Coast. Carson Palmer seems to get sacked every other drop back. If there’s one thing that the Eagles can do, it’s get at the QB. If ARI couldn’t move the ball at home against the 49ers, I shudder at what they will do against the Eagles on the road. This feels like a very safe team to stream.
Just in Case
If someone dropped Cam Newton last week, go get him. He’s going to be fine in the long run (says the dope who benched him for Carson Palmer in season long this week)…I have a sneaking suspicion that Adrian Peterson won’t be on the Saints by November 1. There are a bunch of teams (MINNESOTA!) that could use an RB. If he find a way to carries, I mean, he’s Adrian Peterson. We have to give him a shot, right?…Don’t forget that Doug Martin’s suspension ends in Week 5 and he is facing the Patriots. If you’re in one of the 18% of leagues where he’s not owned, run to get him. He’d be the top waiver play for me if he’s available…Lost in all the Chris Thompson hype is that Jay Gruden came out and said that Rob Kelley is still his workhorse RB…Bilal Powell is probably done conceding carries to Matt Forte. He’s a FLEX play weekly going forward…Duke Johnson is better than Isaiah Crowell. He’s a PPR machine. He needs to be owned…Tyrell Williams was ignored in many drafts. Don’t ignore the Gazelle, he’s really good…Charles Clay is the best pass catcher (player?) on the Bills. He should be started in all leagues of all sizes if you are required to play a TE.
Your feedback is always welcome. Please make sure to follow me on Twitter @bankster17, and keep an eye out for my DFS column (The Hail Mary) on the main page Tuesday night or Wednesday morning.
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