The Waiver Wire – Week 7 October 16, 2017  |  Doug Shain

The Waiver Wire – Week 7

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 CrazyAndrew Luck (IND) – 61%Dion Lewis (NE) – 10%Nelson Agholor (PHI) – 54%Ed Dickson (CAR) – 51%Detroit Lions – 34%
Orleans Darkwa (NYG) – 6%Robert Woods (LAR) – 8%Austin Seferian-Jenkins (NYJ) – 62%
D’Onta Foreman (HOU) – 16%John Brown (ARI) – 43%Evan Engram (NYG) – 69%
Due DiligenceJosh McCown (NYJ) – 8%Alex Collins (BAL) – 31%JuJu Smith-Schuster (PIT) – 14%
Alfred Morris (DAL)– 54%Roger Lewis (NYG) – 22%
Darren McFadden (DAL) – 50%Kenny Stills (MIA) – 18%
Marlon Mack (IND) – 46%Mike Williams (LAC) – 22%
Matt Forte (NYJ) – 21%
Optical IllusionRyan Fitzpatrick (TB) – 0%Marvin Hall (ATL) – 0%Darren Fells (DET) – 1%
Look But Don’t TouchBrett Hundley (GB) – 1%Chris Ivory (JAX) – 4%Justin Hardy (ATL) – 0%
CJ Beathard (SF) – 0%Laquon Treadwell (MIN) – 1%
Kasen Williams (CLE) – 0%
Demarcus Robinson (KC) – 0%
Dream the StreamTyrod Taylor (BUF) – 36%Jonnu Smith (TEN) – 0%Buffalo Bills – 24%
Luke Willson (SEA) – 0%New Orleans Saints – 3%
Chicago Bears – 2%
Just in CaseMarcus Mariota (TEN) – 86%Adrian Peterson (ARI) – 83%Will Fuller (HOU) – 89%Hunter Henry (LAC) – 81%Minnesota Vikings – 77%
Carson Palmer (ARI) – 74%Alvin Kamara (NO) – 81%LA Rams – 54%
Duke Johnson (CLE) – 80%

Let’s Get Crazy

I said it last week and I’ll say it again now, every week we are one week closer to Andrew Luck coming back to play for the Colts. Even if you’ve got a good QB situation right now, go ahead and grab him if you’ve got an open spot on your roster. We learned over these last few weeks that you shouldn’t get too comfortable with your depth at any point this season. Players are going down left and right (in the last seven days we’ve lost Sam Bradford, Aaron Rodgers, and Trevor Siemian) and if you have a guy like Luck who can step in and be your starter, then that puts you one step ahead of everyone else in your league. At the very worse, if you have Luck that means someone else how may need him doesn’t…Dion Lewis appears to be the RB du jour in New England. I don’t know if that’s going to last for even another game but even if it doesn’t, he’ll get another shot somewhere else down the line. If you are part of the Patriots rotation then you have some value. This is even more so if you have Lewis in a PPR league. I wouldn’t blow my budget on him but if he’s available on your waiver wire and you needed an RB, then I’d make sure to give him a look…Apparently Wayne Gallman isn’t the guy to own in the Giants backfield. Orleans Darkwa has looked really good in his limited touches this year, and if he can stay healthy he could be a nice bye week/injury fill in. Heck, I’d consider him a FLEX play against the right team or on the right roster. I probably like him the best of all the RB you can reasonably grab at this point…I actually think that D’onta Foreman is a much better RB than Orleans Darkwa but Foreman has Lamar Miller in front of him. I do think that this backfield will eventually become Foreman’s so if you have the space, grab him up now. While I said I’d want Darkwa most of the available RB, that’s more if you have an immediate need. If you’re sitting in two or three solid RB right now, then Foreman is the player you should grab as a lottery ticket down the line. He’s a league-winning type of talent if he were to be given 15+ touches on a consistent basis…I was dead wrong on Nelson Agholor in the preseason. I said that he wouldn’t even make the team, and as of right now he’s a top 10 fantasy WR in many standard scoring leagues. That he’s available in 46% of leagues right now means that people just aren’t paying attention. Yes, he’s a little touchdown dependent but he’s getting those touchdowns right now. He’s been doing all year what Will Fuller has done for the last three weeks (and both should be starters right now in 10+ team leagues that start three WR and a FLEX)…We are going on three weeks now where it’s apparent that Robert Woods is the WR1 on the Rams. They’re not a big time passing team but a guy getting 5+ catches per week needs to owned, especially in PPR. Woods lacks the upside of Sammy Watkins but sometimes upside isn’t everything. Give me a Larry Fitzgerald type (which Woods is) over a Tyreek Hill player (which Watkins is) any day in season long leagues…John Brown hasn’t seen a lot of volume but he’s scored in each of the last two weeks. Brown’s talent has never been in question, it’s always been his health that is the concern. The addition of Adrian Peterson has me flying high on this Cardinals offense and Brown is probably the second option I’d want in this passing game behind Larry Fitzgerald…Dickson, Seferian-Jenkins, and Evan Engram have now been productive for a number of consecutive weeks. None of them are lock down top 5 TE, but all can be considered starter-worthy in 10+ team leagues…Detroit is one of the highest scoring defenses so far this year. I know that it looks bad that they gave up 52 points to the Saints last week, but in reality that number was closer to 31 points since the DET offense surrendered 21 of those points to Saints defensive TD’s. Detroit can rush the passer and has a very opportunistic secondary. I would feel comfortable with them as my only defense in 12+ team leagues.


Due Diligence

Josh McCown isn’t a top 15 QB but in a pinch he can do the job for you. No, he’s not the 350-2 kind of player we saw in Week 6 but he can be a steady 250-1 type of matchup play you can use in a platoon. He’s the kind of QB I’d want on my team if I my starter was Jameis Winston, Philip Rivers, or Derek Carr. None of those guys have shown that they are worthy of being an every week starter, so having McCown gives you a second option if your starter’s matchup isn’t ideal (like Winston against Buffalo this weekend)…Ezekiel Elliott’s suspension is official, or it’s not, or maybe it is. At this point we are still up in the air with conflicting reports circulating on the interwebs. My hope is that this gets cleared up before your league’s waiver run, but if it doesn’t I’d still try to go out and grab one of the Dallas backup RB. I still think that McFadden emerges from this backfield but all signs point to Alfred Morris getting first crack. Grab both guys if you can, but Morris first if you’re limited in what you can do…Alex Collins is averaging 67 yards per game on only about 10 carries per game for the season. He’s not a volume player but that’s decent production all things considered. If he were to get into the end zone at any point he’d actually be looking even better. Let’s not forget that 67 yards per game adds up to a 1000 yard season. Even though Collins isn’t the main RB in Baltimore it doesn’t look like he’s going away. He should be owned in all leagues, especially those that are 12+ teams with more than 3 bench spots…Martavis Bryant wants out of Pittsburgh. This is a very good sign if you’re invested in JuJu Smith-Schuster. The kid is on the field a ton and has definitely earned the trust of the Steelers coaching staff. The volume isn’t there yet for him but once he’s officially named the WR2, I think he will start to see 6-8 targets per game…Mike Williams is back and healthy for the Chargers. I know that they have a lot of talent offensively but Williams was a top 10 pick in this year’s draft for a reason. He’s supremely talented and could be a red zone monster. It shouldn’t take long for him to see regular snaps in 3-wide sets, and once Philip Rivers sees what he’s capable of he will start to get the volume. He won’t supplant Keenan Allen as the WR1 on this team but he could definitely be a very productive WR2, making him flex-worthy in the near future….I’m going to completely discount the stat line from Roger Lewis in Week 6. He was in Denver, facing an incredible Broncos secondary. New York attacked that by featuring their TE and RB. That won’t continue every week, and one of the WR has to emerge. I think that’ll be Lewis. If you have the space, grab him now. You can always drop him if Tavarres King or Travis Rudolph end up being the top targets for Eli Manning…Kenny Stills lives. Jay Cutler is going to eventually realize what Stills brings to the table. Once he does that it won’t be long before he starts taking shots downfield with him. He’s not an every week starter but could make for a viable bye week fill in.





Optical Illusion

Unless the injury to Jameis Winston is more severe than originally thought, Ryan Fitzpatrick will be back on the bench for Week 7. If you’re in a deep 2 QB league, I’d probably grab him if I owned Winston and had the roster spot for him. Otherwise, leave him on the wire…I know nothing of Marvin Hall other than his 40 yard touchdown in Week 6. After that fluke of a score, he caught exactly zero passes the rest of the game. He’s not a player to own with Julio, Sanu, Gabriel, and Justin Hardy all above him on the depth chart…With 3 TD in two weeks it would sure look like Darren Fells is on the up and up as the Lions TE. I don’t buy it for a second. The guy has 4 catches combined in those two weeks. He’s not going to score on 75% of his receptions this year. Who do you think he is, Will Fuller? He’s no Will Fuller.


Look But Don’t Touch

In single QB leagues you really shouldn’t have to dig this deep for a QB but I suppose there’s a doomsday scenario where a guy like Hundley or Beathard would be useful. Both have a clear path to volume so at least you’ve got that. Obviously this recommendation changes in 2QB or 30 team leagues (yes, there are 30 team leagues out there). In those formats, go grab both of these guys…Apparently Leonard Fournette is ok after leaving the game with an ankle injury on Sunday. I still would keep an eye on the situation and start to see if adding Chris Ivory makes sense for your team. If you’re a Fournette owner I’d probably tell you to go ahead and grab Ivory right now for insurance if you have the space on your bench for him; better safe than sorry…I was going to write about DeMarcus Robinson last week but thought better of it. This week he got the start for KC and didn’t do much, but I think it’s time to at least have him on your radar. If he sees an uptick in targets in Week 7, I’d probably take a shot at him before Week 8 if you needed WR depth. The kid has a ton of talent and his skill set (speed and playmaking ability) fits the profile of what KC is trying to do this year…Justin Hardy only holds value if Mohamed Sanu’s injury is going to extend for a few more weeks. He didn’t do much in Week 6 but I watched him on that last drive for the Falcons and some of the things he did showed a high football IQ (such as grabbing a pass, getting down, giving the ball to the official, and lining up; no showboating at all) and that’s the kind of thing that will get a WR more reps. Hardy was a target monster in college so he can definitely handle a workload if it were to come his way. I’m not grabbing him just yet but I’m definitely keeping an eye on him…Laquon Treadwell is considered a first round bust despite only being in the league for less than a season and a half. Sometimes it takes a guy a few years to get acclimated to the ways of the NFL. This week he saw a huge increase in workload with Stefon Diggs inactive. He looked really good, especially on the catch where he grabbed the ball with one hand and was able to turn upfield for some extra yardage. He may not be a stud this year but if the injury to Diggs wears on then he’s going to continue to see some volume…Each week it seems like a different Browns WR steps up as potentially the next big thing. Rashard Higgins was a bust, Ricardo Louis came back down to Earth, but something is a little different with Kasen Williams. He was a stud this preseason for the Seahawks, yet was let go right before the season. This means that he hand no time at all with the Browns prior to Week 1. It would make sense that he’s just starting to come around now. I can see him emerging as the WR to own on CLE; making him a potential FLEX play in deeper leagues. Let’s see him do it in back to back weeks, and if he can then I’m ready to buy in.






Dream the Stream

                The Buccaneers pass defense leaves a lot to be desired. Look at what the Cardinals did to them in the first quarter alone in Week 6. If this game was in Florida I might feel a little differently but TB on the road just isn’t the same. I know that Tyrod Taylor isn’t a QB that passes a ton but he can get the ball down the field and his legs will always keep his floor at a reasonable level. He’s not a top QB option in Week 7 but if you have Aaron Rodgers being backed up by Matthew Stafford (DET is on a bye), then Taylor may be your best option to stream…Tennessee plays Cleveland and Seattle plays the Giants. Both of those teams give up big points to TE. What makes these two plays a little interesting is that neither Jonnu Smith nor Luke Willson are the primary TE on their teams but both have shown the ability to get open down the field in 2 TE sets. I wouldn’t run to grab either player but if you’re stuck or have been streaming the position all year, these are a couple of guys I’d consider…I mentioned earlier in this section that I don’t trust the Buccaneers on the road. That goes for their offense as well. Buffalo has been one of the better defenses so far this year, holding most teams to their lowest score of the year. The weather is starting to get a little chilly in Western NY and that makes for a very uncomfortable setting for a Florida team. I’d grab the Bills and hold on to them for a while with good matchups up and down their schedule…Why not go back to the well with the Saints one more time? They gave up many more points and yards in Week 6 than they had in Weeks 3 and 4 but a lot of those points came in garbage time. This defense gets to the ball and can rush the passer. Brett Hundley showed nothing when he came in for Aaron Rodgers and I expect this Packers offense to struggle going forward…The Bears defense is actually pretty good. I’m still not sure about Cam Newton. With this being a home game for Chicago, I’m more than happy to take a chance on them if you’ve got the Texans or Lions defense and are in need of a one week replacement.


Just in Case

Every week I’m amazed at the list of players who are owned in less than 90% of leagues. If you see any of these QB, RB, or WR on your waiver wire I give you full permission to dump a large percentage of your FAAB budget on acquiring them (Carson Wentz isn’t on the list but he’s still available in 11% of leagues, yet is the highest scoring QB this year), especially if you just lost a player like Aaron Rodgers and are in need of one of these QB…When the game was on the line for the Chargers, Philip Rivers looked almost exclusively to Hunter Henry. He caught two huge passes on the game winning drive against Oakland and I think that was the start of his breakout. He has a chance to be the West Coast version of Zach Ertz…I never worry too much about a defense but take a long look at what yours is doing and see if you really think you’re better off with them or if making a move to MIN or the Rams would be a better decision. These are top 10 defenses that are available for nothing on many waiver wires.


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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