The Waiver Wire – Week 9
October 30, 2017 | Doug Shain
The Waiver Wire – Week 9
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||Josh McCown (NYJ) – 25%||Marlon Mack (IND) – 44%||Robby Anderson (NYJ) – 27%||Jack Doyle (IND) – 49%|
|Alex Collins (BAL) – 34%||JuJu Smith-Schuster (PIT) – 45%|
|Paul Richardson (SEA) – 30%|
|Due Diligence||Brett Hundley (GB) – 9%||Matt Forte (NYJ) – 46%||Allen Hurns (JAX) – 35%||Tyler Kroft (CIN) – 48%|
|Alfred Morris (DAL) – 37%|
|Travis Benjamin (LAC) – 14%||Greg Olsen (CAR) – 42%|
|Darren McFadden (DAL) – 34%|
|Josh Doctson (WSH) – 43%|
|Rex Burkhead (NE) – 7%|
|Danny Amendola (NE) – 64%|
|Danny Woodhead (BAL) – 17%|
|Optical Illusion||TJ Yeldon (JAX) – 5%|
|Look But Don’t Touch||DeAndre Washington (OAK) – 19%||Tre McBride (CHI) – 0%||AJ Derby (DEN) – 2%||Los Angeles Chargers – 7%|
|Matt Breida (SF) – 9%||Dede Westbrook (JAX) – 8%|
|Demarcus Robinson (KC) – 1%|
|Brandon LaFell (CIN) – 6%|
|Ryan Switzer (DAL) – 0%|
|Dream the Stream||Jacoby Brissett (IND) – 10%||Gerald Everett (LAR) – 0%||New Orleans Saints – 66%|
|Luke Willson (SEA) – 0%||Oakland Raiders – 22%|
|San Francisco 49ers – 1%|
|Just in Case||Marcus Mariota (TEN) – 85%||Isaiah Crowell (CLE) – 77%||DeVante Parker (MIA) – 76%||Austin Seferian-Jenkins (NYJ) – 82%||Baltimore Ravens – 83%|
|Alvin Kamara (NO) – 86%||Martavis Bryant (PIT) – 61%||Evan Engram (NYG) – 80%||Los Angeles Rams – 56%|
|Aaron Jones (GB) – 81%||Jamison Crowder (60%)||Buffalo Bills – 46%|
|Bilal Powell (NYJ) – 76%|
Let’s Get Crazy
I’m going to cover all the New York Jets right here. While this might not be a top 5 NFL offense, the Jets are proving to be very useful in fantasy. Josh McCown is a legitimate QB that belongs in the conversation to start in 12+ team leagues. At this point I probably feel comfortable starting him over players like Ben Roethlisberger, Philip Rivers, Matthew Stafford, Andy Dalton, Cam Newton, Jameis Winston, Eli Manning, and Matt Ryan. That’s not to say that McCown is a slam dunk decision over those guys but I can’t hate you if you’re fed up with the production of the other eight guys and wanted to add McCown to your decision making process. He’s thrown for 2+ TD in four straight starts and I don’t think that’s a fluke. It’s no coincidence that this uptick in production has come after the emergence of Austin Seferian-Jenkins in this offense. ASJ’s presence has opened up the long ball for Robby Anderson, a guy you can now consider at WR3 going forward. He’s seeing 7 targets per game and is one of the better deep ball WR in the league. With Jermain Kearse and Jeremy Kerley working the middle of the field with ASJ, Anderson has had free reign to run his fly routes. I’m very bullish on the Jets offense right now and would grab McCown, ASJ, and Anderson if I was able to before people catch on. Matt Forte isn’t quite as much of priority as the other three but he has a role in this offense and his 10+ touches a game are in play during the next few sets of bye weeks…Outside of my love for the Jets, I think that it’s about time for Marlon Mack to start to see an increase in workload. He is a burst of energy in an offense that really needs it. At some point the Colts are going to realize that their season is done and they need to see what they have in Mack. Despite the recent strong performances from Frank Gore, it’s time for him to ride off into the sunset and let Mack take over. I think by the time we are digging into our turkeys Mack is going to be seeing a regular workload of 15+ touches per game. That could make him a solid RB3/low end RB2 at that point…I’m apparently a little late to the part, but Alex Collins is going to rush for 1,000 yards this year. I was high on him coming out of Arkansas last year but then he got lost in the shuffle in Seattle. He’s not going to be a 20 carry a game player but if he can see 12+ touches a game, he’s going to stay fresh enough to keep averaging 5.0+ yards per carry (he’s at 6.0 ypc right now, an unsustainable number). He’s yet to taste pay dirt this year but that’s only a matter of time. Much like the Bears and Bills, Baltimore is going to realize very soon that their quickest path to success is with a solid defense and pounding the ball. Collins figures to factor heavily into that strategy. He’s an RB3, at worst, right now… Martavis Bryant won’t be a Steeler after the trade deadline. JuJu Smith-Schuster’s steady play is part of the reason for this. He’s a lock for major targets after his huge game in Detroit and now we know that’s got game breaking speed and the trust of Ben Roethlisberger; definitely an add…A guy in my league keeps offering me a package for Martavis Bryant that includes Paul Richardson. I keep turning it down. I am wrong for doing this. Richardson is the real deal, with 5 TD over his last six games. He’s not going to be a high volume guy, that’s Doug Baldwin’s job, but he’s going to keep getting the downfield looks along with Tyler Lockett (another player you should look to acquire). Seattle can’t run at all and their offensive line isn’t strong enough for Wilson to stand in the pocket for too long. This means that he’s going to scramble around and look for opportunities downfield if coverage breaks down. Nobody in the NFL does this better than Wilson (Aaron Rodgers doesn’t count, he’s injured). Richardson might not be the most consistent player you have but his big games are going to be really big. I also notice that Wilson likes to look his way near the goal line, and if Seattle ends up trading Jimmy Graham (as reported) a lot of his looks may go Richardson’s way (which is why I like him more than Lockett)…Jack Doyle is the top option for Jacoby Brissett. There is no debate about this. He is a target machine and one of the steadiest TE there is. Indy is predisposed to use their TE anyway, but now that Doyle and Brissett have found a rhythm, look for his production to continue to be stellar. I just picked him up in a home league where I was streaming TE; I’m not streaming anymore.
I know that Brett Hundley looked like garbage against the Saints in Week 7 but everyone who talks about him says he is the real deal. This offense is designed to be QB-friendly and I trust Hundley’s pedigree. I think with a bye under his belt he’s at least worth a speculative add if you have a QB that’s underperforming, or if you want to block another owner from picking up Hundley (if you have the roster space)…Alfred Morris may or may not matter in about three days. Let’s add him if you can and then see how the Ezekiel Elliott decision comes down. I’ve now convinced myself that Morris is the guy Dallas wants to use if Zeke does miss six games. If you have the room and can grab both he and Darren McFadden it may be wise, but if you can only choose one it should be Morris…It sure looks like Rex Burkhead will matter in this Patriots offense. We can’t ever know which week will be a Burkhead week, but at some point we may need to use him given byes and injuries. I might not start him right away but if Chris Hogan is hurt it’s not out of the question that Burkhead sees some extra time split wide…I know that I sang the praises of Alex Collins in the last section but once Danny Woodhead come back, he will have a role in this offense. Even if it’s a Chris Thompson-like role, that’s still very valuable as a FLEX play. Let’s not forget that Woodhead is a red zone threat and was the goal line back for most of the teams he was on prior to signing with the Ravens… Let’s not forget that Hurns had a big game prior to his bye and as Bortles settles in to this offense he’s going to need a go-to guy. Hurns and Bortles have four years together in this offense, making Hurns the favorite to continue his solid play…I’ve been wanting to write about Travis Benjamin for the last few weeks. He finally had that breakout game that locked it in my mind that he’s going to slot into the WR2 spot for the Chargers. Tyrell Williams looks lost and Benjamin, despite some mental errors, is getting open everywhere on the field. If a team is going to roll their best coverage towards Keenan Allen, then Benjamin has the chops to make a defense pay. On top of his already good game in Week 8, Benjamin has a long TD called back on a questionable OPI call. I’m not in a hurry to use him but, like this past week, it was nice to have him on a roster when the byes hit me hard. He’s the one on the bye this weekend and that might make him a little easier to grab if people need an immediate fill in and you don’t…Despite his drops, the Redskins clearly want Josh Doctson to be their WR1. He was the flanker on the critical drives each of the past three weeks, and he was the player that Kirk Cousins looked for on each of those drives. Once Doctson remembers how to secure a pass, he’s going to be a very dangerous red zone threat. He could very well be a difference maker come fantasy playoff time…Danny Amendola becomes very interesting if Chris Hogan is out for any extended period of time. Keep an eye on injury reports coming out of New England…Tyler Kroft isn’t a dynamic player but if you’re in need he’s dependable for about 4-5 catches per week with a few end zone looks. It’s not sexy but sometimes reliability is all we need to get us past a bye week…Greg Olsen is coming back in the next few weeks. If you have the room, grab him now. The Panthers offense looks lost without him. He will have an immediate impact upon his return.
With another week to think about it, I’m still not convinced that TJ Yeldon is the backup to Leonard Fournette. I’m sticking with my hard pass.
Look But Don’t Touch
DeAndre Washington had 6 catches for the Raiders this weekend. I know he’s not the main RB on this team but if Oakland gets down and pulls Lynch, maybe it’s Washington (and not Richard) who gets the grabs. I’d keep an eye out the next few weeks to see if he stays involved in this offense with Lynch back on the field…The 49ers have yet to win a game. They’ve already made a QB switch to see what they have in CJ Beathard. Might it be time to yank Carlos Hyde to see what they have in Matt Breida? When the kid gets the ball he looks dynamic, so it would make sense for SF to increase his workload to see if they can save some money by letting Hyde go at the end of the season. Heck, I think that Hyde might be a surprise trade deadline move to help free up some money in SF’s pursuit of Kirk Cousins in the off season. Jay Glazer reported that the Eagles will be active at the trade deadline. Could this be a match??…There are a lot of interesting WR plays that we need to keep an eye on in case they start to see an increase in targets. Tre McBride looked to be a favorite target of Mitchell Trubisky this weekend. He only had 3 catches but they went for 92 yards. I want to see another week of this offense before I decide if this was a fluke or not…Cole Beasley left this week’s game with what looked like a concussion. If that is more serious than it appeared, Ryan Switzer would slide into his role nicely. He was a jitterbug type player at UNC with incredible open field vision and esacpability. I’d love to see what he could do with 5+ targets a game. I’m not grabbing him yet but he’s worth keeping an eye on…Westbrook, Robinson, and LaFell each make an appearance here for the second week in a row. I’m not ready to move on any of them, although I could be a little bit intrigued by LaFell and Robinson if I was desperate for depth…I still need to see more from Derby in order to call him a reliable play. More specifically, I want to see what his role is with Emmanuel Sanders back on the field before I commit to anything…The Chargers more than held their own against the Patriots in Week 8. I like their defense more and more each week. They are on a bye in Week 9 so I won’t jump on them yet, but come Week 10 I might be a little more interested in them if I was using a team like Houston all season. Coming out of the bye they’ve got Jacksonville and Buffalo, followed by games against Cleveland and the Jets later in the season.
Dream the Stream
The Texans clearly have lost way too many players for their defense to be effective anymore. I’m going to definitely look to stream offenses against them going forward. First on that list is Jacoby Brissett. He’s not a great player but he’s got enough playmakers on that offense that he could take advantage of the sieve that is the Houston secondary. I wouldn’t use him in 12 team leagues, but anything deeper and I’d consider him if I had a guy like Tom Brady, Philip Rivers, or Ben Roethlisberger as my starter (since they are on a bye)…Gerald Everett plays the Giants, while Luke Willson plays the Redskins. Both teams give up a ton of points to opposing TE. Everett has to compete with Tyler Higbee, but he’s the deep threat of the two and if I’m going to go with a no-name TE, I want the guy with upside…Willson is only in play for me if Jimmy Graham gets traded this week (and I think he does). Otherwise, ignore him…The Saints continue to play well at home on defense. I don’t trust Jameis Winston on the road at all. If you’re in the 34% of leagues that have them available, look their way if you need a defense in Week 9…The Raiders travel to Miami to face the worst offense in football, while the 49ers get to face Drew Stanton. Oakland is the preferred option but the “defense whisperer” is feeling a nice game from the beleaguered 49ers.
Just in Case
Marcus Mariota is available in 15% of leagues? If you’re in one of them, grab him. Even if you don’t need a QB, block another team from getting him…Sean Payton hates Mark Ingram. Mark Ingram fumbled twice in Week 8. Alvin Kamara is one more fumble away from being on the right side of this platoon…The Crow is starting to eat. Cleveland returns to play in Week 10. If he’s on the wire, get him now and use him then…If Martavis Bryant gets traded (he won’t go to Philly too, will he??), he could be a steal if you can grab him for nothing…DeVante Parker should be good to go in Week 9. He was drafted as a WR2 for a reason. He may not reach those heights but he’s a guy you can plug in and feel ok about using…I know that defenses are kind of a joke but the Rams are legit and should be starting in all 10+ team leagues, while the Bills are giving up the fewest points per game in the league this year. Both should not be available in over 40% of leagues.
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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