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The Waiver Wire 9/17

Welcome to Rotobahn’s expanded waiver wire.  If you’ve already read the WEEI version, you have a head start, but the article has already tripled in size since then and it’s still growing.

Last week, I commented on how nice it was that the injury bug had not hit in full force.  Yeah, so much for that.  In Week 2, we lost some exceedingly durable players who are cornerstones for their teams.  The effects of the injuries to Ben Roethlisberegr and Drew Brees will be felt throughout fantasy leagues as not only do we lose two future Hall of Fame quarterbacks, we see corresponding damage to their surrounding skill players.  

Will JuJu Smith-Schuster be as valuable with mason Crosby throwing him the football?  We’re to find out.  We’re also going to find out what type of fantasy player Alvin Kamara is without Drew Brees running the show.  Michael Thomas will be trying to reestablish himself in that same new paradigm.  Hopefully Teddy Bridgewater can ease the pain in New Orleans.  If he struggles, we may get a look at Sean Payton’s pet project Taysom Hill—a football player who is sorta like a beefed up version of Antwaan Randle El.  It’s going to be a very intriguing six to eight weeks in Big Easy while we wait for Brees to return.

As always, this is a living article.  I will be updating it up until about 7pm.  Please check the final version before making your claims.  Lots more players to come this week!  You can listen to today’s waiver wire pod below.  It definitely improves this article in my view.

 

 

 

This article is closed for Tuesday.  Good luck tonight, folks!

 

EASY BUTTON ADDS

  • Malcolm Brown
  • Rashaad Penny
  • Terry McLaurin
  • John Brown
  • John Ross

 

QUARTERBACKS

 

Josh Allen, Bills

How can he be owned in so few leagues?  This guy may not be the next great quarterback, but he’s a fantasy star for as long as he retains his mobility.  He’s my QB1 in several leagues and I have him in dynasty as well.  My biggest concern is his health.  He puts his body in harm’s way far too frequently.  Of course, it’s part of his appeal on some level.

Jimmy Garoppolo, 49ers    

I’m pretty bullish on Garoppolo as a strong QB2 option the rest of the way.  I like this offensive unit from a depth perspective.  The only truly irreplaceable part is George Kittle.  The schedule is largely favorable so you can throw him in there on most weeks without much hesitation.  Josh Allen gives us the big ceiling.  Garoppolo is more of a floor play but you get some weekly ceiling too.  He’s looked pretty good for a guy coming off a major injury.  I think we can safely forget about his August struggles now.

Andy Dalton, Bengals

This is an interesting one.  Dalton has been a little mistake-prone in the new offense installed by new head coach Zac Taylor.  They are 0-2, but not without some signs of hope.  The route design is all-new in Cincinnati and it really shows.  The reads are more defined and there are more receivers running open than we used to see when Marvin Lewis was running the show.  This bodes well for Dalton if he can hang onto the starting gig.  His utility, to you, will have a lot to do with when you want to use him.  His schedule is a bit off and on with some bad matchups and some pretty choice ones.  I’d cross reference them against your starter’s byes and bad matchups to see if there’s a good fit.

Matthew Stafford, Lions 

A good stable commodity because he’s good and he has weapons. The new scheme puts a governor on his upside from the standpoint of pace, so he’s just a QB2.

Daniel Jones, Giants

Jones is stepping into a reasonably good situation ONCE he has his two starting receivers back. Sterling Shepard is likely to return this week—assuming he clears the league’s concussion protocol. Golden Tate will miss two more games. That being said, he has playable matchups the next two weeks and a handful of tasty ones over the remaining schedule—with dates against the Jets, Cardinals, Bucs, Lions and two games with Washington. The playoff schedule is particularly nice, especially Miami in Week 15. Jones has speed and an inclination to use it. He’s got some fantasy appeal.

Jacoby Brissett, Colts 

Jacoby is sort of a mystery box player. He’s come a long way and really has one hurdle left before he wins a starting job rather than being thrust into the gig via circumstance. The hurdle, as I mentioned on the pod, is processing the play quicker and being more decisive. It’s not that Brissett makes bad decisions as much as he doesn’t make good one quickly enough. He’s about to get regular reps for an extended period under the eye of a former NFL QB. This is his chance. The next few games are going to be big. I like holding onto him for now if I can. His ceiling is really high if things click. He could be abetter fantasy QB than Luck. It’s absolutely possible. Foot-points change everything.

Teddy Bridgewater, Saints

Drew Brees (thumb) will miss 6-8 weeks with a thumb injury that required surgery.  That leaves Bridgewater as the starter for now.  If Teddy plays well, he should be the guy but Taysom Hill lurks as a potential plan B if the former first round pick struggles.  The upside is clear.  If Bridgewater can fin his old pre-injury form, he may be able to tap into this talent-laden offense and create some fantasy juice.  In typical 12-team leagues, Braidgewater is more novelty item than a must-have free agent asset, but in superflex and other 2QB formats, he could hold some serious appeal.

Marcus Mariota, Titans

It’s ugly to be sure, but he’s the 12th best scorer at the position so far and he has some solid matchups throughout the bye weeks.  Mariota is looking to run it more than in the past, which bodes well for future success and he has more weapons around him.  For deeper leagues and for backup purposes to be certain, but he’s on the radar now.

Mason Rudolph, Steelers

He’s got a gunslinger’s mentality in some ways.  He can throw the deep ball.  He has been playing with James Washington for years so that’s an interesting side note.  Big Ben (elbow surgery) season-ending IR

Gardner Minshew, Jaguars

He had another good game but I have yet to get eyes on it. He’s still a deep format add. I’ll update his if I see anything of note.

Case Keenum, Washington

He’s posting numbers right now. It’s suboptimal QB play but who cares, right? He can help you if you are desperate.

 

 

RUNNING BACKS

 

Jaylen Samuels, Steelers

With Big Ben done for the year, the Steelers will be in plenty of throw-first situations.  This favors Samuels.  Throw in the fact that James Conner has a knee injury (extent unknown) and you should view Samuels as a must-add player in all formats.  Even if the Steelers turn into a dumpster fire, Samuels has the kind of skill set that can still create fantasy production.  He’s an incredibly versatile talent who can morph from power back to slot receiver to h-back in a single series. 

Raheem Mostert, 49ers

He looks good every time he touches the football, but in all honesty, you can say that about all the 49ers backs in Week 2.  The scheme was really working against the Bengals.

Darwin Thompson, Chiefs

He’s been dropped in a ton of leagues and I can understand to some extent, but this is a player who is one injury away from a significant role.  With Damien Williams (knee) and LeSean McCoy (ankle) both nursing injuries, I’m looking to add Darwin anywhere I can rigth now.  On most weeks he has handcuff value.

Carlos Hyde, Texans

He’s been the workhorse with Duke Johnson working behind him.  My guess is that this changes over time as Hyde wears down and Duke gets more comfortable in the new scheme.  It make sense right?  Johnson is more of a weapon in the passing game, so there’s more nuance to pick up as a new player.  Still, for now, especially in leagues that are not full PPR scoring, Hyde can get you some weekly yards and if this offense gets it going, he could add some scores from the stripe.

Alexander Mattison, Vikings

He’s got to be owned in all but small 10-team formats.  If you have Dalvin Cook, you know the value of the Minnesota ground game.  Mattison is a really important insurance policy.  He’s also a good receiver.  He’d have three down potential if Cook was to go down.  I’d take him over Hyde t be honest.  The only rub would be if you have to play them now.  In that scenario Hyde’s got the edge.

Chris Thompson, Washington

Through two games, Thompson has amassed 18 targets and before you say that a lot of that was due to game flow, I’ll remind you that Washington’s game flow is not expected to be much better on most weeks.  Thompson is a screaming buy in PPR leagues.  He’ll retain this value for as long as he can stay healthy, which, sadly, is usually not all that long.

Justice Hill, Ravens

As I said last week, “Hill is a long play but I love his ceiling in the Ravens RPO and run laden offense.  He’s already got flex appeal in larger formats and he’s a highlight waiting to happen.  I own this guy everywhere already.”  Hill did not do much in Week 2, but I expect a lot of good things from this this season.  Stash him if you can find the space.

Peyton Barber & Ronald Jones, Bucs

Everybody will be adding Barber this week which is understandable.  We knew Arians could punk us in Week 2.  He practically told us in advance when he bristled when asked whether Ronald Jones had taken over the gig.  He wasn’t being coy.  Jones only played 8 snaps but then again, he only played 22 in Week 1.  He’s a stash play.  Why?  Because he’s the back with the explosive traits.  As I said last week, he is a swing at upside.  So what about Barber?  He’s a solid add right now—particularly in non-PPR leagues.  Just understand that Barber didn’t exactly light it up.  He’s getting there on volume.  In fairness, there’s not a whole lot of room to run out there for the Bucs.  The offensive line has been weak so far.  So, for me, what we have here is sort of par for the course.  Continue to play Barber or add him and play him, but keep Jones stashed where you can, because he could hit big at some point.

Ito Smith, Falcons

Ito’s snaps dropped off a bit in Week 2 but his usage stayed roughly the same.  He’s going to be valuable if anything happens to Devonta Freeman. so keep him rostered in leagues with adequate roster limits.

Frank Gore, Bills

Devin Singletary did something to his hamstring in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s game.  It looked like something and Gore handled the ground game the rest of the way.  It would not surprise me if Singletary misses some time.  In really deep leagues, TJ Yeldon could also be considered, especially if we know Singletary will miss some time, but Gore looks like the guy who will get the most action.

Justin Jackson, Chargers

Jackson only played about 25% of the snaps in Week 1 and Week 2 was about the same, but he’s looked good out there and he should get more action as the weeks pass.  He’ll also be a fantasy stud if anything happens to Ekeler.  Handcuff him in deeper formats and stash if you are not an Ekeler team.

Chase Edmonds, Cardinals

David Johnson had an injury scare last week and though he appears to be fine, this is a good time to remind foks that Chase Edmonds is good at football and would be a very capapble replacement for Johnson.  That’s both in terms of carries and receptions.  He’s a great stash.

Jeff Wilson, 49ers

He ran as the third back but he also got the most opportunity when they got in close to the stripe.  This makes him viable in deep non-PPR leagues.

Rex Burkhead, Patriots

He’s a useful player, especially in games where the Patriots need more nuance in their offense.  He’s also one injury away from being a weekly fantasy asset.  For now, he’s a solid bech player in larger 12-team formats.

Paul Perkins & Ty Johnson, Lions

The Lions released CJ Anderson and now one of these two should become the primary backup to Kerryon Johnson.  And, since the Lions won’t allow Kerryon to have a true lead back share, there will be some touches up for grabs here.  Ty Johnson is the early favorite and the guy I’d be rostering if I had the choice.

DeAndre Washington & Jalen Richard, Raiders

Keep an eye on the Oakland backfield this week.  If Josh Jacobs is forced out due to his groin, then one of these two will lead the way.  It feesl like a 50/50 call right now as to which one would have more value.  My guess is Washington.

Bryce Love, Washington

He’ll b eligible to return in Week 7, so consider this a primer for the weeks leading up to Week 7, but for some of us in deeper formats, this could be actionable right now.  We know that Adrian Peterson is a bad fit and we know that Chris Thompson never lasts.  We also know that getting Derrius Guice back in good shape this season is a long putt.  It will be late season for sure and meniscus tears take time when we’re talking about peak form, and Guice was not in peak form anyway.  Love is a great competitor who is capable of filling a stats sheet.  If he’s not on your radar yet, he should be soon.

Dare Ogunbowale, Bucs

In deeper PPR formats, he could end up being a thing. No carries in either game so far but he was targeted six times in Week 1, so he’s a guy to monitor at the very least.

Mark Walton, Dolphins

It’s not that I love Walton, though he certainly has some eye appeal.  It’’s that I’m not buying Kalen Ballage and there are trade rumors surrounding Kenyan Drake.  Not sure where they can move a guy like Drake save for maybe Washington or Jacksonville (they paid for Hyde midseason, so who knows.)  

 

WIDE RECEIVERS

 

Terry McLaurin, Washington

He’s still out there in about 50 percent of Yahoo leagues so he’s worth re-listing after being one of our headliners last week.  The reasons are unchanged though we do have one more strong outing to throw into evidence.

DK Metcalf, Seahawks

He’s probably the best receiver to prioritize this week because he’s looking fully recovered from his August knee surgery and because he plays with Russell Wilson.  Metcalf’s playing time ticked up another notch in Week 2—going from 77 percent in Week 1 up to 89.  He also scored his first touchdown.  He’s already taken in about half of Yahoo leagues, so he’ll be gone soon.  Act now if you can.

Parris Campbell, Colts

He was more involved last week and obviously we got the touchdown.  Campbell had a hamstring in August and is still learning the offense as a result.  Once he’s fully up to speed and far enough away from that injury, he will be fully released.  I expect to see more of him this week against the Falcons on the fast track in Indianapolis.  The Colts have started out with two games on grass and on the road.  The return home is good for both TY Hilton and Campbell. 

Deebo Samuel, 49ers

They were scheming the ball to him throughout the game at Cincinnati and he’s now up to 10 targets on the season.  What’s interesting and worth unpacking is that, while his Week 2 playing time dropped from 60 snaps to 29, his usage rose from no rushes to two and from 3 targets to seven.  Things are very much in-motion when it comes to the 49ers receivers, but it really seems that they have some specific plans for Samuel, who was involved in a lot of the plays he was in there for either as the intended receiver/ball-carrier or as a part of the fake and or motion on a given play.  The feeling I’m getting is that, as they are able to design and rehearse more plays and packages, they will be able to use Samuel more and more.

Demarcus Robinson, Chiefs

One of my favorite sleeper receivers came on strong last week and you should be able to get some usage out of him for as long as Hill remains out.

Mecole Hardman, Chiefs

Hardman’s appeal is not unlike Robinson’s and if you look at what’s transpired so far, all of these receivers–including Sammy Watkins, have a wide range of outcomes every week.  This offense is the most explosive thing we’ve ever seen in a non-relative sense.  So that range of outcomes veers towards the positive.  Both Hardman and Robinson can be started in all leagues this week.

D.J. Chark, Jaguars

He’s now strung two good weeks together so I’m taking him seriously.

Geronimo Allison, Packers

He’s got long term appeal, especially in deeper formats, so add him everywhere but run to add him if he’s been let go in a deep league.  He’s still got the slot gig and he’s nifty in the red zone.  He could start scoring touchdowns regularly if this offense settles in.  They’ve had tough matchups so far.

Cole Beasley, Bills

He’s still largely unowned, so take a look see.  I’m really impressed with the Allen-to-Beasley connection and it’s clear that Beasley has taken the slot reps away from Zay Jones.  I wasn’t sure if this would be a shared situation.  It does not appear to be.  This makes Beasley a weekly starter in large PPR formats and a guy to own in normal sized leagues—at least through the bye weeks.

Marquise Goodwin, 49ers

He’s been big play dependent, but he’s a big play guy so that’s not a big problem.  His issue has been staying healthy.  Always has been.  What Goodwin is, is a player you can ride for the time being in most leagues.  He’s best deployed in non-PPR.

Chris Conley, Jaguars

Both should start going forward though we do need to keep an eye on Marqis Lee.  **Update**  Conley showed up on the inury report with a sore hip.  It doesn’t sound serious.

Nelson Agholor, Eagles

His value may be short term, but there’s a good chance that he’s playing a prominent role this week with both DeSean Jackson (groin) and Alshone Jeffery (calf) struggling with injuries.

Trey Quinn, Washington

His snaps went down a smidge but his targets went up by one to 7 total.  Quinn is definitely a guy with some PPR potential and if he can stay healthy, he may even work his way into standard league viability.  This team shold be passing a lot when you look at the big picture.

AJ Brown, Titans

He’s still in the same staion he was in last week with about a 45% snap share, but he’s a special talent so he’s worth a stash over some players who are worth more right now.

James Washington, Steelers

He’s about to be reunited with his college quarterback, Mason Rudolph.  While Washington has yet to really take off, there are things afoot in Pittsburgh.  With Rudolph taking over at QB and with Moncrief cratering at the X spot, there could be come changes in the receiving ranks.  Washington doesn’t need to become the starting X to gain snaps, but if he can earn just a little time there, he’ll be on his way to weekly viability. 

Diontae Johnson, Steelers

One of my favorite receivers to come out this year. He’s good at a lot of things. He can get off the line despite not being a big receiver and he’s a serious play-maker. I’m not shocked that they are slow rolling him to some degree, but I’d be surprised if we don’t see more of him soon. I’d stash him now if possible or at least make it a priority if you open up a roster spot.  Big Ben being gone could be a bad thing for Moncrief—though not as much as Moncrief has hurt himself with his play.  That could get Diontae into the mix.  He’s been mixed in lightly so far.

JJ Arcega-Whiteside, Eagles

He is currently, the Eagles only true outside weapon, who is healthy.  That could change as we move through the week, but it would seem that JJAW is a player to add in deeper leagues and perhaps even mid-sized ones.  He’s got a touchdown skillset and plays in a good offense.  I took him in a few of my rookie drafts this year, so he’s a player I like.  Just understand that Alshon and D-Jax could be healthy soon and if they stay that way, JJAW’s value tanks.   **UPDATE** It now sounds like D-Jax will miss this week and perhaps Week 4 as well.  If Alshon sits, JJAW will be a good start this week.

Devin Smith, Cowboys

It appears that he may step into Michael Gallup’s vacated role for the next 2-3 games.  That will give him some appeal in deeper leagues and perhaps even smaller ones if he excels again this week.  Smith can go get the deep ball when healthy.  It’s hard to come back from multiple ACLs, but maybe this kid has.  I hope so.  He plays the game the right way.  If he stays healthy, he will continue to make plays.  He’s a great fit for this team.

Golden Tate, Giants

Daniel Jones’ mobility could help players like Tate–a veteran who will work back to the quarterback.  Eli Manning was a bad fit for the offensive lines in NY for the last few years.  Jones should help some, along with the slight OL upgrades they made this past offseason.  Tate won’t play untl Week 5, but add him in advance to save some coin.  He’s looking like he’ll be playable in 12-team leagues.

Ted Ginn, Saints

With so few healthy receivers in Big Easy, Ginn could be playing close to the full colement of snaps this week.  Keith Kirkwood is now on IR and Tre’Quan Smith is banged up.  He’s a saavy pickup.

Randall Cobb, Cowboys

Cobb should see mild increases in both snaps and targets with Michael Gallup our for 2-4 games.  In deeper formats he can be flexed during this stretch.  He’s already seen 11 targets through two weeks.  Not too shabby.

Preston Williams & DeVante Parker, Dolphins

Williams has been more productive but Parker is running ahead of him, so choose your weapon.  I’m leaning towards Parker for near term appeal. 

Deon Cain, Colts

He looked very good at points, but his route tree requires better timing and accuracy from Brissett, who is still a work in progress.  Parris Campbell should get more slot work and more schemed plays.  That’s going to give him an advantage as things progress.

 

TIGHT ENDS

 

Chris Herndon, Jets

He won’t help you until Week 6, but think about it.  Tight ends are already starting to drop off the board.  Hunter Henry’s already taken a chunk out of the elite area and Jordan Reed’s hurting as we all expected and Jared Cook may be cooked without Drew Brees.  Heck, he looked bad WITH Brees.  It will get worse before Week 6 and some smart GM will pluck Herndon away from you.  So, in leagues where you have a spot to stash a player, consider stashing Herndon—even if you end up not needing him, he’ll bring good value in 12-team leagues at the trading deadline.

Will Dissly, Seahawks

He just keeps scoring touchdowns and Russell Wilson has an elephant’s memory, so he’s not going to forget Dissly when they get down close.  Diddly was not on my preseason radar because he was coming off of a serious injury.  Now that we have some early returns, I think we have a buying opportunity in deeper leagues.  Heck, he could help you in any league where you need a tight end.

Noah Fant, Broncos

He’s a long term play but you could use him now in deeper formats.  Not saying I want to do that but he’s getting targets every game and has some big play upside to him.

Jack Doyle, Colts

Snaps and targets saw mild improvement over Week 1 but he’s still a spare part rather than a core component.  On the other hand, his 71% snap rate says there are ways for him to get more involved.  He’s s a stable TE2 commodity if you need that.

Hayden Hurst, Ravens

He has a chance to develop into a very good player.  He’s not the explosive threat that Mark Andrews is, but Andrews usually play with another tight end on the field.  Hurst gets more snaps by outplaying Nick Boyle as much as outplaying Andrews.  If Hurst can string a month of games together, I think he’ll emerge.  Until then, he’s a stash.

Jason Witten, Cowboys

Process touchdowns.  Witten is going to score his fair share of them because teams just can’t afford to care about him when you look at all the other pressure points Dallas can hit you with—behind that nasty offensive line.  When they want to toss this guy a score, they will usually be able to do it.  It makes him a viable play when the going gets rough.  And, even if you don’t have to roster Witten, you still benefit from not having to listen to his boring ass on SNF.

Vernon Davis, Washington

It feels like Reed could return this week so that takes some of the appeal away from Davis.  That being said, Reed is on his last legs and is always a threat to go down no matter how healthy he may be.  In deeper formats, that value tight ends, Davis may be worth holding onto.  He can still play and this team will have to throw a lot.