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The Waiver Wire 10/31

The Waiver Wire 10/31

Happy Halloween (updated 7pm)
By: Pete Davidson : October 31, 2017 12:16pm

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The NFL is madness. I was feeling good about this week’s wire when I woke up this morning. Then I checked the news, rolled up my sleeves and guzzled a second cup of coffee. There’s some serious wheeling and dealing going on in the league right now and who knows, we may not be done yet. The trade deadline is today at 4 p.m. ET, so buckle up. The Patriots may have more up their sleeve. For all I know, LeGarrette Blount could be back in New England by nightfall. Jarvis Landry is another potential Patriot addition. I won’t even rule out Calvin Johnson. It’s been that kind of day. Keep your head on a swivel, folks.

The Week 9 Waiver Wire podcast will be posted around 2pm.

The ownership rates listed below were sourced from Yahoo! They reflect a player’s ownership, not their availability.

 

QUARTERBACKS

Blake Bortles, Jaguars, 16 percent

Hear me out. It’s rough out there and Bortles is slowly doing more as the weeks go by. You need to do your homework here. Determine where your needs are or will be. Bortles is very playable in weeks 11, 13 and 16. He has value as matchup play. He gets Dede Westbrook back this week and that’s a big deal because Westbrook gives him a viable third receiver but also because Westbrook could conceivably be the most dangerous weapon in the passing game once he is up to speed. When you consider that the good matchups begin Week 11, this could play out well. Bortles is also, quite ironically, a quarterback with solid short term job security. They won’t try and replace him until 2018.

Jared Goff, Rams, 47 percent

If you are lucky, Goff is available and you can nab him as your QB2. He’s played well enough to use him even in tough matchups like this week’s game at the Giants. He’s got some great weapons and he has a RB who is making plays after the catch in Todd Gurley. He’s not exciting, but it’s a depressed market right now. His playoff matchups are solid save for Week 15 at Seattle.

Josh McCown, Jets, 25 percent

He hosts the Bills on a short week so there’s some potential with the veteran starting at home. He’s playable this week though somewhere short of desirable. McCown also has a sweet road matchup next week versus the Bucs, so he’s a good move if you like to get ahead of the game. After Week 10, his matchups are bad on the whole. Quite honestly, I am shocked that he’s stayed healthy this long.

Drew Stanton, Cardinals, 2 percent

He’s not very appealing outside of this week. If you are in a Week 9 jam, Stanton plays the winless 49ers, who have been a get-well matchup for just about everybody who’s played them in recent weeks. After Sunday, the schedule turns ugly, so again, this is a one week fix, not a long term solution.

Jacoby Brissett, Colts, 10 percent

He’s less than ideal but it’s a rough marketplace right now so he’s viable in bigger leagues. Brissett’s best application is as a Week 12 bye replacement. He faces the Titans in a home game that week. Apart from that, the schedule is less than friendly.

Brett Hundley, Packers, 9 percent

Let’s cover the good stuff first. He’s past his bye week and he has a few very strong matchups for the pass on his remaining schedule. Green Bay faces the Lions this week for example. Hundley also has a deep and experienced group of receivers to throw to. He’s a mobile quarterback with a strong arm—capable of making all the throws. He’s a player they want to develop for the future so he’s unlikely to lose his job barring a total meltdown. Now the bad. Hundley is raw. He’s still learning how to play the game at NFL speed and it showed big-time in his first two outings. The hope is that he was able to settle into his new role during the Pack’s Week 8 bye. He’s undeniably risky, but based on what’s available on most waiver wires, Hundley is a decent add in leagues with 12 or more teams.

Jimmy Garoppolo, 49ers, 3 percent

He’s going to be a popular pickup this week, but the team change leads to a harsh reality. The 49ers are a bad team with bad weapons and bad matchups. Garoppolo has a potentially bright future, but that future is 2018 and beyond. The rest of 2017 will be an exercise in patience and an opportunity to learn Kyle Shanahan’s offense. My guess is that he doesn’t start until Week 10 or maybe even Week 12—after the 49ers Week 11 bye.

RUNNING BACKS

Kenyan Drake, Dolphins, 3 percent

Holy smokes! I didn’t see this one coming. Jay Ajayi was dealt to Philadelphia this morning. If you are an Ezekiel Elliott owner, Drake is the player I would be going after tonight. I’m sorry, but an aging Darren McFadden just doesn’t do it for me, nor does the limited Alfred Morris. While others are zigging, I’m going to zag to Drake. He’s a potentially special talent who is dangerous as a runner and even more dangerous as a receiver. His skill set is a great fit for HC Adam Gase’s system. Miami’s schedule is largely favorable. I’m going for the brass ring here. Risks be damned. I want the guy with a big ceiling. You’ll hear people talking Drake down today. I suggest tuning them out. Go get this kid. He has league-winning upside in PPR formats. None of the other backs available have it. I will continue to update this situation on the expanded wire over at Rotobahn, with a final update coming out this evening.

Marlon Mack, Colts, 45 percent

His snap count continues to rise—hitting a season-high 39 in Week 8. It marks the second consecutive week where he’s outsnapped Frank Gore. As I said last week, the Colts are now officially in developmental mode, with Mack playing the role of Gore’s apprentice. We seem to be into the phase where the apprentice is doing the majority of the actual work. The schedule is medium for the run, but be aware that the Colts have a Week 11 bye. Mack should be owned in all 12-team leagues and has bye week applications in smaller leagues too.

Darren McFadden, 37 percent, Alfred Morris, 39 percent, Cowboys

I’m less enthused about these two than most folks seem to be. McFadden is not even close to what he once was and Morris is limited to early down work which limits his PPR value. If forced to choose, I would add Morris, because I think he gets the first crack at goal line work. I’m actually more interested in Rod Smith as I get into next.

****UPDATE*****

Jerry Jones has said that Morris will be the guy.  This definitely raises his value after the deadline has passed and no Demarco Murray deal went down.  I'll now go after Morris first, and Rod Smith second

 

Alex Collins, Ravens, 36 percent

I am going to eat some crow here. While I have had Collins on the waiver wire for the better part of the last month, I’ve downplayed his upside. Last week he ran for 113 yards in a blowout of the Dolphins. Granted it was a Thursday home game and granted, the Dolphins failed to show up, but still, it was a good performance and it’s the same hard running we’ve seen from Collins in the past. In my defense, I never said the guy wasn’t a good early down pounder. There are some good running matchups left on the Ravens schedule, so he’s a priority add right now. Just understand that he’s not going to have a role in passing situations and the Ravens are still, rather inexplicably, featuring Buck Allen in goal line packages. While I expect that to change a bit going forward, it’s been an odd reality the last few games—probably related to Collins fumbling issues that have plagued him since his college days.

Rod Smith, Cowboys, 1 percent

With all of the McFadden vs. Morris talk, the Dallas back I am going after is Smith. He’s younger and has more life in his legs. He’s a big back with an Ohio State pedigree. The fact that he was lightly used has a lot to do with who he was playing behind. He’s a great guy to add in deeper leagues where the other two Dallas backs are already rostered.

Damien Williams, Dolphins, 1 percent

He’s got a legit RB2 ceiling and a strong one, IF he ultimately takes the job that Jay Ajayi left behind this morning. My early money is on Kenyan Drake, as I have already said, but Williams is an old favorite of mine going back to his Oklahoma days. He has three down ability and will almost assuredly have an expanded role in the wake of Ajayi’s departure. Just understand that Drake is the back drafted by the current brain trust in Miami. He’s going to get the first crack at the gig, most likely. As I said with Drake, I will continue to update this situation on the expanded wire over at Rotobahn, with a final update coming out this evening. This is a live situation.

Eddie Lacy, Seahawks, 23 percent

As I said the last two weeks, I am shocked at how low owned he is. Well, now I am shocked at Seattle’s insistence with Thomas Rawls who has looked beyond awful and less than healthy. Rawls is not the same guy we saw back in 2015. Not remotely, and I have trouble seeing this changing. I’m still stashing Lacy because he got plenty of productivity in his past and he can handle a big workload if they ever give him a shot.

Danny Woodhead, Ravens, 18 percent

As I said last week, if you play in a PPR league, he’s a nice deep stash. He could come off the IR and start posting big receiving numbers. Flacco has so little to work with that Woodhead could lead the team in targets upon his return. According to Rotoworld, he is targeting a Week 11 return, so plan accordingly.

WIDE RECEIVERS

JuJu Smith-Schuster, Steelers, 49 percent

I told folks to add him in all leagues last week. I doubt that you need such advice now as JuJu exploded against the Lions in Week 8. He will rightfully be the top WR target this week. If you failed to acquire him earlier, this is obviously your last chance. Empty your bank account for him.

Corey Davis, Titans, 27 percent

Here’s what I said last week. “Meet the best stash option around. Davis has been a big disappointment but none of this has to do with anything other than injury. And, based on what we saw last week, the Titans can really use his alpha skill set. The fact that they have been careful with his injury will work for you upon his return. Stash him now and he could pay off large when he returns from his Week 8 bye. Davis is a potential star and he has a good quarterback to work with.” Well, the bye has passed and Davis was a limited participant and Monday’s practice. He should return in limited fashion this week and could be playable for fantasy GMs as soon as Week 10.

Josh Doctson, Washington, 42 percent

I’ve been blowing this horn for a while now and he’s still available in some leagues. I’d nab him everywhere I can. End of story. He makes a very nice consolation prize if you cannot acquire JuJu or Corey Davis. Doctson has outsnapped Terrelle Pryor two straight weeks now. Last week’s matchup was not a deep ball matchup at all, but that changes going forward. Doctson is a priority add in most leagues.

Paul Richardson, Seahawks, 33 percent

I own this guy in a lot of leagues and he’s really come on this season and with a huge game last week he’s looking like a legit 2017 breakout. Of course, his history of injury is a concern, but not for those in redraft leagues. One big factor is that Richardson is a deep threat and the Seahawks just upgraded their left tackle position in a big way with the addition of Duane Brown in a trade with Houston. Richardson should be owned in all leagues. Tyler Lockett, at 39 percent ownership is another great add of similar quality. Both players can be in your weekly lineups going forward as flex options or as WR3s if need be.

Cooper Kupp, Rams, 42 percent

He had ten targets and a touchdown in Week 7. He’s not playing like a rookie and he can help you every single week. He’s now past his bye week so he’s helpful in smaller leagues as the rest of the byes play out. In deeper formats, he has weekly flex appeal. He’s close to an every down player, and that’s obviously impressive for a rookie from a small school.

Robby Anderson, Jets, 29 percent

He’s a really solid add right now. Anderson’s a legit playmaker and he came through last week in a big way—catching all six of his targets in a game that featured nothing but driving rain and high winds. Anderson may have turned a corner with his hands and if that proves to be true, he’s got a lot more ceiling that he generally gets credit for. The Jets will have to throw a lot the rest of the way. Anderson should be owned in most leagues and certainly in all 12-team leagues.

Dede Westbrook, Jaguars, 11 percent

First off, all three of the Jaguars main receivers make good additions and they are all owned at less than 40 percent. If you see Allen Hurns or Marqise Lee available, they can help you this week. Having said that, the one likely to be available in leagues with 12 or more teams is Westbrook, and he has the ability to be a slot demon down the stretch. It would not shock me one bit if Westbrook was their most targeted player over the final third of the season. He’s a nice pickup in PPR formats or any deep league.

Curtis Samuel, Panthers, 1 percent

He’s a viable add in redraft leagues now that Kelvin Benjamin is gone to Buffalo. Samuel should see a rise in snaps and targets and if he takes to the offense well, he has the after the catch ability to be a big time guy. Definitely worth a speculative add.

TIGHT ENDS

Tyler Kroft, Bengals, 47 percent

He was held out of the end zone in Week 8, but he managed to catch five out of his six targets and he remains a good bet for productivity going forward. He can help you as a weekly starter in 12-team leagues or as a bye week replacement in smaller formats.

Vernon Davis, Washington, 13 percent

He’s the obvious guy to go after if you need a one week solution at the position. Davis is a TE1 for the near term—until Jordan Reed returns from his latest malady. In this case, said malady is a pulled hamstring. Davis still has plus athleticism at age 33 and he works well with Kirk Cousins.

O.J. Howard, Bucs, 37 percent

He fell back to earth in Week 8, but the paradigm stays unchanged. He’s past his bye week and can explode at any time with a huge game. Howard is a quality always-on dart throw. Meaning that he’s viable on any week you have a need. He can definitely can be helpful in large formats.

Greg Olsen, Panthers, 42 percent

It sounds like he is a good bet to return Week 12 when he is eligible. If you are a good team with a tight end problem, he could be a solution as a free agent or as a cheap trade acquisition. Cam Newton loves to target him and they have some very nice matchups down the stretch.