The Waiver Wire 9/19
A look at the pickups for Week 3 (updated at 5:30pm)
Carnage. It’s hard to talk about this year’s fantasy campaign without talking injuries. The list is already lengthy and almost too depressing to post. Week 2 major injuries included Greg Olsen and Corey Coleman. Annoying injuries that bear watching closely this week include Jordy Nelson, Sam Bradford, Jordan Howard, Rob Kelley, Randall Cobb, John Brown, Corey Davis, Demarco Murray, Jimmy Graham, Rex Burkhead and Tyler Eifert. And then, of course, there’s Andrew Luck. To paraphrase Crash Davis, we’re dealing with a lot of stuff here. Luck’s already been ruled out for Week 3.
So, as you can see, this is a week where pickups will evolve, largely based on how the injury reports shake out. You may even want to wait for round two or three of pickups depending on how your league works. If pickups are free after your initial bidding and waiver process, you can probably wait until the dust settles and still make some good adds. This is good if you blew through a lot of your budget last week or want to hold onto some cash for future weeks. It makes sense if you have some particularly tough bye issues at some point.
Here are the players I would prioritize for tonight’s bids and or claims.
- David Njoku
Why those eight? Because they have the potential for 14 week value. They could all become weekly starters—even in smaller leagues. You have a chance to fill significant long term needs with these players. If you are stacked, there’s still good reason to act here. There’s nothing better than landing a major trade chip on the cheap.
The ownership rates listed were sourced from Yahoo! They reflect a player’s ownership, not their availability.
Jay Cutler, Dolphins, 29 percent
He’s a great matchup play because he’s surrounded by skill guys who all have a nose for the end zone. Cutler can be a very solid year long option just by getting the football to his playmakers—and staying healthy, of course.
Trevor Siemian, Broncos, 14 percent
His ownership rate has risen slightly since I recommended him last week, but that’s not going to last after his Week 2 outburst. As I said last week, he’s got some good matchups on his schedule and makes a solid QB2 option in any league.
Sam Bradford, Vikings, 33 percent
He’s a great pickup if you can afford to wait for him. This week looks potentially shaky, but if the rumors of a bone bruise are accurate, he should return to form soon, and he was throwing the heck out of the ball in Week 1.
Jared Goff, Rams, 10 percent
As I said last week, you have to give any player a chance to shake off the effects of Jeff Fisher.
Joe Flacco, Ravens, 24 percent
Solid but unexciting. Flacco’s value is in his job security. He’s always gonna be there for you, with medium QB2 numbers at the ready.
Alvin Kamara, Saints, 37 percent
He’s still under-owned though there’s obviously less enthusiasm after Week 2 because Kamara’s playing time was more in line with what was expected going into the season. Still, it’s important to contextualize things in Big Easy. There are two very experienced backs giving up snaps to this rookie. That’s a big tell if you ask me. Try to think forward and visualize what this backfield looks like in a month. The rookie’s role should continue to grow. His rapport with Drew Bree's should only improve. Unless you play in a standard scoring league, this is a player you simply must go get. Even in standard he has some legit appeal, if it’s a 12-team league.
Samaje Perine, Washington, 23 percent
People ran away after he collected dust during Week 1. In Week 2 he was in the game mostly because of injury, and there’s no guaranty that he’s going to start this week, but my guess is that he will. Perine is not a guy who puts on a highlight show. He’s a pounder, but not of the Michael Turner or Alf Morris variety. This is a highly versatile back who allows the offense to stay multiple on early downs. I think it’s just a matter of time before he’s the primary back on early downs and goal line situations. As I said, he could start this week so he is part opportunity and part long term investment. Remember, we are talking about getting a piece of the Saints offense. They move the ball as consistently as anybody.
Chris Carson, Seahawks, 40 percent
He was at 15 percent ownership last week so he’s going fast. This could be your last chance at landing him, and given the way Eddie Lacy and Thomas Rawls have looked, you HAVE to place some real value on Carson, who has played well through camp and now into the season. He can catch the ball in addition to running it, so has some appeal regardless of your league’s scoring format.
Buck Allen, Ravens, 56 percent
Led the backfield in Week 2 and he’s now taken in most leagues. Still, he’s available in enough leagues to remind you all to take a look just in case. Allen looks locked in for PPR value for the time being and is getting some early down love too.
CJ Prosise, Seahawks, 23 percent
He's a major talent and he is looking healthy. It may be only a matter of time before they begin to expand his role, which is now that of a passing down specialist. Prosise can run on early downs and he can run in short yardage/goal line situations. Durability is the concern. I think he makes a great stash in all formats if you have the bench space, and he could have stand alone value in his current role ... if Seattle gets the offense together.
Wendell Smallwood, Eagles, 4 percent
He’s a stash option right now, but when you consider that LeGarrette Blount received no carries in Week 2, and that Darren Sproles has never had more than 94 carries in a season, you have to give Smallwood a shot at emerging as the season wears on. He’s a back who can play on all downs, so his ceiling is probably higher than you think in both standard and PPR scoring. Stash him now and see what happens.
Rex Burkhead, Patriots, 21 percent (and dropping)
From last week…..“If you listen to the Fantasy Football Hour or follow my fantasy content in general, then you know how much respect I have for Burkhead’s game. I think the Patriots absolutely stole this guy. If he stays healthy, his role will continue to expand. This is a rare running back in that he can legitimately do it all. If he gets released in a 12-team league, I say go get him, especially if your league uses PPR scoring.” Since I wrote that, Burkhead’s ownership actually dropped 7 percent—giving you a buying opportunity in some leagues. Assuming health (has an unspecified rib injury right now), my expectation is that his role continues to grow. He obviously led off the scoring in the Patriot’s Week 2 drubbing of the Saints, and he’s still just scratching the surface in terms of what he can do.
D’Onta Foreman, Texans, 7 percent
This is a situation where I am willing to take a chance and roll the dice. While I like Lamar Miller better as a player (at this stage of their respective careers), the Texans have invested in Foreman and are giving him reps early in games. He’s also looked pretty good as a power runner to this point. Foreman played just two snaps in Week 1, but that was upped to 17 in Week 2, and if the trend continues, we could have an asset on our hands. If you own Miller in a deep league, you should consider adding Forman as a handcuff, but he’s a great stash in any league where you are trying to develop your running back stable. He has a very good chance at being the goal line back—if the Texans ever get to the goal line that is.
Marlon Mack, Colts, 9 percent
His snaps fell off in Week 2, but he’s a guy to stash because the Colts’ season is on the brink already, and if things go full south, they will play the kids and try to sell the future. Granted, any sober analysis of the Colts’ future looks downright dystopian. Mack has legit scoring upside if he’s getting enough touches and snaps. Stash him if you have the bench space.
Alex Collins, Ravens, 0 percent
Just 8 snaps played but he's worth a flier in really deep leagues because he has some talent and the Ravens have no alpha backs on the roster.
Gio Bernard, Bengals, 17 percent
There are no guaranties, but there’s no way Gio should be owned at a rate so low. If you play in a PPR league, you should go get him. At the bare minimum he should be a nice bye week replacement assuming Cincinnati gets its act together on offense.
Shane Vereen, Giants, 21 percent
It’s not complicated. Vereen is the passing down back on a team that looks shot. The Giants have a coach who is throwing his QB under the bus and they have serious offensive line issues. Brandon Marshall looks like he’s past his expiration date and Odell Beckham still isn’t 100 percent healthy. The Giants face quality opponents over the next month plus, so Vereen’s value should remain relatively high. He’s playable in big PPR formats but borderline worthless in standard leagues.
Chris Johnson, Cardinals, 13 percent
He looked good on 17 snaps, but at his age, can he really be an asset running for a struggling offense? I don't think this backfield has really shaken out just yet. It's too ealry to make any calls. I'd say that CJ, Ellington and Kerwynn Williams all have value in deep leagues. In full PPR, Ellington is probably the back to have.
Orleans Darkwa, Giants, 1 percent
He's looked like his usual self--running hard every snap. In truth, he had more room to run compered to what the Giants blocked up for Perkins, and HC Ben McAdoo seemed to indicate an understanding of this in his presser today. Still, if Perkins doesn't get it going, a change could happen. Orleans is a decent stash in really large formats.
Jermaine Kearse, Jets, 2 percent
Meet the new king of Garbage Time. The Jets will have few leads this year and probably none in the second half of games. They are as bad as a NFL team gets. The Jets “starting” quarterback Josh McCown is actually one of the team’s few functional cogs and he has eyes for Kearse. Cash in on that now and you’ll have a receiver who can be played every single week in any format. This will last until such time when the Jets’ feeble offensive line sends McCown to the trainers’ room. At that point, we’ll find out if Kearse has good chemistry with backup Bryce Petty. Ride the former Seahawk until that time. He’s really balling out there.
Marqise Lee, Jaguars, 15 percent
The injury to Allen Robinson makes Lee the Jacksonville receiver to roster. He’s the guy with the most talent, though Allen Hurns also has strong appeal and is similarly available with an ownership rate of 10 percent. I would make both of them priority adds this week. They should both start going forward. Lee has been nursing a high-ankle sprain for four weeks now, and should be at full strength soon.
Allen Hurns, Jaguars, 27 percent
He’s locked in now and looking more like his old self. Turns has scant competition for targets, with only he and Marquise Lee remaining as veterans who know the offense. You can start Hurns in any league right now. He’s a very good add.
Kenny Stills, Miami, 26 percent
Last week’s wire…. “In deeper leagues, I think he’s actually a weekly starter and he makes a sweet add in mid-sized (10 teams with deep benches) leagues because he is now past his bye week. Stills can be your fill-in guy all season long and he has big play upside. Jay Cutler raises his appeal over what it was with Ryan Tannehill, because Cutler has a short memory and can deliver a good deep ball.” In Week 2, Stills scored and looked good. His ownership rate actually declined. I’d add him in 12-team leagues.
JJ Nelson, Cardinals, 22 percent
Nelson can give you real help right now. He’s got beatable matchups over the next few weeks and it appears that John Brown will be out for a while with leg muscle issues related to sickle cell. Nelson’s long term value is clouded by the depth chart in Arizona and the fact that he weighs about 160 pounds, but if you need immediate help, he is probably as good an add as anybody else this week.
Paul Richardson, Seahawks, 15 percent
Last week…. “I would say go all-in to get him, because he is that good, but his injury history says that he’s living on borrowed time to some extent. Richardson can help you right now and if you get lucky, he can help you all season. Expect plenty of big plays when healthy. If Tyler Lockett is available in your league, I would pursue him with even more vigor.” Richardson got hurt (broken ring finger) in Week 2, but returned late and scored the game-winning touchdown. With Jimmy Graham now banged up, Richardson’s value should be locked in for another few weeks.
Kendall Wright, Bears, 14 percent
He dropped a few balls last week but the playing time and the targets were there so I am inclined to bet on Wright’s talent going forward. The real reason to go after him is Mitchell Trubisky, who should be the quarterback soon and who will open up the field for deep threats like Wright. Stash him now if you can. He should have value all season.
John Ross, Bengals, 10 percent
He played in Week 2, and of course, he fumbled and wasn’t seen much after that. Was it a bad fumble? No. The defender laid his helmet right on the football. Of course, Marvin Lewis benched him anyway. I’m sure Ross will be back soon and he’ll be making big plays eventually. He’s a great stash in 12-team leagues.
Nelson Agholor, Eagles, 16 percent
His usage was down a touch in Week 2, but he scored again, and with Carson Went playing so well, and looking downfield so much, Agholor has value in most leagues. More importantly, he has a chance to get more involved in the offense.
Breshad Perriman, Ravens, 8 percent
He’s looked shaky so far, but he’s a freaky talent and he is playing major snaps. He’s only a handful behind the two starters, so Perriman is basically a full time player. I’d add him anywhere I can as a stash with big, big upside. That’s nice when he is practically free.
Rashard Higgins, Browns, 5 percent
Corey Coleman will miss about 8 weeks with his latest broken hand. You have to feel for the rookie, who looked like he was breaking out, but in fantasy we must go to the next man up, and this case, it’s Higgins, who has been moved to the top of the depth chart in Coleman’s absence. I’m not his biggest fan, but with Coleman gone, and Kenny Britt struggling, Higgins could be in line for significant targets and snaps. The other name to watch in this scrum is Ricardo Louis. He’s also worthy of an add in deeper formats. We should know more about this situation as the week rolls on. I’d slow roll it in terms of bidding. Maybe wait a day and see what transpires.
Markus Wheaton, Bears, 1 percent
He should return this week and the Bears are in desperate need of playmakers—particularly at the receiver spots. Wheaton is a nice stash in 12-team leagues right now.
Geronimo Allison, Packers
He's a guy to consider thsi week, especially if you are a Jordy Nelson owner. The Packers play a 4pm game this weekend and it's hard to tell just when we will find about about Jordy's availability.
Evan Engram, Giants, 23 percent
“First off, understand one thing….This is not a tight end save for his fantasy designation. He’s a receiver who will line up as a tight end at times. He’s not out there to block, folks. Engram is a mismatch. He’s a deep threat. He’s a route runner and at 234 pounds, he can run as fast as Odell Beckham. People will say “tight ends develop slowly.” And, they’d be right, if only Engram was a tight end. Opponents will be double teaming Beckham very soon. That will open up plenty of big plays for Engram. Grab him now on the cheap if you can.” So a week later, Engram is actually less owned on Yahoo. This is going to change in a big way and it will happen soon. Engram scored in Week 2 and that was with Beckham playing at less than full strength. Good defenses will be leaning towards the Giants mega star and that will leave big plays on the table for Engram. He has five targets in Week 1 and that number jumped up to seven in Week 2. Get him now.
David Njoku, Browns, 10 percent
From last week….“Love this guy. He’s so long and athletic that he can make plays above literally any defender you can think of. He quick jumps like an NBA all star and he’s got the ability to elevate off of one or two feet. Seriously, as Tommy Callahan once said, he's got “cat-like reflexes.” People will look at his Week 1 snap total (split evenly with Seth DeValve) and his two receptions, and they’ll stop right there. What they will miss is the long PI call he drew on the goal line. It was a likely touchdown but the defender grabbed him. It led to a score and you can bet that the coaches took note. This guy is a future star and I think we see more and more of him as we move ahead. I’m stashing him now. Njoku is a great fit for DeShone Kizer’s aggressive downfield game.”
In Week 2, Njoku scored his first touchdown and played five more snaps than he did in Week 1. I expect that number to continue to grow. More importantly, with Corey Coleman out and with Kenny Britt struggling mightily, they need some downfield targets for Kizer. Njoku is that target. Go get him now in deeper formats and consider adding him anywhere you have significant bench space.
Ben Watson, Ravens, 1 percent
He’s leading the Ravens tight ends in snaps and while he may not last long, if history is any indication, you should be able to ride him while he is healthy. Watson has been very productive when healthy over the last few years. He’s a good add if Week 3 help is what you crave. He posted a sweet 8 for 91 line in Week 2.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Jets, 3 percent
He’s widely available and he’ll be stepping into a target vacuum in New York. The Jets are an intentional (tanking the season) dumpster fire, but they are still playing these games, as much as most of wish they wouldn’t. Jenkins can be their number two option behind Kearse and it could happen as soon as this Sunday. I’d be adding him in any league where I need tight end help. Stash him and see what happens.
Charles Clay, Bills, 10 percent
He’s not sexy and he tends to get hurt, but his playing time and targets are all but assured. He can help you if you have a need in any format.
Gerald Everett, Rams, 0 percent
He’s not playing enough snaps to trust, but is he keeps making big plays—and he is certainly capable of doing so, he could end up taking over the starting gig at some point. I like Everett as a stash in deep leagues, because he has a big ceiling.
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- The Waiver Wire 12/5
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- Wide Receiver Rankings Week 13
- Running Back Rankings Week 13
- Quarterback Rankings Week 13