The Waiver Wire 9/26
A look t the Week 4 pickups (updated)
Week 3 was not as harsh for fantasy GMs as Week 2 was. Of course, that’s no consolation to Darren Sproles, who suffered multiple season-ending injuries on Sunday. It’s a lousy way for such a fine player to leave the game. It was probably his final play in the NFL, and he’s a guy who played the game the right way for a long time. So, a tip of the cap to you, Mr. Sproles. Kudos.
Now for the ugly side of fantasy sports. Sproles’ injury opens the door for the younger backs in Philadelphia. The one to focus on right now is Wendell Smallwood, who is my priority add this week in most leagues, unless there just happens to be a better option on your wire. In most cases, there won’t be.
The ownership rates listed were sourced from Yahoo! They reflect a player’s ownership, not their availability.
Jared Goff, Rams, 12 percent
This is a brand new Rams offense and Goff is playing the role of distributor a lot better than most thought possible. He’s a solid matchup play and could be a backup solution for you depending on your starter’s bye. He has the weapons and he has a ground game. Just understand that the schedule gets a lot tougher. It’s hard to envision Goff as a weekly starter outside of large 2QB formats.
Deshaun Watson, Texans, 15 percent
He’s the guy. There’s no doubting that and he gives you weekly foot points and that gives him a decent floor despite his passing inconsistencies. He can help in large leagues if you need a QB and he has a shot at weekly relevance if Will Fuller comes back soon.
Tyrod Taylor, Bills, 41 percent
More available than you'd expect and he runs enough to make up for a lack of an alpha weapon. He's a solid add if you need a QB so check out his schedule. His foot points give him a solid floor.
DeShone Kizer, Browns, 9 percent
It’s his job so he has some value. Watson has the fantasy edge because he has better weapons around him, especially once Fuller returns. Kizer’s a backup in deeper leagues.
Alvin Kamara, Saints, 40 percent
I’ve been putting him here all year but he’s still very much available. New Orleans has played tough defenses so far and things get a lot better going forward. The Saints have one of the friendliest remaining schedules of any team. Get Kamara if you can because the upside is through the roof.
Wendell Smallwood, Eagles, 8 percent
Smallwood’s been one of my guys for a while now. He’s a back with a diverse skillset who plays hard every down and who can hold up in pass protection. He’s the guy to go after in most leagues this week. My main concern with Smallwood is health. He’s been nicked up a lot in his short NFL career and it’s kept him from playing more consistently. If that continues, his skillset can’t shine. Still, he’s the best back in Philadelphia (my opinion) and now, with the unfortunate season-ending injuries to Darren Sproles, he’s going to get a shot to prove it. I’d add this guy in any league where he is available. The other Philadelphia RB to keep an eye on is Corey Clement, who is not owned at all in most any league at this point. If you play in a really deep format, you might want to go after both Smallwood and Clement. I will get into this in my podcast later this afternoon.
Rex Burkhead, Patriots, 19 percent
His rate of ownership dropped last week because of his rib injury, but Burkhead is a player the Patriots will find more and more ways to use. I’d roster him in all but the smallest leagues.
Samaje Perine, Washington, 38 percent
He was injured last week and most folks are unimpressed with him so far. This is a buying opportunity in 12-team leagues with sufficient bench space. Perine is a power back with an all around skill set—meaning he protects the passer well and runs good intuitive routes as a running back. His value is not now, but down the line, so stash him if you have a roster spot to play with.
C.J. Prosise, Seahawks, 18 percent
Here’s a great example of a player being given up on way too soon. Prosise may or may not pay off soon, but he has the ability to do so, and if he does, it’ll be huge. He’s making an impact playing on limited snaps in passing situations,
Andre Ellington, Cardinals, 7 percent
Chris Johnson is the guy people are talking about but this a mediocre team without David Johnson and they are not going to be playing with a lot of leads in my estimation. In PPR leagues, it’s becoming clear that Ellington is the Cardinals’ RB with fantasy value—and he’s very much available. Ellington played 49 out of 81 offensive snaps on Monday Night Football.
Gio Bernard, Bengals, 19 percent
Should be owned in all leagues. This is an easy call. Mixon’s reputation is keeping people away from Gio, and that’s a mistake. Gio’s role is secure. He should be owned in all PPR leagues as a receiving back on a team that is losing games.
D’Onta Foreman, Texans, 17 percent
He’s a stash because they clearly want him involved. That being said, he’s still getting broken in. He’s not startable, even in big leagues. However, he’s a great stash for a team that likes to pound the football. If Foreman is anything, he’s a back who could function well in a volume role. If anything happens to Lamar Miller, it looks like he’d get a chance at that.
Jamaal Charles, Broncos, 34 percent
He’s a backup—playing a consistent 20 offensive snaps per game. He’s a bye week sub in 12-team leagues, but there’s some added value because I love his closing schedule. C.J. Anderson is highly underrated, but he’s been dinged up often as a pro. There’s a decent chance he’s not around by the end of the fantasy season. If that happens, Charles could be a playoff week stud facing the Jets, Colts and Washington during the fantasy playoffs. I like the idea of having him on my bench in deeper formats.
Alex Collins, Ravens, 2 percent
A player to stash in deep formats because Terrance West is banged up and because they like to use Buck Allen more as a receiver. Collins is not special but he runs hard and could have a role at some point.
Sterling Shepard, Giants, 36 percent
In three games, Shepard has missed just one snap. He’s played just one fewer than Eli Manning. This is obviously a good sign and it’s also obvious that Shepard, and not Brandon Marshall is the second receiver for the Giants. He should be owned in all leagues as the Giants look like a team that will throw a lot.
Marqise Lee, Jaguars, 47 percent
Should be owned in all leagues as he is the number one receiver in Jacksonville. Easy one.
Allen Hurns, Jaguars, 38 percent
Should be owned in all leagues because, with the loss of Allen Robinson, his role and weekly targets are all but assured. Hurns has scored the last two games straight. Another easy one.
Josh Doctson, Washington, 6 percent
Oh my. That is what he can do. This is a player with special talent and we’ve not seen much of it so far due to leg injuries. His snap total rose to a season high of 36 last week and that number should rise in Week 4. Doctson may not be a starter for you in 12-team leagues just yet, but a few more healthy weeks and he should be. Go get him now if you can.
Bruce Ellington, Texans, 0 percent
He played all but one offensive snap against the Patriots and some of what he can do with 59 yards receiving and a touchdown. Ellington is never a good bet to stay healthy, but he can help you right now in most any league, for as long as his health lasts. He’s looking like the short term number two option.
Jermaine Kearse, Jets, 47 percent & Robby Anderson, Jets, 20 percent
Both guys are entrenched in their roles and both will make weekly impact as the Jets play from behind. No, I am not even remotely impressed that they beat up on a Dolphins team that simply didn’t show up. They will be back to their typical Jets ways this week, and both Kearse and Anderson can be used as upside WR3 options in 12-team leagues.
Tyler Lockett, Seahawks, 41 percent & Paul Richardson, Seahawks, 11 percent
Lockett has more value to me because he plays more snaps when both players are healthy, but I am happy adding either player in any league where I need a solid WR3 option. Russell Wilson looked like his old self last week and once Seattle heats up, they can really post numbers. It’s also important to note that Doug Baldwin pulled a groin in Week 3, and could miss some time.
Devin Funchess, Panthers, 20 percent
He's been mediocre, but there are signs of growth and his role almost has to grow as the injuries mount. Ovbiously he's a serious red zone weapon. He's worth an add in most leagues if you need a receiver. He's playing most of the snaps and his share is likely to grow.
Nelson Agholor, Eagles, 45 percent
He didn’t scare last week, but he continues to look better than Torrey Smith and I think he’s going to start poaching some outside snaps in time. I like the idea of rostering Agholor because he’s a guy who works all levels of the field and because Carson Wentz is a very aggressive passer. Agholor is playable in 12-team leagues if you need him, but his value to me is that he could increase his role and become a weekly play fairly soon unless Smith gets it together.
Jaron Brown, Cardinals, 4 percent
He’s making the most of his newfound playing time and with John Brown’s situation being so unclear and open-ended, Jaron could keep gaining steam. He’s playable in all 12-team formats right now, so play him if you need him. He also has the talent to break out a bit, so he could have season long value if you catch a break. A great hedge option for those who rostered John Brown.
Evan Engram, Giants, 39 percent
He’s been solid so far and that’s big, because this is a player learning how to play right now. Engram is only going to get better and now, with Odell Beckham back at top form, teams will not be able to give Engram any extra attention. I think he’s a weekly starter in 12 team leagues right now.
Charles Clay, Bills, 22 percent
Getting a solid six targets each week and finding the end zone with regularity. Clay is for real because his opportunity is real and not likely to change outside of an injury. Ride him while you can in all leagues.
David Njoku, Browns, 7 percent
He’s now scored on consecutive weeks and he just missed another score where he drew a PI call. This is highly impressive when you consider that he’s not yet playing full time snaps. I expect that to change in the coming weeks. This guy can be played if need be, but he makes a tremendous upside stash in deeper leagues if you have a starting option now. Major, major talent on a team that needs places to throw the football.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Jets, 4 percent
He’s the guy now and there are a lot of targets to be had in the Jets woeful offense. He only had 31 yards receiving in his first game but I expect his role to expand going forward. He’s worth a pickup in leagues with 12 or more teams.
Ben Watson, Ravens, 32 percent
He scored in Week 3 after being highly active in Week 2. We know Watson can play going back to his Patriots days, but there are always going to be questions about his durability—again, it goes all the way back to his days in New England. So, the way to deal wth Watson is to roster him if a “now” player is what you need. It’s a great way to build a bridge to a rookie tight end like Njoku or maybe O.J. Howard—players who should have bigger roles as the season progresses. Watson can help you in all leagues right now.
Ryan Griffin, Texans, 2 percent
He's an underrated add and it appears that the injuries are behind him. With CJ Fiedrorwicz out, he's a potential weekly starter if he can stay on the field.
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