The Waiver Wire – Week 11
We are only 3 weeks away if you’re counting week 11 from the end of what has been the most frustrating, challenging and wild fantasy football season in memory. Sure I might be living in the moment but I have been playing fantasy football for well over 15 years and I struggle to find a season that has tried me more than this one. I’m sure getting older, getting married and having an 8-month-old (who is sick right now..Ear Infection) don’t help but I speak to so many in the fantasy community who share the same thoughts. With all that being said no matter how hard it gets you can’t give up or let down you must continue to battle because good things happen to those who try and prepare.
Rolling into week 11 we are inching ever closer to the end of Bye weeks as this week we find once again 4 teams on bye; Atlanta, San Diego, Denver & NY Jets. All of these teams have impactful fantasy stars on them and it will be a heavy waiver wire week for all Julio Jones, Matt Ryan, Melvin Gordon, Phillip Rivers, Tyrell Williams, Demaryius Thomas, Emmanual Sanders, Devonte Booker, Denver Defense, Brandon Marshall and Matt Forte owners. As for the rest of us, the waiver wire is once again a spot that can allow you to strengthen a weak position or fill an underperforming players spot with one who is riding a heater!
Make sure as you look at the pool of players that are available that you always balance out the immediate impact vs the long term value of the player or players that you are targeting, especially this time of the year.
Like always I will give 3 choices at each position (plus bonus’s from time to time). This is ranked in order of who I would target first to third. At the end of the day you control your waiver rankings, so go get the guy you want! Without further hesitation let’s dive right into this weeks The Waiver Wire.
- Colin Kaepernick (ESPN 14% / Yahoo 12%) – If all the backup running back success wasn’t enough to make 2016 a wild one, the return of Colin Kaepernick sure was. Kap is riding a heater and has back to back 20+ games under his belt. He scored his first rushing touchdown of the year last week and now faces a New England Defense at home that just surrendered almost 30 points to Russell Wilson. I think as each week passes Kaepernick is becoming more and more comfortable in the Chip Kelly system and could be a viable fantasy option down the stretch.
- Tyrod Taylor (ESPN 55% / Yahoo 61%) – Ty God as I said last week before he went on a week vacation is a great long term solution if you have been playing the QB rotisserie game all season and are in desperate need of a QB you can trust weekly. With games against Cin, Jax, Oak, Pit and Cle week 15, Taylor could be your meal ticket to a birth into your league championship.
- Alex Smith (ESPN 30% / Yahoo 25%) – God talk about a unsexy play on an even un-cooler team. The Chiefs are somehow 7-2 but we will see how real it is this week as they face off against their division rival Denver Broncos in two weeks. But before that the Chiefs have a nice easy home game against Tampa Bay and depending on Jeremy Maclin’s status they should be at full strength. I like Smith regardless of Maclin’s status to have an easy game after knocking the rust off in Carolina.
*BONUS: Jared Goff (ESPN 1% / Yahoo 2%) – Breaking News Jared Goff has been named the starter in Los Angeles for Sunday’s home game against the Dolphins. Do I think he will be an immediate success, NO WAY but I think they have a good core of players and it will be nice to finally see what this offense can be like with a quarterback that can actually throw the ball down the field. Could be nice to have and stashed on your bench just in case the year of the rookie continues.
- C.J Prosise (ESPN 31% / Yahoo 35%) – Out of nowhere Prosise took over the starting duties in Seattle and posted an extremely impressive game in primetime on the road against New England. Us fantasy nerds saw this coming especially if you checked the week 9 RB snap counts. What was surprising was the level of usage he received and how effective he was. He had 153 yards on 27 total touches and might have taken over the #1 RB duties in Seattle in the process. Time will only tell if that is the case once Rawls is back but I am buying Prosise and the volume the Seahawks like to show their RB’s.
- James Starks (ESPN 29% / Yahoo 28%) – Well it wouldn’t be 2016 without yet another backup running back taking over the starting duties midway through the season. The moment Lacy went down everyone assumed it would be Starks who take over the starting job but he also went down with an injury that also required surgery. Starks saw the majority of the snaps at RB over Ty Montgomery in week 10 out playing him 55-20 in snaps. With the Packers needing a win badly and the Washington Redskins giving up the 8th most fantasy points to RB’s look for McCarthy to lean on Starks to help control the clock and get the Packers a much-needed win.
- Rob Kelley (ESPN 45% / Yahoo 48%) – Kelley took over the starting duties Sunday like Starks and Prosise and just like them he didn’t disappoint. He had 22 carries for 97 yards and is the clear starter in Washington. Up next, unfortunately, is the Green Bay Packers who still have one of the toughest defenses to run on But they have shown they can lay an egg just like last week against the Titans and Demarco Murray. Kelley isn’t a superior athlete in my opinion but he runs hard and he is racking up positive yards on every carry at an impressive rate.
- Rishard Matthews (ESPN 35% / Yahoo 54%) – This is Matthews second week making The Waiver Wire and the explosion of the Titans offense couldn’t have come at a better time for struggling fantasy owners. Mariota and Matthews are all waiver wire all stars this year and could be the pieces that help a surging team to a championship run. Matthews has been a stud 5 of the past 6 weeks and has scored 6 touchdowns over that same span. He is currently riding a 3 game scoring streak and Indy’s secondary has been shaky at times this season. I am firing up Matthews as my WR3 from here until he can’t prove he can produce.
- Cameron Meredith (ESPN 20% / Yahoo 33%) or Eddie Royal (ESPN 14% / Yahoo 14%) – The news that Alshon Jeffrey was to be suspended for 4 games for violating the NFL substance abuse policy and it immediately skyrocketed the values of both Meredith and Royal. As the two only viable WR’s on the roster to own in fantasy both should see a tremendous increase in targets over the next 4 weeks. I love targets and I think either could be a nice WR3 or flex play depending on the matchup during Jeffrey’s absence.
- Kenny Britt (ESPN 57% / Yahoo 57%) – Britt is surprisingly having his best statistical season as an LA Ram and is your WR 22 currently on the season. Britt even with shaky play at the QB position has been a big enough target to go off for 100+ yards last week against the Jets. With the news of Goff getting the start this week, I am unsure if this effects Britt’s value but with Mia, NO, NE, and Atl on the schedule, I think he will be just fine.
*BONUS: Sammie Watkins ( ESPN 30% / Yahoo 37%) – This is your long term stash play this week. Oh, Sammie boy is due to come back soon and if he can get back to 100% you might have yourself a top 6 WR coming off your bench and into your starting lineup right when the games mean the most. Stash him and see what happens!
- Martellus Bennett (ESPN 73% / Yahoo 71%) – Now it’s time for the backup TE’s to get their time in the spotlight. The news that Gronk has a chest injury broke late yesterday and it looks like he is going to miss at least the SF game this weekend. Bennett who was a draftable TE is the highest-owned TE on the list this week but if you play in the league that has him available he would be my first choice. Not only does he play in the best offense in football the 49ers have played the position poorly. Fire up the Black Unicorn if you got him!
- Eric Ebron (ESPN 56% / Yahoo 57%) – Ebron is healthy and once again eating up a ton of targets. He has 18 targets over the past two weeks and has 14 catches for 171 yards during that same time. The Lions are coming off a bye and he is a great long term buy with games against Jax, Min, and NO to finish out the regular season. Look for Ebron to stay hot and find the end zone during that stretch.
- Cameron Brate (ESPN 37% / Yahoo 52%) – Brate has been a beast these past three weeks posting a stat line over that period of 18/149/3. KC and Sea are both really tough matchups that I wouldn’t be mad at you if you moved away from Brate for but after that, he has matchups against SD to end the year and NO in the first round of the playoffs warrant you to keep him on the roster. Also, a championship date with the Saints in New Orleans doesn’t suck either!
*BONUS: Zach Miller (ESPN 69% / Yahoo 70%) – See Cameron Meredith and Eddie Royal!! No Alshon means more targets for Mr. Miller.
- Oakland Raiders (ESPN 21% / Yahoo 31%) – The Houston offense is awful and we saw what Oakland’s defense did the last time it was under the bright lights against Denver. Fire up the black hole with confidence this week as Big Groot rolls into town. Needless to say, I am not a fan of Brock right now (being a Nuk owner) and I think he could be the worst QB in the NFL right now.
- New York Giants (ESPN 37% / Yahoo 13%) – Bad Jay Cutler showed up last week and lead to the best fantasy performance by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Cutler and the team will be without Alshon Jeffrey their big play wide receiver and did I mention Bad Cutler can strike at any moment? The G-MEN are a must start if you are either looking for a defense to stream or a fill in for the week.
- Pittsburgh Steelers (ESPN 17% / Yahoo 34%) – They are playing the Browns, the same Browns who gave up 18 points to their division rival Baltimore Ravens last Thursday night.
*BONUS: Miami Dolphins (EPSN 10% / Yahoo 19%) – Jared Goff was just named the starter in LA and is getting his first ever NFL start + the Dolphins are firing on all cylinders = A must start. I suspect they cause at least 2 turnovers in the game. I also wouldn’t be shocked if one is returned for a touchdown.
- Matt Prater (ESPN 31% / Yahoo 11%) – Prater is in the dome and is playing Jacksonville. Enough said! Fire him up with the potential as being the #1 kicker this week.
- Chris Boswell (ESPN 15% / Yahoo 46%) – Did I mention the Steelers are playing the Browns this week? The Browns have been a middle of the road team against kickers all season but they haven’t played an offense as powerful as the Steelers. You can start him with confidence.
- Phil Dawson (ESPN 4% / Yahoo 2%) – This one might surprise some but Dawson has been playing very well as of late. He has back to back games with 10+ points and even though New England is supposedly tough against kickers they just let Steven Hauschka score 13 on them and they allowed Chris Boswell to score 12. I think Kap and company will be able to move the ball in this game but in true New England fashion they may bend but won’t break. Meaning plenty of Dawson field goal opportunities.
Well there you have it, The Waiver Wire for this week is in the books. I will see you all next Tuesday for another edition! Remember to send us your lineup questions on Twitter @TFFGurus, @DaFantasyFather, and @TheFantasyBoys. Or if you want to go old school shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or check out our Facebook page called The Fantasy Football Gurus. We’re here to help you, and if you need more Guru help, be sure to listen to our weekly podcasts by checking out Trophy Time on Google Play, Stitcher Radio, and iTunes.