The Waiver Wire – Week 3
Welcome back to another installment of The Waiver Wire! Week 2 helped give us more data to use as we try to figure out which teams are good, which teams are bad, and which positional battles are starting to round out into shape. We also, unfortunately, had more injuries as we saw Sam Bradford, Rob Kelly, Rob Gronkowski, Randall Cobb, Corey Coleman, Jordy Nelson and Greg Olsen either missed week 2 altogether or had to leave their respected games. Today we learned that Greg Olsen has a broken foot and will be out 6 to 8 weeks. Corey Coleman had surgery on his broken hand and will also be out 6 to 8 weeks. With all of these injuries, it has left many owners running to the waiver wire to find their replacements.
Below I have ranked the top 3 adds at each position with a bonus player or two sprinkled in throughout and all players must be owned in less than 60% of their leagues. Let’s not waste any more time and dive right into week 3 of the waiver wire. Happy hunting!
1. Trevor Siemian (ESPN 10% / Yahoo 13%) – With back to back multi-touchdown games it’s time for the fantasy community to pay attention. With 4 out of the Broncos first 5 at Mile High now is a good time to buy low and sell high on Siemian right before the Broncos go on the road for 3 straight games starting in week 7.
2. Jay Cutler (ESPN 4% / Yahoo 29%) – A great streaming option as the Dolphins head to the big apple to take on the bottom of the AFC East the New York Jets. The Jets secondary is coming off a beat down in Oakland where Derek Carr ripped them up to the tune of 230 yards, 3 TD’s, and an 82% completion percentage. I like Cutler’s chances to have a solid fantasy game even on the road.
3. Sam Bradford (ESPN 20% / 33%) – This is the last time you might see Bradford’s ownership percentage below 60%. He is battling swelling in his knee but has no ligament or structural damage. Bradford heads back to the comfy confines of USBank Stadium Sunday against the Buccaneers. In the loss, Mike Glennon was able to throw for 301 yards and 1 touchdown against the Bucs defense. I will take Bradford’s elite accuracy at home any day. Look for a nice return with this streaming option who might just be a year-long solution.
1. Buck Allen (ESPN 8% / Yahoo 56%) – My Name is Buck and I am here to take your team to the promise land! I said to pick him up last week and Yahoo! listened but ESPN WTF? Another week and yet another dominating display by Buck Allen. Danny Woodhead is not coming back anytime soon and Allen out snapped Terrance West yet again 44 to 16 and is your RB11 as I write this. HE IS A MUST own in all formats!
2. Chris Carson (ESPN 8% / Yahoo 39%) – I want to start off by saying I want nothing to do with this backfield but that doesn’t mean it can’t be fruitful. Carson once again was the #1 RB even with Rawls cleared to play and Eddie Lacy as a healthy scratch (The Man is done!). Carson saw more offensive snaps than Rawls 50 – 16 and was able to gobble up 93 yards on 20 carries and had 2 targets in the passing game. The Seahawks offensive line is the worst in football but the volume looks like a clear indication that it is his backfield to lose.
3. Rex Burkhead (ESPN 48% / Yahoo 21%) – Sexy Rexy saw a similar role to the one he had week 1 in the Patriots road victory over the Saints. This week he was able to find the end zone after a beautiful 19-yard touchdown catch. As the Patriots WR’s continue to drop as flys to injury, Burkhead’s versatility in the passing game should help allow him to see increased snap and target volume. New England has one of the elite offenses in the league and attaching your self to it is just a smart ownership move.
*Bonus: Samaje Perine (ESPN 2% / Yahoo 23%) – With Fat Rob going down with a rib injury (Today report is cartilage damage and not a break like earlier feared) Perine & Chris Thompson saw the lions share of the RB snaps. Keep an eye on Kelly’s status as Perine’s value is limited if he is not getting early-down work. Chris Thompson would be the better option to target if Kelly is able to play as he is only owned in 30% of Yahoo leagues and 67% of ESPN ones. Don’t expect multi-touchdown games from him week in and week out but the run game of the skins looks to be getting better by the game.
*Double Bonus: Jalen Richard (ESPN 2% / Yahoo 4%) – Richard saw mop-up duty once the game was well in hand but was extremely effective seeing 8 touches and having a 39-yard reception and a 52-yard touchdown run. Richard is a hail mary waiver pick up as he saw more volume once the game got out of hand.
Deep League Player to Remeber: D’onta Foreman (ESPN 5% / Yahoo 7%) – Don’t look now Lamar Miller owners but Foreman is in your rearview mirror and getting closer. Foreman saw 17 snaps Thursday night compared to the two he saw in week 1. The coaching staff has already come out and said they want to get the ball in his hands more and he looked like the more explosive runner Thursday night, rushing for 40 yards on 12 carries and only being out-touched 21 to 12. Foreman isn’t going to be the starter in Houston next week but he is showing to be the superior athlete and could push for a 50 / 50 split but mid-year. Keep Foreman on your radar as this rookie RB class continues to impress.
1. Rashard Higgins (ESPN 1% / Yahoo 1%) – With the news that Corey Coleman had surgery on his hand today and will be missing significant time, Rashard Higgins vaults to the top of our WR waiver wire list. Higgins who was on the practice squad Saturday lead the team in targets (11) and receiving yards (95). Higgins has vaulted over Kenny Britt to be the #1 receiver and should see high target volume for as long as Coleman is out.
2. Jermaine Kearse (ESPN 6% / Yahoo 6%) – Being the #1 receiver on a team is something fantasy owners strive to acquire on their roster but being the #1 WR on the Jets makes every fantasy owner a little queasy. The Jets are not an offensive juggernaut but Kearse has been the most productive receiver and his 5 targets lead the team last week. Kearse is worthy of a stash in leagues with deeper benches but don’t expect two touchdown returns very often.
3. Marqise Lee (ESPN 30% / Yahoo 34%) & Allen Hurns (ESPN 7% / Yahoo 26%) – This is strictly a target volume play at it’s finest. Both receivers saw significant targets in week 2 (Lee 12 & Hurns 7) and both had over 75 yards receiving and Hurns hauled in a touchdown grab. I prefer Lee over Hurns for the season but Hurns has shown great touchdown upside when given the opportunity (10 touchdowns on 105 targets back in 2014). Lee was a waiver wire target last week and his ownership is only going to continue to go up along with Hurns.
You Can Pick Him Up If You Want To: J.J. Nelson (ESPN 20% / Yahoo 15%) – Every article you read is going to tell you to pick up J.J. Nelson and I am not saying don’t do it but don’t waste a high waiver priority in doing so. Jaron Brown lead the Cardinals in targets with 11 and both Jaron Brown & Nelson’s fantasy value hinge on the health of John Brown. John Brown may miss week 3 which keeps both Jaron Brown and J.J. Nelson fantasy relevant for another week as they head home.
Don’t Forget About Me: Will Fuller (ESPN 1% / Yahoo 3%) – Fuller returned to practice yesterday and looks to be way ahead of the originally projected timetable of 2 to 3 months. Fuller would immediately fall back into the starting lineup as the Texans #2 WR. Houston does not have a prolific offense that can sustain multiple fantasy options but Fuller is a name to remember as the waiver wire begins to dry up.
1. Ben Watson (ESPN 1% / Yahoo 1%) – Ben Watson is a thing again! 8 targets, 8 catches for 91 yards. You can’t ask for much better from a waiver wire TE. The Ravens found their #1 TE in Watson Sunday and he is worth a stream this week against the Jaguars in London.
2. Zach Miller (ESPN 1% / Yahoo 5%) – Once again a volume play at it’s finest. The Bears are a bad football team and they are going to be playing from behind all season long. This means garbage time and with a limited amount of wide receivers Zach Miller see’s a high target volume as game script forces them to throw more.
3. Ed Dickson (ESPN 0% / Yahoo 0%) – The injury to Greg Olsen means next man up and Ed Dickson is that guy. I don’t think Dickson will see the same level of volume as you’ve come to expect from Greg Olsen but Cam will lean on Dickson in short yardage and goal line. Dickson is a sneaky stream against a terrible Saints secondary this weekend.
Week or Two Before Everyone Else Picks this person Up: David Njoku (ESPN 2% / Yahoo 7%) – The injury to Coleman which we touched on above also creates an opportunity for the Browns 1st round pick out of Miami. An athletic specimen, Njoku saw the most snaps at TE (34) and was able to haul in 3 of his 4 targets for 27 yards and a touchdown. Look for the target numbers to go up in Coleman’s absence.
Defenses to Stream
- Miami Dolphins (ESPN 4% / Yahoo 4%) – The Jets are a lock for multiple TO’s every game. Could get lucky and get a defensive touchdown in this one.
- Green Bay Packers (ESPN 10% / Yahoo 37%) – At home against an offense in the Bengals that is struggling. Should be a nice bounce-back game on the defensive side of the ball for the cheeseheads.
- Dallas Cowboys (ESPN 13% / Yahoo 13%) – Carson Palmer is tied for the league lead in interceptions and the Cardinals O-Line has given up 5 sacks in 2 games. With no David Johnson, Palmer is being asked to shoulder the load and he already has the 5th most passing attempts in the league at 84. Palmer seems destined to throw a pick or two every game if he keeps throwing at that rate.
*BONUS: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (ESPN 8% / Yahoo 26%) – On the road against a less than healthy Bradford or a Vikings lead Case Keenum offense. Monitor Bradford’s health because if he plays it downgrades the Buccaneers as a streaming defense.
Kickers to Stream
- Dustin Hopkins (ESPN 96% / 33%) – Oakland has allowed both kickers they have faced to score double-digit points (12 & 10).
- Blair Walsh (ESPN 36% / Yahoo 45%) – Week 1 Tennessee allowed 19 points from George Tavecchio. The game flow could produce another low-scoring multi FG game.
- Graham Gano (ESPN 17% / Yahoo 28%) – In what should be the easiest game of the season for Cam Newton & company I expect a lot of scoring opportunities. The Saints have given up back to back 11.00 point games to their opponents kickers.
That will do it for Week 3 of The Waiver Wire. Do you need EVEN more fantasy advice? You can find us on Twitter @TFFGurus or feel free to email us: TrophyTime@TFFGurus.com. I will see you all next Tuesday for another edition of The Waiver Wire. Best of luck this week and may the health gods forever be in your favor.