At this point of the year, the waiver wire is schedule dependent. If your team is playoff bound, you should be looking for high upside stashes. If you’re still fighting towards the postseason, you’re likely looking for options that could help your team right now. And if you’re out of contention, well, have fun playing the spoiler.
As with weeks past, the players listed below are mostly below the 50% ownership mark in either Yahoo or ESPN leagues. There is also a suggestion for how much of your FAAB budget you should bid on each player. Keep in mind that this is just a suggestion. You know your league best. If your league bids more aggressively, make the necessary adjustments.
Fantasy Football: Working the Waiver Wire Week Nine
This is a tough week for streamers. The bye week and injuries to streamable options have limited reliable options.
Jared Goff at the New York Giants: Normally it’s best to target offenses that are playing at home, but beggars can’t be choosers this week. On the plus side, the Giants have surrendered multiple passing touchdowns four times this year. In fact, in the last four games their defense is giving up an average of nearly 330 passing yards and two touchdowns. If you need a starter for the upcoming week, Goff is the only one on the wire that I would aggressively pursue.
Jacoby Brissett at the Houston Texans: A Brissett suggestion could fall into the “how desperate are you?” category. Brissett isn’t exactly leading a high powered offense; however, he did have 233 yards passing with two touchdowns this past Sunday, and Russell Wilson just torched the Texans. While I wouldn’t expect the same output as Wilson, Brissett should be facing a negative game script for a decent portion of the game. That game script should make Brissett a decent floor option for this coming week.
Jack Doyle at the Houston Texans: Much like the quarterbacks, there aren’t many great streaming options for tight ends, but Doyle is the best option out there on the wire. He led his team in targets this past Sunday (14). He also had 12 receptions for 121 yards and a touchdown. Now he gets to face the Texans, the same team Jimmy Graham hung two touchdowns on. While it would be foolish to bank on 100 plus yards or multiple touchdowns, his average amount of targets in the last three games (10.67) indicates a pretty safe floor. Doyle does have rest of season appeal as well.
Vernon Davis @ the Seattle Seahawks: Kirk Cousins has targeted the tight end position an average of nearly ten times in the last three games. With Jordan Reed likely out and Niles Paul dealing with a concussion, Davis has a clear road for targets. While the Seahawks can be a tough matchup, they have surrendered at least 50 yards to tight ends when the position has at least five receptions.
Tyler Kroft at the Jacksonville Jaguars: This is merely a backup option if your attempts to acquire Doyle falls through. Narrative, rather than actual numbers, builds the case for Kroft this week. The Jaguars have surrendered three touchdowns to tight ends over the course of the year, and they happen to do a great job of shutting down opposing wide receivers. So, one would reason, that if the outside options get shut down, then Andy Dalton would have to move the ball through other options, like Joe Mixon and/or Kroft. The case for Kroft isn’t without at least some statistical backing. He does have an average of five targets in the two games past the bye. However, going with Kroft does feel like you’re chasing a touchdown.
Rest of Season Options
With Ezekiel Elliott seemingly out the of the picture for the next six weeks, there is now a gaping hole for someone to step into. The question is who will be that person. While early evidence might have suggested that it would have been Morris, that was weeks ago. The truth is that McFadden could also be the main back for the next six weeks. Or they both could end up in a committee approach. In an ideal situation you would have the ability to roster both of them, but the truth is you are likely going to have to pick between the two of them. And if you are looking to make that choice, it would make more sense to roll with the past success and role of McFadden over Morris.
FAAB bid: At least 30% of your remaining budget.
It looks like Terrance West won’t have much of a job to come back to when he’s healthy. Collins turned 20 touches into 143 yards this past Thursday, which was two more carries and 86 more yards than Javorius Allen; in other words, Collins should be the lead back going forward. The other potential good news for Collins going forward is that Allen fumbled an opportunity on the goal line, which could lead to more goal line carries for Collins going forward. While fumbles will remain a concern for Collins, he does have some decent matchups on the horizon. In the coming weeks he faces the Tennessee Titans and the Green Bay Packers (after the bye). He also is slated to face the 11th easiest playoff schedule.
FAAB bid: 30% or more.
While it may look like a quagmire at running back for the New England Patriots, Lewis has seen an increasing amount of carries over the last four weeks. He has now led his team in carries the last three weeks. The main reason to be less bullish on Lewis than Collins is that Lewis not only has a lot more competition for touches, but Lewis could also be in a touch squeeze. James White has the passing duties pretty much locked down, and Mike Gillislee is still a factor near the goal line, which leaves Lewis in nearly the same situation as Ameer Abdullah.
FAAB bid: 20-25% of your budget.
It must be frustrating to be a fan of the Indianapolis Colts. On one hand, you have to like the fact that the team is honoring Frank Gore. On the other, you have to wonder why they don’t move the ball through Mack more. Sure, Gore outplayed Mack this past Sunday, but Mack’s game against the San Francisco 49ers showed what he can do. Since there is a lack of consistency with Mack, he’s more of an upside stash going forward.
FAAB bid: ~15% of your budget.
Handcuffing your running backs is usually not a great strategy; however, as we get closer and closer to the playoffs, it becomes a more viable strategy.
This should hardly be a surprise after the game Smith-Schuster had Sunday night. And my goodness what a game it was. After seven catches for 193 yards and a touchdown, it’s safe to say that he lived up to his hashtag (#TeamStartJuJu). While the return of Martavis Bryant is on the horizon, the Pittsburgh Steelers got a taste of what life after Bryant could be like. Or at the very least, Smith-Schuster earned even more playing time going forward. When the team returns from their bye, they will face the Colts and the Titans–two plus matchups for wide receivers.
FAAB bid: ~20% of your budget. Don’t go crazy. Antonio Brown is still on the roster, but Sunday night did give us a look at Smith-Schuster’s potential.
There isn’t much of a sample size to support a call to pick Davis up, and that’s because Davis has been hurt for weeks. The reason to pick up Davis is not only his draft pedigree or his college dominator rating, but the chemistry he showed in the first week with Marcus Mariota. The downside for Davis is the schedule going forward. The Titans face the Baltimore Ravens, the Cincinnati Bengals, and the Steelers in the next three weeks. The good news (and another reason to invest) is that Davis has the 12th easiest playoff schedule.
FAAB bid: 10-15% of your budget.
The first Washington Redskins drive against the Philadelphia Eagles indicated a revival of Crowder’s fantasy. Then the rest of the game happened. This past Sunday, however, was a different story. Crowder had nine receptions for 123 yards, which brings him back as a potential target for fantasy rosters. While the Redskins continue to play the “hot hand” between Josh Doctson and Terrelle Pryor, Crowder maintains his role on the team. The question is can he continue to produce? With the Seahawks and the Minnesota Vikings next on the docket, it will be an uphill battle to prove this past week wasn’t a mirage.
FAAB bid: ~10% of your budget.
Anderson continues to produce. What’s even more impressive is that he continued to produce against Desmond Trufant. While his role as a field stretcher makes him a more inconsistent option, Anderson is worth a flier to see if he can continue to string together performances.
FAAB bid: 5-10% of your budget.
The Seahawks running game is an afterthought at this point. As the Seahawks rely more and more on the pass to move the ball on offense, the value of secondary and tertiary sources for targets are raised. We saw this on Sunday with both Richardson (six catches, 105 yards, two touchdowns) and Lockett (six catches and 121 yards). While both of these options are far from consistent, they both offer some upside to a fantasy roster.
FAAB bid: ~5% of your budget.
John Ross has done very little this year so far, but he has the ability to be electric with the ball in space. He’s the type of upside player that could be worth a stash going forward.