Fantasy Football: Working the Waiver Wire Week 11

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You knew it when you heard it. The moment the words “Kenny Britt” and “touchdown” were put together, you knew that last week was going to be a weird one. This past week included Melvin Gordon getting outscored by his backup, Drew Brees scoring a rushing touchdown but not a passing one, and DeMarco Murray putting up three scores in a tough matchup. Oh, and let’s not forget the San Francisco 49ers putting up 30+ points as well. To borrow a tired phrase: that’s football for you.

What is also characteristic of football, or, more to the point, fantasy football, is that as the season winds down, the waiver wire options become less and less attractive. In other words, the wire has gone from the first few seasons of Scrubs to their “college” season. Or in more recent terms, the current crop is essentially a face palm emoji. However it may be, there are plenty of options out there to help any team.

As with the past weeks, the players listed below are owned in 50% (or less) of the ESPN or Yahoo leagues out there.

Fantasy Football: Working the Waiver Wire Week 11

Rest of Season Options:

Running Backs

Jamaal Williams

It wasn’t too long ago that Williams was seen as the primary backup to Ty Montgomery. Then the Aaron Jones show happened. Now that Jones may be dealing with MCL sprain, and Montgomery aggravated his rib injury, it could be Williams’ time to shine once again. The downside is that he faces the Baltimore Ravens next week–a team that has surrendered less than 50 rushing yards in their last two games.

Danny Woodhead

Woodhead might return this week. This is your reminder that Joe Flacco has targeted his running backs an average of 7.67 times a game. Flacco targeted Woodhead three times in the one quarter he played this year. This has all the makings of a potential valuable finish in PPR leagues; although, there is one potential downside. Javorius Allen didn’t have much of role in Ravens offense when Woodhead was around, but Allen has since made himself valuable. It will be interesting to see if the Ravens relegate Allen or not, but either way, Woodhead is worth a stash.

Samaje Perine

The news doesn’t look good for Rob Kelley. Not only does it look like Kelley suffered an injury to his ankle and knee, but he could also end up on the injured reserve list. While Perine isn’t lighting the league on fire right now, he should still see a decent amount of carries going forward. Carries and opportunities (for instance, potential goal line carries) are all that you can ask for at this point.

Thomas Rawls

Just making sure you’re paying attention. If you’re wondering if you should grab him, please don’t. No one wants that. Putting in a claim for Rawls is the equivalent to wearing sweatpants everyday. So please don’t give up. There’s still hope in this fantasy football world.

Wide Receivers

Jamison Crowder

After 11 targets, Crowder should have had a better day. However, if you’re looking for positives, focus on those targets. While he only had four catches, he did have two red zone targets, which points to potential going forward. It will be interesting to see if those red zone targets become a trend, and if so, he will certainly prove to be a worth flier.

Marqise Lee

The Jacksonville Jaguars chose to relegate Leonard Fournette to the sideline in the fourth quarter. To say that the move was an odd one is an understatement. Either way, Blake Bortles has targeted Lee at least 11 times in the last two games. While banking on Lee would also mean you’re banking on Bortles to be accurate enough to make Lee a valuable, it’s not a stretch to suggest that Lee could be a decent/good matchup play for the rest of the season.

Corey Davis

Davis, as mentioned in previous weeks, is talented. In his first three full games as a professional, Davis already has two games with at least 10 targets. While it’s a small sample size, the targets suggest that Davis already has gained the trust of Marcus Mariota, which will be pivotal as they have plus matchups agains the Indianapolis Colts, the Houston Texans, the Arizona Cardinals, and the 49ers. In short, after this week against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Davis’ schedule has a lot of promise. With his talent and targets, he’s definitely someone worth grabbing.

Martavis Bryant

JuJu Smith-Schuster is the present and future second wide receiver for the Steelers. That doesn’t mean that Bryant has no current value. He’s always a threat to take one to the house, and Ben Roethlisberger targeted him five times in Bryant’s return to the offense. While Bryant would fall into the category of a more matchup dependent play, the potential big play makes him a viable option for rosters in most leagues. His value is a far cry from the WR2 expectations from the start of the year; however, he can still salvage something out of this season.

Next Steps:

Stash and hold Josh Gordon at this time (assuming you have a playoff bound team). If you’re team is still fighting for a playoff spot, it’s harder to justify using a valuable roster spot on a guy who is a complete wild card and won’t play until week 13.

Streaming Options:

Not a great week for streaming options for both quarterbacks and tight ends. Hopefully at this point you were able to find more viable rest of season options.

Quarterbacks

Blake Bortles at the Cleveland Browns: Typically you don’t want to target offenses that are on the road, and you certainly don’t target teams whose defense will likely limit any chance at a potential shootout. Like it says above, this is not a great week for streaming quarterbacks. The main reason that Bortles is your king of the streamers this week is because the Browns do a good job of shutting down the run.

Sure, the running game will be a viable option for the majority of the game, which limits Bortles’s appeal; however, the same thing could have been said about this past week, and yet, Fournette remained on the sideline while Bortles was asked to throw more. While I wouldn’t say that situation will play out again this week, there’s a chance that it may happen. And when you’re considering streaming Bortles, a chance is really all you have to go off of.

Eli Manning vs. the Kansas City Chiefs: The Justin Pugh news makes Manning a less viable streamer this week. However, since there aren’t many great options out there, he still bears mentioning. The good news is that Manning should be trailing in this game, which puts him in a position to throw the ball more often.

The Chiefs haven’t been the best at stopping the pass this year. They have surrendered at least one passing touchdown for the last six weeks. The potential downside here is that the offensive line does not protect Manning, which leads to a lot of his patented move: the throw while falling down. Not a pretty site.

Tight Ends

Austin Hooper at the Seattle SeahawksMatt Ryan may choose to attack Richard Sherman‘s replacement this week. At least, that would be the smart move. However, Ryan may also choose to attack the Seahawks through Hooper. The tight end position has been a mild weakness for the Seahawks this season. Hooper has also scored in two of his last three games, which makes him a viable streamer.

Coby Fleener vs. the Washington Redskins: The Redskins have been a defense to target for tight ends this season. However, this recommendation is more lukewarm than anything else. The Saints are not the passing team they used to be, and while their passing could see a renaissance this week, it’s safer to bet on the recent rushing trend. On the other hand, the Redskins have surrendered three touchdowns to the position in the last four weeks. There are riskier bets out there, but streaming Fleener means you’re banking on it being four in the last five.

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