Fantasy Football: Working the Waiver Wire Week Four

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during their NFL game at Levi's Stadium on September 21, 2017 in Santa Clara, California.

You know what makes all the sense in the world? Blake Bortles this past Sunday. He travels overseas to face off against a defense that had only given up ten points, so it would make sense to have expected Bortles to struggle. And just like that, you’ve fallen for the Bortles trap. You expect him to do one thing, and he does another. You want him to throw to his receivers and somehow he manages to find the defense. This time, however, he managed to find his receivers to the tune of four touchdowns. Consequently, somewhere in England, a Bortles truther was born. Welcome to the hellish apocalypse brought to us by Week three, and subsequently, the waiver wire Week four.

Below you will find a list of players that could help you in these cruel, trying times. As with last week, most of these players are below the 50% ownership line in at least one of the two major platforms.

Fantasy Football: Working the Waiver Wire Week Four

Quarterbacks

Jared Goff – Yahoo: 12%, ESPN: 7.3%

Goff’s name would have been accompanied with laughter weeks ago. However, after this past Thursday, no one should be laughing. Goff had a career game with 292 passing yards and three touchdowns against the San Francisco 49ers. Maybe this is all due to Sean McVay. Maybe this is just Goff’s natural progression. Either way, Goff is averaging 272 yards passing with weapons like Todd GurleySammy Watkins, and Cooper Kupp. The schedule going forward is one of the worst and he will be on the road again next week in Dallas. In other words, there are reasons to pause on the offensive explosion continuing. However, he’s worth a shot as a streamer in the right matchups.

FAAB bid: ~2% of your budget.

Carson Palmer – Yahoo: 53%, ESPN: 18.5%

Quarterbacks that are missing some of their weapons aren’t typically the types you would want to target. However, Palmer is facing the 49ers this week; the same team that Goff just exposed this past Thursday. Keep in mind that the limited amount of time the 49ers had to prepare for Goff likely played a factor in the game. Which would mean the 49ers should perform better since they have more time to prepare. While that may be the case, Palmer will be playing at home where he averages (small sample size alert!) 343.5 yards passing and one and half touchdowns over the last two years against the 49ers.

FAAB bid: ~3% of your budget for the streaming option.

Eli Manning – Yahoo: 56%, ESPN: 17.3%

Oh, these are dangerous waters we are treading into right now. Manning is widely known as a streaky passer, and last Sunday’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles might suggest he’s on a upward trend. Odell Beckham doing Odell things combined with the running game continuing to struggle, means that the New York Giants will continue to rely on the passing game. This could be good news as the Giants travel to Florida to play against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. You know, the same team that Case Keenum (yes, that Case Keenum) just hung 369 yards and three touchdowns on. If you’re aiming to stream Manning, keep an eye on the health of Brent GrimesGerald McCoyKwon Alexander, and Lavonte David.

FAAB bid: 3-5% of your budget

Andy Dalton – Yahoo: 45%, ESPN: 15.8%

The Cincinnati Bengals are alive, everyone. I know it’s early, but it looks like Bill Lazor will have a positive effect going forward; although, it’s not like Dalton lit the Green Bay Packers on fire last week (read: 212 yards). The good news is that Dalton is facing the Cleveland Browns, a team that has been giving up an average of 246 passing yards and nearly two touchdowns per game. It may not feel great to put him into your starting lineup, but Dalton is a streamable option this week.

FAAB bid: 1-3% of your budget.

Running Backs

Chris Thompson – Yahoo: 76%, ESPN: 85.1%

I’m the first to admit that all of my weekly calls aren’t right. Hell, T.Y. Hilton made a mockery of a personal projection of mine. However, Thompson was the best call from last week’s Sometimes a Fantasy Podcast. His 14 touches for 188 yards and a touchdown was easily one of the most impressive performances of the week. Skeptics will point to Jay Gruden‘s comments about limiting Thompson’s workload, and they would be right. Thompson likely won’t receive a full workload. However, that might not matter. Thompson has already proven how dangerous he can be, especially when compared to the other backs on the team. In other words, he’s not losing many (if any) touches going forward.

FAAB bid10-15% of your budget; although, I would bid a bit higher in PPR leagues.

Chris Carson – Yahoo: 76%, ESPN: 42.7%

You can find more thoughts on Carson in last week’s waiver wire article. The Seattle Seahawks were more of a passing team last week, which was likely due to the game script. While that game script didn’t exactly support Carson, he still out-touched any other Seahawk running back. In fact, Thomas Rawls only saw one snap, and Eddie Lacy, despite being active, saw zero snaps. This is Carson’s job for the foreseeable future.

FAAB bid: 20-30% of your budget

Duke Johnson – Yahoo: 52%, ESPN: 99%

Things aren’t looking good for Isaiah Crowell. Not only has he struggled in the first few weeks, but the game scripts going forward likely won’t support 20+ carry games for Crowell. Those game scripts, however, look to support Johnson, who has had back to back solid games. I wouldn’t be looking to roster Johnson in standard leagues–we are talking about a running back with four career touchdowns–but he certainly is an appealing option in PPR leagues.

FAAB bid: 5-7% of your budget in PPR leagues

C.J. Prosise – Yahoo: 18%, ESPN: 80.9%

The Seahawks talked last week about making some offensive changes. Perhaps those changes are to transition the offense to rely more on the pass (49 pass plays to 22 runs–7 of which were runs by Russell Wilson). While the team has a number of passing options, Prosise might be one of the more dangerous ones on the team. He’s definitely more valuable in a PPR league, but he will still provide some value in standard.

FAAB bid5-7% of your budget in PPR leagues

Wendell Smallwood – Yahoo: 7%, ESPN: 2.4%

Darren Sproles is likely done for the season. In other words, someone has to step up in his absence. That someone may be Smallwood, who led his backfield in touches this past Sunday (13 to 12). Although, it’s tough to predict his role growing. LeGarrette Blount has the short yardage/goal line role, and Corey Clement will likely receive some touches as well, all of which puts Smallwood into a potential touch squeeze. This had the makings of a RBBC before the Sproles injury, and that doesn’t look to change going forward.

FAAB bid: 1-5% of your budget

Watch List

Jamaal Charles is someone worth monitoring going forward. His touch totals have relatively stayed the same, but his production certainly increased this past game. C.J. Anderson still has the snap share of a potential workhorse, but Charles looks to be valuable in game scripts where the Denver Broncos are playing from behind.

Wide Receivers

Marqise Lee – Yahoo: 47%, ESPN: 33.5%

Lee, like Chris Carson, was also in last week’s article. While Allen Hurns may be getting the touchdowns right now, I would much rather invest in Lee at this point. Lee is leading his team in target share and air yards, and would likely have had a bigger game on Sunday if not for the Baltimore Ravens collapse. If he’s available, Lee is my favorite wide receiver add this week.

FAAB bid: ~10% of your budget

Devin Funchess – Yahoo: 20%, ESPN: 11.2%

Funchess is another member that was on last week’s list. In theory, Funchess will see more targets while Kelvin Benjamin nurses his injury, and while Greg Olsen remains out. For what it’s worth, Funchess did see ten targets last game, but those targets only amounted to 58 yards.

FAAB bid: ~5% of your budget

Sterling Shepard – Yahoo: 35%, ESPN: 32.3%

After his 77 yard catch and score, Shepard will likely be a popular add this week. We all know that long scoring plays, or just scoring plays, are fluky, but there are reasons to like Shepard past this week. As mentioned before, the Giants have little to no running game. They also have been struggling, as you may have heard, with pass protection. If they can’t run and they can’t pass protect, the Giants will need to rely on getting the ball out faster, which will benefit Shepard.

FAAB bid: 1-5% of your budget

Watch List

Marquise Goodwin is someone who has been impressing in air yards, but still has room to grow in the act of actually catching the ball. Save him for deeper leagues only. Keep an eye on Doug Baldwin and his status. Add Paul Richardson in all leagues if Baldwin misses time. Geronimo Allison had a fine game last Sunday, but he will need Randall Cobb to miss time to maintain value. If Michael Crabtree can’t play this next week, Andre Roberts is worth a look; although Derek Carr has historically struggled against teams in his division.

Tight Ends

Austin Seferian-Jenkins – Yahoo: 4%, ESPN: 1%

Yes, he is an athletic freak, and yes, he tied for his team’s lead in targets. So there’s definitely reason for some optimism here. The downside is that he’s on the New York Jets, which means that his production is tied to a quarterback who has a history with injuries. He’s definitely worth an add on a tight end-needy team though.

FAAB bid: 1-3% of your budget

Charles Clay – Yahoo: 22%, ESPN: 8.2%

Clay continues to lead his receiving group in scoring; however, that lead will likely disappear over the coming weeks. Not only does his face target competition from LeSean McCoy, but from Jordan Matthews as well. The good news is that the Buffalo Bills should be facing a negative game script this coming Sunday, which will help Clay’s value.

FAAB bid: 1-3% of your budget

Julius Thomas – Yahoo: 36%, ESPN: 5.5%

If you’re feeling like you want to chase the prospects of a touchdown, Thomas has to be higher up on that list as his team faces the New Orleans Saints this week. Although, Drew Brees doesn’t play as well on the road, so this game might not provide the score total that many are expecting.

FAAB bid: 1% of your budget

Watch List

Anyone who has Jordan Reed may want to keep an eye on Vernon Davis. He put up 58 yards and a touchdown in Reed’s absence.

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