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Antonio D'Arcangelis | Archive | Email |
Staff Writer


Through The Wire - Week 3
9/17/18; Updated: 9/18/18

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Targeting weekly waiver picks is a completely subjective business, but this column hopes to point out some obvious and not-so-obvious selections to help your team from week to week while you strive to collect fantasy wins, reach your league playoffs and win the elusive title that your friends say is out of your grasp. While I’m a big proponent of making trades to bolster your roster, the waiver wire can be an almost limitless resource when it comes to discovering fantasy value in strange places. Each week, I’ll highlight some of the popular (and not-so-popular) players who can help your squad and may still be available in your league.

Feedback is always welcome, appreciated and encouraged. I’ll get to as many e-mails as I can.




Giovani Bernard

Giovani Bernard will see an increased workload while Joe Mixon is out 2-4 weeks with a knee injury.


Quarterbacks

Andy Dalton, CIN I covered him before Week 1 and he had a monster Week 2, finishing with 265-4-0. He did struggle in the second half against Baltimore, but hes worth a roster spot in 12-team leagues and is owned in just 15-20 of fantasy leagues.

Blake Bortles, JAC Bortles looked sharp against the Patriots, throwing for 377-4-1 in a decisive victory. Hes owned in just 10 percent of fantasy leagues and while most weeks Jacksonville will rely on the running game and defense to notch wins, theres some upside to Bortles considering his rapport with this young, talented receiving corps.

Joe Flacco, BAL Flacco is not elite, and hes basically a low-end QB2 with some upside in particular matchups, but when hes working with a negative game script and if forced to throw, he can put up numbers. He finished with 376-2-2 on Thursday night against the Bengals and gets the Broncos in Week 3.

Other QBs to consider: Case Keenum, Tyrod Taylor, Dak Prescott, Alex Smith

Updates:

Patrick Mahomes, KC Well, THAT was something! Mahomes went off for 326-6-0 in a huge Week 2 win over the Steelers. At this point, hes generating buzz like Carson Wentz and Deshaun Watson did last season, and his skills are just as impressive. Considering all the weapons the Chiefs possess and this guys arm, the skys the limit. Were just two games in, but with 10 TDs and zero turnovers thus far, he should be considered an elite QB1 until he proves us wrong.

Ryan Fitzpatrick, TB Fitzpatrick is playing great right now and has 819-8-1 and a rushing TD through two weeks both wins. Hes earned QB1 status moving forward and faces the Steelers in Week 3.

UPDATE: On Monday, Bucs coach Dirk Koetter declined to commit to Jameis Winston as the team's starting quarterback when he comes off suspension in Week 4, but that’s just him toeing the company line. Fitzmagic is working wonders and should remain the signal caller.

Mitchell Trubisky, CHI UPDATE: Trubisky completed 25-of-34 passes for 200-2-2 in the Bears’ Week 2 win over the Seahawks, but he didn’t look sharp on several throws and there’s a lot of room for improvement. The Bears stalwart defense should make it easier for him to experiment in this offense, so fantasy owners should hold on him (if possible) until he’s played a few more games. There’s QB2 upside but he’s not a must-own in 12-team leagues.

Sam Darnold, NYJ Darnold experienced some growing pains in his second start, throwing for 334-1-2 in a loss to Miami. The Dolphins played well on defense but the Jets QB missed a couple throws. Hes a QB2 next week facing the Browns and could be worth a look in DFS as a low-ownership punt.

Running Backs

Giovani Bernard, CIN With Joe Mixon out for the next few weeks, Bernard (35-50 percent owned) is the top waiver wire pickup at RB heading into Week 3. Hes a proven performer with plenty of versatility, but isnt the athlete or runner that Mixon is. Still, hell be getting close to a full workload with fourth-rounder Mark Walton getting some carries as well.

Chris Ivory, BUF – UPDATE: Adam Schefter reported Monday that embattled RB LeSean McCoy is dealing with cracked rib cartilage and is questionable for Week 3 – putting Ivory on the possible pickup list. While McCoy is not expected to miss more than a game, the Bills may choose to get a longer look at Ivory and give Shady a little more healing time. Keep an eye on the injury report and temper your expectations of Ivory considering the tough matchup at Minnesota this week.

Corey Clement, PHI Clement didnt do much in week 1 but figures to be the main ball carrier in Philly should Jay Ajayi miss any time. Ajayi suffered a back injury early in Week 2 and was spelled by Clement and Wendell Smallwood before returning in the second half. Clement is a viable DFS dart throw some weeks but only has steady value in redrafts if Ajayi goes down and Sproles remains out.

James White, NE Regardless of whos doing most of the early-down running, White (70-80 percent owned but available in most shallow formats) gets the passing game work and has 11-111-1 receiving through two games. Its also possible the Patriots offense is forced to throw more than they want to in dome of the games moving forward, and Tom Brady sees White as a reliable pass catcher.

UPDATE: The Josh Gordon acquisition shouldn’t have too much of an effect on White’s role in this offense.

Bilal Powell, NYJ Just 55-60 percent owned, Powell is an excellent passing down back with plenty of FLEX upside in this Jets offense. Hell be a frequent check-down target for Darnold this year and is coming off a 5-74-1 receiving performance in Week 2.

Marlon Mack, IND Mack (50-60 percent owned) practiced last week after missing much of the preseason with a hamstring injury and played sparingly in Week 2. He finished with 34 yards on 10 carries and is clearly part of a committee in the Indy backfield. Even with HC Frank Reich is fine with this approach to the position, Mack is the most proven producer of the bunch and should be rostered in all 12-team leagues.

Other RBs to consider: Latavius Murray, Javorius Allen, Frank Gore, Mark Walton, Ito Smith, Jalen Richard, Marcus Murphy

Updates:

Austin Ekeler, SD Through two games, Ekeler (40-45 percent owned) already has 116 rushing yards on 16 carries and 8-108-1 receiving. Hes earned plenty of touches and RB3 status moving forward, and if Gordon's health is impacted, hed be the main beneficiary in the Chargers backfield.

Phillip Lindsay, DEN Lindsay had 14 carries for 107 yards and 1-4-0 receiving in Week 2 and is looking like the better runner than Royce Freeman. Hes a must add in all formats despite ownership in the 50-70 percent range.

UPDATE: Broncos HC Vance Joseph said the Broncos will continue using a “hot hand” approach in the backfield, which should keep both Lindsay and Freeman locked in as viable RB3s, and Devontae Booker as the odd man out.

T.J. Yeldon, JAC Yeldons ownership spiked over 70 percent after Fournette went down in Week 1, and he responded with 10 carries for 58 yards and 2-13-0 in the win over New England. His value in contingent on Fournette being out.

Darren Sproles, PHI Sproles is nursing a hamstring injury and was out for Week 2.

Wide Receivers / Tight Ends

Keelan Cole, JAC – UPDATE: I’m adding Cole (60 percent owned) to the top spot by request from the comments section (see below). Cole is the most talented receiver on the Jags and their clear No.1 WR, and should be owned in all formats. If you haven’t seen the one-handed catch against New England, you haven’t been watching highlight packages from Week 2.

Kenny Golladay, DET Golladay followed up his excellent Week 1 performance with 6-89-1 and appears to be surpassing Marvin Jones as the best WR option in Detroit behind Golden Tate. Hes a huge red zone target and should put up top-end WR3 numbers this season as he sees more snaps and targets.

Dede Westbrook, JAC I included Westbrook in my Week 1 preview and he had a nice game against the Patriots, going for 4-83-1 on five targets. Hes not a high-volume receiver but given how potent the Jags offense looked on Sunday, hes worth owning in 12-team leagues and stands to benefit when the backfield isnt at full strength.

Tyler Boyd, CIN Boyd was targeted nine times on Thursday night, finishing with 6-91-1 in the win over Baltimore. Hes a sure-handed compliment to John Ross and makes a fine WR3/flex play in the right matchup. Hes also almost universally available and could see more usage with Joe Mixon out.

TE Jesse James, PIT Heading into the season I pictured Vance McDonald as the go-to TE in Big Bens arsenal, but McDonald has dealt with injuries and James has played well through the first two weeks, going off for 5-138-1 in Week 2. Hes just 3-5 percent owned and is a solid TE2 moving forward or until McDonald surpasses him in targets.

Calvin Ridley, ATL I was not high on Ridley entering 2018 drafts because theres just not a lot of rookie wideouts in conservative offenses like the Falcons who fare well. But Ridley now has his first TD under his belt after a solid Week 2 (4-64-1) and he looks to be an emerging red zone target for Matt Ryan.

Other WRs/TEs to consider: Terrelle Pryor, Tavon Austin, TreQuan Smith, Antonio Callaway, Dante Pettis, Martavis Bryant

Updates:

DeSean Jackson, TB Jackson has now caught all nine of his targets in 2018 for 9-273-3, with 4-129-1 over his former team in Week 2. Hes about 60-70 percent owned and is clicking with Fitzpatrick in the Bucs new-look offense.

TE Jared Cook, OAK Cook followed up his huge Week 1 with 4-49-0 in the tough loss to Denver. Hes still on the TE1 radar, but firmly in the second tier of options.

Quincy Enunwa, NYJ Enunwa (55-60 percent owned) had another solid week with 7-92-0. He could have had an even bigger day had Darnold not missed him on a wide open look in the back of the end zone in the second half.

TE Will Dissly, SEA UPDATE: The rookie TE caught 3-of-5 targets for 42 yards and a TD in the Seahawks’ Week 2 loss to the Bears. He’s the clear top TE for Seattle and marches forward into a favorable matchup with the Cowboys in Week 3.

Phillip Dorsett, NE Dorsett (25-30 percent owned) had 5-44-0 in Week 2, but it was Chris Hogan who pulled down both of Bradys TD passes. Hell be a decent flex option in Week 3 facing the Lions.

UPDATE: Gordon must pass a physical to officially join the team, but when that happens, Dorsett’s immediate value takes a hit, and his long-term viability has to be called into question.

Mike Williams, LAC Williams got off to a great start with a TD catch but finished with just 2-27-1 in Week 2 in a game where the Chargers RBs rolled over Buffalo. His 35-40 percent ownership should spike with Travis Benjamin still dinged up.

Brandon Marshall, SEA UPDATE: The veteran wideout caught 4-of-6 targets for 44 yards on Monday night, with all of his targets coming in the first half. With just 90 yards receiving through two games, he’s a TD-dependent WR4 or flex play moving forward, though he still has some upside when he gets a good matchup.