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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.
With Breida continued to be bothered by
injuries it might to time to take a look at Raheem Mostert.
Flacco, BAL – With his 279-2-0 on Sunday, Flacco showed
he can still put up passable numbers in a favorable matchup, but
he remains a risky week-to-week play and only worthy of warming
your bench most weeks. He’s a moderate-upside QB2 against the
Panthers in Week 8, but the free agent pickings are slim at the
position this week and Matt Ryan, Philip Rivers and Dak Prescott
are all on byes.
Keenum, DEN – The Chiefs defense looked a lot better
against the Bengals, but perhaps Keenum can build on the momentum
of last week’s drubbing of the Cards and give us a shootout with
their division rival. Keenum will likely be throwing early and
often to keep pace with the Chiefs, and slot corner Kendall Fuller
will be doing everything in his power to stop Emmanuel Sanders.
Still, there’s some upside here.
Mayfield, CLE – The Browns face the Steelers in what
could be a much higher scoring game than the season opener, which
ended in a tie. Mayfield is coming off a 215-2-0 (43 rushing yards
on four carries) performance against the Bucs and is worth a look
in deeper formats.
Manning, NYG –UPDATE:
It’s bad when a one-TD game is among your best fantasy performances
of the season, but that’s where we are with Eli and his
399-1-0 line from Monday night. The veteran QB has a generational
RB in Saquon Barkley, so that makes it less of a necessity he
caps off drives with TD passes – it’s been more Barkley
plunges and scampers. Still, the Giants do have plenty of capable
if not elite receivers, and there will be some matchups where
he’ll get it done this season.
Trubisky, CHI – What a game! Trubisky gave the Patriots
all they could handle Sunday but came up a yard short on the final
play. Despite a pedestrian completion percentage, Trubisky was sharp for most of the game, throwing for 333-2-2
and rushing for 81 yards and a TD. He’s now a must-own in all
formats as he’s thrown for 1003-11-3 and rushed for 181 yards
and a score over his last three games.
Beathard, SF – Beathard busted on Sunday, throwing
for 170-1-2 with a lost fumble in the loss to the Rams. He’s a
moderate-upside, low-floor QB2 going forward.
UPDATE: The Cards defense looked bad on Thursday night and Beathard
could be worth a QB2 plug-n-ply in a pinch this week.
Osweiler, MIA – Osweiler faced a lot of pressure from
the Lions and managed 239-2-0 in Sunday’s loss. His 114.9 passer
rating was the second highest of his career in games which he
started, so he’s obviously in a decent spot now with Miami. With
Ryan Tannehill still likely out, he’s got a short week and faces
the Texans on Thursday night.
Chubb, CLE – Chubb’s path to production opened up this
week with the Carlos Hyde-to-Jacksonville trade, and he responded
with 80 rushing yards and a TD on 18 carries. He becomes the top
back in Cleveland with Duke Johnson handling passing down work,
but he’s already owned in about 80-90 percent of leagues. In the
rare chance your league only allows waiver additions early in
the week, he might be out there – so grab him if he’s somehow
UPDATE: I’ve gotten some questions down below in the comments
section regarding Chubb, so I’ll add that I view him as
a better play in standard (non-PPR) leagues since he’s not
yet part of the passing game and figures to do most of his damage
on early downs and near the goal line. He’s a tough runner
in the mold of Frank Gore, but without the receiving skills.
Mostert & Alfred
Morris, SF – With 59 yards on seven attempts and 4-19-0
receiving on Sunday, Mostert got the bulk of carries after Matt
Breida spent some time on the sidelines and finished with just
five carries for 15 yards, along with losing one fumble. This
is a situation worth watching, as Mostert has looked sharp and
is available in about 75-95 percent of leagues. Breida could be
looking at some down time to rest his ankle, putting Mostert and
Alfred Morris on the RB3/flex radar.
Martin & Jalen
Richard, OAK –UPDATE: With Marshawn Lynch placed on
IR, the RB workload falls on the dubious timeshare of Martin and
Richard, which I promise is not some kind of late 1950s comedy
duo. Martin projects to get the early down rushing work and doesn’t
have a great outlook based on game flow, while Richard will handle
the receiving duties and should be the more valuable fantasy performer,
especially in PPR leagues. It’s not exciting, but they are live
bodies and fantasy commodities who have shown us something in
Jones, TB –UPDATE: Peyton Barber suffered some kind
of injury late in the game against the Browns, which kept him
off the field for most of the fourth quarter and all of overtime.
While Jacquizz Rodgers is expected to handle some of the passing-down
work if Barber misses more time, Jones projects to see a much
heavier workload against the Bengals. Jones played a lot more
in Week 7 anyway, so it’s fair to say his rest-of-season
outlook is improving and he can be considered for RB3/FLEX if
Ivory, BUF – I don’t like it either, but Ivory (2-10
percent owned) might be worth a look as a Week 8 emergency play.
He tallied carries for 81 yards and caught 3-25-0 Sunday in relief
of LeSean McCoy, who was limited to just two carries and left
with a concussion.
Murray, MIN – Murry had 69 rushing yards and two scores
in addition to 2-14-0 receiving. With Dalvin Cook on the shelf,
he’s been quite productive – and his ownership is still somehow
only 70-90 percent.
Gore, MIA – Gore had just 29 rushing yards and 1-4-0
on Sunday but could be busy the next couple weeks in what should
be closer games.
Mack, IND – Mack exploded for 126 rushing yards and
a TD, as well as 2-33-1 receiving, breaking the 30-point mark
in PPR formats in Week 7. He’s a high-upside RB2 against the Raiders
in Week 8, and then he’s on his bye.
UPDATE: Mack is still technically part of a committee, but the
Colts are playing much better on offense and there will be more
scoring chances for him in the coming weeks.
Johnson, CLE – With just one carry for -4 yards Sunday
and a disappointing 4-23-0 receiving, Johnson didn’t get nearly
the workload many of us assumed he would in a tasty matchup against
the Bucs. Perhaps he’ll be given more touches in week 8 against
Wide Receivers / Tight Ends
Brown, BAL – He’ll be hard-pressed to follow up his
7-134-1 performance form Week 7, but Brown now has at least one
20-yard reception in seven straight games and faces the Panthers
in Week 8. He’s owned in a lot of leagues, ranging from 70-95
percent, but that’s not all of them. So he might be available
Smith, NO – Smith’s 3-44-0 was a far cry from his monster
performance in Week 5, but his six targets and upside in the Saints
offense mean he could be a contributor down the stretch as teams
focus on stopping the run and stifling No.1 WR Michael Thomas.
Smith actually played 52-of-71 snaps (73 percent) in Week 7, he’ll
now be a weekly threat to score a long TD, and his ownership is
still well under 50 percent – even in competitive leagues.
Allison, GB –UPDATE: Packers coach Mike McCarthy said
Allison (hamstring) will practice Tuesday, which means he’s a
great candidate to return for Week 8 and get the start alongside
Davante Adams. He was close to playing before the bye, so Allison
(35-75 percent owned) should be ready to face the Rams on Sunday
and resume WR3 status.
Nelson, OAK –UPDATE: Amari Cooper had been traded
to the Cowboys and since Nelson was mentioned in the comments
and he’ still just 65-85 percent owned, he’s worth considering.
Heading into 2018, I expected Nelson to be a favorite of Carr’s
– and during weeks 3-5, the two really clicked. It’s really a
low-risk, high-reward waiver pickup if the Raiders can somehow
move forward with a semblance of offense, and there’s almost no
way Nelson doesn’t see more target volume moving forward.
McDonald, PIT –UPDATE: McDonald (40-70 percent owned)
may have been a bye week casualty on a few waiver wires, so he’s
worth picking back up and starting in week 8 against the Browns.
Don’t get skittish about some of his barren weeks. He dealt with
injuries at the season’s outset and he’s a fierce competitor with
Uzomah, CIN – Uzomah saw just two targets Sunday night
(2-13-1) but one went for a 4-yard score. The game flow prevented
Andy Dalton and the Bengals from bothering with shorter routes,
and they weren’t really in the game after the first quarter. Still,
Uzomah is a capable receiver and has plenty of upside as a low-end
TE1 moving forward starting with the Bucs in Week 8.
Sutton, DEN –UPDATE: I like him a lot more as a deep
flier in daily fantasy tournaments, but this is a definitely a
good week to consider playing Sutton (5-20 percent owned) in deeper
standard leagues. With the Chiefs likely doing their best to stop
Sanders, they are vulnerable to some deep plays from Sutton –
a big-bodied receiver with lots of downfield physicality and good
Sharpe, TEN – Sharpe’s 7-101-0 in London will be all
but forgotten when the Titans return from their Week 8 bye, so
this may be a good time to jump on him if you’ve got the roster
space. He’s nearly universally owned and could be a solid matchup
play down the stretch in deeper leagues.
Gallup & Allen
Hurns, DAL – Like Sharpe, Gallup (10-20 percent owned)
will be on a Week 8 bye, but he’s worth considering because of
his newfound involvement in the Cowboys offense. He played 56-of-66
snaps (85 percent), his 3-81-1 came on a season high five targets
(tied with Week 4) and he’s a big-bodied red zone target on a
team without many. Hurns (15-25 percent owned) had 5-74-0 on six
targets, also a season-high.
UPDATE: The trade for Cooper probably hurts Hurns more than it
does Gallup, but there’s always the possibility that a viable
threat like Amari improves the overall passing game and changes
the landscape of the Dallas offense enough to benefit everyone.
You can tell I’m a Cowboys fan, can’t you?
Williams, LAC – Williams had another big day with 4-118-1
in the win over the titans in London.
Goodwin, SF – Goodwin was an unmitigated bust in week
7 with just 2-24-0 on 5 targets. He faces the Cards next week
in get-right matchup.
Wilson, MIA – Wilson’s 3-32-0 (three targets) in Week
7 was only the beginning of the disappointment, especially coming
off three consecutive weeks of 6 or more targets and the monster
Week 6. His hip injury, which will keep him out several weeks
at a minimum, could cost him the rest of the season.
Gabriel, CHI – The RBs, Trubisky and Trey Burton stole
the show this week, with Gabriel hauling in just 3-26-0 in the
loss to New England. He’s in a better matchup Week 8 against the
Jets, who yielded several big plays to the Vikings on Sunday.
Rogers, IND – Rogers caught 4-40-0 and the return of
T.Y. Hilton (and game flow) limited his upside against the lowly
Bills on Sunday.
Beasley, DAL – After another solid week (7-56-0 on
8 targets), Beasley looks like a must-own in 12-team leagues moving
forward. He made a couple acrobatic catches Sunday but it wasn’t
enough as the Cowboys lost a close division game to Washington,
missing a FG that could have tied the game as time expired.
Kearse, NYJ – Kearse had no catches on two targets
in Week 7 against the Vikings.
Ratley, CLE – Ratley’s 3-23-0 (three targets) left
quite a bit to be desired after his 6-82-0 on eight targets the
previous week. The Browns offense has looked dynamic in flashes
this season, but the overall performance of personnel has been
Seals-Jones, ARI – Thursday night was a disaster for
the Cards and RSJ finished with just 2-12-0 on four targets.
Hogan, NE – With Rob Gronkowski out Sunday, Hogan saw
an uptick in targets (7) and caught 6-63-0 in his best game since
Godwin, TB – Godwin was involved Sunday with 5-59-0
on six targets, but he failed to find the end zone. He’s viable
in PPR leagues but TD-reliant in standard scoring formats.