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
target both offensive and defensive players — sometimes breakout
stars that eluded your team’s draft — as well as players
who can help your squad that may still be lurking in deeper leagues.
I’ll also provide an occasional daily fantasy recommendation,
as I’m hopelessly addicted to DFS sites.
|Check out the most
popular waiver wire pickups this week across thousands
of MFL leagues. Also, quickly see who's available on
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Off the Top - Includes my premier
recommendations. These are sometimes players available only in more
shallow leagues, and occasionally guys who are more ready but are
thrust into the fantasy spotlight because of opportunity or exceptional
production. Usually, they are available in at least 25 percent of
Digging Deeper - Covers the next
tier of quality waiver wire specimens, usually players available
in a majority of online leagues. There are a lot of gems in this
range who can be plucked rather easily. Usually, these players are
available in at least 50 percent of public leagues.
Scouring the Barrel - Chronicles
the deepest of fantasy adds — and sometimes highlights players
being tacked onto fantasy squads who I don’t have much confidence
in. Make sure you read the fine print because I don’t always
love them. For the most part, you’ll find these players available
in about 75-100 percent of fantasy leagues
Each week, I’ll also provide a brief update on the players
I covered the previous week. It’s the most accurate, comprehensive
one-stop waiver-wire column available on the Internet, and it’s
only available here at fftoday.com. Let’s get to some of
the players who could be still out there on the waiver wire and
in the free agent pool as you prepare for Week 1!
Feedback is always welcome,
appreciated and encouraged. I’ll get to as many e-mails as
Note: Each player’s
next four matchups are listed in parentheses ( ). Since IDP league
composition is so varied, I’ll just list defensive players
per position and use their Yahoo ownership rates – which due
to site ranking anomalies and the high rate of variance in availability,
are often much lower than actual ownerships rates.
Off The Top
Robert Griffin III, WAS (TB, @SF, @IND, STL) – Of the quarterbacks
available in over 50 percent of Yahoo leagues, Griffin probably
has the best chance to post big numbers in Week 11. Despite all
the drama in D.C., he was okay a Minnesota and is a viable fantasy
quarterback who just needs to get back in the game flow.
Hoyer, CLE (HOU, @ATL, @BUF, IND) – The only thing making
me skittish about Hoyer’s Week 11 matchup is J.J. Watt, but the
Browns capable offensive line will utilize double teams to neutralize
the veteran DE. Still, consider Hoyer only in two-QB leagues and
McCown, TB (@WAS, @CHI, CIN, @DET) – From a fantasy perspective,
McCown (14 percent owned on Yahoo) was solid taking over for Glennon
on Sunday (301-2-2, 39 rushing yards) and makes a decent bye week
fill-in in Week 11.
Bridgewater, MIN (@CHI, GB, CAR, NYJ) –
Bridgewater stands to benefit from a matchup against the Bears
– a defense that was shredded by Aaron Rodgers in Week 10.
Granted, he’s still a moderate risk because of inexperience
and inefficiency, but if the Vikings can get Kyle Rudolph back
and Cordarrelle Patterson involved, he’ll be worth a look.
Palmer's ACL injury opens the door for
Stanton who's been less than impressive in 3 games this season.
Scouring The Barrel
Zach Mettenberger, TEN (PIT, @PHI, @HOU, NYG) – Starting
Mettenberger is a big risk in any league, but he’s got some
weapons and has some favorable matchups coming. He’s worth
a look in tournament play for DFS, especially.
Drew Stanton, ARI (DET, @SEA, @ATL, KC) – Stanton takes
over (once again) for the injured Carson Palmer (torn ACL) and
should put up 70-75 percent of the veteran’s numbers given
his skill set and familiarity with the offense. He’s not
quite as valuable, but he atop the bottom third of NFL starting
quarterbacks in fantasy value and will be useful in two-QB leagues.
Dalton, CIN (@NO, @HOU, @TB, PIT) – After a series of less-than
stellar games the past several weeks, Dalton was comically bad
on Thursday, continually missing open receivers and passing for
just 86 yards (10-for-33) and three INTs. It appears my pre-Week
10 stance on Dalton will be our shared fantasy Waterloo.
Tannehill, MIA (BUF, @DEN, @NYJ, BAL) – As expected, Tannehill
had some difficulty with the Lions, passing for just 207-1-1.
He still has plenty of value in his upcoming matchups in weeks
12 and 13.
Tannehill (ankle, shoulder)
was limited in Monday’s practice but is fully expected to
play Thursday night against the Bills. However, he’s not
a recommended start this week.
Davis, STL (DEN, @SD, OAK, @WAS) – Davis finished with 216-1-1
and a lost fumble Sunday and remains a marginal, medium upside
option in two-QB leagues and DFS.
Jeff Fisher confirmed
early this week that Davis will remain the starting quarterback
against the Broncos where he could get some opportunities to pad
his yardage in garbage time.
Bortles, JAC (BYE, @IND, NYG, HOU) – Bortles passed for 290
yards and threw an INT but failed to reach paydirt in the loss
Glennon, TB (@WAS, @CHI, CIN, @DET) – Glennon was benched
in advance of the Week 10 loss to Atlanta.
Sanchez, PHI (@GB, TEN, @DAL, SEA) – Update coming Tuesday.
Sanchez only completed
54 percent of his passes but the volume and weapons, along with
a penchant for big target Jordan Matthews, make him a must add
after a 332-2-0 performance in his first start since 2012. It
was his best fantasy performance since Week 1 of that season.
He’s still available in over 50 percent of Yahoo leagues,
so he might still be available in yours.
Off The Top
Jackson, BUF (@MIA, NYJ, CLE, @DEN) – Jackson (65 percent
owned in Yahoo leagues) was eased back into action Sunday in his
first game back from a groin injury (three carries for 10 yards;
4-39-0) but he’ll likely shoulder a heavier workload in Miami,
where the Bills will likely try to grind out a victory in Week
11 against a tough defense. His PPR value makes him a solid RB3/flex.
Jackson (knee) was
practicing in full on Tuesday in preparation for Thursday night’s
matchup at Miami. He’s probably going to be the lead back
in a three-headed committee and makes for a limited-upside, high-floor
Mason, STL (DEN, @SD, OAK, @WAS)
(46 percent owned on Yahoo) is the lead back for St. Louis
and was even utilized in the passing game (4-33-0 on six targets)
in Week 10. He’s worth consideration as an RB3/flex play
despite just one TD on the season.
C.J. Anderson, DEN (@STL, MIA, @KC, BUF) – With Ronnie
Hillman (mid-foot sprain, out two weeks) banged up and Montee
Ball still recovering from a groin injury, Anderson should be
the bell cow once again in Week 11 against the Rams. He’ll
be the top add this week after rushing for 90 yards on 13 carries
and adding 4-73-1 in the win over Oakland.
Isaiah Crowell, CLE (HOU, @ATL, @BUF, IND) – The Browns
are using the hot hand approach but Crowell remains effective
and has been getting carries. He’s a risk, for sure, but
the guy is just 15 percent owned in Yahoo leagues and has 297
yards and five rushing TDs this season.
Scouring The Barrel
Jonas Gray, NE (@IND, DET, @GB, @SD) – If the Pats use
a ball-control strategy against the Colts, Gray could be surprise
breakout in Week 11. He’s on my DFS radar given the number
of chances he’s getting and the fact that he hasn’t
Riddick, DET (@ARI, @NE, CCHI, TB) – Reggie Bush tweaked his
ankle again and Riddick (who caught the game-winner from Matthew
Stafford) has been effective when utilized in the passing game.
He’s worth a look in DFS and deep-league PPR formats.
Hill, CIN (@NO, @HOU, @TB, PIT) – The Bengals pitiful Week
10 performance manifested itself in Hill’s stat line (61 total
yards, lost fumble). He’s likely going back to the lesser half
of a timeshare once Giovani Bernard returns.
Bernard (hip) could
be out additional time, leaving Hill as the lead dog in Cincinnati.
Rainey, TB (@WAS, @CHI, CIN, @DET) – Rainey was an overall
disappointment in the RB committee Sunday (14 rushing yards, 4-42-0
receiving) but should have more opportunities against Washington
in Week 11.
Charles Sims lost a
fumble in Week 10 but should still get carries, as the staff wants
to see what they have in the former Mountaineer. Doug Martin might
not be back for Week 11.
Asiata, MIN (@CHI, GB, CAR, NYJ) – Adrian Peterson isn’t back
yet and Asiata will likely continue to get goal line carries and
see PPR value when he returns from his Week 10 bye against the
West, CLE (HOU, @ATL, @BUF, IND) – West had a solid Week 10
(94 rushing yards, TD) and remains a worthwhile RB2 option in
Dixon, BUF (@MIA, NYJ, CLE, @DEN) – Boobie had 62 rushing
yards against the Chiefs but will see his workload decrease in
Week 11 as Jackson gets more touches.
Thomas, MIA (BUF, @DEN, @NYJ, BAL) – Thomas carried five times
for 14 yards and lost a fumble in the loss to Detroit. With Lamar
Miller healthy enough to start and not suffering any setbacks
with his injured shoulder, Thomas is off the fantasy radar.
Polk, PHI (@GB, TEN, @DAL, SEA) – Update coming Tuesday.
Polk had 11 yards on
five carries but was a fantasy non-factor as the Eagles kept passing
with a big lead to give Sanchez some more time to get familiar
with the offense. He’s safe to drop to acquire higher-upside
options at running back.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Off The Top
Brandon LaFell, NE (@IND, DET, @B, @SD) – He’s just
73 percent owned on Yahoo and may have been dropped in your shallow
league by an owner confronted with bye week issues. Don’t
overlook him in a relatively favorable matchup in Week 11.
Hunter, TEN (PIT, @PHI, @HOU, NYG) – Hunter (46 percent owned)
remain a boom-or-bust WR3/4 with plenty of upside. The Titans
don’t have much of a running game to rely on and will take some
shots against the Steelers – making both Hunter and Kendall Wright
(67 percent owned) interesting Week 11 plays.
Floyd, SD (OAK, STL, @BAL, NE) – The Chargers could come out
firing on Sunday and use the lanky Floyd in the red zone and against
the undersized Raiders DBs. He makes an interesting risk/reward
DFS play at such a low salary.
Matthews, PHI (@GB, TEN, @DAL, SEA) –
Matthews (27 percent owned on Yahoo) had another big game
Monday night, hauling in 7-138-2 and establishing an exciting
connection with Sanchez, who targeted the rookie nine times. He
won’t necessarily supplant Jeremy Maclin as the wide receiver
to own in Philly, but he’s definitely going to take some
of Maclin’s targets away.
Brown, ARI (DET, @SEA, @ATL, KC) – He seems to have replaced
Michael Floyd as the WR3/4 to own in Arizona and added 5-73-1
on Sunday. The Cards will have to get creative to score against
the Lions and the diminutive, shifty Brown fits the bill.
Scouring The Barrel
Preston Parker, NYG (SF, DAL, @JAC, @TEN) – Parker exploited
the slot against the Seahawks for 7-79-1 but makes a far less
favorable option facing the 49ers in Week 11. Be cautious expecting
too much from this relatively underwhelming wide receiver going
Evans, TB (@WAS, @CHI, CIN, @DET) – Evans had his second consecutive
solid week, hauling in 7-125-1 in the loss to Atlanta. With Vincent
Jackson still attracting most of the attention from opposing DB
coverage, Evans is surpassing V-Jax’s fantasy value.
Hurns, JAC (BYE, @IND, NYG, HOU) – Hurns suffered a concussion
early in Week 10 after making one catch for 9 yards (two targets).
On a bye in Week 11, he’s droppable in 12-team redraft leagues.
Landry, MIA (BUF, @DEN, @NYJ, BAL) – Landry had 7-53-0 on
10 targets and has been solid as a WR4 in PPR leagues.
Britt, STL (DEN, @SD, OAK, @WAS) – Britt was a dud in Week
10 (3-31-0) despite a favorable matchup. He should be better against
the Broncos in Week 11, where the Rams will definitely find some
garbage time for him to rack up numbers.
Douglas, ATL (@CAR, CLE, ARI, @GB) – Douglas failed to make
a catch on two targets but scored on a two-point conversion.
Gabriel, CLE (HOU, @ATL, @BUF, IND) – Gabriel had 3-31-0 on
Thursday and might have some value next week with Andrew Hawkins
(thigh, knee) still hurting.
Mason Foster, TB (@WAS, @CHI, CIN, @DET) – Foster had another
nine tackles in Week 10, giving him 30 over his past four games
since returning from injury. He flies under the radar as the “other”
LB in Tampa Bay.
Humber, NO (CIN, BAL, @PIT, CAR) – Humber had a monster Week
10 against San Fran (12 total tackles, sack) and has effectively
replaced David Hawthorne (hand) as the No.2 LB in New Orleans.
He’s got another solid matchup in Week 11.
James Ihedigbo, DET (@ARI, @NE, CHI, TB) – In six games
this season, Ihedibgo has posted some impressive stats, with 36
total tackles, 2.0 sacks, an INT and two PD. He’s a solid
Buster Skrine, CLE (HOU, @ATL, @BUF, IND) – Skrine is an
overlooked high-upside DB who had a great game against the Bengals
(three total tackles, two INT, three PD). Keep him on your radar
as a DB3.
DL Marcell Dareus, BUF (@MIA, NYJ, CLE, @DEN) – Wow. Dareus
had seven total tackles and 3.0 sacks on Sunday against the Chiefs.
He’s a DL1 with plenty of upside when healthy.
DL Ziggy Ansah, DET (@ARI, @NE, CHI, TB) – Ansah is heating
up (six solos, sack, two TFL, FF in Week 10) and has some favorable
matchups on the way. He’s a solid DL2.
Kendricks, PHI (@GB, TEN, @DAL, SEA) – Update coming Tuesday.
Kendricks stepped up
with MLB DeMeco Ryans out for the rest of the year and had another
solid game, making eight solo tackles and notching a sack in the
win over Carolina.
Borland, SF (@NYG, WAS, SEA, @OAK) – Borland had another amazing
game in place of the injured Patrick Willis, racking up 17 total
tackles (11 solos) and a FR in the win over New Orleans.
Borland is now the
LB to own (and an LB1 in IDP) in San Fran with Navarro Bowman
still dealing with pain in his surgically repaired knee and Willis
(toe) done for the season.
Bethea, SF (@NYG, WAS, SEA, @OAK) – Bethea now has picks in
consecutive weeks. He finished Sunday’s win with eight total tackles
and the accompanying PD/INT.
Wright, TB (@WAS, @CHI, CIN, @DET) – Wright tallied a disappointing
four total tackles on Sunday in a starting role. He’ll continue
to get his chances, but he’s not as good as Mark Barron, who he
McCoy, TB (@WAS, @CHI, CIN, @DET) – McCoy practically disappeared
this week, getting just one solo stop in the loss to Atlanta.
He’s a marginal DL2/3 at this point in his career.
Poe, KC (SEA, @OAK, DEN, @ARI) – Poe had a solid stat
line (four tackles and a sack) and continues to be one of the
better DT-eligible lineman in IDP.