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
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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
Tannehill, MIA (@JAC, SD, @DET, BUF) – Since rumors of a possible
benching surfaced around Week 3, Tannehill has at least 240 passing
yards, 35 rushing yards and two TDs in three straight games. He’s
a solid QB2 with upside.
Griffin III, WAS (@DAL, @MIN, BYE, TB) – With the Kirk Cousins
wing of the NFL Hall of Fame set for demolition this week, RGIII
returns to the fore of the discussion in Washington. While he
may not be back for the tilts in Dallas and/or Minnesota, he’s
returned to the practice field and would likely be back in Week
11 following the team’s bye week. I wouldn’t make him a top priority,
but if your quarterback situation is dire, RGII has the kind of
upside that could turn things around down the stretch.
Jay Gruden has announced
that Colt McCoy will start against the Cowboys, though Griffin
has been “medically cleared to add to his workload,”
which means he could still be named the starter before game time
or sometime next week before the tilt with Minnesota.
Davis, STL (@KC, @SF, @ARI, DEN) – After defeating the Super
Bowl champs with the help of some nifty special teams plays, Davis
has a stronghold on the starting job and remains a high-risk,
high-reward play. With so many viable running backs in St. Louis,
there’s not a huge focus on throwing the ball, but we’ve seen
it happen before this season (Weeks 3 and 5).
Davis is likely going
to continue dinking and dunking this week against the Chiefs,
but this is actually one of his better matchups of the next several
games. I’ll only have a few shares of him in DFS contests.
Bridgewater, MIN (@TB, WAS, BYE, @CHI) – Bridgewater has struggled
since a productive Week 4 game against the Falcons, but has excellent
matchups the next two weeks. He could serve as a decent QB2 or
salary relief option in daily contests.
Scouring The Barrel
Glennon, TB (MIN, @CLE, ATL, @WAS) – Speaking of decent matchups,
Glennon should have a full complement of healthy receivers at
home versus the Vikings and has a favorable stretch coming. Fresh
off three good starts and a Week 7 bye, he’ll be ready to take
advantage of the opportunity.
Glennon is expected
to start Sunday and he’s got a favorable matchup. He’s
a two-QB league option and salary relief in daily fantasy contests.
Joe Flacco, BAL (@CIN, @PIT, TEN, BYE) – Flacco threw for
258-2-2 in the win over Atlanta, and faces a somewhat tougher
challenge in Week 8 in Cincinnati.
Carson Palmer, ARI (PHI, @DAL, STL, DET) – Despite a nagging
injury that’s affected his throwing shoulder, Palmer continues
to play well and put up solid numbers (253-2-1) in Week 7. He
should be owned in all formats.
Blake Bortles, JAC (MIA, @CIN, DAL, BYE) – Bortles had a
bad fantasy day (159-1-3, 37 yards rushing) but notched a victory
for the Jaguars. He’s worth a look on a week-to-week basis
for daily contests, but isn’t worth rostering in anything
but the deepest of redraft leagues.
Orton, BUF (@NYJ, BYE, KC, @MIA) – Orton mixed in a couple
turnovers but mustered up a solid line with an exclamation point
– his second TD pass to Sammy Watkins as time expired and the
Bills took their record to 4-3. Orton is a QB2 with upside as
he continues to develop rapport with the Buffalo receivers.
Derek Carr, OAK (@CLE, @SEA, DEN, @SD) – After a solid Week
6, Carr was an unmitigated fantasy disaster in Week 7, throwing
for just 173 yards and no TDs. While he didn’t turn the
ball over, the Cards defense held the passing game in check.
Off The Top
Hillman, DEN (SD, @NE, @OAK, @STL) – Hillman rushed for 74
yards and two TDs and hauled in 4-29-0 receiving, and is still
owned in just 58 percent of Yahoo leagues because there are plenty
of doubters who refuse to see him as the Broncos new lead back.
Hogwash. Hillman is clearly the running back with the most upside
right now, and he’ll remain involved when Montee Ball returns.
McFadden, OAK (@CLE, @SEA, DEN, @SD) – His best days may be
behind him, but McFadden can still be a useful fantasy asset,
and he’s owned in fewer than 50 percent of Yahoo leagues. The
Raiders will be using him quite a bit next week in Cleveland,
so scoop him up if he’s available.
Robinson / Travaris
Cadet, NO (GB, @CAR, SF, CIN) –
Robinson’s ownership rates are all over the place –
he’s 38 percent owned on Yahoo, 64 percent owned on CBS,
and 75 percent owned on RTSports – so he might very well
be available in your league. Since Pierre Thomas will miss 2-3
weeks with a shoulder injury, and Mark Ingram didn’t exactly
light up the world in his Week 7 return, it puts both Robinson
(in shallower formats) and Cadet (0-5 percent owned, relevant
in deeper PPR leagues) on the radar.
Denard Robinson put his name on the fantasy
map with 127 yds and 1 TD against Cleveland on Sunday.
Cunningham, STL (@KC, @SF, @ARI, DEN) – Zac Stacy was a fantasy
no-show on Sunday, and while Cunningham only got two carries,
he saw five targets and capitalized with a 5-46-1 receiving line
and tallied 104 return yards. He’s owned in just 13 percent of
Yahoo leagues and appears to be the main passing down back.
Robinson, JAC (MIA, @CIN, DAL, BYE) – Robinson is eligible
at both RB and WR on Yahoo, so you’ll have o check your format
to see how he’s classified – but he started at tailback Sunday
and racked up 127 yards and a TD on 22 carries despite a 9 percent
ownership rate. He’ll be one of the top adds of the waiver wire
this week, though we likely just witnessed his best fantasy game
of the season.
Gus Bradley was somewhat
vague when addressing Robinson’s hold on the starting job
Monday, but I can’t imagine he would yank the versatile
offensive cog out of a featured role (46-of-74 snaps in Sunday’s
win) the minute he finds some success. He makes an excellent flex
play against the Bears on Sunday.
Scouring The Barrel
Brown / Anthony
Dixon, BUF (@NYJ, BYE, KC, @MIA) – With C.J. Spiller (broken
collarbone) done for the season and Fred Jackson out next week
and likely through the team’s Week 10 bye, Dixon is the lone Bills
running back from Week 7 left standing. Buffalo will also activate
Brown, who was acquired in an off-season trade, and will likely
shoulder the majority of the load and get the early-down carries
-- with Dixon handling the "big back" role. While the
Bills must run the ball efficiently and use their backs in the
passing game to win, I expect Brown to struggle a bit off the
shelf versus the Jets, although Jackson believes the former Eagles
running back could be a workhorse and flourish as an every-down
More information about
the off-season acquisition of Brown is emerging, and his latent
value continues to spike by the day. Whomever the Bills featured
runner is on Sunday will likely need a grasp of the offense and
the ability to pass protect – an overlooked factor in determining
RB playing time. Brown is probably the better bet, and more so
for PPR leagues.
Taylor, ARI (PHI, @DAL, STL, DET) – Taylor frustrated Andre
Ellington owners with 12 carries for 40 yards and a second-half
TD against Oakland. He’s nearly universally available and could
have some RB4, TD-dependent value – unless Ellington misses time,
which could elevate him into RB3/flex territory.
Antonio Andrews, TEN (HOU, BYE, @BAL, PIT) –
Andrews was signed off the practice squad Tuesday morning
to fill in behind the underwhelming Bishop Sankey and Shonne Greene
(hamstring). While there’s no guarantee the rookie from
Western Kentucky sees action, it’s entirely possible that
Andrews – who can also catch – emerges as a short-yardage/north-south
banger given Ken Whisenhunt’s fickle temperament. He’s
a sneaky add in deeper formats, but he lacks the jump-cut ability
to make a huge impact as a runner.
McKinnon, MIN (@TB, WAS, BYE, @CHI) – As expected, McKinnon
shouldered the load and ran for 103 yards on 19 carries, adding
two catches for -2 yards in the heartbreaking loss to Buffalo.
He’s a dynamic runner with plenty of value but is owned in fewer
than 60 percent of Yahoo leagues.
McKinnon is a special
athlete who should retain RB2 value the rest of the way. He should
be owned in just about every fantasy football format imaginable.
Crowell, CLE (OAK, TB, @CIN, HOU) – Crowell put up a stinker
in Week 7, as he carried seven times for 18 yards and failed to
reach the end zone. He’s got a better chance of finding pay dirt
in Week 8 against Oakland.
Terrance West missed
an opportunity to take some carries away from Crowell on Sunday,
but failed to pick up a first down on a crucial second-quarter
possession. Crowell remains the No. 2 back.
Smith, ATL (DET, BYE, @TB, @CAR) – Smith also failed to score
in Week 7, but saw just five touches (three carries for 10 yards,
two catches for -1 yards). With the Falcons searching for an offensive
identity, it makes sense to get Smith the ball more.
Mason, STL (@KC, @SF, @ARI, DEN) – Mason was the lead back
in the win over Seattle, rushing for 85 yards and a TD on 18 carries.
He’s owned in just 16 percent of Yahoo leagues and makes an excellent
RB3/flex play going forward.
White, NE (CHI, DEN, BYE, @IND) – White was a healthy scratch
and Bolden was largely restricted to special teams, with the talented
Shane Vereen getting most of the work and three carries for 12
yards by Jonas Gray. Bill Belichick is the Devil.
Randle, DAL (WAS, ARI, @JAC, BYE) – Randle capped off an eventful
week with a dull stat line (two carries for 7 yards and 1-14-0
receiving on one target). At least he has free underwear from
Dunbar, DAL (WAS, ARI, @JAC, BYE) – Dunbar rushed for 16 yards
on three carries and received nary a target as it continues to
be the DeMarco Murray show in Dallas.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Off The Top
Odell Beckham Jr., NYG (BYE, IND, @SEA, SF) – Beckham established
himself as a dangerous red zone threat, hauling in 4-34-2 on six
targets, adding a 13-yard rush in the loss to Dallas. He’s
a solid WR3 with upside in 12-team leagues.
Baldwin, SEA (@CAR, OAK, NYG, @KC) – With Percy Harvin out
of Seattle, Baldwin stepped up as Russel Wilson’s main target
and will be the top wide receiver add this week after posting
a 7-123-1 line on a team-high 11 targets. Heading into Sunday,
he was owned in fewer than a third of fantasy leagues.
Allen Robinson, JAC (MIA, @CIN, DAL, BYE) – Robinson (25-35
percent owned) is an exciting young wide receiver with at least
four catches in every game since Week 1. He’s now at 34-371-1
on 53 targets this season after getting his first career TD on
Sunday in the win over Cleveland.
Kenny Stills, NO (GB, @CAR, SF, CIN) – Stills posted 5-103-1
and is reliant on the big play for fantasy value. He’s a
boom-or-bust WR and makes a cheap-but-risky, high-upside tournament
option in daily contests – and a WR5 in 12-team, season-long
Scouring The Barrel
Escobar, DAL (WAS, ARI, @JAC, BYE) – Nearly universally available,
Escobar hauled in all three targets on Sunday and converted them
into 3-65-2 to make him the top scoring tight end of Week 7. After
the best game of his young career, he’ll be a popular waiver wire
selection this week as owners look for high-upside red zone options.
Fuller, DET (@ATL, BYE, MIA, @ARI) – Fuller caught the game
winner from Matthew Stafford and had 3-44-1 on five targets. He’s
worth a look in deeper formats but would be a desperation play
next week, even if Calvin Johnson remains out. I’d be seeking
out other options.
Megatron has resumed
running and will make the trip to London but the smart money is
on another week of rest before the Week 9 bye and a Week 10 return.
Fuller could see action again and makes an interesting deep league
add and DFS play – especially with defenses likely to be
wary of Golden Tate.
Shorts, JAC (MIA, @CIN, DAL, BYE) – Shorts drew a tough matchup
against Joe Haden and disappointed with just 3-12-0 on nine targets
Sunday. He’s still a WR3/4 with upside.
Malcom Floyd, SD (@DEN, @MIA, BYE, OAK) – Floyd made a couple
nice catches but compiled just 3-50-0 on seven targets. He could
have a much bigger workload facing the Broncos in Week 8.
TE Jordan Reed, WAS (@DAL, @MIN, BYE, TB) – Reed (5-54-0
on six targets from two different QBs Sunday) clearly misses having
RGIII healthy, as his best stretch came when the two were both
healthy last season. If he had a better quarterback and could
stay on the field, Reed would be a top-5 tight end, but he’s
a borderline TE1 for now.
Brandon LaFell, NE (CHI, DEN, BYE, @IND) – LaFell had 4-55-0
on Thursday night but didn’t have a TD. He makes a decent
WR3/4 next week against the struggling Bears.
Andre Holmes, OAK (@CLE, @SEA, DEN, @SD) – Holmes followed
up his Week 6 breakout with a boring 3-34-0 day against Arizona.
He’s a much better play next week against the Browns.
Louis Murphy, TB (MIN, @CLE, ATL, @WAS) – Murphy was on
a Week 7 bye but could be a decent salary relief play in guarantee
prize pool (GPP) tournaments in DFS sites this season.
Robert Woods, BUF (@NYJ, BYE, KC, @MIA) – Woods had a bad
day (4-10-0, lost fumble) and was upstaged by Watkins. He’s
got limited upside but remains on the redraft radar.
Jarvis Landry, MIA (@JAC, SD, @DET, BUF) – Landry remained
involved in the Dolphins game plan with 4-45-0 on five targets
from Tannehill, who really seems to like the rookie receiver from
LSU. Stay tuned.
Amaro, NYJ (BUF, @KC, PIT, BYE) – Amaro is emerging as Geno
Smith's No. 2 target behind WR Eric Decker, but caught 3-22-0
on five targets as the team focused on the running game Thursday
night. He’s a TE2 with upside.
LB Chad Greenway, MIN (@TB, WAS, BYE, @CHI) – Greenway
returned to action Sunday and had 15 total tackles in the loss
to Buffalo. He’s a LB1/2 when healthy and should be busy
next week at Tampa Bay.
Hightower, NE (CHI, DEN, BYE, @IND) – Hightower had a big
game alongside Jamie Collins (with Jerod Mayo out for the season)
and projects as an upside-laden LB2/3 the rest of the way.
DB Reshad Jones, MIA (@JAC, SD, @DET, BUF) – If you didn’t
heed my advice yet and grab Jones (seven solos, INT, PD on Sunday),
you should do it now unless he’s no longer available. The
dude is an IDP beast and a DB1.
DB James Ihedigbo, DET (@ATL, BYE, MIA, @ARI) – Idehigbo
has a relatively high floor for a DB and had a big game last week
(eight total tackles, 1.0 sacks, FR). He’s a DB2 with upside.
DL Muhammad Wilkerson, NYJ (BUF, @KC, PIT, BYE) – He’s
a beast defending the run (34 total tackles this season) and also
has 4.0 sacks in 2014. He’s still available in a handful
of IDP leagues and makes a good play against the Bills in Week
DL/LB Derrick Morgan, TEN (HOU, BYE, @BAL, PIT) – Morgan
is DE-eligible in some formats and has much more value there than
as a LB – which he plays in Tennessee’s 3-4. He’s
coming off his best game of the season (seven total tackles, 1,0
sack, FF) and is making more of an impact as the defense searches
for a viable leader.
Bradham, BUF (@NYJ, BYE, KC, @MIA) – Bradham had six solos
and an assist in Sunday versus the Vikings.
Whitehead, DET (@ATL, BYE, MIA, @ARI) – Whitehead followed
up his Week 6 breakout with four solos, an assist and a PD. Not
bad, but not great. He’s still a solid LB3 in most IDP formats.
Whitehead was replaced
during Week 7 on some passing downs by LB Josh Bynes, which dings
his value slightly.
Cyprien, JAC (MIA, @CIN, DAL, BYE) – Cyprien took a step back
with just four solos and no big plays Sunday. He’s a DB2 without
The loss of Paul Posluszny
(torn pectoral) probable means more next-level penetration, giving
Cyprien more opportunities. Don’t give up on him yet.
McCourty, TEN (HOU, BYE, @BAL, PIT) – I expected much more
out of McCourty this week than two tackles against Washington,
but he’s got more upside next week with Ryan Fitzpatrick chucking
Dareus, BUF (@NYJ, BYE, KC, @MIA) – As predicted, Dareus had
a solid Week 7 with three solos, one assist and 2.0 sacks.
Ansah, DET (@ATL, BYE, MIA, @ARI) – Ansah didn’t
get to Drew Brees but had four tackes (three solos) in the win
over New Orleans.