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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.
Hoyer, SF – Hoyer seems to be developing some decent
rapport with his receivers and could be a relevant fantasy asset
during the next few weeks, since the 49ers don’t have their bye
until Week 11. He’s coming off a 353-2-0 game against the Colts
and while he’s not the most efficient QB out there, he’s in a
good spot for production the next five weeks (@WAS, DAL, @PHI,
Brissett, IND – Brissett will get a few more starts
with the recent news that Andrew Luck (shoulder) probably won’t
play until November. He’s about 25-30 percent owned in competitive
leagues and like Hoyer won’t get a bye until Week 11, when Luck
should already have a game or two under his belt. Brissett’s next
three games (@TEN, JAC, @CIN) could be offensive shootouts.
Keenum, MIN –UPDATE:
If you watched Monday Night Football, you’re probably aware
that Sam Bradford was not ready to resume his duties as the starter.
Bradford aggravated his knee injury and probably won’t get
the nod this week against the Packers, so feel free to give Keenum
(140-1-0/22 rushing yards in about one half of football this week)
a shot if you’re desperate at QB. He’s capable of
big numbers and has lots of weapons at his disposal.
Palmer, ARI – It was a relatively quiet day for Palmer,
who threw for 291-1-0 in the loss to the Eagles. He’s got okay
matchups the next couple weeks and maintains a decent floor since
the Cards have to throw to win.
Taylor, BUF – Taylor struggled in the rain, completing
just 20 of 27 attempts and finishing with 166-1-1 in a day when
he lost Charles Clay and ran for just 3 yards. I wasn’t bullish
in my expectations but figured he needed to be included in the
column last week. Should’ve just left him out.
Dalton, CIN – Dalton’s 328-1-2 wasn’t too disappointing,
but he’s on a bye in Week 6 and isn’t a very reliable fantasy
option moving forward.
Trubisky, CHI –UPDATE: Trubisky wasn’t awful
in his debut on MNF, though he got out maneuvered by defensive
back Harrison Smith, who goaded him into throwing a late INT that
helped seal the game for the Vikings. Trubisky finished with 128-1-1
and lost a fumble, but it was obvious he’s a better option
than Mike Glennon and has plenty of room to grow as an NFL QB.
Cutler, MIA – Another dud (92-1-1) from Cutler, and
I’m officially done. This entire team needs to evaluate its identity
and where it wants to go from here. I have no interest in using
Cutler even in favorable DFS matchups at this point.
McCown, NYJ – I’m considering getting a few shares
of McCown (194-2-1 in Week 5 @ CLE) in the matchup with the Patriots
in Week 6, but he’s not a reliable fantasy QB even if Jermaine
Kearse and Austin Seferian-Jenkins are looking like intriguing
Marlon Mack's strong showing in Week 5
(9-91-1) could earn him more playing time moving forward.
Mack, IND – Mack will be the most popular waiver wire
pickup this week after rushing for 91 yards and a TD on nine carries
in Week 5 against the 49ers. You’ve seen me discuss
him in this column before, but now looks like the time to
jump on board and roster him. I just dealt him in the FFToday
Staff league to handcuff LeVeon Bell and I already regret it.
McKinnon, MIN –UPDATE: McKinnon had a monster
game even though Latavius Murray got the start and the first five
touches. After that, the versatile back out-touched Murray 22-9
and out-gained him 146-43 while scoring a 58-yard touchdown. In
total, McKinnon’s 47 snaps more than doubled Murray's 22.
He’s definitely the back that more resembles Dalvin Cook’s
production, and he’s a must-own in all formats.
Peterson, ARI -UPDATE: The trade of Adrian Peterson
to the Saints for conditional pick kills the already muted fantasy
value of Chris Johnson and Kerwynn Williams and vaults the value
of both Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara for the Saints. Peterson
is about 40-50 percent owned in competitive leagues and should
be added in all formats. The Cards will still use heavy doses
of Andre Ellington in their pass-heavy offense, but Peterson's
early down power running should help them find some identity until
David Johnson returns from IR.
Allen, BAL – Allen had 73 rushing yards and a TD in
Week 5 and added 4-12-0 receiving, a facet of his game that separates
him from Alex Collins and makes him the more valuable back. Another
injury to Terrance West only increases his current value.
UPDATE: West had an MRI on his calf and isn’t looking at
an extended absence, but Allen still looks like the back to own
Breida, SF – Breida played 49 percent of the snaps
in Week 5 and Kyle Shanahan has shown an affinity for the rookie
RB in a “hot-hand” approach. Even if Carlos Hyde doesn’t continue
to deal with occasional hip problems, Breida could be in for an
increased workload in the coming weeks.
UPDATE: When healthy, Hyde is still the starter and best RB in
the Niners’ backfield. But Shanahan confirmed Monday that
he will ride the “hot hand” and give Breida touches
if Hyde is struggling.
Darkwa and Shane
Vereen, NYG – Perhaps the best thing for the Giants
to do without live bodies at wide receiver is switch their offense
to a wishbone and stick Darkwa, Vereen, and Wayne Gallman in the
same backfield. All kidding aside, it won’t be unusual to see
Vereen get more looks as a WR out of the slot in the coming weeks.
Darwka made the most of his timeshare in Week 5 by running for
69 yards and a TD on eight carries.
UPDATE: During Week 5, Gallman slowly took over as Darkwa battled
a calf injury, and Darkwa’s status hasn’t been updated.
If Darkwa can’t go this week, Gallman could be in for a
huge workload on a team desperate for offensive production.
Murray, MIN –UPDATE: As discussed in my comments on
McKinnon, Murray looked terrible on Monday night, rushing 12 times
for just 31 yards in the Vikings' Week 5 win over the Bears. A
one-dimensional back, Murray is simply a TD-dependent deep league
Kamara, NO – Kamara was on a Week 5 bye but should
have a big role in a favorable matchup against the Lions in Week
Gallman, NYG – Gallman split carries with Darkwa and
finished with 11 carries for 57 yards and 5-25-0 receiving. He’s
a capable RB who should remain a part of the offense moving forward
if he can stay healthy.
UPDATE: See comments on Darkwa and Vereen above.
Prosise & J.D.
McKissic, SEA – The Seahawks offense looked sluggish
behind a bad offensive line in Week 5. Rawls had 20 rushing yards
on eight carries and 2-15-0, Lacy drew the start but finished
with only 19 rushing yards on nine carries and added 1-9-0, and
McKissic had two carries for zero yards and 3-36-0 on five targets.
UPDATE: The Seahawks are on a Week 6 bye which only adds more
confusion to this situation, as everyone will get a little more
Jones, GB – Jones exploded for 125 rushing yards and
a TD on 19 carries and added 1-9-0 on his lone receiving target,
but he’s clearly the best back behind Ty Montgomery in Green Bay.
With Jones running so well, the Packers may choose to keep Montgomery
inactive for a few weeks (they have a Week 8 bye) until his ribs
are fully healed. Stay tuned.
Wide Receivers / Tight Ends
Lewis, NYG – The Giants have lost Dwayne Harris (fractured
foot) for the season and likely Odell Beckham Jr., who broke his
ankle late in Sunday’s game versus the Chargers. In addition,
Brandon Marshall suffered a sprained ankle that will likely keep
him out a few weeks, and Sterling Shepard (ankle) appears to be
week-to-week. This leaves Lewis as the Giants only healthy WR
while they scramble to make promotions from the practice squad
(Travis Rudolph, Ed Eagan and Marquis Bundy) and look at using
Tavarres King this week, as he’s familiar with the offense. Realistically,
this whole situation is one worth avoiding, but Lewis has shown
he can post decent fantasy numbers and provides the best value
off the wire.
UPDATE: As expected, the Giants started transitioning its young,
inexperienced receivers from the practice squad, and it was revealed
that Brandon Marshall will miss the remainder of the season following
ankle surgery. This offense is a mess, but there could be some
PPR goodness for Vereen and more relevance for Gallman on the
Brown and Jaron
Brown, ARI – The Arizona Cardinals are learning that
teams have no problem focusing on Larry Fitzgerald and letting
the rest of Palmer’s weapons try to beat them. I expect them to
game-plan more to funnel targets toward this talented group in
the coming weeks, though you’ll have to follow their injury and
usage progressions (as well as opposing DB matchups) to gauge
who’s in the best spot. Remember – they are all boom-or-bust options,
but can put a DFS lineup over the edge or provide a nice boost
in season-long leagues when the matchup is right.
Goodwin, SF – Goodwin (concussion) didn’t seem limited
in Week 5 and finished with 5-116-0 on a whopping 11 targets from
Hoyer. He could be in line for more snaps and looks in the coming
weeks against defenses that are vulnerable to the big play. Goodwin’s
speed sets him apart and Shanahan and Hoyer are probably just
fine with a 50% rate of return on his catches, since he’s often
looking at big gains once he hauls it in.
Dickson, CAR – Since Dickson saw just one target in
Week 3 versus the Saints, I assumed he wasn’t a huge part of the
Panthers game plan moving forward – a huge mistake. The veteran
TE exploded for 5-175-0 against the Lions a week after hauling
in 3-62-0 in the win over New England in Week 4. He’s not trustworthy
as a top-end TE1, but he’s worth adding while Greg Olsen is on
the shelf (likely until Week 12 or 13).
Fuller, HOU – Fuller has made quite an impact in his
two games back from a collarbone injury, following up a two-TD
Week 4 performance with two more catches in Week 5 – both of which
went for TDs. He’s now converted 9 targets into 6-92-4 over two
Marshall, NYG – The ankle injury almost surely puts
him out of commission for Week 6, but we’ll have more info in
the next 24 hours.
UPDATE: Marshall is done for 2017, and isn’t worth holding
onto in any format – dynasty or otherwise.
Amendola, NE – We got a nice week from Amendola, who
caught 8-77-0 in the win over the Bucs on Thursday night.
Brate and O.J.
Howard, TB – Brate (5-68-1) scored for the third straight
week, while Howard was held without a catch and saw just one target
Jones, BUF – Jones just isn’t getting it done. He had
just one catch for 9 yards despite seeing six targets versus the
Bengals. He should continue to see targets, especially with Charles
Clay injured, but on the season, has just five catches on his
23 targets and is a better dynasty stash than relevant redraft
Kroft, CIN – Kroft had 4-38-0 on five targets but the
Week 6 bye almost assures he’s reached the last of usefulness,
as Tyler Eifert could be back in Week 7 for a tilt in Pittsburgh.