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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.
Tyreek Hill (13 targets in Week 10) )will
be a focal point of the offense while Jeremy Maclin is out.
Taylor, BUF – Taylor is the most dynamic QB still available
in about 25-50 percent of fantasy leagues, and he’s coming off
a bye week that gave LeSean McCoy and IR/designated for return
Sammy Watkins a week to heal up. McCoy should be much closer to
100 percent but Watkins isn’t eligible to return until Week 12.
Taylor’s value is enhanced by his ability to run (4 rushing TDs
in 2016) and a relatively high floor.
UPDATE: Watkins is still not practicing,
but Marquise Goodwin can beat the Cincy DBs deep and I think Taylor
is too much for the Bengals to handle. Taylor could surprise with
big numbers this week.
Bortles, JAC – Bortles is owned in about 65-90 percent
of leagues, but with the byes crunching rosters over the past
few weeks, it’s possible many owners in deeper leagues saw him
as dead weight and dropped him. Lately, he hasn’t been awful (265-2-1
on 32-of-49 passing, fumble; 11 rushing yards, 2XP in Week 10)
– and he’s worth a look heading into a relatively favorable Week
11 matchup with the Lions. I’m expecting the Lions to score quite
a bit, but Bortles is starting to click with Allen Robinson and
deserves QB1 consideration despite his tendency to throw picks.
Kaepernick, SF – Like Taylor, Kaepernick’s rushing
ability makes him a solid fantasy asset. He’s rushed for at least
55 yards in three of the four games he played this season, and
has thrown for 608-3-1 over his last two games. He’s available
in about 75-85 percent of fantasy leagues and makes a good pickup
heading into a matchup with the Patriots – a squad likely to run
up the score and invite some garbage time passing.
Flacco, BAL – Flacco’s 296-3-2 (2XP) was about what
I expected in a Thursday game with the Browns. He’s got a much
tougher matchup facing the Cowboys in Week 11, but the Dallas
secondary is its weakest unit right now.
Smith, KC – Once again, Smith laid an egg in a favorable
matchup. He’s a useless fantasy option because of the offensive
philosophy in KC and his inability to go vertical in the passing
Rawls, SEA – Rawls (fibula) is still available in about
20-50 percent of leagues but is expected to be back for the Week
11 tilt with the Eagles, and gets a couple of favorable matchups
(@TB, CAR) the following two weeks. He should be owned in all
formats after this waiver wire rotation.
UPDATE: Rawls is practicing to play this week, according to Pete
Carroll. This might not be the best week to gauge Rawls’
value down the stretch, but it will be important to watch for
setbacks and how he’s used.
Kelley, WAS – Kelley (40-80 percent owned) carried
the rock 22 times for 97 yards and hauled in his only target for
a two-yard loss in Sunday's 26-20 win over the Vikings. He’s not
a high-upside RB in PPR formats but seems to have surpassed Matt
Jones (healthy scratch in Week 10) and should be owned in all
UPDATE: Jay Gruden said the team isn’t giving up on Jones,
but it’s obvious that Kelley is the lead back in Washington.
Prosise, SEA – Prosise is owned in just 25-65 percent
of fantasy leagues and had a breakout week against the Patriots
with 66 rushing yards on 17 carries and 7-87-0 on seven targets.
Expect him to provide a change-of-pace role with Rawls back and
Christine Michael (hamstring) losing touches and seeing his fantasy
UPDATE: Prosise is likely to be the most valuable back this week
for Seattle though that’s likely to change once Rawls is
100 percent. Pete Carroll has also stopped talking about Michael
altogether which means this is likely the Prosise-Rawls show going
Williams, MIA – Jay Ajayi is the undisputed lead back
in Miami, but Williams (4-7 percent owned) is getting red zone
work and passing down snaps. He’s got at least 7 standard scoring
fantasy points in four of his last five games and TDs in three
of his last four. Do not sleep on this guy – he could be a valuable
fantasy asset down the stretch.
Toussaint, PIT – If the Steelers can jump out to a
big lead against the Browns in Week 11, Toussaint could get some
work to spell Le’Veon Bell. With DeAngelo Williams out a few weeks
following a knee procedure, he’s a valuable handcuff.
Barber, TB – Doug Martin (hamstring) was active in
Week 10 and Barber rushed for just 38 yards on 12 carries. He
might be safe to drop at this point.
Ivory, JAC – Ivory’s 31 rushing yards on nine carries
and 2-10-0 receiving didn’t help fantasy owners much, but he’s
getting half the touches and is still worth owning in 12-team
formats. He’s a better goal line back than T.J. Yeldon who excels
more in the passing game.
Perkins, NYG –UPDATE: Rashad Jennings ran with purpose
this week, relegating Perkins to a secondary option in the backfield.
Perkins finished with 31 rushing yards on nine carries and no
receptions despite three targets, while Jennings racked up 87
rushing yards on 15 carries and 3-22-0 on six targets from Eli
Dixon, BAL – Dixon had the best game of his young career,
rushing for 38 yards on five carries and hauling in 5-42-0 on
seven targets. He’s looking at a timeshare with Terrance West
but could see more touches coming his way over the next few weeks.
Bibbs, DEN – Bibbs finished with 22 yards on seven
carries and wasn’t a factor in the passing game. He’s a low-upside
Starks, GB – Starks played a little over 70% of the
snaps in Week 10, totaling just 33 yards on 7 carries but catching
a TD pass from Aaron Rodgers (3-11-1 on four targets) to salvage
a decent fantasy day.
Wide Receivers / Tight Ends
Kerley, SF – Kerley is owned in just 15-25 percent
of fantasy leagues but remains a decent risk-reward WR3/flex option
in 12-team leagues. His Week 10 numbers (7-71-1, lost fumble)
should see his ownership increase.
Hill, KC – The Chiefs don’t throw that much, but Hill
is now a huge part of their offense and makes for an intriguing
flex option the next few weeks. He’s coming off his third solid
game in four weeks with 10-89-0 on 13 targets from Smith. He’s
a must-own WR3/4 in 12-team leagues going forward.
Garcon, WAS – Garcon’s longest gain in Week 10 was
just 17 yards, but he’s making an impact as a valuable target
on his short and intermediate routes and finished with 6-81-0
on 10 targets. He’s worth consideration in Week 11 against the
struggling Packers, who allowed Titans receivers to rack up 295
yards and five TDs on Sunday, and is just 25-40 percent owned.
Parker, MIA – Parker hauled in 5-103-0 on eight targets
yards in Sunday's 31-24 win over the Chargers and seems to be
over his hamstring injury. He’s someone to add for his burgeoning
upside the next five weeks (@LAR, SF, @BAL, ARI, @NYJ) and is
still available in 40-60 percent of leagues.
Bennett, NE – Bennett’s fantasy stock has taken a hit
the past few weeks, but he’s still available in about 15-30 percent
of fantasy leagues and remains a high-upside play in the potent
Pats’ offense. There’s still plenty of value in Bennett, who’s
among the top 10 in fantasy points for TEs.
UPDATE: Rob Gronkowski may or may not have a punctured lung,
so follow the news of his status if you’re banking on deploying
Bennett as a TE1 this week.
Rogers, PIT –UPDATE:
Rogers will see an abundance of targets with Sammie Coates dealing
with two (two!!) broken fingers and both Darrius Heyward-Bey and
Markus Wheaton sidelined against the Browns in Week 11. Rogers
is only 10-25 percent owned but could be approaching must-own
status in 12-team leagues.
Meredith, CHI –UPDATE: With Alshon Jeffrey suspended
for the next four games (PEDs) and the Bears once again struggling
to find an offensive identity, look for Meredith to get a bump
in targets against the Giants and in subsequent weeks up until
Wallace, BAL – Wallace had 4-59-0 (five targets) in
Week 10 but no TDs. Steve Smith looked sharp in his second game
back from an ankle injury. Wallace has solid upside and could
easily beat the Dallas secondary deep in Week 11.
Witten, DAL – Witten had a solid week of action with
6-59-0 on eight targets and now has 44-483-2 on 63 targets this
season. Only Greg Olsen, Dennis Pitta and Kyle Rudolph have more
targets this season, and Jordan Reed also has 63. Wow.
Ertz, PHI – Ertz had another efficient performance
with 6-55-0 on seven targets in Week 10. He’s had two good weeks
in a row but has yet to haul in a TD this season.
Patton, SF – Patton was targeted nine times in Week
10 but finished with just 3-52-0. He’s a forgettable fantasy asset
but is still relevant in 12-team and deeper leagues.
Matthews, TEN – Another week, another TD. Matthews
(3-63-1 in Week 10) has now scored in five of his last six games
and 36-483-6 on the season. He’s still only owned in about 50-75
percent of leagues despite a high floor and averaging about 6-7
targets over his last four games.
Miller, CHI – Jay Cutler had a bad game and Miller
finished with just 4-32-0 on seven targets. He was a bust this
week but could be utilized more against the Giants in Week 11.
UPDATE: Yep, the Jeffrey news definitely means Miller should
get more balls thrown in his direction this week.
Fiedorowicz, HOU – Speaking of busts and bad QBs, C.J.’s
3-26-0 was a monumental disappointment after five straight weeks
of at least four catches and three TDs over that same span.