Each week we will take a look at players who are more than likely on your waiver-wire that can be added to your team and help you this week. One of the biggest complaints with waiver wire add articles is that many of these guys are not available in your league. Using ESPN’s ownership statistics, everyone mentioned in this article has 50% or lower ownership status. This article will be divided into two parts, standard and deep leagues. The players in the deeper league wire are typically guys that you can stash that have upside. If you use a Free Agent Auction Bidding (FAAB) system, in parenthesis will be the percentage of your budget we would use on each player. In those type leagues, know the bidding history of your opponents and adjust accordingly.
Since Down to the Wire only highlights players who are owned by less than half of owners in ESPN leagues, I first want to give you a list of guys who are only owned in 50-75% of leagues that would be premium adds over any other player (depending on your positional needs).
- Kirk Cousins (72.1%)
- Jerick McKinnon (67.4%)
- Jay Ajayi (62.6%)
- Duke Johnson Jr. (68.7%)
- Justin Forsett (65.2%)
- Devante Parker (74.3%)
- John Brown (73.1%)
- Michael Thomas (57.1%)
- Tyrell Williams (64.5%)
- Steve Smith Sr. (52.1%)
- Mike Wallace (74.3%)
- Phillip Dorsett (50%)
- Kevin White (63%)
- Tajae Sharp (54.1%)
- Tavon Austin (62.6%)
- Jimmy Graham (65.6%)
- Dennis Pitta (55.2%)
- Jacob Tamme (72.3%)
- Eric Ebron (66.8%)
Standard League Adds:
QB Carson Wentz (19.3% owned)(FAAB 1-3%): For weeks now I have had Carson Wentz as a QB to own in deep or dynasty leagues. He is starting to establish himself as a QB to own in a standard redraft league as well. His 300+ yard and two touchdown performance this weekend came against what was supposed to be the toughest defense he has face yet this season. We can see him growing and maturing before our eyes. He may be someone that wins some leagues at the end of the year.
RB Jordan Howard (15.5% owned)(FAAB 35-45%): The stock of running Jeremy Langford has been falling since the middle of the summer, and now it has even more reason to take the plunge. Howard subbed in for Langford and ran the ball nine times for 45 yards and caught 6 passes for 47 yards. He did have one long carry for 36 yards on the teams third drive, outside of that he was held to less that two yards per carry. He was however very active in the passing game. Langford went out with an injury in the third quarter and never returned. This backfield, which has already seen Ka’Deem Carey miss time with injury, isn’t very good, but there is a path to major playing time for Howard. If Langford misses anytime Howard will be the lead back and could take Langford’s role from him. Even if Langford is able to play, Howard could still beat him out.
RB Wendall Smallwood (1.4% owned)(FAAB 20-30%): Ryan Mathews may have an ankle injury. That was the word out of the Philadelphia camp post game Sunday. They say it is an issue that he has been dealing with the last two weeks. Good news for Mathews is that the Eagles have a bye in Week 4, which means he has time to recover. Smallwood did look impressive in his absence though rushing for 79 yards on 17 carries. Mathews has dealt with injuries his whole career and if he is hampered by this ankle then Smallwood is the back to own. Mathews is definitely more talented than Jeremy Langford, but it is a similar situation as the one in Chicago. Smallwood could steal the job from Mathews if he were to miss time. The biggest difference is that Smallwood will not get the receiving down work as that belongs to Darren Sproles even when Mathews is healthy. Kenjon Barner is also competing with Smallwood for carries, although Smallwood looks to definitely be ahead of him on the depth chart.
RB Kenyon Drake (30.5% owned)(FAAB 10-15%): Drake had 9 carries for 36 yards and just two catches for 11 yards on Sunday against the Cleveland Browns. Before the game head coach Adam Gase said they were treating Drake as the starter instead of Jay Ajayi. The Dolphins more so turned to the passing game then having to rely on either Drake or Ajayi. Yet, when the game was on the line late, the Dolphins actually turned to Ajayi for the game winning touchdown. If Foster were to miss time, Drake should earn some more opportunity even though he will constantly be in a battle with Ajayi. **PPR SPECIAL**
RB Kenneth Dixon (14% owned)(FAAB 10-15%): Dixon has been in my deep league adds for two weeks now, but with him due back in the next week or two he is a premium add even in standard leagues. Dixon will be apart of a crowded backfield when he returns but he by far has more talent than his other backfield mates. I think it is only a matter of time until he wins the Raven’s RB job outright and he could even be a league winner down the stretch.
RB Orleans Darkwa (5% owned)(FAAB 5-10%): Darkwa had ten carries for 53 yards and a touchdown this week while starter Rashad Jennings was sidelined. With the news yesterday that Shane Vereen is out for the season that means that Darkwa and rookie Paul Perkins will split carries as long as Jennings is still sidelined. When he comes back, this becomes a much more committee approach.
RB Cameron Artis-Payne (22% owned)(FAAB 5-10%): Artis-Payne ran the ball 12 times for 47 yards and had one catch for 11 yards. With Stewart likely missing this week as well, we like Artis-Payne’s match-up alot more this week against the Falcons.
RB Dwayne Washington (20.4% owned)(FAAB 5-10%): Washington ran the ball ten times for 38 yards on Sunday. His backfield mate Theo Riddick also had ten carries for just nine yards. Riddick will obviously get most of the receiving down work, but Washington should see an increase carries on first and second down because that is not Riddick’s strength. The Lions take on the Bears this week, who struggled mightily against the run on Sunday night.
RB DeAndre Washington (16.1% owned)(FAAB 3-7%): Here is the truth of the matter, DeAndrew Washington looks better than Latavius Murray with far fewer carries. He proved that again Sunday carrying the ball six times for 57 yards while Murray carried it ten times for 37 yards. I feel like I say this every year, but it is only a matter of time until Washington steals an even greater workload from Murray and quite possibly becomes the feature back.
WR Terelle Pryor (27.8% owned)(FAAB 25-35%): Terrelle Pryor did it all on Sunday. He was like a one man show for the Cleveland Browns who nearly pulled off the victory against the Miami Dolphins. He ran the ball four times out of the wildcat package for 21 yards and a score. I see the Browns continuing to use this as long as Kessler is QB, and maybe even when McCown returns. Yet, from a pure WR standpoint, Pryor’s numbers were great. He had eight catches for 144 yards. The even more impressive part was that he caught the eight balls running a variety of routes, and not just a nine route strait down the field. If you are in need of a WR, he may be your best bet off the waiver wire all season because the Browns will find a way to continue to use him.
WR Jamison Crowder (11.1% owned)(FAAB 10-15%): Crowder is in an extremely crowded wide receiver corp for the Washington Redskins. He has a ton of talent but the ball gets spread around so much that he hasn’t become fantasy relevant yet. He had 6 reception through their first two games and had 4 this Sunday for 78 yards and his second touchdown of the year. I would say he is becoming fantasy relevant. There is fear that Josh Doctson could cut into his workload once he is fully healthy, but it is clear that the Redskins really like Crowder and plan to use him in different ways to get the ball.
WR Cole Beasley (14.5% owned)(FAAB 5-10%): Beasley has been magnificent since Dak Prescott has taken over the Cowboys offense. He plays the Julian Edelman, Wes Welker roll underneath for the Cowboys and Dak likes to look his way often. In fact, last night was the first time in his career that he has caught a pass of 20 yards or more. Yet, if you are in a PPR league, Beasley needs to be grabbed, he has 8, 5, and 7 receptions in his first three games of the season while consistently averaging right at 70 yards a game. That’s nearly 14 points per game in PPR leagues. **PPR SPECIAL**
WR Anquan Boldin (18% owned)(FAAB 3-5%): Boldin is like a goal-line running back, we don’t see much of him until the Lions are near the endzone. This season he has cashed in on two redzone targets in three games. Much like a goal-line back, he is total touchdown dependent.
TE Cameron Brate (0.9% owned)(FAAB 15-20%): Austin Seferian-Jenkins status was up in the air with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers organization as the season started this summer. He put all those questions to rest this past week when he was arrested for another DUI and subsequently cut from the team. Brate was considered the frontrunner for the job when ASJ was there, but now that he is gone there is no turning back. I actually really like Cameron Brate as the season rolls along.
TE Kyle Rudolph (40.6% owned)(FAAB 10-15%): Rudolph may not be available in your league, but it is evident that he has a good rapport with QB Sam Bradford. He had seven catches for 70 yards and a touchdown this week to follow his Week 2 touchdown grab.
TE Jack Doyle (10% owned)(FAAB 5-10%): Bad news for Dwayne Allen owners, Jack Doyle isn’t going away. He was tabbed as the blocking tight end at the start of the season, but now it looks more like he is the receiving tight end. He has 4 more catches, 30 more yards, and one more touchdown than Dwyane Allen. Allen owners feel like Coby Fleener is back.
Deep League Adds
QB Trevor Siemian (4.7% owned) (1-3% FAAB): Siemian’s ownership actually dropped last week, but I doubt it will this week. He has been superb for the Broncos so far this season. This past week after his 328 yard and 4 touchdown performance he should be owned in all 2 QB, dynasty, and deep bench leagues.
QB Cody Kessler (1% owned)(1% FAAB): Shot in the dark here. He will likely start for the next several weeks. He likely will fall in line with the past of Cleveland Browns quarterbacks, but you never know.
RB Kenjon Barner (0.8% owned)(FAAB 5-10%): Barner looked good when Ryan Mathews left the game with what is believed to be an ankle injury on Sunday. He had eight carries for 42 yards and a touchdown. It is evident that rookie Wendall Smallwood is ahead of him on the depth chart and that Darren Sproles will continue to dominant the work on receiving downs, but Barner could continue to see a portion of the workload.
RB Paul Perkins (1.9% owned)(FAAB 5-10%): The Giants lost Shane Vereen for the rest of the year. Orleans Darkwa will be the first to step in while Rashad Jennings is still out. The Giants did say however that Darkwa would split carries with Perkins. He is worth a stash to see how the Giants backfield unfolds. Yet, when Jennings comes back, Perkins will see a significant decrease in touches.
RB Dexter McCluster (5.9% owned)(FAAB 1-5%): McCluster was more of a pre-emptive pick up last week after the Chargers signed him to be used in the Danny Woodhead role. After being the for less than a week he managed to see the field and grab two catches for nine yards. He will only become more involved in the Chargers offense as the year goes on.
WR Adam Humphries (0.7% owned)(FAAB 1-5%): Humphries has increased his targets and yardage each week for the Buccaneers. Week 1 he had 3 targets for 34 yards, then 6 for 67 yards in Week 2, and this past Sunday he had 9 catches for 100 yards. As his usage rises, so does his value.
WR Robert Woods (2.2% owned)(FAAB 1-5%): Woods really only holds value as long as Sammy Watkins is out with his foot injury. He had six catches for 51 yards this week.
TE Hunter Henry (12% owned)(FAAB 3-7%): Henry is the heir apparent to Antonio Gates in San Diego and will continue to see a increase in workload if Gates is sidelined again this week. Henry should already be owned in dynasty or deep bench leagues, but if not now is the time to grab him. He posted a five catch, 76 yard game Sunday but lost a key fumble late in the game. He looked very athletic and good with the ball in his hands in all of his opportunities.
As always, if you have any questions about your lineup or waiver wire adds, contact us @No_HuddleFFB on twitter!