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. Players are ranked in order by their position.
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 in most circumstances (depending on your positional needs). (Percentage owned in parentheses)
- Andy Dalton (68%)
- Dak Prescott (53.1%)
- Jamies Winston (59.3%)
- Tyrod Taylor (60.1%)
- Jerrick McKinnon (73.5%)
- Chris Ivory (74.3%)
- Duke Johnson Jr. (72%)**PPR SPECIAL**
- Darren Sproles (54.6%) **PPR SPECIAL**
- Derrick Henry (71.8%)
- Jay Ajayi (50%)
- Thomas Rawls (72.9%)
- Steve Smith Sr. (61.6%)
- John Brown (69.1%)
- Tyrell Williams (71.5%)
- Michael Thomas (57%)
- Kevin White (62.1%)
- Mike Wallace (71.7%)
- Jamison Crowder (50.9%)
- Kyle Rudolph (72.3%)
- Dennis Pitta (65%)
- Eric Ebron (65.6%)
- Zach Miller (57.2%)
- Jacob Tamme (54.1%)
- Zach Ertz (61%)
- Dwayne Allen (53.4%)
Standard League Adds:
QB Carson Wentz (34% owned)(FAAB 5-10%): 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 weekend before last came against what was supposed to be the toughest defense he has faced yet this season. After their bye this week, the Eagles will be tested. We can see him growing and maturing before our eyes. He may be someone that wins some leagues at the end of the year.
QB Trevor Siemian (4.7% owned) (1-3% FAAB): Siemian’s ownership sky rocketed this past week after his four touchdown performance. Unfortunately, Siemian suffered a shoulder injury and missed most of the game on Sunday. He will still be the starter in Denver when he returns, possibly this coming week, but he definitely is gaining value in standard leagues even with Paxton Lynch breathing down his neck.
RB Kenneth Dixon (20.8% owned)(FAAB 25-35%): With Dixon due back this week he is a premium add in all leagues. It looks like his only competition in the Raven’s backfield will come from Terrence West, who surprisingly looked good this past weekend. We believe that Dixon has the talent to dethrone West, but at the very least this should be a solid duo in the Ravens backfield and definitely worth adding to your roster.
RB Terrence West (45% owned)(FAAB 20-30%): Justin Forsett was relegated to back-up duty before the game against Oakland Sunday and Terrence West was named the starter. West cashed in this week with 113 yards on 21 carries and a touchdown. He has been less than impressive up to this point in the season averaging just under 4 yards per carry. He was gashing the Raiders defense Sunday and is probably the top back to own on the waiver wire this week. Unfortunately for West, rookie Kenneth Dixon is slated to return this week and he could be relegated back to committee duty.
RB Bilal Powell (36.2% owned)(FAAB 10-15%): Powell has proven that he can be a very serviceable back when called upon over the last few years for the Jets. That is why they signed him to a similar contract as they did star Matt Forte. With Forte’s injury status up in the air, Powell will be a must own if Forte were to miss time. His Free Agent Budget number will go up if further bad news is released on Forte. If Forte remains healthy, Powell shouldn’t give owners much value. **PPR SPECIAL**
RB Dwayne Washington (34.1% owned)(FAAB 5-10%): Lions offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter said that Washington was in line for more carries in week 4. That was good news for all fantasy owners who had stock in Washington. It was clear that he was better than Theo Riddick between the tackles in Week 3. Unfortunately, Washington suffered an ankle sprain early in the contest and had zero value. Washington can still be successful as the best between the tackle runner in the current Lions backfield, and he hopes to play this Sunday against the Eagles.
RB Cameron Artis-Payne (40.6% owned)(FAAB 5-10%): Artis-Payne ran the ball 6 times for 12 yards against the Falcons. The game script totally got away from the Panthers and Stewart. Because they were playing from behind most of the game, Fozzy Whittaker saw a ton of action. With Stewart possibly missing this week as well, CAP could see more work, but has a tough matchup against the Buccaneers.
RB Orleans Darkwa (32.6% owned)(FAAB 5-10%): Darkwa finished with 12 carries for 48 yards and a touchdown on Monday night. The touchdown came after a long screen pass by Paul Perkins. Don’t break the bank for Darkwa, his value only stays stable as long as Jennings is out. Even with Jennings back, I don’t want any part of this backfield with Darkwa, Rainey, and Perkins all commanding touches.
RB Wendall Smallwood (9.9% owned)(FAAB 5-10%): The Eagles had the week off this week which gave starter Ryan Mathews time to recover from his ankle injury suffered last weekend. 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 his ankle then Smallwood is the back to own. Mathews is likely be back this week though, and this could become a really crowded backfield. Ryan Mathews, Wendall Smallwood, Kenjon Barner, and Darren Sproles will all work out of the backfield. I don’t know that I want much stock in this four headed monster.
RB James White (21.9% owned)(FAAB 2-5%): LeGarrette Blount has been really good this season until this past week. Blount definitely suffered his worst game of the season this past week. Due to the deficit the Patriots faced during their game with the Bills, James White saw an increase in use. White’s use is all determined on the game script and being used in the passing game. Good news for White is that Tom Brady is back this week and that is great for the passing game. Yet, with Brady at the helm, the Patriots figure to be leading in most contests which is more of a LeGarratte Blount game script. **PPR SPECIAL**
RB Dion Lewis (17% owned)(FAAB 2-5%): This is a pre-emptive pickup. Everyone will be hot on Lewis next week because he will be eligible to return after week 6. That is two weeks away. If you have room to stash him on your bench, now may be the time to make a move because in the next two weeks his demand will increase. Lewis will take the place of everything I said about James White and more. The Patriots actually use Lewis between the tackles as a runner as well. **PPR SPECIAL**
RB DeAndre Washington (15.7% owned)(FAAB 2-5%): Here is the truth of the matter, DeAndre Washington looks better than Latavius Murray with far fewer carries. He proved that for the second Sunday in a row carrying the ball five times for 30 yards while Murray carried it eight times for 18 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. Yet, there is always a chance the Raiders could just decide to throw the football on every down.
RB CJ Spiller (7.4% owned)(FAAB 2-5%): Spiller was signed late in the week by the Seahawks and managed to see the field and cash in with a touchdown reception. Spiller is nothing but a gimmick back. He will get some receiving work out of the backfield in passing situations and can hold some slight fantasy value. He isn’t a threat to Christine Michael though. **PPR SPECIAL**
WR Quincy Enunwa (40.2%% owned)(FAAB 20-30%): Enunwa had six catches for 60 yards and looked really good. As long as Decker is out, Enunwa will serve as a flex with WR2 upside. Should be owned across most leagues.
WR Sammie Coates (11.6% owned)(FAAB 10-20%): Coates is becoming more and more involved in the Pittsburgh offense. He started the year off as a receiver who was only good at taking the top off the defense. That is what he was known for coming out of Auburn. He has slowly developed his route tree and managed to haul in six balls for 79 yards. He is taking the Martavis Bryant role in the offense and could become very fantasy relevant.
WR Robert Woods (10.3% owned)(FAAB 10-15%): Woods holds value as long as Sammy Watkins is out with his foot injury. He followed a six catch for 51 yard outing in week 3 with seven catches for 89 yards in week 4. He can be served as a flex play until Watkins returns from the IR. **PPR SPECIAL**
WR Dontrelle Inman (.7% owned)(FAAB 5-10%): Someone in this Chargers passing game has to step up in the absence of Danny Woodhead and Keenan Allen. Inman had seven catches for 120 yards and a touchdown against the Saints. Most people were banking on Tyrell Williams to be that guy to step up, but based on current results it could be Inman. I am not going crazy spending money on him after his big performance but it is definitely worth monitoring.
WR Victor Cruz (45.5% owned)(FAAB 5-10%): Cruz, Sterling Shepard, and Odell Beckham Jr. have more yards than any trio of receivers in the NFL. Cruz put together another solid night on Monday night. He probably had the best night of the three receivers with five catches for 50 yards. The ball is spread around for the Giants, but Cruz has some value.
WR Cole Beasley (42.8% owned)(FAAB 5-10%): Maybe Dez Bryant’s presence helped open up Cole Beasley underneath. Beasley only had three receptions but managed 66 yards, which is about his average. As long as Dez Bryant is out, Beasley is a good option, especially in PPR. **PPR SPECIAL**
WR Phillip Dorsett (43.7% owned)(FAAB 2-5%%): Most thought with Donte Moncrief out, Phillip Dorsett would become a go to target for Andrew Luck. Instead he has been very disappointing. He didn’t do much in London, but he did manage to grab one reception that he took for 64 yards and a touchdown. There is potential here, but only in desperate situations.
WR Kenny Stills (17.6% owned)(FAAB 2-5%): Stills is in the Mike Wallace camp of receiving. You put him in as your WR3 or flex and hope that Tannehill connects with him on a deep ball like on Thursday night. They take a couple of these shots every game. The shot Thursday was answered with a 74 yard catch for a touchdown. You won’t find consistency here, but you have the possibility of a high ceiling.
WR Terrence Williams (9.4% owned)(FAAB 2-5%): If Terrence Williams will learn how to run out of bounds in key situations he may actually make it in this league as a wide receiver. In Dez Bryant’s absence on Sunday he managed four catches for 44 yards and a touchdown. As long as Dez is out, he has a shot to be a flex play.
TE Hunter Henry (32.5% owned)(FAAB 10-15%): 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 be owned in most standard leagues with Gates out. He posted a four catch, 61 yard, and one touchdown performance on Sunday. There is a chance that Henry could be the answer for the Chargers the rest of the season. Even if Gates returns, with all the injuries, Henry could still be used. Gates would obviously hurt his value though.
TE Cameron Brate (9% owned)(FAAB 5-10%): Cameron Brate is available in most leagues across all formats. He had five catches for 67 yards this past Sunday. Chemistry between Winston and Brate will only continue to grow. He is a great option if you are looking for a tight end replacement.
Deep League Adds
QB Cody Kessler (1.1% owned)(FAAB 1%): Kessler has looked pretty good for the Browns. He could end up being the future there. There is always use for a starting QB in deep and dynasty leagues.
QB Paxton Lynch (0.8% owned)(FAAB 1%): I like Trevor Siemian a lot, but let’s be honest, Lynch is the future. He looked very athletic with a strong arm in the three quarters he played on Sunday. If you are in a dynasty league Lynch needs to be rostered.
RB Kenjon Barner (1.0% owned)(FAAB 1-3%): Barner looked good when Ryan Mathews left the game with an ankle injury last 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. If Mathews returns after their bye week this week, then this backfield could become a four headed monster.
RB Paul Perkins (7.9% owned)(FAAB 1-13%): Both Rainey and Perkins are apart of the clogged Giants backfield. Perkins looked good on Monday night after ripping off a 70+ yard screen pass. He could be a sleeper but he is battling an army in the Giants backfield that will get even more crowded when Jennings comes back. **PPR SPECIAL**
RB Bobby Rainey (1.4% owned)(FAAB 1-3%): Everything I stated above is true here as well. Rainey serves more of the pass catching roll for the Giants though. He was in late in the game when they were trying to come from behind, but it is a crowded backfield. **PPR SPECIAL**
RB Zach Zenner (0.3% owned)(FAAB 1-5%): If Dwayne Washington misses time then Zack Zenner will be the defacto between the tackle back for the Lions. They are decimated with injuries at running back. Zenner will at least get the early down work around the goal-line, and there is always use for touchdowns in fantasy football.
WR Brice Butler (0.6% owned)(FAAB 2-5%): One of the guys on the No Huddle Podcast mentioned that he really liked Butler this past week in the absence of Dez Bryant. He was right. Butler had four grabs for 51 yards and a touchdown. Butler can probably be snagged for less FAAB than Beasley or Williams, but could yield better results.
WR Chris Conley (1.8% owned)(FAAB 2-5%): Conley had a good outing this week with 6 receptions for 70 yards. The problem is that his performances will be inconsistent and he is realistically the 4th option on the offense for Alex Smith behind the running backs, Maclin and Kelce.
WR Brian Quick (0.7% owned)(FAAB 1-5%): Quick apparently just scores touchdowns. Three of his last four catches have proven that to be true.
WR Tyreke Hill (0.4% owned)(FAAB 1-5%): Hill was used in a variety of ways Sunday night for the Chiefs. They love his speed and our trying to utilize it anyway possible. He had five catches for 41 yards and a touchdown. He could become a flex play if he continues to see that volume, and he is also a threat on special teams.
WR Malcolm Mitchell (1% owned)(FAAB 1-5%): Mitchell actually had his worst week as a pro this past week. Why is he on this list? Because with Brady coming back this week, I love Mitchell’s athleticism. I think he could turn into a real threat for the Patriots if he and Brady can connect with one another. This is a pre-emptive pickup that could payoff down the stretch!
As always, if you have any questions about your lineup or waiver wire adds, contact us @No_HuddleFFB on twitter!