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)
- Dak Prescott (54.4%)
- Jamies Winston (58.5%)
- Tyrod Taylor (55.1%)
- Duke Johnson Jr. (71.1%)
- DeAndre Washington (57.8%)
- Darren Sproles (67.1%)
- Derrick Henry (59.9%)
- Chris Ivory (60.1%)
- Charles Sims (71.6%)
- Tyrell Williams (64.8%)
- Mike Wallace (66.7%)
- Quincy Enunwa (58%)
- Golden Tate (74.3%)
- Michael Thomas (55%)
- DeVante Parker (69.6%)
- Tavon Austin (56.8%)
- Tyler Eifer (73.7%)
- Zach Miller (70.3%)
- Dennis Pitta (68.9%)
- Gary Barnidge (74.1%)
- Julius Thomas (67.1%)
- Hunter Henry (55.4%)
- Antonio Gates (55.2%)
Standard League Adds:
QB Marcus Mariota (32% owned)(FAAB 2-5%): Mariota came to play in Miami this past weekend. He threw for 163 and three touchdowns, but more impressively he was able to use his legs on seven carries for 60 yards and a touchdown on the ground. We can attribute this to playing a poor defense, but that is exactly what he gets for the next few weeks. His upcoming schedule includes dates with Cleveland, Indy, Jacksonville, San Diego, Green Bay, Indy again, and then Chicago. That gets you through the fantasy football regular season. I like him in all of those matchups.
RB Cameron Artis-Payne (26.1% owned)(FAAB 10-15%): Artis-Payne saw a game script that suits him better on Monday night against the Buccaneers. He averaged just under 5 yards a carry and managed to find the endzone twice. I thought that CAP looked really good. His role will be limited when Jonathan Stewart comes back, possibly this week, but until then he should be looked at as an RB2/Flex play.
RB Jacquizz Rodgers (24.8% owned)(FAAB 10-15%): Charles Sims hit was relegated to the IR this week opening up plenty of carries for Jazquizz Rodgers on Monday night with Doug Martin still out. As long as Martin is out, Rodgers will be the feature back, getting spelled by Peyton Barber. Even when Martin returns, Rodgers likely still holds some PPR value you as he should get 3rd down and late game work if the Bucs are in a deficit. He carried the ball over 20 times on Monday night and the Bucs showed they aren’t scared to give him a big workload. **PPR SPECIAL**
RB Dovontae Booker (21.1% owned)(FAAB 10-15%): Booker is slowly eating into CJ Anderson’s workload. He even saw the field on the first drive of the afternoon for the Broncos Sunday. If you are a CJ Anderson owner, this pickup is a necessity. If you don’t own Anderson, Booker could be a pre-emptive pickup down the line as he is starting to make this a running back by committee (RBBC).
RB Matt Asiata (15.4% owned)(FAAB 10-15%): Asiata was leaned on heavily for the Vikings after they got a big lead against the Texans Sunday. He finished with 14 carries for 55 yards and a touchdown. He also had 3 catches for 46 yards. His value rests on his ability to score touchdowns, but scoring twice in two weeks, he has shown it should be a regular occurrence.
RB Kenneth Dixon (33.9% owned)(FAAB 10-15%): Dixon has been highly touted by the guys here at NoHuddle, but to no ones surprise, he got limited work in his first week as a professional. He had 3 carries for -1 yards. Yikes. Thats not good. Terrence West also looked really good running the ball 11 times for 95 yards. My prediction is West will struggle in the next two weeks against the Giants and Jets, who both have good run defenses. Baltimore will get a bye the next week. Then we might see a lot of Kenneth Dixon after that bye week.
RB Jay Ajayi (48.3% owned)(FAAB 5-10%): Ajayi had 13 carries for 42 yards and a touchdown on Sunday against the Titans with Arian Foster out. The most touches for a Dolphin RB outside of Ajayi was Kenyan Drake with 4 touches. It is clear that if Foster continues to miss time that Ajayi will receive most of the work and is worth a roster spot.
RB Bilal Powell (44.6% owned)(FAAB 5-10%): 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. Handcuff. **PPR SPECIAL**
RB Orleans Darkwa (27.5% owned)(FAAB 5-10%) or Any other Giants RB: Darkwa was dreadful against the Packers Sunday night. 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 Fozzy Whitaker (41.8% owned)(FAAB 5-10%): Last week Whitaker outshined his backfield mate Cameron Artis-Payne because of the game script against the Falcons. It was clear Monday night, that in a close game, CAP would be the man. Whitaker holds PPR value but not much more unless the Panthers are playing from behind. **PPR SPECIAL**
RB Jalen Richard (19.4% owned)(FAAB 5-10%): Not a great day for DeAndre Washington or Jalen Richard. Latavius Murray feels a little better about his job after watching his backfield mates struggle on the ground. Richard had eight carries for 31 yards. The bright side was that since they spent so much time in the air, he was able to snare six receptions for 66 yards. This could soon become a RBBC approach that I want no part of!
RB James White (38.5% owned)(FAAB 5-10%): White looked good both on the ground and in the air. He had five carries for 26 yards and four catches for 63 yards. As long as Tom Brady is back, James White will hold value in PPR or standard. His value will take a hit when Dion Lewis comes back. **PPR SPECIAL**
RB Dion Lewis (18.2% owned)(FAAB 5-10%): This is a pre-emptive pickup. Everyone will be hot on Lewis next week because he will be eligible to return after week 6.If you have room to stash him on your bench, now may be the time to make a move because 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 Dwayne Washington (14.3% owned)(FAAB 2-5%): 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 return this week.
WR Sammie Coates (11.6% owned)(FAAB 40-50%): 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 follow a great week 4 with an even better week 5. His targets have increased every week and he finished this week with six catches on 11 targets for 139 yards and two touchdowns. I said last week it was only a matter of time before he finds the endzone. Coates is now a must own and could produce WR2/Flex numbers the rest of the year.
WR Cameron Meredith (1.5% owned)(FAAB 20-30%): Meredith was the surprise of Week 5. He finished the day with nine receptions 130 yards and touchdown. It was clear that Brian Hoyer continued to to look his way time after time. Even on the last play of the game for the Bears Hoyer forced it to Meredith on a play that he had Alshon Jeffery wide open on. For whatever reason, Hoyer has eyes for Meredith and it paid off in Week 5. Hoyer will likely get Eddie Royal back at full strength this week, which could limit Meredith’s production some. He should be a WR3/Flex play depending on the health of his receiving mates.
WR Chris Hogan (34.8% owned)(FAAB 5-10%): I touted Malcolm Mitchell in this article a week ago and so did a few of the guys on the No Huddle podcast. On the 20 Minute Huddle Podcast I also mentioned that I really liked Chris Hogan as well. I knew one of those Patriots receivers would cash in big in the return of Tom Brady and it was Hogan this past Sunday. He finished with four catches for 114 yards. Brady may more mouths to feed than he can on a consistent basis, but Hogan is worth monitoring as a WR3/Flex.
WR Jeremy Kerley (8% owned)(FAAB 5-10%): Chip Kelley has had one receiver in produce usable fantasy numbers every year he has been a coach in the NFL. Who would have thought that it would be Jeremy Kerley this season. Yet, that seems to be exactly what is happening. Kerley has seen at least six targets in every game, and for the second time this season he saw double digit targets in week 5. He had 13 targets that he turned into eight receptions for 102 yards and a touchdown. Kerley is someone who should be picked up in most leagues. **PPR SPECIAL**
WR Kenny Britt (9.6% owned)(FAAB 5-10%): If nothing else Kenny Britt is consistent. He has had at least 67+ yards receiving in every game this season except one. He has yet to find the endzone this season, but when he does people will be trying to grab him off the waiver wire as a great WR3.
WR Devante Adams (9.7% owned)(FAAB 5-10%): Adams is a part of a high powered offense. He is very touchdown dependent, but he has managed to find the endzone three times this season and seems to capture Aaron Rodgers eyes in the redzone. He is definitely worth a spot in deep roster leagues as a WR3 or flex.
WR Cole Beasley (42.8% owned)(FAAB 2-5%): Beasley found the endzone for the first time this year on Sunday. He finished the day with four receptions for 53 yards and that touchdown. The dissapointing aspect for Beasley is that he hasn’t been the PPR hog that he was early in the season, but as long as Dez Bryant is out, he holds value. **PPR SPECIAL**
WR Eddie Royal (41.2% owned)(FAAB 2-5%): Royal was battling injury on Sunday but tried to play through it and ended up playing third fiddle behind Alshon Jeffery and the breakout performance of Cameron Meredith. He is already owned in most leagues, I am shying away. I have see what Royal can do before.
WR Terrence Williams (10.9% 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 five catches for 77 yards. As long as Dez is out, he has a shot to be a flex play.
TE Jesse James (2o.6% owned)(FAAB 3-5%): Big Ben has always loved to feed his tight ends and Jesse James is beginning to step up. He had six receptions for 43 yards and touchdown this past week. His value hinges on the return of Ladarius Green in a few weeks, and like most low TE1 he is very TD dependent.
TE Cameron Brate (42.2% owned)(FAAB 3-5%): Cameron Brate didn’t have as strong as a night as was expected on Monday. Yet, chemistry between Winston and Brate will only continue to grow. He is a great option if you are looking for a tight end replacement and should be considered a Boom/Bust TE1.
Deep League Adds
QB Colin Kaepernick (0.8% owned)(FAAB 1%): It is likely that Kaepernick will start in week 6, and if he doesn’t, he will in the near future. If you are in a QB heavy league, dynasty, or deep league, then any starting QB is worth a stash.
RB CJ Spiller (8% owned)(FAAB 2-5%): From last week on CJ Spiller. 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**
RB Justin Forsett (22.9% owned)(FAAB 2-5%): This is purely a pre-emptive pickup. Forsett met with the Lions on Monday. If they were to sign him, then he would immediately be thrust into action. He still has value.
RB Zach Zenner (1.1% 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 Cordarrelle Patterson (0.8% owned)(FAAB 1-3%): Patterson has so much talent. From weeks 10-17 in 2013 Patterson was a top 10 WR in the NFL. From weeks 13-17 in that same season he was a top 5 WR in the league. In week 1 of 2014, Patterson had three receptions for 36 yards, but three carries for 102 yards and a touchdown. He seemingly rarely touched the ball the rest of the 2014 season and touched it a total of 4 times on offense in 2015. I have no idea why. He is a bad route runner etc. If someone can be that effective with the ball, they have to touch it. It would seem the Vikings are trying to find ways for him to touch it more this season. He had 4 receptions for 39 yards and a touchdown this past Sunday. It also marked the second week in a row that he has seen six targets. He is someone the Vikings should keep feeding the ball.
WR Adam Theilen(0.7% owned)(FAAB 2-5%): Theilen’s value is going to be hard to determine from here on out when Stefon Diggs returns. He had seven catches for 127 yards and a touchdown this past weekend. Theilen saw more targets, eight, than he has seen all year. He is worth keeping an eye on, but likely just depth once Diggs returns.
WR Brandon LaFell (3.1% owned)(FAAB 2-5%): LaFell has established himself as the #2 option in Cincy ahead of rookie Tyler Boyd. Sunday LaFell had 8 catches for 68 yards and two touchdowns. LaFell has nearly ten more targets that the rookie Boyd. With the return of Tyler Eifert looming, LaFell will see a hit in his targets though. He has upside flex potential some weeks.
TE Ladarius Green (3.1% owned)(FAAB 1-3%): Green was supposed to be the heir apparent to Antonio Gates in San Diego. Unfortunately for him, that never happened. He then came to Pittsburgh where many thought he would be a top 5 tight end in a pass heavy Pittsburgh offense, especially with the absence of Martavis Bryant. Green has sat out the first five weeks of the season with some combination of headaches and ankle trouble. He is expected to be back in week 7 and could provide Ben with another huge athletic target. It may take him a couple of weeks to get back in form, but he could be a solid pick up at TE and even be a league winner.
As always, if you have any questions about your lineup or waiver wire adds, contact us @No_HuddleFFB on twitter!