by Chris Foster
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 (60.2%)
- Jamies Winston (51.7%)
- Andy Dalton (69.6%)
- Kirk Cousins (70.1%)
- Tyrod Taylor (56.9%)
- Darren Sproles (68.2%)
- Chris Ivory (55.9%)
- Duke Johnson Jr. (65.3%)
- Derrick Henry (56.5%)
- Steve Smith Sr. (71.4%)
- Golden Tate (68.3%)
- Tyrell Williams (66.5%)
- Michael Thomas (59.2%)
- Mike Wallace (64.1%)
- Quincy Enunwa (57.5%)
- DeVante Parker (66.8%)
- Tavon Austin (65.2%)
- Tyler Eifert (73.7%)
- Dennis Pitta (68.9%)
- Gary Barnidge (74.1%)
- Antonio Gates (55.2%)
- Julius Thomas (67.1%)
Standard League Adds:
QB Marcus Mariota (41% owned)(FAAB 5-10%): Two weeks in a row Marcus Mariota has looked very good. He has been a high level QB1 in back to back weeks. It is possible that he is hitting his stride and is only getting going. If you are struggling at QB, he could be a great addition. His upcoming schedule includes dates with 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.
QB Brian Hoyer (20.6% owned)(FAAB 2-5%): Have a seat Jay Cutler. Brian Hoyer has thrown for over 300 yards yards three week in a row. Jay Cutler has never done that in his career. Hoyer did it in his first three starts as a Bear. Although Hoyer did not find the endzone last week, I still like his matchup and chance this coming week against the Packers.
RB Jay Ajayi (42.5% owned)(FAAB 25-35%): Holy Jay Ajayi! I wrote about Ajayi in my Monday’s Relfection article. No one saw his monster game coming! If someone tells you they did, then they are full of crap! He ran the ball 24 times for 202 yards and 2 touchdowns. He did all this after Arian Foster was announced as being active before the game. Foster will still get carries, but I can’t imagine Adam Gase not continuing to feed Ajayi! They have some tough upcoming matchups before the schedule eases some. He will remain a flex play with RB2 upside.
RB Knile Davis (0.1% owned)(FAAB 15-25%): Davis was traded to the Packers on Tuesday as they were in desperate need of running back depth. That Packers have the Thursday night game this week, and I cannot imagine Davis getting many carries. We know how explosive he can be though when given the chance. With Eddie Lacy having ankle trouble, that opportunity could come sooner rather than later. If I am the Lacy owner this is a must add. **Update: It appears that Eddie Lacy is likely heading to the IR. Davis could become the feature back as soon as next week in Green Bay.
RB James White (49.3% owned)(FAAB 15-20%): White looked good again for a second week in a row. He did most of his damage through the air catching the ball 8 times for 47 yards and 2 touchdowns. He is a must own in PPR leagues and even standard. His value will take a hit when Dion Lewis comes back. **PPR SPECIAL**
RB Dovontae Booker (29.9% owned)(FAAB 10-15%): Booker had 5 carries for 46 yards against the Chargers on Sunday. Quite frankly, he looked better than CJ Anderson. Anderson had a rough day, having nearly 12 fantasy points called back due to penalty! Yet, it is becoming clearer, that Booker and Anderson will soon be in a time share.
RB Dion Lewis (22.3% owned)(FAAB 5-10%): Lewis is eligible to return this week. Expect the Patriots to ease him back into action. He could be a league winner down the stretch though. 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 Jacquizz Rodgers (29.9% owned)(FAAB 5-10%): Here is what we said about Rodgers last week. -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.- Martin will likely be back this week and that hurts his value but is still useful in PPR. **PPR SPECIAL**
RB Matt Asiata (19.8% owned)(FAAB 5-10%): Vikings were off this past week. Here is what we said about Matt Asiata a week ago. 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 DeAndre Washington (46.9% owned)(FAAB 3-8%): Washington had 10 carries for 49 yards on Sunday. That is nearly 5 yards a carry. The issue is that he isn’t getting the volume to be a true fantasy factor unless he gets into the endzone. He did significantly outperform his backfield mate Jalen Richard. I don’t know that I want much to do with this backfield in a pass heavy offense once Lativius Murray returns.
RB Mike Davis (0.1% owned)(FAAB 2-5%): Davis saw 24 snaps to Shaun Draughn’s 5 on Sunday after Carlos Hyde left the game. If Hyde were to be out Sunday, Davis would be the main beneficiary. Initial reports were that Hyde’s shoulder injury was minor. He did not practice Monday and was in a sling. It is a situation worth monitoring. Davis could be good for at least one start if Hyde is to miss this week.
WR Cameron Meredith (32.2% owned)(FAAB 50+%): If you didn’t spend you FAAB on Cameron Meredith last week then you better do it now! Hoyer proved that week 5 was no fluke! Meredith topped his 10 catch performance with 11 catches for 113 yards! Hoyer is going to keep looking his way. He should be a flex with WR2 upside the rest of the year!
WR Kenny Britt (13.1% owned)(FAAB 20-30%): Last week I said if nothing else Kenny Britt is consistent. He had at least 67+ yards receiving in every game this season except one coming into last week. Last week Case Keenum got hot and found Britt 7 times for 132 yards and 2 touchdowns! He obviously won’t sustain those numbers, but he is still consistent. Should also be a safer WR3/Flex play.
WR Cole Beasley (44.7% owned)(FAAB 10-20%): Dak and Cole sitting in a tree…… You know how that goes. Dak Prescott and Cole Beasley have an undeniable connection. After finding the endzone for the first time all year a week ago, Beasley did it twice against the Packers! He finished with 6 catches for 58 yards and those 2 scores. He will continue to be consistent for PPR owners, but with Dez likely returning after the bye, his upside is capped. **PPR SPECIAL**
WR Ty Montgomery (0.2% owned)(FAAB 10-15%): The Packers leading receiver this week was
Jordy Nelson… No, Randal Cobb… No, Devante Adams… No, Ty Montgomery? Yes, Ty Montgomery. Montgomery entered this past week with 0 catches on the season. He finished Sunday with 10 catches for 98 yards. Impressive. He may see an uptick in production, but nothing we can count on from a fantasy standpoint. **Update: As crazy as this may sound, but Ty Montgomery could see a significant workload at running back this week with Eddie Lacy likely out. Lacy could even possibly be headed to the IR. Running back Don Jackson will also get carries (likely not even on your WW) and Randall Cobb. Knile Davis will be the long term answer, but Montgomery will receive a boost this week.
WR Anquan Boldin (19.4% owned)(FAAB 10-15%): I actually really like Anquan Boldin as long as Eric Ebron is out. They continue to use him as a tight end in the RedZone, and now they are using him more between the 20s. Over the last 3 games, Boldin has 18 catches. Last week he had 8 for 60 yards and a touchdown.
WR Donte Moncrief (47.3% owned)(FAAB 10-15%): Pre-emptive pick up. Moncrief should be back in the next few weeks. If you have an extra bench spot, he is a great stash to help you down the stretch run in a good passing offense!
WR Chris Hogan (44.8% owned)(FAAB 2-5%): We talked about last week that Brady may have more mouths to feed than he can on a consistent basis, but Hogan is worth monitoring as a WR3/Flex play. He struggled last week catching only one pass for 30 yards. A total boom/bust play.
WR Jamison Crowder (35.6% owned)(FAAB 2-5%): Crowder has as much upside as anyone on this list. The Redskins have struggled to get him the football over the last few weeks. He was able to snag 3 catches for 52 yards and a touchdown last week. With so many mouths to feed in Washington though, it is hard to consistently rely on him.
WR Torrey Smith (42% owned)(FAAB 2-5%): Now that Colin Kaepernick is back, Torrey Smith becomes a factor again. Kaep has the arm to get it to Smith running the deep routes. He will be a boom/bust play the rest of the season. I am shocked that 42% of league’s owners have held on to him this long!
WR Eddie Royal (42.6% owned)(FAAB 2-5%): Eddie Royal finished with 4 receptions for 54 yards on Sunday. He has definitely been overshadowed by the second year player Cameron Meredith.
WR Terrence Williams (18.2% owned)(FAAB 2-5%): Williams was productive again with Dez Bryant out as he had 4 catches for 75 yards. He continues to be a desperation play at best though.
WR Robert Woods (22% owned)(FAAB 2-5%): Week after week Woods continues to be consistent. He has been a poor man’s Kenny Britt this year. If you are in a desperate situation, Woods can grab you some points.
WR Rishard Matthews (7.4% owned)(FAAB 2-5%): Back to back weeks Rishard Matthews has touchdowns. If we believe that Marcus Mariota is going to have a strong second half, then I can’t help but believe Matthews will as well. He is definitely the one Titan WR who is getting action in the redzone. Keep an eye on Matthews.
WR Pierre Garcon (26.0% owned)(FAAB 2-5%): Garcon is a victim of what I said about Jamison Crowder. He had a good week with over 77 yards receiving on 6 catches, but he is extremely unreliable.
TE Hunter Henry (49.3% owned)(FAAB 20-30%): I don’t understand why he is still available in half of the leagues. Do yourself a favor and add Hunter Henry.
TE Jack Doyle (6.9% owned)(FAAB 5-10%): Jack Doyle!! I called for a Jack Doyle sighting on our weekly podcast. I got my wish. Doyle had 4 grabs for 53 yards and a touchdown. As long as Dwayne Allen is out with the ankle injury, I like Doyle as a low TE1.
Deep League Adds
QB Tony Romo (7.7% owned)(FAAB 2-5%): Pre-emptive pick up. A starting QB is always a good thing in a deep league or 2 QB league. I suspect that Dak will remain the starter in Dallas after the bye week, but if he doesn’t Romo should be grabbed. He not only can hold value in a deep league, but also in a standard league.
QB Colin Kaepernick (8.5% owned)(FAAB 1%): Kaepernick threw the ball for 187 yards and a touchdown against the Bills on Sunday. Not great numbers. Yet, he had 8 carries for 66 yards, and that is where Kaep finds his value. If you are in a QB heavy league, dynasty, or deep league, then any starting QB is worth a stash.
RB CJ Spiller (9.8% owned)(FAAB 2-5%): Spiller will get some action threw the air. He had 3 receptions for 36 yards on Sunday. He is a major boom/bust play. **PPR SPECIAL**
RB Zach Zenner (1.5% owned)(FAAB 2-5%): Zenner actually didn’t look bad Sunday and kept Justin Forsett at bay. He had 14 carries for 58 yards as the Lions assaulted the Rams mainly through the air. If Washington and Riddick remain out, Zenner holds value but mainly as a TD threat.
RB Justin Forsett (37.6% owned)(FAAB 2-5%): Forsett didn’t see much action after being signed the week of the game. He had 5 carries for 5 yards. The Lions are a pass heavy team, but as long as Theo Riddick misses time, Forsett can hold value as he learns the offense.
RB Kenneth Dixon (27.5% owned)(FAAB 2-5%): Terrence West saw a tough run defense this week against the Giants and had 23 carries for 87 yards and 2 touchdowns. He continues to impress and close the door on Dixon’s hopes. Dixon had only 2 carries for 11 yards on Sunday. The Ravens do play another tough Jets run defense this coming week, but at this point we can’t consider Dixon anything more than a change of pace back/handcuff.
RB Shaun Draughn (3.1% owned)(FAAB 1%): Draughn only saw 5 snaps after Hyde went down this past Sunday. It appears that Mike Davis is the back to own if Hyde does not play. Draughn could hold limited PPR value, although even that is hurt with Colin Kaepernick under center.
WR Cordarrelle Patterson (0.9% owned)(FAAB 1-3%): Vikings were on bye this week, but here is what we said about Patterson last week. 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 Thielen(4.1% owned)(FAAB 2-5%): Vikings were on bye this week but here is what I said about Thielen. Thielen’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 (10.6% owned)(FAAB 2-5%): LaFell has established himself as the #2 option in Cincy ahead of rookie Tyler Boyd. He had 2 catches for 13 yards and a touchdown on Sunday. He wasn’t nearly as productive as a week ago, but he cashed in on a touchdown.
WR Tyler Boyd (10.4% owned)(FAAB 2-5%): Boyd looked good with 4 catches for 79 yards this week. We will keep an eye on Boyd to see if he can eventually pass LaFell in the Bengals WR corps.
TE Ladarius Green (4.5% owned)(FAAB 1-3%): Pre-emptive pick up. His outlook i definitely hurt with Roethlisberger out. 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!