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)
- Marcus Mariota (60.6%)
- Blake Bortles (71.7%)
- Jamies Winston (68.8%)
- Dak Prescott (66.4%)
- Kirk Cousins (72.9%)
- Eli Manning (70.4%)
- Tyrod Taylor (60.7%)
- Jordan Howard (74.6%)
- Darren Sproles (60%)
- Matt Asiata (66.6%)
- Duke Johnson Jr. (67.2%)
- Mike Gillislee (57.8%)
- Jerrick McKinnon (66.7%)
- Rashad Jennings (69.5%)
- Chris Ivory (56.4%)
- Michael Thomas (72.3%)
- Devante Adams (68.7%)
- Donte Moncrief (60.1%)
- Tyrell Williams (66.8%)
- Travis Benjamin (74.2%)
- Quincy Enunwa (56.8%)
- Steve Smith Sr. (52.1%)
- John Brown (67.7%)
- Allen Hurns (72.2%)
- Sterling Shepard (70.6%)
- Micahel Floyd (66.8%)
- Cole Beasley (59.1%)
- DeVante Parker (51.6%)
- Tavon Austin (55.3%)
- Zach Miller (67.7%)
- Hunter Henry (62.1%)
- Antonio Gates (66.4%)
- Julius Thomas (57.7%)
- Jack Doyle (54.1%)
- Zach Ertz (62.9%)
- Jason Witten (68.1%)
Standard League Adds:
RB Derrick Henry (44.1% owned)(FAAB 25-35%): Henry looked really good on Thursday night against Jacksonville. He actually saw 16 carries for 60 yards and a touchdown. The reality is, as long as DeMarco Murray is healthy Henry will have no consistency because they won’t get to play the Jaguars every week. Murray did get dinged up during the game, but it looks as if he will be good to go this week. If Murray were to go down, Henry would step in as a legit RB1. While Murray is healthy, he is more of a flex play.
RB Rob Kelley (22.9% owned)(FAAB 25-35%): Kelly looked good in the absence of Matt Jones on Sunday. Kelley had 21 carries for 87 yards and a touchdown. As long as Jones is out, Kelley will be a good flex option. Jones timetable is unknown at this point.
RB Tim Hightower (1.9% owned)(FAAB 25-35%): Hightower stepped in for Ingram after he struggled to run with consistency and fumbling. Hightower basically got all the work and Ingram wasn’t seen again after Hightower entered. Hightower was a league winner last year down the stretch when Ingram went out with injury, so we know the ole veteran still has some game left. The problem is that Ingram isn’t hurt. He will surely still figure into the mix and this becomes a committee approach, which does nothing good for fantasy owners. He becomes a flex at best.
RB Charcandrick West (7.5% owned)(FAAB 15-25%): West had 14 carries for 52 yards on Sunday after Spencer Ware went out with a concussion. With Jamaal Charles out indefinitely with the knee injury, West could be the go-to back for the Chiefs. Even upon Ware’s return, West can hold some flex value, as we have seen him and Ware work together in the KC backfield before. If you own Ware, you need to own West.
RB Bilal Powell (48.0% owned)(FAAB 15-25%): Powell had 6 carries for 76 yards and a touchdown on Sunday. He picked up 35 of those yards on his touchdown scamper on a 3rd and 10 draw play. Starter Matt Forte still saw 27 touches for nearly 100 yards and 2 touchdowns. Powell has no real value outside of a desperation flex unless Forte goes down with an injury.
RB Antone Smith (0.1% owned)(FAAB 10-15%): Smith saw 4 carries for 16 yards when Jacquizz Rodgers went down with an injury on Sunday. He will likely split carries with Peyton Barber on Thursday night if Rodgers misses the game. He could be used as a possible flex play.
RB Peyton Barber (0.1 % owned)(FAAB 5-10%): After a huge week in week 7, Peyton Barber didn’t do much in week 8. Even after Jazquizz Rodgers went out with an injury. The Buccaneers play in the Thursday night game this week, and there is a chance that Rodgers will miss that game. If they do we expect Barber and Antone Smith to split carries. He could be used as a flex play this week.
RB Alfred Blue (11.1% owned)(FAAB 5-10%): Lamar Miller has been dinged up over the last couple of weeks. Blue has stepped in and has done a good job. He is a must own for Miller owners and has major upside if Miller were to miss time.
RB Thomas Rawls (45.9% owned)(FAAB 2-5%): Christine Michael saw 10 carries for 40 yards and a short touchdown run. Michael saw the fewest touches that he has all season in a game when Russell Wilson was at his worst. CJ Prosise saw a much larger share. Pete Carroll did say on Monday that he loved the way Michael ran and wanted to get him more involved. Yet, it appears that Rawls will have a role when he gets back, possibly as soon as week 10.
RB Jeremy Langford (43.8% owned)(FAAB 2-5%): Langford saw very little action on Monday night with rookie running back Jordan Howard running for over 150 yards against a tough Minnesota defense. Langford will see very limited action and is really only valuable if Howard goes down.
RB Ka’Deem Carey (9.8% owned)(FAAB 2-5%): With the performance of rookie Jordan Howard on Monday night, it would appear that he should take the reigns of the Chicago backfield. Carey will still be a change of pace back and is nothing more than a desperate flex.
WR Mohammed Sanu (47.1% owned)(FAAB 15-25%): Sanu had a big day on Sunday. He grabbed 9 receptions for 84 yards a touchdown against the Packers. This isn’t Sanu’s first big game this season. He saw 5 receptions for 80 yards in week 1 and was basically not heard again for a month. He becomes nothing more than a desperation play at flex.
WR Sammie Coates (44.3% owned)(FAAB 15-25%): Both Coates and Roethlisberger practice on a limited practice Monday. Coates says he hopes to put the finger behind him. If someone in your league dropped Coates during the bye week, snatch him up now. He is a definite flex play with WR2 upside.
WR JJ Nelson (1.2% owned)(FAAB 15-25%): The speedster has 19 targets over the last 2 games. He has turned that into 11 receptions for 163 yards and 2 touchdowns. Carson Palmer continues to look his way. He is definitely someone worth keeping an eye on that has flown under the radar. He is still considered a desperation flex play.
WR Corey Coleman (31.6% owned)(FAAB 10-20%): Coleman should be back this week. He practiced most all of last week but was scratched before the game. He should be back this week. We saw what he was capable of the week before he broke his hand.
WR Jamison Crowder (44.5% owned)(FAAB 5-10%): Crowder has as much upside as anyone on this list. He saw his targets for the second week in a row, this week he had 9 receptions for 107 yards and a touchdown. That means over the last two weeks he has 17 catches for 215 yards. As long as Crowder continues to get the targets he is a good flex play.
WR Cameron Meredith (47.8% owned)(FAAB 2-5%): After back to back weeks seeing 20 receptions in weeks 5 and 6, Cameron Meredith has only seen 2 receptions in the last 2 games. Jay Cutler is back and it is clear that he will force the ball to Jeffery and Miller more. With Brian Hoyer out, Meredith is relegated to desperation flex duty.
WR Kenny Britt (39.7% owned)(FAAB 2-5%): Britt was off this week, but here is what we said before the bye week: Two weeks ago I said if nothing else Kenny Britt is consistent. After his explosion game a week ago Britt was only able to haul in 3 receptions for 43 yards. Even though he struggled, it was only his second game under 67 yards receiving he has had this season. He too remains a desperation play.
WR Torrey Smith (35.4% owned)(FAAB 2-5%): Torrey Smith has been dropped in tons of leagues during the bye weeks. He has also been the rumor of possible trades. Smith continues to be a boom/bust play in fantasy as a flex but he does have a juicy matchup this week against the Saints.
TE Eric Ebron (28.3% owned)(FAAB 15-25%): If Ebron can stay healthy he can be useful in Detroit. He turned 10 targets into 7 receptions this past week for just over 70 yards. Ebron is a low TE1 when healthy.
TE CJ Fiedorowicz (13.0% owned)(FAAB 5-10%): Brock Osweiler just continues to look Fiedorowicz way. He was able to snare his 3rd TD of the season against a poor Colts defense. He is TD-reliant as well.
TE Ladarius Green (4.5% owned)(FAAB2-5%): Green is back at practice this week and could be the #2 target that the Steelers have been looking for this season. When Big Ben comes back, Green could become a strong TE1.
TE Cameron Brate (34.5% owned)(FAAB 2-5%): Brate hasn’t seen the targets that many thought he would after the injury to Vincent Jackson. He had 3 catches for 22 yards and a touchdown on Sunday. Like most tight ends who aren’t solidified as one of the elites at the position, he is very touchdown reliant.
TE Vernon Davis (46.0% owned)(FAAB 2-5%): Davis was able to produce even with Jordan Reed back this week. He has 11 catches for 170 yards over the last two games. I don’t expect his production to continue but he cold be a desperate play at TE.
Deep League Adds
QB Josh McCown (2.3% owned)(FAAB 1%): McCown actually looked pretty good for the Browns on Sunday. He threw for over 340 yards and 2 touchdowns. He can be useful in a very deep league or a 2 QB league.
RB Kenneth Dixon (23.9% owned)(FAAB 5-10%): Ravens had a bye this week, but the Ravens played another tough Jets run defense last week, and for the fist time Terrence West was bottled up. Like really bottled up. He had 8 carries for 1o yards. The Ravens are on bye this past week, and I can’t imagine Dixon not getting more opportunity after this week. It all depends on what he can do with that opportunity. If you need to drop him for someone higher ranked, it’s understandable. If however, you can hold on to him through week 10, we will have a better idea where he stands.
RB Mike Davis (3% owned)(FAAB 1%): I said this before the bye about Mike Davis: Mike Davis found the end zone really early in the game Sunday and didn’t do much after. With Carlos Hyde coming back, Davis has no use. If Hyde were to remain out, then Davis could become a flex play.
RB Shaun Draughn (3% owned)(FAAB 1%): I said this before the bye about Shaun Draughn: As long as Carlos Hyde is out Shaun Draughn will have some PPR value. This past Sunday he was able to snare 5 receptions for 37 yards and a touchdown. He also had one carry for 16 yards. **PPR SPECIAL**
RB Paul Perkins (1.9% owned)(FAAB 1%): The one long Giants drive they were able to put together in London was with Perkins in at running back. I still don’t want anything to do with this backfield. Yet, if I had to choose someone to eventually emerge it would be Perkins. He just looks like the best runner. Jennings was the one that got the touchdown on Sunday, but he did average less than 2 yards a carry on 13 attempts. Yikes.
Others: CJ Prosise, Terron Ward, Kapri Bibbs
WR Cordarrelle Patterson (6.8% owned)(FAAB 2-5%): Patterson was not as involved as he was before the Vikings bye week. A large part of that is due to the return of Stefon Diggs. He had 3 receptions on 3 targets for 36 yards on Monday night. He was on the field for a large amount of snaps against the Bears and should continue to going forward. He becomes a boom/bust flex play.
WR Russell Shepard (3.1% owned)(FAAB 2-5%): Shepard didn’t have 5 catches for 77 yards and a touchdown like he did in week 7. He did however back it up by getting another touchdown on only 2 receptions. Shepard is still worth a stash as he could become more involved in the Bucs offense.
WR Tyreke Hill (1.5% owned)(FAAB 1-3%): The Chiefs continue to get Hill the ball in different ways. For the second time in 2 weeks, he was able to connect on a deep pass for a touchdown. He saw a season-high 5 receptions on 6 targets for 98 yards and that touchdown this past week. He could be a sneaky desperate flex play, just not sure I want any part of the KC passing game.
Others: Dontrelle Inman, Dorial Green-Beckham, Jeff Janis
As always, if you have any questions about your lineup or waiver wire adds, contact us @No_HuddleFFB on twitter!
Photo by Nick Wass- Associated Press