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 (67.7.%)
- Eli Manning (67.1%)
- Andy Dalton (73.1%)
- Kirk Cousins (69.2%)
- Blake Bortles (69.9%)
- Tyrod Taylor (59.2%)
- James White (61.6%)
- Darren Sproles (69.3%)
- Jaquizz Rodgers (72.7%)
- Duke Johnson Jr. (72.4%)
- Derrick Henry (64.1%)
- Matt Asiata (61.3%)
- Jerrick McKinnon (67%)
- TJ Yeldon (68.2%)
- Tyrell Williams (63.8%)
- Steve Smith Sr. (53%)
- John Brown (59.1%)
- Quincy Enunwa (65.1%)
- Will Fuller V (65%)
- Cole Beasley (55.9%)
- Sterling Shepard (63.6%)
- Jamison Crowder (53.1%)
- Travis Benjamin (69.7%)
- Kenny Britt (50.3%)
- Corey Coleman (54.6%)
- Mohammed Sanu (58.6%)
- Mike Wallace (68.7%)
- DeSean Jackson (71.4%)
- Micahel Floyd (54.5%)
- Tavon Austin (57.5%)
- Zach Miller (59.0%)
- Eric Ebron (64.6%)
- Dennis Pitta (65.7%)
- Zach Ertz (52.5%)
- Julius Thomas (64.8%)
Standard League Adds:
QB Carson Wentz (40.7% owned)(FAAB 2-5%): Wentz dropped back below that 50% mark this week. Wentz has struggled the last few weeks, not scoring 15 fantasy points and throwing more interceptions than touchdowns. I included him on here this week because I still think he is one of the best streaming options this week at QB. He did throw for nearly 400 yards last week and he gets a shaky Atlanta secondary this week who have given up 7 touchdowns in the last two weeks. If you are looking for a QB option this week, Wentz could be the answer.
RB Bilal Powell (48.2% owned)(FAAB 5-10%): Powell is still only garnering about 10 touches game. He does have some explosive plays sporadically during games but his value is unreliable at best unless Matt Forte goes down in front of him. Consider him a desperate flex even in PPR leagues. **PPR SPECIAL**
RB Chris Ivory (41.7% owned)(FAAB 20-30%): Ivory is the top target on this week’s waiver wire. It is about time the Jaguars figured out what they have at running back. Ivory was great during his time in New York and hasn’t had much of a chance in Jacksonville until this week. He had 18 carries for 107 yards. TJ Yeldon only had 12 touches this week, and 5 of the 12 were through the air. It looks like Ivory will assume 1st and 2nd down work and Yeldon will take on passing situations. Ivory should serve as a low flex play for the rest of the year.
RB Peyton Barber (12.1 % owned)(FAAB 15-25%): Barber is basically the last man standing in Tampa Bay. Antone Smith went down with an injury near the end of the game on Thursday night. Doug Martin is expected to be back, but it may not be this week. If not, it likely becomes Barber’ show. He could be as high as an RB2 this week, but if you are looking for a long term answer, he is a desperate flex the rest of the season once Martin comes back. I like him better this week if Martin is out than anyone else on this list.
RB Tim Hightower (39.8% owned)(FAAB 20-30%): This is not what we wanted out of New Orleans. Running back timeshares are the worst thing possible for fantasy owners. I talked about this in Friday’s Four Corner Debate and in Monday’s Reflections. Ingram had a great day against San Francisco. Yet, Hightower still saw 8 more carries than Ingram but averaged less than 4 yards a carry. I think that Ingram will split the backfield with Hightower in nearly a 60%/40% split in his favor. This makes Hightower a flex play the rest of the way.
RB Jeremy Langford (36.6% owned)(FAAB 5-10%): Langford likely took a backseat to Jordan Howard after his huge night last Monday. Langford may be worth a flier on though if Howard is to slip up.
RB Rob Kelley (26.2% owned)(FAAB 10-20%): Before his week 9 bye Kelley finished with 21 carries for 87 yards and a touchdown against the Bengals in London. Kelley’s value hinges on the availability of Matt Jones. Jones was a limited participant at practice on Monday in Washington. It is likely that if Jones comes back this week that he and Kelley will split carries. That would make Kelley a desperate flex play.
RB Dion Lewis (30.2% owned)(FAAB 5-10%): New England was on bye this week and Dion Lewis is possible to return as soon as this weekend. He is someone, especially in PPR leagues, who is worth a stash. **PPR SPECIAL**
RB DuJaun Harris (31.4% owned)(FAAB 15-25%): With Carlos Hyde out again this week, DeJaun Harris had a huge day against a struggling New Orleans defense. He had 142 yards and a touchdown on Sunday. He has a very difficult schedule coming ahead, and Carlos Hyde should be back soon. Don’t waste your money here unless you are desperate, let one of your league mates waste theirs. He is a desperate flex until Hyde comes back at best.
RB James Starks (18.3% owned)(FAAB 2-5%): Look I know some people are high on Starks and his opportunity he is going to have in Green Bay. My issue is I just don’t think he is a very good player. He is averaging less than 2 yards per carry. I am not sure he is that much of a better back at this point in his career than Knile Davis or Don Jackson. I think the Packers continue to use Ty Montgomery out of the backfield and throw the ball a ton!
WR JJ Nelson (9.8% owned)(FAAB 25-35%): Nelson may be the forgotten man. He was on bye this week and therefore, owners may have forgotten about how good he has been over the last 2 weeks. He has played more snaps than anyone on the Cardinals over the last two games. He has also seen 19 targets over the last two games as well. The Cardinals really like his speed. I am not ready to call him a flex play the rest of the season yet, but he has the upside to be one.
WR Sammie Coates (45.2% owned)(FAAB 15-25%): Sammie Coates struggle coming back from injury. He didn’t record a single catch against the Ravens on Sunday. It was his first game back, as well as Big Bens first game back, so we will cut him some slack. He averaged about 14 points per game from weeks 2 to 5. He is definitely worth consideration on your bench and will be a boom/bust flex most of the year.
WR Chris Hogan (30.0% owned)(FAAB 10-20%): Hogan is in Mike Wallace territory. He is widely available in many leagues and he is a major boom/bust play. He can win you a match-up any week, but unfortunately, he could lose you one as well.
WR Rishard Matthews (11.2% owned)(FAAB 10-20%): Matthews has been the Titan receiver to own. He has only scored less than 9 fantasy points once in the last 6 weeks. His snaps have also been increasing over the last 4 weeks as well which gives him more opportunity on the field! I think Matthews is the favorite target of Mariota outside of Walker and is a flex play with upside every week.
WR Brian Quick (8.1% owned)(FAAB 10-15%): He had big point totals in weeks 3 and 4, but both of those weeks he had only two receptions. He has begun to see a little more consistent work since that time. He has had 50 or more yards in every game since week 3 with the exception of last week when he only had 48 yards receiving. Quick is still a desperate play at flex, but his consistency of late could help.
WR Sammy Watkins (29.1% owned)(FAAB 5-10%): Watkins is possibly coming back in the next couple of weeks. He isn’t in a great pass offense, but we saw a year ago that when he is at full health Tyrod Taylor could help make him a top 10 wide receiver. He is available in a lot of leagues and provides major upside upon his return.
WR Adam Humphries (5.8% owned)(FAAB 5-10%): Humphries continues to be active in the Tampa Bay passing game. He had 5 catches for 46 yards and a touchdown on Thursday night. He remains a desperate flex play.
WR Dontrelle Inman (5.2% owned)(FAAB 5-10%): Inman will be an interesting name to keep an eye on with Travis Benjamin dinged up for San Diego. He has had 55+ yards in the last 3 games. He also saw 7 targets in week 8 and 9 targets in week 9. With Benjamin like out for a week or two, Inman could be used as a flex play.
WR Cordarrelle Patterson (5.4% owned)(FAAB 5-10%): It is amazing how the Vikings have begun to use Cordarrelle Patterson this season after basically relegating him the bench the previous 2 years. The first 3 weeks of the season he saw 5 or fewer snaps in each of those games. Since week 3 he has 35+ snaps in every game. He remains a desperate flex, but he has some upside.
TE CJ Fiedorowicz (11.6% owned)(FAAB 10-20%): He has been the recipient of some good matchups over the last few weeks. He has, however, seen 7 or more targets in each of the last 4 weeks. QB Brock Osweiler has struggled this season, but they have a very tight end friendly schedule down the stretch and Fiedorowicz should be a serviceable tight end one coming out of his bye this week.
TE Cameron Brate (38.6% owned)(FAAB 5-10%): The Bucs have a good passing attack and Brate is the unquestioned top tight end target. He has had touchdowns in back to back games and is clearly someone that Jamies Winston looks for in the RedZone. He is very touchdown dependent and will serve as a low TE1.
TE Jack Doyle (46.9% owned)(FAAB 5-10%): It will be hard to determine which tight end to play in Indy if both Doyle and Dwayne Allen suit up. He definitely got the better end of the deal in Week 9 as he was able to haul in 5 receptions for 61 yards compared to Allen’s 1 reception for 15 yards. It will be frustrating watching some of Doyle’s work slip away to Allen or vice versa, but he is worth keeping around on your bench.
Deep League Adds
RB CJ Prosise (22.6% owned)(FAAB 2-5%): He has been gaining in snaps and touches on Christine Michael since his return. It does look like Rawls will not be back for another couple of weeks, so he is a possible PPR flex option. Pete Carroll did say last week that he hopes to get Michael the ball more, so, limit your expectations outside of PPR formats. **PPR SPECIAL**
RB Paul Perkins (4.2% owned)(FAAB 2-5%): I think Perkins continues to be the most productive back in the Giants backfield. I don’t particularly want any part of this backfield, but if I have to take a shot with one of them it would be Perkins. He matched Rashad Jennings with 11 carries this past week and things continue to trend in his favor.
WR Tyreek Hill (11.8% owned)(FAAB 5-10%): Tyreek Hill was a hot commodity coming off the waiver wire last week. He had only 3 receptions for 11 yards on Sunday against the Jags, a match-up that should have yielded more points on paper. Hill is a boom/bust flex going forward.
WR Adam Thielen (4.4% owned)(FAAB 2-5%): Patterson has stolen a little bit of thunder from Adam Thielen. Since his week 5 explosion he has seen both his snaps and targets decrease. Thielen remains a boom/bust flex play.
WR Eli Rogers (2.8% owned)(FAAB 2-5%): Well, he’s back! Rogers was featured earlier in the year in this column and then he fell out of the Steelers good graces. We haven’t seen Rogers since week 6 when he saw 32 snaps and he finished with 4 catches for 32 yards. This past week against the Ravens he likely had his best game as a professional grabbing 6 receptions for 103 yards. He is worth a stash to see if he could try to work his way back in as the #2 WR in Pittsburgh.
WR Kendall Wright (12.5% owned)(FAAB 2-5%): He has 26 points over the last 3 games. Could be used as a desperate flex play in good matchups over the next two weeks against the Packers and Colts.
WR Chris Conley (1.2% owned)(FAAB 2-5%): Conley is nothing more than a desperate flex play. Yet, if Jeremy Maclin were to miss time with his groin injury, then Conley would become the defacto #1 WR for the Kansas City Chiefs and could be used as a desperate flex play.
TE Ladarius Green (5.4% owned)(FAAB 5-10%): Green should be back this week and it gives Ben Roethlisberger another target to utilize. Green’s athleticism could make him the #2 target in Pittsburgh.
As always, if you have any questions about your lineup or waiver wire adds, contact us @No_HuddleFFB on twitter!