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 (70.6%)
- Blake Bortles (68%)
- Tyrod Taylor (55.2%)
- Kirk Cousins (67%)
- Chris Ivory (60.2%)
- Tim Hightower (58..3%)
- James White (63.5%)
- TJ Yeldon (68%)
- Duke Johnson Jr. (69.1%)
- Matt Jones (66.3%)
- Jaquizz Rodgers (55.5%)
- Derrick Henry (52.1%)
- Charcandrick West (60.2%)
- Jerrick McKinnon (59.2%)
- Tyrell Williams (70.9%)
- Steve Smith Sr. (61.4%)
- John Brown (62.1%)
- Quincy Enunwa (58.3%)
- Allen Hurns (69%)
- Will Fuller V (58.9%)
- Cole Beasley (61%)
- Sterling Shepard (65.3%)
- Jamison Crowder (58%)
- Travis Benjamin (62.5%)
- Corey Coleman (54.7%)
- Mohammed Sanu (58%)
- DeSean Jackson (65.4%)
- Tavon Austin (55.8%)
- Martellus Bennett (72.9%)
- Eric Ebron (55.9%)
- Zach Miller (69.3%)
- Zach Ertz (60.9%)
- Gary Barnidge (68.8%)
- Dennis Pitta (55.9%)
Standard League Adds:
RB Kenneth Dixon (10.5% owned)(FAAB 25-35%): We have been waiting on the Ravens to use Dixon and we finally got our wish on Thursday night against the Browns. First off, remember it is the Browns we are talking about. Yet, the truth of the matter is that he looked much better than Terrence West. These two will continue to split carries going forward but Dixon is usable as a flex in PPR going forward. **PPR SPECIAL**
RB Thomas Rawls (47.6% owned)(FAAB 20-30%): Well, the backfield in Seattle has been all shook up. Rawls should be back this week, but with CJ Prosise unseating Christine Michael, there is a question as to what his role will be. It is likely that he could take the carries that Michael got on Sunday night, but Prosise looked really good. It is possible that we have an RBBC on our hands. Rawls will be a desperate flex play when he comes back.
RB CJ Prosise (30.7% owned)(FAAB 20-30%): Like Elvis Presley would say, the Seahawks backfield has been all shook up! Christine Michael has seen 11 touches in the last 2 weeks compared to CJ Prosise’s 28. Sunday night against the Patriots he had 17 carries for 66 yards and 7 receptions for 87 yards. It looks like the Seahawks will continue to use Prosise and he will become extremely valuable in PPR leagues. Thomas Rawls will likely be back next week, and he will likely take a few carries from Prosise. We see Prosise as a strong flex play with upside the rest of the way. **PPR SPECIAL**
RB James Starks (29.3% owned)(FAAB 15-25%): Starks still didn’t impress very much as the Titans blew out the Packers. He had 7 carries for 33 yards and 3 catches for 11 yards. One of those receptions did get him in the end zone. For whatever reason, the Packers totally abandoned running Ty Montgomery. Monty averaged over 5 yards a carry in the games he has seen time at RB. I can’t imagine they will not want to get Montgomery the ball more in coming weeks. With that said, we will treat Starks as a flex for now.
RB Rob Kelley (45.3% owned)(FAAB 15-25%): With Matt Jones being a healthy scratch this week it would appear that the lion’s share of the backfield will go to Rob Kelley. For the second game in a row, Kelley got the ball 20+ times. He finished this week with 97 yards. Although it appears it is his show to give up, he will face an extremely tough schedule down the stretch. I honestly don’t see him as much more than a flex option the rest of the way.
RB Jeremy Langford (32.6% owned)(FAAB 5-15%): This one may be the big one of the week, depending on the news of Jordan Howards ankle/Achilles injury. It appears it could be minor according to Howard himself, but it is worth keeping an eye on. If Howard were to miss time, then Langford would probably share reps with KaDeem Carey, but he could be a reliable flex play.
RB Bilal Powell (43.1% owned)(FAAB 5-15%): Powell continues to be extremely productive with the touches he receives. He is averaged over 8 yards per touch on Sunday. He also found the end zone for the 2nd time this year on a nifty hook and ladder play. He may be used as a PPR flex play, but still needs Forte to go down to gain any real value. **PPR SPECIAL**
RB Dion Lewis (44.4% owned)(FAAB 5-10%): You can’t help but really wonder what is going on with Dion Lewis. The Pats removed him from the IR but he did not make the active roster Sunday night. All indications would be that he would play this coming week. The good news for Lewis is that James White has been virtually ineffective over the last 2 weeks. If Lewis can get healthy, it is possible it can provide immediate help for fantasy rosters in the margins of a flex play. **PPR SPECIAL**
RB Matt Asiata (48.2% owned)(FAAB 2-7%): Asiata carried the ball 9 times for 13 yards, but got a touchdown to save his day. In a struggling offense, his value is directly tied to the end zone. He is a desperate flex play at best.
RB Peyton Barber (33.3% owned)(FAAB 2-7%): Doug Martin was back this week and received 16 carries for 33 yards. He did find the end zone, which helped save his day. The good news for Barber owners is that he still had 12 carries, but only for 38 yards. It looks like even with Martin back, Barber will still have some value, but it will be in more of the desperation territory.
RB KaDeem Carey ( % owned)(FAAB 2-7%): Read above about Jeremy Langford. Same is true for Carey.
RB DuJaun Harris (34% owned)(FAAB 2-7%): With Hyde returning from the should injury DuJaun Harris managed to still see some action on Sunday. He saw 5 carries for 13 yards, which was almost as good as Hyde’s 13 carries for 14 yards. I don’t see Harris’ value increasing unless Hyde misses more time. Desperate flex at best.
RB Paul Perkins (35.7% owned)(FAAB 2-7%): Perkins only has 9 carries for 31 yards on Monday night. It appeared that Rashad Jennings will still get the most work after getting 15 carries for 87 yards and 3 receptions for 22 yards. His value peaks if Jennings goes down. **PPR SPECIAL**
WR Tyreek Hill (9.9% owned)(FAAB 20-30%): Hill continues to get more work. Obviously, with Jeremy Maclin out, Hill paid huge dividends. Yet, this trend was already starting when Maclin was healthy. It is unknown how long Maclin is out and as long as he is Hill can be used as a Flex play with upside. This past week, he had 10 catches for 98 yards. Keep an eye on Maclin’s status.
WR Rishard Matthews (35.1% owned)(FAAB 15-25%): Matthews finished with 63 yards and 1 touchdown on 3 receptions. The 3 receptions part could make his game a fluke, but over the last 6 games he has 7 touchdowns. Since week 5 Matthews has been a top 10 wide receiver. We still consider him a flex play, but he has upside.
WR Cameron Meredith (20.3% owned)(FAAB 10-20%): After the breaking news of Alshon Jeffery being suspended, Cameron Meredith will see more action and potentially more targets as well as Marquess Wilson. He snared a hail mary on Sunday, and that is exactly what Alshon Jeffery owners are going to be hoping for.
WR Marquess Wilson (0% owned)(FAAB 10-20%): Wilson has missed basically the whole season with a foot injury. He should return this week and will become an obvious target of Jay Cutler’s in the absence of Alshon Jeffery.
WR Michael Floyd (49.6% owned)(FAAB 10-15%): Outside of Larry Fitzgerald, the rest of the Cardinals receiving corps is like a big RBBC. They are the new age WRBC (Wide Receiver By Committee). Like Nelson, Floyd is a boom/bust flex or WR3 play. That can also be said for John Brown as well.
WR Sammy Watkins (29.9% owned)(FAAB 5-15%): It is possible that in the next 2 weeks Sammy Watkins will come off the IR. They Bills passing game isn’t great, but Tyrod Taylor has been very consistent over the last few weeks. One would think that Watkins would only help this cause if he is fully healthy. I see Watkins as a flex play with upside when he comes back. Remember the second half of last season Watkins was a top ten wide receiver.
WR Eli Rogers (20.9% owned)(FAAB 10-20%): Rogers has made this list before. Then he was quickly forgotten, and now he is back. Last week we told you that we liked Rogers and he was worth picking up again. We have seen that Ben as regained some trust in the youngster and over the last two games he has had 10 receptions for 145 yards and a touchdown. He is still a desperate flex, but he has upside.
WR JJ Nelson (26.4% owned)(FAAB 2-7%): Nelson struggled this past week. After a couple of big weeks, he finished with 2 receptions for 29 yards. He even had a fumble and a pass that deflected off his hands and led to an interception. For now, we will give him the Mike Wallace treatment. Boom/Bust flex/WR3 play.
WR Sammie Coates (39.3% owned)(FAAB 2-7%): Coates looked so promising early in the year, but now it looks as he is has been relegated. Eli Rodgers has taken his place on the field and Coates finished with 0 catches on Sunday. Keep him on the bench for now, but he could end up being a flex play, much like he was earlier in the year.
WR DeVante Parker (45.6% owned)(FAAB 2-7%): Parker had one of his best days of the year. He got the second most targets he received all year and turned it into 5 receptions for 103 yards. Out of the Dolphins 9 games this season, he would have only been usable as a flex play in 3 games. We will continue to keep an eye on Parker but for now, he is nothing more than a desperate flex play.
WR Pierre Garcon (28.2% owned)(FAAB 2-7%): When thinking of what to write about Garcon, it reminds me of what I said about Kenny Britt earlier in the year. Garcon has seen more than 5 targets in every game and has seen double-digit targets 2 of the last 4 weeks. He is averaging 53 yards a game. He has scored twice this season, which makes him a desperate flex play, but has a consistent floor rather than being boom/bust.
WR Robert Woods (16.3% owned)(FAAB 2-7%): Robert Woods had 10 receptions for 162 yards on 13 targets and that was against Seattle. Wood is a desperate flex play, and when Watkins comes back it could eat into some of his target load.
WR Jeremy Kerley (13% owned)(FAAB 2-7%): Kerley had a great game against a good Cardinals secondary grabbing 7 balls for 71 yards and a touchdown. It was a great game for Kerley but I don’t really trust him going forward. Desperate flex.
TE CJ Fiedorowicz (25.2% owned)(FAAB 5-15%): CJ had a tough matchup against Jacksonville who has actually been really good against tight ends this season. He does, however, have good matchups over the next 4 weeks. He will likely get dropped in your league, and when he does, snatch him up!
TE Cameron Brate (36.7% owned)(FAAB 5-15%): Brate had a career day Sunday. He had 7 catches for 84 yards, both career highs. He also had a touchdown grab as well. Brate will continue to garner targets from Jameis Winston, but he is still going to be touchdown reliant.
TE Julius Thomas (47.5% owned)(FAAB 2-7%): Thomas has scored a touchdown in 4 of the last 5 weeks. He also hasn’t had more than 28 yards in since week 3, making him extremely touchdown reliant like most low TE1s.
Deep League Adds
RB Wendell Smallwood (1.7% owned)(FAAB 2-5%): This Philly backfield is something I said I wanted no part of weeks ago. I wrote about it this week in my Monday’s Reflections article. Ryan Mathews exploded Sunday and had a huge game, but so did Wendell Smallwood. Smallwood had 13 carries for 73 yards. This will continue to be a RBBC, and it won’t always be as successful as it was this past week.
WR Tajae Sharpe (10.4% owned)(FAAB 2-5%): Sharpe was the heralded rookie coming out of Titans camp this summer, but he has been rather quiet this season. He had 3 receptions for 68 yards and a touchdown this week. It was the first touchdown of his career. With the way Mariota has been playing, it is worth keeping an eye on Sharpe.
WR Breshad Perriman (2% owned)(FAAB 2-5%): Perriman was drafted in the first round a year ago and has yet to make a huge splash. He did, however, make an incredible catch Sunday on his way to a career day with 3 catches for 64 yards and a touchdown. He has a ton of talent and is someone worth monitoring.
WR Taylor Gabriel (1.6% owned)(FAAB 2%): Over the last 3 games Taylor Gabriel has 196 yards and 2 touchdowns. That is 10+ points a game in a standard fantasy league. Good enough for a flex play. The problem, he has done all that on just 9 receptions. He is definitely in Mike Wallace territory and should be considered a major boom/bust play.
TE Ladarius Green (7.8% owned)(FAAB 5-10%): I was actually pleasantly surprised with Green in his first game back. He finished with 3 receptions for 30 yards. He was also targeted on the Steelers 2 point conversion following their first touchdown. I thought that was a very interesting time to try to get him his first target. Needless to say, going forward I feel like Green will become more incorporated into the Steelers offense and if you are struggling at Tight End he is worth stashing.
As always, if you have any questions about your lineup or waiver wire adds, contact us @No_HuddleFFB on twitter!