This week we have a pile of fantasy stars taking a week off and a couple of the defenses we normally target for big fantasy days are off too.
Despite that, we can always find a waiver wire gem or two with a good matchup to consider.
My leagues are full of savvy owners who don’t let many players sit around long and who don’t let you snipe players at a cheap price. But I’m still always surprised to find a number players available who should not be each week . They’re out there, make sure you look.
Here are some of the players I considered this week and you should consider too.
Week 11 daily fantasy: Draft Kings sleepers | FanDuel sleepers
Tony Romo, DAL — Expected to start this week and yet he’s available in 34% of Yahoo leagues. Go. Now. Check your wire. He will transform the Cowboys back into a fantasy relevant team.
Tyrod Taylor, BUF — Taylor only threw for 158 and a touchdown last week and wasn’t effective running the ball against the Jets, but he did earn a win. He has a sterling completion percentage of 70.5 percent, has 13 TDs to only four interceptions and he’s averaging 5.2 yards per carry and has two rushing touchdowns. Somehow, he’s still available in more than half (54%) of Yahoo leagues.
Kirk Cousins, WAS — He’s available in 68% of Yahoo leagues but won’t be after claims are done. He doesn’t get to face the Saints every week, but the Redskins have emerging talents in Jamison Crowder and Matt Jones and Cousins’ favorite target, Jordan Reed, caught two touchdowns last week. Cousins is the No. 10 fantasy quarterback in season points right now.
Mark Sanchez, PHI — I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Sam Bradford’s return in two weeks is to the bench. Yes, Sanchez is known for the butt fumble, but he was also a starting fantasy quarterback last year for the Eagles and could provide a much-needed spark in Philadelphia.
Johnny Manziel, CLE — Threw for 372 yards, a touchdown and a pick. He also used Gary Barnidge (6 catches, 61 yards and a touchdown) and re-established Travis Benjamin’s fantasy value. The Browns are on bye this week, but you probably won’t be able to wait until next week to pick him up.
Marcus Mariota, TEN — Last week he was completely unimpressive against the Panthers, but that’s a pretty tough matchup for any QB, let alone a rookie signal caller. I’m still shocked Mariota is available in 42 percent of Yahoo leagues. He has 13 TDs to only six interceptions, a ridiculous ratio for a rookie. He should be owned everywhere.
Brock Osweiler, DEN — Osweiler had a decent preseason and was mediocre Sunday in relief of Peyton Manning. The Gary Kubiak offense doesn’t lend itself to huge fantasy days for quarterbacks, but Osweiler has too many elite offensive weapons and potential upside to be left unclaimed if you need QB help.
Joe Flacco, BAL — Like Cousins, Flacco’s not going to get a plus matchup every week, but he is likely going to have to throw the ball a lot the rest of this season considering how bad the Ravens are on defense.
Matt Jones, WAS — Jones is available in 52% of Yahoo leagues despite showing flashes of brilliance this season. Alfred Morris hurt his rib, but returned to the game on Sunday. He has proven he deserves to be a part of the offense, which limits Jones’ potential. However, Jones is the best of a sad bunch of running backs this week.
At this point in the season, especially with injuries to Le’Veon Bell and Jamaal Charles and Eddie Lacy‘s ineffectiveness, there aren’t a lot of options available. Obviously, if someone like James Starks (80% owned at Yahoo) or Charcandrick West (81%) are available dump your remaining resources on them. However, realistically, you’re not going to find them on your list. The rest of this waiver list consists of more potentially avaialble players in a committee, who should be in a committee or who are the best potential handcuffs to starting backs. I’ve ranked them in order of how I would pick them.
Jay Ajayi, MIA
Thomas Rawls, SEA
Dexter McCluster, TEN (especially in PPR)
Tevin Coleman, ATL
Andre Ellington, ARI
Javorious Allen, BAL
Jerick McKinnon, MIN
Jordan Todman, PIT
Tim Hightower, NO
Chris Thompson, WAS
Darren Sproles, PHI
Jamize Olawale, OAK
Christine Michael, DAL
Denard Robinson, JAC
Spencer Ware, KC
Danny Amendola, NE — Amendola had 10 catches for 79 yards last week and will likely step right in to take Julian Edelman’s spot as the go-to possession receiver in this offense. He isn’t as talented as Edelman, but could pay huge dividends in PPR leagues. He’s probably the top pickup of the week across all positions. He’s available in 68% of Yahoo leagues.
Doug Baldwin, SEA — I don’t want to go too crazy recommending a passing option from Seattle because that’s not what they do. However, I’ve liked Baldwin’s potential for a while. He was targeted a whopping 10 times and hauled in seven for 134 and a touch. Those are huge numbers in this offense. He’s available in 75% of Yahoo leagues and worth at least a stash considering last week.
Jamison Crowder, WAS — Crowder is emerging as one of Kirk Cousins’ favorite targets. He doesn’t have a huge ceiling, but he has a high floor, especially in PPR leagues. He’s available in 91% of Yahoo leagues, making him one of the few players most likely available to help your cause.
Kamar Aiken, BAL — I’m not a huge fan of Aiken, but he is the current No. 1 wide receiver in BAL and considering how much they’re going to have to throw that means something. He’s available in 53% of Yahoo leagues.
Ted Ginn Jr., CAR — Ginn didn’t do much last week, but he was targeted eight times. He’s been targeted at least six times in six of the Panthers nine games. That’s a lot of looks. He shouldn’t be available in 65% of Yahoo leagues.
Chris Givens, BAL — It’s probably unlikely, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Givens overtakes Aiken as the top receiver in Baltimore. He has top-end speed and had flashes of absolute brilliance as a Rams rookie in 2012. He was targeted seven times last week, only caught four but one went for six, so I’m guessing they’ll try to get the ball to him again this week.
Just like with running backs, our choices are getting pretty slim. Of course if someone like Davante Adams (81% owned in Yahoo leagues) or DeSean Jackson (82%) is out there, I shouldn’t have to tell you to pick them up. Here’s a list of players seemingly on the cusp of surpassing the talent/opportunity threshold needed for success in the NFL for a variety of reasons.
Dorial Green-Beckham, TEN
Dwayne Harris, NYG
Marqise Lee, JAC
Jaron Brown, ARI
Jacob Tamme, ATL — Still available in 81% of Yahoo leagues coming off his bye. Here’s what I said about him in last week’s waiver wire gems: “Tamme can’t help you this week because he’s on bye, but he’s available in 74% of Yahoo leagues which is absurd considering his current usage. He was targeted 10 times last week after 12 the week before. He has 43 targets, 30 catches, 326 yards and a touchdown in the last five weeks — averages of about 8, 6, 65 and .20 per game, respectively. He’s also advanced to second on the team leaders chart in targets, receiving yards, catches of 20+ yards and catches for first downs. Any tight end getting 8-10 targets per game should be owned in every league.”
Crockett Gillmore, BAL — Has at least four targets in six of his seven games, at least 40 yards in four of seven and at least one touchdown in three of seven, including one each in his last two games. Yet he’s still only owned in 13% of Yahoo leagues.
Zach Ertz, PHI — Ertz stands to benefit greatly from Mark Sanchez. He was the QB when Ertz went off for 15 catches and 115 yards in a game last season, leading everyone to speculate on his potential for 2015.
Zach Miller, CHI — Miller was so good this week that he likely will steal some targets from Martellus Bennett. I can’t tell you the 7-year pro is finally going to take the fantasy world by storm, but I’m not going to make the same mistake I did with Gary Barnidge and call it totally unlikely either. You catch five of five targets for more than 100 yards and two touchdowns, you’re going to be one of the most coveted players on waivers the following week. He also had a touchdown catch in Week 9.
Heath Miller, PIT — While he disappointed in a good spot two weeks ago, Miller will remain a key part of the Steelers high-octane passing offense as long as Ben Roethlisberger is quarterback.
Eric Ebron, DET — Ebron is available in 69% of Yahoo leagues but his potential tells me he should be owned in more. He disappointed in Week 10 but had eight targets, second-most he’s had all season. He’s been targeted at least five times in six of his seven games, has at least five catches in six of seven and has three touchdowns. If he can stay healthy, I wouldn’t be surprised if he was a top-10 tight end the rest of the way.
Richard Rodgers, GB — Rodgers has at least four targets in every game since Week 1. He doesn’t do a ton with them, but he does have a touchdown in four games, including his two-touchdown game against Carolina in Week 9.
Maxx Williams, BAL — It usually takes rookie tight ends a little while to develop and Gillmore has been in the league a couple years. So, that means Williams will probably remain second fiddle. However, depending on your bench depth and how your league scores tight ends you need to consider a player who scores a touchdown on four targets (he’s been targeted at least four times in four of his seven games) for an offense without it’s most talented wide receiver (Steve Smith) that is going to have to pass the ball a ton the rest of the season.
Coby Fleener, IND — Still available in 86% of Yahoo leagues coming off his bye. Here’s what I said about him in last week’s waiver wire gems: “Fleener has 17 catches, 29 targets and a touchdown in the last four weeks. He was targeted 11 times two weeks ago. He can’t help you this week because he’s on bye, but he could provide game-changing fantasy points if the Colts passing game can stay on track.”
Kickers and defenses
Stream kickers and defenses, Ninja. No need to waste waiver priority or free agent bucks.