There are so few startable players available on most waiver wires, you need to have a ton of free agent bucks left or have top waiver priority to get the players who emerged this week.
I’ve been preaching in the intro to this column all season to not hold your waiver bucks. Hopefully, you claimed some great players if you spent the money. But if you’ve been having success it means you might have missed out on some players and might have quite a few bucks left.
In either case you need to make claims and bids on the players who did emerge this week, no matter how little you wager. You don’t want to be the owner who lets a big waiver wire win get away.
My leagues are full of savvy owners who don’t let players sit around long and who don’t let you snipe players at a cheap price. But you’d be surprised to find a number players available who should not be each week when you play in nine leagues. They’re out there, make sure you look.
Here are some of the players I considered today and you should consider too.
If you see someone like Matthew Stafford, Jay Cutler or Blake Bortles is out there, go get him. They shouldn’t be available. Peyton Manning? Yeah, he should be available. Those kinds of players are not on this list.
Joe Flacco, BAL — The Ravens defense is a mess, which means Joe Flacco’s going to be chucking it weekly. He’ll put up some stinkers, but he’ll provide positive fantasy value the rest of the season.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, NYJ — I like Fitzpatrick better than Flacco, but the Jets are a better team so he won’t have as many opportunities to throw for 400 yards. He does have better weapons, thought.
Josh McCown, CLE — McCown put up a serviceable performance against the best defense in the NFL last week and he has emerging talents in Travis Benjamin, Gary Barnidge and Duke Johnson Jr.
Colin Kaepernick, SF — Kaepernick is a matchup-based play right now as a passer, but if he can continue his play against tougher his opponents, his running ability gives him elite potential
Brian Hoyer, HOU — Hoyer’s not going to win the MVP award or even the team MVP award, but as long as he (smartly) keeps playing catch with DeAndre Hopkins, he has 200 yards and two touchdown potential weekly.
E.J. Manuel, BUF; Landry Jones, PIT; Zach Mettenberger, TEN, Matt Cassel, DAL — These guys are all one-week rentals who could provide a spark for you if you need them. I saw a headline last week that said Manuel could compete with Tyrod Taylor once he returns. That’s why he’s at the front of the list.
Like with the quarterbacks there are certain players who you should just own if they’re available. I didn’t find any of them in my leagues this week, but I wouldn’t be surprised if you found Lamar Miller on your waiver wire and he definitely should not be on there.
Christine Michael, DAL — I would put many free agent bucks on Michael. I feel like he’s going to live up to the hype and become a feature back for the Cowboys.
James Starks, GB — Starks’ Week 6 performance at least created more of a committee. And if Eddie Lacy gets hurt, Starks is an elite replacement player.
Ronnie Hillman, DEN — I paid big for C.J. Anderson in the preseason. However, Hillman has outplayed him by a mile. The Broncos have a bye week to digest Hillman’s second 100-yard game of the season. Don’t be surprised if he doesn’t get the lion’s share the rest of the way.
Jonathan Stewart, CAR — Maybe you’re thinking Stewart shouldn’t be on this list. That’s fine. I dropped Stewart this season. Sick of waiting for him to come around. Is Week 6 Stewart the real Stewart or will he go back to being completely useless next week? I wouldn’t put many free agent bucks on him, but then again I paid $47 million for C.J. Anderson in a dynasty league this offseason. What do I know?
Theo Riddick, DET — Like I said in one of our sleeper posts last week, we’re waiting for Ameer Abdullah and Zach Zenner to come around, but Riddick is a legit threat who also ran the ball well this week. Now Zenner is on injured reserve which should give Riddick more opportunities.
Branden Oliver, SD — I owned Oliver in a couple places last season but thought he wouldn’t have any value this season with the addition of Melvin Gordon. It’s too early to call Gordon a flop or to drop him in dynasty leagues, but Oliver probably earned more shares in this backfield for this season and could increase those shares in the coming weeks.
Robert Turbin, CLE — Isaiah Crowell‘s questionable-ness and the Browns luke-warm rushing offense makes me think Turbin should get some opportunities. I still think Crowell and Duke Johnson Jr. are the running backs of the future for Cleveland, but Turbin is poised to get opportunities now and he might be available on your waiver wire.
Martavis Bryant, PIT — This is the one position where I’m making an exception to the player-should-not-be-on-waivers rule this week. Someone in your league should have been holding Bryant or picked him up two weeks ago. However, I also believe he may have slipped through a crack. When Ben Roethlisberger gets back look out for this offense.
Anquan Boldin, SF — I doubt Boldin is available on your waiver wire after his performance two weeks ago, but now he has back-to-back 100-yard games. He’s another wide receiver who probably shouldn’t be on this list but could surprisingly be available.
Davante Adams, GB — Green Bay is not as good without Jordy Nelson. It also doesn’t help that both Randall Cobb and Adams are banged up. Coming off their bye week, I wouldn’t be surprised if both are a bit healthier which should make the Packers offense healthier as well.
Steve Johnson, SD — I was surprised to find Steve Johnson on one of my waiver wires this week. Yes, he’s hurt, but he was putting up good numbers before the injury and the Chargers are throwing for 400+ per week.
Malcom Floyd, SD — We need a piece of this San Diego offense. Floyd is a big-play threat who should get a boost because Keenan Allen is banged up.
Stefon Diggs, MIN — Remember what we wanted Cordarrelle Patterson to become? I do because I had him in way too many leagues. Diggs is that player. He’s only six-feet tall, 191 pounds, which makes him smaller than Patterson, but he is making plays and getting opportunities. This is Adrian Peterson’s offense, but when they throw the ball Diggs is going to be involved.
Rishard Matthews, MIA — Matthews and Tannehill developed a connection during those disastrous early weeks, but to see it continue following the bye and a breakout performance means Matthews is our No. 2 wide receiver to own in the Dolphins offense.
Danny Amendola, NE — I’m not sure how things shake out once Brandon LaFell gets back. I put in some claims for LaFell this week. It’s probably wrong of me to ignore Amendola especially in PPR leagues.
Brandon LaFell, NE — Like with the Chargers receivers, I feel like getting pieces of the Patriots passing game is important, too. After his stellar 2014, I wouldn’t be surprised if LaFell goes bananas when he takes the field.
Torrey Smith, SF — Smith is inconsistent, but as his 3-catch, 96-yard, 1-TD performance showed last week, he has fantasy game-winning potential, which means he should be on somebody’s bench, not the waiver wire.
Cecil Shorts, HOU — DeAndre Hopkins is pretty good. He forces defenses to use extra coverage on him. That leaves some space open for a receiver whose six targets last week were a season low.
Lance Moore, DET — You know how you become more involved in an offense? Turning eight targets into six catches, 55 yards and a touchdown. If Matthew Stafford and the Lions are out of their funk, a No. 3 WR will get opportunities.
Marvin Jones, CIN — Jones is the No. 3 deep receiving option for the Bengals and has value every week because of it. He’ll also pop out a few huge games like his Week 6 performance.
Michael Floyd, ARI — The Cardinals are chucking it around, which means there’s enough for a WR3 to eat pretty well.
Dontrelle Inman, SD — Inman is the low man in the Chargers receiving pool, but he scored a touchdown last week and one injury could put him in line for more opportunities.
I’m going to assume Julius Thomas and Delanie Walker are not on your waiver wire — but if they are you should own one of them, even if it is as your backup. With the injury to Allen Robinson, Thomas could be the No. 1 target for Jacksonville this week.
Crockett Gillmore, BAL — If the Ravens are going to be chucking it, their monstrous and athletic tight end should become a bigger part of the offense.
Ben Watson, NO — I still can’t bring myself to spend a large amount of free agent bucks or even bother wasting a waiver claim on Watson. Watson is third in targets and receiving yards, leads in receiving touchdowns and is tied for second in 20+ passing plays.
Dion Sims and Cameron Jordan, MIA — Cameron has a whopping 25 targets in the last three games, finally getting into the end zone in Week 6. But he’s only turned the opportunities into 6 catches for 65 yards. Yuck. Sims is the flashy new toy with four touchdowns and 10.3 yards per catch on 34 career catches. He converted all four of his targets for 33 yards and a touchdown this week. It seems like the writing is one the wall, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they both provided some fantasy potential.
Kickers and defenses
If you waste waiver priority or free agent bucks on kickers or defenses your Force has Midi-chlorians in it.