The intro to this column has told you to not hold your waiver bucks all season. 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 emerged this week, no matter how little you wager. You don’t want to be the owner who lets a big $1 waiver wire win get away.
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 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 this week and you should consider too.
Derek Carr, OAK — Carr’s not going to get into shootouts with Philip Rivers each week, but he has a must-start wide superstar-in-the-making receiver in Amari Cooper and appears to be much better than many people thought he would be in the preseason. He shouldn’t be on the waiver wire in any league.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, NYJ — I feel like Fitzpatrick shouldn’t be available in any league. I made him a waiver wire gem last week, too, but he’s probably still out there on a lot of waiver wires. He has two stud wide receivers who didn’t get going last week and he still threw for 295 and two touchdowns.
Teddy Bridgewater, MIN — Bridgewater is probably more of a matchup play than an every week starter like Carr and Fitzpatrick could be. However, the emergence of Stefon Diggs as a budding star means Bridgewater and the Vikings offense has upside beyond Adrian Peterson.
Brian Hoyer, HOU — I wouldn’t want to put my NFL future on Brian Hoyer’s shoulders, but as long as he’s winging it to DeAndre Hopkins, Nate Washington and Cecil Shorts, he’s a fantasy commodity who has to be considered. Arian Foster’s Achilles’ tendon injury only means Hoyer will air it out more the rest of the way.
Kirk Cousins, WAS — Three TDs and 317 yards last week, another Kirk Cousins tease. A couple times a year he does this to us, usually the couple times a year Jordan Reed is healthy. What happens when DeSean Jackson gets back? Cousins is worth a pick up and stash if you have QB need or if you have room to stash him.
Jameis Winston, TB — Let’s not crown Winston the top rookie QB of the class after one big game, but if he gets Mike Evans 12 targets and the WR can convert them and Doug Martin continues to run with authority behind a rejuvenated offensive line, Winston will have value the rest of the way.
Darren McFadden, DAL — I dropped McFadden for help at other positions in one league this week. I regret it of course. It was supposed to be Christine Michael’s week. Instead we got Darren McFadden circa 2010. Go get him. There’s still a committee happening in Dallas and Michael lurks in the shadows, but McFadden is my top running back pickup this week.
Ryan Mathews, PHI — Mathews is only owned in 49% of Yahoo leagues. He’s been more effective than DeMarco Murray despite getting fewer opportunities. This needs to be a 50/50 thing or 60/40 in favor of Mathews. Chip Kelly should see that by now.
Alfred Blue/Chris Polk, HOU — I’m putting these guys together. Arian Foster blew out his Achilles’ tendon, so he’s done for the season and it might be the end to a jaw-dropping career. I’m not a huge fan of either of his replacements, but Blue will get volume and could be a bye-week starter or matchup flex play for you. In PPR leagues, Polk might be a better pickup. He has five catches combined in the last two weeks and should pick up Foster’s receiving targets.
Matt Jones, WAS — Alfred Morris averaged 0.8 yards per carry last week. Jones averaged 3.2 and got three more carries. Let’s not announce a changing of the guard, but the writing’s on the wall.
Charcandrick West, KC — West got 22 carries and 5 targets and knocked it out of the park against the Steelers. He could be an every week flex play, but there’s clearly upside here.
David Cobb, TEN — Cobb will be the best Titans running back when he gets on the field. He might have to be part of a four-headed running back committee, but there’s a chance he blows everyone out of the water. Play your $1 lottery ticket on him now.
Khiry Robinson, NO — Robinson had a huge day last week, but it was fueled by two touchdowns. He has more value as Mark Ingram’s backup. If Ingram gets hurt, Robinson might be able to step in and be a top-10 running back. That’s worth a stash if you have the roster space.
Charles Sims, TB — Like Robinson, Sims impressed last week. He’s averaging 3.9 yards per carry and could arrive in a big way if Doug Martin gets hurt.
C.J. Spiller, NO — Spiller already has one more target through six games than he had in nine games with the Bills last season. He converted all six last week. He’s not a high percentage play, but you could do worse in your flex spot on bye weeks and there is upside here in that Saints offense.
Karlos Williams, BUF — Any player coming back from a concussion has to be a concern, but remember he had 110 yards on 12 carries in that game before he suffered the concussion. Even as good as LeSean McCoy has been, Williams has earned opportunities. If the LeSean McCoy owner hasn’t picked up Williams –he’s only owned in 34% of Yahoo leagues — you should go get him.
Stefon Diggs, MIN — He’s available in 39% of Yahoo leagues? Check your wire, Ninja.
Tyler Lockett, SEA — After his awesome special teams performance in the preseason, I drafted Lockett in a handful of leagues in the hopes he’d have some performances like the one he had this week against San Francisco. Five catches, 79 yards and a touchdown. This is not a passing offense, but he could emerge as one of the few parts we need to own, especially in leagues that award points for returns.
Steve Johnson, SD — Johnson returned from injury with only a 4-50 line, but he had eight targets, third most on the team and second most among wide receivers. If he could have converted more he probably would have seen more.
Ted Ginn Jr., CAR — Ginn’s been on this list a couple times. I’d be more encouraged if he’d put his head down and punched in that reverse instead of sliding out of bounds. Still, Cam Newton targeted Ginn eight times, three more than even Greg Olsen. Ginn is available in 67% of Yahoo leagues.
Danny Amendola, NE — Amendola’s not going to catch a 90-yard touchdown, but he’s going to get you 5-49 each week with some upside, especially in games where Julian Edelman is facing a shut down corner.
Nate Washington, HOU — Cecil Shorts is out and DeAndre Hopkins is kept in check so Nate Washington goes off for 127 yards with 12 targets. This may have been a passing offense before Arian Foster got hurt. They might throw 50 times a game from here on out, so Washington will have even more value than he’s had this season. Both Shorts and Washington were getting 8-10 targets per game despite DeAndre Hopkins getting a whopping 100 already. Washington is available in 95% of Yahoo leagues.
Brandon LaFell, NE — LaFell did not debut the way we expected after last season’s performance, but he did get eight targets. I think the Patriots will give him his shots, which means he’s worth a stash.
Chris Conley, KC — There was a bit of buzz about Conley impressing in the preseason, which made me draft him in a dynasty league. He led the Chiefs with seven targets and finished 6-for-63 with a touchdown. Even if Maclin comes back this week, Conley could provide some flex value.
Robert Woods, BUF — As long as Sammy Watkins and Percy Harvin are out, Woods has value. His performance Sunday in London may have earned him more, too. It’ll be interesting to see what happens once Tyrod Taylor returns.
Jordan Reed, WAS — As I mentioned above, I dropped McFadden in a league last week to give myself a chance to win. I’ve also held Jordan Reed in multiple leagues throughout his injury. He gets wide receiver numbers when he’s healthy and shouldn’t have been dropped. He’s available in 41% of Yahoo leagues. Go check your wire now.
Zach Ertz, PHI — Ertz led the Eagles in yards, tied for the lead in receptions, had the most targets and had the team’s longest catch last week. I would be shocked if Chip Kelly doesn’t keep increasing the targets, catches and yards coming out of the bye.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TB — I’ve had Seferian-Jekins on here before. He should seriously be back from injury soon and after Winston’s performance last week, we should be a little more excited about this offense. On top of that, Vincent Jackson is dinged up, which means more for this potential star TE.
Clive Walford, OAK — YES! 12.2 fantasy points! Ok, I’m a little too excited, I know. He only had two targets and two catches, but he got a touchdown and 42 yards. I drafted Walford in a couple dynasty leagues. He has eight targets, five catches, 80 yards and a touchdown so far this season. That would be a pretty good game total. Hopefully, he flashed enough this week to earn more opportunities.
Eric Ebron, DET — Still available in 25% of Yahoo leagues? Ebron is doing more with far fewer targets than anyone else on the Lions receiving corps. It shouldn’t be a surprise if he is a leader or co-leader in targets, catches, yards and touchdowns a few more times this season, just like he was last week.
Kickers and defenses
Ninjas don’t waste waiver wire bucks on kickers or defenses.
They pick up the Jaguars defense at 8:30 a.m. on Sunday and get this:
|2 TDs, 59 tackles, 4 assists, 9 passes defensed,
4.0 sacks, 2 INT, 4 FF, 2 FR