Congratulations/Commiserations* . You’re in the final or some horrendous 3rd/4th/5th/6th place* playoff. It’s all on the line and we’re in choppy waters as some players may get shut down for the final weeks of the season. *delete as appropriate
Let’s get to it…
Quarterback – Ryan Fitzpatrick – Miami Dolphins
There is literally no option I like this week who is going to be available for you. If you’re unfortunate enough to be stuck with Tom Brady & Jared Goff then maybe throw a dart at Ryan Fitzpatrick in the Tank Bowl between Miami & Cincinnati this Sunday but the matchups for the QBs that aren’t Top 10 are just pretty unfavourable.
Running Back – Mike Boone – Minnesota Vikings
Dalvin Cook went out of the game against the Chargers with a fresh injury and could miss next week’s huge game at home to Green Bay. With Alexander Mattison also missing Sunday’s game this could open up opportunities for Boone who bagged two scores thanks to those aforementioned injuries.
If – like me – Cook has carried your team to the playoffs then maybe look at snapping Boone up incase Cook can’t go against Green Bay.
Wide Receiver – Terry McLaurin – Washington Redskins
Are we thinking OROY for McLaurin? He’s got to be in the consideration as he’s been a huge bright spot for a team that has had a terrible year.
This week’s matchup is against the Giants and after he went for 5/130/1 against the Eagles I am backing him to have another big week against the G-Men in what we should be calling Chase Young Bowl.
Tight End – Noah Fant – Denver Broncos
I think we can give Drew Lock & the Broncos a pass against a superb Chiefs team in treacherous conditions. I think most QBs would struggle to get any sort rhythm going, let alone against the team who is a lock to be playing the Ravens in the AFC Championship Game.
Despite that, Fant had 56 reception yards and I expect that to continue against the Lions who give up a touch under 8 fantasy points per game to Tight Ends.
We’re heading into the crunch weeks in fantasy football as we hit that beautiful path towards the playoffs. Here we’ll take a look at who you should be targeting in this week’s waiver wire.
Quarterback – Ryan Tannehill (Tennessee Titans) – owned by 8%
A good streaming option for this week in the quarterback position is the man under centre at Nissan Stadium. Tannehill has been a serviceable fantasy quarterback for the last three weeks, with him scoring 21.5 points per game on average. That has resulted in him being the QB5 throughout those weeks. In two of those games he has topped 300 passing yards and has thrown for 6 TDs plus a rushing TD to boot.
A home tie versus Kansas City awaits, and with the potential return of Mahomes for the Chiefs; the Titans could be forced to throw the ball a lot. The Titans have a bye in week 11, so if you’re looking for a one week streaming option or some much needed bye-week help; look towards Tannehill and snap him up.
Running Back – Ronald Jones II (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) – owned by 38.1%
The second year back out of USC has finally been named the starting running back for the foreseeable future. Since the Bucs have returned from bye, Jones has out-touched Peyton Barber 32-15, managing a 18 rushes for 67 yards and a TD stat line in the game at CenturyLink Field during week 9.
Jones is likely to be available in the majority of leagues and two of the next three matchups are favourable. Week 10 sees the Bucs face the Cardinals and in week 12 they face the hapless Falcons. Jones is likely to occupy your flex spot during those weeks, so snap him up off waivers before somebody else does!
Wide Receiver – Jamison Crowder (New York Jets) – owned by 54.7%
Now that Darnold is back from his bout with Mono, Jamison Crowder has returned to fantasy relevance. In the week 9 bout with Dolphins, Crowder amassed 83 yards from 8 receptions and a score. For those in PPR leagues, a 22.3 point haul from a guy who’s most likely to have been occupying a flex position is incredible value. Darnold has really struggled to stretch the field consistently since coming back, dispelling hopes of a Robby Anderson return to fantasy form, and this has resulted in him finding Crowder repeatedly for short yardage gains.
Week 10 sees the Jets face the Giants in the battle of the Meadowlands, a matchup that is most likely to be very favourable to Crowder. When you factor in the next 5 games into the picture, Crowder could be absolutely vital to your fantasy hopes. After the Giants, they face the Redskins, Raiders, Bengals and the Dolphins; a mouthwatering stretch for all you fantasy fiends.
As long as Fitzpatrick us under centre for the Dolphins, there is some viability to Parker for your fantasy team, particularly for PPR leagues.
In each of the past 5 games for the Dolphins, Parker has managed to score over 10 fantasy points in PPR. There have been 4 touchdowns in 5 of those games, and the team is likely to throw the ball a lot considering their QB and the likelihood of them falling behind. This week’s opposition in the Colts doesn’t provide that juicy matchup that a lot are looking for, however he will be serviceable as a flex player.
Also, if you manage to make it into the playoffs, the stretch through weeks 14-16 are great as they face the Jets, Giants and the Bengals.
With the Rams and Saints on their bye week and a long
list of injuries building up within the NFL, there should still be plenty of
options to help improve your team on the waiver wire.
Quarterback – Sam Darnold (NY Jets) – owned by 38%
Darnold shouldn’t be seeing too many ghosts this week as he leads his NY Jets against a Miami Dolphins team that are struggling to get pressure on quarterbacks. Brian Flores is trying to run a similar defensive scheme as his old employers (New England Patriots) but without the talent level.
There are some concerns regarding Darnold’s health as he is currently struggling with injuries to both his thumb and toe, and his seven interceptions over the past two games don’t make good reading but hear me out. Every quarterback who has gone up against the Dolphins this season has scored at least two touchdowns and the QBs have at least 19 fantasy points in every game.
The Jets have a relatively easy schedule in the coming
weeks as well, as they take on the Giants (2-6), Washington (1-7), Oakland
(3-4), Cincinnati (0-8) and Miami (0-7) again! Darnold showed against the
Cowboys that he can put up decent fantasy numbers so don’t be put off by the
last few weeks.
Running Back – Jaylen Samuels (Pittsburgh Steelers) – owned by 35%
Samuels could well be the starting running back this week for the Steelers after James Connor and Benny Snell both picked up injuries against the Dolphins on Monday night. Without knowing their status, it’s difficult to gauge just how much action Samuels will see but even if one of the two are out, Samuels will get some carries.
The Steelers play the Colts in week 9 and whist it isn’t the ideal matchup for Samuels, he could be a good flex option if Conner is out.
If Conner misses an extended period of time, Samuels could be your ticket into the playoffs.
Wide Receiver – Danny Amendola (Detroit Lions) – owned by 41%
Amendola has stepped it up the past two weeks with 16 catches for 200 yards from his 19 targets. This upturn in production has coincided with the injury to Kerryon Johnson and the Lions struggles to run the ball.
Amendola started the season well with seven catches for 104 yards against the Cardinals but then disappeared for the next four games but that shouldn’t happen this time around. With a week 9 visit to Oakland coming up he should continue to produce good fantasy numbers.
The Raiders are ranked 27th in fantasy points allowed to wide receivers so he is worth a starting berth in the flex.
Tight End – Dallas Goedert ( Philadelphia Eagles) – owned by 15%
Goedert is outperforming Zach Ertz and is worth trying to pick up in deeper leagues as a low end starter. In the previous three games, Goedert has scored two touchdowns and racked up 139 yards from 12 receptions (17 targets).
This has resulted in at least 9 fantasy points for each game. During the same span of games, Ertz has just eight catches for 112 yards and 0 touchdowns.
This week the Eagles are taking on the Bears and whilst I would still start Ertz over Goedert, Goedert could actually prove to be the better pick come the end of the season.
The man with the fantastic name is your number one QB waiver wire pickup this week.
Sixth round pick Gardner Minshew has surprised everyone in the league with his consistent fantasy performance. To date has broken 16 points in each week (4-pt passing leagues), with him throwing two TDs on 4 of 5 occasions. Minshew has struck a chord with DJ Chark, who was one of my waiver wire suggestions a few weeks back.
Look to Minshew to provide a solid performance against New Orleans. He won’t blow your socks off but you’ll get by without suffering a single digit score.
With the impressive John Ross injured and AJ Green still in the treatment room, there has been another player that has emerged as a reasonable WR option.
Tate is clearly the Bengals’ WR2 and the team as a whole has spent swathes of the season playing from behind. This has meant the Red Rifle Andy Dalton has needed to pass the ball a significant amount.
In the last three games Tate has averaged 11.1 points. Whilst this again is not a substantial amount, WRs Allen Robinson and TY Hilton are on bye, Davante Adams has turf-toe, Tyreek is questionable still… I could go on, however you may be really in need of a WR. Tate will provide that 10 point performance that may get you by.
After-all it’s better than having a player giving you a goose-egg!
Mohamed Sanu – Wide Receiver – Atlanta Falcons – owned by 43.3%
The surprising news this year (compared to pre-season predictions) is that the Atlanta Falcons suck as a football team.
The defense is woefully bad, but that has meant that Matty Ice has thrown the ball a lot. Those who picked Julio Jones this year have been woefully disappointed, but a man that you should definitely be looking out for is Mohamed Sanu, particularly in PPR leagues. Sanu has broken 10 points in 4 of the 5 games this season aided by him seeing at least 5 targets in every game this season.
Look to Sanu as an immediate flex guy or bye-week fill-in.
Chris Herndon – Tight End – New York Jets – owned by 12%
Sam Darnold aka Mr Mono has been cleared to return for the Jets and this immediately increases the value of the pieces on the Jets offense.
Whilst HC Adam Gase has stated he wants to see Herndon on the practice field, it’s almost certain he will be on the field significantly come this weekend. With TEs Waller and Ebron on bye, you may well be looking for a guy who’s going to get a reasonable target share.
Dallas have given 14.1 points per game to the TE position this season and Herndon could well benefit from this.
We hope you picked up Terry McLaurin and John Ross over the last week as they produced stellar fantasy performances in Week 2. Let’s take a look at the guys that you should be looking to acquire ahead of Week 3.
Josh Allen – Quarterback, Buffalo Bills – owned by 30%
Week 2 was the demise of a couple of veteran quarterbacks, with Drew Brees tearing ligaments in his hand (6 weeks injury) and Ben Roethlisberger ruled out of the rest of the season with an elbow injury. So if you’re licking your wounds from losing your QB, or you’re in the business of streaming your QB, we have found your guy.
Allen is surprisingly undervalued in fantasy terms, particularly as he was the QB2 for the final 5 games of the 2018 fantasy season (we don’t count wk17). So far after two weeks in the 2019 season, he is QB12 and has come off a decent fantasy performance versus the New York Giants (22.1 points). He has thrown for over 250 yards in both games this season, a feat he didn’t achieve in his rookie year. With Allen’s propensity to scoring rushing TDs (scored in both games this season) and with a plus matchup in their home season debut versus the Bengals, look to him to be your QB going forward.
Raheem Mostert – Running Back, San Francisco 49ers – owned by 11%
The 49ers have been sneaky good to start the season, with them starting the season 2-0. Jimmy G looks good and the running back duo of Breida and Mostert both are playing well and that’s before we get to the master of vulture Jeff Wilson.
Mostert in week 2 rushed for 83 yards on 13 carries and had 3 catches for 68 yards and a TD. The Niners face a struggling Pittsburgh side next, who may struggle to keep the offense on the field after their spate of injuries. Mostert will have a lot of flex appeal in week 3, ahead of their week 4 bye so pick him up and reap the rewards.
DJ Chark – Wide Receiver, Jacksonville Jaguars– owned by 22.2%
Chark over the first two games has performed more than admirably, particularly as they have lost their franchise QB Nick Foles to injury. Week 1 he scored 24.6 points in full-PPR, by way of 4 receptions for 146 yards and a TD, and then followed that up with 7 receptions for 55 yards and a TD in Houston.
The second week performance was key, as this came with the brilliantly named Gardner Minshew under centre. Now the schedule is not that kind to the Jaguars, with them facing the Titans, Broncos and the Panthers in their next three outings. Pick him up and matchup dependent stick him in your flex.
Demarcus Robinson – Wide Receiver, Kansas City Chiefs – owned by 1.1%
The human cheat code. Yes, you know who we’re talking about – Patrick Mahomes. He elevates guys on his offense from relative unknowns to fantasy superstars.
Week 2 was the turn of Demarcus Robinson to ‘ball-out’ with an incredulous 6 catches for 172 yards and 2TDs. Four of the Chiefs receiving corps scored over 10 points in full-PPR and with Tyreek Hill out for an unknown period of time we can expect the targets to remain spread as Mahomes continues to blitz the league. Week 3 brings the matchup against the Ravens, who just let Kyler Murray throw for 349 yards on them. Robinson was on the field for 69% of snaps so look to him to provide your x-factor in the coming weeks.
Greg Olsen – Tight End, Carolina Panthers– owned by 58.7%
The old man is back to producing fantasy performances! If you are one of those that do not own Kelce, Ertz, Kittle or Andrews; you’re probably scrambling to find the guy who will obtain a reasonable number of points at the TE position. In week 2, Olsen had a stat line of 6 receptions for 110 yards for a massive 17 points in PPR.
This has all happened whilst Cam Newton has been nothing short of disappointing with his inability/refusal to move around the pocket. Next up for the Panthers is a trip to Arizona and their swiss cheese defense in relation to covering the tight end. In the first two weeks, they have given up 131 yards/1TD to Hockensen and 112 yards/1TD to Andrews. Look to Olsen to provide that matchup specific stellar performance when you’re in need.
Well, that’s week 1 in the books. As the dust settles and you begin to process all the twists and turns, allow us to get you one step ahead with your week 2 fantasy waiver dealing.
Ronald Jones – Running Back, Tampa Bay Buccaneers – owned by 49.1%
As all the preseason optimism around Jameis Winston and his receiver core began to crumble and fall in Tampa on Sunday evening, one spark of life emerged.
Second year back, Ronald Jones II, fresh off what pretty much amounted to a red shirt year, set out to prove that he isn’t a bust. Down in the third corner with ground to make up, new Head Coach turned to Jones to spearhead the fight back, the former USC man obliged, carrying the ball for good yardage on multiple plays.
Jones managed 75 yards off 13 carries (5.7 per carry), but more importantly established himself as the go to guy on Sunday. With a Thursday night match up against Carolina on Thursday, expect to see the former second rounder pick up even more of the slack.
Terry McLaurin – Wide Receiver, Washington Redskins – owned by 27.8%
Washington surged out to a surprise lead in Philadelphia on Sunday afternoon, aggressive play calling from Jay Gruden had the Redskins up 17-0 at one point before a Doug Pederson/Carson Wentz masterclass saw the lead slip away.
Much of Washington’s early success was caught in the hands of their third-round rookie, Terry McLaurin. The Georgia product caught a 69 yard bomb from Case Keenum and led the ‘Skins receiver group in receptions and targets, with 5 and 7 respectively.
Look for McLaurin to build on a 125 yard performance against a Dallas team which gave up 319 passing yards to the Giants last weekend.
T.J Hockenson – Tight End, Detroit Lions – owned by 63.6%
Rookie tight ends aren’t worthwhile fantasy pickups, right? Well in T.J Hockenson, Detroit haven’t got just any rookie tight end. The Iowa product had a standout opening weekend against what (admittedly) was a poor Cardinals defense.
Hockenson was on the field for 73% of the Lions offensive snaps, providing a nice option for Matthew Stafford throughout the game. The rookie was targeted 6 times, catching every one of them for 131 yards (21.8 yards per catch) and a TD.
Things may get tougher for the Lions in coming weeks as they face the Chargers, Eagles and Chiefs in succession, but with Hockenson seeing 75% of snaps, he’s got potential as a starter or high quality bye week filler in weeks to come.
A.J Brown – Wide Receiver, Tennessee Titans – owned by 7.3%
Perhaps the upset of the weekend was the Titans takedown of the playoff tipped ClevelandBrowns. The score perhaps doesn’t reflect the close nature of the game until Baker Mayfield threw 3 INTs in the fourth quarter, allowing Marcus Mariota to show his quality and put the game to bed.
One of the difference-makers that Mariota was able to lean on during the game was rookie A.J Brown. The Ole Miss talent was targeted 4 times, the most of any Titans receiver, catching 3 of the passes for 100 yards. His presence operating both along the side-line and in the slot created mismatches all day, and his RAC ability shone through on some huge plays.
Perhaps most promising for Brown was the lack of production from Corey Davis (3 targets, 0 catches) and Adam Humphries(1 target, 1 catch, 5 yards), who could be considered his main rival for fantasy production. Trips to the Colts, Jaguars and Falcons could all be fruitful in coming weeks, judging by week 1.
Honourable Mentions: John Ross (WR, Bengals), DeSean Jackson (WR, Eagles), Malcolm Brown (RB, Rams)
Peyton Barber – Running Back, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Barber must have been feeling good throughout the summer, with Bruce Arians publicly reassuring him that he’d been the week 1 starter at RB for the Buccs. The problem is Barber doesn’t offer a lot to support an offense which has the potential to be fantastic or awful on any given drive.
That was summarised perfectly on Sunday when the former undrafted free agent carried 8 times for 33 yards and added 12 yards through the air with two catches. It’s not good, not particularly bad, just bang average – drop him and pick up Ronald Jones instead.
Nick Foles – Quarterback, Jacksonville Jaguars
It all started so well for the former Super Bowl MVP, he dropped in a dime to D.J Chark in the back corner of the end zone and Jacksonville must have thought they’d got their man.
Unfortunately, Foles then went off with a broken left clavicle, leaving him out indefinitely. Whilst there is a chance he comes back the season, it’s probably time to drop him in place of prospective replacement Gardner Minshew (what a name).
Honourable Mention: Tony Pollard (RB, Dallas Cowboys)
It’s almost here folks! NFL Football returns to your screens on Thursday night / Friday morning.
If you’re like us, you’ve got way too many fantasy teams to manage and are eyeing one more as you read this. Well, we’ve got you. Throughout the season we’ll be here for all your fantasy football needs.
That starts now, as we’ve got a few last-minute waiver moves to give your line up the boost it needs.
Austin Ekeler – Running Back, Los Angeles Chargers – owned by 92.6%
Unless you’ve taken a hiatus from America’s game over the summer, you’ll know that Chargers star running back, Melvin Gordon is holding out for a new deal. The $10m deal the Chargers were offering is now off the table and Gordon looks set for a lengthy hold out or a trade.
The man benefiting from that in the first place is Austin Ekeler. The third-year back out of Western Colorado hasn’t been used as an every down back a whole deal in his short NFL career, but did average 5.2 yards a carry last season.
He now steps in to take on the lion’s share of the Chargers 25 carries a game against the Luck-less Colts. With his potential in the passing game, it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that Ekeler is pivotal to the early success of an LA team that is trying to get Philip Rivers a well-deserved Super Bowl ring in the twilight of his career. He’s currently available in almost 10% of leagues, so grab him before that goes up even further.
Shady McCoy’s time in Buffalo ended abruptly over the weekend as he made his way to the Chiefs via Sean McDermott’s chopping board.
The move was clearly a complicated one, with finances and McCoy’s age clearly factoring into the decision. One possibility is that Buffalo feels that in Singletary, they have the future.
A rookie out of FAU, Singletary is an every down back, tough, hard hitting and quick to improvise – he has all the markings of a future RB1. How quickly that happens will largely be in the hands of the veteran Frank Gore who enjoyed a productive year in Miami despite being aided by woeful offensive line and quarterback play at times.
What is exciting for Singletary is Buffalo’s tendency to run the ball, 29 times a game last year (4th highest in the NFL), as the Bills looked to give Josh Allen all the help he could get. This, in addition to the clear role of Gore as a transition back, gives Singletary a plethora of opportunity to succeed this year.
Matthew Stafford – Quarterback, Detroit Lions – owned by 16.3%
Expectation is low for the Lions this season, and it seems like the ‘Matthew Stafford is criminally underrated’ narrative has died down after a season in which the former Georgia star posted a rating of just 50.9.
Come Sunday, Stafford and Co will go up against the new look Arizona Cardinals who have put a whole lot of focus on their offense. What that means is that, by and large, they still have the same defense which ranked bottom seven in the regular season points allowed stats.
With a young receiver primed to make a big leap this year in Kenny Golladay, the ever-reliable Marvin Jones and second year back Kerryon Johnson, Stafford has a good mix of targets available to him. Add into that mix 8th overall pick, TJ Hockenson, at tight end and Stafford’s options look as good as they have done in some time.
Rostered in just 16% of leagues, there’s a good chance Stafford is available. If you’re normal QB1 has a tough matchup to start the season, why not bring in the Detroit veteran in to get your season off to a bang.
Noah Fant – Tight End, Denver Broncos – owned by 10.4%
It’s not a secret that Joe Flacco likes to target his tight ends, nearly a quarter of all his pass attempts over the last three years have been to those playing the position.
With a whole lot of hype coming into the draft this year, Fant looks like he’s ready to go from week one. His mix of athleticism and safe hands might give him the most potential of any tight end Flacco has thrown towards, and with a newly built Raiders team in front of him in week one, he’s certainly worth a shot.
Albert Wilson – Wide Receiver, Miami Dolphins – owned by 26.8
I know, I know the Dolphins are in full tank mode and represent a fantasy wasteland in general this season. Hear me out on this though.
With the trade of Laremy Tunsil earlier this week, and other moves up and down the offensive line over the last week, it’s clear that Ryan Fitzpatrick is going to be stood behind an absolutely awful unit against the Ravens.
In reality that is going to force him to curb his normal downfield tendencies, instead looking to get the ball out of his hands early to his first open read.
Step forward Albert Wilson. Operating from the slot, Wilson showed sparks of immense quality in 2018, averaging 15 yards per reception before injury cut his season short.
If he picks up where he left off last year, the former Chiefs man could be a rare uptick for the tanking Fins.