I hope you picked up Jay Ajayi last week! Ajayi is the type of mid-season waiver wire grab that can win you a championship. His 214 yard/1 TD performance is a stark reminder that leagues aren’t won in the draft; they’re won on the wire.
This week, there are a couple guys that could provide some nice short-term returns, but few with the potential to be long term studs like Ajayi.
Week 6 Injuries:
|Brian Hoyer||QB||Broken Forearm||8+ Weeks|
|Geno Smith||QB||ACL||Done for Season|
|Tevin Coleman||RB||Hamstring||Likely out next week|
|Antonio Brown||WR||Quad||Should be active after the bye|
|Jaron Brown||WR||ACL||Done for season|
As always, we’ll be focusing on players with 55% ownership or less on ESPN leagues.
1. Jacquizz Rodgers – RB – TB (ESPN Ownership: 34.4%)
The diminutive Rodgers has made the absolute best out of a very unlikely opportunity. He racked up 101 rushing yards against Carolina and 154 more against San Francisco after the bye. Starter Doug Martin was supposed to be back this week, but he suffered a setback in practice and could be out for another couple weeks. Martin has struggled with a multitude of injuries in the past, and with Quizz playing so well, the Bucs may opt to play it safe and wait until he’s completely healthy. With the bye-nados looming, a couple RB2 weeks could be very valuable for contending fantasy teams. The Bucs get Oakland, Atlanta (who just gave up 3 TDs to Melvin Gordon) and Chicago all at home over the next three weeks.
Verdict: Add in all leagues
2. Davante Adams – WR – GB (ESPN Ownership: 17.4%)
Adams was a massive disappointment after being gifted a huge opportunity in 2015. He was legitimately one of the worst WR’s in the league, and I was ready to close the book on him as a bust. Thursday night may have changed all that. He racked up 13 catches for 132 yards and 2 TD’s, leading all Week 7 WR’s in scoring and targets (16!). Maybe we were too quick to write him off. Before the epic class of 2014, WR’s used to take a full two or three years to develop into contributors, and Adams has the size, speed, and insane college production to make me think that he may have always had the potential and is actually figuring this whole thing out. The major downside for Adams, of course, is that he is still the #3 WR on the Packers depth chart behind Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb. Nelson looks a step slow compared to what we’re used to, and the big-bodied Adams has been Rodgers favorite target in the red zone this season (five TDs in six games). With no healthy, talented RB’s to speak of, the Packers may be forced to air it out 40-50 times a game and make three WR’s fantasy viable.
Verdict: Add in all 10+ leagues
3. Devontae Booker – RB – DEN (ESPN Ownership: 14.2%)
Booker’s snap share has increased each week, and he actually out-snapped C.J. Anderson against Houston, posting a 17-83-1 rushing line. If this backfield is going to be a 50/50 split like it looks like it will be, both Booker and Anderson should be mid-tier RB2’s going forward, with RB1 potential if either one gets hurt.
Verdict: Add in all 10+ team leagues
4. Ty Montgomery – WR/RB – GB (ESPN Ownership: 20.1%)
Green Bay’s RB situation is probably the most confounding situation in fantasy right now. ALL of the RB’s on the Packers’ opening day roster are hurt, most for a significant amount of time. Although the Packers traded for Chiefs backup Knile Davis, Ty Montgomery looks like the best RB on the roster right now, and he’s not even a RB. Luckily for ESPN fantasy players, Montgomery will be given RB/WR eligibility, which is a big deal with all the byes coming up. He has 10 catches in each of the last two games, with most of them coming out of the backfield (80% of his snaps came at RB last Thursday.) Davis is sure to work into the offense once he gets up to speed, but he has proven to be an average running back at best throughout his career. I think the Packers think they found something that works with Montgomery, and until Starks comes back, he should lead the Green Bay backfield in snaps and continue to rack up catches. He’s a must-add in all PPR leagues and intriguing even in standard.
Verdict: Add in all 10+ leagues
5. Jack Doyle – TE – IND (ESPN Ownership: 14.1%)
Doyle opened the season with a two TD game, but was relatively quiet until starter Dwayne Allen went down with a high ankle sprain last week. With Doyle unleashed against Tennessee, he nabbed 9 catches for 78 yards and a TD. Allen’s absence could last a few more weeks, and during that time Doyle should be an every week starter at TE.
Verdict: Add in 10+ team leagues
6. Donte Moncrief – WR – IND (ESPN Ownership: 45.6%)
Moncrief has been cleared to practice this week, and with the Colts WR corps banged up, he is sorely needed. He could play as early as this week, but I think next week is more likely. I see him as a high-end WR3 once he’s fully healthy.
Verdict: Add in 10+ team leagues
7. Mike Gillislee – RB – BUF (ESPN Ownership: 6%)
Buffalo strangely let LeSean McCoy play after he had been labeled doubtful all week with a hamstring injury, and he predictably aggravated the injury in the loss. It’s unclear how long he will be out (if at all), but the Buffalo running game had been fantastic before today’s game against Miami and Gillislee would get the majority of the work if McCoy misses time. The downside is that Buffalo gets New England, Seattle, and then a bye, so Gillislee may only be usable for one week at most.
Verdict: Add if you need a week 8 spot start or are the LeSean McCoy owner
8. Cole Beasley – WR – DAL(ESPN Ownership: 52.6%)
Once again, Beasley is a must-own in PPR leagues. He’ll be a great bye week fill-in in standard leagues as well.
Verdict: Add in all PPR leagues
9. Chris Thompson – RB – WSH (ESPN Ownership: 14.2%)
Matt Jones continues to have ball security issues and Chris Thompson continues to play well. Coach Jay Gruden conceded this week that Rob Kelley may get more work, but Thompson is the more dynamic player and is easier to rely on week-to-week. He had 12 rushes for 73 yards to go along with his 7 catches for 40 against Detroit. He’s a good flex play against in week 8 against Cincinnati for a bye-stricken team, and then can probably be safely dropped during the Redskins week 9 bye.
Verdict: Add in 12+ team leagues and all PPR leagues
10. Knile Davis – RB – GB (ESPN Ownership: 34.5%)
It’s the All-Packer week on the waiver wire! Davis has shown that he can produce given massive volume. I don’t see him getting that, but he’s worth adding just in case Green Bay does have big plans for him. Who knows at this point.
Verdict: Add in 12+ team leagues
Honorable Mention: Brandon Lafell/WR/CIN, Marquise Goodwin/WR/BUF
Preemptive Strike: Dion Lewis/RB/NE, Corey Coleman/WR/CLE
1. Jerick McKinnon – RB – MIN (ESPN Ownership: 79.4%)
McKinnon was dinged up against Philadelphia and was outsnapped by Matt Asiata. Asiata was inefficient and terrible in pass protection, though, so I’m keeping McKinnon on my rosters while they head into a nice stretch of games including CHI, DET, and WSH.
1. Arian Foster – RB- MIA (ESPN Ownership: 77.1%)
This is Jay Ajayi’s backfield, and Foster is reportedly retiring.
2. Derrick Henry – RB – TEN (ESPN Ownership: 51.3%)
I love Henry’s talent and situation (should Demarco Murray get hurt) but Henry’s snaps have declined each week and he is nothing more than a Murray handcuff. He’ll be tough to hold through the bye weeks.
3. Kenneth Dixon – RB – BAL (ESPN Ownership: 23.9%)
It may be Dixon’s time at some point, but that time isn’t now. He only had one carry this week and is going into a bye.
4. Travis Benjamin – WR – SD (ESPN Ownership: 87%)
Benjamin was outsnapped by both Tyrell Williams and Dontrelle Inman yesterday, and while he has major weekly upside, it’s going to almost impossible to predict when those big weeks will come. Philip Rivers loves to spread the ball around, and between those three WRs, Hunter Henry, Antonio Gates, and Melvin Gordon, he’s doing just that. I would hold onto Benjamin if I could, but I’m NOT starting him in week 8 against Denver, and if that means he has to be dropped to start someone else, I’m willing to do that.