10-12 people are dropped into an experiment. Each one of them starts a different distance from the treasures and supplies lying just out of reach of home base. These treasures will help you survive and battle your way to victory among your friends, enemies and peers. The supplies keep running out and the pickings are getting fewer and less valuable. Whose resources will run out, who will fall first? We, of course, are talking about the horrid Waiver Wire process each week this year in the NFL. Productive fantasy players are dropping faster than the kids in “the game begins” scene. The NFL is bigger, faster and stronger than it has ever been and with that comes an equal amount of reactive pain and injury. The body was not meant to move that fast and get hit that hard each week.
With another week passing we unfortunately have a handful of significant injuries: Odell Beckham Jr., Brandon Marshall, Chris Conley & JJ Watt are all done for the season. This year is quickly turning into one of the ugliest fantasy years for injuries in the last decade. Each of the first 5 weeks have seen at least 2 fantasy relevant players go down for the season, and the waiver wire replacements are at a slim pickings because of it. We are to the point that on almost every team’s 2nd/ 3rd running back at the beginning of the season is now fantasy relevant, and in many cases a fantasy 'must own'.
This year has proven to be challenging for even the foremost fantasy minds and will likely continue to be a headache. Take away the injury aspect and you are still faced with the difficult decision of trying to predict the future. The game of fantasy football relies completely on the decisions of people we have no control over. You may feel like a puppet-master while setting your line-ups, but in reality, the people that make or break your team are standing on the field and you are just watching from behind a TV screen.
With all that being said there are only a few ways to create a playoff team headed toward a championship...GET LUCKY, PREDICT, TRADE & CLAIM. Obviously luck plays a big part. We have all been the team with the 2nd most points scored and lost before. You will also almost certainly need to make a trade at some point in the year to balance out your team and probably most importantly you will need to make the RIGHT waiver wire claims. Hopefully we can help in one of those ways. Even if it is just sending you a four leaf clover.
PUT ME IN COACH: Waiver Wire Adds
Elijah McGuire, NYJ RB - Bilal Powell went down with a calf injury and it is very rare for those to just go away after a week. Powell should see limited snaps and maybe even sit out for parts of the game if the calf acts up. So far, McGuire has shown he can be fantasy relevant if given the opportunity. He will be worth a look this week. Currently owned in 22% of leagues.
Matt Breida, SF RB - It looks like the 49ers will be playing “the hot-hand” moving forward and that could mean more carries for Brieda in the weeks to follow. If Hyde continues to be banged up, there could be an even split in touches (or more) coming Breida’s way. His touch count is trending up and Hyde is clearly playing with “discomfort” at the least. He will continue to eat up more carries this season. Currently owned in 16% of leagues. ‘
Kendall Wright, CHI WR - With Mitch Trubisky taking the reigns, somebody will emerge and develop as the leading pass catcher. We’re not suggesting to blow your FAAB (FAAB Spload) load on Wright in any kind of way, but he should be on your radar and should definitely be a prospect in PPR leagues.
JuJu Smith-Schuster, PIT WR - While his YPC is nothing to brag about, this guy is a starting slot receiver on a potent offense and will occasionally hawk a touchdown as there are an incredible amount of weapons around him to worry about. Not sure he’s starting material just yet as his targets and route count is still lower than we’d like, but if you’re decimated by the time bye weeks come around there are a few options left. Currently owned in less than 5% of leagues.
Tavarres King, NYG WR - The Giants lost 3 of their receivers this week to most likely season-ending injury. With that being said, King stands to be the WR1/2 in this system now. He has been with the Giants for multiple seasons and knows the playbook and scheme. He may not be amazing but he is worth a look. Currently owned in less than 1% of leagues.
Ed Dickson, CAR TE - Dickson’s week 5 showing against Detroit was clearly inflated a bit and we shouldn’t bank on any more performances like that this season from any Carolina Panther who is catching the ball. However, he does look to manage at least fantasy worthy numbers at a position that is sometimes hard to find in week to week value. Currently owned in less than 10% of leagues.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins, NYJ TE - ASJ is averaging 5 catches over his last 3 games and should continue to be one of the most trustworthy options on this Jets squad. There probably won’t be a ton of TD catches with the Jets team, but Seferian-Jenkins has as good of a chance as any to be the one bringing them down. Currently owned in 36% of leagues.
Zach Miller, CHI TE - Just like with Kendall Wright, the QB change in Chicago should give Miller more production. He remains 2nd on the team in targets/receptions and will look to keep that role moving forward. Trubisky looks like he will be a good upgrade from Glennon and should look to his safe tight-end often enough. Currently owned in less than 20% of leagues.
LOOK OUT FOR ME: Keep an eye on these players
Marlon Mack, IND RB - Frank Gore just doesn’t look the same this year and Mack has made the most out of each chance he has gotten. Most of us have that one Colt’s fan friend who hasn’t shut up about this dude all year (Mike). Hopefully, you can get a real assessment and potentially snag him while he’s available. He is the only explosive player in the Colts backfield. If you have a free roster spot for potential talent, fill it with Mack.
Wayne Gallman, NYG RB - Gallman is taking over as the lead back for the Giants. As of now, there is still a split backfield with carries, but Wayne has seen 11 in two games straight and produced good enough numbers that he deserves to be the #1 back on the team.
Alfred Morris, DAL RB - This is strictly because of the uncertainty of Zeke’s situation. If Zeke is suspended for any amount of games this year, Morris will take over as the lead back. If you are a E.Elliott owner than Morris is a must own handcuff right now.
Taylor Gabriel, ATL WR - If Julio or Sanu miss more games, Gabriel will be the second option on the team. The sneaky, pat-yourself-on-the-back-too-hard-if-it-pans-out, add of the week is seeing his snap count trending up. He failed to pull in any of his targets last week, but is going up against a MIA team whose offense cannot stay on the field. Unless you’re a OBJ, Chris Connelly and Brandon Marshall owner, there is no real reason to add him just yet; but he’s worth putting under surveillance.
Roger Lewis, NYG WR - In New York there are some very slim pickings at WR ( that includes the Jets…). Roger Lewis will look to fill into the WR1 or WR2 with the hole at the position currently. There is certainly potential as the Giants are about as pass dependent as they come, and Lewis could see a heavy workload with around 7-12 targets. He’s playing the Broncos this week, so don’t expect much of anything. However, he could have great upside going forward. Could be just as good of an option as King.
Mike Williams, LAC WR - The young rookie looks like he will make his debut this week. The Chargers are in desperate need of any help they can get, but they also have a crowded WR core. If William’s plays a role in this week’s offense it will be a good sign moving forward.
Tyler Kroft, CIN TE - Tyler Kroft has seen enough targets the past few weeks to already put him into fantasy relevance. In all honesty, he could be up in our waiver wire pickups. He is averaging almost 5 catches a game since week 3 and if he manages to start getting a little more yards he could be a weekly play on a pass first offense.
YOU’RE KILLING ME, SMALLS: Time to bench, trade or drop
Jay Ajayi, MIA RB- What's saddest is knowing Jay Cutler doesn't give a rat's ass that the team is struggling. He's there to get his check and bounce out back to his hot wife and potential announcing career. The Miami offense looks terrible behind Jay Cutler making Ajayi’s life difficult. It doesn’t help his knees continue to be a problem. Find other options as your RB1/2.
Isaiah Crowell, CLE RB - Crowell has been getting consistent double digit carries and has done nothing with them. Crowell was set up to have a good year on an offense without much else for options. However, he has turned 62 carries into just 194 yards with a high of 60 yards in week 5. He is nothing more than a RB3 or bye week fill in at best.
Theo Riddick, DE RB- Becoming, at best, a bye week fill in, this one time PPR stud has seen his role diminish this year. He’s getting little-to-no red zone work, and his targets seem down from the past, or maybe he’s just not taking advantage like he used to. Maybe against the Saints he will have a little more success, but you’re definitely starting to kick yourself for not dropping him for a guy like Kamara when you had the chance.
Ameer Abdullah, DET RB - Devin constantly says to me, ”Man, you really don’t like Abdullah” and he isn’t wrong. Let me be clear: I have no problem with Ameer as a person/human being. However, as a fantasy player I would feel anxious every single week starting him ( so I don’t own him). Ameer has lived up to his hype 2 times in his last 8 games! Just look at the stats people. If he isn’t getting 20 carries a game he just isn’t worth starting unless in really deep leagues. Trade him for his value for week 4 and potential against the Saints.
Jeremy Maclin, BAL WR - Never a huge fantasy star, Maclin was still a legitimate starter in Philly, and provided nice support while on the Chiefs. Unfortunately the Ravens offense is completely decimated. In standard scoring we understand the frustration, but he's worth keeping in PPR, at least for now, as a flex option.
Martavis Bryant, PIt WR - Originally, I felt pretty good drafting Bryant as my WR3 in leagues, but lately he has looked nothing like the player I drafted. Bryant is known to be a boom-or-bust player, but usually the boom was good for 75+ yards and 3-4 catches. That has only happened once this year and Big Ben isn’t exactly looking good. Bryant is a risky start the next three weeks against talented defenses.
Amari Cooper, OAK WR - Well this one hurts the worst. I went after Amari in almost every one of my leagues (both keeper and yearly). Obviously he hasn’t panned out. The talented route runner and exceptional athletic WR has started to be one of the least productive receivers in the league. Whatever is going on in between his ears needs to end NOW; in the meantime, stick him on your bench or try to find some value in a trade.
Jamison Crowder, WAS WR - Another depressing drop off from last season. Crowder has quickly become the number 3/4 option for Kirk Cousin behind Pryor, Thompson and even Ryan Grant lately. Honestly, if he didn’t have the year he did last season he would barely be owned at this point. At this time, players like Kendall Wright have more fantasy upside.
Jordan Reed, WAS TE - Obviously we don’t want to trade Reed right now because you know what he can do when healthy, BUT he is hardly ever healthy. If you are a Reed owner, you should have a backup TE on your bench at all times. He hasn’t been productive at all this year and isn’t even close to his top 3 TE draft price.
Martellus Bennett, GB TE - While he would be considered a good streaming option from week to week, his red zone targets are not what owners who took a chance and drafted him were hoping for. If you’re lucky, you grabbed Cameron Brate a few weeks ago. He is still heavily targeted in between the 20’s and in all honesty has a decent floor for PPR, but he’s not producing at his optimal level just yet.
Injuries: Going into week 6
Ranking Tiers: We aren’t fans of straight rankings
Every Week Starts:
QB: Alex Smith, Deshaun Watson, Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, CArson Wentz, Dak Prescott, Drew Brees, Cam Newton, Russell Wilson, Phillip Rivers
RB: Kareem Hunt, Todd Gurley, Leonard Fournette, Le’Veon Bell, Melvin Gordon, Ezekiel Elliott, Devonte Freeman, LeSean McCoy, Jordan Howard, Lamar Miller, CJ Anderson, Doug Martin
WR: Antonio Brown, DeAndre Hopkins, AJ Green, Chris Hogan, Jordy Nelson, Keenan Allen, Mike Evans, Dez Bryant, Doug Baldwin, Michael Thomas, Michael Crabtree, Larry Fitzgerald, Tyreek Hill, Devante Adams, TY Hilton , Julio Jones, Kelvin Benjamin
TE: Rob Gronkowski, Zach Ertz, Travis Kelce, Jason Witten, Cameron Brate, Delanie Walker, Jimmy Graham, Evan Engram, Jesse James, Martellus Bennett
QB: Carson Palmer, Jameis Winston, Matthew Stafford, Kirk Cousins, Marcus Mariota, Derek Carr, Trevor Siemian, Andy Dalton, Matt Ryan, Jared Goff
RB: Carlos Hyde, TY Montgomery, Tevin Coleman, DeMarco Murray, Marshawn Lynch, LaGarrette Blount, Mark Ingram, Alvin Kamara, Joe Mixon, Duke Johnson jr., Chris Thompson, Javorius Allen, Christian McCaffery, Tarik Cohen, Mike Gillislee, Jerick Mckinnon, Adrian Peterson
WR: Stefon Diggs, Brandin Cooks, Devin Funchess, Pierre Garcon, Adam Thielen, Golden Tate, Alshon Jeffery, Jarvis Landry, James Kearse, Danny Amendola, Randall Cobb, Emmanuel Sanders, Demaryius Thomas, Rishard Matthews, DeVante Parker, DeSean Jackson
TE: Jordan Reed, Kyle Rudolph, Jared Cook, David Njoku, Hunter Henry, Zach Miller, Tyler Kroft, Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Ed Dickson
QB: Tyrod Taylor, Jacoby Brissett, Ben Roethlisberger, Blake Bortles, Brian hoyer, Case Keenum, Sam Bradford, Joe Flacco, Jay Cutler, Josh McCown, Mitchell Trubisky
RB: James White, Frank Gore, ameer Abdullah, Giovani Bernard, Andre Ellington, BIlal Powell, Jonathan Stewart, Shane Vereen, Isaiah Crowell, Jay Ajayi, Elijah Mcguire, Wendell Smallwood, Wayne Gallman, Alex Collins, Theo Riddick
WR: Cooper Kupp, Allen Hurns, JJ Nelson, Tyrell Williams, Sammy Watkins, Jaron Brown, Jeremy Maclin, MArtavis Bryant, Kendall Wright, Marvin Jones jr., Robert Woods, Will Fuller V, Mike Wallace, Nelson Agholor, DOnte Moncrief, Tyler Lockett, Amari Cooper, Taylor Gabriel, Eric Decker, Terrelle Pryor Sr., JuJu smith-Schuster, Torrey Smith, Brice Butler, Paul Richardson, Mohamed Sanu
TE: George Kittle, Coby Fleener, Austin Hooper, Marcedes Lewis, Jack Doyle, Vernon Davis, Antonio Gates, Robert Griffin, Tyler Higbee, Eric Ebron,
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- M & D