By: Brandon Sysak @BrandonSysak
Scrounging the Waiver Wire
With Week 10 in the books, now is an important time to make sure you are setting your roster up for a deep playoff run. The best way to prepare for a good playoff run is to grab players early off of the waiver wire that will help you not only for the rest of the season but for Weeks 14 through 17. Here are some of the best players to pick up off of Waiver Wires for Week 11.
(Here are some names that are likely owned in your league but I still worth checking to see if they’re available because they represent great value)
Jared Goff (74.5% owned in ESPN, 90% owned in Yahoo)
The Rams signal-caller has been great so far this year with 2385 yards, 16 TDs and four INTs, ranking as the QB9 in most formats. Though he is owned in a fairly large amount of leagues, 75% of ESPN and 90% of Yahoo, he is someone I would check the waivers for and see if he is available. If he is, I would most definitely try to get him and continue to ride him into the playoffs. Grab Goff if he is there.
Orleans Darkwa (69.2% owned in ESPN, 73% owned in Yahoo)
Orleans Darkwa has established himself as the lead running back in New York. In recent weeks he has been a useful RB with 362 yards on 68 rushes and one TD since Week 5, making him a worthwhile bench stash with RB2 upside. It’s not very often you can get a starting running back off of waivers this late in the year,but he is available in around 30% of leagues across all formats so he is most definitely worth checking to see if he is still available.
JuJu Smith-Schuster (73.5% owned in ESPN, 90% owned in Yahoo)
Fantasy football, and football in general, has a new star in their mits. His name is JuJu Smith-Schuster and he has been an electric personality who has also performed on the football field (57.9 fantasy points in 0.5 PPR scoring formats combined in the past three games). Many owners picked him up a few weeks ago when he had a Breakout game versus Detroit, leaving him only available in roughly 20% of leagues. If by some chance he is available in your league, he needs to be picked up. It appears that he is emerging as a new favorite weapon in the high caliber Pittsburgh offense, and will certainly be a valuable asset going into the playoffs. Pick up Smith-Schuster if he’s available.
Vernon Davis (55.2% owned in ESPN, 64% owned in Yahoo)
With the seemingly never-ending absences of Jordan Reed, Vernon Davis has established himself as a sneaky pick up for fantasy owners. He has low end TE1 upside, and is certainly usable both when Reed is out for the game, and even in some cases when Reed plays. Davis is currently owned in around 55% of leagues but is certainly a player worth looking to see if he’s available.
Best Waiver Wire pickups for Week 11
Austin Ekeler (2% owned in ESPN, 5% owned in Yahoo)
Austin Ekeler burst onto the scene last week with 42 rushing yards on 10 rushes and five receptions for 77 yards and two TDs. This is not the first time that Ekeler has shown himself to be relevant however, with 12.8 fantasy points (0.5 PPR scoring) in Week 4. However this game feels different, it seems as though the Chargers coaches made an effort to get Ekeler involved in this game, meaning they have some sort of role carved out for him for the future. With him only being owned in roughly 4% of leagues, he is my favorite waiver-wire add at the RB position and is one of my favorite players to grab overall from the waivers this week.
Rex Burkhead (11.7% owned in ESPN, 14% owned in Yahoo)
Though he is stuck in the marshy quagmire that is the New England Patriots backfield, Rex Burkhead has begun to show that he can be relevant in this offense. The Patriots spread Burkhead all over the field and use him in a variety of different ways, but primarily as a receiving option (three targets in Week 10 and seven targets in Week 8), which gives him obvious upside over other running backs. Another positive aspect for Burkhead is he appears to be healthy now, meaning he should continue to get this outlook going forward, as he has posted two similar stat lines when healthy(11.8 fantasy points in Week 8 and 11.9 fantasy points in Week 2 in 0.5 PPR formats). Being owned in only 12% of most leagues, grab Burkhead and look to start him in upcoming weeks.
Kenyan Drake (57.2% owned in ESPN, 59% owned in Yahoo)
When the Dolphins shipped out Jay Ajayi a couple of weeks ago, many owners didn’t know which of the Miami running backs would be relevant for the rest of the year. Through two games it seems as though Kenyan Drake has established himself to be the better fantasy asset with 29.6 fantasy points (0.5 PPR scoring) over the past two weeks. Drake is owned in 58% of leagues and is a good player to add to your roster who will be useful in the upcoming weeks.
Jamaal Williams (2.7% owned in ESPN, 8% owned in Yahoo)
With injuries plaguing both players above him in the depth chart, Ty Montgomery and Aaron Jones, Jamaal Williams now appears to be the top running back in Green Bay. While Montgomery could potentially come back as his injury is not that serious, the coaches have said that Montgomery will still primarily handle third down/passing-down back responsibilities while Jamaal Williams will the primary running back. Williams is only owned in roughly 6% of leagues and worth picking up for the short-term and could potentially be a good RB for the rest of the season if Jones continues to be out.
Robert Woods (61.4% owned in ESPN, 72% owned in Yahoo)
With the explosion of the Los Angeles Rams offense, one wide receiver has taken advantage of the increase in production over his teammates. Robert Woods has had an average of 27 fantasy points (0.5 PPR scoring) for the past two weeks and looks to have established himself as a top target for Jared Goff. Woods is owned in 67% of leagues and will certainly be worth a roster spot for the rest of the season and is someone who could blow up and win you a week with his production alone.
Marqise Lee (42.6% owned in ESPN, 60% owned in Yahoo)
When Allen Robinson went down in Week 1 for the Jacksonville Jaguars, a question popped up across the fantasy football world. Which one of the Jacksonville wide receivers would see the most production and could possibly be fantasy relevant for the rest of the year? Marqise Lee and Allen Hurns have seemed to go back and forth in being the answer to that question, in recent weeks Marqise Lee has seen an increase in production with an average of 14 fantasy points (0.5 PPR scoring) over his past four games. Lee is owned in roughly 52% of leagues, and is a good player to grab as he has flex potential going forward.
Dontrelle Inman (0.7% owned in ESPN, 2% owned in Yahoo)
Even though the Bears have had two quarterbacks this year, they have had zero wide receivers that are fantasy relevant so far in 2017. This mostly has to do with a shift in philosophy as the Bears are a high running team that rely on their defense to keep them in games, but they are still lacking talent at the WR position. Mitchell Trubisky has especially had trouble connecting with wide receivers so far in his tenure, but he seems to have finally found some chemistry with one of his receivers. Dontrelle Inman had six receptions for 88 yards last game and will look to continue that production going forward. Inman is available in a vast percent of leagues and is someone to grab now off of waivers and look for him to develop going forward.
(Here are some players that have a lower ownership percentage, but have huge upside and are great grab and stash players)
Matt Breida, RB San Francisco (9.5% owned in ESPN, 6% owned in Yahoo)
Though his is the backup to 49ers RB Carlos Hyde, Matt Breida represents some interesting fantasy value for the rest of the season. He has been able to sustain a decent amount of work despite not being the lead back, including a 13.6 fantasy point performance (0.5 PPR scoring) in Week 8, and is certainly in line for quality production if (or when) Hyde were to go down. Breida is owned in roughly 8% of leagues of leagues and is both a good handcuff for Hyde but also has some value as a stash RB that can be used later in the season.
Russell Shepard (1.2% owned in ESPN, 1% owned in Yahoo)
Since the movement of Kelvin Benjamin, the Panthers wide receivers have been a thin unit, with Devin funchess far and away leading the show. One player that lots of owners expected to see get an increase in production was Curtis Samuel, who did see his biggest game of the 2017 season on Monday night, but was also injured and is expected to miss the rest of the season. This leads the way for another receiver to take over, with most thinking it will be Russell Shepard. Though he didn’t do much last game with 40 yards on three receptions, he’s an excellent player to stash and hope that he develops a connection with Cam Newton for great fantasy production later in the year.
Jermaine Gresham (1.4% owned in ESPN, 2% owned in Yahoo)
This is been another bad year for the fantasy TE, with very few establishing themselves as week-to-week players who represent constant value. That being said it is important to find good streaming players that you can plug and play based on matchup and recent production. One of the better players for the scenario Jermaine Gresham. Gresham has awoken in recent weeks with 24.2 fantasy points (0.5 PPR scoring) over his past two games and is emerging as one of the better sneaky tight ends to have. He is owned in less than 2% of most leagues and has the potential to be a good TE going forward if he can continue to build on his chemistry with the man under center in Arizona.