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Targeting weekly waiver picks is a completely subjective business,
but this column hopes to point out some obvious and not-so-obvious
selections to help your team from week to week while you strive
to collect fantasy wins, reach your league playoffs and win the
elusive title that your friends say is out of your grasp. While
I’m a big proponent of making trades to bolster your roster,
the waiver wire can be an almost limitless resource when it comes
to discovering fantasy value in strange places. Each week, I’ll
highlight some of the popular (and not-so-popular) players who can
help your squad and may still be available in your league.
Bridgewater, MIN – The Vikings would be well advised
to keep Keenum at quarterback after one of the best games of his
career against Washington. The journeyman threw for 304-4-2, though
the two INTs could be noted as a significant factor if and when
the team decides to thrust Bridgewater (ostensibly more conservative
in his approach) back into a starting role. Bridgewater was active
Sunday but Keenum got the start and continued to play his gunslinger-type
of game – making some excellent throws downfield along with a
couple of awful picks back-to-back. It’s an interesting situation
to monitor, as Keenum is owned in about 25-30 percent of competitive
leagues while Bridgewater’s ownership rate is just under that.
Whoever starts next week, it could be a high scoring affair against
UPDATE: Despite Mike Zimmer’s
noncommittal answers during a press conference Monday about the
Week 11 starter, the Vikings will apparently stick with Keenum
at quarterback to face the Rams. He’s worth a start in deeper
Manning, NYG – Manning had 273-2-0 in the loss to San
Francisco, and while the matchup with the Chiefs puts him at risk
for more turnovers, he should be able to pile up enough yardage
to make him a viable QB2 if he can throw a couple TD passes in
garbage time. He’s not an exciting option, but he could post adequate
numbers if you’re desperate.
UPDATE: With some of the uncertainty surrounding the status of
Philip Rivers (concussion) and the ineffectiveness of QB2s like
Tyrod Taylor and Marcus Mariota, Manning is looking more and more
like a viable option. He’s still a huge risk, but the Giants
passing game is looking better with Sterling Shepard healthy.
Flacco, BAL – Flacco is also in a good spot for production
against the Packers, and he’s had the bye week to draw up some
plays to expose their vulnerable secondary. He hasn’t thrown for
more than 2 TDs in any of his nine games in 2017, and he’s good
for at least one of those per season. This could be the week.
Goff, LAR – Goff continues his stellar play and is
now owned in about 98 percent of leagues. You missed your window
to add him before he threw for 355-3-0 in Week 10, his second
game in a row with at least 300 yards and three TDs.
Taylor, BUF – Taylor was pulled in the fourth quarter
with the game out of hand as Nathan Peterman made his regular
season NFL debut. Taylor has been named the starting QB for next
week and should have no problem eclipsing his abysmal Week 10
numbers (56-0-1 on 9-for-18 passing) in his matchup with the Chargers,
but the Bills passing game is looking woeful at the moment.
Fitzpatrick, TB – Fitzpatrick got revenge with win
but only passed for 187-1-1. He’ll be a much better option in
Week 11 at Miami.
UPDATE: HC Dirk Koetter said he expects Jameis Winston (shoulder)
to return this season, but that’s likely not going to happen
for a few weeks. Fitzpatrick is a low-end QB2 with some upside
and a lot of risk, even facing a Dolphins team that got shredded
by the Panthers in Week 10 –but he’s worth a look
in DFS as a contrarian value play.
Cutler, MIA –UPDATE: Cutler threw for 213-2-1 against
the Panthers Monday night and is firmly on the QB2 radar for Week
11 facing the struggling Bucs.
Beathard, SF – The 49ers are reportedly undecided as
to who will start Week 12 after the 49ers Week 11 bye, but Beathard’s
decent play against the Giants (288-2-1, rushing TD) complicated
things as he contributed to his best fantasy numbers of the season
and got the Niners their first win. Jimmy Garoppolo, as mentioned
above, could also be worth a look if he gets the starting nod.
Austin Ekeler saw 15 touches in Week 10
and was far more effecient than Melvin Gordon (21 touches).
Williams, GB – With Ty Montgomery still nursing his
rib injury and getting limited touches, and Aaron Jones (MCL)
out 3-6 weeks, Williams (5-10 percent owned) projects to be a
popular add on the waiver wire this week. He tallied 67 yards
on 20 carries against the Bears in Week 10, though the matchup
with Baltimore will be more difficult.
Perine, WAS – Perine should inherit the early-down
carries with Rob Kelley likely out for a a couple weeks. Perine
has yet to step up in the pros and show the explosiveness he did
for Oklahoma last year, and he may not see as many touches as
Chris Thompson does in Week 11 facing the Saints. But, if Kelley
is still out in Week 12, I could see him breaking out in a big
way against the lowly Giants.
McGuire, NYJ – Matt Forte could be out for some time
and McGuire out-snapped and out-produced Bilal Powell in Week
10. He’s on a Week 11 bye but should be involved on the Jets return
in a touch matchup with Carolina.
Ekeler, SD – In a bizarre turn of events, the undrafted
Ekeler got most of touches in crunch time for the Chargers over
Melvin Gordon, totaling 119 yards on 19 looks (10 rushes for 42
yards; 5-77-2 receiving). He also lost a fumble with under two
minutes remaining in the game that the Jaguars failed to capitalize.
Still, Gordon’s ineffectiveness lately has been a concern and
Ekeler (5-15 percent owned) has earned at least an uptick in snaps
and touches moving forward.
Burkhead, NE – Burkhead had 10 rushes for 36 yards
and hauled in 3-27-1 on three targets and outsnapped Dion Lewis
36-21, with Lewis getting just one more touch on the day. This
is still a three-headed committee with James White getting regular
looks and Mike Gillislee inactive recently, but Burkhead continues
to emerge as a viable flex option in 12-team leagues.
Forte, NYG – Forte (knee) went from not practicing
Monday but likely to play to missing the rest of the week and
inactive on Sunday. Now, they’re saying he’s going to miss several
weeks with swelling in what appears to be a significant issue.
It’s shame, as he was coming off his best game of 2017.
Rawls, SEA – Rawls rushed 10 times for 27 yards in
the Seahawks’ Week 10 win over the Cardinals, adding two receptions
for 12 yards. He’s still Seattle’s best fantasy option at RB,
though the ground game has suffered from poor offensive line play
Woodhead, BAL – The bye week gave Woodhead another
week to get active in the Week 11 matchup against the Packers.
Even if he doesn’t play this week, he’s a must add in all formats.
UPDATE: The Ravens are unsure if Woodhead (hamstring) will be
ready to play Sunday, but he’s still worth a speculative
add for possible contributions during the fantasy playoffs, especially
in PPR leagues.
Kelley, WAS – “Fat Rob” suffered a knee injury (MCL)
and a high ankle sprain in Week 10 and could be looking at missing
some action, as he was sporting a noticeable limp before heading
to the locker room. Stay tuned.
UPDATE: Jay Gruden confirmed that Kelley will miss multiple games
and mentioned injured reserve as a possibility – which would
effectively end his season. Perine and Thompson both get big upgrades.
Murray, MIN – Murray had a really nice game even with
The Vikings scoring several TDs through the air. He rushed the
ball 17 times for 68 yards with a TD in the win over Washington.
UPDATE: The more I look at the matchup with the Rams, the more
I think Week 11 will be a Jerick McKinnon game, but I’ve
been wrong before. Perhaps Murray is best used as an RB3/flex
Clement, PHI – The Eagles were on a Week 10 bye but
Clement is expected to contribute against Dallas in Week 11.
Wide Receivers / Tight Ends
Davis, TEN – Davis had just 4-48-0 despite being targeted
10 times by Marcus Mariota in the game, and lost a fumble through
the end zone on would have been a 19-yard TD reception. He’s got
a great schedule the rest of the way (@PIT, @IND, HOU, @ARI, @SF,
LAR) and could be a difference maker WR3 for owners in the fantasy
playoffs despite his inconsistencies thus far.
Rogers, IND – Rogers finished Week 10 with 6-104-1
on Sunday, catching all six balls thrown his way and shredding
the Steelers secondary on a big TD reception that showed off his
abilities after the catch. The second-year player’s value is on
the upswing as he’s finally recovered from hamstring injury that
kept him out the first six weeks. He’s universally available.
UPDATE: Rogers could be a sneaky waiver wire pickup during the
Colts bye week, and he’s basically a fantasy unknown moving
Inman & Josh
Bellamy, CHI – Mitchell Trubisky is a fickle QB who
seems to target different WRs each week, but this time around
it was Inman (6-88-0 on eight targets) and Bellamy (2-57-1 on
seven targets). With Zach Miller done for the season (and possibly
career), you’ll be hearing more from these two in the coming weeks.
Hurns, JAC – Hurns hauled in 7-70-0 on nine targets
Sunday and is still available in about 35-40 percent of fantasy
leagues. He’s best deployed in PPR leagues since he’s not as explosive
as Marqise Lee, but the upcoming schedule is favorable (@CLE,
@ARI, IND, SEA, HOU, @SF, @TEN). Editor’s note: Hurns is dealing
with an ankle injury and isn’t expected to play in Week 11.
UPDATE: Hurns injured his ankle in Week 10 and is not expected
to play this week against the Browns. Rookie Dede Westbrook is
ready to come off IR, so we might see him fill in on a few snaps
Beasley, DAL – Beasley had just 2-23-0 in the Week
10 loss to Atlanta but the Cowboys would be remiss if they didn’t
work more plays to get him the ball in the absence of playmaker
Ezekiel Elliott. Aside from Dez Bryant and Jason Witten, he stands
to gain from Elliott’s suspension as much as anyone. He’s owned
in about 20-35 percent of leagues.
Gresham, ARI – Owned in just 2-3 percent of fantasy
leagues, Gresham has been targeted 10 times in the past two eek
sand is coming off a 5-64-1 game against the Seahawks. He’s a
TE2 with some upside in Week 11 facing the Texans.
Sanu, ATL – Sanu had a quiet game with 3-29-0 on five
targets against the Cowboys in Week 10, though he’s never been
known for enormous upside. With DeVonta Freeman (concussion) likely
to miss Week 11, the passing game could be expanded with the Seahawks
secondary hurting and focused on stopping Julio Jones. Sanu could
be primed for a nice under-the-radar bounce-back game.
Watkins & Robert
Woods, LAR – Watkins was targeted just three times
but managed 2-41-1 and Woods had another monster game with 8-171-2,
including a 94-yard TD reception from Goff. Woods is looking more
and more like a legitimate WR1 in this potent offense, though
the entire passing game will face a much stiffer test against
the Vikings ion Week 11.
Thomas, MIA –UPDATE: Thomas caught just two passes
for 8 yards on five targets, but one of them was for a 1-yard
score. He remains a TD-dependent TE2 without much upside.
Lee, JAC – Lee was questionable with a knee injury
but had a solid game in Week 10 with 6-55-1 and a 2XP. He’s a
great red zone target and should be involved against the Browns,
as he has 39 targets and 23-285-2 over his last four games. Lee
is 60-75 owned but should be rostered in all formats.
UPDATE: The injury to Hurns could mean even more targets for
the Jags’ best receiver.
Davis, WAS – Davis has stepped up in the wake of Jordan
Reed’s latest injury woes and contributed 7-76-0 in Week 10. He’s
already racked up 30-460-1 on 42 targets this season – excellent
numbers for a fantasy TE afterthought heading into 2017 – and
there’s still seven games left.
Coleman and Josh
Gordon, CLE – The Browns will get Coleman back first,
and reports are that his hand is 100 percent healthy. His ownership
is creeping up along with Gordon’s, but the former No.1 WR still
has a way to go before he rejoins the team.
UPDATE: Cleveland Browns head coach Hue Jackson told the media
on Monday that wide receiver Corey Coleman is “all systems
go” for Week 11 against the vaunted Jags defense. It’s
not a great matchup, so Coleman should be left on the bench until
we see how much rust he has and get a better feel for his workload.
Jones & Deonte
Thompson, BUF – Jones (knee) ended up not practicing
all week and was inactive Sunday, while Thompson had just one
catch for 10 yards on four targets. The Bills passing game is
a mess and WRs (with the exception of Kelvin Benjamin) should