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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.
Rivers, LAC – Rivers completed 31-of-39 passes for
331 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's 19-17 loss to the Dolphins,
and remains available in over a third of ESPN leagues. With his
strong arm and bevy of receiving options, Rivers should continue
to post solid games mixed with some poor results – a combination
of good and bad outings that has frustrated owners. Still, he
offers plenty of upside despite a low week-to-week fantasy floor.
Siemian, DEN – Even behind a shaky and piecemeal offensive
line, Siemian tore apart the Dallas defense for 234-4-1 on Sunday
afternoon. He’s maturing into a better QB with excellent receivers
and has the benefit of several effective rushers at his disposal.
Just 10 percent owned in ESPN leagues, Siemian could be a smart
add in 12-team leagues as a primary backup/spot starter.
Kizer, CLE – Kizer had a tough test Sunday facing the
Ravens defense, and while he struggled – completing just 15-of-31
passes for 182 yards and throwing three interceptions without
a TD (he also rushed five times for 26 yards and lost a fumble)
– he’s still a dynamic playmaker in training who’s bound to have
some big fantasy games.
Smith, KC – Smith followed up his big Week 1 with just
251-1-0 and 21 rushing yards but he’s still on track for some
more big games this season. He’s a streaming option with upside
in favorable matchups.
Wentz, PHI – Wentz finished with 333-2-1 against the
Chiefs – a good showing against a tough opponent, spreading the
ball around to nine different receivers. He also led the Eagles
in rushing Week 2, totaling 55 yards on five carries, including
a 24-yard gain. Turnovers will be an issue with Wentz, but he
has plenty of upside moving forward.
Goff, LAR – The Rams offense has been described as
a work in progress with many young players. Goff is no exception.
He completed just 15-of-25 passes for 224 yards and a TD during
Sunday's overtime loss to Washington, but next week’s game against
San Francisco should be a better indicator of whether he can be
a trusted fantasy asset. It’s a favorable matchup the Rams should
be able to exploit.
A rib injury to starter Rob Kelley could
open the door for Chris Thompson and Samaje Perine.
Henry, TEN – He’s owned in a little over two-thirds
of fantasy leagues, but I know he’s available (or was dropped)
in some 10-team formats after getting just six carries in Week
1. But his 92 rushing yards and a TD on 14 carries against Jacksonville
in Week 2 (along with DeMarco Murray’s hamstring tightness) vaults
him as the top add this week if he’s still out there in your league.
UPDATE:Murray, who was ineffective
in Week 1 before struggling again on Sunday, appears to be dealing
with a continuation of a training camp issue with his hamstring
tightness. Henry might just lead the Titans in carries this week
– even if Murray is active.
Allen, BAL – Allen (just 7.8 percent owned in ESPN
leagues) rushed 14 times for 66 yards and caught five of six targets
for 35 yards and a TD in Sunday's 24-10 win over Cleveland. Terrance
West may be the starter in name, but Allen excelled in a pass-catching
role Sunday and led the team in carries. He should be owned in
all formats as long as Danny Woodhead (IR/DFR) remains out.
UPDATE: Alex Collins has probably earned more playing time, so
he’d be the next man up if anything should happen to Allen.
The team also signed Jeremy Langford to the practice squad again.
Perine & Chris
Thompson, WAS – While Perine didn’t log an offensive
snap in Week 1, he ran for 67 yards on 21 carries after Rob Kelley
left in the first half with what appears to be a fractured rib.
Thompson also took advantage, rushing three times for 77 yards
and two touchdowns, while catching 3-29-0 on seven targets in
the Redskins’ Week 2 win over the Rams. If Kelley remains out,
it’ll be Perine on most of the early downs and Thompson continuing
to flourish in the passing game.
plan on giving a full-time role to Thompson because he’s
too small, so Perine and Thompson should remain the 1-2 punch
in a productive timeshare.
Carson, SEA – With Eddie Lacy a healthy scratch, Carson
out-touched Thomas Rawls and the other Seahawks RBs Sunday, finishing
with 93 yards on 20 carries in the 12-9 defensive struggle. He
also caught one of two targets for seven yards and appears to
be best suited for a heavier workload among the stable of backs.
and more chatter about how Carson closed the game out on Sunday,
which means he’s the likely Week 3 starter until we’re
Cohen, CHI – Cohen rushed seven times for 13 yards
while hauling 8-55-0 on nine targets in Sunday's 29-7 loss to
the Bucs. He also lost a fumble, but it’s obvious he has the trust
and confidence of Mike Glennon and the coaches as a receiving
back. Jordan Howard had just 7 rushing yards on nine carries and
continues to deal with a shoulder injury.
Williams, ARI – Williams rushed nine times for 22 yards
while failing to draw a target in the passing game during Sunday's
16-13 overtime win over the Colts.
Wide Receivers / Tight Ends
Allison, GB – The Packers are facing another crisis
at the WR position, as both Randall Cobb (shoulder) and Jordy
Nelson (quad) are once again injured. Nelson limped off the field
in the first quarter against Atlanta and did not return and Cobb
(who has dealt with nagging shoulder injuries that have restricted
his freedom of motion in the past) was forced from the game in
the fourth quarter. Allison played 61-of-76 snaps with the veterans
on the shelf, but didn’t do much in the expanded role, catching
3-24-0 on five targets. Still, he’d start opposite Davante Adams
if both Nelson and Cobb were unavailable in Week 3.
UPDATE:Jordy Nelson is apparently
50-50 to play Sunday, and Cobb’s injury isn’t that
serious – but it’s worth pointing out that he was
seriously hampered the last time he had a shoulder issue. Still,
I may hold off on grabbing Allison with this additional news available.
Coleman, NO – Rostering and playing Brandon Coleman
is not for the faint of heart, but the talented 6-foot-6 receiver
seems to be getting open for the Saints. He hauled in 4-of-6 targets
for 82 yards and a score in the Saints' Week 2 loss to the Patriots,
and remains almost universally available in fantasy leagues. Coleman
is in just his third NFL season, so it’s very possible we
could see a breakout campaign in 2017.
Fleener, NO – Fleener is in a good spot as one of Drew
Brees’ favorite red zone options and is coming off his second
consecutive week with a TD. He’s just 30 percent owned in ESPN
leagues. It’ll be interesting to see if he and Coleman are still
getting looks when Willie Snead returns from his three-game suspension.
Kearse, NYJ – Kearse appears to be Josh McCown’s favorite
red zone target, and the former Seahawk posted a big day Sunday
in the loss to Oakland. He played 49-of-56 offensive snaps and
caught four of five targets for 64 yards and a pair of TDs. He’s
going to be a risky week-to-week play, but could find more success
in the right matchups and game flow scenarios.
Higgins, CLE – A favorite of NFL.com’s “Reception Perception”
guru Matt Harmon coming out in the 2016 draft, Higgins was called
up from the practice squad on Saturday and played 54-of-71 snaps
Week 2 against the Ravens. He didn’t disappoint, hauling in 7-of-11
targets for 95 yards in the loss. With Corey Coleman dealing with
a broken hand that could see him miss significant time for the
second consecutive year, Higgins is looking like a potential fantasy
starter heading into a favorable Week 3 matchup with a porous
Colts secondary. Kizer-Higgins might turn out to be a nice little
cheap correlation stack in DFS GPPs next week.
UPDATE:Higgins has been listed
as starter on the Browns depth chart, and could see double-digit
targets on a week-to-week basis. He’s looking like the top
Golladay, DET –UPDATE:Golladay was conspicuously absent, as the Lions threw the
ball just 21 times on Monday night and he finished with 1-8-0
on three targets. He’ll be back.
Davis, TEN – Davis was targeted just three times and
finished with 1-4-0; not a great follow-up to a busy Week 1.
Agholor, PHI – Agholor saved a feeble fantasy day with
a late 7-yard TD catch (his only reception of the day). He’s going
to be a risky play every week but a sneaky option in DFS and as
Lee & Allen
Hurns, JAC – Lee had 7-76-0 and Hurns posted an impressive
6-82-1 as the Jags fell to Tennessee in Week 2 after an impressive
opener. I envisioned this as an either/or scenario but both could
contribute solid fantasy numbers in 2017.
Nelson, ARI – Nelson was a hit for owners who picked
him up and played him week, delivering 5-120-1 in the OT win over
Indy. Larry Fitzgerald wasn’t much of factor but is still the
best WR in Arizona.
Wright, CHI – Wright had a good PPR game with 7-69-0
in the loss with numbers bolstered by some garbage time catches.
He’s a relatively reliable contributor and the best fantasy WR
the Bears have now.
James, PIT – James hauled in 4-27-0 and projects to
be a boom-or-bust TE most of the season to be played only in deeper
leagues and in favorable matchups.