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Antonio D'Arcangelis | Archive | Email |
Staff Writer


Through The Wire - Week 8
10/23/17; Updated: 10/24/17

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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.

Feedback is always welcome, appreciated and encouraged. I’ll get to as many e-mails as I can.



Quarterbacks

Case Keenum, MIN If Keenum holds onto the starting job for another week, he makes a fine plug-n-play in Week 8 against the Browns, one of the best teams to pick on for fantasy production. If youre looking for a cheap correlation pay in DFS lineups next week, Keenum/Rudolph/McKinnon makes sense as a starting point. Hes not spectacular (188-1-1 in Week 7 facing the Ravens) but hes earned the trust of his receivers and flashes some upside in positive matchups. Hes also owned in just 10-20 percent of fantasy leagues and could be a sneaky Top 10 QB in Week 8.

UPDATE: Despite the Regenokine treatments for his knee, Sam Bradford is still not ready to return, and Teddy Bridgewater will not play in Week 8 on what has been described as a “notoriously slippery” field in London. And there’s no assurance that even after the Week 9 bye, Bridgewater or Bradford will usurp Keenum as the starter.

Tyrod Taylor, BUF Dont look now, but Taylor is playing well and producing decent numbers. He had 268-1-0 and 53 rushing yards Sunday and has favorable matchups over his next four weeks (OAK, @NYJ, NOR, @LAC). Taylor has been known to disappoint in big spots, but theres not a lot of certainty with any of the QB2s floating around these days, and Taylor (60-70 percent owned) has extra value because hes smart, mobile and gets ample rushing yardage.

Jared Goff, LAR the Rams are on a Week 8 bye, but Goff remains a huge priority on the waiver wire in a week that owners lost another fantasy viable QB in Carson Palmer. Goff returns to face the Giants, Texans, Vikings and Saints in weeks 9-12 before finishing up the fantasy season with three out of four decent matchups (@ARI, PHI, @SEA, @TEN). Goff is owned in about 60-70 percent of leagues and seems to be developing added confidence as hes led the Rams to a 5-2 record.

Other QBs to consider: Jacoby Brissett (IND), Andy Dalton (CIN), Joe Flacco (BAL)

UPDATES:

Carson Palmer, ARI Palmer has a broken arm and will likely miss the remainder of the season. It could also signify the end of a successful career in the league. Palmer managed just 122-0-1 before he left with the injury. Drew Stanton (62-0-1 in relief during Week 7) takes over from here and is a longshot for meaningful fantasy production, as hes thrown just 14 TDs to 20 INTs in his career.

UPDATE: Palmer’s injury is to his left (non-throwing) arm, so he’s getting a second opinion and there’s some newfound optimism among the staff that he could return in 4-6 weeks rather than the eight-week timetable initially offered by doctors. He’s still not worth holding onto given his age and relative effectiveness returning from such an injury, but maybe the book isn’t fully written on the veteran QB just yet.

Josh McCown, NYJ McCown had a nice day despite the loss to Miami, finishing with 209-3-1 and adding a rushing TD. Hes been a top 20 fantasy QB in 2017 and is worth owning in 12-team formats, even if hes a high-upside backup.

Brett Hundley, GB The Packers are going to need this Week 8 bye to get Hundley ready for Week 9, because he looked awful against the Saints, completing just 12-of-25 passes for 87-0-1 and adding three carries for 44 yards and a TD. Its likely that the latter and his ability to take off and produce first downs with his legs will help define his fantasy value in the coming weeks.

Latavius Murray

Latavius Murray has been out-played by Jerick McKinnon recently but the tables were turned in Wk 7.

Running Backs

Latavius Murray, MIN It was assumed heading into Week 5 that Murray (and not Jerick McKinnon) would take over most of the Minnesota workload for the injured Dalvin Cook, but McKinnon has been the better back since. Just when you think Murray (60-70 percent owned) was a wasted waiver wire pick, he explodes for 113 rushing yards and a TD against a tough Ravens run defense. Hell be a viable RB3/flex play in Week 8 against the Browns.

Devontae Booker, DEN Booker has just six carries for 22 yards on the season but has added 7-100-10 on 10 targets in his last two games. The Broncos matchup with the Chiefs in Week 8 could mean a bigger workload for Booker, as Denver seeks to find ways to produce offensively. The Chiefs have been scoring quite a bit, so its not a stretch to think Booker (15-30 percent owned) will see a boatload of second-half snaps and be worth using in deeper formats as a flex play.

DeAndre Washington, OAK Marshawn Lynch was suspended for one game following his contact with the referee Thursday night, and DeAndre Washington and Jalen Richard should see a corresponding bump in opportunities. I like Washington (5-10 percent owned) as the better fantasy back against the Bills in Week 8, as hes more versatile. Washington had nine carries for 33 yards and a TD and added 3-7-90 in the win over the Chiefs this week.

Wendell Smallwood, PHI UPDATE: Smallwood handles the passing down work and some change-of-pace carries for the Eagles, who dont seem to be doing much straight-forward running unless they are near the goal line which is in LeGarrette Blounts wheelhouse. But Smallwood (50-75 percent owned in competitive leagues) sees about the same amount of overall work and should be work an RB3/flex start next week facing the 49ers.

Theo Riddick, DET UPDATE: This is a reminder that Riddick is available in 25-50 percent of fantasy leagues and is just one big game away from being a hot commodity on the wire again. It’s always nice to be ahead of the curve, and I wouldn’t include Riddick here if Lions OC Jim Bob Cooter wasn’t such a noted fan of his skillset. Riddick has just one TD this year, a 7-yard pass from Matthew Stafford in Week 1, but with Golden Tate injured there’s no reason not to include him on more snaps against the Steelers in Week 8. In 12-team PPR leagues, he’s still a great pickup.

Other RBs to consider: T.J. Yeldon (JAC), Austin Ekeler (SD), Marlon Mack (IND), Malcolm Brown (LAR), Jalen Richard (OAK)

UPDATES:

Chris Ivory, JAC Ivory finished with 47 rushing yards and a TD, despite splitting the workload with Yeldon, who eclipsed his production with 122 rushing yards and a TD as well as 2-15-0 receiving. With Leonard Fournette (ankle) set to return after the Week 8 bye, weve likely seen the zenith of Ivory and Yeldons production.

UPDATE: I’m dropping Ivory for more certain commodities in my leagues, and it’s safe for you to do the same. There’s just not going to be many opportunities following the Jags’ bye.

Dion Lewis, NE Lewis carried 13 times for 76 yards and added 1-6-0 receiving. With the return of Rex Burkhead and the continued involvement of James White and Mike Gillislee, The New England backfield is a full-fledged committee that offers little upside to one particular back.

DOnta Foreman, HOU On a bye Week 7, Foreman could see an increased workload as the season progresses. Hes worth owning as a bench stash in 12+ team leagues.

UPDATE: Foreman remains a high-upside handcuff and excellent dynasty league hold moving forward. If Lamar Miller were to get injured, Foreman could break out.

Alfred Morris and Darren McFadden, DAL Its still Zeke, for now, but both McFadden and Morris could be relevant following the Oct. 30 hearing that decides Elliotts fate.

UPDATE: Elliott will play in Week 8, but it’s anybody’s guess what happens come Week 9 and beyond. There’s been some talk of a settlement, but I can’t imagine that would reduce the suspension under two games, making both Morris and McFadden must-own RBs in 12-team leagues until a clearer picture emerges.

Wide Receivers / Tight Ends

TE O.J. Howard, TB Howard is a boom-or-bust rookie TE whos going to be a formidable player in the NFL for many years barring injury or some other crisis. Hes a big target (6-6, 251 pounds) and is owned in just 20-30 percent of fantasy leagues heading into Week 8, when hell face the Panthers. Hell have some struggles, but should be rostered in 12-team leagues.

Mohamed Sanu, ATL Sanu (hamstring) returned to action Sunday night for the Falcons and was peppered with targets (10) the entire game, finishing with 6-65-0. The Falcons passing game looks sluggish right now, but should improve against the Jets in Week 8. Sanu is owned in about 40-66 percent of leagues and makes for a fine WR3/4 or flex player in the right matchup, as hes seen a healthy 34 targets in just five games this season.

Marquise Goodwin, SF Goodwin earns another mention in this column after hauling in 4-80-0 on eight targets Sunday versus the Cowboys. Hes now seen 24 targets over his last three games and offers big-play upside with his world-class speed. He should be owned in all 12-team leagues and will be facing a similar situation in Week 8, likely playing from behind against a strong NFC East opponent the Eagles.

Kenny Stills, MIA Stills broke out for 6-85-2 in Week 7 and could be in line for some similarly productive lines with Matt Moore at the helm for the Dolphins. Stills now has 20-248-4 on the season and is only 25-40 percent owned in competitive leagues. Giddyup!

UPDATE: DeVante Parker (ankle) is probably going to be inactive on a short week, so Stills might be worth a play against the Ravens, who are tough against the pass but haven’t had a lot of time to prepare for this matchup.

Robert Woods, LAR Woods has always been a steady if unexciting fantasy contributor. While the Rams are on a Week 8 bye, he makes for a decent pickup if your roster isnt at full capacity and pressed with other concerns. Hes seen 6-8 targets for five straight weeks and the Rams face the Giants in Week 9.

Deonte Thompson, BUF Thompson caught all four of his targets for 4-107-0 in the Bills 30-27 win over the Bucs on Sunday. He was recently acquired after the Bears released him on Oct. 11, and emerged as an efficient target for an offense looking for production from its wideouts. Jordan Matthews returned to action in Week 7, but it was Thompson who was the third most-targeted Bill behind rookie Zay Jones and LeSean McCoy. Hes worth a look in deeper formats, as it appears he has decent rapport with Taylor right off the bat.

JuJu Smith-Schuster, PIT JuJus production is likely the reason that Martavis Bryant wants out of Pittsburgh, and the rookie WR just keeps clicking along with fantasy-relevant production this season. Hes a borderline WR4/flex play but could have some more spots for production in the coming weeks (@DET, bye, @IND, TEN, GB), and hes available in about 65-75 percent of leagues.

UPDATE: Martavis Bryant told ESPN's Josina Anderson that he has no interest in staying with the Steelers if they don’t include him more, and reportedly skipped mandatory meetings Monday because he was at the doctor. After Bryant trashed JuJu on Instagram, I expect the increasingly valuable rookie to get even more work against the Lions, and for Martavis to be granted a trade.

Other WRs/TEs to consider: Paul Richardson (SEA), Brandon LaFell (CIN), Albert Wilson (KC), TE Jared Cook (OAK), Kenny Golladay (DET), Josh Doctson (WAS), Corey Davis (TEN)

UPDATES:

Marvin Jones, DET The Lions were on a Week 7 bye, but you can expect Jones to be a big part of the offensive game plan in Week 8 vs. Pittsburgh.

UPDATE: Tate hasn’t been officially ruled out for Sunday, but it’s likely he will be by the weekend, and Jones gets 8-10 targets as the top receiving option.

TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, NYJ ASJ scored for the third straight week, posting 3-21-1 in the loss to Miami. Owners may have been expecting more out of the fourth-year TE, but the Jets offense sputtered in the second half and let the Dolphins back in the game. Hes a solid TE1 next week facing Atlanta.

Nelson Agholor, PHI UPDATE: Agholor caught 4-45-1 on five targets in the Eagles' Week 7 win over the Redskins, and he’s gaining ground as a must-own WR3 in all formats. I’m still not convinced he’s a ready to roll out as an every-week starter, but he’s shown considerable improvement in his route-running and ability to catch what’s thrown to him, and his shiftiness and speed has never been in question.

Jermaine Kearse, NYJ Kearse caught a 29-yard TD on the Jets opening drive but disappeared afterwards, with the other TDs going to Robby Anderson and Austin Seferian-Jenkins.

TE Evan Engram, NYG Engram hauled in 6-60-1 on 12 targets Sunday against the Seahawks and looks like a Top 8 fantasy TE the rest of the way.

TE Tyler Kroft, CIN Kroft did his job Sunday and hauled in 4-23-1, catching all four of his targets in the loss to Pittsburgh. He’s a high-upside TE2 moving forward.

UPDATE: Kroft is taking advantage of his opportunities and now has three TDs in the last three games, with at least one red-zone target in each of those weeks. It’s going to be tough to sit him unless you have a bona fide TE1.