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Antonio D'Arcangelis | Archive | Email |
Staff Writer

Through The Wire - Week 11
11/16/15; Updated: 11/17/15 Users...
Check out the most popular waiver wire pickups this week across thousands of MFL leagues. Also, quickly see who's available on your waiver wire this week by using the MFL Power feature at FF Today. Just input your league's 5-digit ID number away you go!
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.

Mark Sanchez

Mark Sanchez may fill in for Bradford for a couple weeks, but he's not necessarily a fantasy upgrade.


Jay Cutler, CHI – Cutler (65-75 percent owned) had his best fantasy game of the season Sunday in a win over the Rams, throwing for 258-3-0 and adding 24 rushing yards on three carries. The Bears have a tougher test against the Broncos, but Denver is looking more and more like a team without an identity, and they’ll still be missing DeMarcus Ware. Cutler has made good use of Jeremy Langford in the passing game and with a full complement of healthy receiving weapons, he could be in for a nice run.

Ryan Fitzpatrick, NYJ – The Jets are not playing well, but they’re throwing the ball a lot more and relying on Fitzpatrick’s arm in the red zone. The veteran QB is owned in fewer than 50 percent of fantasy leagues and he remains a viable option in two-QB leagues.

Jameis Winston, TB – Winston’s had a couple of quiet weeks against NFC East opponents, but the Eagles high-volume of plays means he’ll have more opportunities than usual when the Bucs travel to Philly in Week 11. He won’t be on the radar in too many formats (still only about 50 percent owned), but he’s a moderate risk-reward play in DFS and deeper formats and he’s doing more with his legs as he gains confidence as an NFL QB.

Mark Sanchez, PHI – More than a few Eagles fans have been calling for Sanchez to get his chance, and with the injuries to Sam Bradford (sprained AC joint, concussion), “The Man Who Buttfumbled” has been thrust into fantasy relevance. Tread cautiously, folks.

UPDATE: Sam Bradford is expected to miss two weeks and Sanchez gets a decent matchup against the Bucs in Week 11. This could get interesting.

Marcus Mariota, TEN – UPDATE: Mariota (50 percent owned) is definitely worth adding with the Jaguars on the docket, and despite the early week, it’s not a bad time to deploy him in 12-team leagues where your normal QB is on a bye. I’d still prefer Tony Romo (80 percent owned), but he’s still a moderate risk and is likely owned.

Brock Osweiler, DEN – UPDATE: The Broncos offense has been sacrificing a lot of its explosiveness to keep a broken-down Peyton Manning (out, plantar fasciitis) under center. And while Osweiler’s decision-making and general effectiveness is a relative unknown, we can expect upside when considering he has a great weapon in Demaryius Thomas, plenty of veteran offensive leadership surrounding him, the guidance of Manning himself, and two (seemingly) capable running backs. The opponent is another plus, as the Bears defense is far from a juggernaut. Osweiler (0-5 percent owned) is worth adding.

Johnny Manziel, CLE – UPDATE: Are you really this desperate? You are? Well, first of all, he’s on a bye this week, so slow down. Second, Manziel makes more sense as a dynasty league grab, because there’s still a lot of development going on in the Browns offense. Third, after this week, there are no more byes, so even with the news that Johnny Football is the new Browns’ starter, it’s not likely you’ll have much of an opportunity to deploy him in most formats.

Case Keenum, STL – UPDATE: No. Step away from the waiver wire. You’re in dangerous territory, amigo. Keenum was relevant for about two weeks in 2013, but on a team where the WRs accept handoffs as much as receptions, it’s hard to see much value in the quarterback.

QB Updates

Matt Cassel, DAL – His 186-0-1 was a huge disappointment and he effectively cost the Cowboys the game with inefficiency and general uselessness. He’s finally out of the picture, with Tony Romo slated to start in Week 11.

Kirk Cousins, WAS – Cousins looked excellent for the Redskins in Week 10 and was the highest-scoring fantasy QB with 324-4-0, earning himself a perfect QB rating (158.3). He’s going to have a much tougher time with the Panthers next week, but it’s nice to see a waiver wire plug-n-play do well. I played him in several DFS contests and one season-long league and it paid off.

Landry Jones, PIT – Jones (ankle) was injured early, necessitating an early return from Big Ben, who was active as the second QB. Jones can be safely dropped in all redraft leagues, as the bye in Week 11 helps assure Roethlisberger will likely be good to go moving forward.

Running Backs

Jeremy Langford, CHI – Langford, still available in about 15 percent of fantasy leagues, was the top RB of Week 10 with a TD and 73 rushing yards as well as 7-109-1 receiving. There’s no reason to rush Forte back with the offense clicking this well with Langford. If he’s available, grab him. He’s going to be involved from here on out.

Matt Jones, WAS – Jones (50-60 percent owned) had another monster day (like Week 2), this time rushing for 56 yards on 11 carries and adding 3-131-1, the big blow coming on a 78-yard catch-and run score. He’s got the most upside of the Washington backs but remains in a committee with Alfred Morris and Chris Thompson.

Dexter McCluster, TEN – I’ve been arguing against Antonio Andrews for some time, and on Sunday, McCluster (10-15 percent owned) proved me right, running for 25 yards and a TD on three carries and adding 4-27-0, completely outclassing the ineffective Andrews. He’s a solid RB3/flex add heading into a Week 11 game versus the Jaguars.

UPDATE: The addition of David Cobb to the active in-game roster Thursday won’t likely hurt McCluster’s usage, at least right away. But if Cobb gets carries and steps into a full-time role after performing well, McCluster will likely be reduced to third-down and passing game work.

Andre Ellington, ARI – Ellington emerged as the top-scoring Cards back in Week 10, rushing for 61 yards on just five carries and adding 3-27-0 in the win over Seattle. He’s owned in about 70-75 percent of leagues but will likely be used a lot more against the Bengals in Week 11.

UPDATE: Cards reporters are saying that Ellington will continue to be used as a “specialty back,” which means about 8-10 touches instead of 12-15.

Darren Sproles, PHI – If Ryan Mathews (concussion) misses any time, Sproles should see more touches. He’s a relatively low-ceiling deep-league add in PPR formats, but he does have a big play now and then.

Denard Robinson, JAC – UPDATE: With T.J. Yeldon (foot) in a walking boot, the Jags will likely turn to the elusive, enigmatic Robinson (10-15 percent owned) for the bulk of RB work on Thursday. Yeldon has been ruled out, but the boot is never a good sign. I prefer Matt Jones for long-term value, but if he and Langford are already gone, Robinson is the best available.

David Cobb, TEN – UPDATE: There’s no telling if the Titans will actually activate Cobb for Thursday, but the early word is that they’ll give him some looks as they desperately seek a reliable ball carrier. Cobb is a solid all-around back that doesn’t necessarily leap off the page in any one attribute, but he could be marginally effective and give the Titans a primary, early-down option they have been lacking. He’s about 25-35 percent owned in fantasy leagues.

RB Updates

Karlos Williams, BUF – Williams (80 percent owned) had seven carries for 24 yards but added a 26-yard TD reception that made his fantasy day a success. He should be owned in all formats, especially with LeSean McCoy’s “shady” injury history.

James Starks, GB – Eddie Lacy was inactive on Sunday and Starks totaled 96 yards (42 rushing, 54 receiving) in the loss to Detroit. He’ll likely continue to see the bulk of RB work in the Packers’ backfield and gets the Vikings in Week 11.

Charles Sims, TB – Sims totaled 31 yards on seven offensive touches in the win over the Cowboys. He’ll definitely get more work against the Eagles.

Jay Ajayi, MIA – Ajayi rushed six times for a team-high 48 yards against the Eagles Sunday, but is still second fiddle to Lamar Miller. Ajayi’s physicality is a nice change of pace from Miller, but his ceiling is obviously limited by the current timeshare.

Brandon Bolden, NE – He had one carry for -3 yards. Nice work, Brandon.

James White, NE – White actually has TWO touches against the Giants. Wow! Seriously, though – it appears LeGarrette Blount is not being threatened for touches in the New England backfield.

UPDATE: White should get the passing game work that once went to Dion Lewis (IR), but it doesn’t seem like a safe deployment this week. There’s upside in there so White is a good add if you’re looking at a fantasy playoff stash.

Wide Receivers / Tight Ends

Michael Floyd, ARI – Despite a difficult matchup with Seattle and tight coverage from Richard Sherman, Floyd had 7-113-2 on nine targets. He’s about 75 percent owned and remains a high-upside play heading into Week 11 against the Bengals.

UPDATE: Floyd is day-to-day with a hamstring injury and is a situation worth monitoring as the week progresses.

Doug Baldwin, SEA – Baldwin had a big day against the Cards with 7-134-1 on 10 targets. He’s only 50-60 percent owned and could be used more as the Seahawks explore more offensive strategies and expand the passing game against the next couple of opponents (SF, PIT).

Jamison Crowder, WAS – Crowder is just 10 percent owned but had a big day Sunday, catching his first career TD en route to a 4-6-01 day on five targets. He’ll likely have inconsistent production from week-to-week, but remains an easy grab in deeper formats and a solid speculative add in 12-team leagues – especially since DeSean Jackson’s health and hamstring can’t be counted on. Even Jordan Reed, targeted quite a bit in Week 10, can go down at any time.

Danny Amendola, NE – When Julian Edelman (foot) is out of the picture, Amendola (40-50 percent owned) becomes a popular target for Brady. He saw 11 targets on Sunday and finished with 10-79-0 in the exciting win over the Giants. Edelman has a Jones’ fracture (broken fifth metatarsal – same as Dez Bryant’s) and will miss a bunch of contests following his surgery. Amendola is a must-add in all formats.

Dontrelle Inman, SD – UPDATE: It appears as though Malcom Floyd could be done for the year with a torn labrum, which elevates Inman into fantasy relevance once again. If Stevie Johnson is unavailable, Inman is an option.

TE Crockett Gillmore, BAL – Gillmore had 4-42-1 in Week 10 and remains a low-end TE1 when healthy. He’s a talented receiver and sees a lot of time on the field in the Ravens offense.

TE Zach Miller, CHI – Miller’s 5-107-2 breakout was completely unexpected, as he is 0 percent owned and was not started by any fantasy owners on Sunday. That’ll likely change after his big day, though owners who pick him up will probably be chasing those Week 10 numbers.

WR/TE Updates

Cole Beasley, DAL – After his monster Week 9, Beasley turned in a disappointing performance with just one catch for 8 yards. He’s a major risk, but could be used more when Romo returns. Stay tuned.

Sammy Watkins, BUF – Watkins was targeted seven times by Tyrod Taylor but had just 3-14-0, as he drew coverage from Darrelle Revis on Thursday night. He’ll be a safer target against the Patriots.

Devin Funchess, CAR – Funchess caught 2-41-0 on two targets Sunday. He could be in line for more looks facing the Redskins in Week 11 – but he’s not worth owning in most 12-team redraft leagues.

UPDATE: Funchess could be worth a stash in leagues with deep benches, because he’s a big play waiting to happen, but it’s actually a crowded receiving crops in Carolina – as well as a conservative offense.

Davante Adams, GB – Adams had a whopping 21 targets in Week 10 and caught 10-79-0 in the loss to Detroit. He’s yet to find the end zone this season but he’s finally healthy and his arrow is pointing up in a big way.

Dorial Green-Beckham, TEN – Owners taking a stab with Green-Beckham got a goose egg from the rookie WR (two targets). We knew he was a big risk.

UPDATE: With Justin Hunter (broken ankle) on IR and Kendall Wright (knee) doubtful to play on Thursday, Green-Beckham could be a sneaky add, especially if some jamoke dropped him after his disappointing performance on Sunday. Veteran WR Harry Douglas also becomes a viable option on a short week.

Griff Whalen, IND – Whalen was on a Week 10 bye.

Wes Welker, STL – Welker hauled in 3-32-0 on six targets Sunday. It’s about the level of involvement we anticipated.

TE Delanie Walker, TEN – Walker’s 3-52-0 wasn’t much, but he’ll be more heavily targeted next week against Jacksonville.

UPDATE: With the thin Titans receiving corps discussed above, I expect we’ll see a lot of Walker on Thursday facing the Jags. Get him in your lineup if you added him last week, and snag him for a plug-n-play if he’s still available.

TE Owen Daniels, DEN – Daniels succumbed to the Manning meltdown and had 1-14-0 on five targets. He can be safely ignored for now.

TE Garrett Celek, SF – Celek was on a Week 10 bye.

TE Eric Ebron, DET – Ebron had 4-28-0 on eight targets from Matthew Stafford and is a middle range TE2 in 12-team leagues.

TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TB – The embattled TE was once again inactive, and is a huge question mark heading into Week 11.