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. I’ll
also provide a brief update on the players I covered the previous
Jones, NYG – We’re finally seeing
the good version of Jones (who’s about 35% owned in fantasy leagues).
The third-year QB completed 28 of 40 passes for 402-2-1 in Sunday’s
stunning 27-21 overtime win over the Saints. Always good with his
legs, he added 27 yards on four rushing attempts and ran in a two-point
conversion. He’ll be a solid QB2 fantasy option against the Cowboys
in Week 5.
NE – Jones (15% owned) still looks like the most NFL-ready
of the 2021 draft class, and he almost pulled off a victory against
Tom Brady on Sunday night. The rookie QB completed 31 of 40 pass
attempts for 275-2-1 but gets a much more favorable matchup against
the Texans in Week 5 – when he might have more opportunities to
come off Bill Belichick’s leash.
Heinicke, WAS – Heinicke (10% owned)
isn’t a sexy option, but he completed 23 of 33 passes for 290-3-0
in Sunday's 34-30 win over the Falcons, adding 43 yards on five
rushing attempts. The Washington offense looks solid with him
at the helm, and while the Saints could be a tough Week 5 test,
Daniel Jones just shredded them without a couple of his favorite
Cousins, MIN – Cousins had an off
game on Sunday, completing just 20 of 38 passes for 203-1-1 in
the Vikings' 14-7 loss to the Browns. I have a feeling he and
the entire offense should get back on track in a favorable Week
5 home matchup against the 0-4 Lions.
CAR – Darnold just keeps getting it done from a fantasy
perspective, throwing for 301-2-2 and adding six rushes for 35
yards and two more TDs. Darnold is averaging almost 300 passing
yards per contest, and has now scored 20+ points in every game
this season. He's got a shot at another ceiling-type performance
facing the Eagles in what could be a high-scoring Week 5 matchup.
ATL – Ryan finally had a decent fantasy line (283-4-0),
albeit in a loss to Washington on Sunday. The veteran QB may have
more success against the Jets than Ryan Tannehill did in in Week
3, when the Titans were missing their top receiving options.
Williams, CHI – Williams (10% owned)
rushed eight times for 55 yards and a TD and caught two passes
for 15 yards in the Bears’ 24-14 win over the Lions on Sunday.
After David Montgomery put up monster numbers in the first half
and left the game with a knee injury, Williams stepped in and
didn’t miss a beat. If Montgomery misses any time, Williams could
be utilized in a workhorse, three-down role.
UPDATE: Williams suffered a thigh
bruise during Sunday's win over the Lions, but with Montgomery
out the next 4-5 weeks, I expect Williams to get the bulk of work
in his stead, even if he’s dinged up. The other option is
rookie Khalil Herbert, so I’ve added him to “options
to consider” if Williams thigh bruise is more serious than
Perine, CIN –UPDATE:
With the news that Joe Mixon has a low-ankle sprain and will probably
miss some time (at or least shoulder a smaller workload), Perine
pops into the discussion as a relevant back in Week 5. He’s
been a non-factor so far this season but is worth a pickup for
the matchup against the Packers.
GB – Dillon is 60% owned but should be discussed here
as plenty of folks will have questions. He rushed 15 times for
81 yards and secured his only catch for 16 yards in the win over
the Steelers on Sunday, but most of his work was late in the game
against an obviously worn-down Steelers defense. Unless we get
an injury to Aaron Jones or he gets in another specific game script
like Sunday, he’ll be a handcuff with mostly latent value – though
this performance could give him more confidence and allow the
Packers to spell Jones a bit more during the first three quarters
Collins, SEA – Chris Carson didn’t
get injured (that we know of) but Collins got a lot of work for
the Seahawks on Sunday, rushing for 44 yards and a TD on 10 carries
against San Francisco. He added two receptions for 34 yards on
two targets and is a high-upside handcuff.
Bolden, NE – Bolden doesn’t do much
in the traditional running game, but he caught 6-51-0 on six targets
in the SNF loss to Tampa Bay. His role could change a bit if the
Pats activate Rhamondre Stevenson next week, which could happen
sine J.J. Taylor lost a fumble, and Belichick doesn’t like that
Hubbard, CAR – Hubbard carried 13
times for 57 yards in Sunday’s Week 4 loss to the Cowboys, adding
two receptions for 14 yards. His ownership shot up 75% in the
last week and now he’s rostered in more than 90% of leagues.
BUF – Moss was a great add this past week and is now
at around 75% ownership, up from 60%. He benefited from a big
lead against a bad opponent, carrying the rock 14 times for 61
yards and a TD in Sunday’s Week 4 win over the Texans. The Bills
take on the Chiefs in Week 5 and may have to throw the ball a
bit more to keep up, though Moss can be used in the passing game
just like Devin Singletary.
Wide Receivers / Tight Ends
Crowder, NYJ – Crowder (groin) was
activated from IR and caught 7-61-1 on nine targets in Sunday’s
27-24 overtime win over the Titans. The offense looked a lot more
potent with Crowder, whose biggest contributions came on the Jets’
game-tying drive early in the fourth quarter. That’s when the veteran
WR caught a 29-yard pass that got the Jets in the red zone and eventually
in the end zone. Crowder was Wilson’s favorite target (he loves
working the slot) and he should be busy against the Falcons in London
in Week 5. He’s only about 15% owned, so he should be available
in plenty of 12-team leagues and is a must-add in PPR formats.
Mooney, CHI – So THIS is why I drafted
Mooney! I dropped the guy in one league and he responds with 5-125-0,
adding a 10-yard rush in the win over Detroit. Mooney is 8-10%
owned and has now seen at least seven targets in all but one game
this year. Unfortunately, his QB situation is terrible, so we
can’t count on consistent production anytime soon.
Knox, BUF – Knox is 20% owned but that number should
jump dramatically this week. He recorded five receptions on eight
targets for 37 yards and two TDs in Sunday’s Week 4 win over the
Texans and now has four scores in his last three games.
Cobb, GB – Cobb is about 15% owned
and got extra targets this week with Marquez Valdes-Scantling
(IR-hamstring) out. He finished with 5-69-2 on six targets for
69 yards and should continue to enjoy an expanded role while MVS
is on the shelf.
Raymond, DET – Raymond, owned in
less than 1% of leagues, caught three of six targets for 46 yards
and (wow!) two TDs during Sunday’s 24-14 loss to the Bears. Even
though it appears Quintez Cephus is the Lions’ top WR in the absence
of Tyrell Williams (concussion), Raymond is playing well. He’ll
struggle to see double-digit targets or multiple TDs again once
Williams returns, but anything is possible on a team where the
enigmatic Jared Goff is the QB.
Uzomah, CIN – Uzomah (0-1%) went off on Thursday
night, securing five of six targets for 95 yards and two touchdowns
in the win over the Jaguars. He’s a high upside TE2 who won’t
be as productive once Tee Higgins returns to take away some red
Sanders, BUF – Sanders caught five
of six targets for 74 yards during Sunday’s win over the Texans
and could be busy in Week 5 against the Chiefs – just the kind
of matchup they brought the veteran in to help with.
Renfrow, LV –UPDATE:
Renfrow (now up to about 55-60% owned) had another solid game
on Monday night, hauling in six of his eight targets for 45 yards
and a TD. He’s reached the end zone in back-to-back games
and is looking like a weekly option at WR4 in PPR leagues.
Bourne, NE – Bourne had 5-58-0 on
Sunday night and looks like the Patriots best possession receiver.
I’ve always liked Bourne, who never seems to get much press but
always produces when given the opportunity.
Gordon, KC – Gordon is apparently
almost ready and could be promoted to the 53-man roster ahead
of the team’s Week 5 game against the Bills, according to Ian
Rapoport. He’s already almost 20% owned, so this could be last
chance to get him in many formats.
Jackson, LAR – Just one catch for
6 yards on three targets. Typical DeSean.
Westbrook-Ikhine, TEN – Westbrook-Ikhine
disappointed in DFS and caught just three receptions on eight
targets for 29 yards in the stunning loss to the Jets. While he’ll
have the chance to redeem himself if A.J. Brown and Julio Jones
remain sidelined for a Week 5 matchup against the Jaguars, he’s
clearly not that good.
Conklin, MIN – Conklin had just 4-18-0 on six targets
Sunday but could get more chances in eek 5 against the Lions.