Before you scroll to this week’s waiver wire pick-ups -you’ve already jumped to the list, haven’t you- please read over my Waiver Wire rules to live by.
Waiver Wire Rules to Live By:
- Ask yourself: Will I ever start him? If the answer is no, then don’t bother picking that player up.
- Try to avoid dropping talented RB2’s. Injuries can create starters overnight.
- The Drop can sometimes end up being better than the pick-up. Fantasy noobs will drop great talent all the time, read over the transaction log regularly.
- If you have a winning record, why mess with the Wire?
- The less you pick up, the higher your waiver claim. Patience is a virtue.
Waiver Wire Quarterbacks
6.2% of all ESPN Leagues
Over the last three weeks, Geno Smith has really taken some positive steps forward. Even with a depleted receiving corps the Jet’s rookie outscored some of the more popular fantasy football favorites in week 5, including one pretty boy division rival who struggled this past weekend. The Jets earned a big win on Monday night; this should speak volumes for the Jets confidence moving forward. Geno is the kind of player you want to add to the bench in a 10 to 12+ man league, or even slip into the line up in a 2QB league -matchup pending.
With the Jets victory over the Falcons on Monday Night Football, Geno Smith’s passer rating of 147.71 is the highest passer rating so far this season. -Nicely done Rookie!
Owned in 32.5% of all ESPN Leagues
Believe it or not, the Oakland Raiders are starting to find rhythm. The team has had a lot of offensive headaches, yet the one person who has made players around him better has easily been Terrelle Pryor. With three games now without an interception, and a very respectable quarterback rating in the win over the Chargers and the trip to Denver, it’s hard not to buy into the black and silver’s newest signal caller. With the bonus of rushing yards, Pryor has decent bye-week replacement fantasy value. Terrelle Pryor’s 138.9 QB rating vs. Chargers is highest Raider quarterback rating since Rich Gannon on Sept 29th. 2002
This is not the first time I’ve suggested to pick-up and stash Terrelle Pryor, so if you missed out it’s on you. Remember, always be proactive, not reactive.
Owned in 0.5% of all ESPN Leagues
Mike Vick hurt his hamstring right before the half against the Giants on Sunday and will be out at least one week. The Eagles won only four games last year, one of which was a Nick Foles win on the road in Tampa Bay and coincidentally, the Buc’s are who the Eagles are playing this week.
Foles stepped in off the bench on Sunday and led an impressive drive with limited clock time. The dink and dunk drive lead to a field goal right before the half. He then continued to excel, taking many big shots at the Giants below-average defense for solid numbers. The media is buzzing about the possibility of a QB change, yet Head Coach Chip Kelly has said there is little to no chance of that happening. While I agree Vick is a better overall fit for the offense, the difference with Foles at the helm is noticeable, especially in the redzone. The difference between the two QB’s really isn’t a knock to what each player can’t do, but more to what each does better. Clearly the play is never dead with the ball in Vick’s hands, but Foles seems to have a very calm demeanor in the pocket and more trust with his targets. He will put the ball up and let his receivers make a play, Vick tends to wait for the wide open man. This gunslinger mentality can be a good thing and a bad thing for the Eagles and fantasy owners. Nevertheless, Foles is a nice fill-in quarterback for week six.
Waiver Wire Running Backs
Owned in 1.2% of all ESPN Leagues
Okay, let’s not all freak out here. Owning a St Louis Rams running back is not something to claw each other over. The Rams rank 29th in the league at rushing yards per game, and are the only NFL team without a rushing touchdown in 2013. Why am I even suggesting him then? That’s a good question. Truthfully, the 2013 season has been a real let down for a lot of RB’s, and the “what the hell” approach to starting a guy seems to be all the reasoning a struggling fantasy owner needs these days. Thankfully I’m stacked with Shady McCoy and Matt Forte in almost all my leagues, you would be too if you saw our preseason rankings. Smart-ass link drop to our Gridiron Experts memberships click here.
Seriously though, the kid looked pretty good on Sunday. The Rams were playing a very pissed off Jaguars team that wanted to steal a win. Zac Stacy kept the running game in check with 14 carries for 78 yards (5.5 YPC). Stacy has meat on his bones, weighing in the 215-220 lbs range. The Rams play the Panthers week 7, so do yourself a favor and grab him now to fill in for a Sproles or RunDMC week 7 bye.
Owned in 22.2% of all ESPN Leagues
For a guy who was literally just sitting on his couch a couple weeks ago, McGahee looks pretty good. The time off did him well, as the seasoned veteran has eased into the Browns starting lineup nicely. It’s too bad that Brian Hoyer is out, as the team seemed to really feed off his energy. Hopefully Brandon Weeden learned a thing or two from the man who started the Browns 3 game winning streak. The next couple weeks are decent match-ups for the Browns, and age before beauty should churn out solid production for your fantasy team. The hardest part about owning Willis McGahee is having the cojones to start him. Refer to Rule One of my waiver wire rules.
Other RB Waiver Wire Pick-ups: Andre Ellington (Cardinals) Pierre Thomas (Saints), Brandon Bolden (Patriots), Marcel Reece (Raiders)
Waiver Wire Wide Receivers
Owned in 1.3% of all ESPN Leagues
The Gridiron Experts members that watched Jody Smith and I in our week 5 video hangout, know that we recommended a handful of sleepers that paid off, including: Alshon Jeffery, Terrance Williams and Jeremy Kerley. I ranked Williams really high on FantasyPros in week 5 and he didn’t let me down. The emerging Dallas Cowboy wide receiver had 4 catches for 151 yards and a touchdown. Williams was targeted only four times, but made the most out of every throw that came his way. With Miles Austin out, -and not likely back next season- Williams will see an increased role with the team. He is a nice sleeper pickpup this week.
Owned in 1.3% of all ESPN Leagues
Eddie Royal was the short term answer to who Philip Rivers can trust in his receiving corp. The long-term answer is the talent on the outside. Both Vincent Brown and Keenan Allen are stepping up and carving out bigger roles in the Chargers offense. I think they’re both becoming fantasy relevant and despite the Chargers sup-par team record can easily rack up points.
Owned in 1.2% of all ESPN Leagues
The Preseason hype was all about Tavon Austin, it then moved to Chris Givens, but at the end of the day Austin Pettis has been the most productive. With four touchdowns in five games the 3rd year pro is already matched his 2012 touchdown total. At 6’3, Pettis is a diamond in the rough waiver wire pickup in deep leagues, although despite how good things have been, the Ram Wideout has yet to top 78 yards and has an extremely tough matchup at Houston in Week 6. Maybe he’s best for a pick-up and stash for this week.
Other RB Waiver Wire Pick-ups: Rueben Randle (Chargers),Robert Woods (Bills), Kendall Wright (Titans)
Waiver Wire Tight Ends
You should be able to find a solid selection of productive fantasy football tight end sleepers each and every week on the wire. The 2013 NFL season has seen a high number of touchdowns caught by Tight Ends. In fact 10 Tight Ends found the endzone in week five, which was an off week from the 15 TE’s who scored the week before. Here are a few waiver wire gems you should look at:
- Garrett Graham (Texans): Owen Daniels is banged up and the Texans like to target their biggest targets over the middle (that is to say when their not being picked off for touchdowns). Graham is owned in only 3.4% of all ESPN leagues.
- Sean McGrath (Chiefs): This 6’5 former Seahawk has become a trusted target over the past 3 weeks. McGrath caught easy check-down passes from Alex Smith between the numbers, topping 50 yards for the second straight game. He is a nice PPR pick-up with his 13 catches in the last 3 games.
- Jeff Cumberland (Jets): This is a very high risk player that hasn’t yet shown he is worthy of a fantasy start. Although, Geno Smith has really hit stride and does love to look Cumberland’s way. You might want to spy this fantasy gem for a week or two before grabbing him.
- Brent Celek (Eagles) Nick Foles seems to trust Celek a little more than Vick does and I think against a very stout Buc’s defense the big man over the middle will see many targets in week six.
- Charles Clay (Dolphins) The Dolphins are on a bye in week six, but do play the Buffalo Bills in week seven. If you have bye week issues be pro-active and grab the 7th highest fantasy point scoring tight end of 2013 now.