Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Targets (Week 9)

There are only two to four weeks left in the regular season of fantasy football. Hopefully you are not one of the bottom feeders in your league out of playoff contention. If you are, you can attempt to pick up players on waivers and win games for pride. On the other end of the spectrum if you are fighting for a playoff spot or a top dog, landing a productive waiver player at this point in the season can get you into the playoffs. The players below are mostly influenced by the trade deadline.

1. Kenyan Drake, RB, Miami Dolphins

Drake is here due to the Jay Ajayi trade. He should see a massive uptick in touches for the Dolphins. He has not been very active catching passes, but the Phins should lean on the ground game because of quarterback injuries. If Drake can have an electric game next week he could become a bell cow for the team. (Percent Owned: 0.3 NFL, 0.4 ESPN)

2. Damien Williams, RB, Miami Dolphins

This is obviously also because of the Ajayi trade. It is a toss up who will become the teams lead back, so it could be beneficial to add both backs if you can make the space on your roster. However, if you can only add one I would choose Williams. He is the better pass catcher and if the team goes down early, Williams will see more snaps. (Percent Owned: 0.1 NFL, 0.3 ESPN)

3. Robby Anderson, WR, New York Jets

Robby Anderson is quietly having a good year in New York. Quarterback Josh McCown is doing a nice job getting his number one target the ball and Anderson is benefiting from it. Although he is going up against a tough Bills defense this week, he is a solid add for the rest of the year and he is not owned in a majority of leagues. (Percent Owned: 2.5 NFL, 26.5 ESPN)

4. JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers

JuJu was on this list several weeks ago and he is still a very viable add. He is now the number two target for Big Ben due to the Martavis Bryant debacle. JuJu blew up last week with 193 yards and a touchdown, and set a record for longest touchdown in Steelers history. Do not expect him to put up those numbers every week, but he is a great add at this point in the season. (Percent Owned: 13.1 NFL, 29.3 ESPN)

5. Alex Collins, RB, Baltimore Ravens

Collins is in a crowded backfield as Terrance West and Danny Woodhead will be coming back from injury soon, as well as Javorius Allen who Collins is currently splitting carries with. Collins ran for 113 yards and caught two passes for 30 yards last week. If the Ravens decide to go with the hot hand, Alex Collins will continue to see touches in the crowded backfield. (Percent Owned: 5.5 NFL, 32.2 ESPN)

6. Jared Goff, QB, Los Angeles Rams

Goff has performed very well compared to last season and has the Rams offense humming. Helped by star running back Todd Gurley, Goff is protecting the ball and scoring an average of 15 fantasy points per game. If your quarterback is struggling or injured, Goff can be a great fill in or quality starter for the rest of the season. (Percent Owned: 14.2 NFL, 26.7 ESPN)

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Bears look ahead to showdown in Baltimore

By: Alex Patt

The Bears lost a close game to the Vikings this past Monday at Soldier Field, but that was not the big story. The focal point of the game was rookie Mitch Trubisky making his first career NFL start after the benching of Mike Glennon. Trubisky showed a lot of promise with his accuracy, arm-strength and mobility outside of the pocket but sadly the Bears fell short. A lot of bad penalties (some controversial) and poor play by the line cost the rookie his first victory. Now they move on to face the Ravens in Baltimore.

The Bears (1-4) and the Ravens (3-2) will play each other for the first time since 2013 and the first time in Baltimore since 2009. While the Ravens are favored in this game so far, this is a game the Bears could possibly win. It has been a weird season for Baltimore as veteran QB Joe Flacco has had some ups and downs. He currently has four touchdown passes to six interceptions but had a solid game last week against Oakland. The team gave up 10 total points the first two week but 87 points the past three weeks.

It is hard to know which Ravens team will show up, but the Bears also have many issues. While Danny Trevathan returns from suspension this week, the rest of the starting LB core remains on IR outside Pernell McPhee. And now WR Markus Wheaton will miss 4-6 weeks with a groin tear. WR Tanner Gentry was recalled from the practice squad to fill in the very thin receiver core. OL Kyle Long is having ankle issues as he sat out Thursday’s practice so his status is unknown. In total the Bears have nine players on injured reserve as injuries continue to be a huge problem with this team.

This is another big test for Trubsiky on the road. He is what everyone is looking at and the coaching has to continue to make adjustments to his abilities to bolster this offense. He may not have a lot to throw to, but in a rebuilding season they need to keep letting Trubisky play regardless of the skills of his targets. If the Bears front seven can put some pressure on Flacco and the offense can use Trubisky and the running game to generate some offense, then the Bears might be able to pull out a win.

Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Targets (Week 6)

In last week’s article I touched on the major injuries around the league, but this week was even worse. Starting with the entire Giants receiving core including OBJ going down for the year and JJ Watt’s season also coming to an end. Week 5 was a hard one and it can seem impossible to replace players in fantasy leagues. Which it is, but the only way to salvage your fantasy season is to hope to claim a gem off of waivers. Below are six waiver wire targets that could help save your injury plagued season.

1. Jerick McKinnon, RB, Minnesota Vikings

Last week Latavius Murray was sitting in this spot, but his counterpart, Jerick McKinnon, outperformed him 26.60 to 6.30 in PPR leagues. McKinnon’s point total was boosted by a 58 yard touchdown, but even minus that play he would have had a great game. He participated in the passing game as well, catching six passes for 51 yards. Both of the backs will continue to split touches, but after one game it appears that McKinnon will see the bulk of the touches. (Percent owned: 3.2 NFL, 29.3 ESPN)

2. Adrian Peterson, RB, Arizona Cardinals

Adrian Peterson was traded to the Cardinals today for a conditional pick. This is one of the rare trades where it works out for all parties. New Orleans was a poor fit for the 32 year old running back. AP mustered only 81 yards on 27 carries this season and the Cardinals need help at the position. It is yet to be seen if Peterson has anything left in the tank, but if he does the pay off for adding him is astronomical. (Percent owned: 62.4 NFl, 47.5 ESPN)

3. Jacoby Brissett, QB, Indianapolis Colts

Jacoby Brissett has proven to be a more than capable backup quarterback in Luck’s absence. He is also a good plug and play option if anyone has a QB on a bye or is suffering from having the five interceptions, Big Ben. He posted a career high in passing yards last week and is facing the weak Titans defense this week. (Percent owned: 3.5 NFL, 15.9 ESPN)

4. Roger Lewis, WR, New York Giants

Due to season ending injuries to Odell Beckham Jr., Dwayne Harris, and Brandon Marshall and a multiple week injury to Sterling Shepard, Roger Lewis is slotted to start at receiver this week. Lewis has not scored a lot of points this season, but this week will not be without opportunity for the young player. It will be interesting to see if he will be a viable fantasy option. (Percent owned: 0.2 NFL, 0.2 ESPN)

5. Alex Collins, RB, Baltimore Ravens

Alex Collins is splitting carries with Javorius Allen, but still managed over 50 yards each of the last three weeks. He rarely sees any passes thrown his way and is yet to score a touchdown. However, he is a solid start and consistently scoring over five points each week. When he finally reaches the end zone look for his point total to hit double digits. (Percent owned: 10.9 NFL, 33.3 ESPN)

6. Marlon Mack, RB, Indianapolis Colts

Marlon Mack had a breakout game last week against the 49ers and is facing another soft defense this week in Tennessee. He had 91 yards on the ground and a touchdown. If he can get more involved in the passing game, his fantasy numbers will be hover around 20. He did suffer an elbow injury and is listed as questionable, but he claims that he will not miss any time. (Percent owned: 0.8 NFL, 3.4 ESPN)

 

Photo Credits: Star Tribune

Winners and Losers from Steelers Game 4

The Steelers beat the Ravens 26-9 in a game where the defense dominated and the offense started to look like last year’s.  Le’Veon Bell looked like his old self, rushing for 144 yards and 2 touchdowns. This was a huge win on the road against their arch rival.  This game may have given the Steelers the AFC North division, as crazy as it sounds after only 4 games. Lets look at the winner(s) and losers:

Winners

Le’Veon Bell

Heeeeee’s baaack!! Bell finally was like his old self, recording 186 total yards and 2 touchdowns.  The Steelers offense hasn’t looked right all year and the general consensus is because Bell was rusty or recovering from surgery in the offseason. If Bell is back to his form where he’s the best running back in the league, that’ll make the rest of the offense return to top form.

The Offensive Line

If part of the blame for the lousy running game before this game was put on Le’Veon Bell, the other part could be on the offensive line. This was supposed to be one of the best lines in football and it has under-performed. The line created some huge holes for the running backs and only gave up 1 sack.

JuJu Smith-Schuster

Say hello to the new slot receiver. Eli Rogers was a healthy scratch and JuJu Smith-Schuster looked just fine in the role.  He’s getting more and more comfortable and had 3 catches on 4 targets for 47 yards and a touchdown

The Defensive Line

Stephon Tuitt played his first game since getting injured in the first game, so this was the first time Tuitt, Javon Hargrave and Cameron Heyward played together this season. They wreaked havoc on the Ravens.

Lets look at the stats:

Heyward: 4 tackles, 2 sacks, 2 tackles for loss, 2 QB hits, forced fumble, fumble recovery

Tuitt: 3 tackles, .5 sack, 1 tackle for loss, 2 QB hits

Hargrave: 1 tackle

If this line can stay healthy, they’re going to have a lot of days like this.

Ryan Shazier

Ryan Shazier was all over the field Sunday. He had 11 tackles, 10 solo tackles, 3 passes defended and 1 interception. He’s another player that, if healthy, can dominate.

Mike Hilton

Mike Hilton looked great Sunday. He did it all as he recorded 4 tackles, 1 sack, 1 tackle for loss, 1 pass defended and 1 interception. He’s another player that is looking better and better every game.

Losers

Penalties

The Steelers are still committing way too many penalties. They had 8 penalties this game, all on offense or special teams. Many of the penalties killed drives.

Antonio Brown

Antonio Brown had a very below-average day, with 4 receptions for 34 yards on 9 targets. Ben Roethlisberger this week said he was focusing too much on throwing to Brown, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that he spread the ball around.  But what lands him on the ‘Loser’ list is his temper tantrum after being wide open on a play and not getting thrown to. That kind of behavior doesn’t help anyone and hopefully he realizes this and acts more professionally.

Ben Roethlisberger

Ben was 18 of 30 for 216 yards with 1 touchdown and 1 ‘interception’ (which was actually the officials making a horrible call). The numbers were ok, but there are times when Ben looks old and can’t make the throws he used to. It’s hard to argue with the quarterback of a team that’s 3-1, but he’s not as good as he used to be and that’s concerning.

 

Photo Credits: USA Today

Pittsburgh Steelers Week 4 Preview: Baltimore Ravens

The Steelers lost last week vs the Bears 23-17 in overtime and looked horrible. The Ravens lost to the Jaguars in London 44-7 and looked even worse. Both teams are looking to bounce back in this great rivalry. Let’s take a look at the match ups:

Ravens Offense vs. Steelers Defense

The Ravens looked solid on offense the first two games, but completely fell apart against Jacksonville. Joe Flacco completed 8 of 18 passes for 28 yards. The Ravens are last in the league in total yards per game.

The Steelers defense looked solid the first two games but was destroyed on the ground by a very bad Bears team. Will the Ravens try to run it down the Steelers’ throat? The Steelers defense will benefit by the returns of T.J. Watt and Stephon Tuitt. Expect the Steelers defense to rebound.

Edge: Steelers

Steelers Offense vs. Ravens Defense

The entire Steelers offense has not lived up to potential so far this season. They can’t run effectively and only Antonio Brown has been effective among the wide receivers. They’re not getting any breaks against a very good Ravens defense that didn’t look good against the Jaguars last week. Losing defensive end Brent Urban due to a foot injury doesn’t help, but they should bounce back at home.

Edge: Ravens

Game Prediction

Steelers – Ravens games are always brawls and almost always close. 12 of the last 18 games between these teams have been decided by 3 points or less. The Steelers do not do well in Baltimore so expect a low-scoring field goal fest with the Ravens barely winning.

Ravens 18, Steelers 15

 

Photo Credits: Ebony Bird

Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Targets (Week 3)

Waiver wire pickups are crucial to make a championship run in any fantasy football league, especially in the first few weeks. This week offers less explosive players than last, but it is still important to be quick to add these players. They can offer a great bridge player until someone returns from injury, or their season could take off and they could earn a full time starting spot. Below are 6 players to target this week on the waiver wire.

1. Chris Thompson, RB, Washington Redskins

Chris Thompson has produced well this season, especially for his limited touches (13). He has three touchdowns, 81 rushing yards, and 81 receiving yards, all on just 13 touches! With starter Robert Kelley going down with a potential broken rib, Thompson is going to see a lot more opportunity. If he can keep up his level of production, he will put up scary fantasy numbers. (Percent owned: 6.1 NFL, 65.1 ESPN)

2. Chris Ivory, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars

At first glance, picking up a backup running back on a bad offense seems like a bad idea. However, for anyone that has the starter, Leonard Fournette, he is the ultimate stash player. Fournette is being used on a whopping 45 touches through two games. If he happens to go down with an injury, Chris Ivory would see much more playing time. (Percent owned: 1.8 NFL, 0.6 ESPN)

3. Trevor Siemian, QB, Denver Broncos

Trevor Siemian is anything but a household name. However, he is performing like one. He has posted top five fantasy numbers through the first two games. For people with a under performing quarterback, or an injury that has hurt them, Siemian is a great add. He could even prove valuable as a backup quarterback to stash. (Percent owned: 7.0 NFL, 3.7 ESPN)

4. Ben Watson, TE, Baltimore Ravens

Ben Watson was a top option at tight end last week, catching eight passes for 91 yards. He looked to be recovered from his torn achilles and could be poised for a stellar season. He should keep up this level of targets and production because Joe Flacco loves throwing to his tight ends. Last season he targeted Dennis Pitta 121 times. (Percent owned: 0.5 NFL, 0.3 ESPN)

5. Mohamed Sanu, WR, Atlanta Falcons

It is clear that in Atlanta, Julio Jones is the number one option. However, Mohamed Sanu led the team in targets week one, and was second last week. He is performing well for his number of targets and could produce some very good numbers with all of the attention that Julio commands. Sanu could be a good fill player if someone like Brandon Marshall is destroying your lineup each week. (Percent owned: 13.6 NFL, 16.2 ESPN)

6. Chris Carson, RB, Seattle Seahawks

Chris Carson has impressed during his time in Seattle. He was supposed to backup Thomas Rawls, but saw significantly more plays than him last week (16 to 48). Whomever the Seahawks starting running back is, he has always been a coveted player to target. If the starter moving forward is Carson, then that makes him a valuable commodity. (Percent owned: 7.3 NFL, 3.6 ESPN)

 

Photo Credits: Washington Redskins

Fantasy Football Waiver Targets (Week 2)

Fantasy football waiver wire pickups are the difference between winning a championship, and failing to make the playoffs. It is important to be vigilant each week, especially when major injuries or suspensions can rid someone of a top pick. This week is especially important because of how many top fantasy stars failed to produce. It is too early to drop a top pick because of a disappointing performance, but adding a potential stud is a good insurance policy just in case. Below are eight players that everyone should be targeting.

1. Tarik Cohen, RB, Chicago Bears

Tarik Cohen provided the Bears with a big spark in his NFL debut. He seriously cut into Jordan Howard‘s touches after being used on 43% of plays, compared to Howard’s 56%. He carried the ball five times for 66 yards, an astonishing 13.2 YPC. Cohen also caught eight passes for 47 yards and a touchdown. In PPR leagues, Cohen is even more valuable after leading the team in targets with 12. He is not owned in many leagues, but will be after this week. (Percent owned: 1.5 NFL, 2.3 ESPN)

2. Alex Smith, QB, Kansas City Chiefs

Alex Smith has long been described as a game manager, not the guy to throw for 300 yards and four touchdowns. However, that is exactly what Smith did in the season opener. He made the reigning Super Bowl championship defense look foolish, and while doing so, locked up his status as a great waiver wire pickup. He is still not in the upper echelon of fantasy quarterbacks to start regardless of weekly matchups, but as of week two he is the top scoring fantasy quarterback. (Percent owned: 16.6 NFL, 9.7 ESPN)

3. Nelson Agholor, WR, Philadelphia Eagles

Nelson Agholor looked bound to be labeled a bust after a disappointing two seasons to start his career, but he looked like a different receiver week one. He led the team in targets, and finished with 86 yards and a touchdown. If he and second year quarterback Carson Wentz can build chemistry together it could be a very successful season for the young receiver. (Percent owned: 1.8 NFL, 1.6 ESPN)

4. Javorius Allen, RB, Baltimore Ravens

After Danny Woodhead went out with a hamstring injury, Javorius Allen
led the running backs in snaps. With Woodhead expected to be out at least a month, Allen’s stock skyrockets. The Ravens love to target backs on passing routes, so his value is even higher is PPR leagues. He still is splitting carries with Terrance West, but Allen is a quality waiver wire addition. (Percent owned: 1.6 NFL, 0.4 ESPN)

5. Kerwynn Williams, RB, Arizona Cardinals

Kerwynn Williams‘usage is in for a major uptick after star running back David Johnson
suffered a wrist injury that could sideline him for several months. He came in immediately for the injured Johnson and scored a touchdown. Williams was declared the number one back moving forward by head coach Bruce Arians. Williams has a very high ceiling as the number one back in Arizona. (Percent owned: 0.3 NFL, 0.7 ESPN)

6. Jesse James, TE, Pittsburgh Steelers

Jesse James was the top scoring tight end in week one. This is no doubt because he caught two red zone touchdowns and will not be the norm. However, if James can become Big Ben’s favorite red zone target there will be many more touchdowns in James’ future. The team’s recent addition of Vance McDonald was thought to hurt James’ targets, but he beat McDonald 8 to one in that respect. (Percent owned: 3.9 NFL, 2.5 ESPN)

7. Cooper Kupp, WR, Los Angeles Rams

Cooper Kupp is a good option in PPR leagues with 12 or more people in them. He had a solid week one, but his production depends on the Rams’ offense, which was lackluster last season. That being said, he led the team in targets last week and secured a touchdown pass from Jared Goff. (Percent owned: 4.7 NFL, 16.6 ESPN)

8. Mike Tolbert, RB, Buffalo Bills

The backup running back in Buffalo has consistently poached touchdowns from LeSean McCoy over the past three years, and Mike Tolbert has already began down that road. He scored a one yard touchdown in week one and ran the ball 12 times for 42 yards. His bruising downhill running style should do his fantasy value well as he looks to score many short yardage touchdowns this season. (Percent owned: 0.1 NFL, 0.5 ESPN)

 

Photo Credits: FanRag Sports