This is a weak waiver wire week. Say that ten times fast. I just did, and it’s actually not that hard. I would take this week as an opportunity to build some depth on my bench and start looking forward at bye weeks to see where I might need some fill-ins and add players accordingly. All ownership percentages below are taken from Yahoo.
Marlon Mack – 41% owned
With Robert Turbin out for the year and the Colts playing from behind all game, Mack out-snapped Frank Gore 32-22. The Colts used Mack as their passing down back, as he had 4 receptions on top of his 5 carries. He ran 26 routes and had 6 targets on those routes. Both him and Gore had 9 touches in this game, but Mack should have some value moving forward if the Colts defense can’t stop opposing offenses. The Colts defense took another hit this week with Malik Hooker tearing his ACL and MCL. Mack should see better days, as they were facing a tough Jaguars defense this week. This should remain a timeshare; I would imagine the Colts will try their best to try to establish the running game with Gore in the beginning of games.
Latavius Murray – 42% owned
Jerick McKinnon outplayed Murray in the first two games without Cook, but it’s been a timeshare since then. His carry totals have increased since then, seeing 12, then 15, and now 18 this past week. Murray is healthier now, no doubt, and will get touches regardless of McKinnon’s role. McKinnon is definitely still the back to own because of his involvement in the passing game, but Murray is still a RB3 who can be productive in a run-first team with a good defense. Murray out-touched McKinnon, and it’s possible we see this again if the Vikings have full control of a game in the second half.
Wendell Smallwood – 40% owned
Smallwood is definitely a part of a timeshare and lost some work to Blount and Corey Clement on Monday night, but he’s back, and he should see most of the work in competitive games. With Philly in control most of the game, they didn’t need Smallwood to play a huge role coming off of his injury. Smallwood looked good on the limited touches he had, and I would expect him to be a big part of this offense going forward. In PPR leagues, he brings a lot more value since he’s the preferred passing down back. He has a great matchup this week at home against the 49ers, but beware of a similar game script as they had this week. With that said, the 49ers have been giving up a ton of receptions to RBs, so he can have a big day.
Dion Lewis – 30% owned
Lewis has seen increased snaps and usage over the past few weeks, and could overtake James White as the primary RB in this offense. If you watched the game against the Falcons on Sunday night, you saw all four running backs get some action, which can be frustrating if you own any of these guys, so if you pick Lewis up, expect more of the same. However, here are his touch totals since Week 4: 5, 9, 11, and 14 this past week. He led the backfield in snaps, while Mike Gillislee had his season low in touches with only 8. Lewis is a dynamic player, and if he’s anything close to his early 2016 form, he can develop into a big weapon for Brady and this offense. He’s a stash and hope, but is startable right now, assuming his usage stays the same.
Mohamed Sanu – 38% owned
Sanu had 10 targets this past week against the Patriots, and has had only 1 game under 6 targets, which was the game in which he got hurt midway. This offense is not clicking right now, but Sanu looks healthy and is getting the looks. Sanu should be able to continue it this week against the Jets while Morris Claiborne shadows Julio Jones. If you’re not starting him this week, Sanu provides valuable depth that you can keep on your bench and plug in on a pinch if needed.
Josh Doctson – 14% owned
Doctson is a flier who can turn into the Redskins’ #1 WR after the Terrelle Pryor experiment went bad. Doctson saw the 2nd most snaps to Jamison Crowder, starting over Pryor in this game. Doctson still has a lot to prove, and only saw 5 targets the entire game. He’s a great bench stash at this point and is even startable if he’s seeing this much field time. Pryor did see about an even number of snaps with Doctson in the 2nd half, but it remains to be seen if Pryor will have much of a role going forward. If you’re a Pryor owner, I’m not dropping him yet.
Ted Ginn Jr – 52% owned
Ted Ginn is a boom/bust guy, with his boom not being quite as high as it used to be. Nevertheless, he’s had 2 very solid fantasy days the past 2 weeks, catching a TD in Week 6, and catching all 7 of his targets for 141 yards against the Packers this past week. He is a good depth add and someone you can throw in your lineup in a pinch, hoping for the boom side of his boom/bust nature.
Jordan Matthews – 31% owned
Jordan Matthews came back from his broken thumb this past week, and had only 2 catches on 3 targets, even while playing 81% of the snaps. That makes it 4 out of 5 games in which he received 3 targets or less. The volume isn’t quite there for Matthews to become a WR2, but a WR3 isn’t out of the picture for a team who needs a WR to step up. Matthews is without a doubt the Bills’ best WR, and I would pick him up in case he starts getting solid volume. If he starts getting 5-6 targets a game, he can take advantage of the easy schedule the rest of the way.
Jeremy Maclin – 58% owned
Who knows when Maclin will actually be healthy, but if you need a long-term stash at WR, he should be Joe Flacco’s #1 target once he gets on the field. He should be back this week or the week after.
Robert Woods – 36% owned
Woods continues to get it done. He’s now averaging 7 targets over the last 5 games, has caught 5 passes in the last 3, and has had at least 59 yards in 3 of the last 4 games. He’s a good PPR asset who has a solid floor, and the only reliable WR in the Rams offense on a weekly basis.
Kenny Stills – 23% owned
Kenny Stills had a great Week 7, and seems to love to play against the Jets. His only games with more than 5 targets came against the Jets this past week and against the Jets in Week 3. With Matt Moore coming in, the offense should improve, but Stills will compete for targets with Jarvis Landry and DeVante Parker, once he’s back. One thing to note is that Moore threw a pass to Stills in each of his three games at the end of last year, although Stills was already catching TDs before that, catching 7 TDs in the last 10 games of 2016. Stills is a bit of a dart throw because of his volume, but if you’re hurting at WR, you can do a lot worse. If you do pick him up, be aware that the Dolphins are going to Baltimore on a short week, so I would not start him in that matchup.
Jermaine Kearse – 53% owned
We’re going deep. Kearse has had 4 targets in each of the last 4 games, but has a nose for the end zone, catching 4 TDs so far this season, and 2 in the last 3 games. He’s a depth add, and not someone I feel comfortable putting in my lineup because of his lack of volume. His TD grab last week against Miami was his only catch of the day.
Kenny Golladay – 15% owned
Golladay is a straight flier. He’s had one good week this year after having a great preseason. The hype and talent is there, but his injury the past few weeks has no one talking about him. With Golden Tate hurt, Golladay has a chance to get some volume. I wouldn’t start him this week against the Steelers, but will be looking at his usage to see if he’ll be a viable long term stash.
Matt Forte – 31% owned
Forte led the Jets backfield in snaps, but it’s pretty much an even split between him and Bilal Powell. Forte seems to be “leading” this backfield right now, but that can change in any game. The encouraging sign is his use in the passing game; he had 5 catches for 41 yards in Week 7, and had 8 catches against the Patriots in Week 6. In PPR, that’s pretty useful in addition to the carries he’s getting. If you need depth, he’s not a bad add. The matchup is okay this week against the Falcons, so if you need a spot start, you can do worse.
Deandre Washington/Jalen Richard – 3% owned/11% owned
With Marshawn Lynch suspended this week, we should see an even timeshare between Washington and Richard. Don’t forget about Jamize Olawale, who is used in hurry up and some passing situations. DeAndre Washington had a tough 4-yard goal line carry that he converted for a TD, so he gets the edge there. He was also used in the final hurry-up drive when the Raiders were trying to win the game. He gets the edge for me in a spot start this week, but Richard has a ton of playmaking ability in open space as well. Both can catch the ball, but if Washington is going to get goal line carries, I rather pick him up if I’m in dire need of a RB start this week. They are going up to Buffalo this week against a Bills team who has been stout against the run, so that combined with neither of these guys seeing all of the work makes either a desperate start.
Darren McFadden – 43% owned
If Zeke goes down, Adam Schefter believes that McFadden will be the guy. I believe Schefter is pretty reliable, and is in the know, so I’m taking his word for it. That on top of all the reasons I previously outlined in other articles, makes me think McFadden would be the guy in case Zeke is out with a suspension. Zeke’s hearing is on Monday, October 30 so McFadden is a guy to keep stashed until then.
Sterling Shepard – 63% owned
He’s owned in most leagues, but Shepard will be the #1 WR on the Giants, and should get a ton of targets. Evan Engram will get his as well, but getting Shepard back will give a boost to this offense. Shepard and Manning already have a rapport, so it shouldn’t be hard to get him the ball early and often. I expect Shepard to be a high-end WR3 to low-end WR2 in PPR leagues the rest of the way.
Marvin Jones – 62% owned
I’m not starting Jones this week against Pittsburgh’s secondary, but if Golden Tate is out for a week or two after this week, Jones should get a ton of volume and produce.
Jamison Crowder – 57% owned
Crowder saw the most snaps this week for the Redskins, but only saw 5 targets. He’s probably the best WR the Redskins have, but it’s not clicking yet for any of the WRs. It’s amazing that Kirk Cousins is getting it done without having them involved as much. Crowder has a chance to have a better second half, so he’s a stash to see if things improve.
Emmanuel Sanders is likely out this week, so Fowler can provide production with the targets he will see. Sanders was arguably Trevor Siemian’s go-to WR, so the volume should be there for Fowler in which he might not see much of Marcus Peters if he continues to play in the slot. He caught 5 of 5 targets in Week 7, so expect similar volume.
Tyrod Taylor – 58% owned
Tyrod came through last week in a good matchup. He sees Oakland this week at home, where he plays a lot better. I will say this every time he’s in this streaming article, which will probably be every week: his rushing gives you a great floor.
Andy Dalton – 55% owned
Dalton has a great matchup against the Colts, who just lost Malik hooker to a torn ACL and MCL. The Colts defense wasn’t good to begin with, and now it got even worse. The offense looks better than it did in the beginning of the year, but they couldn’t get anything going this past week in a tough matchup against the Steelers. They should bounce back at home against this weak Colts D.
Case Keenum – 9% owned
Keenum will be in London this week going up against the Browns in a matchup he can win. Even if Diggs is not cleared to play on that slippery field in London, he has some good weapons in Thielen, McKinnon, and Rudolph to get it done.
Josh McCown – 13% owned
McCown has had two great weeks, throwing 5 TDs in the last 2 games, and if you go back even further he has 7 in the last 3. McCown will get it done for fantasy, and the Jets will probably have to keep fighting in this game, assuming that the Falcons can actually score. McCown has a decent set of weapons, and is a fine streaming option for Week 8.
Jared Cook – 41% owned
Cook played a huge part of the Raiders win at home against the Chiefs on Thursday night, and he’s been very involved in the offense throughout the year. He has a decent matchup against a Bills team who allowed Cameron Brate and O.J. Howard to go HAM on them this past week. Cook is involved enough to be confident in him in PPR leagues for at least 3-4 catches.
Jack Doyle – 44% owned
Doyle doesn’t have the best matchup this week, but he’s had at least 5 receptions in his last 3 games. You can’t say that about a lot of TEs, so he seems like a weekly reliable option.
Tyler Kroft – 16% owned
Kroft has received at least 4 targets in the last 4 games, and had 3 TDs in that timespan. Starting this week, the Kroft will have a pretty good schedule the rest of the way, and Dalton loves looking at his tight end in the end zone. If you’re in need of a TE, Kroft can be a good start most weeks with a high possibility of a TD.
Ben Watson – 13% owned
With all of the Ravens’ WRs banged up, Watson should see work this Thursday night. I’m only comfortable starting him in PPR leagues. He has a good matchup against Miami, who have given up TDs to good tight ends.
Vernon Davis – 6% owned
Vernon Davis has been getting it done this year, with or without Jordan Reed. He’s averaging 4 targets in every game since Week 2, without seeing less than 58 yards. He’s a big play tight end, and can get it done in one play for you.