Working The Waiver Wire: Week 6
We hope that you read last week’s waiver article where we really went over the running back position. If guys like Aaron Jones of Green Bay, Wayne Gallman of the Giants, Alex Collins of Baltimore or Latavius Murray of Minnesota all who proved that they are viable fantasy players. If any of them are still available, they are definitely your first priority. If not, below are a couple of more running backs and guys at other positions who can help you succeed.
Adrian Peterson, RB, Arizona Cardinals. In a move that must make him feel much better, Adrian Peterson is headed to Arizona and the Cardinals dumped Chris Johnson. I don’t know if Peterson has anything left, but this is a much better situation for him than New Orleans was. Andre Ellington will still be entrenched as the pass catching back, but Peterson will get the work as the guy who gets the carries. I would take a flier on him as a starting running back, but I wouldn’t expect the Peterson of earlier in this decade to show up on the West Coast.
Matt Breida, RB, San Francisco 49ers. If you have been watching the 49ers at all over the past couple of weeks, first why? They suck! But if you have, you’ll notice that Head Coach Kyle Shanahan has felt comfortable sitting starting running back Carlos Hyde for large chunks of time in favor of Matt Breida. And if you watch Breida, you know why. Hyde has been efficient when he has been in, but Breida brings a ton of energy, shiftiness, and is a great pass catcher out of the backfield. I don’t think that he will ever take over fully unless Hyde gets hurt, but he did get more caries than Hyde this week for the first time this year. If you are looking for RB depth or a guy who could be in line for carries and catches, Breida is a good bet.
George Kittle, TE, San Francisco 49ers. Another interesting 49er, if they can continue this stretch of actually scoring touchdowns, is rookie tight end George Kittle. I really liked the route running and “speed” that I saw from this guy the first few weeks, but he has had a hell of a time with dropped passes. This week he finally was able to ditch the dropsies and had his best game with seven catches for 83 yards and a score. Kittle is absolutely their starting tight end, and looks to be a solid part of the offense. If you have any need at tight end, give Kittle a look.
Marlon Mack, RB, Indianapolis Colts. If you watched the Colts/49ers game you would have noticed that Frank Gore got more carries, but it was the speed of Marlon Mack that was impressive. Mack broke off impressive runs of 35 yards and a 22 yard touchdown on his way to a 91 yard day. He still will be behind Gore as long as he stays healthy, but as a guy that you can use as depth and hope he breaks a couple of long ones on you, Mack looks like a strong candidate.
Roger Lewis Jr, WR, New York Giants. Odell Beckham gone for the year. Brandon Marshall gone for the year. Sterling Shepard gone for a few weeks. Dwayne Harris gone for the year. The Giants receiving corps took an unprecedented bite with the injury bug on Sunday which leaves an enormous void. Lewis seems to be the top guy to own at the moment, but it is hard to say after so many players went down. He did catch a touchdown on Sunday, so I think he will get the most targets. There is sure to be a lot of uncertainty in the Giants passing game in the next week or so, but if you are looking for a guy to own right now in the Giants receiving corps, I’m gonna target Lewis.
JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers. I still contend that JuJu Schuster-Smith rolls off the tongue more, but there’s no doubt that each week this rookie gains more traction in the offense. First, he took over where Eli Rogers was the number three receiver, and now it looks like he has his sights on Martavis Bryant and the number two receiver for the Steelers. Bryant did have one more catch, but Smith-Schuster outgained him 58 yards to just 21. And in Week 5 Bryant had just one more yard than the rookie, but Smith-Schuster had a touchdown. If you are looking for a receiver to play, this guy has to be on your radar.
Jalen Richard, RB, Oakland Raiders. The more I see Marshawn Lynch, the more I am worried about his viability for the entire season. I was very high on Beast Mode coming into the year, but I can’t close my eyes to his lack of production. Richard nearly had as many carries as Lynch this week, and he had a better yards per carry average. I don’t expect him to take over for Lynch in the next week or two, but if you have a dead spot and are looking for depth and all of the guys above are gone, Richard is a good guy to speculate on.
Ed Dickson, TE, Carolina Panthers. When Greg Olsen went down there was a huge void in the Panther passing game. Most of that was filled in with the emergence of Devin Funchess (which if he is available in your league, you need to get him now!), however, at the tight end position Ed Dickson has filled in nicely. Now, don’t get me wrong, there is no way that Dickson is going to duplicate his ridiculous five catch, 175 yard output from Sunday, but if you need help at tight end and Kittle is gone, Dickson isn’t a bad consolation prize. I just feel he will be inconsistent from week to week.
Ricardo Louis, WR, Cleveland Browns. A few weeks ago we all liked Rashad Higgins, but for the second straight week it was Ricardo Louis who led the Browns wide receivers in production. Until Corey Coleman is ready to come back it is anyone’s guess as to who is going to be the top receiving option for the Browns, but as of now if you need a wide receiver, my money is on Louis.