- League Office: Fantasy Football Waiver Pick-Ups – Week 1
- League Office: Waiver Wire Pick-Ups – Week 2
- League Office: Fantasy Football Waiver Wire – Week 3
- League Office: Fantasy Football Waiver Wire – Week 5
- League Office: Fantasy Football Waiver Wire – Week 6
- League Office: Fantasy Football Waiver Wire – Week 4
- League Office: Fantasy Football Waiver Wire – Week 7
- League Office: Fantasy Football Waiver Wire – Week 8
- League Office: Fantasy Football Waiver Wire – Week 9
- League Office: Fantasy Football Waiver Wire – Week 10
- League Office: Fantasy Football Waiver Wire – Week 11
- League Office: Fantasy Football Waiver Wire – Week 12
Five weekends of the NFL season are in the books and we are approaching the midway point of the fantasy football regular season. As byes and injuries begin to stack up, the waiver wire becomes all the more important.
With fewer surprise performers who have the potential to return season-long value emerging at this stage of the season, it’s important to make the most of what is currently on the waiver wire.
Think of the waiver wire as a spice cabinet at this stage. Rather than the supermarket-style shopping that was an option after the first couple weeks of the season, big-ticket items or entries will not be there in all likelihood. Instead, fantasy managers will be looking to add a pinch of salt here, a dash of pepper there and maybe some under-the-radar items like thyme or cumin to supply a flavorful punch for their teams.
Now before throwing open the pantry door and flinging spices about in search of some hidden gem, there may still be some great options available on the waiver wire in some leagues.
These players should be owned in all leagues but are not, and they have a championship kick that every fantasy manager should want on their team. Here are must-add players should they be available: (*these are in no particular order)
- WR John Brown (ownership: 72% on ESPN, 81% on Yahoo)
- WR Geronimo Allison (ownership: 52% on ESPN, 46% on Yahoo)
- WR Tyler Boyd (ownership: 78% on ESPN, 83% on Yahoo)
- WR Corey Davis (ownership: 87% on ESPN, 91% on Yahoo)
- WR Calvin Ridley (ownership: 88% on ESPN, 92% on Yahoo)
- RB James White (ownership: 86% on ESPN, 86% on Yahoo)
- RB Tarik Cohen (ownership: 68% on ESPN, 70% on Yahoo)
- RB Nyheim Hines (ownership: 47% on ESPN, 59% on Yahoo)
If any of the above players are available on the waiver wire, they should receive top claim priorities or FAAB bids.
But, these players are not available in many leagues, so most will need to turn to the spice cabinet.
So let’s fling open the pantry door and start digging around on the shelves and see what can be found to take our fantasy teams from bland to mouth-watering.
Jameis Winston, QB, TB
(ownership: 13% on ESPN, 19% on Yahoo)
- A great streaming option for Week 6 with the potential to be a long-term asset, Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston is a high-priority waiver wire target this week. With the Atlanta Falcons’ atrocious pass defense on tap and plenty of weapons around him, Winston has the potential to return QB1 numbers not only this week but several more times throughout the remainder of the season. After all, Ryan Fitzpatrick managed to produced MVP-like numbers in this offense for the first three weeks of the season, so the sky could be the limit in a prove-it year for Winston.
Others To Place Claims On: Baker Mayfield (38% ESPN, 37% Yahoo), C.J. Beathard (3% ESPN, 4% Yahoo)
Derek Carr, QB, OAK
(ownership: 26% on ESPN, 44% on Yahoo)
- After producing more than 16 fantasy points just once in five games, Oakland Raiders signal-caller Derek Carr cannot be trusted as a fantasy asset. While he may run into another big game or two — as was the case in Week 4 — the consistency simply isn’t there for Carr to be rostered.
Others To Place On Waivers: Dak Prescott (28% ESPN, 36% Yahoo), Ryan Tannehill (21% ESPN, 15% Yahoo)
Kyle Juszczyk, FB, SF
(ownership: 1% on ESPN, 0% on Yahoo)
- It’s pronounced “Yous-Check” by the way. And he also plays for the San Francisco 49ers. And he’s a fullback. But anyway, he’s a very good receiver out of the backfield. With Matt Breida suffering his second injury in his last three games — a knee injury he played through in Week 3 and an ankle injury that forced from Week 5’s contest in the first quarter — Juszczyk could be pressed into an expanded role Monday night against the Green Bay Packers. Of course, should Breida be 100 percent for the Week 6 game, Juszczyk would be hard to trust, but he’s worth an add as both a handcuff for Breida and a PPR dart throw.
Others To Place Claims On: Alfred Morris (50% ESPN, 42% Yahoo), Jalen Richard (7% ESPN, 5% Yahoo)
Latavius Murray, RB, MIN
(ownership: 47% on ESPN, 38% on Yahoo)
- Minnesota Vikings backup running back Latavius Murray will forever be on the Chef’s drop list. As has been discussed extensively before and during the season, Murray is not good and has proven to be unworthy of a starting fantasy spot even in Dalvin Cook’s absence (15.7 PPR points combined in the two games Cook has missed). He should be dropped for a more serviceable asset or a handcuff who is actually good.
Nick Chubb, RB, CLE
(ownership: 30% on ESPN, 42% on Yahoo)
- Typically I do not feature analysis on more than one drop, but Cleveland Browns rookie Nick Chubb gets an exception this week. Yes, Chubb exploded for two long scoring runs in Week 4. But he only had three carries, which surprisingly was his season-high to that point. His reward for such explosive plays? Three carries in Week 5. The Browns will not feature Chubb enough to make him any more than the fantasy Hail Mary equivalent of having a backup quarterback attempting an 80-yard heave. He’s a handcuff for Carlos Hyde, nothing more.
Others To Place On Waivers: Rex Burkhead (28% ESPN, 24% Yahoo) — he’s on IR and owned in roughly a quarter of leagues, c’mon people!
Taylor Gabriel, WR, CHI
(ownership: 15% on ESPN, 18% on Yahoo)
- While the Chicago Bears offense has been inconsistent to say the least, wide receiver Taylor Gabriel has seen a healthy share of the targets this season. With at least five targets in each of his team’s four games, including seven or more in the last three, Gabriel is shaping up to be a great fantasy asset. He’s second on the team in targets, first in receptions, second in receiving yards and tied for the team lead in receiving touchdowns. He’s a weapon that the coaching staff has been using frequently and could fit into the Tyreek Hill role that everyone was trying to jam Tariq Cohen into heading into the season.
Others To Place Claims On: Keke Coutee (20% ESPN, 33% Yahoo), Marquez Valdes-Scantling (3% ESPN, 9% Yahoo)
Chris Hogan, WR, NE
(70% on ESPN, 65% on Yahoo)
- Like Latavius Murray, New England Patriots receiver Chris Hogan may get a weekly feature spot in this post. Hogan had value heading into the season as the de facto No. 1 receiver for the Patriots for the first four weeks. However, he delivered just one solid performance, received no more than five targets in a game, and the first four weeks have passed. Julian Edelman is back in the fold, Rob Gronkowski is healthy by Gronk standards, and Josh Gordon is working his way into the rotation at receiver. Take the name away for a second and consider these PPR point totals: 2.1, 19.2, 6.1, 3.5, 7.4. Aside from his 19.2-point game in Week 2, Hogan has produced an average of 4.8 PPR points a game. For some perspective, Carolina Panthers receiver Torrey Smith (0% ESPN, 1% Yahoo) has averaged 4.9 in his team’s four games.
Larry Fitzgerald, WR, ARI
(ownership: 89% on ESPN, 88% on Yahoo)
- This one deserves analysis, so we have our second droppable double-feature of the week. As with Hogan, take away the name for a second and really look at these numbers: 6.9 PPR points per game, 47th among receivers in catches, 63rd in yards, 54th in air yards, 81st in yards after the catch, no touchdowns, 64th in target quality and 56th in separation per target. The poor fantasy point total could be overlooked, but the poor quality of targets, a lack of separation from defenders and all the other metrics point to Fitzgerald just not being a good fantasy option this year. The Arizona Cardinals offense has been bad, and rookie quarterback Josh Rosen has been decent but he’s still a rookie, which means there will be plenty of inconsistency at the position. It’s an unpopular thing to do, but Fitzgerald needs to be dropped or traded if you can find someone willing to pay anything for his name.
Others To Place On Waivers: Marquise Goodwin (53% ESPN, 50% Yahoo)
Geoff Swaim, TE, DAL
(ownership: 7% on ESPN, 9% on Yahoo)
- The tight end position in fantasy football has been wrecked by injuries this season — and it’s not like it was a deep position to begin with. So a common theme in this post has been to add tight ends who are starters. A perfect example of that is Dallas Cowboys tight end Geoff Swaim, who has played more than 90 percent of his team’s offensive snaps each week and has caught at least three passes in four of five games. He does not have the upside of some other names out there, but he offers a safe floor that is hard to find at his position.
Others To Place Claims On: Hayden Hurst (7% ESPN, 8% Yahoo)
Tyler Eifert, TE, CIN
(ownership: 19% on ESPN, 16% on Yahoo)
- Cincinnati Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert is out for the season after suffering an injury in Week 4. However, he is owned in close to 20 percent of leagues on some sites. C’mon, people.
Others To Place On Waivers: Will Dissly (7% ESPN, 5% Yahoo) — like Rex Burkhead and Tyler Eifert, Will Dissly is on IR. Drop him. C’mon, people!