Fantasy Football Waiver Wire: September 17
Dan Malin brings you his top waiver wire adds for Week 3 of the fantasy football season!
Week 2 of the Fantasy Football season is in the books and we may not have as many takeaways or players to mention as last week, but there are some trends that we need to take note of. There were quite a few injuries especially to some key players that you may need to account for. Typically by Weeks 2 or 3 you’ll know what you truly have with your fantasy team and if you’re sitting at 0-2 you don’t need to panic. You can get back into it with that top waiver priority in your league. But also if you’re sitting pretty at 2-0 or you’re 1-1 you may want to consider holding off on waiver claims and seeing who gets dropped in your league. The depth of this week’s waiver wire column pales in comparison to last week, so if none of these players really jump off the page at you then maybe play it safe and see who gets dropped that you could get later in the week.
Josh Allen BUF; FAAB Bid: 10-12% - So this section for Josh Allen is happening Monday morning. And you may be one of those people currently in a panic regarding Ben Roethlisberger or Drew Brees . It cannot be stressed enough how Josh Allen is a viable fantasy quarterback. He’s thrown for 250 yards in back-to-back games, which isn’t great but on average that’ll get you a quarterback who throws for 4,000 yards. But his fantasy value lies in what he can do with his legs. So far he has a rushing touchdown in both games this season. The turnovers will be troublesome, but if you can find a quarterback that is not afraid to run and can occasionally get a rushing touchdown then you’re in good shape. Currently Allen is 40% owned in Yahoo leagues and under 30% owned in ESPN leagues. This will be the week owners should flock to the waiver wire and get this guy especially if you need insurance for Brees and Big Ben, and you may need to pay up.
Andy Dalton CIN; FAAB Bid: 6-8% - Do you know who leads the league in passing yards so far in 2019? You’re right, it’s Patrick Mahomes . But do you know who is in second place? None other than Andy Dalton as we all predicted! Dalton has 729 passing yards through two games this year. The Zac Taylor offense has looked great so far in terms of the aerial attack, but the ground game has struggled. It also benefits the Bengals that they’ll be playing from behind more often than not and that they’ll need to eventually abandon the run. And right now the Bengals passing game looks pretty viable and they don’t even have A.J. Green back. This is another player that can replace Brees or Roethlisberger in deeper leagues, and he might be a little bit safer than Josh Allen who could put up the occasional dud.
Mason Rudolph PIT; FAAB Bid: 3-5% - Well Ben Roethlisberger is now done for the season, which really takes a giant fantastical dump on the fantasy prospects of JuJu Smith-Schuster and James Conner . That might be an overreaction right now, but there is concern regarding the regression of Pittsburgh’s two biggest offensive threats. Rudolph inherits said weapons and has a solid track record with another player we’ll get to shortly and he has the protection of a decent offensive line. The Steelers are 0-2, but at least they can now get a look at Rudolph and see what he can bring to the table.
Case Keenum WSH; FAAB Bid: 2-4% - Keenum has 601 passing yards through two games with five touchdowns. His fantasy production has been dependent on game flow because they lost Derrius Guice and Adrian Peterson isn’t very good despite finding the end zone on Sunday. So there will be plenty of opportunities for the Redskins to throw the ball. The downside is that Washington has a dreadful schedule coming up. Over the next handful of weeks leading up to their Week 10 bye the Redskins go against the Bears, Patriots, 49ers, Vikings, and Bills. Now the Giants and Dolphins are also sprinkled in there, but for the most part it’s not an easy schedule. Keenum will have to throw a little bit more even in these contests because Washington should fall behind, but the matchups will be more difficult. The other concern with Keenum is that if Washington keeps losing then they could bring in Dwayne Haskins to start and then Keenum wastes away on the bench. It’s hard to imagine that happening prior to their bye week, but it’s still a possibility.
Royce Freeman DEN; FAAB Bid: 15-20% - You might scoff at the mention of Royce Freeman on the waiver wire, but he’s available in about 25% of leagues between Yahoo and ESPN. So he’s a shallow league add at best, but a necessary add if he’s available in your league. The carries have been almost split down the middle between Freeman and Phillip Lindsay . Freeman, on 21 carries, has rushed for 110 yards. Lindsay has 24 carries and just 79 rushing yards. This past Sunday, Freeman was better in the passing game with five catches on seven targets for 48 yards. Lindsay got all the accolades from a year ago, but don’t forget the Broncos invested more draft capital in Freeman and they want to get use out of their investment. The workload will be more 50/50 this year than last as Freeman has looked better when the ball is in his hands. Get him while he’s still out there.
Jaylen Samuels PIT; FAAB Bid: 10-13% - There’s some fear with this recommendation. Everybody would feel better about it if Ben Roethlisberger wasn’t out for the year, but here we are. It’s hard to believe that two years ago the Steelers boasted an offense of Ben Roethlisberger , Le’Veon Bell, Antonio Brown , and you can even throw Martavis Bryant in the mix because he had upside at the time. As of September 16th, 2019 none of those guys were around anymore. A new quarterback will be under center for the Steelers and it could certainly impact everybody’s value. Samuels’ workload is contingent on James Conner ’s status. Conner left Sunday’s game early, but his teammates don’t believe the injury is too serious and that it’s manageable. Samuels is still a worthy stash if looking for a handcuff to James Conner . Keep in mind, the workload took its toll on Conner last season as he missed three straight games in Weeks 14-16.
Raheem Mostert SF; FAAB Bid: 10-12% - If you watched the 49ers trampling of the Bengals on Sunday you may find yourself asking “Why did San Francisco even bother bringing in Tevin Coleman ?” It would be nice if he and McKinnon were healthy, but that’s not the case as we’ve seen. Coleman is set to return at some point this season, but there isn’t much information on his timetable. You have to imagine they’ll get him touches because he wasn’t awful in Week 1. They signed him to a short-term contract and they’d love to run him to the ground especially after a 2-0 start. But Mostert looked great running the ball yesterday, as did Matt Breida . Mostert saw 13 carries for 83 yards with three catches for 64 yards and a touchdown. Jeff Wilson Jr. also found the end zone twice, but he’s not worthy of adding unless it’s in a very deep league. It’s hard to imagine Mostert getting 15+ touches each week, but he and Breida could be in more of a timeshare and Mostert could see 8-12 touches each week and that’s a borderline flex play in some leagues.
Darwin Thompson KC; FAAB Bid: 7-10% - This is almost a necessary add if you’re a Damien Williams or LeSean McCoy owner. Thompson was a draft day darling a month ago, but once the Chiefs brought in McCoy it really put a damper on his fantasy value. But on Sunday, Damien Williams and LeSean McCoy both left with injuries and they’ll be worth monitoring heading into Week 3. If both miss the game or if they’re limited we could see more Darwin Thompson. Don’t expect a massive workload if this is the case. They may limit him to start because coaches need to warm up to rookie running backs not named Josh Jacobs . If McCoy and Williams are still hobbled by injuries then Thompson could see 10-12 touches, and possibly upwards of 15 if they’re both out, but that kind of workload seems unlikely. It would be very exciting for Darwin Thompson truthers like yours truly.
Frank Gore BUF; FAAB Bid: 7-8% - It’s painful to put Frank Gore on this list because everybody is pulling for Devin Singletary to get the workload. But I cannot argue with what my eyeballs saw yesterday: Frank Gore touched the ball 21 times. He was involved in one-third of the offensive plays that Buffalo ran on Sunday. That workload won’t be consistent, but when a guy is available in more than 80% of leagues and he’s coming off a 20+ touch game, you have to take notice and throw out a bid for him. I don’t understand how he’s still playing at age 36, but on Sunday he ran for 68 yards, caught two passes for 15 yards, and found the end zone. Fortunately for Singletary owners he also found the end zone, but his production came on six carries so you can’t always expect a touchdown if he’s getting that many carries. The rookie running back did leave Sunday’s game early with a hamstring injury and while it’s not as devastating as a ligament injury in the knee, hamstring injuries are annoying in their own right because there’s no set timetable to return from a pulled hamstring. As the season progresses, we’re hoping Singletary gets more work. For now, Gore needs to be rostered especially if you own Singletary.
Rashaad Penny SEA; FAAB Bid: 5-6% - You don’t want to overreact to this and it would take a Chris Carson injury to really fire up the Penny Train, but he did have 11 touches for 65 total yards and a score. Chris Carson still had 18 touches so his workload isn’t in any danger, but it was a nice showcase from Penny. He scored on a 37-yard run late in the third quarter to put the Seahawks up 21-13 on the Steelers. Seattle has run the ball 58 times so far through two games so they’re sticking to their word of wanting to get back to running the ball, and if they can maintain 25 rush attempts at the minimum their could be some work for Penny behind Carson and Russell Wilson scrambling. Penny is very much a good handcuff for Carson, who has had some injuries in the past so Penny, a former first-round pick, is nice insurance.
Chase Edmonds ARI; FAAB Bid: 3-5% - This is a recommendation for you David Johnson owners out there that need a little bit of insurance. David Johnson had to leave Sunday’s game briefly with eight total touches. He eventually did return, but wasn’t heavily involved. Fortunately for those who started him he found the end zone, but it wasn’t a great day for him. There is some additional concern for Johnson who has to run behind a terrible offensive line while not re-aggravating a wrist injury that stole most of his 2017 season. It’s all precautionary and speculation right now, but when he’s healthy Johnson can get 20 touches and Kliff Kingsbury can keep him involved. He had a great Week 1 matchup and if you’re a little worried about the injury then it’s okay to cuff Chase Edmonds if you have a clear player you can drop. If you don’t own DJ, then steer clear of Edmonds.
Terry McLaurin WSH; FAAB Bid: 15% - McLaurin had another solid game on Sunday against the Cowboys. Through two games he now has ten receptions on 16 targets for 187 yards and a pair of touchdowns. As was discussed last week, McLaurin has a clear path to becoming the top target for Case Keenum in the Washington offense. The downside for McLaurin is the trail of horrifying matchups coming up against difficult defenses. McLaurin’s about 50% owned so he’s absolutely worth grabbing and you can plug him in as your flex.
D.K. Metcalf SEA; FAAB Bid: 8-10% - Metcalf has his detractors for his three-cone drill or how his overall size can limit his mobility. But the fact remains that he’s a big target the Seahawks are getting use out of. The Seahawks remain a run-first offense, but if Metcalf is getting six-to-seven targets each game then he can be a flex play depending on the size of your roster. Through two games Metcalf has seven catches on 13 targets for 150 yards and a touchdown. He’s averaging over 20 yards per reception, which seems like an unsustainable rate, but so far he’s been a big-play threat.
James Washington PIT; FAAB Bid: 7-8% - Before you brush this off as a hard “no” at least consider the possibility that Washington could now emerge as the second option in the Steelers passing game with Ben Roethlisberger done for the year. Mason Rudolph and Washington were former teammates at Oklahoma State and credit to Adam Levitan for recognizing their prior history as teammates:
James Washington has posted unreal 17-366-4 on 216 snaps over the last two preseasons. Vast majority of that was from Mason Rudolph . Washington and Rudolph played at Oklahoma State together. #Showers https://t.co/mODkO4lxv8— Adam Levitan (@adamlevitan) September 16, 2019
A week after Moncrief had ten targets he went out and got just one last week. I’m less optimistic about Moncrief’s prospects now that Roethlisberger is done for the year and I’m more confident in Rudolph and Washington possibly rekindling an old flame.
Nelson Agholor PHI; FAAB Bid: 5-7% - Agholor got a ton of work last night, but that was largely due to the fact everybody and their mother suffered an injury against the Falcons Sunday night. Because of the injuries to guys like DeSean Jackson and Alshon Jeffery , Agholor saw 11 targets. He brought in eight of those for receptions for 107 yards and a touchdown. Agholor showed early last year he could be a PPR gem but be aware there’s a reason he’s normally pretty far down on the depth chart. He dropped a catch that every receiver needs to make that would’ve put the Eagles ahead and he’s going to have some of those again. Approach Agholor with trepidation because of the unknown status with Jackson and Jeffery.
Demarcus Robinson KC; FAAB Bid: 3-5% - You have to approach this waiver claim with the understanding that there are plenty of mouths to feed in Kansas City and while Robinson had a massive game on Sunday and could be good in the short-term, the targets will be hard to come by when Tyreek Hill returns. Robinson caught all six of his targets for 172 yards and two touchdowns in Week 2 against Oakland. He was on the field for 69 snaps, which is a great sign, but Sammy Watkins and Travis Kelce still demand most of the targets while Mecole Hardman saw just as many targets for the Chiefs as well. Fortunately for Robinson, the Chiefs will throw it quite a bit and Patrick Mahomes is the best quarterback in the league right now. Speaking of Hardman, on the off chance he is still out there in your fantasy league go pick him up as well. The Chiefs managed to get both guys involved on Sunday and both should be rostered, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you need both.
D.J. Chark JAC; FAAB Bid: 3-4% - Chark had a nice breakout game in Week 1 against the Chiefs, but the issue is that the big touchdown he caught came from Nick Foles . And following the Foles injury it became difficult to project Chark’s fantasy potential. In Chark’s first full game with Gardner Minshew he led the team in targets (nine) and had seven receptions for 55 yards and a touchdown. If Chark continues to get the targets in Jacksonville he has some fantasy appeal despite the questions and mystery surrounding Minshew.
Greg Olsen CAR; FAAB Bid: 4-6% - Olsen’s had troubles staying healthy and at 34 years old there are reasons to be concerned. Between 2017 and 2018 he missed 16 games and he had just five interceptions in that span. But in Thursday night’s game against the Bucs, there were 49 targets to go around and Olsen managed to get nine of them. He turned those into six catches for 110 yards. He still didn’t find the end zone, but if the Panthers can find themselves in a similar game flow it’s possible Olsen can get five-to-seven receptions. The downside is that Cam Newton just doesn’t look right. Despite all the pass attempts on Thursday night, Newton completed just 25 of them. Olsen’s performance will fluctuate from week-to-week, but he’s a decent streamer against the Cardinals next week.
Will Dissly SEA; FAAB Bid: 3-5% - You really have to try and keep expectations in check with Dissly. Through the first two games last year Dissly had six receptions on ten targets for 147 yards and two touchdowns. The numbers aren’t as impressive through two games this year, but Dissly has six catches on seven targets for 62 yards and a pair of touchdowns, both of which came Sunday against the Steelers. Don’t bid too much as the tight end options on waivers this week aren’t as enthralling as last week’s names.
Jason Witten DAL; FAAB Bid: 1-2% - Hopefully it doesn’t come to this for you, but Witten is a deep-league waiver option if you’re absolutely desperate. He’s received four targets in each of the team’s first two games and he has a touchdown in both games. In a deeper league that’s basically all that you’re looking for. He might have a great game occasionally where he can bring in six or seven catches, but his upside is minimal for shallower leagues so only entertain the idea for deeper leagues.
Dallas Cowboys – The Cowboys win the Miami Dolphins sweepstakes for Week 3. The Cowboys D/ST may only be available in shallow leagues on Yahoo, but on ESPN they’re available in over 60% of leagues. The Dolphins are atrocious, everybody knows it. The Pats just collected seven sacks and forced four turnovers against Miami including two defensive touchdowns. Don’t expect a repeat performance for the Cowboys, but four-to-five sacks are reasonable with a few turnovers and if the Cowboys get a special teams or defensive touchdown then that’s gravy. Miami has also only scored ten points through two games. It’s just embarrassing for the Dolphins.
San Francisco 49ers – As much hype and excitement the 49ers and Kyle Shanahan’s offense gets, the defense has been outstanding to start the year and they’re available in a ton of leagues. They’ve forced four turnovers, collected five sacks, and they’ve only allowed 34 points through two games. The 49ers host the Pittsburgh Steelers next week and Ben Roethlisberger is officially done for the season. That means Mason Rudolph has to start and it could be a field day for the 49ers defense.
Seattle Seahawks – The Seahawks were a popular drop after Week 1 after their game against the Bengals. The Saints come to town next week and they’ll be without Drew Brees who is out for at least six weeks. Now they’ll turn to Teddy Bridgewater , or Sean Payton will just shove Taysom Hill down everyone’s throat, but the Saints are a worse team without Drew Brees and the 12th Man in Seattle is very intimidating if you are making your first trip there. The Saints still have talented players they can work with including Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara , but right now the Seahawks are looking like a tempting defense to stream.