20 Sep Fantasy Football: Waiver Wire Moves- Are You Dealing With Injuries?
Another week of football is in the books, and we hope that your roster is not limping back 150 yards to the locker room like Adrian Peterson (can you get the freaking guy a golf-cart at least?) Sunday was a day of sorrow for many fantasy owners as it seemed like significant injuries were happening as quickly as the Red Zone channel changes (exclusive NFL ticket channel, nonetheless, very rapid rate).
Luckily for you, we here at the Sports Crew have you covered. With a lot of big names hitting the shelf this weekend this article will assist you with who you should be putting your waiver claims on.
QB: Joe Flacco @ Jaguars- I had Mr. Flacco in this spot for last week’s article, and for the first half or so that call looked dreadful. The Ravens succumbed to a 21 point deficit early on, as rookie Corey Coleman was eating up the Ravens secondary connecting on two touchdown passes with Josh McCown. The Ravens actually remembered they were there to play football in the second half and Flacco finished the day nicely with a 302 yard, two touchdown stat-line. This weekend the Ravens will head to Jacksonville to take on a team that just gave up four passing touchdowns to Phillip Rivers and a bunch of J.V caliber receivers. Going with Flacco again as he is widely available, in even some two QB leagues. He should easily be able to match his stat-line versus the Browns, if not exceed last week’s performance.
Other notable options: Ryan Tannehill (MIA), Carson Wentz (PHI), Cody Kessler (CLE)
RB: Matt Asiata @ Panthers- While the title of this article may insinuate Jerick McKinnon being the player that is a must-add in the wake of AP’s torn meniscus. Regardless, when Peterson was suspended for 15 games in 2014, Asiata compiled a respectable line of 882 combined rushing and receiving yards to go along with 10 total touchdowns. Sure McKinnon is super explosive and much more athletic than Asiata, but when Minnesota got in the red-zone it was Asiata getting all the important touches evident by his 10:0 TD ratio over McKinnon. Nevertheless, McKinnon should also be an add in all formats as he saw a fairly similar workload between the twenties with 140 touches compared to Asiata’s 208. There has yet to be a time-frame for AP, but the most logical situation would be to hold him out until the Viking’s bye in Week 6. So at the least you should be getting RB2/Flex type numbers for the next three weeks.
RB: Cameron Artis-Payne vs. Vikings- Jonathon Stewart left the Panthers contest against the 49ers with a hamstring injury, and the early indications from HC Ron Rivera speculate that he will only miss a week or two. Understanding that it was Fozzy Whittaker who took over and rushed for 100 yards in the absence of Stewart, but this was because Artis-Payne was inactive as his a similar skill-set to Stewart doesn’t lend its hand to the value on special teams or add the change-of-pace that Whittaker offers. This weekend CAP should get the first crack at first-team reps as he did when Stewart missed time down the stretch last season for the Panthers. I would definitely be more interested in the Vikings duo rather than Artis-Payne or Whittaker. Cam Newton and Mike Tolbert often take the bulk of the carries in the red-zone even when Stewart is in the game, so do not expect that to change all of the sudden.
Other notable options: Jay Ajayi (MIA), Kenyan Drake (MIA), Shane Vereen (NYG), Dwayne Washington (DET)
WR: Quincy Enunwa @ Chiefs- A player who rightfully should not be featured in any waiver-wire article past this week. Enunwa has 13 receptions on 14 targets over the first two games. He is playing in an offense that virtually has no tight-end, which conversely makes room for three wide receivers. He would receive an even bigger bump if the knee injury to Brandon Marshall becomes an issue that causes him to miss some time.
WR: Tyrell Williams @ Colts- Another player who was featured in this article last week, and another guy who came through finishing with a 3/61/1 stat-line. Obviously it was Travis Benjamin who benefited the most from Keenan Allen’s devastating injury in Week 1, but the Chargers suffered another excruciating loss in their passing game with Danny Woodhead also tearing an ACL to end his season. Tyrell Williams will continue to be an integral part in San Diego’s passing game that lost it’s two top options in their aerial attack.
Other notable options: Victor Cruz (NYG), Anquan Boldin (DET), Tyler Boyd (CIN), Phillip Dorsett (IND)
TE: Jacob Tamme @ Saints- Tamme hauled in a touchdown pass in Week 2 to cap off a solid 5/75/1 performance. He has either tied or led the Falcons in targets through the team’s first two games, and should continue to do so as Julio often shows up on the injury report. Furthermore, the rookie tight-end out of Stanford, Austin Hooper, needs to further acclimate himself to the offense while adjusting to the jump in speed from college to the NFL. The Falcons pass-catchers should continue their early season successes going up against the porous secondary of the Saints, so look for Tamme to have another double-digit performance.
TE: Dennis Pitta @ Jaguars- Finally we could stop reminiscing and saw again the on-field bromance between Flacco and Pitta. Over the last two seasons Pitta has been limited to street-clothes on the sidelines, as he has battled hip injuries that required surgery. In Week 2, Pitta led the Ravens with 12 targets, hauling in nine catches for 102 yards. The Ravens’ offense is a tough one to decipher, as the plethora of veteran options is much more abundant than any elite playmakers. With Pitta emerging as the top-option at tight end, he should play a sizable role against a Jacksonville defense that showed susceptibility to the tight end position.
TE: Jesse James @ Eagles- We have ourselves another repeat, and it’s very surprising that the starting tight end for one of the most prolific offenses in the league is still only owned in about 20% of ESPN leagues. Not a world-beater of an athlete, but standing at 6-foot-7 he makes for a tough cover and has already showed he has the trust of Big Ben garnering 12 targets through the first two weeks. It’s tough to predict if he will have a prominent role if Ladarius Green (PUP list) does in fact return after Week 6. Nevertheless, he should be owned in all formats due to the sheer explosiveness of the Steelers’ offense.
If you have any waiver wire questions, or start/sit questions you could find me on twitter, @zaksauer. Also call and join in on the conversation with the Sports Crew on our Saturday football shows from 1:30-3:00EST.