|Fantasy Football: Week 8 waiver wire||10.25.16 at 12:10 pm ET|
Things are getting real now. We are past the halfway point of the fantasy regular season, and for those of you with three wins or less, it’s must-win time … but it’s also bye week crunch time. In the para words of Ray Stantz, I put in a little overtime on this waiver wire. This one is more like my expanded waiver wire that I do over at Rotobahn each week. I’ll be adding some players later in the day for sure, but I wanted to go deeper here as well, due to the bye week crunch.
Week 8 byes:
One thing that is important to remember this week is there could be more opportunity later in the week depending on how some of these injury situations shake out, so keep your head in the game on Wednesday through Friday and you may be able to make some good free pickups.
I will be posting a quick podcast on Rotobahn, as usual, and it will make for good listening on your commute home, so check that out as it provides extra content and some updated information. Things change quickly in the NFL these days. Just a bit of an understatement there.
The ownership rates listed for each player were obtained at Yahoo!
Jameis Winston, Buccaneers, 70 percent
He’s still getting dropped in some leagues, and this is an opportunity for some of you. Winston, as shaky as he has been at times, is a potential stud down the stretch. Granted, his team can’t afford many more injuries, but Winston is a feel player and he’s just getting settled right now. The schedule really opens up for this team and Winston should be a top-six quarterback the rest of the way, by my math. Get involved if you can.
Dak Prescott, Cowboys, 59 percent
I am not sure why he’s been dropped apart from him being on his bye week. The Cowboys are getting Dez Bryant back soon and they play a very favorable schedule. Add Prescott in all leagues.
Sam Bradford, Vikings, 17 percent
The time to add him is now. The Vikings have fought through the toughest part of their schedule and Bradford should be a solid source of points the rest of the way. The only week he’s not viable would be Week 11 against the Cardinals.
|Fantasy Football: Week 7 starts, sits||10.21.16 at 10:39 am ET|
Welcome to the Week 7 starts and sits. I have plenty of recommendations this week for both seasonal leagues and for DraftKings. As always, if you are looking for recommendations on players not listed in this space, consult my free lineup rankings over at Rotobahn. They will be fully updated by Saturday night after final injury reports come out, and they are comprehensive.
Week 7 is not a particularly tough week for fantasy GMs, with only the Cowboys and Panthers on the bye, but get emotionally prepared for Week 8, because we lose six teams and things will be pretty ugly on the waiver wire. If you can think ahead and make a few moves this week, you may be better off.
I hope you all join Jim Hackett and me for this week’s edition of the Fantasy Football Hour. We’ll be live at 8 a.m. on Sunday morning and you can listen on WEEI.com if you are a late riser. It’s usually posted on the home page by mid-morning.
Tom Brady, Patriots at Steelers, $7,900
He’s a great source of high-end production, but you have to pay for it. The thing is, this might be a week when you can find some deals and open up some salary space for a guy like Brady. Just like last week, the issue is, who do you stack with him? What makes the Patriots so hard to defend is the stunning array of weapons Brady has to work with. Big games can come from almost anywhere. Rob Gronkowski is the obvious choice, but he’s back to being priced at an elite level. If the lineup you construct can’t fit Gronk’s salary ($7,200), Martellus Bennett ($4,500) is a cheaper, more contrarian move that can pay off in tournaments. James White ($4,600) is another inexpensive option. He gives you some upside plus he saves you some money.
Matt Ryan, Falcons vs. Chargers, $7,200
Ryan is smoking hot and could really feast in this home matchup. His cost is actually reasonable given the matchup. He’s locked into seasonal lineups, but I’d give the Ryan/Julio Jones stack plenty of consideration this week.
Jameis Winston, Buccaneers at 49ers, $5,900
He’s available at a very low price and he’s the kind of quarterback who can get hot and post big numbers. His cost is depressed because the Bucs have lost so many weapons through the first six weeks of 2016. The latest injury was Vincent Jackson, who will be out for at least eight weeks. While this may dim Winston’s star a bit over the rest of the season, I see no reason why he can’t light it up here. Stacking him is easy. Evans is a good choice, and you can throw in Cameron Brate ($2,900) or Adam Humphries ($3,000) for some low-cost differentiation.
|Fantasy Football: Week 7 waiver wire||10.18.16 at 10:37 am ET|
Welcome to the Week 7 waiver wire. Before we get to this week’s options, let’s take a second to look at some of the fallout from Week 6, which is significant. There are a lot of nervous fantasy owners out there with Ben Roethlisberger going down. The ripple effects are many, and obviously go beyond the problems facing the Roethlisberger owner in your league. This negatively affects all of the skill talent on Pittsburgh and puts more stress on guys like Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown. As great as both players are, both rely on Roethlisberger’s tremendous skill set to open things up for them. Now it’s Bell and Brown who must find a way to make things easier for replacement starter Landry Jones. More on Jones later.
Pittsburgh is just one team to watch this week. There is major flux in Green Bay with James Starks having knee surgery and with Eddie Lacy nursing a sore ankle. There’s also some motion in the Packers’ receiving depth chart. Davante Adams suffered a head injury but apparently has passed concussion tests. Still, with the Packers playing Thursday this week, his status will be an issue. Ty Montgomery stepped up playing in a hybrid role. We also saw Jeff Janis making an impact for the first time this season.
In Washington, Jordon Reed’s status is up in the air, so Vernon Davis may have some appeal later in the week, but he is more of a preemptive move for Reed owners in free agency right now. Tampa Bay is not in as dire shape as Green Bay, but the Buccaneers’ backfield still is short-handed, and we could be in for another week of Jacquizz Rodgers if Doug Martin’s hamstring requires more time.
It looks as if Cody Kessler has taken over for good as the starting quarterback in Cleveland, but will he ever get any real receivers to throw to? Early signs point to Corey Coleman missing another week, and Terrelle Pryor has a sore hamstring. And, obviously, Josh Gordon still is in limbo, to put in kindly.
I’ll be breaking down Week 7 game film all morning, so If you play in a deep league, and you are looking for more options, head over to Rotobahn. My expanded waiver wire will be posted Tuesday afternoon. I’ll have more players at every position, and I will add some streaming defenses plus the waiver wire podcast for your commute home.
The ownership rate listed below were sourced from Yahoo!
Dak Prescott, Cowboys, 57 percent
I’m torn on what’s actually best for Prescott’s future, but the Cowboys winning at Lambeau Field on Sunday was a statement game of sorts, and it’s hard to see Dallas going away from the rookie at this point unless he begins to fall apart, and the remaining schedule makes that seem unlikely. Prescott will have a big ceiling once Dez Bryant is back on the field.
Marcus Mariota, Titans, 60 percent
He’s got 124 rushing yards over the last two weeks plus a rushing touchdown. It’s pretty simple, really. This guy is a QB1 when he runs enough to shake up the defense. Another big plus in Week 6 was the much-needed emergence of Kendall Wright, who could help Mariota achieve a measure of consistency going forward. His remaining schedule is outstanding, though you have a Week 13 bye to contend with and a Week 14 matchup with Denver. The rest is peaches and cream.
Joe Flacco, Ravens, 29 percent
His schedule is very good over the next five weeks with the exception of the Ravens’ Week 8 bye, so you could can add Flacco if you need a guy to get you through the Roethlisberger injury. I actually like the coordinator switch for Flacco, who was a mediocre fit for Marc Trestman’s scheme and perhaps more importantly didn’t seem to embrace it.
|Fantasy Football: Week 6 starts, sits||10.14.16 at 11:38 am ET|
Welcome to the Week 6 starts and sits. I’ve continued my trend of including more recommendations for daily leagues in addition to the usual seasonal league recommendations. I think it makes the article much more interesting as it opens up more players as possibilities. For example, this is the second straight week with Tom Brady as a recommendation. That’s never happened before in the five years I’ve been writing this column, and it’s a welcome change. If you disagree, hit me up on Twitter and let me know. I always want to know what you folks think.
As always, if you are looking for my take on players not listed in this space, just head over to Rotobahn and check out my free weekly lineup rankings. They get posted every Thursday and they are updated every Saturday.
On Sundays, check out the Fantasy Football Hour with my partner in crime, Jim Hackett, and tune in at 10:45, when I’ll be joining Chris Price and Pete Sheppard for some Week 6 DraftKings. We’ll talk chalk, sleepers and stacks, so check in if you are playing in daily leagues this week.
Tom Brady, Patriots vs. Bengals, $7,700
It’s nice incorporating the DraftKings element into the starts and sits. In the old days I could never include Brady in these recommendations. It was just way, way too obvious. Now I can make recommendations relative to cost, and I see Brady, even at his high price, as a value this week. I will gladly spend the money and I am looking to stack him with one or two of his big four weapons. The values are Martellus Bennett at 4,500 units and Chris Hogan at 4,600, but Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman make sense as well, if you are inclined to pay the price.
Russell Wilson, Seahawks vs. Falcons, $6,900
Another DraftKings-only recommendation, as Wilson is a no-brainer in seasonal leagues. In daily leagues, Wilson is the best value on my board for Week 6. My preferred stack is tight end Jimmy Graham, who costs 4,900 units.
Carson Wentz, Eagles at Washington, $6,000
He’s a solid option in seasonal leagues and he has some appeal in DraftKings tournaments as an upside dart throw. Wentz can score points with his feet and with his arm. That gives him a high weekly ceiling because he’s the kind of quarterback who can have a hand in every touchdown his team scores on a given week.
|Fantasy Football: Week 6 waiver wire||10.11.16 at 10:47 am ET|
Welcome to the Week 6 waiver wire. It’s not exactly a scintillating week for pickups, but there’s some opportunity out there if you know where to look. The bye week losses for Week 6 are not crushing, with only the Vikings and Buccaneers at rest.
As usual, I will be posting an expanded version of this waiver wire over at Rotobahn. It should be posted mid-afternoon. If you play in a league with 12 or more teams, you will find more players who are actually available to add, while this article is geared a little bit more to typically sized leagues.
The ownership rates listed for each player were sourced from Yahoo!
Marcus Mariota, Titans, 47 percent
I’ve always been a Mariota believer, and his schedule lightens up between now and his Week 13 bye. He can help you if he continues to mix in some runs as he did in Week 4. He’s home for the next three games and they are against the Browns, Colts and Jaguars, in that order. He’s been dropped in many leagues, so check his status in yours.
Alex Smith, Chiefs, 18 percent
Mariota is not the only quarterback with a soft schedule. Smith has the Raiders, Saints, Colts and Jaguars over the next four weeks. Things get tougher after that, but Smith can help in deeper leagues for the next month and he has healthy weapons now.
Sam Bradford, Vikings, 14 percent
He’s a player to add if you are thinking long term. The Vikings are looking good and the offense will continue to evolve. Down the stretch, they play a favorable schedule and Bradford could be a source of consistent points. He makes a very nice QB2 in deeper formats.
|Fantasy Football: Week 5 starts, sits||10.07.16 at 12:50 pm ET|
It’s time for the Week 5 starts and sits. I’ve got some good options for DraftKings tournaments and some solid options for seasonal fantasy leagues as well. As always, if you are looking for takes on players not listed in this space, feel free to check out my full lineups rankings over at Rotobahn. They are free and they get updated on Saturday, so take a look before locking your lineup if you have any tough lineup decisions.
If you want a deeper take on this week’s slate for DraftKings, check out my podcast coming out on Rotobahn this Saturday. I’ll be running down my best plays for Week 5 and getting into the stacks I am using most often.
Jim Hackett and I will be back Sunday morning with a fresh edition of the Fantasy Football Hour. We’re the lead-in for NFL Sunday with Chris Price, so check it out. I’ll also be sitting in with Chris at about 10:45 a.m. to go over some of my top DraftKings recommendations for Week 5, so tune in!
Tom Brady, Patriots at Browns, $7,500
You’ve all have waited so long, so I’m throwing you a bone. Then again, not really. Brady is a good play in DraftKings tournaments this week, and the trick to winning big, I think, will be stacking the right weapons. I like the Martellus Bennett ($3,700) stack and I like the Chris Hogan ($4,100) stack too. Both are cheap ways to go against the grain while getting solid value. Obviously Julian Edelman and or Rob Gronkowski are sensible ways to go as well.
Derek Carr, Raiders vs. Chargers, $6,800
This was a tough matchup when this week’s numbers were released, but since that time we’ve discovered that Chargers CB Jason Verrett has a torn ACL, and that changes the landscape for Oakland’s receivers and, by extension, Carr. Stack with either Amari Cooper or Michael Crabtree.
Carson Wentz, Eagles at Lions, $6,400
He’s a bargain in a very nice matchup. Wentz is a QB1 in seasonal leagues and a strong tournament option on DraftKings. The obvious stack, and he is well priced, is Jordan Matthews at $6,800.
Ryan Tannehill, Dolphins vs. Titans, $5,700
I like the matchup overall, and I specifically like the matchup for his receivers, Davante Parker and Jarvis Landry. This trio should have a big week and they make a nice double-stack on DraftKings if you can handle a little risk … and rooting for Ryan Tannehill.
|Fantasy Football: Week 5 waiver wire||10.04.16 at 10:50 am ET|
Everybody who read this column the last two weeks should have Jordan Howard by now. If you don’t, it’s probably too late as he’s now owned in 82 percent of leagues, but fear not. I have more options for you to go after this week. The bye weeks finally are upon us with four teams at rest in Week 5. And they are all teams with plenty of fantasy talent.
If you are heavily invested in those teams, this will be a challenging week, but I think we can help. If you play in a deep format, feel free to head over to Rotobahn, where I will be posting my expanded waiver wire Tuesday afternoon with more choices for deep leaguers. I’ll also be posting a waiver wire podcast Tuesday afternoon on Rotobahn, so check that out before placing your bids and claims tonight.
The listed ownership percentages were sourced from Yahoo!
Carson Wentz, Eagles, 38 percent
He’s still on plenty of waiver wires due to his Week 4 bye, but that means you can add him and you’ll have him as an option every week going forward. Wentz has only two problematic matchups over the next 13 weeks. He’s a player to own in all leagues.
Ryan Tannehill, Dolphins, 42 percent
He’s a highly mediocre quarterback in real life, but he can be useful when the matchup is right, and the Dolphins will be a pass-heavy team this year for the most part. Jarvis Landry runs routes that basically are de facto running plays, and Tannehill piggybacks statistically. It gives him an underrated floor for fantasy purposes. In short, he’s not as bad as he looks.
Sam Bradford, Vikings, 13 percent
The Vikings look like they are finally opening up the offense a bit. In bigger leagues Bradford will have some value, and he has very appealing playoff matchups, so it makes sense to lock him in now in deeper leagues. I only see two really tough matchups left on his schedule — the Eagles in Week 7 and the Cardinals in Week 11. Apart from that, things look promising.
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