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Wednesday, 15 October 2014

2014 Fantasy Football Week 7 Waiver Wire Targets

Welcome back!  This season has to be one of the most injury-ridden years in recent memory.  More players unfortunately had their seasons cut short Sunday but for those of us playing fantasy, we need to find that next man up.  Below, you’ll find the best names to target on the waiver wire to patch your team together.  Count yourself lucky if none of your players have missed time.  Since injuries have caused us to dig deeper, I’m replacing my “Deep Leagues/On The Radar” section to “Bye Week Fliers” so you can have some more options to play now if you’re hurting for replacements.

This week sees the Eagles and Buccaneers taking their bye.  There are a few fantasy starters on those teams so this week you may have to dig deeper than last week if your team relies on these offenses.  As always, owned percentages are listed for ESPN and Yahoo leagues respectively.  Let’s get to it!


“Hot Hands”

Carson Palmer, Cardinals (6.4%/31%): Did someone drop him in your league when he was hurt?  Now’s the time to pick him back up.  There is injury concern but the Cardinals offense is so much better with Palmer at the helm than anyone else.  Michael Floyd and Larry Fitzgerald owners rejoice!  In two games this year he has thrown four touchdowns and no picks.  While healthy, he should be a borderline starter in most leagues.

Derek Carr, Raiders (1.8%/4%): Carr completed 18-of 34 for 282 yards against the Chargers Sunday.  His four-touchdown performance was the first of a rookie in Oakland history.  Although he showed promise on Sunday, his upcoming opponents Arizona, Cleveland, Seattle, and Denver may be difficult for him.  He definitely has the potential and is borderline startable in two-QB leagues.  Perhaps he can build on Sunday’s performance and solidify himself as a QB2.

Ryan Tannehill, Dolphins (13%/35%): He completed 20-of-31 for 244 yards Sunday against the Packers while adding two touchdowns and two picks.  Tannehill flashed some of his college running ability by breaking a long designed QB run.  Knowshon Moreno has a torn ACL but Lamar Miller produced well the first time Moreno went down.  Tannehill could be more effective throwing less.  Teams may plan more against the run and that will leave them exposed against the pass.  He’s a backup on fantasy teams at this point and borderline startable in 2-QB leagues.

Brian Hoyer, Browns (3.9%/11%): I mentioned him last week and he put up middle of the road, nothing special numbers.  He barely passed 200 yards but had no picks.  He plays the Jaguars this week who….well, they’re the Jaguars.  After that, he plays the Raiders and the Buccaneers who are also soft against quarterbacks this year.  His schedule is good if you need to take a flier.

“Grab and Stash”

Mike Glennon, Buccaneers (0.5%/7%): He doesn’t have a game this weekend but he has been playing at a high level.  He has thrown multiple touchdowns to one interception in each of his last three games.  Glennon has a fairly easy road out of his bye week playing Minnesota, Cleveland, Atlanta and Washington.  The only tougher defense there is Cleveland.  With the weapons around him hopefully resting up this week, he should come out of his bye hot.

Bye Week Fliers: Blake Bortles, Jaguars.  Ryan Fitzpatrick, Texans.  

Running Backs

“Hot Hands”

Ronnie Hillman, Broncos (5.3%/45%): With the Denver backfield in flux after Montee Ball left the game last week, it seems that not many people did not board the Ronnie Hillman train.  I don’t fault anyone, as I personally thought maybe C.J. Anderson would carve out a role and the backfield would turn into a timeshare.  Forget that because Hillman finished this Sunday with 24 carries for 100 yards.  He was clearly the lead back in Denver.  The Broncos play the 49ers next week so he will be tough to trust as they are very good against the run but the numbers show that he should be running the show until Ball comes back.

Antone Smith, Falcons (5.1%/29%): Did he do it again or did he do it again?  Yes, Antone Smith scored yet again!  This time on a screen pass that he turned up field and burned everyone for the 41-yard score.  Last week I viewed him as a grab and stash to see if he gets more touches, and only in the deepest of leagues.  After scoring five times in six weeks on plays of no less than 38 yards, he can be bumped up to a flex play on any given week.  This bubble will inevitably burst at some point but you should pick him up if you have any upcoming bye week issues and get in on this while you still can.  Enjoy the ride!

Darrin Reaves, Panthers (1.3%/5%): The Panthers play a porous Packers run defense and someone has to tote the rock.  Fozzy Whittaker took some of the load Sunday but left with a leg injury.  Whoever it is has an advantageous matchup with the Packers ranking 27th against running backs in fantasy scoring.  With a few running backs on byes this week, Reaves is a high-upside one week fill-in.

“Grab and Stash”

Jerick McKinnon, Vikings (5.1%/38%): McKinnon’s value seems tied to Teddy Bridgewater more than his competition in the backfield with Matt Asiata.  Two weeks ago, McKinnon totalled 14 points in standard ESPN leagues playing with Bridgewater.  Last week with Christian Ponder starting, McKinnon finished with a measly four points.  This Sunday he finished with eight points with Bridgewater back at the helm.  He rushed 11 times for 40 yards while catching six balls for 42 yards.  With Bridgewater at quarterback, McKinnon gets a boost in value and is an excellent grab and stash candidate.

Storm Johnson, Jaguars (1.1%/18%): There’s a storm brewin’ in Jacksonville.  With Toby Gerhart out, the man with one of the best names in the NFL got the start.  He carried the ball 10 times for 21 yards and his fantasy day was buoyed by a touchdown.  He’s likely to share time with the other running backs Denard Robinson and Jordan Todman until Toby Gerhart is healthy.  Out of the three backups, I see Johnson as having the highest upside but right now he’s nothing more than a stash in the deepest leagues unless you’re desperate.

Theo Riddick, Lions (0.2%/1%): He played the Reggie Bush role in the Lions’ offense Sunday and filled in well.  He ended the day with five catches for 75 yards and a touchdown.  He did leave the game with a re-aggravated hamstring injury.  His status as well as Bush’s are up in the air for next week so Riddick is just someone to monitor if you have Bush.

Bye Week Fliers: Juwan Thompson, Broncos.  Benny Cunningham, Rams.  Isaiah Crowell, Browns.  Branden Bolden, Patriots. James White, Patriots. Daniel Thomas, Dolphins.

Wide Receivers

“Hot Hands”

Brandon LaFell, Patriots (2.9%/8%): He is quickly earning Tom Brady’s trust, something many new Patriots receivers have had issues doing.  In terms of targets, LaFell falls only after Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski.  He caught four balls for 97 yards and a score Sunday and has shown plenty of tackle-breaking ability.  He should continue to grow his role as the year goes on.

Robert Woods, Bills (0.8%/2%): Sammy Watkins spent his afternoon on Revis Island so Robert Woods enjoyed a great day as Kyle Orton’s favorite target.  He caught seven balls on 10 targets for 78 yards and a score.  This won’t likely happen every week but this shows Woods’ potential.  His upcoming schedule is rather easy, facing the Vikings and Jets before going out on his bye week in week 9, so he’s set up for a nice stretch of games.

Andre Holmes, Raiders (0.5%/8%): Andre Holmes scored twice on Sunday against the Chargers, who were the No. 1 defense against wide receivers in terms of fantasy scoring going into Sunday.  He caught 4-of-8 for 121 yards and seems to be coming out of his shell over the last few weeks.  Derek Carr is inconsistent though and that will be what holds every receiver in Oakland out of starting lineups.  He’s a WR4/flex play.

Odell Beckham Jr., Giants, (7.9%/38%): Victor Cruz tore his patella tendon Sunday night and is done for the rest of the season.  If nobody picked up Beckham in your league after his debut week, he will most certainly be a hot waiver pickup this week.  He will move into the No. 2 slot, sharing starting duties with Rueben Randle.  He can play in the slot as well so he can handle a lot of what Cruz did for the Giants offense.  If nothing else, he will get more snaps, more targets and that can only be a good thing.

“Grab and Stash”

Jarvis Landry, Dolphins (0.4%/2%): Landry finished Sunday with six catches for 75 yards and a touchdown.  He was targeted more than Brian Hartline eight to two against the Packers and seems to be building a good rapport with Ryan Tannehill.  He’s a speedy rookie that could earn more targets with Mike Wallace taking the top off defenses and Brian Hartline still drawing attention.

Preston Parker, Giants (0.2%/0%): This pick is purely speculation but with Victor Cruz not returning the Giants this season, every other receivers value gets bumped up.   Parker should move into the No. 3 role that Odell Beckham Jr. was in.  The Giants offense has shown that it can make a handful of pass catchers fantasy relevant.  Parker is thrust into the discussion out of injury, but is definitely worth watching.

Bye Week Fliers: Louis Murphy, Buccaneers.  Davante Adams, Packers.  Allen Robinson, Jaguars.

Tight Ends

“Hot Hands”

Clay Harbor, Jaguars (0%/3%): Remember him from two weeks ago? He had eight grabs for 70 yards in week 4, followed by a quiet three catch outing, and then resurged Sunday with three catches for 91 yards and a score.  Harbor’s touchdown came in the last minute of the game to bring the Jaguars to within two.  He’ll be the only tight end in Jacksonville until Marcedes Lewis returns after week 12.  Just out of opportunity, he’s a tight end to own if you’re desperate.

Jared Cook, Rams (11%/29%): He’s one to save for a rainy day.  With a low ceiling but a consistent floor, he makes a fine fill-in.  Remember, not everyone has to be flashy and full of potential, sometimes you just need points.  Cook draws enough looks to be worthy of starting as a fill-in for your usual tight end on bye or if you’re a Jimmy Graham owner.

Jermaine Gresham, Bengals (1.2%/2%): Both A.J. Green and Marvin Jones were sidelined Sunday.  This caused others such as Jermaine Gresham to see an uptick in their targets and opportunities.  Gresham caught six of his seven targets for 68 yards.  He isn’t used consistently enough unless there is serious depletion in the Bengals receiving corps, which there is now.  If Green can’t go again, expect another handful of balls to go to Gresham.  If you’re desperate, he has upside because of his situation.

“Grab and Stash”

Tim Wright, Patriots (3.6%/24%): He wasn’t as involved in the Patriots offense this week as he was last week but he made it count.  His only catch was a single-yard touchdown.  His numbers will depend on how many two-TE packages Bill Belichick writes into the game plan.

Jace Amaro, Jets (1.3%/2%): Like I said here last week - of all the rookie tight ends, he’s the one to own.  He gobbled up passes left and right Sunday, catching 10-of-12 for 68 yards and a touchdown.  He was only on the field 35 snaps though, just 55.5 percent.  He ran 30 routes on those 35 snaps, so being targeted 12 times means the ball went to him 34 percent of the time he was on the field.  If only the Jets would get him on the field more, those targets could increase and that potential is scary for this Gronk-sized tight end.  Until then, he’s just a TE2 with high upside.

Bye Week Fliers: Dwayne Allen, Colts.  Eric Ebron, Lions.  Scott Chandler, Bills.


Browns D/ST: Playing the Jaguars this week.

Saints D/ST: Last week without Calvin Johnson, the Lions looked cooked.  The Saints have high upside here if Megatron doesn’t play.

Bills D/ST: The Bills host the Vikings who have given up the third most fantasy points to opposing defenses.  Defenses have scored over 20 points three times already this year against the Vikings.


Chandler Catanzaro, Cardinals: 14/14 FG, 8/8 XP

Brandon McManus, Broncos: 6/7 FG, 17/17 XP

Ryan Succop, Titans: 9/11 FG, 11/11 XP

Graham Gano, Panthers: 12/14 FG, 13/13 XP

Caleb Sturgis, Dolphins: 9/10 FG, 13/13 XP


That does it for today.  Hopefully there aren’t any more serious injuries this week.  Check in next week for more waiver picks!


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