Welcome back football! In case anyone missed some games this week we reassured some things that we already know. The first being those who are injury prone will forever be injury prone. RG3 is on the shelf with a serious shoulder injury, and Keenan Allen Tore his ACL ending both players’ seasons. The second thing we reassured is Larry Fitzgerald has some of the best hands and hand eye coordination in the NFL (making an awesome sliding TD catch while looking over his head to watch the ball come in). Finally, third, the Cowboys cannot win a game without Tony Romo; granted on Sunday their defense showed their true colors and were not able to stop the Giants to save their life.
Now to get back to waiver wire talk. For those who are reading this section for the first time I will go over 2 players at every skill position, and also a defense special team unit that I would suggest looking at adding to play the following week. All the players that I will talk about in this section will be available in around or above 50% of ESPN leagues. At this point for the most part picking a player up is difficult because it is hard to tell if a player is starting a breakout campaign or just had a good game. Although, here is who I would target this week.
Alex Smith – KC (owned in 25.8% of ESPN leagues): If you read this section last year you would probably realize that I am high on Alex Smith, but am I wrong to be? He is one of the most consistent QBs in the NFL. Last season he finished as the 15th ranked QB, so why is he not at least owned as a backup? Also, let’s take into consideration that he played Denver 2 times and they shut him down like they did every other opposing QB. So, knowing that you should not start him when he plays the Broncos defense, why is he not a great add? He blew up this weekend against the Chargers defense for 27 fantasy points including 2 passing and 1 rushing TDs. Alex Smith is a quality backup, I am saying it now, and I will say it again, he is worth owning. This next week he is playing the Texans which could lead to him having another great game. The Texans pass rush is good, but other than that they have trouble containing opposing QBs. Also, with the Texans offense looking good so far, it isn’t out of the picture to think that the Chiefs will be throwing the ball a lot.
Jameis Winston – TB (owned in 59.8% of ESPN leagues): Famous Jameis, what more can I say about him? I know that he is owned in 59.8% of leagues and he would normally not qualify for this list, but I added him because I thought it was absurd that he was not owned in closer to 80 or 85 percent of leagues. So, why do I like Jameis so much? To begin with he has multiple good tall receivers in Mike Evans, Vincent Jackson, and Austin Seferian- Jenkins or Cameron Brate. These receivers create huge mismatches because Evans, Jackson and Jenkins are all 6 foot 5 inches or taller which makes it tough for corners to defend them, but they can also outrun linebackers. If Jameis can get the pass in the vicinity of any of them, which I think he can, I trust them to come down with it. Looking into his game on Sunday; Jameis went 23 for 33 which is about a 70% completion rate, and he had 281 yards and 4 TDs against the Falcons. This is just a preview of what he will be doing for the rest of the season. Also, remember that he is a bigger QB that could take some goal line carries and get some easy 6 point rushing TDs that other QBs might not get. This next week he is going up against the Cardinals defense, I would not suggest adding him to play this week, but he could be a top 5 QB this season, and if you can get that off the waiver wire you have to jump on it.
Tevin Coleman – ATL (owned in 51.6% of ESPN leagues): Like Jameis, Coleman is owned in just over 50% of leagues but is still making this list because he should be owned definitely by all Devonta Freeman owners, but also by owners who are short on RBs. It is still early and there is only a small sample size on Freeman this season, but he is looking like this year’s CJ Anderson. Dan Quinn started Freeman and gave him the first chance, but ultimately rode the hot hand. Neither were superior runners on Sunday, Freeman got 11 carries, Coleman got 8, and neither broke the 25 yard mark rushing, but Coleman also had 5 receptions for 95 yards. If you think back to last year the reason that Coleman lost his starting job because he had some fumbling issues and also got hurt, and after Freeman took the job he did not let it go. As of now he is just one of the best handcuffs in football, but if he keeps out performing Freeman you can expect him to get more time on the field, and maybe even regain the starting job.
Kenneth Dixon – BAL (owned in 15.1% of ESPN leagues): Kenneth Dixon was my second favorite RB in the NFL draft this year, and he got drafted by the Ravens which I think helped him because they did not really have a true bell cow runner. Dixon who partially tore his MCL in preseason was looking good until he got hurt. He got the second most first team snaps at the RB position only to Justin Forsett, and was productive. He is expected to come back around week 4, and I think as soon as he gets back he will become a major part of their offense, especially if Forsett starts to struggle. Do not sleep too long on him or he will be gone, you probably do not have to waste your waiver claim on him, but he is a good add after waivers process.
Tajae Sharpe – TEN (owned in 41.8% of ESPN leagues): Tajae Sharpe is a 5th round rookie WR for the Titans for those who were unaware. Sharpe was measured at 6 foot 2 inches and almost 200 pounds, with a 4.55 40 yard dash time. Sharpe very quickly became one of Mariota’s favorite targets during the preseason, and I think having Sharpe helped the Titans make the decision to get rid of Dorial Green-Beckham. In week one Sharpe tallied 7 receptions for 76 yards, but he also did it on a team high 11 targets from Mariota. I would expect these targets to keep coming his way. The Titans next matchup comes against the Lions who just gave up 385 passing yards to the Colts. There will be plenty of targets and yards to go around next week, and I think Sharpe has a decent chance of seeing his first 100 yard game.
Will Fuller – HOU (owned in 58.1% of ESPN leagues): Will Fuller seems a lot like Jameis Winston in my mind due to the fact that they are both only owned in about 58% of leagues but I think should be owned in more leagues. Fuller was the second WR drafted in this year’s draft, and clearly the skill is there as he burst onto the scene getting 107 yards and a TD on Sunday. He is playing opposite of DeAndre Hopkins, and it is really early to say anything for sure about Fuller, but it seems like this combo could be like the early days of Julio in Atlanta when Roddy White was still putting up WR1 numbers. In terms of fantasy I would look for Fuller to be high 30’s in position rank, and that should be good enough to be a good bye week fill in, or a guy you can count on if there is a player to get hurt.
Dwayne Allen – IND (owned in 38% of ESPN leagues): Of all the TEs that are owned in less than 50% of leagues, I think I would only trust Dwayne Allen as of now. Last year he put up decent numbers, and with a healthy Andrew Luck he should be able to put up similar if not better numbers. I think that Allen will be a huge target monster once the Colts get into the redzone. Looking at this past Sunday, Allen went for 17 points on 4 receptions and 53 yards, he also had a TD and a 2 point conversion. If that stat line (having a 19 yard TD and a 2 point conversion) does not backup the fact that he will be a huge redzone target, then I do not know what does.
Ravens D/ST (owned in 9.5% of ESPN leagues): The Ravens defense had a good outing on Sunday holding the Bills to only 7 points, while getting 2 sacks. Though they did not force a turnover they still played well. This week could be a huge week for them also as they get the benefit of playing the Browns. The Browns offense is not good at all, going into the season I was excited to see the RG3 to Josh Gordon connection for the first time since they played together at Baylor; however, Gordon is still suspended until week 5, and RG3 is already hurt with a serious shoulder injury. So, I guess there goes my excitement for the Browns. If you do not have a top 3 defense you might be better off streaming the team playing the Browns, and this week it happens to be the Ravens. I would expect a couple sacks and a couple turnovers in this game, not to mention the Browns offense likely struggling to move the ball and score.
The scoring that I have used is based off of ESPN’s standard PPR scoring. Good luck on the waiver wire this week and in your upcoming match-ups. Remember to follow me on twitter and the Fantasy Life app @FantasySportGM and tweet me your start/sit or trade questions this week.
Waiver Wire Finds