For those of you who read my column last week I talked about the struggles through exams; I have 3 down and 2 more to go, so I am still in the middle of this. Although, I am ready to be done until Friday, and getting to talk about fantasy football.
Let’s get into a very brief recap of this past week, the Vikings picked up their first loss even though their defense forced 4 turnovers and gave them the ball in good field position. Jay Ajayi went for another 200 yard week, and simultaneously Arian Foster has decided to retire. Geno Smith got another chance to try and be a starting QB in the NFL, but that was shortened due to the fact that he tore his ACL, but is still going to get a second opinion. The Browns lost again, and lost their starting QB (Cody Kessler who started the season as the 3rd string QB) again, so Kevin Hogan will start next week if Kessler is not cleared from his concussion. To start the week on Thursday night Brian Hoyer broke his left arm. Finally in one of the most interesting endings of a game this year the Seahawks tied the Cardinals. They went to overtime with the score tied 3-3, and both teams kicked a field goal on their first possession in overtime, and missed a short field goal that would have ended the game. Hauschka missed a 28 yard field goal, and Catanzaro missed a 24 yard field goal. So, now that I gave you my brief recap, I will get into my Waiver Wire Finds for this week.
Alex Smith – KC (owned in 40.1% of ESPN leagues): Alex Smith, where do I start? If you are a loyal reader you have probably realized that I like Alex Smith a lot in terms of a backup fantasy QB. Yes Alex Smith is a game manager, but, he also seems to be productive in terms of fantasy score. Also he seems to be fairly consistent which is another good aspect when it comes to playing fantasy football. Smith is coming off a poor week against the Raiders, and an average week against the Saints. This week he plays the Colts, and what does that mean? Hopefully fantasy points for Alex Smith, the colts have given up 2 passing TDs to opposing QBs in each of the last 4 games, and during that stretch they have failed to hold a QB below the average points scored by opposing QBs (15.6). So, you are probably thinking to yourself that they have played a lot of good QBs recently, which is also not true. Over their past 4 games they have played against Bortles, Hoyer, Osweiler, and Mariota. Alex Smith is a solid bye week fill-in.
Jacquizz Rodgers – TB (owned in 34.5% of ESPN leagues): If you read my article last week this might sound a little repetitive. Rodgers was given 27 touches with Charles Sims and Doug Martin both inactive. In those 27 touches he went for 163 yards. There is no guarantee that Martin will return this week, as he had a setback last week. This week the Buccaneers will be playing the Raiders who have given up at least 70 yards rushing in each game, in 4 of the 7 games they have given up at least 125 yards on the ground, and overall have had trouble playing defense. If Martin is out I would expect Rodgers to be a very high RB2, and even if Martin is back I do not expect them to push him this week and I think that Rodgers could see enough carries to make him a flex option, or a bye week fill-in.
Thomas Rawls – SEA (owned in 47.9% of ESPN leagues): Thomas Rawls is coming back from injury and is not expected to be rushed back, but he has started running and I think a week 9 return for him is not out of the picture. That being said Christine Michael is the starter for now, and I expect Rawls to not have any trouble regaining the starting role. This might take Rawls a couple weeks to get back to the same workload that Rawls had last year, but he is worth adding and seeing what he can do.
Devontae Booker – DEN (owned in 33.1% of ESPN leagues): Devontae Booker is a rookie back for the Broncos, and the Broncos liked him enough through the preseason to release Ronnie Hillman; however, that is not saying much as they have started CJ Anderson every game so far this year. Although, watching the game on Monday night Booker looked like he could be an effective RB in the NFL. That going along with Anderson only getting 4 yards per attempt (career low) lead the Broncos to play Booker more. Booker out-snapped Anderson, and got more touches than Anderson. I would expect them to continue using the two running backs in each game, which is usually a bad thing in terms of fantasy production; however if they continue to hand the ball off 34 times a game, both RBs can be effective in each game.
Ty Montgomery – GB (owned in 20.2% of ESPN leagues): Had I known what I did on Wednesday on Monday (Eddie Lacy being placed on IR with an ankle injury), I would have suggested picking up Montgomery last week. Montgomery has been a staple in the Packers offense the past two weeks using him as a wide receiver, running back, and a pass catching back. In each of the past two weeks Montgomery has gotten 10 receptions, and last week he even ran the ball 9 times. I am not completely sure what it takes to become eligible for another position in ESPN’s fantasy football, but whatever it is Montgomery has seemed to do it as he is now RB and WR eligible. The added eligibility makes him insanely valuable moving forward and if he is available it would be foolish to not pick him up. Additionally, with him getting 10 receptions a game he is a must start for the time being.
Corey Coleman – CLE (owned in 31.9% of ESPN leagues): Coleman might have been the best thing that the Browns had going for them this season until a practice came along between weeks 2 and 3 where he broke his hand. He was initially given a 4-6 week timetable to return. Fast-forward 5 weeks and that is where we are at now. He has yet to be cleared to practice yet, but it seems as though that is just around the corner. If you have an open spot on your roster and you are not in dire need of anyone for the time being, Coleman could be an interesting add and stash. It seems that he will be back soon and it will only be a matter of time before McCown will be back and that Browns offense will be at full strength.
Jack Doyle – IND (owned in 15% of ESPN leagues): Doyle is the 4th ranked TE in fantasy so far this year. That is in part due to Dwayne Allen being injured the past few weeks. Doyle has been the opposite of Alex Smith (consistent), and so I really do not love the idea of playing him this week. However, it is looking like he is the best option amongst TEs who are not owned in 50% of ESPN leagues. Doyle and the Colts are going on to play the Chiefs who have been top 5 in terms of allowing the least points to opposing TEs. So, this week Doyle will be very TD dependent, but I feel as that is how all TEs available in 50% of leagues will be this week, and of the ones available I think Doyle will be the one to get into the endzone.
Titans D/ST (owned in 37.2% of ESPN leagues): The Titans defense has been far from being a top 10 fantasy defense; however, they have only had negative points one time this season. They have been able to get to the QB as they have 20 sacks on the season. This week the Titans play the Jaguars who have been good for opposing defenses. The Jaguars have allowed 15 sacks in 6 weeks, to go with the 15 sacks they have given up 12 turnovers. The Titans are likely to get a couple sacks and a turnover this week, and that should be enough to make them fantasy relevant.
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