Waiver Wire Week 9

Jamey Black

Waiver Wire

Key-Player Tags
BP-big play-slight bump in Big Play bonus leagues PPR-Point per reception-Slight bump for PPR leagues
ST-Short term-May have limited window of usage D-Dynasty-bump in dynasty due to long term value/age
HC-handcuff-hedge for another player Pre-Preemptive-May not have immediate value but could/should see value forthcoming

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PickPlayer(preseason ADP)POSNotes
1 David Johnson(5) RB Highest scoring PPG for a non QB, Has Scored no less than 10 pts(14ppr). As if it matters, he has the 2nd easiest strength of schedule for fantasy RBs for the remainder of the season. No reason not to take David Johnson #1 overall. Involved in the passing game so poor game script shouldn't be an issue. He is simply a stud!
2 Ezekiel Elliot(7) RB 2nd most ppg for non QB since week 2, 3rd on year. Leading league in rushing. Took him 2 weeks to get going and beginning week 3, Zeke is averaging 5.6 ypc and leads the NFL with 162 total yards per game. I think he is hands down the #2 non-QB behind DJ and as we've seen the past 2 weeks, the opponent doesn't matter. He has scored 16 or more points 4 times over his last 5 games, the exception being week 8 in which he scored 14.8. He hasn't scored a TD since week 5, but they are coming. Zeke also has one of the easiest reamaining SOS for RBs...which is just icing on the cake here.
3 Leveon Bell(12) RB I think you could make the case for Leveon #1 overall, scored no less than 12.8 pts in the 4 games he has played and that Is without scoring a TD, which will undoubtedly change. They are about middle of the pack with remaining strength of schedule for Fantasy Running backs. There might be a slight dip in #s if Ben misses time pushing forward, but even a slight dip for Leveon keeps him as a top 6 RB and when Pittsburgh is hitting on all cylinders there is no player as impactful as Bell. Much like Johnson he is involved in the passing game so he is independant of game script.
4 Demarco Murray(51) RB 2nd highest ppg for non-QB on year and 2nd most rushing yards in NFL. Murray is getting it done in the rushing and passing game and, as mentioned above, is the 2nd highest scoring non-QB in fantasy right now. He has scored 12.5 or more points in all 8 games he's played this year, and I don't really see much changing. While he doesn't have the upside of the first 3 picks, I think he is will continue to be consistent and score 15-18 points most weeks with some 20+ point weeks mixed in (his season average is 17.7ppg). One could argue he belongs in a tier with DJ, Zeke and Bell, but I won't go quite that far as those 3 can put up 25-30 points on any given week and I think Henry will limit that upside for Murray.
5 Julio Jones(4) WR Julio Jones is just slightly behind (.2 ppg)Mike Evans for #2 in Wide Receiver PPG and that is with 2 less TDs and 16 less targets. He is in a robust offense that doesn’t look to be slowing down with MVP candidate Matt Ryan playing the best football of his career. The main argument agains Julio is that he has put up 3 subpar weeks of 2.9, 2.9 and 1.6. He also tends to get a little banged up from time to time, but I will take the most explosive receiver in the game at #5 and he has the 3rd easiest remaining strength of schedule for fantasy WRs.
6 Antonio Brown(1) WR The #1-A WR went 5th, so a great time to grab the #1-B. Also, there's a drop after those top 4 RBs IMO. Brown has had a somewhat up and down season thus far, playing a mud-bowl game in week 2 vs CIN and then a down week 6 in which Big Ben has one of the worst days of his career. He played week 7 with backup Landry Jones and faired ok. Still, Brown is currently the #4 WR in ppg and I don't think anyone would argue he and Jones are the cream of the crop so to speak when it comes to WRs. Big Ben is expected back this week and I fully expect Brown and the PIT offense to get back on track. Not that this matters much when we are talking about a player like Brown, but he has one of the easiest remaining SOS for WRs in the 2nd half of the season.
7 AJ Green(10) WR Jamey you had AJ green as a top 5 option preseason and he has delivered as such. He has been a little up and down but that is the norm for WR this year in fantasy. Still as talented a WR that there is in the league, with Eifert getting healthy and about middle of the pack for remaining Strength of schedule for fantasy WRs there may be other WR with a little more upside but I would contend that AJ green is the safest WR based on his historic production that gives him a high floor with the possibility for multiple blow up weeks regardless of matchup.
8 Lesean McCoy(26) RB 5th most ppg / non-QBs and is averagin 6ypc over his last 5 games. Might miss 1 more game, but has 3rd easiest SOS remaining for RBs and McCoy finished last season with 100+ total yards in 8 of his last 9 games, and BUF has a top 3 rushing offense. It may take another week, but when fully healthy, McCoy is still a stud. Not counting the attempted start in week 7 with an injured hammy, McCoy has scored 13 or more points in every game but 1 this season. Once BUF got going in week 3, McCoy averaged 22.1 ppg over his next 4 before injuring that hamstring. I fully expect him to pick up where he left off when he returns, which could possibly be this week, especially considering BUF has the 3rd easiest remaining SOS vs the run this season.
9 Mike Evans(24) WR As alluded to earlier, Mike Evans is actually the highest scoring WR on a per game basis. He leads the league in targets per game and I don't see any reason why that won't continue. Add in that he has the easiest Strength of Schedule for Fantasy WRs and you have a recipe for a league winning player in the 2nd half. In retrospect, I think that If I was drafting today I might make Evans the 1st receiver off the board as high as #5 in Standard league drafts.
10 Devonta Freeman(16) RB Slow start to season but is top 10 and averaging 5ypc since week 2. ATL's run game as well as their offense looks unstoppable this year, and the only thing keeping Freeman from putting up bigger numbers is Tevin Coleman…who is currently injured. Even before the injury, Freeman was coming on and he is clearly the better pure runner and goal-line beneficiary. Since week 3, he is averaging the 6th most ppg among all non-QBs, and while I don't think he will crack top 4, he definitely has a chance to finish just outside of 5 range moving forward.
11 Rob Gronkowski(9) TE Since week 5 Gronk has scored a ridiculous22, 23, 23 and 22 points. With the state that tight ends are in, this gives you a huge advantage over anyone without Reed or Olsen and gives you a slight advantage over those teams. Now I don’t expect him to score 22 pts per game moving forward but I wouldn't be shocked if he does that in at least half of his games, and when he does it gives you such an advantage at a position that is hit or miss from week to week.
12 Odell Beckham Jr.(2) WR Slow start to season but was 8th at WR at this point last season before going on a tear and finishing 2nd in ppg at WR in standard formats. I don't see any reason for that not to happen again, especially considering he has done most of his damage in the 2nd half of the season every year since entering the league. Over his last 8 games in 2014, OBJ had 1043 receiving yards and 9 TDs, and over his last 8 games in 2015, OBJ had 926 receiving yards and 9 TDs. In his career thus far, he has averaged 19.1 ppg in the 2nd half of the season, which is also where Manning generally thrives. I fully expect OBJ to finish the 2nd half as a top 5 WR easy.
Rd2 pick 1 (13) Melvin Gordon(70) RB Is 4th in ppg among all non-QBs and despite the low ypc, is averaging about 100 total ypg and has scored 10-TDs already. His ypc have been better over the last 2 games and he is getting better in the passing game as well. With the excpetion of a week 6 matchup against the Broncos (9.4), Gordon has scored 12.7 ppg or more every game this season and has scored around 18+ ppg in 4 games so far. Gordon has one of easiest remaining SOS for RBs and he is really their only RB, so I don't see much changing here.
Rd2 pick 2 (14) Lamar Miller(11) RB Lamar Miller is a little banged up, but has run well in recent weeks. He does have 2 weeks of 2.4 and 6.7 but otherwise offers one of the highest floors at the RB position and that is my justification for taking him in the early second. He has only scored twice, but I would expect him to finish with 6-10 total TDs, but then again "Brock Osweiler".... He doesnt have a great strength of schedule for fantasy RBs but he does have a favorable Strength of schedule overall which once again.
Rd2 pick 3 (15) Dez Bryant(13) WR Is finally healthy and Dak is the real deal. Dez will be heavily involved and should be one of the best 2nd half WRs in the NFL this season as evidenced by his week 8 113 yard/1-TD performance against a very tough PHI D that was allowing the 6th fewest points to WRs and 2nd fewest points to opposing QBs going into week 8. Dez has always been a WR that commands the ball, and 14 targets in his first game back is proof of that. Because of the running game in Dallas and the emergence of Cole Beasley, teams won't be able to focus on Dez without getting burned somewhere else. The Cowboy offense looks matchup proof right now.
Rd2 pick 4 (16) Amari Cooper(28) WR Cooper is in a second tier cluster of WRs that are scoring around 12 PPG. Which puts him at WR 6 on the year on a ppg basis. He has had a couple of duds, but once again that is the story at WR this year. Derek Carr is playing lights out and spoiler alert, Crabtree is one of the other wide receivers that is scoring about 12 PPG so defenses are having to chose between the two and Carr is making them pay. Referring back to the dud games and Cooper's season in general there have been multiple games where he has left alot of pts on the field so we will see if he can sure up some of those issues. although the penalties dont seem to be going away. He does have the 2nd hardest schedule for fantasy recievers but I don't see Cooper or this offense slowing down anytime soon. except maybe this week against the broncos, but luckily they go to denver in week 17 so hopefully you have already won your championship at that point.
Rd2 pick 15(17) T.Y. Hilton(35) WR 6th most ppg among WRs and is #5 on the year at WR in standard formats. Hilton has received double digit targets in every game but two. He has a solid floor with the 4th most targets, has Luck at QB and massive big play ability. I spoke about Hilton in my Targets and Shots article back in August, here is a little piece that I think is relevant; "Hilton finished as the #12 overall WR in 2014 despite missing 2 games. He averaged about as many points per game as Emmanuel Sanders, who finished 5th at WR that season. Hilton was on pace for: 94/1537/8 in 2014, which would have been good enough to finish 6th at WR, slightly edging out Odell Beckham Jr.". This is the first time since that season that both Hilton and Luck are healthy and back in sync, I fully expect him to finish in that 6-10 range at WR this year.
Rd2 pick 6(18) Spencer Ware(139) RB With Jamaal Charles going on IR I went ahead and grabbed Spencer Ware. The offense overall has been a little underwhelming, but Ware's involvement in the passing game gives him a very high floor and he should be able to increase his TD pace in the 2nd half. Now he may miss this week due to a concussion, but if healthy, moving forward I cant see him being ranked outside the top 12 on any given week with his situation. Andy Reid has historically had stud RBs and I think that is still the case for Ware who has always been able to shed tackles, but has increased his explosiveness and has vastly improved in the passing game.
Rd2 pick 7(19) Brandin Cooks(30) WR 5th at ppg among WRs right now and has some great matchups remaining, including TB in weeks 14 and 16. Except for a slow weeks 3 and 4, Cooks has scored roughly 14ppg or more all other , including 2 in which he went over 30. One of the most dynamic players in the NFL, Cooks is a play maker that can win weeks. He will have his down weeks, but Cooks, much like OBJ, is a 2nd half player and I fully expect him finish strong this season. He is the last remaining WRs in that group who is likely to finish somewhere between 5 and 10 and has juicy playoff week matchups which is also part of why I snagged him here.
Rd2 pick 8 (20) Jay Ajayi(103) RB I feel like this is a little bit of a gamble based on 2 great weeks from Ajayi, but at this point there are issues with most players left. He obviously will not be rushing for 200 yards every week, but with his offensive line healthy, in an adam gase offense, I think Ajayi can still produce as a mid to high end RB1 from week to week. There really is no threat to his workload so I see him offering a high floor and it goes without say that he can blow up on any given week. There may be a couple safer options at this point but I think he may offer some of the highest upside so I took Ajayi and will hope for the best....
Rd2 pick 9 (21) Deandre Hopkins(8) WR Hopkins was widely consdiered the top player in that tier of WRs after Julio Jones, Antonio Brown and OBJ going into this season. Poor QB play had led to a really poor start to the 2016 season for Hopkins, and I'm probably one of the few that thinks there is a chance Houston can turn their season around. They did it last year, and Bill O'Brien's offense is complex, so I don't buy into Osweiler being a bad QB...I think he is just going through growing pains. Remember Matt Ryan and the Shanahan offense last season? I'm not sure Osweiler turns it around, but I'm willin to take a chance since the bye is just what he needs this week. Make no mistake about it, Hopkins is one of the most talented WRs in the NFL, and if/when the lightbulb comes on for Osweiler, things will change. Houston also has the easiest remaining SOS vs. the pass, so I'm gambling a bit and hoping Osweiler comes out of the bye with a better feel and more confidence.
Rd2 pick 10 (22) Michael Crabtree(87) WR Crabtree is the 3rd receiver in the second tier that scores around 12 pts per game. He has had only 1 bad week agains KC where he saw a lot of Marcus Peters, but has surprisingly had one of the highest floors than any reciever scoring 9 pts in 1 game and no less than 10 in the others. I think people are slow to trust Crabtree based on the fact that it took him a little while, but I do think he is finally living up to his first round draft selection. He is a great fit in this timing offense and as mentioned earlier, Carr is playing lights out and that offense continues to look great from week to week.
Rd2 pick 1 1(23) Jordan Reed(34) TE Reed finished the 2015 season as the #1 TE in PPR formats, and number 2 in standard formats averaging about 1 less ppg than Gronk. Gronk averaged about 10 more yards receiving per game than Reed last season but Reed scored the same amount of TDs in 1 less game, so you can see how close these 2 were last year. Fast forward 1 year, and not much has changed. Both have socred 3 TDs in 6 games and Gronk is averaging about 11 more receiving yard per game than Reed, and exactly 1/2 more ppg than Reed thus far. These 2 are in a tier of their own and grabbing Reed late in the 2nd round is a plus. It took Cousins a few weeks to really get going this year, but they are rolling now and I expect big games from Reed moving forward. He gives you an advantage at this position only matched by Gronk.
Rd2 pick 12 (24) Todd Gurley(3) RB Aside from a 4pt outing in week 1 Gurley has actually offered a relatively high floor. It seems a lot worse because of the high pick investment that you made, but he remains a rare workhorse back that who has had no less than 18 touches in any game. Case Keenum is actually playing a little better and the WRs as a whole have stepped it up a bit, so I see Gurley with his touches keeping the high floor and with his ultra talent, could see him having a couple monster games despite his situation. Speaking of situations, it could actually get worse if Goff is inserted, but you never know, it could help in that teams don't have film on Goff and it generally takes up to 4 weeks to get a read on a player based on game film. I will take Gurley to close out this round.

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Arthur Richardson

Industrial Engineer by day, all around fantasy enthusiast by night. I enjoy the convergence of metrics, film study, and player knowledge that helps to inform fantasy decisions. Mostly passionate about the interactions within this wonderful community! Am truly blessed to be a father of 3 and have a wife that supports this obsession!

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