One of the most exciting weeks of football we have seen this season is behind us as we inch closer to the fantasy playoffs. At this stage of the game, picking up a key player on the waiver wire might be the difference in completing a trade for that stud player you’ve been wanting (although, I don’t think the Ezekiel Elliott owner will budge).
Teams on a bye: Denver, San Diego, Atlanta, New York Jets
This week’s waiver wire features quality running backs and a bevy of wide receivers. The tight end and quarterback positions are both weak with very limited streaming options available.
Brock Osweiler (10%)
He’s been up and down all year from a fantasy standpoint, but his upcoming schedule of games is very appealing. He gets Oakland in week 11, and then it’s San Diego, Green Bay, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, and Cincinnati the rest of the way. The offense has a surprising amount of weapons around him, so don’t be surprised if he is on the streaming radar for a little bit – especially with Matt Ryan, Phillip Rivers, and Marcus Mariota having their bye either this week or in week 13.
Colin Kaepernick (12%)
He played well against the Arizona defense, throwing a touchdown and rushing for one as well. If he’s using his legs and his arm, Kaepernick is going to be a surprisingly good quarterback to use – the same way Mark Sanchez was surprisingly good under head coach Chip Kelly.
Alex Smith (25%)
Smith has been hard to trust lately, and suffered a concussion in week 8, but he gets a good matchup against the Tampa Bay defense in a week with limited QB options.
Rob Kelley (48%)
Kelley was named the starting running back by head coach Jay Gruden, but that hasn’t had a huge impact on the fantasy ownership changes. Matt Jones is still owned in more leagues than Kelley, but that should change soon. If he’s available in your league, then he is a must add. The fact that a RB who can get you 20 or more touches a week is out there in more than half of Yahoo leagues is crazy.
James Starks (27%)
Last week, Starks was recommended as an add and stash, but if you started him, it wasn’t all that bad either. He managed to find the end zone on a screen pass and was clearly the lead back over Ty Montgomery, as expected. It’s rare to find a starting running back just sitting out there on the waiver wire this late into the season, especially on an offense like the Packers.
Jeremy Langford (26%)
Head coach John Fox said Jordan Howard suffered an Achilles injury in week 10. Jordan Howard said he didn’t suffer any injury. If there isn’t an injury, then the job is still Howard’s, as the rookie has been the best RB on the team, surpassing Langford on the depth chart. However, if there is an Achilles injury, it could mean multiple missed weeks for Howard. In that case, Langford would be the guy to pick up. He would likely get the bulk of carries while Ka’Deem Carey gets touches occasionally.
Other notables: C.J. Prosise (35%), Dion Lewis (58%), Tim Hightower (57%), Kenneth Dixon (19%), Thomas Rawls (49%)
Cameron Meredith (32%)
After the surprising news of Alshon Jefferey getting suspended until week 15 for taking steroids, Meredith gets a huge bump in value. The undrafted free agent has been playing opposite of Jefferey since week five, back when Kevin White went down, and now he has a chance to be the number one receiver. Eddie Royal is also a great add for a PPR league if you need a receiver.
Tyreek Hill (16%)
Jeremy Maclin has had a lingering groin injury that took him out of a game early in week 9. It kept him out this week and there is a good chance that pattern could continue for another week or two. In Maclin’s absence, Hill has stepped up in the offense as the most trusted wide receiver, drawing 13 targets from Alex Smith, which was almost doubled the next most on the team.
Robert Woods (16%) or Sammy Watkins (37%)
Both Bills wide receivers can help fantasy teams, but each in their own way. Woods is the guy to add if you need an immediate impact at the wide receiver position. He had a career day against the stingy Seattle defense in week 9, and should be rested with the team coming off the bye week. Watkins is the guy to add if you are looking forward to the fantasy playoffs. The Bills have a good schedule for Wide receivers going forward, so either one of these guys can be a great addition to your team, depending on your situation. Watkins could be back as soon as week 12.
Other notables: Eddie Royal, Dontrelle Inman, Eli Rogers
Ladarius Green (10%)
If you are looking for a boom-or-bust tight end just in time for the playoffs, Green is your guy. We have heard about his athleticism since his days in San Diego, but he has yet to live up to the hype. He is slowly being brought into the offense as he is coming off an injury, but there is a good chance for Green to be a starting fantasy tight end since he plays for an offense that’s made Jesse James relevant on certain weeks.
C.J. Fiedorowicz (21%)
After getting bottled up in Jacksonville, a number of owners will be dropping the Houston tight end, but he’s still going to get a lot of usage and targets compared to what you can find on the waiver wire. He also gets a good matchup against the Oakland raiders this upcoming week.
Cameron Brate (52%)
He is over the 50% ownership mark, but he should be owned in a lot more leagues. Outside of Mike Evans, the Tampa Bay offense has needed someone else to step up, and Brate has done the job, snagging a touchdown pass in each of his last three games.
Other notables: Hunter Henry, Vernon Davis
Miami Dolphins (18%) at Los Angeles Rams
New York Giants (12%) vs. Chicago Bears
Pittsburgh Steelers (34%) at Cleveland Browns