In case you were wondering if we—we being the collective football fanbase—knew anything, the answer is emphatically no. A big fat no.
We were all sure the Vikings wouldn’t lose to the lowly Bills at home, yet that happened. It was a given that the Hoodie and the Patriots would walk all over the Lions Sunday night but Matt Patricia had the last laugh. (I was so certain I locked Sony Michel for 15+ standard points this week but clearly I picked the wrong rookie running back.) The Packers lost to Washington; The Jaguars lost to the Marcus Mariota-less Titans; and Jordy Nelson had a fantasy viable game. Oh, and the Browns won a game for the first time in 635 days.
But it’s time to rise above the chaos and overcome whatever insanity the NFL is throwing at you and the best way to do that is to attack those waiver wires. So, here are the players you should be instantly adding to your fantasy team (percent owned in Yahoo leagues).
Also, sinc Ginger Nic does an undervalued QBs to add article each week, I figured I don’t need to step on his toes and include quarterbacks in this list. That being said, get Baker Mayfield. He’s the real deal.
RB Javorius Allen, Baltimore Ravens (25 percent owned)
I tried to tell y’all that all Buck Allen does is score touchdowns. He did it twice Sunday against the Broncos—once on the ground and once through the air—and he’s now done it in every game so far this season. He’s not a must start in my book since he’s still touchdown dependent and at some point he’ll have a game where he won’t score a TD (but maybe no, who says no?) but he’s certainly worth getting on your squad to play in your flex.
RB Chris Ivory, Buffalo Bills (6 percent owned)
I don’t know which was crazier: The Bills beating up on the Vikings or Chris Ivory leading the charge. Sorry, actually I do know which was crazier, it was the Bills beating up on the Vikings. With LeSean McCoy out with a rib injury, Ivory came in and toted the rock 20 times for 56 yards and led the team with 70 yards on three catches through the air. McCoy’s status for the rest of the year is up in the air with both injury and personal concerns so handcuffing Ivory makes plenty of sense.
RB Wendell Smallwood, Philadelphia Eagles (1 percent owned)
Sure Smallwood only came in because Jay Ajayi and Darren Sproles are out with injury but he put up a solid stat line Sunday against the Colts. Smallwood had 10 carries for 56 yards and a touchdown, adding three catches for 35 yards. If you’re in a deeper league and need some help at running back, given Ajay’s propensity for missing games via injury, Smallwood is a good stash.
RB/WR Tavon Austin, Dallas Cowboys (10 percent owned)
TAVON AUSTIN AS MORE TOUCHDOWNS THAN EZEKIEL ELLIOTT. Tell me if you predicted that three weeks into the NFL season. Yes Austin has done little as a running back—he has a grand total of three carries for 34 yards this season—but he’s been explosive in the passing game. He’s still very, VERY boom or bust but he can play RB or WR for you and clearly has a role in this offense.
WR Calvin Ridley, Atlanta Falcons (44 percent owned)
Now time for the man that everyone will be running to get off waivers. Insert gif of people trampling each other running into a store on Black Friday. Credit where credit’s due, Nic said Ridley was a must start Sunday on last week’s RB1 podcast and I scoffed at him. Tip of the ol’ cap to ya Ginger Nic as Ridley blew up Sunday, catching seven balls for 146 yards and three touchdowns. After not being involved in any of the action in Week 1, Ridley has seen 13 targets over the past two weeks. If you’ve got that number one waiver wire claim this week, he’s the guy you use it on.
WR Geronimo Allison, Green Bay Packers (34 percent owned)
Did you listen to me and get Allison on your team? All he’s done this year is steadily produce 60 plus yard performances, posting 76 yards and a touchdown on two catches Sunday. He’s a steady Flex/WR3 option for the rest of the season and if any injury occurs to the Packers’ receiving core, he easily enters WR2 territory.
WR Tyler Boyd, Cincinnati Bengals (16 percent owned)
Boyd makes this list not just because A.J. Green might miss time because of a groin injury (PLEASE DON’T MISS TIME A.J.), but because he’s firmly cemented himself as the number two pass catcher in what’s been a strong Bengals’ offense. For the second straight week, Boyd has caught six balls and scored a touchdown. This week he did so with 132 yards in the air, which puts him 11th among all receivers in the NFL in total yards. The Bengals are back people, get hyped!
WR Jakeem Grant, Miami Dolphins (3 percent owned)
I bet you never thought that kick returning specialist Jakeem Grant would have serious fantasy relevance did you? Or that he would be the receiver you’d want out of Miami and not Devante Parker. Well, we’ve already established the NFL is a weird place and this is just more fuel for the fire. Grant had two touches Sunday, both going for big touchdowns. While Adam Gase might be stumbling into his own Tyreek Hill don’t think the transformation will happen overnight. Grant has no reliable floor to speak of and is the definition of a boom or bust start. But, if he puts together another solid performance, you can bet people will be lining up to get him off waivers. Be ahead of the curve.
TE Austin Hooper, Atlanta Falcons (29 percent owned)
Hooper wasn’t able to build off of a strong Week 2 performance but he makes the list because he’s hopefully about to see a lot more green grass. With Julio Jones still being Julio Jones and now Ridley doing his best Julio Jones impression, defenses are going to be much more focused on the outsides of the offense, hopefully opening up space in the middle for Hooper to take advantage of.