Can you believe it? We are now halfway through the Fantasy Football season. Whether you’re in prime playoff position, or on the outside looking in, your stress levels have been on the ascend each week.
Happy Tuesday everyone, Happy Halloween and Merry Waiver Wire day. Perhaps the day of the week where we’re filled with the most optimism when it comes to improving our fantasy teams and taking them to the next level.
I’ll be the first to say that you can turn your season around on the Waiver Wire, but you may be running out of time depending on your spot in the standings. Luckily we have a stacked crop of players to choose from this week, especially if you’re in the market for a wide receiver.
Before you get out and enjoy the holiday, take a look at my top Waiver Wire Gems of the week. Feel free to reach out to me on Twitter @JonValencia_WiB with any Fantasy Football questions you may have. Thanks for reading!
QB Josh McCown (New York Jets) – 25.9% ownership
Hold on to your seats, but Josh McCown is a borderline QB1. Only twice this season has he posted under 13.5 fantasy points and he is averaging just short of 20 fantasy points per game. If you need an upgrade at backup QB, or even an upgrade as your starter, McCown is by far the best you’ll find on the waiver wire.
The NFL journeyman is currently outscoring Derek Carr, Matthew Stafford and Jameis Winston, among other notables, in fantasy points. Unless you have a guy like Tom Brady or Drew Brees, McCown may be worth a look. The Jets have gotten off to a surprising start to the year, and the vet has been a pleasant catalyst.
RB Matt Breida (San Francisco 49ers) – 14.6% ownership
As Monday morning, Matt Breida is your RB11 for week 8. The undrafted rookie out of Georgia Southern, Breida surfaced as a hot waiver wire claim a few weeks back. Hopefully you picked him up, endured the underwhelming stretch and miraculously started him in your lineup this week.
Breida has now outscored Carlos Hyde in two of the past four weeks after his snap count increased in this past week’s loss to the Eagles. Hyde has struggled over the past four weeks and has averaged only 2.8 yards per carry during that span. With Breida coming off an encouraging performance and Hyde’s continued struggles, now is a good time to take a flyer on the rookie.
RB Marlon Mack (Indianapolis Colts) – 29% ownership
I don’t know why, but Marlon Mack stays on the waiver wire yet again this week and remains a free agent in over 70% of ESPN fantasy leagues. He has now eclipsed double-digits in three of the past four weeks and has outscored Frank Gore in half of Indy’s eight games this season.
The rookie out of USF has proven his role as the lead pass catching back over the past two weeks compiling 7 catches for 76 yard and a TD during that span. He’s getting a healthy dose of the workload from Frank Gore–coming off a season-high 11 carries in Sunday’s loss to Cincinnati.
Mack has been extremely productive the past few weeks, and his workload is only increasing. At the minimum he’s a matched up based FLEX play in all formats.
RB DeAndre Washington (Oakland Raiders) – 37% ownership
Following Marshawn Lynch’s ejection in Week 7’s Thursday Night Football fiasco, both DeAndre Washington and Jalen Richard were able to showcase their skills as they turned in productive nights. Heading into this week they seemed to be dead even, but Washington was able to separate himself on Sunday.
With Lynch suspended, Washington proved to be the lead back as he recorded more carries and receptions than Richard as he finished with 20 fantasy points headlined by his 8 catches for 62 yards and a score on his way to a top 10 week among RBs.
While Lynch should return in week 9, Washington is worthy of a claim, especially in PPR leagues. Lynch is a shell of his former self and after an impressive performance, Washington is in line for an expanded workload.
WR Robby Anderson (New York Jets) – 26.4% ownership
Robby Anderson has quietly been on a tear as of late. He has eclipsed double-digit fantasy points in each of the past three weeks, and is coming off a 22 point breakout performance where he caught six passes for 104 yards and a score.
Finishing as WR6 in Week 8, Anderson may be overshadowed by Smith-Schuster this week on the Waiver Wire, but you could make the case that he has just as much upside for the remainder of the season as he’s proven he’s the #1 guy for Josh McCown in New York’s passing game.
Anderson is a tall, speedy boundary receiver enjoying a breakout sophomore campaign. As long as McCown continues to produce, Anderson will reap the benefits. If you’re lower on the waiver priority totem pole this week, Anderson is a tremendous alternative to Smith-Schuster.
WR Paul Richardson (Seattle Seahawks) – 10.3% ownership
I’d like to think that I was the conductor of the Paul Richardson bandwagon at the start of the season. He didn’t exactly get off to an encouraging start, eclipsing 10 fantasy points just once in the first five weeks. However, he has been phenomenal since Seattle’s Week 6 bye.
Over the past two weeks Richardson has enjoyed his two biggest games of the year, and he even doubled his fantasy point total from Week 7 to Week 8. Richardson finished as WR4 this week after posting 28.5 fantasy points as he gashed Houston’s secondary in what has been perhaps the most exciting game of the year.
Richardson is making big plays and playing exciting football right now. Pick him up this week before it’s too late. Looking ahead at his schedule the next five weeks (WAS, ARI, ATL, SF, PHI), he could be in line for a few more big games–perfect timing as you make your playoff push.
WR JuJu Smith-Schuster (Pittsburgh Steelers) – 28.9% ownership
Drop whatever you’re doing and go pick up JuJu Smith-Schuster in all your fantasy leagues. Your WR2 in Week 8 was none other than Smith-Schuster as he exploded on Sunday Night Football for 193 yards and a TD on seven catches.
Throughout the whole Martavis Bryant fiasco, Smith-Schuster’s fantasy value has been on the ascend, and has now taken off–I wouldn’t be surprised if his ownership spikes by over 50% this week, and deservedly so.
The rookie out of USC should be your priority claim of the week, whether you need a WR or not. He’s creeping into “must start” territory and it looks like the sky is the limit for the 20 year old. Players with his upside don’t float on the Waiver Wire very often, so take advantage.
WR Kenny Stills (Miami Dolphins) – 37.5% ownership
Yes, the Dolphins just got beached in a 40-0 trampling on Thursday Night Football, but Kenny Stills remained one of the bright spots on offense. Over the past three weeks he’s averaging over 17 fantasy points per game and has scored 3 TDs during that span as well.
With DeVante Parker’s lingering injury, Stills has been more involved in the offense and has taken full advantage of his opportunities. If you plan on stacking WR claims this week, Stills wouldn’t be a bad consolation prize if you miss out on a guy like Anderson or Smith-Schuster.
TE Jack Doyle (Indianapolis Colts) – 39.3% ownership
Jack Doyle’s 30 fantasy points in Week 8 were the most scored by a TE this season–it was also the first time a TE finished the week as a top 5 overall scorer this year as well.
Heading into the season, there was a lot of optimism regarding Doyle’s fantasy prospects, but he got off to an inconsistent start. However, he’s been able to turn it around over the past three weeks as he’s eclipsed double-digits every week during that span. Perhaps it just took a little bit for Doyle and Jacoby Brissett to establish a rapport.
If you need help at TE, Doyle is the guy you want on the Waiver Wire this week. After his explosion in Week 8, he’s sure to see a monumental spike in ownership. There’s no doubt in my mind that he finishes the season as a TE1, barring injury.