Each week, I will be profiling players who may be available on your waiver wire and will likely be targeted by one or more owners in your league. A brief breakdown of each player’s performance and what to expect for the remainder of the season will be included along with my recommendation of whether or not to try to acquire the player. The numbers in parentheses indicate the percent of all owners who own that player on ESPN, My Fantasy League and Yahoo, respectively.
After my week six BYE, I’m back with another round of waiver wire mania! Injuries have taken their toll on a lot of teams around the NFL, meaning opportunities abound on the wire. Who can help you make that playoff push during the second half of the season? Here are a few suggestions heading into week seven.
Nick Foles – Philadelphia Eagles (2.6%/37.16%/15%)
Foles got the starting nod against Tampa Bay after Michael Vick’s hamstring forced him into the emergency-only QB3 role for week six. Many speculated Head Coach Chip Kelly would alter his offensive game plan with Foles under center, but it appeared the offense was run in much the same manner. Foles threw for 296 yards and three TDs, but provided an unexpected rushing TD as well. Kelly has yet to name a week seven starter, but Foles seems to have the inside track as of this writing. VERDICT: A must-add for Vick owners; a quality BYE week replacement if named the starter; QB2 with upside as starter and quality depth given Vick’s injury history.
T.J. Yates – Houston Texans (0.1%/5.02%/1%)
Yates, best known for leading the Texans to a playoff win over Cincinnati his rookie season, saw some game action in week six as starter Matt Schaub went down with what appears to be a significant injury to his lower leg. His stat-line for week six is unimpressive to say the least (96 passing yards with two INTs), but he may be named the starter for week seven, making him somewhat valuable in fantasy leagues. VERDICT: Emergency add in leagues with few QB options on the wire for BYE week help; worth a look if named starter in 2 QB leagues; carries very little value going forward.
Andre Ellington – Arizona Cardinals (8.8%/72.12%/37%)
Ellington continues to see his workload increase as he is clearly outplaying Rashard Mendenhall in Arizona. Ellington only touched the ball 12 times in week six, but he turned those touches into a combined 92 yards and one rushing TD. He is also the back in on passing situations, converting all five of his targets last week. The situation in Arizona is morphing into a full-blown RBBC, but Ellington should still carry enough value to be worth a look in your league. VERDICT: Seeing enough work to be valuable, especially in PPR leagues; provides quality depth and is a decent BYE week option; must-add in most leagues.
Joseph Randle – Dallas Cowboys (1.4%/22.90%/8%)
Randle played all of the second half in week six after DeMarco Murray sprained his MCL. Many expect Murray to miss a couple weeks, making Randle the starter on a team loaded with weapons in the passing game. Randle only mustered 17 yards on his 11 carries, but did find the end zone once and added two catches for 15 yards. The Eagles, Dallas’ week seven opponent, have been known to allow good numbers to opposing offenses, so Randle may perform admirably if he gets the start in week seven. VERDICT: RB2 with high upside if named starter this week; has good hands, so will be effective in passing game as well; must-add in all leagues, especially if you need BYE week help.
Zac Stacy – St. Louis Rams (7.0%/71.93%/39%)
Surprisingly, Stacy is still available in a good percentage of leagues even after Head Coach Jeff Fisher named him the starter leading up to the Jacksonville game in week five. In week six, Stacy had 18 carries for 79 yards and two receptions for 11 yards. His workload dwarfed that of Daryl Richardson and Stacy appears to be “the man” in St. Louis now. VERDICT: RB2 with upside as starter; tough remaining schedule may limit numbers; must-add in all formats.
Terrance Williams – Dallas Cowboys (46.9%/67.58%/43%)
If Williams was still available after he exploded for 151 yards in week five, he probably is still available after his big let-down in week six (27 yards on two receptions). However, Williams may be seeing the field more as injuries continue to hamper the skill position players for the Cowboys. Miles Austin is one step away from another hamstring injury and DeMarco Murray appears to out for at least a few weeks. If Williams continues to see his time on the field increase, we’ll see games closer to week five than week six. VERDICT: Currently a WR4, but his upside is major if Austin misses time; home-run ability makes him a potential boom-or-bust play; quality depth right now and insurance for Austin owners.
Jarrett Boykin – Green Bay Packers (0.1%/4.98%/2%)
Boykin was a virtual unknown coming into week six as the odd-man-out in the Green Bay passing game. However, injuries to James Jones (minor) and Randall Cobb (major, out 6-8 weeks) made Boykin a necessary commodity in week six. He saw six targets, converting one for 43 yards. Green Bay likes to run out of three-receiver sets, so expect Boykin to see the field quite a bit for the next month or so. VERDICT: WR4 with upside as starter; Cobb should be back before fantasy playoffs, making Boykin useless then; quality depth for now with BYE week replacement potential.
Brandon LaFell – Carolina Panthers (3.0%/32.69%/12%)
LaFell has seen two good weeks now for his few fantasy owners, week four where he had two TD catches and this week when he piled up 107 yards and one TD. He is probably third in the pecking order for Cam Newton (behind Steve Smith and Greg Olsen), but he is on the field a lot and has seen 19 targets over the last three weeks. VERDICT: WR5 with upside if Carolina continues to play well on offense; run-heavy offense limits his opportunities; boom-or-bust play, but could pay off during the fantasy playoffs.
Joseph Fauria – Detroit Lions (0.1%/7.87%/4%)
With apologies to the great Cris Carter, all Fauria does is catch touchdowns. For the season, Fauria has seven receptions on nine targets, five of which have gone for TDs. Granted, he only has 66 yards, but it’s hard to argue with the weapon he has become in the red zone. He’s a matchup nightmare at 6’7″ and 255 pounds, so look for the Lions to continue to target the undrafted rookie near the goal line. VERDICT: A TE2 with upside as he becomes more involved in the offense; can’t continue TD reception rate; quality add in larger leagues or leagues with favorable TE scoring rules.
Jordan Reed – Washington Redskins (4.0%/27.66%/9%)
Reed is quickly making Redskin fans forget about Fred Davis as he continues to provide quality play from the TE position. For the third time in four weeks, Reed was targeted six times against the Cowboys and converted those into four receptions for 58 yards. As RG3 continues to get healthier, look for opportunities in the passing game to continue to grow. VERDICT: Established himself as the lead receiving TE for Washington; lack of TDs is concerning; TE2 with upside as offense continues to improve.
QUICKIES: If Josh Freeman (QB, Minnesota Vikings) was dropped after his departure from Tampa Bay, this may be the time to pounce on the former Kansas State Wildcat. He appears to be in line to start for Minnesota as soon as he learns the playbook…Stevan Ridley (RB, New England Patriots) has worked his way back into the starting job for Bill Belichik. If he’s somehow available, grab him now…Chris Ogbonnaya (RB, Cleveland Browns) continues to see a lot of work in the red zone and in passing situations. He is quietly becoming a RB2 in PPR leagues…Brandon Jacobs (RB, New York Giants) is just about the only healthy option for the team right now. He’s a plodder, but should see the majority of the work going forward…Michael Floyd (WR, Arizona Cardinals) may see more targets as Larry Fitzgerald works his way back from a hamstring injury. Add him if you need WR depth or BYE week help…Marvin Jones (WR, Cincinnati Bengals) seems to have secured the #2 slot opposite A.J. Green after his week six performance. Monitor his playing time to see if he’s worth adding…Jeff Cumberland (TE, New York Jets) sees a bump in his value with the Kellen Winslow suspension. He’s a decent play for the next three weeks, but nothing more.
So, who did I miss? Who am I way off on? Drop a comment below or hit me up on Twitter (Follow @FantasyFreakFFW) and let me know. Feel free to drop me an email as well at firstname.lastname@example.org for any fantasy questions you might have. Look for my “Hot Off the Wire” series every Tuesday!