Lot of heavy hitters on bye week this week; not to mention how many studs now have the injury bug. With season-ending injuries to Le’Veon Bell and Keenan Allen plus bye weeks for Arizona, Baltimore, Detroit, Houston, Kansas City and Seattle many teams are going to be short of their normal starting rosters. This week, we have a few must adds, plus the routine waiver wire wonders.
**Owning percentages are based off of ESPN Standard Leagues**
DeAngelo Williams (Pittsburgh), Jeremy Langford (Chicago), Malcom Floyd and Stevie Johnson (San Diego)
All four of these players are must-haves at this stage of the season. Williams will be leading the Steelers’ rushing attack the rest of the season due to Bell’s injury. For those of you who don’t remember, Williams was leading the league in rushing yards after the first two weeks of the season before surrendering starting duties to the Michigan State product.
Langford will be taking over for Matt Forte in Chicago. Forte may very well come back at some point this season, but until there’s an actual timetable set for his return, Langford is a must-have and a must-start at this stage. Currently he’s still barley owned in 60% of leagues (58% as of this article’s publication), so those you in need of a starting running back this week should jump on Langford’s stock.
Both Floyd and Johnson will look to pick up the load left after Keenan Allen’s unfortunate lacerated kidney. Considering both of these players are still owned in less than 55% of leagues I highly suggest jumping on either one at this point. Floyd has proven to be a more reliable touchdown threat so far this year, but Johnson has the more explosive playmaking abilities. Considering that Rivers is on pace to set a NFL record in passing yard and attempts, there is no reason not to buy high on both these players.
Derek Carr – Oakland Raiders – Owned in 47.8% of leagues
Currently Carr has 15 touchdowns to 3 interceptions to date. Why he’s owned in less than 50% of leagues is beyond me. Yet, anyone who has Carson Palmer on bye this week should look at starting Carr. Don’t let the matchup against Pittsburgh fool you, Pittsburgh still gives up plenty of yards through the air to opponents. They have given up 903 passing yards the last three weeks.
Jay Cutler – Chicago Bears – Owned in 23.6% of leagues
Cutler is a gun-slinger and Monday Night’s game against the Chargers is looking like the perfect setting for a good old-fashion shootout. The Chargers’ defense doesn’t scare anyone and both quarterbacks in this matchup love to throw the ball and they love to throw it often. I’m not saying this matchup will be a repeat of that history-making Saints vs. Giants game this past weekend, but it might come awfully close to it.
Darren Sproles – Philadelphia Eagles – Owned in 40.6% of leagues
This is more of a gut-call than a stat call. Philly is coming off their bye-week and Sproles has a reputation of carving up divisional opponents. In deeper leagues he’s worth a flex-play against Dallas this week.
Jamison Crowder – Washington Redskins – Owned in 7.7% of leagues
If DeSean Jackson still can’t play this week, I like Crowder as a legit WR2 option this week. Even if D-Jack can still play I like Crowder as a flex-play. The Patriots secondary isn’t as good as everyone believes. They give up a ton of yards through the air and unless a team decides to run nothing, but short passes and screens (i.e. Miami last Thursday) this secondary can get beat deep and often. Plus, I like the upside of a Washington offense coming off a bye week following that big come-from-behind win over Tampa Bay two weeks ago.
Dontrelle Inman – San Diego Chargers – Owned in 1% of leagues
This is simply a supply and demand pick-up. With so many teams on bye this week, depending on your waiver order pickings could be slim. Rivers is going to throw the ball and he’s going to spread the ball all over the field Monday night especially without his number one guy Allen. There will be no shortage of production and I expect Inman to have a nice breakout game Monday. Depending on how things shape up in San Diego he could have a much larger role in the Chargers’ offense as their go-to slot receiver.
Heath Miller – Pittsburgh Steelers – Owned in 42.4% of leagues
I said last week Miller would bounce back and he did in a big way, blowing up the Bengals secondary for ten catches on 105 yards. As long as Big Ben is under center I’d continue to expect routine TE1 production from Miller.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Owned in 15.6% of leagues
I know I continue to put him on my list and he continues to stay injured. This week it is looking like Jenkins will finally return to the line-up and it comes just in time for a juicy matchup against the beleaguered Giants secondary. Just like the last few weeks, if he’s healthy enough to suit up – play him.
Vernon Davis – Denver Broncos – Owned in 40% of leagues
Following the deadline trade, Davis now finds himself on an offense that can effectively move the chains. I’ve never been a big Davis fan during his tenure in San Francisco, but that was largely because he always played for a run-first offense. He’s moving to Denver where they already have an explosive offense in place and quarterback that loves to find his tight ends. Davis is an extremely skilled route runner and I expect him and Manning to find an immediate rhythm within the next two weeks. I’d pick him up now before his stock soars even higher (since the trade his owning percentage has risen 25%).
As always good luck and here’s to finding this week’s #waiverwirewonder!