2014 Fantasy Football, Week Nine Waiver Wire: Charles Sims and Martavis Bryant

Charles Sims

Week eight of the National Football League is in the books. And with that, football fans are looking towards the fantasy football waiver wire to see if their team can be improved in any way. And at this point, it’s probably time to cut bait with some of the names near and dear to your heart, because the fantasy football playoffs are quickly approaching.

Before we get to this week’s potential waiver wire pickups, it’s important to note that I WOULD spend my first waiver priority on a few players from the list below. Also, players listed below are in no particular order, so be sure to read them all.

Week 9 Byes: Atlanta, Buffalo, Chicago, Detroit, Green Bay, Tennessee

Charles Sims | Buccaneers

Bucs’ rookie Charles Sims is expected to return from the injured-reserved designated-to-return list as soon as next week, which could make Doug Martin expendable at the trade deadline. Whether Tampa chooses to send Martin packing tomorrow or not, Sims will likely be given the opportunity to contribute out of backfield immediately and often. In four collegiate seasons between Houston and West Virginia, Sims carried the ball with an average of 5.9 yards/carry and scored 40 touchdowns. He also caught more than 200 passes with a 10.4 yards/reception average and added 11 touchdowns through the air. The competition at this level will be stiffer, no doubt, but Sims has the ability to be an all-purpose back with a higher ceiling in points-per-reception fantasy football formats. Bobby Rainey should already be owned in your league as well, but if by chance he’s available, give him a whirl as well.

Consider in leagues: 10-team
Waiver Priority Worthy: 1 and lower
Spend this much FAAB to acquire: 30% or more
Players I’d drop for him: C.J. Spiller, Matt Asiata, Chris Johnson

Jonas Gray | Patriots

Gray carried the rock 17 times for 86 yards on Sunday against the Bears. The former Notre Dame bruiser ran well in the second preseason game as well — earning 12 carries for 98 yards, good enough for an 8.2 yards/carry average — but not many will take those numbers too seriously. Gray seems like the best bet to continue getting the north-south type of work in New England, while Shane Vereen will be catching passes from Tom Brady out of the backfield. The Patriots get the Broncos in week nine, a beneficial matchup for fantasy running backs, but game flow will likely determine if New England can stick with the ground game or abandon that in order to keep up with Denver in the event of a shootout.

Consider in leagues: All
Waiver Priority Worthy: 2 and lower
Spend this much FAAB to acquire: 25% or more
Players I’d drop for him: C.J. Spiller, Matt Asiata, Chris Johnson

Mark Ingram | Saints and Denard Robinson | Jaguars

Okay, this is more of a “please triple check your waiver wire” than anything else. Both Ingram and Robinson are owned in less than 70% of Yahoo! leagues at the time of this writing, which is borderline criminal heading into the bigger bye weeks.

Consider in leagues: All
Waiver Priority Worthy: 1 and lower
Spend this much FAAB to acquire: 50% or more
Players I’d drop for him: C.J. Spiller, Matt Asiata, Chris Johnson

Martavis Bryant | Steelers

Featured in this column for the second consecutive week, Martavis Bryant deserves to be added in just about all formats going forward. Bryant reeled in five-of-seven targets for 83 yards and two touchdowns in week eight’s effort at home against the Colts. The rookie earned two red zone targets — equaling Antonio Brown’s two — and managed to connect with Ben Roethlisberger on both for scores.

Consider in leagues: All
Waiver Priority Worthy: 4 and lower
Spend this much FAAB to acquire: 10-15%
Players I’d drop for him: Wes Welker, Brian Quick, Hakeem Nicks

Brandon LaFell | Patriots and John Brown | Cardinals

Tom Brady looked for LaFell 12 times on Sunday and they connected on 11 of those targets for 124 yards and a touchdown. LaFell has been consistently seeing between four and eight targets per week, eclipsed the 100-yard mark twice and now owns four touchdowns on the season. He should be added, but proceed with caution as we never know how Bill Belichick will use his personnel.

Sure, Brown’s fantasy production in week eight relied heavily on the 75-yard touchdown grab late in the fourth quarter that propelled Arizona to a victory over Philadelphia. Sure, that may not happen again going forward, but the point is, it could. Brown is a burner. And in each of the four weeks since the Cardinals’ bye in week four, Brown has been targeted the same or more than Michael Floyd. In the four games since said bye, the Cards have targeted Brown 28 times to Floyd’s 21. I’m not going as far as saying John Brown is better than Michael Floyd, or, to drop Michael Floyd for John Brown because I still believe Floyd is the better pass catcher. But, based on usage we are lead to believe that Arizona likes Brown and/or his recent matchups a lot. Much of the same could continue with defenses paying lots of attention to Larry Fitzgerald and Floyd.

Consider in leagues: All
Waiver Priority Worthy: 5 and lower
Spend this much FAAB to acquire: 10-15%
Players I’d drop for him: Wes Welker, Brian Quick, Hakeem Nicks

Cincinnati, Minnesota, Kansas City or Cleveland’s D/ST

Six teams are on a bye in week nine, so it’s time to cut them loose and find the best of the available squads on the wire. I’ve listed them in the order in which I’d add them based on matchup and potential. Cincy draws Jacksonville, need I say more?

Consider in leagues: All
Waiver Priority Worthy: 8 and lower
Spend this much FAAB to acquire: 0-5%
Players I’d drop for him: your defense on a bye

Digging Deeper:

Donte Moncrief hauled in seven passes on 10 targets for 113 yards and a score in week eight’s shootout with the Steelers. Both the reception and target totals for Moncrief were season highs for the rookie out of Mississippi, but there is clearly a direct correlation to the spike in usage and the absence of Reggie Wayne. While I’d be adding Moncrief in deeper leagues, temper your expectations. After a goose egg in week seven, Markus Wheaton jumped back on the board for the Steelers in week eight with five catches on five targets for 56 yards and a touchdown. Of the two secondary receivers in PIttsburgh, I’d rather own shares of Bryant simply based on size. Both deserved to be owned, though. Mychal Rivera should be considered if your tight ends are on a bye this week. The Raiders’ tight end connected with his quarterback seven times (8 targets) for 83 yards. Three of the seven completions to Rivera went for 10 or more yards, two went for 20 or more. Speaking of Raiders, Andre Holmes is still available in more than 50 percent of Y! leagues. He’s earned 32 targets in their last four games, they’ll continue to throw with Carr, be sure to add him.

2014 Fantasy Football, Week 8 Waiver Wire: Claiming Tre Mason and Bryce Brown

Tre Mason

Week seven of the National Football League is in the books. And with that, football fans are looking towards the fantasy football waiver wire to see if their team can be improved in any way. And at this point, it’s probably time to cut bait with some of the names near and dear to your heart, because the fantasy football playoffs are quickly approaching.

Before we get to this week’s potential waiver wire pickups, it’s important to note that I WOULD spend my first waiver priority on a few players from the list below. Also, players listed below are in no particular order, so be sure to read them all.

Jerick McKinnon | Vikings and Ronnie Hillman | Broncos

Just mentioning these names because they’re owned in less than 60% of Y! leagues. Both McKinnon and Hillman graduated from this column a few weeks ago, but if by chance they’re still available in your leagues, they need to be your first priority. McKinnon is getting the the bulk of carries in Minnesota and they have a few beneficial matchups for ball carriers in the next few weeks (Green Bay and Carolina). He eclipsed the 100-yard mark in week seven on 19 carries, averaged 5.4 yards per rush and caused defenders to miss four tackles.

Hillman ran the rock 14 times for 74 yards (5.3 yards/carry) and found the end zone twice against the 49ers on Sunday. He also added four receptions on four targets for 29 yards out of the backfield for the Broncos. Hillman did this to a San Francisco 49ers defense that was the fourth toughest to opposing fake running backs heading into week seven. And while the lack of Patrick Willis likely aided Hillman’s fortune, he earned more fantasy points against the Niners than DeMarco Murray, Andre Ellington, Matt Forte or Jamaal Charles did so far this season. Parlay this with the fact that Montee Ball may not return soon (or healthy) enough to make a fake impact for teams this season and Hillman’s stock should tick upwards even more.

Consider in leagues: 10-team
Waiver Priority Worthy: 1 and lower
Spend this much FAAB to acquire: 50% or more
Players I’d drop for him: Montee Ball, Matt Asiata, C.J. Spiller

Tre Mason | Rams

Benny Cunningham earned the start for the Rams on Sunday. Zac Stacy saw the field for just one snap. So it was Tre Mason that earned the lion’s share of carries (18) against the Seahawks’ stout defense. He tallied 85 yards and a touchdown, averaging an impressive 4.7 yards per carry and broke a 20+ yard dash for the second consecutive week. The rookie out of Auburn only has one target out of the backfield through weeks six and seven, making him a more interesting target in standard formats. The Rams get the Chiefs, 49ers, Cardinals and the Broncos in the next four weeks, which is not exactly appealing for fantasy owners.

Consider in leagues: All
Waiver Priority Worthy: 1 and lower
Spend this much FAAB to acquire: 50%
Players I’d drop for him: Montee Ball, Matt Asiata, C.J. Spiller

Bryce Brown | Bills and Anthony Dixon | Bills

Both Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller went down with injuries in week seven. While Jackson’s injury could sideline him for about four weeks, Spiller’s broken collarbone could keep him on the shelf for the remainder of the season. In their absence, Dixon saw the work out of the backfield — 13 carries for 51 yards and three catches for 15 yards — but that’s because Bryce Brown was inactive for the seventh consecutive week. Brown did see some action in the preseason — yes, I said preseason — in five games. He ran the rock 33 times for 148 yards (4.5 yards per carry), but failed to get into the end zone. In 2013, Brown averaged 4.2 yards per carry on 75 attempts and 4.9 yards per carry on 115 carries in 2012. Dixon is typically active due to his expanded special teams role, but now could be the bruiser/goal line back for the Bills with the starting duo on the mend. But I think Brown is more of a home run hitter than Dixon, and therefore, the better waiver wire addition until FJax comes back. If you’re a Spiller or Jackson owner and Hillman or McKinnon are already spoken for, consider Bryce Brown with your top waiver priority.

Consider in leagues: All
Waiver Priority Worthy: 2 and lower
Spend this much FAAB to acquire: 15-20%
Players I’d drop for him: Montee Ball, Matt Asiata, C.J. Spiller

Doug Baldwin | Seahawks

The ‘Hawks shipped off Percy Harvin on Friday, clearing way for Doug Baldwin to take on a larger role in Seattle’s passing game. Russell Wilson looked Baldwin’s way nine times on Sunday — a season-high for the former Stanford Cardinal — and he hauled in seven of those targets for 123 yards and a score. Although this week’s performance was just Baldwin’s third career 100-yard receiving game, he should continue to get a significant percentage of the team’s targets going forward. For those in deeper leagues, Jermaine Kearse, Paul Richardson and Cooper Heifert make for some interesting waiver wire targets as well.

Consider in leagues: All
Waiver Priority Worthy: 4 and lower
Spend this much FAAB to acquire: 10-15%
Players I’d drop for him: Markus Wheaton, Allen Hurns, Victor Cruz

Denard Robinson | Jaguars

Another week, another Jaguars’ ball carrier makes the waiver wire list. This week it’s former Michigan quarterback, Denard Robinson. Robinson converted to a skill position once drafted in 2013. He was listed as a wide receiver, athlete and now as a running back. He started week seven as the featured back and carried the ball 22 times for 127 yards and a touchdown. The 127 yards Robinson ran for this week is the most the Cleveland Browns have surrendered through seven weeks (they allowed just 106 yards in week one to Le’Veon Bell). Although he failed to bring in the only target thrown his way this week, Robinson has caught 11-of-12 targets on the year.

Consider in leagues: All
Waiver Priority Worthy: 4 and lower
Spend this much FAAB to acquire: 10-15%
Players I’d drop for him: Matt Asiata, C.J. Spiller, Toby Gerhart

Digging Deeper:

Stepfan Taylor and Travaris Cadet look like deeper waiver wire targets at the running back position. Taylor carried the ball 12 times for 40 yards and found the end zone on Sunday against the Raiders. Cadet hauled in 6-of-9 targets for 51 yards against a tough Detroit defense in a Saints’ loss in week seven. He deserves a look in PPR formats. As noted above, both Jermaine Kearse and Paul Richardson could make a deep league impact without Percy Harvin in Seattle. Steelers’ wide receiver Martavis Bryant caught two passes for 40 yards and a score on Monday Night Football against the Texans. Bryant is physical specimen at 6’4” that may get some more looks going forward when teams choose to double up Antonio Brown. Clay Harbor and Jace Amaro are two tight ends that could make sense for owners as we enter the bigger bye weeks. Harbor gets the Cowboys in week 10, who are notoriously generous to opposing fake tight ends.

2014 Fantasy Football, Week 7 Waiver Wire: Odell Beckham, Jr. Tops The List

odb

Source: Elsa/Getty Images North America

Week 6 of the National Football League is just about in the books. And with that, football fans are looking towards the fantasy football waiver wire to see if their team can be improved in any way. Some fantasy footballers will still react — or, overreact — to their players performances unjustly. Plenty of buzz and player recommendations will surface in preparation of your league’s waiver period causing owners to make rash decisions and drop players they spent months researching.

Before we get to this week’s potential waiver wire pickups, it’s important to note that I WOULD NOT spend my first waiver priority on any player from the list below. Also, players listed below are in no particular order.

Odell Beckham, Jr. | Giants

The rookie is a veteran of the waiver wire here at the Fix, but being owned in less than 40% of fake leagues necessitates a second appearance on the list. OBJ’s second professional outing last evening against the Eagles didn’t go so well — two receptions on three targets for just 22 yards — but, nothing the Giants tried to do last night went well. With Victor Cruz out for the season, Beckham, Jr. — and to a lesser extent, Preston Parker — should see a solid spike in usage/value until the end of the season.

Consider in leagues: All
Waiver Priority Worthy: 2 and lower
Spend this much FAAB to acquire: 10-15%
Players I’d drop for him: Victor Cruz, Hakeem Nicks, Brian Hartline [Read more...]

2014 Fantasy Baseball Rankings Revisited: Jean Segura and Carlos Gomez Discussed

Jean Segura

Major League Baseball’s 2014 regular season is in the books, so it’s time to look back towards Spring Training and reflect upon my preseason fantasy baseball rankings. Many players fell off due to season-ending injuries at some point during the season, unfortunately, but the six below I simply “hit” or “missed” in my initial go-around. Let’s hop to it:

Whiffed:

Jean Segura | SS | Brewers | preseason rank: 7; end-of-season rank: #21
[Read more...]

2014 Fantasy Football, Week 6 Waiver Wire: Ronnie Hillman, Branden Oliver, Andre Williams

Week five of the National Football League is officially in the books. And with that, football fans are looking towards the fantasy football waiver wire to see if their team can be improved in any way. Some fantasy footballers will still react — or, overreact — to their players performances unjustly. Plenty of buzz and player recommendations will surface in preparation of your league’s waiver period causing owners to make rash decisions and drop players they spent months researching. But if I had one recommendation at all, it would be to sit back, relax and let your leaguemates be the ones to overreact.

Before we get to this week’s potential waiver wire pickups, it’s important to note that I WOULD spend my first waiver priority on the likes of Ronnie Hillman, Branden Oliver or Andre Williams if either they are the handcuff to a running back you currently own or you are at risk of missing out on the playoffs. You can’t take the number one waiver priority with you when the season is over, so be sure to use it if you need to make the postseason. Also, players listed below are in no particular order.
[Read more...]

Three Reasons To Like RB Jerick McKinnon In Week 5 And Beyond

McKinnon

If you missed Jerick McKinnon’s first big run of his NFL career against Atlanta last week, watch it right now. The kid gets a nice big hole, sure, but he continues to make great decisions all the way down the field as well, breaking tackles and adjusting to blocks on his way to a 55-yard run.
[Read more...]

2014 Fantasy Football, Week Five Waiver Wire: Consider Jerick McKinnon

Week four of the National Football League is officially in the books. And with that, fantasy football fans are looking towards the waiver wire to see if their team can be improved in any way. Some fantasy footballers will react — or, overreact — to their players performances unjustly during this period. Plenty of buzz and player recommendations will surface in preparation of your league’s waiver period causing owners to make rash decisions and drop players they spent months researching. But if I had one recommendation at all, it would be to sit back, relax and let your leaguemates be the ones to overreact.

Before we get to this week’s potential waiver wire pickups, it’s important to note that I WOULD NOT spend my first waiver priority on any player from the list below. Also, players listed below are in no particular order.
[Read more...]

Catch of the Year Candidate: Steven Souza, Jr.

Steven Souza, Jr., who entered the ninth-inning as a defensive replacement for left-fielder Ryan Zimmerman, made this incredible diving catch to preserve Jordan Zimmermann’s no-hitter:

Besides playing the hero on the final out of the Nationals’ regular season, Souza has also been named the organization’s Minor League Player of the Year. Souza triple slashed .350/.432/.590 with 18 home runs, 75 RBI and 26 stolen bases in 96 games at Triple-A Syracuse.

2014 Fantasy Football, Week Four Waiver Wire: Donald Brown Leads The Way

DBrown

Week three of the National Football League is officially in the books. And with that, fantasy football fans are looking towards the waiver wire to see if their team can be improved in any way. Some fantasy footballers will react — or, overreact — to their players performances unjustly during this period. Plenty of buzz and player recommendations will surface in preparation of your league’s waiver period causing owners to make rash decisions and drop players they spent months researching. But if I had one recommendation at all, it would be to sit back, relax and let your leaguemates be the ones to overreact.

Before we get to this week’s potential waiver wire pickups, it’s important to note that I WOULD NOT spend my first or second waiver priority on any player from the list below. Also, players listed below are in no particular order.

Lorenzo Taliaferro | Baltimore
[Read more...]

2014 Fantasy Football, Week Three Waiver Wire: Add Knile Davis and Bobby Rainey

Week two of the National Football League is officially in the books. And with that, fantasy football fans are looking towards the waiver wire to see if their team can be improved in any way. Some fantasy footballers will react — or, overreact — to their players performances unjustly during this period. Plenty of buzz and player recommendations will surface in preparation of your league’s waiver period causing owners to make rash decisions and drop players they spent months researching. But if I had one recommendation at all, it would be to sit back, relax and let your leaguemates be the ones to overreact.

Before we get to this week’s potential waiver wire pickups, it’s important to note that I WOULD ONLY spend my first or second waiver priority on Knile Davis or Bobby Rainey (if you’re a Jamaal Charles or Doug Martin ownerfrom the list below. Also, players listed below are in no particular order.

Knile Davis | Kansas City and Bobby Rainey | Tampa Bay
[Read more...]