In this weekly article Michael Stephenson (@DFF_Mste) and Andrew Mendoza (@DFF_LeGrand) break down the hottest waiver wire adds of the week. We focus on identifying players who are owned in less than 50% of redraft leagues, who are going to help your team win this week and every week to come! We will give you guys you should be able to plug into your starting lineup without hesitation, as well as some bench stashes who could become starters in the coming weeks.
There will be no recommended FAAB spends in this article as those decisions always depend on your team’s needs.
These guys have a chance to contend for your starting lineup this week
Keke Coutee, WR, HOU
Ownership – ESPN 20%, Yahoo 33%
Week 6 vs BUF, Week 7 @ JAX
Coutee now has 22 targets in his first two NFL Games, catching 17 passes for 160 yards and 1 TD. With Deandre Hopkins drawing the best coverage and defenses worrying about the deep threat of Will Fuller, Coutee is left to wreak havoc from the slot. Coutee could be in for another big week in Buffalo and beyond that, he seems to have developed himself as the WR2 in Houston. Not only should Coutee be owned, but he should also be considered an every week start at this point until he proves otherwise.
Wendell Smallwood, RB, PHI
Ownership – ESPN 8%, Yahoo 4%
Week 6 @ NYG, Week 7 vs CAR
When Jay Ajayi went down earlier in the season everyone flooded to pick up Corey Clement and it was Wendell Smallwood who ended up performing better, running for 56 yards and a touchdown with 3 receptions for 35 yards through the air. This past week with Jay Ajayi exiting the game with an injury, and Clement missing the game entirely, Smallwood again performed well averaging 9 yards per carry on his 3 runs with 44 yards and a touchdown through the air. There is no telling which of the 2 remaining running backs will perform better going forward, as the Eagles are committed to their committee backfield, but this is a high scoring team and whichever you pick up will have a good chance of performing as a flex option most weeks.
Corey Clement, RB PHI
Ownership – ESPN 28%, Yahoo 23%
Week 6 @ NYG, Week 7 vs CAR
Despite being held out of the last two contests, Corey Clement has still managed to work his way into this week’s waiver wire discussion, although not exactly to his own credit. Following the news on Monday that Jay Ajayi will be out for the year with an ACL tear, both Clement and Wendell Smallwood became instant waiver wire adds, along with injured Darren Sproles. Despite Philadelphia’s RBBC approach, Clement has shown good productivity when active this year, averaging 4.1 YPC while demonstrating sound pass-catching ability out of the backfield. While much is yet to be determined, he should be rostered in most if not all league formats.
Jameis Winston, QB, TB
Ownershi – ESPN 13%, Yahoo 19%
Week 6 @ ATL, Week 7 vs CLE
Unfortunately, it did not take long for Fitzmagic’s magic to run out, and following the week 5 bye, Famous Jameis has been thrust back into the starting role for Tampa Bay. While uncertainty looms anytime a player is coming back from an extended period of time off, one thing is for certain: The Buccaneers offense is stockpiled with weapons on the outside that will fuel the high octane aerial attack we came to see in the first few weeks. While it wasn’t pretty, Winston had a decent game in relief of the aforementioned Fitzpatrick in week 4, going 16-20 for 145 yards, 1 TD and 2 INTs in the second half. It wasn’t perfect, but with bye weeks looming, Winston has both streaming and possible starting value in your line up in weeks to come.
Robby Anderson, WR
Ownership – ESPN 42%, Yahoo 31%
Week 6 vs IND, Week 7 vs MIN
I have admittedly always been a Robby Anderson truther, so his week 5 performance vs Denver was, of course, no shock to yours truly (well maybe a little). Mr Anderson was on full display against a struggling Broncos defense, rewarding patient fantasy owners with 3 receptions for 123 yards and 2 TDs. Despite off the field issues which threatened a suspension until recently, Anderson has continued to develop a rapport with rookie QB Sam Darnold, and it may finally be paying off. While further evaluation may be necessary in order to feel confident starting Anderson, as Darnold grows into the position, his receivers will begin to reap the benefits, with Anderson being the most to gain in deeper 12 team leagues.
Worth a shot
If these guys don’t go into your lineup this week, they have a chance to work their way in very soon.
Taylor Gabriel, WR, CHI
Ownership – ESPN 15%, Yahoo 18%
Week 6 @ MIA, Week 7 vs NE
Taylor Gabriel is coming off of a Week 5 bye, after his breakout game in week 4, catching all 7 of his targets for 104 yards and two touchdowns. This means he may just be left on the wire when he would usually be a top add for the week. Gabriel is averaging 7 targets per game through 4 weeks, if the Trubisky we saw in week 4 turns up again in the future Gabriel should have some serious upside.
Ronald Jones, RB, TB
Ownership – ESPN 18%, Yahoo 25%
Week 6 @ ATL, Week 7 vs CLE
This year got off to a pretty rocky start for the former 2nd rounder out of USC. From a disappointing preseason to beginning the season as a healthy scratch, high hopes and expectations for Jones quickly plummeted along with any real fantasy consideration. In week 4, the powers that be in Tampa Bay decided that they should roll out Jones against the league’s number 1 rushing defense in Chicago. Despite another flat performance, Jones was able to outpace Peyton Barber although his ceiling was limited from playing most of the game from behind. This one will be an interesting situation to monitor moving forward. Even though he has been less than impressive thus far, the Bucs brass will undoubtedly be curious to see what they have in their second round pick, and following their week 5 bye, we just might be seeing more of the former Trojans running back.
Chester Rodgers, WR, IND
Ownership – ESPN 7%, Yahoo 5%
Week 6 @ NYJ, Week 7 vs BUF
Chester Rodgers is coming off back to back 11 target games, catching 8 in each game for 85 and 66 yards respectively. The Colts face the Jets and the Bills in the next 2 weeks and Rodgers has developed a rapport with Andrew Luck. TY Hilton has struggled to stay fit if he misses more time Rodgers could be an every-week WR3. The target volume alone is worth a bench stash, and if it continues your confidence in starting him will grow from week to week.
Geoff Swaim, TE, DAL
Ownership – ESPN 7%, Yahoo 9%
Week 6 vs JAC, Week 7 @ WASH
As a real-life Dallas Cowboys fan (yes we actually exist), there is nothing that I cringe at more than considering any player not named Zeke for fantasy purposes. The offense has been bland, the play calling has been elementary, and Dak is looking like a true blue 4th round draft pick. With that being said, every quarterback needs a safety blanket, and while Dak’s might be Zeke Elliott, Geoff Swaim may quickly contend for a piece of that pie. With 3 catches on 5 targets and a TD in week 4 and 3 catches on as many targets for 55 yards against the Texans on Sunday, Swaim is worth keeping an eye on as the season continues.
Ownership – ESPN 6%, Yahoo 20%
Week 6 vs BUF, Week 7 @ JAC
I’ve never had it happen to me, but I imagine that tearing your left Achilles and its subsequent recovery would be a fairly daunting process, particularly if you’re an NFL caliber running back. D’Onta Foreman knows that struggle all too well, but fortunately for him and the Texans offense, Foreman should be returning in early November to help lighten the load for Lamar Miller and Alfred Blue. While much is yet to be seen, this could pan out to be a sneaky waiver wire add in deeper 12 team leagues with little depth at the position on waivers.