After a relatively injury free Week 1 in the NFL, with only 1 significant injury for fantasy purposes, Week 2 kicked the injury door off its hinges, particularly at the running back position. This of course has created multiple opportunities for several players to see more playing time as both short term and long term fill-ins for those injured players.
The injury bug slapped the spit out of the running backs in Week 2 namely, Jonathan Stewart, Ameer Abdullah, Arian Foster, Danny Woodhead, Thomas Rawls, Doug Martin and Adrian Peterson all who missed some game action and are anticipated to miss anywhere from 1 game to the rest of the season.
Additionally, we also saw QBs Jimmy Garappolo, Josh McCown and Jay Cutler sustain injuries of varied significance. Therefore, without wasting too much time dedicated to the injuries themselves, let’s tread forward. With help from DFF’s very own Shane Manila @DFF_Shane , K.J. Hanna @DFF_KJ and yours truly, John Di Bari @dibari22, we’ll run down our waiver wire picks for this week in what should be a very active bidding war in your leagues.
In the 1993 classic film “True Romance” Drexl Spivey asks Marty “It ain’t white boy day, is it?”, while tussling with Clarence, Marty replied in the negative, “no it was not white boy day”. Well guess what Drexl? Today might actually be white boy day, at least as far as wide receivers available on the Waiver Wire you should snatch up.
WR: Adam Thielen, Minnesota Vikings
Thielen is coming off back to back 5 target weeks Thielen seems to have passed Charles Johnson as the second favorite WR target in the Minnesota offense. In Week 1 he secured 5 of 5 targets for 54 yards and followed that up with 4 receptions on 5 targets against the Packers Sunday night for 41 yards.
WR: Cole Beasley, Dallas Cowboys
12.5 ppr 10% owned. There’s nothing sexy about Cole Beasley, but he definitely has a defined role with the ‘Boys. With the retirement of Terrance Williams (he is retired right?) Beasley has taken over as the 2nd receiver for the Cowboys. He already has amassed 13 receptions over the first two games, while Dak Prescott gets his bearings as a rookie quarterback. He’s a dependable checkdown option for a young quarterback still learning to read coverages and defensive schemes.
WR: Adam Humphries, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
After the premature demise of Kenny Bell’s fantasy relevancy, upon his release from Tampa Bay in the pre-season, I picked up a few shares of the second year Clemson receiver knowing that someone besides Mike Evans would have to catch at least a few passes each week. Vincent Jackson looks fried and the ir Tight Ends are a jumbled mess at the moment, so the opportunity is there for Humphries to carve out his own role in the Bucs offense. With a catch rate hovering right at about 70% he has shown to be a dependable target…thus far.
RB: Fozzy Whittaker, Carolina Panthers
After battling an ankle this week in practice leading up to Sunday showdown, Jonathan Stewart injured his hamstring against the 49ers and early indications are he could miss at least the next couple of weeks. As a result, RB Fozzy Whittaker is currently believed to be the presumptive starter in his absence. Given the lion’s share of the RB duties, with Cameron Artis-Payne inactive, against San Francisco Whittaker went for 100 yards on 16 carries and 31 yards on 3 receptions. Although, with the caveat that Cam Newton is always a threat to steal goal-line carries, Whittaker should be a low end RB1 with the amount of work he’ll be given while Stewart is recovering.
RB: Cameron Artis-Payne, Carolina Panthers
If you have the roster room available go ahead and snag Artis-Payne as well. Although he was inactive the first two weeks this season, if Whittaker fails to capitalize on his chance the Panthers could turn to the 2nd year RB out of Auburn. Hamstrings are a tricky injury and don’t always heal quickly or fully so a couple of weeks for Stewart could turn into something longer. If Stewart were to be out for an extended amount of time it would behoove you to hedge your Whittaker bets with some CAP bets with the upside of gaining a running back with a hefty workload.
TE: Dennis Pitta, Baltimore Ravens
Talent has never been the issue with Pitta, it’s been a string of injuries that caused him to miss most of 2013, 2014 and all of 2015. Prior to these devastating injuries Pitta was a budding TE1 and seems to have picked up right where he left off in 2012 (his last full healthy season). Going off for 102 yards in week 2 Pitta has clearly re-established his role as the TE1 on the Ravens and if he can remain healthy he will definitely be in the conversion as a top 10 Tight End by season’s end.
RB: Matt Asiata, Minnesota Vikings
I know you’d rather have Jerick McKinnon and I definitely suggest you check the Waiver Wires for him in any leagues you play in with 20 or less roster spots, but I think you might have to be realistic. McKinnon is a metric god with his closest comp being Ladainian Tomlinson who has been fawned over for years now, so don’t count him being available. So even though I can’t offer you a Ferrari I can offer you a nice comfortable slightly used Honda Civic in one Matt Asiata. The last time AP went on a sabbatical due to uh…family issues, Asiata did step up with 570 rushing yards and 44 receptions and 10 total Touchdowns. Does that sound like something that might interest you? I’m not saying this will play out exactly as 2014 did, but he could have some streaming value even if it doesn’t. Additionally, if for some reason only the gods know if McKinnon ca rewrite the history books now that he finally, FINALLY has his shot, well you’ll have Asiata waiting in the wings to plod you to victory.
RB: Kenneth Farrow, San Diego Chargers
The UDFA out of Houston is a stash at the moment. With Danny Woodhead done for the season with a torn ACL, Melvin Gordon is now the only running back on the Charger’s roster of any note. Unless you count Andre Williams and quite frankly no one counts Andre Williams. Farrow only had ten receptions in his senior season at Houston, but totaled 74 for his career, so he may able to fill some of the target hole that appeared with Woodhead’s season ending. Additionally, if something unfortunate were to befall Gordon, which at this point seems extremely likely due to the Chargers stadium being built on a Native American burial ground, Farrow could turn into a lottery ticket that hits.
Last week’s pick ups:
Hopefully you were able to pick up some of last week’s suggested Waiver Wire adds. As a refresher, my suggestions were Tyrell Williams, Quincy Enunwa, Jacob Tamme, Mike Wallace, Alex Smith and Nelson Agholor. Enunwa especially shined this week on Thursday night football. While Williams, Tamme and Wallace all would have been excellent flex starters this week. Alex Smith…not so much.
RB: Jerick McKinnon, Minnesota Vikings – 24% owned
First and foremost, I’m not sure why McKinnon is ONLY 24% owned. I mean, Marshawn Lynch is owned in 7% of leagues. 7%!! We all know AP was not going to be healthy all year so those of you AP owners who don’t own McKinnon, shame on you!! AP will most definitely miss time, how much is still TBD. In the meantime, McKinnon is my top RB pickup for week 3. McKinnon is an electric RB and is more than capable of stepping into AP’s role and produce similar #s both on the ground and can produce more through the air. Matt Asiata (see below) will play a role as well, but until AP returns, JM is the man to own. GET YOUR CLAIMS IN IMMEDIATELY!
RB: Matt Asiata, Minnesota Vikings – .2% owned
Asiata has been the ground and pound RB backup in Minnesota for a few seasons now, but he is nowhere near as talented as McKinnon. However, if you are in a very deep Standard scoring league, Asiata could very well take over the goal line responsibilities and be a TD dependent asset, IF you’re in need.
RB: Kenyan Drake, Miami Dolphins – 1.5% owned
It’s no secret than I am NOT a Jay Ajayi fan and I assume neither are the Fins coaches. With Foster hurt and Ajayi being ineffective in week 2 (2.8 yards/carry and lost a fumble) Drake just needs ‘one chance’ to make an impact on the Dolphins run game. STASH NOW!
RB: Fozzy Whittaker, Carolina Panthers – 2% owned
Shockingly Artis-Payne was a healthy scratch the last 2 weeks, which shows that Whittaker is THE backup to JStew. We all know JStew’s injury history and hammy injuries linger, making Fozzy my #2 RB to pick up this week. He showed his worth collecting 100 yards on the ground and 31 through the air. Next week could be dicey versus a stout Vikings defense, but he could still be a viable PPR FLEX candidate. Of course, if JStew is out for a long period of time, the backfield in CAR could be influx, but my money is on Fozzy to hold onto the role.
RB: Dwayne Washington, Detroit Lions – .3% owned
Abdullah went down with an injury (foot sprain) on Sunday and although he suffered no broken bones, foot pain for a pounding RB is no bueno. We all know how the Lions love to throw and Theo Riddick will be the 1st to benefit due to this situation, however, Washington may look to inherit some of the work load as well. He’s a pickup in only the deepest of leagues, but someone to put on your watch list until there’s more information on this situation.
WR: Will Fuller, Houston Texans – 79% owned
I’m gonna keep this short and sweet. If Fuller is on your Waiver Wire, either you’re in a 8-10 team league and if so, WHY?! Or your league doesn’t like stud WR’s in the making. RUN to the Waiver Wire and make this guy 100% owned.
WR: Mike Wallace, Baltimore Ravens – 63% owned
Wallace’s ownership jumped a mighty 22% last week and for good reason. Wallace has a great connection with Flacco and for 2 straight wks, its shown. Wallace is second on the Ravens in yards and leads the team with three receiving TD’s. He will have a few clunkers in there but every WR has them. Pick this guy up.
WR: Victor Cruz, New York Giants – 42% owned
If you told me that Victor Cruz would not only be a fantasy football asset, but a real life asset in the preseason, I would have laughed at you. But, now who’s laughing? Apparently the Giants look like they may have the best WR trio in the NFL. Cruz has averaged 6 targets and 60 yards per game thus far and is finally healthy. Meaning, he’s a good PPR FLEX or even WR3 if you’re in need. Add him and learn how to Salsa!
WR: Quincy Enunwa, New York Jets – 5.5% owned
Marshall, Decker, Enunwa?! Yes, QE is not only a viable weekly FLEX/WR3, but due to the lack of TE’s in NY, he could become a WR2/3 in deep leagues by years end. Also, with Marshall now dealing with an MCL issue, this could be the perfect time to snag QE cheap. Enunwa has 14 targets in 2 weeks and LEADS the Jets with 13 receptions. Now, QE isn’t a burner by any means, but his target volume and size can translate into many points for your squads. Pick him up and start him with confidence!
WR: Tyrell Williams, San Diego Chargers – 43% owned
With the injury to Keenan Allen in Week 1, Williams saw a huge 42% increase in his ownership. In Week 2, Tyrell showed that he has the skills to not only help Rivers but also be a good compliment to Travis Benjamin. Williams hauled in 3 receptions (on 6 targets) for 61 yards and a touchdown. Williams’ size-speed combination will make him a weekly WR3 with the upside to become a WR2. Adding in the Woodhead injury, Rivers will now need to get crafty with his WR’s. See the next WR add for more…
WR: Dontrelle Inman, San Diego Chargers – 1.4% owned
Disclaimer: ONLY pick up Inman if you are in a very deep PPR league. Inman is mainly a stash and wait kind of player. He showed some sparks of production last year while Malcolm Floyd and Keenan Allen were both injured, but with Tyrell Williams in town, I don’t expect a rerun. However, with the Woodhead and Allen injuries and the aged wonder Gates slowing down, the Chargers would be remiss to not include more offensive schemes involving Inman.
WR: Adam Thielen, Minnesota Vikings – .2% owned
This pick up isn’t for the faint at heart, rather those in 14+ PPR leagues looking for a steady 8-10 points per week kinda guy. Thielen was targeted 5 times by Bradford versus the Packers and can be trusted for 4-40 every week (so far). So, if you’re truly desperate, you could do worse.
TE: Dennis Pitta, Baltimore Ravens – 10% owned
2 offensive Ravens players on this week’s Waiver Wire adds?! Yep, because the Pitt is back!!! I let my own over analyzing beat my gut thinking in adding him to one of my squads, don’t let it happen to you. If you’re in need of a TE he is a solid pickup. Pitta saw a ridiculous 26% of Joe Flacco’s pass attempts in Week 2, hauling in 9 receptions for 102 yds. The TE pool is less than mediocre and it’s doubtful you can actually find a weekly contributor on the Waiver Wire. So, if Pitta is available, add him.
TE: Vance McDonald, San Fransisco 49ers – 6% owned
Ok, so Vance only had 1 catch, but it was for 75 yards and a TD. He’s not a sexy add but his size, especially in the Red Zone will help the 49ers lack of offense production this year. Also, I expect Gabbert to be looking at McDonald a lot more in the future and especially versus Seattle this upcoming week. He’s still available in 94% of leagues. If you’re in need of a TE or have an open bench spot, snag and spot start when needed.
TE: Vernon Davis, Washington Redskins – .7% owned
KJ’s Bonus Buy Lows:
RBs: Mark Ingram, LeGarrette Blount (my preseason doubters see why I was higher on him than most), Lamar Miller (if the owner is panicking), Eddie Lacy (they’ve faced nasty defenses thus far, take advantage).
WRs: Dez Bryant (some still don’t believe), Randall Cobb (the offense will click soon), Allen Robinson (if the owner is panicking), Michael Floyd, Tyler Lockett (good things coming).
RB: Dwayne Washingon, Detroit Lions
Ameer Abdullah is out for an unspecified period of time with a foot injury. Therefore, with Theo Riddick cemented in as the change of pace back (even though he has seen an uptick in carries this season), the door is open for the rookie to make an impact. Washington looked sharp in the pre-season and was already being used as Detroit’s goal line back, I can see Joique Bell-esque numbers for Washington in Abdullah’s absence.
RB: Kenneth Farrow, San Diego Chargers
Melvin Gordon is locked in as the lead back here, but Woodhead was an extremely valuable piece to the Charger’s offensive attack, and was outstanding for fantasy purposes finishing as a top 3 running back last year in PPR leagues. Never has the phrase “next man up” been more accurate. With virtually nobody left in the San Diego backfield, the opportunity is there for the 2nd year player from Houston to carve out a little niche for himself out of the hole left by Woodhead’s departure. In college he showed he was a more than capable blocker and pass catcher and if he can even produce half of the numbers Woodhead put up, you could be looking at 500 total yards with 5 touchdowns and 40 receptions, not too bad for a Waiver Wire flier.
RB: Payton Barber, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
With Doug Martin out, Charles Sims obviously is the biggest recipient of touches, but there will still be more chances for others to play a role. Barber is next on the depth chart and in the past the Bucs have made players like Bobby Rainey relevant when injuries hit their lead back.
WR: Kenny Britt, Los Angeles Rams
That’s the first time I’ve written LA Rams, and I don’t like it. Speaking of things I don’t like, Kenny Britt. It doesn’t matter what I like though, because Jeff Fisher loves him. He’s getting his targets, averaging 8 per game, and since the Rams and Jeff Fisher are terrible and they’re going to be trailing AND they’re going to be throwing….often, you could do a lot worse if you’re desperate for WR help.
WR: Marquise Goodwin & Greg Salas, Buffalo Bills
Sammy Watkins is hurt…again. Rex Ryan is coaching for his livelihood so he doesn’t care if he ruins Watkins career by not letting him heal up, so he’s going to trot out there at 40% each week as a decoy opening up the opposite side of the field for guys like Goodwin & Salas, who both scored a touchdown this week. They’re both kinda meh, so pick your poison, but each week one of them will get an opportunity with the defense still focusing on Watkins.
TE: Dennis Pitta, Baltimore Ravens
Heeeee’s baaaack! One of Joe Flacco’s favorite targets in years past who has just been decimated by several significant injuries over the last 3 seasons. Nevertheless, it looks like Pitta is back to being the primary safety valve for the Ravens offense. It’s not crazy to imagine a healthy Pitta repeating his 2012 numbers of 60+ catches for over 600 yards with 7 TDs.
QB: Sam Bradford, Minnesota Vikings
If you watched the Sunday night game then you’ll know that he only had 2 weeks of preparation to get ready for that 1st start with the Vikings. How do I know that? Because Chris Collinsworth only mentioned it 473 times during the broadcast. That being said, the former #1 overall pick did look good and maybe, just maybe, he may finally live up to expectations.
QB: Brian Hoyer, Chicago Bears
At the time of this writing there is no news about Jay Cutler’s injured thumb, however my initial guess is that he is going to miss some time. Hoyer is one of the more capable backups in the NFL and although he’s not the sexiest option out there, you could do worse if he is named the starter later in the week.
QB: Jacoby Brissett & Cody Kessler, Patriots & Browns, respectively
Really scraping the bottom of the barrel here, but in really deep 2 QB leagues, these guys are looking like week 3 starters. I don’t think you can expect much from either one of them, but if your other option is taking a 0 at QB this week, both should be available in nearly 100% of leagues.
As always good luck this week, hopefully you’ll find yourself 3-0 when all is said and done. There are lots of great options out there this week, especially at running back. Keep an eye out for breaking injury news too, because if any of the earlier mentioned players end up missing significant time, their replacement’s value goes up even more.