With another week in the books, it should be pretty clear whether or not your fantasy team is a playoff contender. If it isn’t, then I guess at this point you just want to salvage your fantasy dignity and avoid finishing in last place. But if it is, good work so far, this has been a hectic fantasy season to say the least, and there is still more work to do.
With the trade deadline upon us, some big names could be moved that will ultimately make or break your roster. At the time that I am writing this, some big names that have been moved include: Kenyan Drake, Mohamed Sanu, and Emmanuel Sanders. There are plenty of rumors formulating about other potential trades including superstars A.J. Green and Melvin Gordon.
With many trade rumors circulating, a slew of superstars on bye weeks, and various injuries, it is important to monitor the waiver wire this week as there could be some big-name pickups. As usual, I will put my start/sit predictions at the end of the column.
Waiver Wire- Receivers
On a bye: Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley, Michael Thomas, Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods, Brandin Cooks, A.J. Green, Tyler Boyd, Auden Tate, Alex Erickson
Key Injuries: Adam Thielen (hamstring), Will Fuller (hamstring), Sterling Shepard (concussion), Davante Adams (toe), DeSean Jackson (groin), Marquise Brown (ankle), Dede Westbrook (shoulder)
Johnson had the best fantasy game of his young career on Monday night, totaling five receptions for 84 yards and a touchdown, granted it was against the Dolphins. Regardless, Johnson displayed excellent speed on his 45-yard touchdown.
With that touchdown, Johnson has scored a touchdown in the past three full game’s he has played with Mason Rudolph. He’s the clear No. 2 receiver in Pittsburgh and at some points he even looks like their primary weapon. Johnson is a solid WR3 in fantasy going forward, especially when he sees favorable matchups.
This one is more of a weekly matchup play, as Dede Westbrook is expected to miss the Jaguars 9:30 a.m. contest with the Texans. But, Conley has totaled 7 receptions for 186 yards and a touchdown on 14 targets throughout the past 2 weeks so he has shown the ability to produce even with Westbrook present.
The Texans have surrendered the most fantasy points to opposing receivers this season, so I’m expecting a very productive week out of Conley. I don’t typically do a deep dive into quarterbacks, but I would have to say Gardner Minshew is also a prime waiver wire target this week due to this favorable matchup.
Sterling Shepard has shown he is completely unreliable throughout the past couple of years, and Slayton is making a name for himself in his absence. The rookie receiver out of Auburn hauled in two touchdown passes this past Sunday, bringing his season total to 3.
The Giants have a tough matchup on Monday night against the Cowboys, so I’m not expecting much.
But, the Giants close out the season with matchups against the Eagles twice, Washington, and Miami. If Slayton remains the No. 2 receiver opposite Golden Tate, he could hold some fantasy value down the stretch.
Other Players Worth Considering: Danny Amendola, Phillip Dorsett, A.J. Brown, Mohamed Sanu, Cole Beasley, Josh Reynolds
Waiver Wire- Running Backs
On a bye: Devonta Freeman, Alvin Kamara, Latavius Murray, Todd Gurley, Joe Mixon
Key Injuries: James Conner (shoulder), David Johnson (ankle), Chase Edmonds (hamstring), Matt Breida (ankle), Miles Sanders (shoulder), Chris Thompson (toe), Jaylen Samuels (knee)
Guice, a former second round pick out of LSU, had some hefty expectations coming into this year. Unfortunately, he was unable to stay healthy yet again as he tore his right meniscus one week into the season. Guice is on track to return week 11 against the Jets, following the Redskins bye week.
If you want to get your hands on Guice I would suggest picking him up this week, as next week there could be steep competition for him. It remains unclear how the Redskins will use Guice when he returns, but we know he is a talented runner and he has the potential to be a fantasy starter, so long as the touches are there.
Samuels looks like he could be the starter for the Steelers with both James Conner and Benny Snell battling injuries. Similar to the Chiefs, it seems as though just about any running back to suit up for the Steelers as the primary back is successful.
The Steelers will take on the Colts, which is certainly not an easy matchup as the Colts have only surrendered five rushing touchdowns this year. I believe Samuels would be a solid flex play if Conner is unable to suit up, and if Conner is sidelined for an extended period of time, Samuels could work his way up towards RB2 territory.
Entering Week 8 it was heavily speculated that we could see a Kenyan Drake trade in the near future, and that is exactly what happened. Drake was traded to the Cardinals for a 2020 sixth round pick, leaving behind Mark Walton to assume primary running back duties. Walton has totaled 14+ touches in his last two outings even with Drake still on the squad.
Obviously, he is still playing for a horrible team that doesn’t seem too concerned with winning. With that being said, I wouldn’t back the truck up to get him, but if you’re completely running back deprived, Walton looks like he could be a decent option going forward should he remain the lead running back in Miami.
Other Players Worth Considering: Kenyan Drake, Tra Carson, Alexander Mattison, Raheem Mostert, Kalen Ballage
Le’Veon Bell Mark Ingram
DJ Chark Christian Kirk
Josh Jacobs Terry McLaurin
Kenny Golladay Golden Tate
Emmanuel Sanders Sony Michel