FANation let's be honest. Last week was a phenomenal week for the waiver wire. This week has some good players, but they aren't superstars. And usually around this time of year, the waiver wire is pretty juicy. It's been pretty dry the past few weeks. It's been bland and boring. Rashaad Penny was literally in the process of being written up in the article and as I typed his FAAB bid, he fumbled the ball. Pete Carroll values ball security so I think I'll avoid Penny this week unless a serious injury happens to Carson. But we'll be patient one more week before doing a deep dive as the playoffs approach and we have to examine more players almost by default. I'll be in the NFL Seasonal Chat Tuesday night to answer questions hopefully around 8:00pm ET. Check out this week's best options on the waiver wire!
Kirk Cousins (MIN); FAAB Bid: 10-14% - Entering Week 10 Cousins was the ninth-ranked quarterback in four-point per passing touchdown leagues. Cousins didn’t light up the stat sheet, but he exorcised his demons with a big win in primetime and had a pair of touchdowns in the first half. Granted, both were one-yard passes so it’s a bit fluky. Alas, he still has 13 touchdowns in his last five games and just one interception. In fact, he has just three interceptions and five turnovers all season long. He’s done well to protect the ball, but the efficiency and passing volume was minimal to start the year. He’s been more active as a passer and even looked more at Dalvin Cook , which has helped his numbers lately. Cousins does have a bye in Week 12, but in Weeks 13-16 he’ll play the Seahawks, Lions, Chargers, and Packers. Those could all be competitive games for the Vikings.
Ryan Tannehill (TEN); FAAB Bid: 7-8% - Ryan Tannehill is strangely giving himself a decent floor on a weekly basis and it’s hard to believe it’s sustainable, but here we are for the fourth straight week and he’s delivered at least 18 points in four-point per passing touchdown leagues. The passing volume will fluctuate, but surprisingly he only threw it 19 times in a competitive game against the Chiefs. He’s on bye next week, but he’s worth adding now with nine total touchdowns in his last four games. The schedule isn’t terrible and he’s continuing to put up decent numbers against the expectations of many, including yours truly.
Nick Foles (JAC); FAAB Bid: 7-8% – It was announced last week that Foles would be eligible to return off Injured Reserve and he would once again be the starting quarterback for the Jaguars. Gardner Minshew did a decent enough job, but looked awful in Jacksonville’s last game in London. Not to mention, the Jaguars paid Foles a lot of money in the offseason ipso facto the Jaguars want him to be their starter. Foles may have to shake off a little rust, but the Jags are 4-5 and have an outside shot of making the playoffs as a Wild Card team. The upcoming schedule for Jacksonville is very friendly for fantasy players. Through Week 16 Jacksonville will face Indianapolis, Tennessee, Tampa Bay, Los Angeles (Chargers), Raiders, and Falcons. Four of those six games are on the road so it’s a lot of travel, but those could all be games where Foles puts up decent numbers.
Sam Darnold (NYJ); FAAB Bid: 6% – It happened! It finally happened! Weeks of touting and defending him have finally been justified! Well…that’s debatable. In four-point per passing touchdown leagues, Darnold got you 21 points this past Sunday. But a good chunk of that came on a two-yard touchdown run, which you can’t always plan for with him. In four of his last five starts he’s thrown 32 or fewer passes, which isn’t a promising volume. But the schedule is pretty good for the next four weeks so it could get better against some cupcake secondaries. The magic probably runs out in Weeks 15 and 16 when he goes up against the Ravens and Steelers, but in the short-term he’s playable in two-quarterback leagues or Superflex formats.
Brian Hill (ATL); FAAB Bid: 10-13% - If the ankle injury to Devonta Freeman is severe then Hill gets a big bump. Ito Smith is on IR with a concussion so all it would take is a serious injury to Freeman for Hill to be a hot commodity on waivers. Once Freeman left the game, Hill rushed for 61 yards on 20 carries and scored a touchdown on a ten-yard reception. The volume in rushing attempts was largely due to the fact the Falcons were up big late in the game and just wanted to burn the clock. Hill has some tough matchups coming up against defenses that are pretty good against the run, but the workload enough would make Hill an attractive waiver option. At worst, he could be worth stashing and if you’re a Freeman owner you may need to pay a little more for his handcuff.
Peyton Barber (TB); FAAB Bid: 7-8% - We’ve seen this story multiple times this year from Tampa Bay. Ronald Jones II is still the lead running back in this backfield, but Peyton Barber shouldn’t be completely forgotten about as we saw on Sunday. Both Barber and Jones found the end zone and carried the ball 11 times. Barber actually rushed for more yards, but neither really lit up the stat sheet. This is a difficult backfield to read, but the general consensus is that Jones will still get more of the work overall, but Barber is worth a stash on the off chance something happened to Jones. The offense is finding its groove in the second half of the season and the Bucs backfield will continue to be frustrating at times, but Barber is worth rostering going forward.
J.D. McKissic (DET); FAAB Bid: 7-8% - Well so much for what was spent on Ty Johnson. I’d still love to see the Lions give him an actual shot at a larger workload, but they just don’t have the faith in him (and now he’s in concussion protocol). Personally, I don’t have much faith in McKissic, but he’s never really been given a chance to be “the guy” with either the Seahawks or Lions. He led the team in touches this last week, although he didn’t do much with the workload. He finished with 16 total touches for 55 total yards. The upside lies in PPR formats where six of his touches were receptions. The Lions were without Matthew Stafford on Sunday, and the struggles on offense were apparent. The Lions historically struggle to run the ball even in the midst of a career year from Matthew Stafford . But based on the workload we’ve seen lately, McKissic is worth stashing in deeper leagues especially with Johnson’s injury.
Derrius Guice (WSH); FAAB Bid: 5-6% - Guice was activated off IR last week with the Redskins getting a week off and he may be ready to go this week against the Jets. He flashed some talent in the preseason, but he’s been dealing with serious injuries for a majority of his young career. The injuries may have caused people to sour on Guice a bit, but he’s still a talented running back if he can stay on the field. He won’t take the ball away from Adrian Peterson right away, but the Redskins haven’t had much of an opportunity to see what they have with him so there’s a chance they want to get him going without risking injury. But that’s a bit of a challenge in professional football.
DeVante Parker (MIA) ; FAAB Bid: 15% - Consider this last call on DeVante Parker . To no one's surprise, with Preston Williams done for the year and Mark Walton suspended, Parker saw ten targets, catching five passes for 69 yards. He didn’t find the end zone, but he has 34 targets in his last four games and he’s developed great chemistry with Ryan Fitzpatrick . They have a tough matchup next week against the Bills, but he was able to find the end zone against them a few weeks ago. If Fitzmagic continues to pepper him with targets, Parker’s a flex play.
Darius Slayton (NYG); FAAB Bid: 12% - Slayton broke out with a monster game this past Sunday against the Jets. He led all Giants pass catchers in targets by a wide margin with 14. The next closest was Golden Tate with eight. Overall he finished with ten catches for 121 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He now has four touchdowns in his last three games. The downside is that the Giants are on bye next week and when they return they play the Bears. But his schedule in the fantasy playoffs is shaping up to be quite delicious with the Eagles, Dolphins, and Redskins on tap in Weeks 14-16. No need to go too crazy with the bid, it’s just one game and he may not be productive for a few weeks.
James Washington (PIT); FAAB Bid: 6-7% - Washington has strung together back-to-back solid performances at the right time. He’s caught 10 of his last 11 targets for 159 yards and a touchdown, including a 90-yard outing this past Sunday against the Rams. Over the course of his next four games he’ll face the Browns (twice), Bengals, and Cardinals. Those secondaries don’t exactly strike fear in their opponents so Washington becomes a decent flex play in 12-team leagues. The Steelers will also try and get JuJu Smith-Schuster going, but if Washington can get six or seven targets he could turn them into decent production.
Hunter Renfrow (OAK); FAAB Bid: 5% - The yardage has been minimal for Renfrow, but he’s been getting more offensive snaps, he’s running more routes, and you just get the sense there’s a desire to get him more involved. Tyrell Williams and Darren Waller have had to play second fiddle to the running game, but Renfrow has flashed some promise. He has two touchdowns in his last three games with at least four receptions in each game. That may not sound like a lot, but he’s got some reliable hands and he’s pretty elusive. He’s available in most leagues, but no need to go crazy with the FAAB bid if Darius Slayton is also out there.
Jared Cook (NO); FAAB Bid: 10-13% - Cook made his first appearance since Week 6 and he didn’t disappoint. He displayed little, if any at all, rust by hauling in six of his ten targets for 74 yards. You’ll take that kind of production from a tight end any day of the week. He may only be available in shallow leagues, but he’s clearly the tight end to target off waivers. He gets a solid matchup next week against the Buccaneers who have been beaten previously by opposing tight ends.
O.J. Howard (TB); FAAB Bid: 8-10% - I’m hesitant to suggest going up to 10% of your FAAB for Howard because he’s had just one good game (which came this past Sunday), and even in that contest he finished with just 47 yards. But he did see seven targets and he found the end zone for the first time this year. The tight end position has become more of a “flavor of the week” position to fill and given that fantasy football is a highly reactionary game, we’ll give him some love. He came into this season with high expectations, but quickly fell out of favor with the coaching staff. Perhaps he’s getting back in their good graces? Hopefully this is a sign of things to come.
Kyle Rudolph (MIN); FAAB Bid: 5% - It’s not the sexiest pick, unless you’re into tattoos, but Kyle Rudolph has been productive in deeper league formats. He now has scored in three of his last four games (with two touchdowns Sunday night) as he’s benefitted from Adam Thielen being injured. The targets aren’t noteworthy, nor are the catch totals, but he’s getting looked at when the Vikings are closing in on the end zone. This is a trend, and a player, worth keeping an eye on in Minnesota. He hasn’t had many relevant fantasy seasons of late, but you could do much worse at this position.
Pittsburgh Steelers – If the Steelers are still available in your 10-or-12 team league then they need to be owned, especially if you’ve struggled at the position this year. They’ve forced 17 turnovers in their last five games and the secondary has been phenomenal since they acquired Minkah Fitzpatrick . Technically the Steelers defense allowed just an extra point and a field goal to the Rams this past week. That’s pretty damn good against the reigning NFC champions. The Steelers defense is legitimate with a great matchup next week against the Browns. They’ll be a popular waiver option this week.
Oakland Raiders – The Raiders are a great streaming option this week against the Bengals. It’s a home game (their third straight) and they’re high off a big division win against the Chargers last Thursday night. With Ryan Finley under center for the Bengals, there’s little optimism for Cincinnati. Are the Raiders a great defense? No, and it sucks that rookie Karl Joseph is on IR. Regardless, this is a prime matchup for a streaking team against one of the worst offenses in the league.
Atlanta Falcons – That’s no typo. I’m actually recommending the Falcons, but still prefer the Raiders or Steelers if you can get them. The Falcons pass rush was virtually non-existant for the first half of the season and then they blew up and sacked Drew Brees six times last week. They held the Saints to just 52 rushing yards and nine points on offense. And the Saints offensive line aren’t pushovers. That’s one of the five best offensive lines in the league so this is an impressive showing on the road by the Falcons defense. They’re on the road in Carolina next week, but the Panthers offensive line is far worse than the Saints and if the pass rush shows up again then Kyle Allen could have his hands full.