As has become our custom here at Rotoworld, Andrew has written a general column focusing on high potential waiver wire claims likely to be available in most 8-team leagues. To add some color to his general recommendations, I’ve solicited questions from you, our readers, on Twitter to add some real life (ok, as real life as fantasy games can get) situations that may help you evaluate your own waiver wire decisions.
Each match week, we will post a Tweet on Mondays asking for you to attach a picture of your squad accompanied by the players you are considering bringing in on waivers. The goal is for our answers to help you specifically on Twitter and then to feature a few of the questions in this column each week because the situation seems likely to be applicable to other managers.
Here are the highlights from the Waiver Wire between Match Week 2 and Match Week 3.
The first one came without an image of a squad but @lucidswirl sent:
@nealjthurman What are your thoughts on Toby’s value at Spurs now that he’s back? Worth a pick up in Draft?
— lucidswirl (@lucidswirl) August 23, 2018
It was widely assumed that Spurs had been planning for the departure of Toby Alderweireld for months given the money spent on the acquisition of Davinson Sanchez. It was good fortune to have a pre-purchased heir to Alderweireld’s position last season when the Belgian went down injured for a significant period of time. Spurs kicked on with little disruption of service at the back.
Fast forward to the summer when Alderweireld-to-Manchester United rumors were frequent and loud to the extent that many thought it was another done deal. Most drafts happened before deadline day and my sense is that, like me, most managers valued all three Spurs center backs as starters – Vertonghen and Sanchez at Spurs and Alderweireld at United. When Alderweireld’s move failed to pan out, confusion about how minutes would be allocated at Spurs were prevalent.
After Alderweireld (but not Vertonghen) was left out of the starting line-up for Week 1, many managers may have assumed that Alderweireld would be the odd man out going forward. Week 2 brought a three-man center back group from Mauricio Pochettino and threw cold water on that notion.
No one at Spurs has said anything on the topic so we’re left to our own logical analysis on this one. Alderweireld is generally thought of as among the best center backs in the world. With Mousa Dembele seemingly out of favor and Victor Wanyama unreliable from a health standpoint, a 3-man CB corps with Eric Dier in front of them probably makes more sense than any other Spurs alignment.
Given this logic, I’d certainly put in a waiver claim on Alderweireld as having top 10 defender upside if he starts regularly. It might be that he won’t start regularly but unless the five defenders already on my squad were rock solid (and @lucidswirl’s are very, very good with Robertson, Mendy, Azpilicueta, PVA, and Bailly), I’d play for the upside.
Hi Neal. In 9 ppl draft. I'm toying with switching Doucoure for either Hughes or Iwobi who are both still available or maybe attempting trade offer for Sessegnon (unlikely)? Or stick with Doucoure? Any thoughts would be appreciated! pic.twitter.com/9YC3FHrR2G
— Diarmuid Gallagher (@diarmuidmusic) August 22, 2018
The important factor in this decision is being certain that you can field a full squad each week. While Doucoure isn’t a sexy pick, he’s almost certain to start every week and we don’t have any reason to suspect that he won’t deliver similar results to last season (which were pretty good). With Son away on international duty, this team (meaning the manager's who wrote in, not Spurs) is already a bit thin in midfield. Adding Alex Iwobi, who is certainly not a guaranteed starter at Arsenal, makes little sense to me regardless of what you think about his upside in the weeks he does start. You just can’t afford to take too many zeroes.
As far as Will Hughes goes, I like him a lot as a player and think he’d out-perform Doucoure in fantasy points if both played the same number of matches. The concern with Hughes is, and has been, his ability to stay healthy. If I were picking someone up for Week 3 only then I’d likely say “yes” to Hughes over Doucoure. The concern is what happens if/when Hughes gets injured and someone else has picked up Doucoure off of waivers.
The ideal manager to take a chance on Hughes is one who already has four rock solid, week-to-week starters. In that scenario, you have the luxury of picking up a potential high-upside pick who you won’t be too upset about losing if the injury bug strikes again.
@nealjthurman I have Schurrle in a draft league. Would you hold or drop him for Moura, Gray, or Deeney? What about Bailly. Patience or look for other options? Thanks.
— Greg Pietrykiewicz (@GregJP99) August 22, 2018
I’m still bullish on Fulham. Certainly, the results for the team overall and Schurrle specifically have been frustrating over the first two weeks of the season. If I had a very short-term horizon on this decision then I’d absolutely want Moura over Schurrle while the Cottagers figure things out. If I’d started my season 0-2 and needed to get back in the hunt for a title, then that’s probably the right move.
If you purchased Schurrle as a high upside option that you were hoping could potentially finish as a Top 20 midfielder then I’m not sure we’ve seen anything to take you off of that stance. He was in the middle of multiple scoring opportunities against Crystal Palace in Week 1 and was unlucky not to have at least won a penalty in the second half along with very strong goal and assist chances that were just off in the first half.
In contrast to Schurlle’s season-long potential, Moura looks to have a clear shot at a starting role until Son gets back but looks like a rotational piece after that who will be productive when he plays but will likely not play enough to be anything more than a 4th or 5th midfielder in your squad and ideally be paired with Son in your team. As far as Gray and Deeney, yes, they both scored last weekend and the potential is there but we have ample evidence that neither is much more than a 3rd forward option in the PL.com format. Maybe one or both surprise but bringing in either for Schurrle feels like an over-reaction to one week.
Looking forward to more questions following Week 3.