In this weekly series, I will highlight players that are speculative adds in deeper dynasty leagues, since the majority of players often covered in typical waiver wire columns have long been rostered.
No matter how deep your league is or how large the rosters, you should always keep a watch list of players you are considering adding, should the opportunity present itself. The group of names below will help you form that list.
All players mentioned will be owned in less than 20 percent of Yahoo fantasy leagues. I will note that the data presented is based on all Yahoo leagues, not just those designated as keeper or dynasty.
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First, let’s look back at last week Waiver Wired suggestions that gained value, with current Yahoo ownership percentages and percentage change in parentheses.
Mark Sanchez, PHI (43%/+39%)
Mychal Rivera, OAK (34%/+33%)
Allen Hurns, JAX (25%/+11%)
Kyle Orton, BUF (15%/+6%)
Kenny Britt, STL (15%/+6%)
Davante Adams, GB (19%/+6%)
Jordan Matthews, PHI (22%/+4%)
Alfred Blue, HOU (16%/+4%)
Jarvis Landry, MIA (11%/+3%)
Ryan Mallett, HOU (3%/+3%)
Taylor Gabriel, CLE (3%/+2%)
Daniel Thomas, MIA (3%/+1%)
Kenny Stills, NO (14%/+1%)
UPDATE: At this late point in the fantasy season, it’s rare to find a difference maker on the waiver wire, so it’s no surprise to see the new starting quarterback for one of the league’s top offenses as the player gaining the most value over the past week. Eagles’ Mark Sanchez, who will serve as the replacement for Nick Foles over the next few weeks, saw a massive gain in value.
While these players are on the rise, some of last week’s suggestions lost value over the past week.
Donte Moncrief, IND (5%/-10%)
Jonas Gray, NE (9%/-9%)
Teddy Bridgewater, MIN (7%/-3%)
Benny Cunningham, STL (16%/-1%)
UPDATE: I’m surprised to see some owners give up so quickly on Colts’ rookie Donte Moncrief. Yes, his breakout game came with Reggie Wayne out of the lineup, but Moncrief showed he can be relied upon and can produce, both for the Colts and for fantasy owners. Even if Moncrief can’t be used this year, he has massive upside heading into 2015.
1. Drew Stanton, ARZ (1%)
2. Ryan Mallett, HOU (3%)
3. Josh McCown, TB (14%)
4. Michael Vick, NYJ (12%)
5. Kyle Orton, BUF (15%)
6. Teddy Bridgewater, MIN (7%)
o Many of you might be searching this list for a replacement in your fantasy lineup for Cardinals’ Carson Palmer, who suffered a torn ACL in Week 10 and will be lost for the season. I suggest you start that search in the same place Arizona did, with Drew Stanton. Stanton started three games earlier in the season, including an impressive Week 3 game in which he finished among the top 12 fantasy quarterbacks for the week. At 30 years old, Stanton has no real long-term value, but he does have some nice weapons to throw the ball to and the team has shown the ultimate confidence in his ability.
o Since last week’s article, where I suggested stashing Texans’ quarterback Ryan Mallett based on some rumors he could take over the starting job, the former Patriot was indeed named the starter, replacing Ryan Fitzpatrick. Mallett is a tough player to evaluate. He hasn’t started a game since college, but there he displayed both an amazing talent along with some horrendous decision-making, especially off the field, which is partially what led to his drop in draft stock. Mallett was immediately viewed as the eventual successor to Tom Brady in New England, but instead he only threw one pass during his three years with the team. He finally gets his chance in Week 11 as the Texans’ starter and I’m willing to gamble on him in deep dynasty leagues, though I’m not plugging him in as a starter until he shows what he’s learned over the past few seasons in the league.
o Josh McCown reclaimed his starting job in Week 10 and played well enough to finish as the QB4 in fantasy leagues, throwing for over 300 yards, along with two touchdown passes. Some, including myself, were worried about the potential drop in receiver production with McCown back at the helm, but both Vincent Jackson and Austin Seferian-Jenkins had their best days in weeks, while rookie Mike Evans was huge once again. Granted, that all came against the Falcons and their poor secondary, but McCown and the Bucs have some other nice matchups in the coming weeks.
o In his past two starts, since overtaking the struggling Geno Smith, veteran Michael Vick is averaging over 17 fantasy points per game. While Vick does not have the same type of receivers as McCown, he does set himself apart with his rushing ability.
o Week 10 was just another week as a top ten fantasy quarterback for veteran Kyle Orton. Even with his star rookie Sammy Watkins hampered with an injury, Orton still produced and he has some great matchups coinciding with the start of the fantasy playoffs in a few weeks.
o While the Vikings were on bye in Week 10, I still highly recommend their rookie starter Teddy Bridgewater as a player to add, especially if you’re already looking towards 2015 with a struggling team. The former Louisville signal caller has yet to produce a top 12 fantasy game, but he’s showing signs of improvement and could be a fantasy starter in 2015. He’s a great young play to stash on the end of your bench.
1. CJ Anderson, DEN (3%)
2. Isaiah Crowell, CLE (15%)
3. Bryce Brown, BUF (16%)
4. Theo Riddick, DET (6%)
5. Christine Michael, SEA (3%)
6. Damien Williams, MIA (1%)
7. Alfred Blue, HOU (16%)
o Like every year, injuries to running backs are playing a major role in late-season waiver and lineup decisions. After a month long stretch that saw Ronnie Hillman claiming the Broncos’ starting job and scoring as the RB4 in PPR leagues, he suffered a foot injury which kept him out much of the game and will cost him at least the next two weeks, according the reports. In his place, CJ Anderson stepped up and played a great game. In fact, he was the second highest scoring fantasy back in Week 10, behind only Marshawn Lynch. The situation will be dicey in Denver as the starter at the beginning of the season, Montee Ball, is due back soon from his injury and will claim a piece of the running back pie as well. What we know now though is that Hillman and Ball are certainly not on your league’s waiver wire, but Anderson likely is, so grab him and follow the latest news and reports to help decide your week 11 starters.
o The Browns’ running back situation has been even trickier to interpret this season, with all three backs visiting both the coach’s doghouse as well as earning the starting nod. For now, it seems that rookie Terrance West has drawn the favor of head coach Mike Pettine, but as long as they remain healthy, each of the trio, which includes Ben Tate and Isaiah Crowell, will carry the ball. After a pair of games in which he barely touched the ball, some began to give up on Crowell, which is what has landed him on this list. I still believe he’s the most talented runner on the roster and among the top rookie running backs overall. Like I mentioned earlier with Moncrief, you may not be able to start Crowell with confidence this season, but stashing him now could reap huge rewards in 2015.
o While Fred Jackson made his surprise return to the Bills’ lineup in Week 10, it was Bryce Brown, whom the Bills traded for during last off-season, who led the team in touches and total yards. With Sammy Watkins ailing, Brown actually led the team in receiving, catching six of his seven targets. The Bills have a short turnaround, playing the Dolphins this coming Thursday, which could make things tough for Jackson to get back to his usual number of touches. This bodes well for Brown and his short-term outlook, not to mention his prospects entering next season with both CJ Spiller and Jackson entering free agency following this season.
o One player I’ve really grown fond of this season is Lions’ running back Theo Riddick, the second year back out of Notre Dame. Riddick has admirably filled in for Reggie Bush multiple times this season as Bush has dealt with injury after injury. Bush was back in the lineup in Week 10, but not for long as he aggravated his ankle injury. With Bush being slowed by injuries (and age?) Riddick is showing he can be counted on as a playmaker. He caught the go ahead score to seal the win for the Lions over the Dolphins.
o The Seattle Seahawks had an all-time great rushing day in Week 10, led by Marshawn Lynch, who scored four touchdowns and quarterback Russell Wilson, who had his third 100 yard rushing game of the season. Flying a bit under the radar was the best game of Christine Michael’s career, as he rushed for 71 yards and just missed a pair of scores, being tackled at the Giants’ one-yard line on two different runs. Rumors persist that this will be Lynch’s final season in Seattle and Michael is starting to show he can carry the load, when called upon.
o In Miami, reports were that starting running back Lamar Miller would be limited, if he played at all. That report played out as Miller only carried the ball four times, which was third on the team behind Daniel Thomas and surprising rookie Damien Williams. We’ve all seen what Thomas is, and it’s not much. Williams, on the other hand, has a chance to earn a role going forward. Miller has played well this year and is still young enough to play a primary role going forward, but injured veteran Knowshon Moreno is only on a one-year deal and could be gone at the conclusion of the season. I’ve already mentioned the quick turnaround for the Thursday night contest in Week 11, and it will likely affect Miller in the same way it limits Jackson of the Bills, meaning the rookie from Oklahoma could again lead the team in rushing.
o The Houston Texans’ bye week came at the perfect time for veteran running back Arian Foster, who had suffered a groin injury late in Week 9. For now, all signs point to Foster playing in Week 11, but adding rookie Alfred Blue would not be a bad plan, for insurance purposes.
1. John Brown, ARZ (19%)
2. Jarvis Landry, MIA (11%)
3. Marquess Wilson, CHI (0%)
4. Robert Woods, BUF (3%)
5. Donte Moncrief, IND (5%)
o Powered by an impressive five touchdowns so far this season, Cardinals’ rookie John Brown is the WR40 in PPR leagues. While he’s been inconsistent as a fantasy option this year, he’s provided an amazing return on investment, considering he was rarely drafted in dynasty rookie drafts and he’s still on the waiver wire of the large majority of Yahoo leagues. Brown has easily outpaced his much-hyped teammate Michael Floyd and continues to come up big for the NFC leading Cardinals.
o One rookie who is not getting near the attention he deserves is Dolphins second rounder Jarvis Landry, who is the WR24 over the past five weeks, making him a solid WR2 in fantasy PPR leagues. With only Mike Wallace ahead of him on the depth chart, there’s no reason to expect Landry to slow down his growth.
o In the Sunday Night Football blowout loss, star receiver Brandon Marshall suffered an ankle injury that has his Week 11 status in doubt. The good news for the Bears is that promising second-year wideout Marquess Wilson is now eligible to return after missing the season’s first ten weeks with a broken collarbone. Wilson returned to practice last week could make a big impact once he’s back on the field. Prior to his pre-season injury, both Marshall and fellow stud receiver Alshon Jeffery were praising Wilson for his improvement since his rookie season.
o Robert Woods has been greatly overshadowed by teammate Sammy Watkins this season and he’s been somewhat of a disappointment, currently ranking as WR55 in PPR leagues. Over the past four games though, Woods has climbed to WR28 with a pair of big games and an increase in targets from Kyle Orton.
o I’ve already mentioned Colts’ rookie receiver Donte Moncrief as a player to stash. The Colts were on bye in Week 10, but have a huge showdown with the Patriots in Week 11 before a string of potential easy wins. As the end of the season nears, watch Reggie Wayne closely to see if Moncrief can steal some of his touches.
1. Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TB (2%)
2. Jace Amaro, NYJ (5%)
o There are few options at tight end this week, so let’s focus on a pair of rookies who both found the end zone in Week 10. First, Austin Seferian-Jenkins of the Buccaneers continues to impress when he sees targets. With Josh McCown back under center, ASJ had a season high nine targets, catching five of those for 30 yards and his second score of his career. Seferian-Jenkins will continue to battle a pair of skyscrapers like himself, receivers Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans, for targets. Because of this, don’t be surprised if he continues that up and down play, though an increase in red zone targets could be a huge benefit to his game.
o Unlike Seferian-Jenkins, Jace Amaro in New York does not have nearly the competition for looks in the passing game, but he has been just as inconsistent during his rookie year. Both of these are risky plays for the remainder of the season, but they are also must stash players with an eye towards 2015 and beyond.
Some players on Injured Reserve that could be worth stashing for 2015: Stevan Ridley, Dennis Pitta, Brian Quick, Knowshon Moreno, Marvin Jones, Danny Woodhead, Sam Bradford, Tyler Gaffney, Carson Palmer