Working the Wire
It was a most interesting Week in the NFL, with a historic performance from a relatively unowned QB, a number of multi-touchdown wide receivers that nobody had in their lineup (Riley Cooper/Devon Bess/Jericho Cotchery… come on down!), and an elite fantasy performance from one Tom Brady. It wasn’t all unscripted, however, as we did see Darren McFadden exit on the Radiers’ first drive with an injury and we also watched Ray Rice struggle once again, so some of Week 9 unfolded as expected. Of course, that’s all while ignoring perhaps the biggest story line to emerge from the week, Aaron Rodgers‘ injured left shoulder/collarbone that, according to reports, does not look good.
While A-Rod owners attempt to make plays for Week 10 (and hopefully not beyond) many others will rejoice in the relatively lighter bye week with four teams off (Cleveland, Kansas City, New England and the Jets). We are going to shift through the scrap heap heading into Week 10 and give you a couple of quick thoughts on a number of players available in >50% of standard Yahoo leagues.
Working the Waiver Wire
The list below is arranged in the order in which we would select these guys if drafting today for the rest of the 2013 season. Of course, team needs will dictate your top targets, but we’ll leave that to you!
Aaron Dobson (NE – WR) 51%
For a few weeks now, Aaron Dobson has seen his playing time increase steadily. While he had shown flashes early on, inconsistency on both the quarterback’s and the receiver’s end of this connection reared it’s ugly head. Sunday, the Tom Brady we all know marched right back into Gillette Stadium and with it, planted Rob Gornkowski, Danny Amendola, Stevan Ridley and…… Aaron Dobson right back into the discussion as elite fantasy players. We thought we were just waiting on Gronk for things to click, and even though it took just a bit longer, this offense is ready to rock. Dobson was on the field for virtually every play and saw nine targets on Sunday leading to five catches, 130 yards and a pair of scores on Sunday. He needs to be owned in every league, make that happen.
Shane Vereen (NE – RB) 46%
Though Stevan Ridley showed some signs of life in recent weeks, Vereen will have a large role in the offense once he returns. The Pats are on bye this week, but now is the time to scoop up the versatile running back.
David Wilson (NYG – RB) 31%
Wilson got some positive news early this week, though he is not yet cleared to play. As Rotoworld points out, despite Wilson’s frustrating start to the season, the electric sophomore has averaged 4.4 yards per carry over his first 21 NFL games with seven total touchdowns. Elite upside remains, don’t let that sit out on the wire.
Andre Brown (NYG – RB) 37%
Injuries have plagued Brown throughout his career and this season started no differently, with a broken leg in the preseason. He’s back to 100% and is finally eligible to return after being placed on IR to stat the season. He Giants’ backfield is a murky mess, but Brown knows the offense and showed last year that he’s more than your average thumper. With New York’s offense finally starting to show some life, Brown has flex appeal in Week 10 with the potential for a larger role heading into the playoffs.
Nick Foles (PHI – QB) 27%
Coming off of a masterful performance, Foles will likely be the top add for Aaron Rodgers owners when he, ironically enough, takes on that very Packers team in Week 10. We still have our doubts that Foles role as the Eagles’ No. 1 is solidified in the long term, but for now, he looks like a top-12 fantasy play with the Birds getting back to their up-temp0 game plan.
Rashad Jennings (OAK – RB) 12%
With Darren McFadden once-again sidelined with injury, Jennings stepped up in a big way against a mediocre Eagles defense. He rumbled for 102 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries and added seven catches for 76 yards in the passing game. DMC seems unlikely to do any running in practice this week, so Jennings and Marcel Reese are thrust back into a time share atop the depth chart. Take his performance in a tasty matchup with a grain of salt, but he gets the equally porous Giants next week and if you continue to struggle with running back depth, Jennings is worth a look.
Lance Moore (NO -WR) 46%
Moore was listed in this space last week and with Marques Colston and Darren Sproles exiting early with a concussion, Moore became the top non-Jimmy Graham option in the Saints’ aerial attack. He’s not gonna explode on the stat sheet, but it is hard to argue with nine catches for 104 yards and a TD on 14 targets over the past two weeks.
Kendall Wright (TEN – WR) 51%
Jake Locker’s favorite target continues to produce solid totals for fantasy owners, though we’d appreciate a few more scores. since a pitiful week one, 5.8 catches for 70 yards per game. Solid numbers for PPR owners.
Mike Brown (JAX – WR) 7%
Brown is likely to be the biggest benefactor of Justin Blackmon‘s season-ending suspension and has been coming along of late. In the three games prior to the Jags’ Week 9 bye, Brown reeled in 12-of-19 targets for 202 yards and a touchdown.
Riley Cooper (PHI – WR) 12%
Cooper put together his second 100-yard receiving game of the season on Sunday — both with Nick Foles at the helm — and also hit pay dirt three times, bumping his season total up to five. He has the size of a solid red zone threat, but Cooper’s hands have failed him all too often. He’ll be on the radar as a WR3 moving forward, but expecting defenses to let him just run free down the sideline week after week is a fool’s errand.
Roy Helu (WAS – RB) 44%
Tough to trust in his current role, but if something were to happen to Alfred Morris, Helu would be a top-12 running back.
Dennis Johnson (HOU – RB) 0%
Johnson showed flashes on Sunday, gaining 36 yards on eight totes and while ben tate was able to tough it out for 81 yards on 22 carries through four broken ribs, he and Arian Foster remain clear injury risks. Foster owners need to keep Johnson at arm’s length and if you are through with most of the bye weeks, it’s time to consider handcuffing your handcuff.
Mike Tolbert (CAR – RB) 37%
Jonathan Stewart returned in Week 9, just in time to muck up the fantasy value of backfield-mate Deangelo Williams. Still, the most valuable running back on the Panthers remians Tolbert, who gets the majority of the work in close and chips in just enough in the passing game to get into double-digits on a weekly basis for PPR players.
Brandon Lafell (CAR – WR) 25%
Lafell continues to see soft coverage working across from veteran stud Steve Smith and has been turning that into solid production on a semi-frequent basis. In his past four weeks, he’s been held under 40 yards twice, but also put up two solid fantasy performances. He’s a boom-or-bust option down the stretch.
Eddie Royal (WR – SD) 47%
Royal hit the end zone on Sunday for the seventh time this season and for his second time in as many games. He’s a decent gamble for a score in his current role, but we’ll leave him at the bottom of this list for the touchdown chasers out there. Aside from the scores, Royal has put together a pretty mediocre season, grabbing more that three passes just three times all season and catching more than four balls just once. This is not an elite option.
Tim Wright (TE – TB) 13%
I suppose we need to put a tight end on the list. Wright has scored in back to back games and is becoming a fast-favorite of rookie QB Mike Glennon. We prefer a matchup-based approach to picking our tight ends, but Wright should move to the top of the list if you are looking to hitch your wagon to one guy for a stretch run.
Shonn Greene (TEN – RB) 17%
Well he didn’t quite get to the 15 carries prescribed by head coach Mike Munchak, but fantasy owners who rolled the dice will hardly be disappointing in the 9-for-38 performance with a touchdown. He’ll continue to get work at the goal line in an improving Titans offense.
Marlon Brown (BAL – WR) 10%
Brown had a big week while teammate Torrey Smith was blanketed by Joe Haden in Week 9 and though he’s shown more than enough to warrant fantasy consideration, Joe Flacco’s inconcistency and the presence of Jacoby Jones leave him lacking in opportunity.