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Working the Waiver Wire: WRs Catching On

We have yet to see an Alfred Morris like stud emerge from the waiver wire this season, but that has not stopped several lightly owned options from stepping up in a big way. With the wave of injuries at the wide receiver position, it will be a pass-catcher heavy edition of Working the Waiver Wire. Fortunately, there are a number of wideouts available in a whole bunch of leagues who look to be developing into solid week-to-week starts. Lets dive in with a potion-by-position look at the top options available in >50% of standard leagues, arranged in the order in which we’d be scooping them up off the wire.

Quarterback

Nick Foles (PHI): 15% owned

Foles was nearly perfect Sunday versus the Buccaneers, registering a 133.3 quarterback rating in his first start of the 2013 season while leading the Eagles to their third victory of the season. Foles finished the day with 296 yards on 22 of 31 passing while tossing three touchdown strikes and adding another one-yard TD plunge. Let’s not be to quick to forget that Foles showed similar poise and production last season, registering two 300-yard games in his last three starts while coming out in relief for a banged up Mike Vick. It’s clear that Chip Kelly’s innovative offense will continue to create opportunities for the Eagles play-makers and Foles has enough talent to keep this machine chugging while Vick is down. Enter a Week 7 date with a Dallas defense that has allowed 329 passing yards per game this season and a league-worst 22.7 fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks (followed up by a visit from the reeling Giants who can’t stop anyone) and you have a very nice plug and play option for the next couple of weeks. If you are a Drew Brees owner looking for a one-week stop-gap, Foles may just be your answer.

Terrelle Pryor (OAK): 36% owned

He’s not going to help you in Week 7 due to the Raider’s upcoming bye week, but Pryor has shown more than enough to warrant consideration as an add in every league. Pryor has made five starts this season, and finished with double-digit fantasy points in each and every game. He’s averaging close to 60 rushing yards per game — a stat line that we fully expect to stick — which really requires him to throw for no more than 150 yards and a touchdown in any given game to make a run at the top-10 among fantasy QBs on a week-to-week basis.

Other names of interest: Sam Bradford, Brandon Weeden

Running Back

Andre Ellington (ARI): 37% owned

We’ve been crowing about Ellington since the second week of the season and it is nice to see his on-field opportunities beginning to more-closely reflect the apparent talent gap in the Arizona backfield. Ellington is earning a larger and larger portion of the rushing workload and, as he continues to out-produce Rashard Mendenhall, we expect the backup to eventually overtake his veteran counterpart. The team is not quite ready to make Andre their every-down pounder, but Ellington is trending his way towards 15-20 touches on a weekly basis, more than enough opportunity to make him a top-20 option at running back. In Week 6, he turned just seven carries into 56 yards and a touchdown while gaining another 36 yards on five catches, leading to an impressive 7.6 yards per touch. For the season, Ellington is averaging 8.2 yards per touch (25 carries, 18 receptions) and has scored a pair of touchdowns. He’s the top add this week, just as he’s been for the last several, but the difference is that now you may have some competition when looking to acquire the shifty back.

Zac Stacy (STL): 39% owned

Stacy had another solid game as the Rams’ lead back with Daryl Richardson slipping further and further behind his backfield mate. Stacy is available in a ton of leagues and while the schedule ahead is nothing short of daunting (@CAR, vs. SEA, vs. TEN, @IND, BYE) a pickup is warranted for RB-needy teams. If Stacy continues to get 15-20 carries per game, he’ll be a FLEX option, at worst, even in these tough matchups.

Roy Helu (WAS): 18% owned

Alfred Morris is the clear No. 1 in Washington and probably the only running back you feel confident in starting in this backfield. Still, Helu has shown some flashes of late and moves solidly into “handcuff” territory. He turned 10 touches (6 carries, 4 receptions) into 77 yards in Week 6 and will continue to thrive in the change-of-pace role for the ‘Skins. If Al-Mo were to go down, Helu possess RB1 upside.

Other names of interest: Joseph RandleBrandon Jacobs, Donald Brown, Shane Vereen

Wide Receiver

Keenan Allen (SD): 36% owned

We all knew that Eddie Royal would not continue to be the number one fantasy option in the San Diego passing game even after his two week scoring outburst to open the season. Now, we are finally seeing rookie Keenan Allen emerges as that top option. Allen reeled in nine balls for 107 yard and a touchdown on Monday night, his second straight week with over 100 yards and a score. Allen, the 76th overall pick in April’s draft, offers decent size, speed and hands and has all the physical tools to succeed in the NFL. The Chargers’ offense is quite possible the most surprising unit in football through the season’s first six weeks and as long as Philip Rivers continues to protect the football, the Bolts will continue to move the sticks.

Percy Harvin (SEA): 45% owned

He’s not going to help you in Week 7, and possible not for several weeks after that, but if you have had a solid start to the year and are already looking ahead to the fantasy playoffs, you simply must grab Harvin off the wire. Now!

Terrence Williams (DAL): 43% owned

The return of Miles Austin muddies the waters quite a bit for Williams, but he was able to salvage his Sunday with a touchdown against the Redskins. Following the game, head coach Jason Garret expressed disappointment in Austin’s play, potentially shifting the heavy end of the platoon back to Williams — at least temporarily. A dream matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles pathetic secondary looms. Get Williams off your wire and into your lineup now.

Kris Durham (DET): 1% owned

Durham, and not Ryan Broyles, has stepped up in recent weeks as the Lions No. 2 option in the passing game and with Megatron slowed by a recent knee injury, the wideout is getting plenty of attention from his former college teammate, Mathew Stafford. The Lions continue to be one of the highest volume passing attacks in the NFL, resulting in plenty of work for the starting wide receivers to carry a significant amount of fantasy value. Durham — 8 catches on 13 targets for 83 yards in Week 6 —  is sneaking his way towards the top-30 during the bye weeks and could remains an every week option in PPR formats even after that.

Other names of interest: Brandon LaFell, Marlon Brown, Aaron Dobson, Jarret Boykin

Tight End

Jordan Reed (WAS): 9% owned

It has been evident to anyone paying attention to the Redskins that Reed has become the team’s most effective tight end as Fred Davis has been slow to get back to 100% coming off his Achilles injury. Reed has seen six targets in each of his past two starts and gained over 50 yards in each. The workload isn’t quite there to make him a must start in 10-team leagues, but as Robert Griffin III develops an even better rapport with the rookie, the numbers will start to pile up.

Other names of interest: Dallas Clark, Joseph Fauria, Lance Kendricks

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