by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
Looking to hit the waiver wire? Who isn’t looking to improve, though making any hasty decisions off one game could ultimately prove more costly than helpful. With that in mind, let’s take a look at a few players who may be available and if they are worth targeting or not:
Kapri Bibbs – Running Back – Denver Broncos
With Paxton Lynch struggling at QB (104 yards thrown) and Devontae Booker once again failing to produce (18 carries for 35 yards and 1 TD), Bibbs exploded on limited touches as he took 5 carries for 49 yards. While he hasn’t impressed overall this season, with 29 carries for 129 yards, you know that the continued problems for Booker has got to be opening up an opportunity. Over the past five games look at the yards per carry marks that Booker has posted:
- 2.8 (19 carries)
- 2.2 (10 carries)
- 3.2 (24 carries)
- 3.3 (24 carries)
- 1.9 (18 carries)
Booker’s longest run all season has been 18 yards (Bibbs had a 24 yard romp in Week 13). There’s no reason to think Bibbs’ role isn’t going to increase at this point.
Verdict – Must add
Zach Zenner – Running Back – Detroit Lions
He was playing behind Dwayne Washington, but after Washington was forced from the game with an ankle injury Zenner stepped up and delivered as he took 9 carries for 40 yards. If Washington is able to return next week Zenner should once again fade into obscurity (he has 63 career carries in 16 games), but if he’s out? Zenner suddenly gets some under-the-radar appeal in a matchup against the Chicago Bears. In other words, his potential appeal will solely depend on the rest of the corps around him.
Verdict – Worth buying if Washington is out
Ladarius Green – Tight End – Pittsburgh Steelers
After being targeted 9 times over his first three games, Green saw a significant increase in his usage as he was targeted 11 times against the Giants. He turned those opportunities into 6 receptions, 110 yards and 1 TD, and while he isn’t likely to see that much production on a weekly basis there obviously is significant upside. The offense is always going to be centered around Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown, there has been a significant void behind them. There’s a very good chance that Green remains an integral part of the offense and should be viewed as a low-end TE1 for the remainder of the season.
Verdict – Worth adding
Tyler Lockett – Wide Receiver – Seattle Seahawks
The numbers are gaudy, as he posted 138 total yards and 1 TD. Of course a lot of the damage came on a 75-yard run, as his 5 catches (on 6 targets) for 63 yards is relatively pedestrian. There’s upside, but it’s hard to imagine him being more than fourth or fifth on the depth chart so why’s there to get excited about?
Verdict – Impossible to trust
Brandon LaFell – Wide Receiver – Cincinnati Bengals
He led the way for Cincinnati with 7 targets, turning them into 5 catches, 95 yards and 1 TD. While he’s no guarantee to remain the leader with A.J. Green out, he’s now been targeted 16 times over the past two games and should much better production in Week 13 (he had 3 catches on 9 targets in Week 12). That improvement and potential makes him worth grabbing as a WR3/4 if you are in need.
Verdict – Viable addition
Mike Gillislee – Running Back – Buffalo Bills
He carried the ball 8 times for 49 yards and 2 TD, giving him 6 TD over his past seven games. You would think that would excite us, though we all know that he’s going to play behind LeSean McCoy and the only way he is going to take on a significant role is if there was an injury. Could he have big days as a TD vulture, as he did yesterday? Absolutely, and if you are desperate for a FLEX he could hold value. Most weeks, though, he’s nothing more than a handcuff.
Verdict – Must own handcuff
Josh Bellamy – Wide Receiver – Chicago Bears
In a game played in poor weather Jordan Howard is justifiably getting the bulk of the attention (32 carries for 117 yards and 3 TD). That said, given the conditions Bellamy’s performance may be even more impressive as he racked up 4 catches for 93 yards (on 6 targets).
Bellamy’s opportunity did come when Marquess Wilson got hurt again (he always is battling an injury of some sort). Even if Wilson is able to play in Week 14 you would think that Bellamy, who clearly has a rapport with Matt Barkley, has earned a role in the offense. Of course Barkley doesn’t offer much upside for any receiver and the matchup with the Lions in Week 14 isn’t the most ideal. There are probably better gambles to take.
Verdict – Hard to trust
Paul Turner – Wide Receiver – Philadelphia Eagles
After debuting last week Turner played a big role on Sunday with Jordan Matthews sidelined. Of course he, like many of the Eagles, benefited from the team falling behind and needing to throw the ball 60 times. Just look at the targets:
- Zach Ertz – 15
- Dorial Green-Beckham – 10
- Trey Burton – 9
- Paul Turner – 8
Turner turned those targets into 6 receptions for 80 yards. Can we really expect the team to throw the football that many times? Could Matthews return and take a large role? Turner could have appeal in a receiving corps that needs help, but he’s going to be impossible to trust.
Verdict – Pass
Sources – ESPN, NFL.com
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