by Will Overton
For the second straight week the NFL will have six teams on bye weeks, and for the second week in a row fantasy owners all over the world will be scrambling on the waiver wire trying to fill holes on their team left by these bye weeks.
It truly can be maddening, especially considering this coming week will see two of the most potent offenses in the NFL on bye week, as well as the fantasy laden 49ers team and the receiving corps of the Giants. It’s going to be tough sledding, but we here at RotoProfessor are committed to helping you through it.
Therefore I present to you this week’s waiver wire pickups, five guys floating around in a majority of leagues who should be owned.
Andy Dalton – QB, Cincinnati Bengals: It’s amazing how a guy gets dropped so fast when he is struggling, but it takes so long for his ownership to bounce back once things are going good again. That’s the case with Andy Dalton who despite playing well for three straight weeks is out there in a lot of leagues still. I’m sure his 5 TD performance yesterday will have things changing in a hurry.
Dalton now has three straight games going over 300 yards and has 11 TD’s total in those three games. You can’t expect this kind of pace to last, but he’s still better than a lot of backups owned in more leagues than him, including Eli Manning, Joe Flacco, Alex Smith and Ben Roethlisberger, all four guys I’d rather have Dalton over. Not to mention he has another nice matchup this week against the Dolphins secondary. If you have Peyton Manning, Matt Stafford or Colin Kaepernick and you’re not satisfied with your current backup filling in this week, look for Dalton.
Pierre Thomas – RB, New Orleans Saints: This one is almost a mention by default. I don’t love his matchup this week with the Jets, and I don’t love anyone in the Saints running game. However, a feature back in any offense who is touching the ball 18 – 22 times a game is worth owning most of the time. Thomas seems to have become that featured back in New Orleans.
He’s averaging almost 15 carries per game the last three weeks and he has 19 touches per game counting receptions. The numbers aren’t great, especially the 0 rushing TD’s, but he has averaged 4.6 YPC each of the last two weeks. The Jets are going to be tough on him this week, but we’re looking at six top 35 RB’s out on bye, not counting any injuries. If you need a RB the pickins are probably slim and the fact that Thomas could get 20 touches has to be appealing.
Marvin Jones – WR, Cincinnati Bengals: We talked about Dalton and his 5 TD game this past week, well here is the guy who caught 4 of those TD’s and earned an obligatory spot in this week’s waiver column. Jones is owned in a grand total of 1% of ESPN leagues, but that numbers about to change dramatically. It’s going to be tempting to write his 8 catches, 122 yards and 4 TD’s off as a one hit wonder fluke, but that might be a mistake.
Obviously this is probably a career kind of game for him, but he’s been doing pretty well before this. Jones was coming off two straight double digit fantasy point games going into this one. Jones is looking like the complement to A.J. Green that the Bengals have been desperately searching for the last two seasons. Jones has speed and is showing good hands and I don’t think he’s going anywhere. Don’t expect anymore 40 point games from him, but I do think he could be a nice WR3 for a lot of teams desperate for help at the position.
Kenny Stills – WR, New Orleans Saints: Given the struggles the Saints have had getting consistent production from their receivers, namely Lance Moore, Still has a golden opportunity in front of him. The rookie from Oklahoma put himself on the map this week with a 3 catch, 129 yard and 2 TD performance against the Buffalo Bills.
The Saints might be rolling, but they are a pass happy team that needs playmakers. Darren Sproles has been relatively quiet in the passing game and Jimmy Graham is banged up. With Lance Moore not doing his job, Still has a chance to do it. He’s not the same kind of possession receiver as Moore, he’s more of a big play threat, but he’s going to start getting more time on the field and more looks if he keeps this up. I’d rather have Marvin Jones, but Stills might not be a bad flier if that’s not happening for you.
Delanie Walker – TE, Tennessee Titans: This isn’t a sexy pickup by any means, Walker has probably been floating around your waiver wire all season being ignored. Still, it might surprise you to know he has more Fantasy PPG then all of the following tight ends: Kyle Rudolph, Brandon Pettigrew, Coby Fleener, Heath Miller and Brandon Myers. All of those guys are owned in at least 20% of leagues, Walker is owned in 1.7% on ESPN.
Walker hasn’t had any huge breakout games to put himself on your radar, but he’s caught at least three passes in all but one game this season, and he has 3 TD’s. Walker has a TD catch in three of the last four games started by Jake Locker, who is once again healthy and back on the field. The Titans have no red zone threats and Lockers seems to look for Walker when they are down there. If you can get four catches, 40 yards and a TD from your fill in tight end isn’t that enough?
What do you think of these five guys? Who are you planning to target this coming week to fill your holes?