Your guide to waiver pickups and FAAB bidding
Many of us Fantasy Football players wish we had invested more in the Chiefs offense but hey, there are some Buccaneers players on the waiver wire that shouldn’t be ignored. I’ll let you know which three will provide you with the most Fantasy production, at least in the short term. I’ll also point out a rookie RB who has the potential to carve out a role in what can be a pretty good offense, provided they can be more consistent within the red zone. I’ve also got a few big-play receivers that you should consider adding this week. We’re only heading into Week Three. Don’t panic is still the mantra, but let’s use a poker reference. You don’t want to keep playing the same cards that you’ve dealt yourself if they’re not going to help you win a hand. Everyone once in awhile you’ve got to exchange a card or two in order to find that Ace!
Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB, Tampa Bay Buccanneers, (21 percent ownership on CBS Sports.com)
Now do you believe? Fitzpatrick has the scored the most Fantasy points through the first two weeks of the season. He’s thrown for at least 400 yards and four TDs in each of his first two games and he takes on a Steelers team that just got torched for six TDs by a QB who has three starts under his belt. Look, sooner or later Fitz’s magic is going to run out, but if you drafted a quarterback like Matthew Stafford late and you don’t trust him against the Patriots this week, maybe you take a shot with Fitzpatrick against the Steelers.
Waiver Priority: Low, especially in one QB leagues, but you might find that some of your league mates may be bidding against you in order to infuse some of that Fitzpatrick charm. Hey, if you win the bid, at least you’ll have the best Fantasy Football beard on your roster.
FAAB – 3 to 5 percent
Andy Dalton, QB, Cincinnati Bengals, (33 percent)
Dalton is averaging 27 Fantasy points per game in this young season and has thrown six TDs with one interception. He even had a good performance on a nationally televised game and that hardly ever happens. He has nice weapons, of course starting with WR A.J. Green, who’s coming off a three-TD performance, and when TE Tyler Eifert is healthy he is one of Fantasy Football’s better TEs. WR Tyler Boyd, who we’ll cover later in the article, seems to be bouncing back from a disappointing sophomore campaign, and so far Dalton’s offensive line has only allowed him to get sacked twice. Consider him a spot starter for now, but with Joe Mixon expected to miss time the Bengals may opt to throw the ball a bit more and that could pad Dalton’s stats in the short term.
Waiver Priority: Low depending on your Fantasy team’s needs.
FAAB – 1 to 2 percent
Giovani Bernard, RB, Cincinnati Bengals, (41 percent)
Bengals RB Joe Mixon looked he was on his way to having a breakout campaign, and he still might, but he’s expected to miss up to four weeks after undergoing knee surgery. Bernard is best known for his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield. He’s averaged 46 catches over the past five seasons. However, he’s averaged 4.2 YPC over his career and will have the opportunity to be the Bengals’ primary back for the next few weeks. In four career games in which he’s carried the ball at least 18 times he’s averaged just over 116 rushing yards per game.
Waiver Priority: Medium. You can never have enough RBs on your team. He’s also a good stash in PPR leagues.
FAAB – 5 to 7 percent
Latavius Murray, RB, Minnesota Vikings, (46 percent)
Dalvin Cook may have tweaked his hamstring or maybe he was just suffering from cramps. We’ll know more as game time approaches, but in either case if I own shares of Cook I’m running to the waiver wire and picking up Latavius Murray. His red zone prowess already makes him fantasy viable, but in the 11 games he started in place of Cook last season he rushed for eight TDs. The Vikings had suggested that he would have a role in their offense this season and he’s already ran the ball 15 times and averaged 4.1 yards per carry. Murray could be a sneaky start this week even if Cook can play against the Bills. Game script has the Vikings pummeling the Bills and if the game gets out of hand, the Vikes would be smart to take Cook out midway through the third quarter and have Murray finish up as their primary ball carrier.
Waiver Priority: Medium, but could trend upward depending on Cook’s availability in Week Three.
FAAB – 5 to 8 percent
Ito Smith, RB, Atlanta Falcons, (3 percent)
It’s sounding like the Falcons aren’t sure how long Devonta Freeman’s knee injury will keep him sidelined. Tevin Coleman has always filled in nicely for Freeman, but he’s only carried the ball 15 times or more in a game seven times in his pro career. Smith is a very talented back who can provide some relief for Coleman as he builds his stamina in the coming weeks. Smith caught at least 40 passes in his last three college seasons and rushed for at least 1,400 yards in the 2016 and 2017 seasons. Smith carried the ball nine times for 46 yards (5.11 YPC) and if Freeman misses significant time he can carve out a role in the Falcons’ offense.
Waiver Priority: Medium. Smith scored 30 TDs in his last two seasons at Southern Miss, and averaged 5.5 YPC for his college career. You might be early to the party in picking him up this week, but when it comes to young RBs I’d rather be early than late.
FAAB – 1 to 3 percent
DeSean Jackson, WR, Tampa Bay Buccanneers (53 percent)
FitzMagic has Jackson under his mystical spell. Jackson has nine catches for 275 yards and three TDs so far this season. Two of Jackson’s three TD receptions were thrown by Fitzpatrick last season as well. That’s five Jackson TDs in seven games with Fitzpatrick as the Bucs’ quarterback.
Waiver Priority: Medium. He’s a big-play receiver who seems to find the end zone when Fitzpatrick is under center.
FAAB – 3 percent
Tyler Boyd, WR Cincinnati Bengals, (1 percent)
We alluded to Boyd earlier in this article. The third-year WR caught 54 passes in his rookie season, however injuries slowed him down in 2018. Boyd has already been targeted 14 times this season, and caught six passes for 91 yards and a TD against a tough Ravens defense in Week Two. Sophomore John Ross is a speedy big-play threat, but Boyd has good hands, as his 67 percent catch rate suggests.
Waiver Priority: Low. He has more value in leagues that feature more than 12 teams.
FAAB – 1 percent
Mike Williams, WR, L.A. Chargers, (52 percent)
The Chargers invested their first pick of the draft on Williams last season, but a herniated disc severely limited his playing time in 2017. Williams is starting to show why the Chargers were so high on him. He scored a TD in Week Two and has posted double-digit Fantasy points in his first two games of the 2018 season in full point PPR scoring. He’s especially good at catching contested balls and his 15.4 college career yards per catch demonstrate his big play ability.
Waiver Priority: Medium. Williams could especially have value in leagues that allow bonus points for long (25 yards or more) TD receptions.
FAAB – 3 percent
Antonio Callaway, WR, Cleveland Browns, (13 percent)
Callaway is another deep ball threat who should see increased targets with the Browns trade of WR Josh Gordon. He caught three passes for 81 yards, including a 47-yard bomb for a TD in Week Two. Like Gordon, he’s had off-the-field issues, however if he can keep his head in the game his explosive playmaking abilities will make him a Fantasy relevant WR by season’s end.
Waiver Priority: Medium. He has the potential to be a game changer.
FAAB – 1 to 3 percent.
O.J. Howard, TE Tampa Bay Bucs, (39 percent)
The fact that the Bucs have two viable TEs on their roster is a concern, however Cameron Brate has yet to catch a pass this season. Howard has five catches for 150 yards thus far and scored his first TD of the season in Week Two. Brate is a nice TE, but Howard is the future and his role in the passing game should continue to evolve in the Tampa Bay offense no matter who is behind center this season.
Waiver Priority: Medium. Howard is a talented TE with potential upside.
FAAB – 1 percent