Waiver Wire Watch: Week 1 Targets
Hello friends, my name is Jeff, and I’m going to be your friendly neighborhood Waiver Wire Watch author person guy. We are kicking things off a week early to capitalize on the initial waiver period for those who drafted before the last minute. If you are a late-to-the-party sort, there should still be a bevy of actionable info you can take to your drafts. Future editions will be published every Tuesday, just in time for you to get your waiver claims in.
As in years past, players mentioned will need to be owned in, or around, 50% or fewer Yahoo leagues. We’ll fudge on that a bit from time to time, especially with running backs, fast risers and attractive streaming options. I’ll also include, based on a $100 budget, which you can scale to fit your league’s setup, a suggested FAAB bid for each player. With quarterback and tight end, my advice will be heavily slanted towards streaming, as players at those positions don’t often come out of nowhere to become must-adds in a 10 or 12-team league. In addition to all that, I’m adding a section to each position called Missed the Cut where I’ll quickly cover a few players I don’t think are worth considering unless your league is deep or you are desperate for help.
There are a couple more notes before I release the hounds: While reading, please keep in mind all referenced scoring, rankings and projections are based on PPR scoring with four point passing touchdowns and negative two points for interceptions. And finally, the FAAB bid I’m suggesting is a combination of what I’d like to pay and what I think you’ll have to spend. If the bids don’t match up with the rankings, it’s because some players will go cheaper than others, regardless of how we are projecting them to perform. For example, we like John Brown more than Rishard Matthews, but have a lower bid on him, as he isn’t nearly as hot of a property.
Also, John Paulsen will still be editing this article every week, so he’ll adjust the rankings and prices if necessary. Now, on with the show…
Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals, 23% owned ($2)
This recommendation is very much about his first matchup, as Dalton draws the Colts and their porous defense. Slated to allow the 28th most points this year according to our defensive projections, Indianapolis is going to be a streaming target all season long. Mr. John Paulsen’s Week 1 projections bear this out, with Dalton currently ranked as our No. 13 option. If you are looking to replace Carson Wentz, the Red Rifle should be your main target.
Tyrod Taylor, Cleveland Browns, 12% owned ($1)
With how the Bills kicked him to the curb, it’s easy to forget Taylor has averaged nearly 18 PPG over his last 44 outings. For those keeping track at home, we are talking about a top-five scoring pace. That he was so prolific with a motley crew of receivers and no support from his coaching staff is very impressive indeed. Now stocked with playmakers at every position, a solid offensive line, and the best play caller of his career, there are all sorts of reasons to think he will continue to be highly productive as long as he holds off the competition.
On that note, I am keenly aware Baker Mayfield is going to make starts this year, and that’s OK, as Taylor is almost certainly safe for the first portion of the season. John Paulsen’s projections have him at 305 attempts, which means he is planning on “Tygod” making it through the first half of the year as the starter. For a $1 FAAB bid, you could end up with a QB1 for eight or more games. He’s a bargain at twice the price.
Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars, 34% owned ($1)
As unsexy of a pick as there is, Bortles has somehow finished as the QB13, QB14 and QB4 (!!!) over the last three seasons. Due to the proliferation of young talent at the position, that feat could be difficult to replicate, which is part of the reason we have him projected as the QB19. For this week, though, he is a fine option if you find yourself in need. The No. 16 in our Week 1 ranks, Bortles gets a cherry matchup against the Giants.
Nick Foles, Philadelphia Eagles, 4% owned ($1)
This is a shortest of the short-term add, but if you own Carson Wentz and need a fill-in, Foles could fit the bill. Projected to be a mid-QB2 for Week 1 against the Falcons, if the others on this list are unavailable, Foles is your guy.
Missed the Cut
Eli Manning (28% owned) is one to watch in the unlikely event he isn’t totally used up. The Giants’ defense isn’t great, and he is surrounded by elite talent in all directions. That combination should make for a productive season, but it probably won’t. Mitchell Trubisky (19% owned) may end up a fine streaming option, but until we see if he has developed enough to be trustworthy, there are better guys out there. Jameis Winston (16% owned) shouldn’t be owned in most leagues, as bench spots are better used elsewhere, but if you do have a bench with maybe eight or more slots or play in a 16-team league, he’s a guy to consider stashing.
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