Waiver Wire Watch: Total Carnage Edition
Note from Senior Editor John Paulsen: After one of the most injury-riddled weeks in recent memory, we at 4for4 would like to remind subscribers not to panic or make emotional roster decisions.
In most formats, RG3 owners can cut bait and stream the position, with Kirk Cousins being a prime waiver target.
Owners with running back issues (Jamaal Charles, Doug Martin, Ryan Mathews, Knowshon Moreno, Mark Ingram) can look to the waiver wire this week for several good short-term options.
Those owners with problems at receiver should target Davante Adams, who has apparently passed Jarrett Boykin on the Green Bay depth chart and should hold WR3/WR4 value (with upside in the event of a Jordy Nelson/Randall Cobb injury) for the remainder of the season.
And owners with a hole at tight end will find there are 1-3 intriguing names on the wire, depending on the depth of the league.
Meanwhile, the Josh Gordon Saga continues. We’re recommending owners continue to hold in the short term, until the NFL and NFLPA finalize a deal and we see what response, if any, Josh Gordon's legal team has. If the widely reported 10 game suspension does stick, there's a compelling case to continue holding: Gordon would be a dynamite addition for the playoffs. Navigating the BYE weeks and making the postseason may be difficult, so it's going to come down to each owner's individual situation. How good is my team? How many bench spots do I have? How many do I need? Is that player on my bench who's never going to start for me worth holding? These are the questions you need to be asking yourself. If you decide to hold Gordon, be sure to plan ahead for bye weeks and be sure your starting spots are covered a couple weeks out (the Player Look-Ahead and Hot Spots are helpful here). Remember, every week that you do hold onto Gordon, the greater his value, so if he does hit the wire, consider picking him up if your BYE schedule looks manageable.
Update: The Vikings are going to suspend Adrian Peterson indefinitely, so look for a breakdown of the Matt Asiata/Jerick McKinnon backfield below.
Without further ado, here is the Week 3 Waiver Wire Watch from 4for4 Contributor Pat Fitzmaurice.
Here is a look at the top waiver wire pickups for Week 3. To be eligible for discussion, the player must be owned in 50% or fewer Yahoo leagues, though we’ll stretch the rules a bit for the RB position, which is usually very thin. We’ll also include suggested bid prices (with a $100 budget) for those leagues that use Free Agent Acquisition Budgets. Of course, player value depends largely on league characteristics and team needs. Players are listed by position in order of importance. For extremely shallow or extremely deep leagues, be sure to review our Rest-of-Season Rankings (updated every Tuesday) to get an idea of how to value players not on this list.
* Players with an asterisk next to their name were mentioned in last week’s Waiver Wire Watch.
Jets QB Geno Smith* ($5)
Smith followed up a solid Week 1 showing against the Raiders with another competent performance, this time against the Packers in Green Bay, completing 16 of 32 passes for 176 yards, with a TD pass and a TD run. His day could have been even better if not for the calling of an ill-fated timeout a split second before Smith threw a 36-yard TD pass to Jeremy Kerley in the fourth quarter that would have tied the game. It’s clear that the second-year QB’s maturation is no mirage. Owned in a mere 9% of Yahoo leagues, Geno can provide legitimate help to your fantasy team, either as a streaming option or as an injury fill-in.
Next up: Bears, Lions, Chargers
Washington QB Kirk Cousins ($5)
There are those who believe Cousins is a better quarterback than Robert Griffin III, and we’re about to find out what sort of case the Cousins advocates have, as RG3’s dislocated ankle will put Cousins at the helm of the Washington offense for at least a month. Cousins threw a TD pass on his very first play in relief of Griffin, and by completing 22 of 33 passes for 250 yards and two TDs in Washington’s 41-10 blowout of Jacksonville, Cousins has built a nice little stockpile of goodwill among fans in our nation’s capital. I’m not quite as high on Cousins as others are, possibly because it’s impossible to quantify “moxie,” which some consider to be his best trait. But Cousins has a fine set of pass catchers, a pretty good offensive line, and he plays in a division with some pretty suspect defenses. In four career starts he’s averaged 269 passing yards with 1.5 TDs and 1.5 INTs per game. I won’t talk you out of making a bid for him, though I wouldn’t recommend a large one.
Next up: Eagles, Giants, Seahawks
Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill* ($3)
Tannehill uncorked 49 throws in Week 2 but produced only 241 passing yards and a TD, and he owed the touchdown to the acrobatics of Mike Wallace. I’m fond of Tannehill, but he’s off to a rocky start this season – he really didn’t play all that well in Miami’s Week 1 win over New England – and I’d be reluctant to add him right now. On the other hand, Tannehill’s Week 4 matchup against the Raiders could make him attractive to anyone with a QB on bye that week.
Next up: Chiefs, Raiders, BYE