by Nick Ercolano
September 18, 2018
Week 3 is in the novels, so we're looking at snatching the gold mines off of the waiver wire. Let's get it. This list will only be composed of players owned in 55% or less of Yahoo leagues. The suggested FAAB spend is based on a $100 budget.
1. Tyrod Taylor - Cleveland Browns
- Yahoo Ownership: 31%
A disappointing fantasy day from Tyrod has somewhat salvaged thanks to a 47-yard da bomb to Antonio Callaway, what a catch it was, as the Browns unsurprisingly let another one slip through their hands. He'd finish the game with 246 passing yards, with a TD and an INT, adding 26 yards on the ground, a week after rushing for 36 yards - he'll always have this rushing floor.
Now he gets defense at home, who isn't necessarily one to attack, but Tyrod is a player who is always better at home:
They'll be back in Cleveland for Thursday Night Football, jesus this is the game the NFL gives on TNF, smfh. Tyrod is someone I'll definitely be looking to stream a week after the Jets allowed 44 rushing yards and a pair of passing touchdowns to Ryan Tannehill.
- Next three matchups: NYJ, @OAK, BAL
- Use #1 Waiver Wire: No
- FAAB Spend: $3-5
2. Ryan Fitzpatrick - Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Yahoo Ownership: 22%
I guess it's time we give Fitzgregor the credit he's due. We're two weeks into the NFL szn and Fitz leads the NFL in passing yards (819), YPA (13.4), pass completions of 40+ yards (40), QB Rating (151.5) and has posted 400 yards and 4 passing touchdowns in two consecutive games. So naturally, he'll bust in Week 3. His eight touchdowns are second to only Patrick Mahomes, while somehow ranking only 23rd in pass attempts (61). The Patrick Mahomes that just threw 6 TD passes against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Ah, who does Fitzpatrick get in Week 2? The Pittsburgh Steelers. Fitz got it done @ NO, then against Philly, two pass defenses many expected to be elite coming into the year. With a ridiculous group of weapons, look for the Bucs to continue to take deep shots and pile on points.
- Next three matchups: PIT, @CHI, BYE
- FAAB Spend: $4-5
3. Blake Bortles - Jacksonville Jaguars
- Yahoo Ownership: 28%
Bortles was on fiya in Jax 31-20 win over the defending AFC champion New England Patriots, completing 29-of-45 passed for 377 yards and 4 tuddys. He'd also add 42 rushing yards to go along with that, and it's the second game, of two, this season that he's gone for more than 35 rushing yards. That's something inherently built into Bortle's fantasy floor.
Also, similar to Tyrod Taylor is Bortles' home vs. away splits. Bortles next two games are both at home, versus TEN and NYJ, before traveling to KC where we're seeing that defense give up historic numbers to just about every opposing passer. We take a look at his home/away splits:
Tennessee isn't exactly a pushover, but they haven't looked good, and they've allowed multiple TDs to both QBs they've faced this year (Tannehill & Watson). Bortles could be a streamer for your lineup for the next three weeks.
- Next three matchups: TEN, NYJ, @KC
- FAAB Spend: $5
******Thumbs up if enjoying, etc.*******
1. Giovani Bernard - Cincinnati Bengals
- Yahoo Ownership: 3%
By now you know that Joe Mixon will be gone for the next two weeks, minimum, thanks to a "tweak" in his knee that caused him to undergo arthroscopic knee surgery this past Saturday. So, Gio is the number one WW pick up this week, especially if you're RB needy, which 95% of people in FF are. Plus, you should check if you're facing the Mixon owner in either of these two weeks. Anywho, while Mixon is gone, Gio is going to get a fat workload:
Last year these are games Gio played with and without Mixon, but also with Mixon in games he had less than 5 carries - so either he didn't play or was hurt and left early with a tiny workload. Gio dominated, averaging over 113 total yards, over 21 touches and nearly 7 targets! He's a high-end RB2, with RB1 upside as long as Mixon is out.
Fantasy football players always have this inherent injury optimism, so 2 weeks is the reported timetable for return, if everything goes perfectly. I spoke to Dr. Jesse Morse, he said his personal opinion if he had to guess would be between 3-6 weeks - now take that as you want, he's obviously not on the Cincy training staff, or the doctor doing the procedure - but that was his opinion.
- Next three matchups: @CAR, @ATL, MIA
- Use #1 Waiver Wire: Yes
- FAAB Spend: $20-25, $30-35+ (If RB needy or Mixon owner)
2. Austin Ekeler - Los Angeles Chargers
- Yahoo Ownership: 44%
He'll probably continue to find himself on this list - another ridiculously efficient game for Ekeler, finishing with 98 total yards on 14 touches, thanks in part to Gordon checking out for the 4th quarter with a minor injury, haven't heard much about it, but idt it's anything. Ekeler now has 224 total yards and 8 receptions over the first two weeks, he's clearly part of the gameplan and has weekly PPR flex appeal. They get a tough matchup @ LAR who let up 9 receptions to Jalen Richard in Week 1, but a bunch of great matchups after that, at home vs. SF, OAK, @CLV then home versus TEN. If you're a Gordon owner I think he's a must-own at this point.
- Next three matchups: @LAR, SF, OAK
- FAAB Spend: $7-8, $15+ if Gordon owner.
3. Theo Riddick - Detroit Lions
- Yahoo Ownership: 24%
After securing 9-of-12 targets in Detroit's Week 2 loss to SF, Riddick is up to 14 catches on 19 targets through two weeks. You don't want him outside of PPR leagues because he does almost nothing in the rushing category and he's not amazing in padding his receiving yardage or TD totals, but the Lions should be getting washed next week as Matt Patricia gets lubed up on and fucked by his old boss Uncle Bill. Riddick leads the backfield in snaps, the next closest being Kerryon Johnson, 17 snaps behind Riddick through two games.
As a team trailing, Riddick should get plenty of opportunities to pad his PPR stats.
- Next three matchups: NE, @DAL, GB
- FAAB Spend: $3-4 (in PPR)
4. Suck Allen - Baltimore Ravens
- Yahoo Ownership: 37%
I hate everything about this, but the reasons we saw him on this list last week remain the same. With Dixon on IR, Allen will continue to play a big role in this offense. The entire world outside of the Ravens coaching staff knows that Alex Collins should be used about 8x over more than Allen, but that's not going to be the case, so.
The thing about Allen is like he's not 100% of anything. But he's like 75% their goal-line back, as well as 85% their receiving back now. He now has 5 catches in back-to-back games as is the same for his rushing TDs. It's not pretty and he's going to continue to average about 3 YPT, but one way or another Allen will continue to get it done in PPR leagues.
- Next three matchups: DEN, @PIT, @CLV
- FAAB Spend: $7-10 (in PPR), $3-5 (in STD)
1. Keelan Cole - Jacksonville Jaguars
- Yahoo Ownership: 49%
For a lot of the same reason Bortles is up there, Cole is down here. But there's another reason. One of them is actually good! It's Cole. I know I hyped him a lot this summer. And people were probably disappointed, but if you saw him in Week 2 - you understand why I like him so much now after that OBJ catch. He'd finish his Week 2 game catching 7-of-8 targets for 116 yards and a touchdown.
Admittedly, it's still a very messy situation in JAX with a lot of weapons seeing targets, but I think Bortles is set up to go on a mini-tear over the next month and Cole should benefit from it tremendously. I don't hate Dede Westbrook here either, to an extent. He should also benefit as someone who went for 4-83 and a score, thanks to a big 61-yard TD, but those are the big plays Dede offers at any given moment. I'd much rather Cole, but either will do for now.
- FAAB Spend: $10-12
2. Chris Godwin/DeSean Jackson - Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Yahoo Ownership: 35%/49%
Somehow these guys are still available in the majority of leagues, literally. As Fitzgawd has blown up, so have his playmakers. After going nuts in Week 1 with a 5-146-2 line, D-Jax doubled down in Week 2 catching all four of his targets for 129 yards and a touchdown. In Week 1, D-Jax was in and out of the lineup with the shoulder injury and concussion, which would explain be out-snapped by Godwin 70-30%, but D-Jax was second on the team in snaps (34) in Week 2 only behind Mike Evans, so it looks like D-Jax is still the WR2, although Godwin was only 5 snaps behind him (29) and has played on 60% of the teams snaps so far this season, which for the 400th time this year, if Godwin is playing above 50% of the teams snaps, he delivers fantasy gold, which he did again on Sunday, catching 5-of-6 targets for 56 yards and a touchdown. That gives him three straight games with touchdowns. I can't wait to see what he's going to do as a full-time player. Fitzpatrick has attempted 5 throws this year inside-the-10 of the opponent, and Godwin has seen two of them (40%), which leads the team and I think that type of usage is going to stay put, which means he's going to be super valuable.
Both are great adds if you need WRs. They get a great matchup at home versus PIT which is tied for the highest over/under for Week 3 (52.5) and that number should continue to go up.
- FAAB Spend: $15-20 each
3. John Brown - Baltimore Ravens
- Yahoo Ownership: 25%
Brown needs to be owned everywhere. The only thing ever holding Brown back was his health. And he looks to be about 1000% healthy - and probably the Ravens' best offensive playmaker. Crabtree seems to be the top possession WR in Baltimore, but Brown is far and away seeing the more valuable targets and could very easily turn into Flacco's #1 target sooner rather than later.
He, like Stefon Diggs and Antonio Brown are incredible route runners, and that's the reason you see a guy with his size (5-10, 180) get opportunities down in the 10Zone, because he can create very quick separation in tight areas of the field. They get Denver in Week 3, but we've seen WRs have success against them in the passing game so far, both Lockett and B-Marsh in Week 1, and Cooper & Seth Roberts in Week 2, losing Talib seems to be a major, major hit to this defense. So it's not a complete fade, before they travel to PIT where again, he may go bonkers in that one.
4. Brandon Marshall - Seattle Seahawks
- Yahoo Ownership: 8%
- Next three matchups: DAL, @ARZ, LAR
- FAAB Spend: $10
5. Ted Ginn Jr. - New Orleans Saints
- Yahoo Ownership: 41%
Another big game from Brees has him sitting at QB5 in fantasy right now. We knew the Saints passing game was in for a more Pass-TD friendly 2018, and Brees has 5 through 2 games, which puts him on pace for 40, which Idt he'll hit, but 30 seems like a pretty safe bet right now. MT is the clear WR1 here, Kamara seems to be the clear second target, but Ginn is right there lurking. He has 13 targets through two games, which puts him on pace for 104 on the year. He's caught 9-of-13 targets for 123 yards and a touchdown. Dating back to 2017, Ginn's seen at least 5 targets (6.83/game) in each of the Saints last six games with an aDOT of 16.1 yards. His aDOT in 2018 is 16.2, and is by far and away leading the Saints in that category.
Ginn is a tough play in Week 3 versus Atlanta who don't give up shots downfield, (I know Moore had a big TD in Week 2 but it was 80% YAC), Ginn is a medium/high-floor play in a great offense, tethered to Drew Brees with big upside thanks to his ability to go over the top.
- Next three matchups: @ATL, @NYG, WAS
- FAAB Spend: $5-7
6. Geronimo Allison - Green Bay Packers
It's well known now that Allison is the clear WR3 in Green Bay, and has no strung together back-to-back games with 12+ PPR fantasy points, playing on 75% of Green Bays offensive snaps. After a big 5-69-1 Week 1, Allison caught all 6 of his targets for 64 yards against a tough Minnesota defense. He out-targeted Cobb in this one, and is clearly gaining more and more trust from Rodgers which will happen when you continue to catch everything thrown your way. Allison is carving out a name for himself in the fantasy world as a high-floor, medium/high-ceiling, WR3/flex play. The Packers schedule starts to lighten up as they travel to Washington, then get two great matchups home against Buffalo and at Detroit.
- Next three matchups: @WAS, BUF, @DET
7. Phillip Dorsett - New England Patriots
With back-to-back 7-target games for the former first-round pick, Dorsett has been a decent WR3 in PPR leagues and the schedule is about to open up for Brady and this passing offense. A week after a 7-66-1 game versus Houston, Dorsett posted a respectable 5-44 on the road at Jacksonville. Now, they'll travel to Detroit to wipe the floors there, before three straight homes games against Miami, Indy and KC. If Edelman wasn't returning in Week 5, I'd be much higher on Dorsett but I think he's the one that's hurt the most by Edelman's return. Hogan has been in on 90% of the Patriot's offensive snaps in 2018, and I don't expect that to change much when Edelman returns. Brady hasn't aired the ball out much yet this year, likely because of their matchups, but Hogan still leads the team with a 26% air yards share and I think he remains the top deep threat on a team that's about to open it up. Dorsett is 2nd on the entire team in targets (14), behind only James White, same thing in target market share seeing 18% of the targets so he's a solid PPR play in Weeks 3 & 4, but he'll probably remain on my bench once Edelman returns.
- Next three matchups: @DET, MIA, IND, (KC)
8. Tyler Boyd - Cincinnati Bengals
- Yahoo Ownership: 4%
While a lot of people expected a different Bengals WR to become fantasy relevant this year, John Ross, Tyler Boyd is shaping up as the WR to own outside of A.J. Green. In Week 2, Boyd caught 6-of-9 targets for 91 yards and a score. The receptions, targets, and yards all tied career-highs. Boyd had a promising rookie year in 2016, bringing in 54 passes for 603 yards but fell off the face of the earth in 2017 dealing with a sprained MCL that cost him 6 games and limited him in most.
Boyd has out-snapped John Ross in both of Cincy's games so far, 107-82 on the year. Boyd quietly has a 20% targets share and 35% air yards share on the team, Ross sits at 9% and 12% in those categories respectively.
They get a tough couple of matchups traveling to CAR and ATL, before a ridiculously good slate over the next four. He's a deeper league add, that should have good games when Dalton does.
- Next three matchups: @CAR, @ATL, MIA [next 3 - PIT, @KC, TB]
I'm not sure there is a tight end I can feel remotely good about telling you to pick up this week, that's owned in less than 55% of Yahoo leagues. So, people are up in arms with Jonnu Smith of the Titans - you obviously weren't playing him with Gabbert in at QB, if you did you're a fool. The good part about Sunday was that Smith play on 100% of the Titans offensive snaps, all 59. When Mariota returns, which I expect to be next week, Smith will be a full-time player and should get way more looks. Jesse James had a monster day, catching all 5 of his targets for 138 yards and a score on a day where Big Ben threw for 452 yards. Sunday was just the second time in his career that he went over 60 yards receiving (out of 37 games). Surprisingly, it came on a day when Vance McDonald returned to the lineup. James out-snapped McDonald 45-37. You can't start either of them with confidence. Ian Thomas saw just 3 targets in Greg Olsen's absence. The TE spot is really ugly right now. Ebron and Ben Watson are both right at the 55% owned mark and I would take either of those two over the guys I've named. They have very similar numbers, both with 7 catches on 9 targets - Ebron has 77 yards and 2 scores, Watson with 63 and 0, but should've had one yesterday, Brees somehow missed him on a wide-open two-yard TD. Both seem like decent floor, TD dependent guys though. Sorry I can't be of more help at the TE position y'all. Just the way she goes sometimes.
As y'all know, when streaming we look for three things. Favorites to win, at home and low over/under total.
1. Carolina Panthers vs. Cincinnati Bengals
- Yahoo Ownership: 50%
I was surprised to see Carolina available in 50% of leagues. They got shit on by Matt Ryan, but back at home in Week 3, I expect a similar performance to their Week 1 win against Dallas at home, where they managed 6 sacks and allowed just 8 points to the Cowboys.
- Spread: CAR -3 (-105)
- Over/Under: 43.5
- Next three matchups: CIN, BYE, NYG
- FAAB Spend: $2-3
2. Miami Dolphins vs. Oakland Raiders
- Yahoo Ownership: 2%
Miami has been one of the bigger surprises so far sitting at 2-0 atop the AFC East. Don't get used to it Miami fans. They've strung together back-to-back games of 13 fantasy points thanks to 5 interceptions on the year. They'll now take on a 0-2 Oakland team coming off of a 3-INT game by their QB Derek Carr. Admittedly, this Raider team led by Gruden and Carr has looked way better than I anticipated. But, the Dolphins fit my streaming rules, so they'd be my next in line.
- Spread: MIA -3 (-115)
- Over/Under: 44.5
- Next three matchups: OAK, @NE, @CIN
September 19, 2018
Hey man, I love the content! I face a juggernaut this week. Would you stack Fitzpatrick, Evans, and Goodwin against PIT since it’ll be a high scoring game or play Marvin Jones over Godwin? Also, how do you feel about the Cowboys DST vs SEA?
by Nick Ercolano
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