We are going to somewhat shake up our waiver wire article, and move away from sharing the usual long shot targets that generally constitute the bottom half of these rankings, and sprinkle in a few players that are likely to be dropped this week. Here are the top 20 players you should be looking for on your league’s waiver wire this week.
- Wendell Smallwood
- Devin Funchess
Funchess makes our list for the third straight week. This guy was going to have a breakout season even before the Benjamin and Olsen injuries. He certainly is going to see a ton of targets at this point, and will make a solid weekly play based on volume alone. He’s virtually their only passing catching option in the red zone at this point. Just in case Cam gets things figured out, I would keep an eye on snap counts in Carolina over the next few weeks. Damiere Byrd in particular is a guy that could become fantasy relevant if his snap count increases.
- Marqise Lee
This guy is still not 100% owned? What are we doing here? He’s the number one receiver in Jacksonville, and gets open. There is only one direction for Blake Bortles to go, and we started to see that in London last week. Lee is a must add if he’s available in your league.
- Branden Oliver
Branden Oliver looked like a must-have backup this past weekend. Given his production level in the snaps he received spelling an injured Gordon, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Oliver steal a little more work moving forward. He will be a top 15 back if Gordon goes down, but should at the very least make a solid bye week plug in moving forward.
- Alvin Kamara
Sean Payton gives zero effs about your feelings Adrian Peterson. Kamara is a perfect fit in this Saints offense, and is the best joker type player they currently have on their roster. We have seen his lack of a grasp on this offense cost him and Brees several big plays, but he will only improve in this role as he gets more and more experience.
- Jamaal Charles
JC is looking better and better every week, and should continue to see an increased work load in the coming weeks. CJ Anderson’s work rate through the first two weeks was the 2nd highest in the league, and totally unsustainable for a back that has never played a full season.
- Paul Richardson
Richardson has officially earned our trust as a fantasy-relevant receiver in deeper leagues. He has big play ability and an ever-growing role in this Seahawks offense. His value will only increase more if either Baldwin or Graham miss time moving foward, both are currently banged up.
- Vernon Davis
Jordan Reed will be questionable for every game for the rest of his career. Vernon Davis will always be a good play when Reed is out, which looks like it will at the very least be every-other week moving forward.
- D’Onta Foreman
It’s hard to get behind a banger back like Foreman that is currently getting less than 10 touches per game. That being said,
his role in the offense will continue to grow if he remains as efficient as he was against the Pats in week 3. Keep in mind we thought that he would, at the very least, be the goal line back in Houston this season. If this offense continues to improve and his red zone usage increases, he will be a nice vulture play in favorable matchups.
- Charles Clay
Clay is going to retire as a what if type player. He’s spent is entire career being underutilized in struggling offenses. He has receiver-like skills and a knack for getting open, and is quickly becoming Taylor’s favorite weapon on this depleted Bills roster. He should be a target monster moving foward, and is still a tight end capable of breaking long touchdowns.
- Robby Anderson
Anderson was one of our favorite sleepers heading into this season, before McCown became infatuated with Kearse, but it appears McCown is back on the RA bandwagon. Anderson is a speedy (4.3) receiver that spent his entire college career serving as a possession receiver for Phillip Walker. Look for more big weeks out of Anderson when he sees a favorable matchup.
- Ryan Griffin
Griffen will likely be a top 15 tight end until Fiedorowicz returns from IR. The Texans desperately need a consistent option to pair with DeAndre Hopkins, and Griffin should provide just that. He could quickly become a favorite safety valve for his rookie QB.
- Alex Collins
If you are Baltimore, you want to run the hell out of the ball, and have a young, cheap back in Collins that is averaging nearly 8 YPC how do you not give that guy carries? Collins has the same number of yards as Terrance West on less than half the carries. If Baltimore does bring Collins into some sort of timeshare with Buck Allen and Terrance West, he may end up taking all of the early down and goal line work. Worth a look in deeper leagues.
- Orleans Darkwa
I’m not sure how much longer the Giants can pretend Perkins fits their current offensive system… aka one that can’t block or open up any sort of running lane. Darkwa’s one cut downhill running style may not be sexy, but it will get them 3-4 YPC out of nothing, which is a win for the football Giants at this point.
- Benjamin Watson
I get that Facco was bad last week, but we currently have Jacksonville ranked as the 2nd worst QB matchup in the NFL, and having missed the entire offseason Flacco is just plain rusty still. He will eventually come around, and Watson has clearly stepped into that TE1 spot in one of the more tight end favorable systems in the NFL.
Clearly Smallwood is the dude to go get if you have that top waiver spot this week. Not only will he be in line to lead the Eagles’ RB snap count moving forward, but he’s looked like the most productive back on the roster when he has been on the field. Blount may still steal short yardage and goal line work, but Smallwood should see the majority of everything else moving forward this season.