Waiver Wire Dumpster Diving takes you beyond the obvious plays and helps you find undervalued gems for deep leagues.
What a brutal few weeks for the tight end position. Further injuries to the likes of surprise rookie Will Dissly and Tyler Eifert don’t help the landscape very much. Practically all TE pick-ups right about now feel like they belong in this column, so here’s a quick reminder of the past Dumpster Dive candidates at TE;
- Dallas Goedert – 11.7% owned
- Mark Andrews – 2.2% owned
- Jesse James – 18.1% owned
- Jonnu Smith – 1% owned
- Luke Willson – 0.3% owned
Cameron Brate, TE (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) owned 10.6%
The landscape being what it is, I thought I should start off with my favorite TE to target this week. Brate falls right at the threshold of Dumpster Dives and is on a BYE week going into week 5 so it’s not ideal. But grabbing and stashing him if you can is going to pay huge dividends.
O.J. Howard is likely to miss two to four weeks with a sprained MCL right in the juiciest portion of their schedule for TE matchups. Looking at the Buy Low Machine you can see that once Tampa Bay hits the field again, they have a long string of favorable matchups for TEs.
Also, Jameis Winston has received the nod to start under center in their next game against Atlanta and Winston has serious googly-eyes for Brate. With Winston at the helm, Brate has averaged nearly 8 fantasy points per game,1 with twice as many touchdowns, receptions and yards per game as well.
It’s easy to see why. When you check Winston’s adjusted yards per attempt (AYA) for all pass catchers with a minimum of 50 targets, Brate is by far his most productive receiver.
Considering the plus matchups, a quarterback with a serious man-crush, and a dearth of options out there, Brate is by far the best option, and is widely available.
Ryan Switzer, WR (Pittsburgh Steelers) owned 0.4%
Switzer isn’t a “sexy pick-up”, but this column is called “Dumpster Dives” after all.
Scooped up from the Oakland Raiders, primarily for his kick return skills, Switzer seems to have already surpassed James Washington in the receiving pecking order, out-targeting Washington three out of the first four weeks of the season.
But it’s not just the targets for Switzer. The offense has been using him all over the field, including out of the backfield handing the ball off to him in Le’Veon Bell’s absence. When you need a deep-league flex play in a pinch, it is hard to find a receiver getting handoffs, jet sweeps and receiving targets.
Switzer’s snap counts and touches have been steadily increasing as the season matures, and with rumors that Bell won’t rejoin the team until Week 7, there is plenty of time for Switzer to keep stealing a few backfield touches.
|Ryan Switzer||Week 1||Week 2||Week 3||Week 4|
Their next matchup should be a shootout with the Atlanta Falcons, who are currently giving up the 6th most fantasy point to the WR position. Plus he carries bonus value if you get fantasy points for kick returns in your league.
Mike Gesicki, TE (Miami Dolphins) owned 4.2%
With the TE position being what it is, I felt a responsibility to highlight a second target this week. Gesicki is a dynasty darling, but basically an afterthought in redraft. With only one reception for nine yards in week 4, you might be thinking that’s with good reason. But again, the position is ugly right now and we need some heroes to save us. Gesicki has the profile to do just that.
Gesicki is a metrics monster on a team with an offensive-minded head coach. His snap count has increased every week of the season so far, culminating this past week, when he was on the field for 84 percent of the offensive snaps.
If you look back up at the image from the Buy Low Machine, you see Miami has a pretty nice schedule for the next five weeks, kicking off against Cincinnati in Week 5, who is currently giving up over 10 fantasy points per game to the TE position.2 After being all but shut out this past week in New England, Adam Gase and company are going to have to put up points to save face and keep up with the Bengals who are currently averaging 31.5 points per game, meaning ample opportunity for Gesicki.