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High Staked: Waiver-Wire Hits and Misses So Far

Veteran high stakes fantasy football player Monty Phan chronicles his season.

One of the oddest waiver-wire stories of the FFPC Main Event season has to be that of Ryan Fitzpatrick, your former crush who you were super hot and heavy with for a few weeks before it ended really, really badly, only to realize about a month later that maybe you were meant for each other after all and, hey, whatcha doin’ this weekend?

Here we are, halfway through the fantasy year and nearing the end of the 11-week Main Event regular season, facing a slate of games where six teams are on bye, and we find ourselves again looking at the great bearded Fitzmagic at the top of the list of available free-agent quarterbacks this week – where, despite having played only three full games and portions of two others (plus a bye!), he has scored more total points than Dak Prescott, Sam Darnold and Alex Smith, all of whom have played every offensive snap for their respective teams thus far.

So, with that, why not look at some of the top hits and misses in Main Event free agency so far this year? After all, no matter how well you drafted, if you haven’t worked the waiver wire, chances are you haven’t done that well.

QUARTERBACK

Hit: Fitzpatrick, for all the reasons mentioned above. With an ineffective ground game and a sieve-like defense that all but ensures a shootout nearly every week, the Bucs QB – whomever it happens to be that week – is essentially that montage set to Iggy Pop’s “Lust for Life” in raucous comedies where the main character is seen drinking to excess and in various fits of hysterical laughter while making highly questionable decisions that seem amazing to experience but almost always lead to eventual ruin.

Miss: Fitzpatrick, because, with every high, there’s always a crash. In this case, it’s the constant possibility that Dirk Koetter will yank Fitzpatrick at any point during the game. It’s like playing a high-speed game of chicken on the freeway, but without the fear of death!

RUNNING BACK

Hit: Phillip Lindsay was mostly a late-round dart throw (if he was drafted at all, which was rarely), but he has produced as a consistent RB2 with a solid double-digit floor in every game except Week 3, when he was ejected in the first half for throwing a punch. Lindsay, the top RB added from waivers after the first week, is the guy most people hoped they were getting when they took Royce Freeman as their second or third pick.

Miss: Ito Smith, another rookie, was a popular add after Week 2, when Devonta Freeman sat out and was replaced by Tevin Coleman, and Smith rotated into the Coleman role. But despite the occasional vulturing of a possible Coleman TD, Smith has failed to be much more than an emergency bye-week filler, even with Freeman on IR.

WIDE RECEIVER

Hit: Tyler Boyd is not only the top waiver WR this season, but likely the best pickup of the year. Going into his bye, he’s right on the cusp of being a WR1 in points per game despite having gone almost completely undrafted. He averages more than JuJu Smith-Schuster, Keenan Allen, Jarvis Landry and Brandin Cooks, to name a few. If you picked him up, it’s the equivalent of having an extra fourth-round pick.

Miss: Right behind Boyd in waivers after the second week was Antonio Callaway, a popular add after what has turned out to be his best game so far this season. He’s had plenty of targets but hasn’t been able to cash in.

TIGHT END

Hit: None. Virtually every top TE this season was heavily drafted, and while plenty have been plucked from the waiver wire, none has stood out.

Miss: Jonnu Smith was a popular sleeper coming into the season who seemed a Delanie Walker injury away from becoming a weekly fantasy starter. Well, Walker suffered a season-ending injury in Week 1, and Smith massively disappointed, posting goose eggs three times and a season-high of 2 catches for 11 yards.

KICKER

Don’t get me started on kickers.

DEFENSE

Cleveland’s defense, barely drafted at all, has turned in the fourth-best weekly average this season. Way to go, Browns! You did it!

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