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The Waiver Wire Report: Monday Edition, Week 4, 2014
Image via KYLures/Flickr
Image via KYLures/Flickr

The Monday edition of the waiver wire report includes all players that can be commented on without additional injury information. If there’s a player missing that you think I should discuss, just mention it in the comments and I’ll add that player to Tuesday’s report (or if it’s an easy one, I’ll just discuss it in the comments).

Lorenzo Taliaferro

This is a tough one because we’ve been waiting for LT to breakout since he joined the team. But the way that his breakout came, requiring what is probably a minor injury from an unexciting starter, makes it difficult to pin down the long term value of the rookie. In dynasty leagues he’s an absolute buy. But in re-draft leagues it’s really tough to know if you’d be wasting your FAAB by bidding on LT if Bernard Pierce is healthy sometime soon.

Alfred Blue

We always look for the physically talented backs because they tend to have the most upside. But my view of running back talent is that in general it’s pretty flat and whether a back has success can be very scheme dependent as well. So I’m not opposed to the idea that the slowish Blue could be a long term viable fantasy starter. Blue probably isn’t any slower than Arian Foster. It’s also true that Blue doesn’t have any college production to speak of, although injuries likely played a part there.

The more problematic thing related to Blue is that you’re probably renting him since Arian Foster’s hamstring could be the kind of thing that’s a game time decision every single week. The good news for Blue is that the Texans leaned on him Sunday at the expense of Jon Grimes.

If you’ve had enough “on the other hand” I’ll just say that I would be fully comfortable rolling with Blue if I thought Arian Foster would be out for some time. But because I don’t know, I think prudence is in order. I would bid about three to five percent on Blue. If I didn’t get him I would just hope that my reading of the expected value of Blue is right and whichever owner does win the bid is wrong. But you never know.

Jordan Matthews

Matthews’ production will be spotty, as he really needed the touchdowns on Sunday for his scoring. But he should probably be owned in most leagues. The tough thing is that the kind of deep league where you would have someone to drop for Matthews is also the kind of league Matthews is likely to be owned in. I like JMatt long term and have him in a dynasty league, but I’m also not assuming that his production will be consistent this year. Considering that I saw Davante Adams go for between 15 and 25 percent of FAAB last week, and JMatt’s role is more secure than Adams, you probably need to bid something like 20 to 30 percent to get Matthews. Then all you’re getting is a guy that you won’t feel comfortable starting, assuming that the status quo is intact. For fun it’s worth reading this article on Matthews from Jon Moore and the case against Matthews by Shawn Siegele.

Donald Brown

The Chargers don’t really have anything left at RB for the near future, so Brown should be owned in every league. He was probably picked up in your league last week, but if he wasn’t, I could see using a significant amount of FAAB on him if you can use a starting RB over the next month (and who can’t?). Only in 10 team leagues should you think twice before using a good part of your FAAB on him. The Chargers upcoming schedule also favors a lot of running as they have a number of plus matchups through Week 12, at least in terms of game script. When bidding on Brown I would look at it as if you’re bidding on a multi-week starter for your team. The more you need RB help, the more you should bid.

John Brown

Brown is owned in every league I’m in, and yet when I check the ownership percentages on various sites he looks like he’s available in a lot of leagues. Like Jordan Matthews, Brown’s production will be spotty. He would have the most value with an injury to Larry Fitzgerald as that would free up the most targets. You should pick him up if you have a low value player to drop for him, like a recently injured player heading to IR. But you also can’t break the bank on your FAAB budget because Brown’s value isn’t immediate. He’ll have 20 point weeks and three point weeks.

Owen Daniels

Dennis Pitta and Owen Daniels have combined for 33 targets through three games. I don’t think that Pitta’s injury means that all of the usage will go to Daniels, as Gary Kubiak coached teams typically have a second tight end involved. But I do think you could pencil in Daniels for the lead part of the TE platoon. That’s actually fairly valuable in that system. If you’re TE needy, I could see spending 10-15 percent of your FAAB budget on Daniels.

LeGarrette Blount

Blount’s value hinges on whether Le’Veon Bell is ever injured. Without a Bell injury it’s really unlikely that Blount will be in your lineup when he does go off. I can’t imagine spending very much on Blount because as far as I can tell there are no opportunities on the horizon which might act as a catalyst and increase Blount’s value. I prefer to target the second RB in a backfield where the starter isn’t very good. Le’Veon Bell is very good.

Also, Bount is probably owned in your league anyway, so this discussion may all be academic.

Kirk Cousins

Cousins looks like a great option to stream, or even as an every week starter for a team that’s strong elsewhere. His ownership percentage is probably pretty high right now, but if he’s on the waiver wire in your league I would look at adding him. I don’t think every week will be as good as his Eagles matchup from Sunday, but that offense is geared to make borderline QB talents into fantasy scorers.

Bishop Sankey

Sankey has been dropped in a number of leagues and I can’t blame owners that bailed on him. We were very high on Sankey during the draft process and kind of assumed he’d be able to immediately beat out Shonn Greene. But that didn’t happen and so dropping Sankey in favor of a running back that was getting touches during Week 1 and Week 2 would have been reasonable. But I would try to pick Sankey up if he’s on your waiver wire. It’s true that a lot of his usage came while the Titans were out of it, but just the fact that the coaches went with Sankey this early in the season is good I think. You need to be careful how much you spend on him though. If I could get him for seven to eight percent of FAAB I think that mitigates the potential that his usage drops back to nothing, which is a very real risk.

Austin Davis

The Rams have a bunch of talented pass catchers, and Davis seems to be pretty willing to chuck it. Offensive scheme will always get in the way of Rams QBs being really great fantasy options – Jeff Fisher and Brian Schottenheimer probably drive 60 when the speed limit is 65 – but I do think there will be instances where you could stream Davis. After their Week 4 bye the Rams get PHI and SF. If you wanted to plan ahead and carry a second QB, you might pick up Davis this week for cheap.

Dwayne Allen

Allen is probably owned in a lot of leagues and he’s not really a volume producer, although he has been really efficient this year. But despite his great lines in Week 1 and Week 3, his targets for the season go five, one, and six. I also think it’s reasonable to assume that the Colts are using Allen exactly how they want to use him and a huge bump in usage isn’t likely. Breaking the FAAB bank on Allen isn’t probably advisable just because you would be doing it to own a guy whose production is likely to be volatile.

Teddy Bridgewater

I will personally be looking to stream Bridgewater this week against ATL. I love that he picked up 27 yards with his legs this weekend and I also think Norv Turner will be able to make him serviceable in the passing game given a week to prepare. I think I can get Bridgewater with bids of around two percent of FAAB as I don’t think many people will see him as that attractive. But I see a game where MIN will have to keep up with the ATL offense and where even if MIN gets down Bridgewater can still score with his legs.

Blake Bortles

With Cecil Shorts, and the two Allens, the Jags actually have some decent pass catchers. So it’s totally reasonable to expect that Bortles could be decent even as a rookie. Also, Bortles racked up 30 rushing yards on Sunday and some have said that Bortles has a little Andrew Luck in him. In leagues where both Teddy Bridgewater and Bortles are available, I could see submitting similar bids for each and being ready to roll with whoever you end up with. I probably like Bridgewater a little more just because the game is at home. My bid estimates may be low, but considering how many start-worthy QBs there are this year, I don’t think competition will be stiff for the two rookies.

Darrin Reaves

Reaves isn’t on a lot of radars but he might be all the Panthers have after Jonathan Stewart and Mike Tolbert both went down with injuries in a game that DeAngelo Williams couldn’t play in due to an injury. Shawn Siegele has your Reaves introduction right here. However, while I like Reaves as a short term pick-up just based on opportunity, it’s tough to really see the team giving him the RB job if DeAngelo Williams is healthy. Keep in mind that Reaves was on the practice squad until Sunday. DeAngelo Williams is a veteran with a big contract.

I’m always trying to find guys that have some chance of being the lead backs in their backfield, so that will end up preventing me from breaking the bank on Reaves. You won’t probably know when you have to make your FAAB bid whether Reaves could even start a single week for CAR. I’m probably going to bid about one to two percent for Reaves and I’m probably only dropping a recently injured player (like Jonathan Stewart) to pick him up.

Rhett Ellison

Kyle Rudolph suffered a groin injury in Sunday’s game and will reportedly have surgery to repair the injury. Rhett Ellison is listed as the backup to Rudolph. While I would be inclined to dismiss Ellison based on a lack of physical upside and lack of college production, I do think he’s worth monitoring. He saw a target in Sunday’s game and I’m always interested in usage. Considering that Ellison has already been targeted four times on the season and Rudolph is vacating 19 percent of the Vikings targets, I will probably try to add Ellison in tight end premium leagues where I have a free roster spot.

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