Waiver Wire Dumpster Dives takes you beyond the obvious plays and helps you find undervalued gems for deep leagues.
As bye-weeks start to pile up and valuable waiver targets dry up, things start to get a little hairy this time of the year. Metrics and data help to clear our line of vision though so can still sniff out a few valuable pickups.
It’s getting so sparse that I don’t have an RB listed this week. But Ito Smith is rostered in only 9% of leagues and has improved his YPC to 5.7 so far this year, up from his miserable 3.5 he averaged his rookie campaign. It’s a tough matchup against Houston in Week 5, but Smith is the best of the garbage heap of available running backs.
A.J. Brown, WR (Ten Titans) Owned 6%
Another big rookie coming in at 6 feet, 226 pounds, A.J. Brown might be an all or nothing play as the Titans offense is, well, less than prolific. But his 17.3 FPOE is the 11th best among receivers so far this season, after posting 100 yards receiving in Week 1 and 94 yards with two scores this past week.
He has an impressive average of 11.2 receiving air yards per target on the season, beating fellow Titan Corey Davis’ 10.6. Over the past two weeks, that average has climbed to 14, giving him tantalizing upside. And if the passing volume in Tennesse gets more consistent, Brown’s weekly floor is going to rise nicely.
Ricky Seals-Jones, TE (Cle Browns) Owned 0%
If the name Ricky Seals-Jones sounds familiar, there is good reason. He was the “sleeper” tight end that never woke up for the Cardinals in 2018. But as a complementary piece to David Njoku in Clevland, Seals-Jones is finding fantasy relevance again after Njoku was placed on the IR.
Seals-Jones finally climbed into the double digits in snap share in Week 4, hitting a season-high 30%. Whereas Demetrius Harris is averaging 62% so far on the season, Seals-Jones has more receiving targets and a lot more receiving yards than his counterpart.1
The offensive line in Cleveland has been atrocious this season, resulting in Baker Mayfield running for his life while waiting for the play to develop. This week, Cleveland finally looked like they realized that, and game planned around getting the ball out quickly. This is going to pay off for the Browns tight ends, who along with Nick Chubb, are going to be the security blanket for Mayfield until he can take his shots. As long as Njoku is missing time, Seals-Jones is the most athletic pass-catcher out of the group. The Browns face off against San Fransico in Week 5 and Seattle in Week 6 before their bye week.
Preston Williams, WR (Mia Dolphins) Owned 5.7%
I wrote about Williams last week, and his rostered percentage went up only marginally. This is understandable considering he is playing on one of the worst teams the NFL has seen in years. Next week is Miami’s bye week so it might be hard to pick him up and stash him. But for those who can, four weeks into the season and the 6-foot-5-inch rookie still leads the team in targets. And he has been averaging 90% of the team’s offensive snaps over the past two weeks.
After the bye, Miami receivers have a string of positive matchups. Washington, Pittsburgh and the New York Jets are all in the top five of average points allowed to the WR position.
But if you can’t wait for Williams to return from the bye week …
BONUS – Cole Beasley, WR (Buf Bills) Owned 20%
Check to see if your league mates are still sleeping on Cole Beasley who, going into Monday Night Football, is 17th among all receivers in expected points and 10th in total targets.
His rostered percent is a little high to be a full-fledged dumpster dive. But if he is available in your deeper leagues, he shouldn’t be. His 36 targets lead the Bills, and he has proven to be Josh Allen’s safety valve. Of course, if Allen stays in the concussion protocol and the Bills start Matt Barkley — who proved effective with 127 passing yards in only a quarter of play — that could be even better for Beasley. Barkley showed better accuracy than Allen has this season, and if Barkley is more inclined to throw it in the red zone rather than escaping the pocket to run it in himself, that’s going to vault Beasleys’ potential up drastically.
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Image Credit: Jeffrey Vest/Icon Sportswire. Pictured: A.J. Brown.
- Ninety-six yards compared to six. (back)