Waiver Wire Dumpster Dives takes you beyond the obvious plays and helps you find undervalued gems for deep leagues.
Did you survive bye-pocalypse with your playoff hopes intact? Now the waiver wire can start to become a little less cut-throat as some GMs throw in the towel on 2019. Don’t be that fantasy player. With some savvy matchup plays any team can go on a hot streak and sneak into the playoffs. Worst-case scenario, you can still have the enjoyment of playing spoiler to your league-mates. So let’s highlight at a few players still overlooked in most leagues in this week’s Dumpster Dives.
We’ll use the RotoViz tools like the amazing NFL Stat Explorer to discover and visualize the data we need to unearth these hidden gems.
Demaryius Thomas, WR (NY Jets) — Owned 4.4%
If only the Jets could play the Giants every week. The two dreadful defenses rejuvenated several offensive weapons. Well, Thomas and Gang Green might not play the Giants every week, but as I stated before, Thomas does have one of the friendliest schedules coming up for a receiver. Washington, Oakland, Cincinnati, and then Miami are all plus matchups before finally facing off against Baltimore.
In Week 10 Thomas led the Jets in targets (9), receptions (6) and receiving yards (84). He is still looking for his first touchdown this season, but with 23% of the target share since Week 5, it is only a matter of time with his upcoming schedule.
With Robby Anderson MIA this fantasy season, Thomas has turned out to be Sam Darnold’s most reliable weapon on the outside. Whereas Anderson has averaged 39.6 yards per game since Thomas got back from injury. And that includes his 125-yard performance against Dallas. Thomas has averaged 52.8 over that same span and has had three games in double-digit receiving Expected Points. Thomas should be a top priority for everyone in deep leagues right now.
Brian Hill, RB (Atlanta Falcons) — Owned 0.7%
Devonta Freeman is set to miss a couple of weeks with a sprained foot and Ito Smith has already been designated to the IR. That leaves just Brian Hill and Kenjon Barner on the current depth chart. Against New Orleans, the rush attempts split went 20-1 in favor of Hill. Barner didn’t record a single target in the passing game either.
Of the 241.6 points that the #Panthers have allowed to running backs this season…— Michael Hauff (@TheFFRealist) November 11, 2019
48.7% of those points have come in their last 3 games. 💥
Up next for the Panthers in Week 11 is the Falcons. 👀
Translation: Be sure to scoop up and start Brian Hill. 📈#FantasyFootball pic.twitter.com/Sbuu1yYr6y
In Week 11, the Falcons, fresh off that upset in the Big Easy, face off against the Carolina Panthers. The Panthers are giving up the fourth-most fantasy points to the running back position (28.79). As my friend Michael Hauff has pointed out, just under 50% of their total points to the position on the entire season has come in the past three games. Over these past three weeks, Carolina leads the entire NFL in points given up to the RB position in standard scoring and is second in PPR formats.
With Carolina currently hemorrhaging fantasy production to running backs and the dearth of available running backs at this time of the year, he should be snagged in every league until Freeman gets back.
Hunter Renfrow, WR (Oakland Raiders) — Owned 7.9%
Renfrow is having a sneaky productive rookie season. He is second on the Raiders in targets with 42. He is also second on the team in receptions (28), third in receiving yards (299), and has had a touchdown in two out of the last three games. That’s not any kind of rookie record or anything, but it is a solid 15% share of Derek Carr’s targets and air yards on the season.
The next two weeks Oakland hosts the hapless Cincinnati Bengals and then visit the New York Jets. Both teams are plus matchups — especially the Jets, as they are giving up the second-most points to the receiver position per-game (42.57).
Renfrow isn’t the flashy, fancy pickup you will feel excited about. But just like that side dish of broccoli or Brussels sprouts on your plate next to your medium-rare filet, you know they are good for you. You know you should.
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