Waiver Wire Dumpster Dives takes you beyond the obvious plays and helps you find undervalued gems for deep leagues.
I just want to take a quick moment to give thanks this week. In my time trying to break into the fantasy industry, certain individuals have reached out and taken a chance on me multiple times and I wouldn’t be writing this column for RotoViz were it not for them.
The very first person, and connoisseur of all things “Road House” Sal Stefanile has reached out on a limb on my behalf more often than I could ever have imagined. He is also the man who introduced me to Charlie K. Charlie brought me to RotoViz when my column was homeless. And of course a special “Thank you” should be given to Blair Andrews, who edits this weekly waiver wire garbage heap and turns my stream of consciousness into something far more palatable for you, the reader.
There have been many more. Too many to list all of them here. But this week of Thanksgiving, I hope they all know I greatly appreciate the time, effort, guidance, etc. that they have all given me.
But you came here for Dumpster Dives, so let’s get into three more players for Week 13.
As always, we’ll use RotoViz tools like the amazing NFL Stat Explorer to discover and visualize the data we need to unearth these hidden gems.
Russell Gage, WR (Atlanta Falcons) Owned 4%
In Week 11 Gage hauled in eight of 10 targets for 76 yards, a new career-best for the second-year receiver. That performance against Tampa Bay likely has Gage garnering a few more looks from waiver wire hopefuls than before. For good reason too. Since Sanu left Atlanta, Gage has averaged seven targets-per-game and seen double-digit expected points in two out of the four weeks.
New Orleans in Week 13 seems like a negative matchup, but unless your name is Julio Jones, you will never see the opposing teams’ top Cornerback when you play for the Falcons. Gage should see a bump in targets against the Saints, who are allowing the 12th most fantasy points to receivers, just because Marshon Lattimore and Eli Apple will have their hands full with Jones and Calvin Ridley. After that, the Falcons get Carolina who is currently fifth in fantasy points allowed to the position. Gage could be your catalyst to the fantasy championships with those two juicy matchups coming up.
Mike Gesicki, TE (Miami Dolphins) Owned 9.1%
The tight end landscape is gross. Let’s just admit that up front. So if you don’t have a stable stalwart on your roster, you need opportunities when scouring the position. Since Miami’s bye week Gesicki has averaged just under six targets per game, and has had at least six for the past four games.
With the ninth most air yards among TEs, his quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick is showing his affinity for the position yet again. In 2018 O.J. Howard and Cameron Brate were top-20 fantasy tight ends. Gesicki is currently No. 24 in PPR formats on the season.
If Gesicki had a more favorable upcoming schedule many analysts would be recommending stashing him for the playoff run. But that’s exactly why he is so widely available and if he continues to get six targets every week, then I really don’t care. Plus, if you get to the fantasy championships, the Dolphins take on the Cincinnati Bengals, who are allowing the 12th most passing yards per game.
Anthony Miller, WR (Chicago Bears) Owned 9.9%
Over the past two weeks, Mitchell Trubisky has thrown 40-plus pass attempts. That has translated directly into fantasy opportunity for Miller. Over these past two contests, Miller has garnered 20 targets, hasn’t recorded less than 54 receiving yards. For that same time span, you can find Miller tied with Chris Godwin for No. 41 among receivers in PPR fantasy points, and that is without a touchdown. To put that into perspective, Godwin is rostered in 99.1% of leagues. In the games this season where Trubisky has had 40 or more pass attempts, Miller has averaged 12.13 receiving expected points.
In week 13 Miller and the Bears face off against the Detriot Lions on Thanksgiving. The Lions are giving up the 11th most fantasy points to the receiver position and tied for seventh in the NFL in total points allowed per game.
The matchups beyond next week aren’t ideal. But Chicago is likely the underdog against Dallas, Greenbay and Kansas City. If they continue to be in negative game scripts, the Bears offense could continue to find themselves among the leaders in pass attempts-per-game, giving Miller a solid PPR floor.
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