Fantasy Football Week 9: Must Have Waiver-Wire Pickups
As the season goes on, it becomes more difficult than ever to make the right moves for your fantasy team. The waiver wires are bare, the bye weeks are killing you, and the injuries are piling up. What's a GM to do?
Start here. We've got you.
These two should be unbelievably, screamingly obvious. In fact, consider yourself amazingly lucky if either one of these two are available in your league - if they are, you're playing with the lowest of the low, true Ruxin-esque owners.
It's amazing that it took the Cardinals this long to realize that Andre Ellington was lightyears ahead of Rashard Mendenhall; the former has a rushing success rate nearly twice the latter (61% to 34%) and their NEPs are miles apart as well; Ellington adds 0.13 points-per-carry to his team, Mendenhall takes away 0.07. When your running back loses you points every time he touches the ball, even if only compared to an average back...yeah, maybe you should bench him.
As far as Stacy, all you really needed to see was Monday night's performance. He socked it to the vaunted Seahawks defense to the tune of over 140 all-purpose yards, all while Kellen freakin' Clemens was under center. Yes, you remember him: the guy that was so bad that the Jets had to go and draft Mark Sanchez.
I'm getting away from myself: pick both of these guys up immediately.
On to the next set of "obvious" ones. These two however have to be taken with the biggest grains of the most saltiest salts ever.
Crappy, grist-mill writers like the
7th graders "featured columnists" at Bleacher Report would simply point to Marvin Jones' statline as the main reason why he should be picked up. Of course, it came across a very average secondary (Jets are power-ranked by NEP to be 15th against the pass) and those stats all came despite being on the field for just 33% of Cincinnati's total snaps.
(Remember kids: if it's not math, it's some fat guy and his opinion.)
Let that sink in. 33%. What do you think is more likely? That he's going to continue busting out those ridiculous numbers despite being on the field less than a blocking fullback, or that he'll regress back to his sub-replacement level "I have no idea who this guy is!" form?
Pick him up, trade him. His numbers are unsustainable.
All of the above analysis can generally also be said about Kenny Stills, who has racked up just 23 targets in 7 games. That's less than Jerrico Cotchery.
About eight different receivers receive attention from Drew Brees, not least of which is Lance Moore, who is now fully healthy. His NEP is above-average though and his comparables are interesting (Malcom Floyd, Marcus Robinson)...but really, don't be a chump. Don't chase aberrations. He's here only because his name is hot; pick him up and trade him, too.
Ah, now we're talking. Let's get the obvious out of the way first: the only reason he's even in the NFL was because he played for Schiano at Rutgers. He's never been above replacement-level in any of his seasons, and his top comparable is David Boston after the league ended his steroid regimen.
On the bright side, Mike Glennon isn't as bad as we all thought and with Mike Williams going down to injury, the receiving corps in Tampa consists of Vincent Jacksons and four guys recruited out of the stands. Tiquan got four targets last week, a number surely to double with the ballhawk Seattle defense raring to double, even triple down on V-Jax. It's going to be ugly, but he'll get you something, and it's going to be a much more consistent target than chasing the massive variance of Jones or Stills.
It's well-known that teams who travel across the country are a bit sluggish. What's not known however is how underrated the Raiders defensive corps is. (Ugh. I hate ending sentences on copulae.)
Ranked in the top 15 in both rush defense NEP and pass defense NEP, the Raiders play host for the second week in a row to a team from the Keystone State, except this one is potentially starting Matt Barkley and not Ben Roethlisberger. They shut down the Steelers fairly handily; now imagine what could be if the Raiders actually had a functioning offense!
With that said, don't expect a miracle, 20-point performance from these guys. They're not the Seahawks. You'll get sacks, a couple of picks, with an outside shot at a TD, particularly if Barkley goes instead of Foles.
Further down the list, this one is a pure speculative play on the matchup vs. the Browns. Joe Haden is a monster, but he'll be covering Torrey Smith. In his largesse, Marlon Brown will eat up the targets, enough to make a decent WR4/Flex play if you're really hurt by bye weeks. Really, who else is going to get them?
He's not as good as thought he was based on Week 1 and he's not as bad as you think he is based on everything since. His comparables indicate unspectacular competence (Ike Hilliard, Laveranues Coles) and that's just about as good as you're going to get off the waivers right now.