Depending on your perspective, it’s a great waiver wire week. There are tons of options that can really make a fantasy impact, especially in the running game. Of course, the reason there are so many options is because we had so many tough injuries last week. I certainly can understand if some of you are in a bit of a mood. You’re not alone.
As I mentioned last week, the players listed below are good pickups in just about any league, and there are plenty of options here. That being said, if you play in deeper leagues, with 12 or more teams, I will be posting my expanded waiver wire over at Rotobahn later Tuesday. It will be loaded with options for you big leaguers, and it’s all free. You don’t even need to register. One thing I recommend doing is to follow Rotobahn on Twitter. We’ll keep you up to date on all of our content whether it’s here at WEEI or at Rotobahn.
The ownership percentage is listed for each player. The rate of ownership is based on Yahoo! leagues, which tend to be smaller and more representative of the 10-team leagues most of us play in. Obviously, these numbers are mostly for perspective. What really matters is which players are available in your league, and you’ll need to do the legwork on that.
Kirk Cousins, Washington — 8 percent availability
He’s a nice pickup and he will get at least a handful of starts while Robert Griffin III gets healthy. If Cousins plays to his potential while Griffin is out, he could end up being the quarterback of the future in Washington. Cousins is an add in all leagues as a strong QB2.
Josh McCown, Buccaneers — 29 percent availability
He’s been in control the first two weeks, and as his weapons continue to mature, his numbers should continue to be solid. McCown is an underrated passer. He’s efficient and accurate. You can get by with him at quarterback even in smaller leagues.
Blake Bortles, Jaguars — 4 percent availability
He could be a nice addition, but it’s hard to tell when the Jaguars will make the move to the younger quarterback. If and when Bortles gets the gig, he brings a lot of skills to the table. He’ll get you points with his arm and with his feet as well. If you are searching for fantasy upside at the position, Bortles could be the move.
Lamar Miller, Dolphins — 77 percent availability
His ownership rate is high, but make sure he’s taken in your league, because he’ll be getting tons of volume while Knowshon Moreno sits out with an elbow injury. No more splitting time for Miller.
Terrance West, Browns — 66 percent availability
He has a chance to take the starting gig for good if he can put a few more good games together while Ben Tate sits out with a sprained knee. West is a developing player, but he’s producing as he’s developing. As he continues to gain experience in the zone scheme they run in Cleveland, he will continue to get better for fantasy purposes. Roster him in all leagues if you still can.
Knile Davis, Chiefs — 18 percent availability
You want him if you can get him. Davis, as I’ve been saying since before last year’s draft, is a serious talent and is capable of posting major fantasy numbers. He’s a must for Jamaal Charles owners, but if you didn’t handcuff him, you’ll have to fight to get him. Davis has RB1 upside in every game he starts. Check out my original scouting report on Davis if you are not familiar with his skill set. Charles could be out a few weeks with a high ankle sprain.
Bobby Rainey, Buccaneers — 21 percent availability
I doubt you need me to tell you that Rainey is worth adding after Sunday’s big game. How he and Doug Martin mesh going forward is tough to figure, but you’d be nuts to own Martin and not go after Rainey. Heck, you’re nuts if you don’t go after Rainey, period. He’s a must-be-owned-in-all-leagues player now.
Donald Brown, Chargers — 8 percent availability
While some folks might be under the impression that Danny Woodhead will get more touches now that Ryan Mathews is injured (MCL out 4-5 weeks), the guy to add actually is Donald Brown, who should slide almost directly into the role that Mathews leaves behind. Woodhead will get a little extra, but Brown will have more weekly value, especially in standard scoring.
Khiry Robinson, Saints — 19 percent availability
Mark Ingram went down, as we suspected he might. It’s too bad, as Ingram was running very well, but you want to dump Ingram for Robinson if you can. The younger back should get about half the action over the next month or more, and that’s worth plenty when you are talking about the Saints offense. He can start for you in all leagues.
Chris Ivory, Jets — 54 percent availability
He can be a nice short-term add in non-PPR leagues. Ivory is healthy and he’ll get about 15 carries a game for as long as his health holds up. He’s also the primary red zone option.
Darren McFadden, Raiders — 36 percent availability
If you miss out on some of the other options, you still can help yourself in the near term with McFadden, who appears on track to start in place of Maurice Jones-Drew (hand surgery) for a second straight week. On the downside, it’s possible that Jones-Drew makes a quicker-than-expected return, and he has a tough matchup with the Patriots this week.
Jerick McKinnon, Vikings — 12 percent availability
Yes, I know Matt Asiata got the lion’s share of work. The thing is, the big back is unspecial. He’s a plodder who can do some good things, but his potential falls well short of McKinnon’s. The rookie actually could make Vikings fans forget about Adrian Peterson. Well, maybe not forget, but you know what I mean. He could bring excitement to the backfield along with Cordarrelle Patterson and Teddy Bridgewater. McKinnon should be the most valuable back to own long term in a Peterson-free backfield. I’d act immediately if he’s available in your league. Stash him and wait. If you are not familiar with McKinnon, check out my pre-draft scouting report on the Georgia Southern product.
Bishop Sankey, Titans — 71 percent availability
Keep an eye on Sankey. He may get dumped by an impatient GM this week and he’s still the best option in the Titans backfield over the next 14 weeks. Pick him up, stash him, and get ready to play him in a few weeks. Sankey has an NFL skill set. Check out my pre-draft take on the former Washington star if you don’t know him well.
Steve Smith, Ravens — 66 percent availability
The old man has looked outstanding so far and it’s obvious that Joe Flacco has plenty of faith in him. Ride Smith while he’s healthy and productive. He’s got even more value in PPR scoring.
Markus Wheaton, Steelers — 67 percent availability
He’s looking more and more locked in as the second option in the Pittsburgh passing attack. He can be your weekly WR3 if you are in need.
Brian Quick, Rams — 16 percent availability
He’s always had the talent and now he’s getting the playing time. I doubt he even looks back at this point. Roster Quick as a solid WR4 who can play for you when needed. If the Rams get settled at the quarterback position, Quick could become a weekly starter for fantasy GMs.
Justin Hunter, Titans — 69 percent availability
Yes, he’s only posted 89 yards through two weeks, but he’s getting the playing time and it’s only a matter of time before the big plays start rolling in. I’d add Hunter this week if he gets dumped by an impatient owner. He’s a very nice WR4 who could develop into a weekly starter.
Kenny Stills, Saints — 20 percent availability
He was involved in his first game back and just missed a touchdown. I’d add Still now in preemptive fashion because the big plays should be coming soon. He’s a WR4 with plenty of upside as one of Drew Brees‘ big-play weapons.
Mohamed Sanu, Bengals — 9 percent availability
He was one of my sleepers last week and he came through. With A.J. Green‘s turf toe and with Marvin Jones still out, Sanu and his all-around playmaking ability gave some fantasy intrigue in all leagues. His value may prove to be fleeting, but it’s real for now.
Robert Woods, Bills — 5 percent availability
He’s playing ahead of Mike Williams and I expect him to start producing now that C.J. Spiller and Sammy Watkins both are making big plays. Woods is the glue guy who will make teams pay for doubling Watkins. Get him now while he’s cheap.
Andrew Hawkins, Browns — 32 percent availability
Hawkins will never last with the volume Cleveland is giving him, but he can help you while he’s healthy. Hawkins could be a nice bye week replacement from Week 5 on. He gets his bye next week in Week 4. He’s currently the top option in the Cleveland passing attack and he’ll be No. 2 when Jordan Cameron gets healthy.
James Jones, Raiders — 22 percent availability
If Rod Streater’s injured hip is going to keep him out, Jones becomes a more primary weapon, and he’s already shown some chemistry with rookie QB Derek Carr.
Jerricho Cotchery, Panthers — 9 percent availability
He’s as solid as receivers come and his quarterback already is showing trust in him. Cotchery can help you as a WR4 in PR leagues.
Travis Kelce, Chiefs — 37 percent availability
We saw some of his breakout ability last week and we can only assume that Kansas City will continue to find ways to keep him involved. Kelce has the most fantasy upside of all the tight ends who are commonly on the wire. Add him while you can in all formats.
Delanie Walker, Titans — 65 percent availability
I missed the boat on Walker. The guy has fit right into Ken Whisenhunt‘s offense and he’s been highly productive. He can help you in the near term at tight end if you are looking for answers.
Larry Donnell, Giants — 22 percent availability
Wow. This guy hasn’t just looked good, he’s looked like a polished veteran so far. He was a UDFA out of Grambling State back in 2012 and he’s obviously made a whole lot of progress since then. He could be the most dependable part of the Giants offense right now, which isn’t saying much, but he’s the primary red zone weapon for Eli Manning unless something changes.
Niles Paul, Washington — 6 percent availability
He looked good and he’s a nice player if he’s getting enough snaps. Paul can be a nice insurance policy for Jordan Reed owners. Just ask Paul, and start the guy who starts this weekend.