Diamond in the Rough: Waiver Wire


Week one has come and gone, and what a week it was. Saquon Barkley and Courtland Sutton are both out for the season, while Drew Lock and Christian McCaffrey and a handful of other places are going to be out several weeks. Playing the waiver wire correctly can make or break your season. This week there are guys that are going to be available that will potentially propel your team to a championship.


Quarterbacks

Ryan Fitzpatrick - Dolphins QB - Yahoo! 4% - ESPN - 1.7% (Joe)

Fitzpatrick is a great start this week for people streaming quarterbacks as he goes up against the Jacksonville Jaguars. The past two weeks, the Jaguars defense let up 363 yards to Philip Rivers, although Rivers threw two picks and 239 yards and four touchdowns to Ryan Tannehill. Fitzpatrick had a great fantasy game against the solid Buffalo Bills last week, and that should carry over into his next game.


Baker Mayfield - Browns QB - Yahoo! 47% - EPSN - 27.9% (Zach)

After week one, most people’s faith in Baker as a franchise QB was dwindling. His bad performance could be accredited to the Baltimore defense and having no preseason, but he came out on Thursday night with swagger and led his team to a win, albeit against a lowly Bengals defense. After OBJ trade rumors were swirling, Baker targeted his talented receiver throughout the game and showed several reasons why he was the #1 overall pick. While I do not believe he will be a league winner, Baker likely will be a solid week to week starter based on matchups, and with a week three matchup with Washington, I like him as a top 15 option with upside.


Running Backs

Joshua Kelley - Chargers RB - Yahoo! 39% - ESPN 27.9% (Zach)

In Sunday’s game against the Chiefs, Kelley surprisingly out-touched RB Austin Ekeler 25 to 20. He used those touches to run for 64 yards on 23 rushes and catch two receptions for 49 yards. Last year we saw that the Chargers were able to have two productive RB’s in Ekeler and Melvin Gordon, and it seems that it will be the case yet again in 2020. Especially with Justin Jackson out, expect Kelley to continue to get touches and be a solid replacement for your injured RB’s on your fantasy team.


Dion Lewis - Giants RB - Yahoo! 6% - ESPN 2.4% (Jake)

Saquon Barkley's electric production will be missed, but after he went down in Week two, Lewis stepped up to take on the workload. He finished the game with ten carries for 20 yards and a score plus five receptions for 36 yards and totaled 15.6 fantasy points in PPR. I imagine Wayne Gallman will be active in Week 3, so don't expect workhorse production from Lewis, but he will likely benefit from what should be a losing game script most weeks for the New York Giants. Next week's matchup against the injury-riddled San Francisco 49ers might be a closer game than expected. Nick Bosa and Soloman Thomas will be out, but given the Giant's offensive line struggles, look for them to still generate plays in the screen game with Lewis to account for a lack of rushing ability.


Wide Receivers

Keelan Cole - Jaguars WR - Yahoo! 4% - ESPN 1.7% (Joe)

After D.J. Chark was the main target for Gardner Minshew in 2019, this season has been different. Keelan Cole has been the leader or tied for the team lead in targets in back-to-back games. He now has 11 catches for 105 yards and two touchdowns in just two games. Over the next few weeks, he has some favorable matchups that he could have bigger games in like Miami, Cincinnati, Houston, and Detroit all in a row.


K.J. Hamler - Broncos WR - Yahoo! 1% - ESPN 1.1% (Zach)

Making his debut in week two, Hamler finished tied with a team-high in targets with seven, along with three catches for 48 yards. The majority of the targets came from Jeff Driskel, who will be starting at least the next couple weeks after Drew Lock was knocked out of the game with a shoulder injury. Along with Lock, WR Courtland Sutton will miss significant time with a knee injury, leaving plenty of playing time open. With Hamler being a second-round pick, the Broncos are sure to want to include the rookie in their offensive plans, and they showed it last week with his target volume. Especially for those who have had their top WR’s go down with an injury, go get Hamler in your leagues.


Tight Ends

Drew Sample - Bengals TE - Yahoo! 1% - ESPN 0.1% (Joe)

Last week against the Cleveland Browns, the Cincinnati Bengals’ tight ends combined for 11 catches for 87 yards and a touchdown. Unfortunately, starting tight end, C.J. Ozumah tore his achilles, leaving the door open for second-year tight end Drew Sample to take over. He caught seven of those 11 passes in relief of Ozumah. Sample could receive a lot of targets his way if Joe Burrow continues to throw plenty of passes like he did this past Thursday.


Dalton Schultz - Cowboys TE - Yahoo! 2% - ESPN 1% (Jake)

Blake Jarwin suffered a torn ACL in Week one, and Dalton Schultz stepped in nicely in Week two as the Cowboy’s primary tight end. After seeing only four targets against the Rams, Schultz more than doubled his targets with ten against the Falcons. He scored 20.8 PPR fantasy points and hauled in nine of ten targets for 88 yards and a touchdown. The Cowboys won’t be fortunate enough to play the Falcons every week, but McCarthy and Co. have discovered that Schultz is up to the challenge. The Cowboys have 88 total pass attempts through two games, which is third-most in the league behind only the Bengals and Falcons. Schultz is worth a shot due to his presence in a high flying offense. A trip to Seattle, who has been involved in high scoring affairs so far, presents an opportunity for continued success.



Honorable Mentions

Jeff Driskel - Broncos QB - Yahoo! 0% - ESPN - 0.1% - Jeff Wilson Jr. - 49ers RB - Yahoo! 0% - ESPN - 0.1% - Jerrick McKinnon - 49ers RB - Yahoo! 24% - ESPN -19.1% Devonta Freeman - Free agent - Yahoo! - 14% EPSN - 7.9% Braxton Berrios - Jets WR - Yahoo! - 0% ESPN - 0.1% Mo Allie-Cox - Colts TE - Yahoo! - 1% ESPN - 0.8%


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