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Diamond in the Rough: Waiver Wire

We have had to navigate through a plethora of injuries, and now COVID-19 has shuffled the season around. There continue to be several starter-worthy players on waivers, and we are here to help you swoop them up. We just wrapped up the first quarter of the season, and if you're 4-0 or 0-4, playing the waivers can still be a crucial part of your run at a championship.


Justin Herbert – Chargers QB - 11.7% ESPN – Yahoo! – 16%(Jake)

The rookie QB threw multiple touchdowns in a game for the first time in his young career against a very formidable Tampa Bay defense as he totaled three on the day. He demonstrated the ability to extend plays and flashed running skills when he rushed for a touchdown in his first start. The Chargers under Tyrod Taylor seemed conservative, but Herbert is willing to throw the ball down the field; his 290 yards passing in Week 4 were the least in his three starts. The Chargers face New Orleans in Week 5, but after that, he has friendly matchups against the Jets, Dolphins, and Jaguars. If you are in need of a QB, he could be a stopgap for a few weeks.

Teddy Bridgewater - Panthers QB - ESPN - 9.8% - Yahoo! - 19% (Joe)

Teddy Bridgewater has played very well in wins over the Los Angeles Chargers and the Arizona Cardinals in back to back games. He hasn’t exactly popped off according to the stat sheet, but he goes up against an Atlanta Falcons’ defense that gets exposed every single week by every quarterback. This game could end up being a shootout given the high-flying Falcons’ offense and lousy defense. He’s an excellent stream for the week and should be safe.

Running Backs

D'Ernest Johnson - Browns RB - ESPN – 0% - Yahoo! – 2% (Jake)

After Nick Chubb went down in Week 4, D’Ernest Johnson led the Cleveland backfield in touches with 13 compared to Kareem Hunt’s 11. He turned those touches in 95 yards on the ground. Given the 3-1 Cleveland Browns lead the NFL in rush yards and rushing attempts, Johnson should deliver solid replacement value for teams looking for a spot starter as we near bye weeks and face unpredictability.

Damien Harris - Patriots RB - ESPN - 15.4% - Yahoo! - 30% - (Joe)

Once lead back Sony Michel was deemed inactive, Damien Harris was activated from injured reserve. He took advantage of his chance to lead the backfield, running all over the Kansas City Chiefs defense. Even with virtually no offense having Brian Hoyer and Jarrett Stidham at quarterback, Harris still carried the ball 17 times for 100 yards. Harris could have an opportunity to uproot the ineffective Michel from the starting job.

Wide Receivers

Tim Patrick - Broncos WR - ESPN - 0.6% - Yahoo! - 2% (Jake)

While Jerry Jeudy stole the show with his incredible first career touchdown reception, Tim Patrick led the Broncos passing attack as he hauled in six out of seven of his targets for 113 yards and a score. With Courtland Sutton out of the lineup, Patrick seems to be the next guy in line for targets. The Broncos are a team that should be passing early in often as they will not be frontrunners often. The Falcons and Dolphins remain on the schedule for Patrick, so he could be in for some big performances.

Darnell Mooney – Bears WR - ESPN – 0.6% - Yahoo! – 1% (Joe)

Rookie fifth-round pick Darnell Mooney continues to impress week after week for the Chicago Bears. Mooney has emerged as the number two receiving option over third-year wide receiver Anthony Miller. He continues to out snap him. Mooney got nine targets in the loss to the Indianapolis Colts and was arguably one of the only bright spots of the offense (outside of Allen Robinson as usual). He turned those targets into five catches for 52 yards. That isn’t a crazy good statline, but against a top-three defense in football, that’s impressive.

Tight Ends

Cameron Brate – Buccaneers TE - ESPN 0.2% - Yahoo! – 0% (Jake)

O.J. Howard heads to the injured reserve after suffering a ruptured Achilles against the Chargers, and Gronk has mostly been a nonfactor so far. Cameron Brate was a touchdown monster with Jameis Winston and will likely slide into a similar role for Tom Brady. He hauled in one score on Sunday following the injury to Howard. Mike Evans and Chris Godwin should demand plenty of attention to open up the field for Brate. Ultimately targeting Cameron Brate is simply putting your faith in Arians, Leftwich, and Brady.

Robert Tonyan - Packers TE - ESPN - 7.9% - Yahoo! - 29% (Joe)

Every fantasy owner who needs a tight end will scramble to the waivers to pick up Robert Tonyan. This past week, he caught three touchdowns in a win over the Atlanta Falcons. The two weeks before that, Tonyan also had a touchdown in each game. It also helps Tonyan that both of Rodgers’ top targets (Davante Adams and Allen Lazard) are both banged up, but even with Adams active, Tonyan should still be effective.

Honorable Mentions

Tua Tagovailoa - Dolphins QB - ESPN - 5.5% - Yahoo! - 6% - Phillip Rivers - Colts QB - ESPN - 11.2% - Yahoo! - 21% - Justin Jackson - Chargers RB - ESPN - 8.6% - Yahoo! - 5% Chase Edmonds - Cardinals RB - ESPN - 25.2% - Yahoo! - 35% - Jeff Smith – Jets WR - ESPN – 0% Yahoo! – 0% - David Moore - Seahawks WR - ESPN - 0.8% - Yahoo! - 1% - Trey Burton - Colts TE - ESPN - 0.2% - Yahoo! - 1% - Robert Tonyan - Packers TE - ESPN - 7.9% - Yahoo! - 26%


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