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Diamond in the Rough: Waiver Wire

While there is skill involved, fantasy sports, and football in general, involves a lot of luck, especially in a year with the injuries and Covid-19 affecting the season the way it has thus far. Maybe you are sitting atop your league's leaderboard, or perhaps you are just trying to get into the win column. No matter what position you are in, winning is all that matters. Waivers can help make or break your season, and we are here to help you grind it out and get that championship.


Ryan Fitzpatrick - Dolphins QB - ESPN - 19.9% - Yahoo! - 21% (Joe)

For some odd reason, Ryan Fitzpatrick is still barely owned in most leagues. He is averaging 20.7 fantasy points per game with his only bad game coming in week one against the New England Patriots. Besides that, he has scored at least 21 fantasy points in every game since. Last week, he looked virtually unstoppable against the NFC Champion San Francisco 49ers throwing for 350 yards and three touchdowns (27.6 points). Now, he faces a much weaker defense in the New York Jets.

Andy Dalton - Cowboys QB - ESPN - 0.2% - Yahoo! -3% (Zach)

Sadly, due to Dak Prescott’s season-ending injury, the Red Rifle is a priority waiver wire pickup this week. After Dak left in the third, Dalton led a game-winning field goal drives with huge completions to Gallup. He went 9-11 for 111 yards in the fourth and looked good in relief. He is in a great situation with the Cowboys having a plethora of weapons at his disposal and one of the worst defenses, leaving room for many shootouts as we have already seen this season.

Running Backs

Alexander Mattison - Vikings RB - ESPN - 41.6% - Yahoo! - 40% (Zach)

Another pickup this week is due to injury, and Alexander Mattison is priority number one if Dalvin Cook misses time with a groin injury. Mattison has performed well in relief of Cook in the past, including 136 total yards last week. The Vikings are a run-heavy team and have a talented backup whom they are willing to use. Even with Cook dominating this year, Mattison has contributed with PPR point totals of 12 and 7.7 in weeks one and four, respectively. With the Vikings upcoming game being against the 0-5 Falcons, they may seek caution with Cook, locking in Mattison as an RB2 with RB1 upside. If Mattison is available in your league, go get him whether you own Dalvin Cook or not.

Justin Jackson - Chargers RB - ESPN - 54.2% - Yahoo! - 44%(Jake)

Jackson missed weeks two and three with a quad injury, then in week four, Joshua Kelley led the Chargers backfield after Austin Ekeler went down. In last night's OT showdown against the Saints, Jackson led the backfield in 15 carries while tacking on an additional five receptions, which led to a 14.40 fantasy total in PPR. The Chargers have the most friendly schedule in the league over the next four weeks as they face the Jets, Dolphins, Jaguars, and Raiders. Consider Jackson an RB2/flex player with a safe floor over the next several weeks since the Chargers have transitioned to a passing offense with Herbert at the helm.

Wide Receivers

Laviska Shenault - Jaguars WR - ESPN - 32% Yahoo! 34% (Zach)

Coming out of Colorado, everyone knew Shenault was an explosive athlete, but his role in the NFL was unclear. Through five weeks, the Jaguars have used him all over the field as a runner and receiver. He has only scored once this season, but his targets have increased week to week, and he led the Jaguars in receiving in week five with seven catches on eight targets for 79 yards. D.J. Chark hurt his ankle this week and could be out with a lingering injury. While I believe Shenault has standalone value outside of his fellow receivers' health, his upside goes up as he likely will be Minshew's top target. With double-digit points in PPR leagues in all but one week so far this season and the increase in his role as acclimates to the offense, he is a priority add if he is still available in your league.

Travis Fulgham - Eagles WR - ESPN - 0.2% Yahoo! - 3% (Joe)

With a wide receiver core decimated by injuries, as usual, Travis Fulgham was the guy to step up last week. Fulgham spent time with the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions this summer, getting cut by both, but proved his worth against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Fulgham caught ten passes for 152 yards and a touchdown. It remains to be seen what role Fulgham will hold once Alshon Jeffery and Desean Jackson come back, but that’s a very promising first game for the Eagles that should earn him more time.

Chase Claypool - Steelers WR - ESPN - 0.2% Yahoo! - 17% (Jake)

Welcome to the NFL. The Steelers continue their run at high-quality production from young wideouts. As Juju Smith-Schuster will remain the number one threat in the Steelers offense, Claypool will put pressure on defenses. Claypool led the team in targets as he hauled in 7/11 targets along with three carries and totaling four touchdowns. While the four touchdown day is unlikely to be replicated, he could easily lead the team in targets as the Steelers lack a definitive second weapon. It looks as though he has quickly developed chemistry with Big Ben. Hope on the Steelers offense while you still can.

Tight Ends

Trey Burton - Colts TE - ESPN - 0.2% - Yahoo! -1% (Joe)

After his season debut week four against the Chicago Bears, Trey Burton looks to have already earned himself a role in Frank Reich’s offense. In only his second game, Burton was second on the team in targets (six), and in his first game, he received five targets. Philip Rivers struggled greatly, so Burton didn’t do much with his targets only totaling 33 yards, but if he continues to get the ball from Rivers, he could be a solid fantasy option.

Honorable Mentions

Kyle Allen - Washington - ESPN - 1.6% - Yahoo! - 3% - C.J. Beathard - 49ers QB - ESPN - 0.1% - Yahoo! - 0% - J.D. McKissic - Washington RB - ESPN - 14.8% - Yahoo! - 6% - Chris Thompson - Jaguars RB - ESPN - 12.4% - Yahoo! - 16% - Damiere Byrd - Patriots WR - ESPN - 2.3% - Yahoo! - 4% - Alshon Jeffery - Eagles WR - ESPN - 13.6% - Yahoo! - 18% - Gerald Everett - Rams TE - ESPN - 0.5% - Yahoo! - 1% - Irv Smith Jr. - ESPN - 4.3% - Yahoo! - 6%


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