Fanball FAAB – Week 4 Waiver Wire Advice
Welcome to Fanball FAAB, our weekly analysis of players who may be available on your league’s waiver wire.
Words by Christian Peterson. Rankings and blind bid recommendations by Paul Charchian.
Ryan Tannehill, Dolphins
Week 3: 17-23, 289 yards, 3 touchdowns
Week 4: at Patriots
Tannehill has yet to attempt more than 28 passes for the 3-0 Dolphins, but that hasn’t prevented him from throwing multiple touchdown passes in every game. His short-term outlook is rosy, too, with upcoming games against the Patriots, who have yielded six touchdown passes to Blake Bortles and Matthew Stafford the last two weeks. After traveling to New England, he’ll go to Cincinnati, a team that let both Andrew Luck and Joe Flacco go well over 300 yards with two touchdowns each before yielding four touchdowns to Cam Newton last week. Charch’s Blind Bidding Recommendation: 10%. In QB-heavy leagues, 15%.
Baker Mayfield, Browns
Week 3: 17-23, 201 yards
Week 4: at Raiders
Even Hue Jackson couldn’t screw this one up. At least, not for more than three weeks. Mayfield finally got his chance in Week 3 after Tyrod Taylor’s concussion, and immediately proceeded to throw for a nearly flawless 200 yards and lead the Browns to their first victory since people were shorter and lived closer to water (h/t @Bo_Mitchell). Mayfield’s Thursday night performance could have been even more impressive if not for three obvious drops by his receivers. Who knows what he can do now that he actually gets to practice with the first team offense? There will undoubtedly be growing pains with Mayfield, but it’s hard not to get excited about his NFL debut. He’s immediately relevant in 2-QB and QB-flex formats, and it’s not outside the realm of possibility that he’ll be startable in certain matchups even in traditional leagues. If you just lost Jimmy Garappolo and don’t mind rolling the dice and navigating some peaks and valleys, Mayfield is your man. Charch’s Blind Bidding Recommendation: 5%. In QB-heavy leagues, 12%.
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Josh Allen, Bills
Week 3: 15-22, 196 yards, 1 touchdown passing, 2 touchdowns rushing
Week 4: at Packers
Allen had his best game as a pro in the Bills stunning upset of the Vikings. The Bills made a concerted effort to get the ball out of Allen’s hands quickly, and the results were positive. The short-passing, dink-and-dunk model isn’t a precursor to huge fantasy numbers, but Allen is taking clear baby steps in his development. More intriguingly, Allen rushed 10 times and scored two rushing touchdowns. In the last two games, he now has 18 rushing attempts, and QB rushing stats are always a sneaky path to fantasy relevance. Pay attention if you are in 2-QB or QB-flex leagues as the bye weeks approach. Charch’s Blind Bidding Recommendation: 5%.
Derek Carr, Raiders
Week 3: 27-39, 345 yards, 1 touchdown
Week 4: vs. Browns
Still owned in just over 20 percent of leagues, Carr is a third waiver wire option if you don’t believe in Mayfield and Tannehill, and if you can stomach rostering a Raider. With just 2 touchdown passes, Carr hasn’t lit the fantasy world on fire to date, but his overall performance has been very encouraging. The fifth-year pro has been ridiculously efficient so far in 2018, completing 76.6% of his passes and averaging 312 passing yards per game (putting him on pace for nearly 5,000 yards). Those numbers will certainly regress towards the mean (Carr was a career 62% passer coming into the season) and it’s impossible to ignore the five back-breaking interceptions he’s thrown (all Raiders losses), but assuming some part of the improvement is real progress, the touchdowns will also start to come eventually. Charch’s Blind Bidding Recommendation: 3%.
Aaron Jones, Packers
Week 3: 6-42 rushing, 1-5 receiving on 1 target
Week 4: vs. Bills
We expected Jones would be worked back into the mix slowly, and the Packers were true to their word in Week 3, keeping Jones on ice until late in the first quarter. He wound up getting just 25% of the Packers running back snaps (compared to 43% for Jamaal Williams), but led the team in carries and yards and averaged 7 yards per carry. He is clearly a better runner than Williams, and at this point is only being held back by his deficiencies in the passing game. For those reasons, Williams will always be involved, but Jones has a chance to carve out a significant role as the early-down and possible goal line back. In the four games in which he got at least 10 touches last year, Jones averaged 16.8 touches, 91 all-purpose yards, and scored three touchdowns. Charch’s Blind Bidding Recommendation: 15%.
Javorius Allen, Ravens
Week 3: 6-7, 1 touchdown rushing, 3-19, 1 touchdown receiving on 4 targets
Week 4: at Steelers
Ahhhh Bunk Allen… simply won’t go away, despite being one of the most shockingly pedestrian runners in the league. After scoring two more touchdowns on Sunday, Allen now has four scores in three games. He is also averaging just 2.0 yards per carry and has somehow managed to turn 12 carries into just 15 rushing yards over the past two games. He’s still just 39% owned going into Week 4 and deserves to be on rosters as a touchdown-dependent, Alex Collins-killing parasite. Charch’s Blind Bidding Recommendation: 5%.
Nyheim Hines, Colts
Week 3: 5-18 rushing, 5-25 receiving on 5 targets
Week 4: vs. Texans
Early indications seem to indicate that Hines’ fantasy fortunes are tied to Marlon Mack’s health. In two games without Mack, Hines has garnered 12 receptions on 14 targets as Andrew Luck’s security blanket. He barely played in Week 2 when Mack was active, but either way it’s obvious Hines can be effective as a PPR back. Whether the Colts decide to deploy him that way on a permanent basis, or bury him behind Mack and Jordan Wilkins when Mack is active, is a unknown– and the difference between a potential every-week PPR factor or just a bye week fill-in. Charch’s Blind Bidding Recommendation: 3%.
Wendell Smallwood, Eagles
Week 3: 10-56, 1 touchdown rushing, 3-35 receiving on 5 targets
Week 4: at Titans
Smallwood was a surprise fantasy factor in Week 3, parlaying injuries to Jay Ajayi and Darren Sproles and an active-but-gimpy Corey Clement into 13 touches and a touchdown, out-gaining Clement despite getting 3 fewer touches. Smallwood’s fantasy relevancy is tied entirely to Ajayi’s injury status, but there is no guarantee Ajayi will be ready to play in Week 4, or any week, really. Charch’s Blind Bidding Recommendation: 2%.
Calvin Ridley, Falcons
Week 3: 7-146, 3 touchdowns receiving on 8 targets
Week 4: vs. Bengals
It’ll be an all-out bidding war on Ridley this week if he’s still available in your league. The rookie held his coming out party last Sunday, scoring as many touchdowns in one game as Julio Jones scored all of last year. Jones’ mysterious aversion to the end zone has continued in 2018, and Ridley is obviously the beneficiary of all the attention opposing defenses must pay to Julio. He won’t have the luxury of facing the Saints suddenly porous secondary every week, but Ridley has two more intriguing matchups in the next three weeks (vs. Steelers and Bucs in Weeks 5 and 6) and is well on his way to landing a spot as the WR1 on the Waiver Wire All-Stars by the end of the season . Charch’s Blind Bidding Recommendation: 25%
Tyler Boyd, Bengals
Week 3: 4-92, 1 touchdown receiving on 10 targets
Week 4: at Falcons
Following an impressive 6-91-1 Week 2 performance, the breakout season continued for Boyd in a big way in Week 3. The third-year pro erupted for 132 yards and a score and was easily Andy Dalton’s preferred receiver after A.J. Green left early with a groin injury. Boyd was already emerging as a dangerous option opposite Green, and could be in line for the lion’s share of the targets in Week 4 if Green is unable to go. This week’s opponent, the Falcons, have allowed five wide receiver touchdowns in the last two weeks. Charch’s Blind Bidding Recommendation: 15%.
John Brown, Ravens
Week 3: 5-86 receiving
Week 4: at Steelers
Brown was held out of the end zone for the first time this season in Week 3, but he continued his emergence as the Ravens No. 1 pass-catcher. His 5-86 line could have been much bigger if not for a couple of near misses against a stingy Broncos secondary, and Brown deserves to be owned in more leagues that his current percentages. He’s the top receiver in a surprisingly high octane Ravens passing game, and a Week 4 matchup with the Steelers bodes well for his near-term outlook. Charch’s Blind Bidding Recommendation: 15%.
Antonio Callaway, Browns
Week 3: 4-20 receiving on 10 targets
Week 4: at Raiders
It was a mixed bag for Callaway in Week 3. He continued to emerge as a factor with 10 targets, but managed to haul in just 4 of them for a measly 20 yards. He was missed on what could have been a long touchdown from Tyrod Taylor, then suffered a couple of drops after Baker Mayfield took over at quarterback. Nevertheless, he’s cemented his status as a starter in an offense that appears in much better hands now that Mayfield is taking over as the starter. Charch’s Blind Bidding Recommendation: 5%
Jakeem Grant, Dolphins
Week 3: 2-70, 2 touchdowns receiving on 3 targets
Week 4: at Patriots
At just 5′-6″, Grant has a tiny bit of Tyreek Hill to him – and he flashed that kind speed and elusiveness on one of his two Week 3 scores (the one thrown by WR Albert Wilson). Grant still has to navigate a crowded receiver situation in Miami that got more crowded with the return of Devante Parker last week, but outside of Kenny Stills none of the others (Parker, Danny Amendola, Wilson) are a sure thing. Grant’s playmaking ability is obvious, but he’s still just a dart throw at this point. Charch’s Blind Bidding Recommendation: 1%
Dallas Goedert, Eagles
Week 3: 7-73, 1 touchdown receiving on 7 targets
Week 4: at Titans
A week after serving as the third tight end behind something called Josh Perkins, Goedert exploded in Week 3, collecting all seven of his targets and scoring his first career touchdown. Goedert could develop into a Carson Wentz favorite (it was reportedly Wentz who encouraged the Eagles to draft Goedert from Wentz’s college rival South Dakota State), especially because the Eagles’ wide receiver depth chart has been decimated by injury (Alshon Jeffery is still out, Mike Wallace and Mack Hollins have been placed on IR). Zach Ertz will remain the No. 1 tight end in this offense, but Goedert deserves a good look – especially while Jeffery remains out. Charch’s Blind Bidding Recommendation: 4%
Vance McDonald, Steelers
Week 3: 4-112, 1 touchdown receiving on 5 targets
Week 4: vs. Ravens
At this point it’s clear that a tight end in Pittsburgh has significant fantasy value in most weeks. What isn’t clear is which one. A week after Jesse James erupted for 5 catches, 138 yards and a touchdown, McDonald recorded a highlight-reel 75-yard touchdown that included one of the best stiff-arms you’ll ever see. He finished Monday night with 5 targets to James’ 1. McDonald is the guy everyone thought would be the No. 1 tight end in Pittsburgh prior to the season and is the best bet to finish that way at the end of the year, assuming he can stay healthy. Charch’s Blind Bidding Recommendation: 2%