2014 Fantasy Football, Week Five Waiver Wire: Consider Jerick McKinnon
Week four of the National Football League is officially in the books. And with that, fantasy football fans are looking towards the waiver wire to see if their team can be improved in any way. Some fantasy footballers will react — or, overreact — to their players performances unjustly during this period. Plenty of buzz and player recommendations will surface in preparation of your league’s waiver period causing owners to make rash decisions and drop players they spent months researching. But if I had one recommendation at all, it would be to sit back, relax and let your leaguemates be the ones to overreact.
Before we get to this week’s potential waiver wire pickups, it’s important to note that I WOULD NOT spend my first waiver priority on any player from the list below. Also, players listed below are in no particular order.
Jerick McKinnon | Minnesota
Yesterday, football fans caught a glimpse of what Jerick McKinnon could do with a quality share of the carries out of the Vikings’ backfield. The rookie out of Georgia Southern saw action in 43% of Minnesota’s plays, carrying the ball 18 times for 135 yards — 72 of said yards came after contact — resulting in an impressive 7.5 yards per carry. He also saw three targets out of the backfield, but reeled in just one for 17 yards.
The rookie’s counterpart, Matt Asiata, did all the end zone celebrations however — Asiata scored three times on the ground. But that’s not to say that Asiata is the primary red zone ball carrier, McKinnon actually had a 7-yard touchdown run called back due to him being down just short of the goal line. His 55-yard carry on that same drive could be reason enough for you to consider blowing your number two waiver priority on, especially if you’re an Adrian Peterson or Matt Asiata owner.
Here is that 55-yard scamper:
Eddie Royal | San Diego
I feel like Eddie Royal lands on our waiver wire list about this time every year. This time, it’s for his back-to-back two touchdown games and eclipsing the 100-yard receiving mark in week four against the Jaguars. I know, it’s the Jaguars, but Royal is already up to 17 receptions on 27 targets for 236 yards on the year. He seems like a safe bye week fill-in for your number two or three pass catcher for now, but if Phillip Rivers continues to play at a high level and Royal can stay healthy, this could be a big(ger) year for the veteran out of Virginia Tech.
Isaiah Crowell | Cleveland
Although Ben Tate will assume the ball carrying responsibilities out of the Browns’ backfield upon his return, rookie Isaiah Crowell could continue to get touches as he improves as a runner and adapts to facing NFL caliber defenses. Crowell, the former number one high school running back in the nation, was expelled from the University of Georgia after being crowned SEC Freshman of the Year for a few run-ins with the law (marijuana and gun charges) and played the remainder of his college ball at Alabama State — not exactly the level of competition of the SEC to prepare him for the league. With that said, Crowell has 27 carries for 141 yards and three touchdowns on the ground through three games. I’d prefer him to Terrance West as the handcuff to Ben Tate for now.
John Brown | Arizona
The rookie out of Pittsburgh State has hauled in 9-of-15 targets for 109 yards and three touchdowns. Six of his 15 targets have been for 20 or more yards, so the big play potential is definitely there. Leagues that have deep benches need to add Brown who could be a formidable bye week WR3/Flex play.
The rookie out of Louisville finished off week four a little banged up, but he impressed against a porous Falcons’ defense while on the field. Bridgewater completed 20-of-31 passes for 319 yards and added five rushes for 27 yards and a touchdown. While the Vikings run game will likely be on display in week five against the Packers, Bridgewater is still a nice long-term add for even those in redraft leagues if you have the roster space.
Manning got off to a rough start to the 2014 season, but he’s completed more than 70% of his passes in each of the past two weeks with a 6:1 TD:INT. Like Bridgewater (and everyone else) picked on the Falcons’ secondary, it will be Eli Manning’s turn in week five. Manning is one of those frustrating quarterbacks to own for an entire season, but if you can stomach him for just one week, this seems to be the perfect spot for another 300-yard game with three-to-four touchdowns.
Larry Donnell | New York Giants
He’s been here before, but he’s still not owned enough. I’m assuming after his impressive showing on Thursday Night Football that fantasy football owners will chase him down this week, so don’t miss the bus. He’s at 25 receptions for 236 yards and four scores through four weeks of play.