2016 Fantasy Football, Week 3 Waiver Wire: Jerick McKinnon Is Top Target
Week two 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 league mates 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 a player from the list below. Also, players listed below are in no particular order
Teams on a bye in week three: No teams until week four (Packers/Eagles)
Note: Players like Tyrell Williams and Tevin Coleman should be owned in your leagues already. If somehow they’re available, they’d be towards the top of my wish list.
Jerick McKinnon/Matt Asiata | Vikings
If by chance you’re in a ten team league where Jerick McKinnon is unowned, it may be time to make the pounce given Adrian Peterson’s torn meniscus and unknown timetable for return. The tricky part to this question is whether or not you should use your number one waiver priority on the Vikings’ backup running backs without fully knowing how long Peterson will be sidelined. Depending on who you read and what you believe up until this point, AD could return anywhere from this week or potentially after the Vikings’ bye week. And those same folks probably reminded you the success that backs like Arian Foster (‘10) and Chris Johnson (‘13) had while playing with a torn meniscus — so results obviously vary on the player and the way the team chooses to treat the injury. My preference between the backs lies with McKinnon — he’s more of the homerun hitter — but I wouldn’t part with my top priority to invest in either he or bowling ball Matt Asiata.
Julian Edelman leads the Patriots in targets with 18, but just behind him sit both Chris Hogan and Danny Amendola, followed by Malcolm Mitchell. Through two weeks, Amendola has 7 receptions on eight targets for 98 yards and two touchdowns. His average depth of target is 10.9 yards — shy of Mitchell’s 12.6 yard aDOT for the team lead — and leads the team in red zone targets with three. Chris Hogan has hauled in seven passes on nine targets for 119 yards and a score. He owns a team best 17.0 yards/reception along with the second highest aDOT at 12.4 yards, but has failed to earn a red zone target in two contests. More production from Amendola, but more snaps for Hogan. Pick your poison.
Brandon Marshall, Eric Decker and Quincy Enunwa have each seen 14 or more targets from field general Ryan Fitzpatrick. Enunwa is the pass catcher that has been able to capitalize the most on said targets — hauling in 13-of-14 targets for 146 yards and a score. His 7.7 yard average depth of target is significantly shorter than that of his teammates (17.0 for Decker, 14.3 for Marshall) and he’s earned less looks in the red zone — just one target that went for a touchdown compared to Decker’s three and Marshall’s four — but with opposing defenses likely investing their efforts to prevent the ball from getting into the veterans’ hands, Enunwa figures to get a good amount of looks going forward.
Jamison Crowder leads the Redskins in targets (16), receptions (12), red zone targets (4) and touchdowns (1) through two weeks. The downside of this is that he owns the team’s shortest average depth of target at just 7.8 yards, leading us to believe he’s much less of a home run threat compared to the likes of his counterpart DeSean Jackson (13.9 aDOT).
Consider in leagues: All
Waiver Priority Worthy: 4 and lower
Spend this much FAAB to acquire: 15%
Players I’d drop for him: Keenan Allen, Kevin White, Kamar Aiken
Targets, targets, targets. They lead to fantasy production, right? Pitta leads all Ravens receivers with 12 receptions on 15 targets for 141 yards and a touchdown. The short aDOT (6.3 yards per target) and lack of red zone targets (zero) may be a concern to some, but the apparent chemistry between the two should alleviate any reservation.
Jesse James doesn’t lead his team in targets like Pitta does, but he does get looks in the red zone where he’s hauled in 2-of-3 targets for a score. He’s third on the team with 11 total targets (Antonio Brown, 21 and DeAngelo Williams, 14) and eight receptions for a whopping 60 yards with an average depth of target of just 7.8 yards. At 6’7”, James is a physical specimen that deserves your attention in all formats.
Others on the list:
Fozzy Whitaker and Cameron Artis-Payne should be considered in Carolina with Jonathan Stewart nursing an a hamstring injury. Stewart figures to miss at least one week as of the time of this writing. Don’t love either option, though. In Miami, Arian Foster is also on the mend. That leaves Jay Ajayi and Kenyan Drake with ball carrying duties for the Dolphins. Neither have had too much opportunity to showcase themselves this year, but Drake did get a look in the red zone in which he capitalized for a touchdown. Timeshares a bear, but I’d look at Drake, then Ajayi in that order. Dwayne Washington is an interesting target in deeper leagues with Ameer Abdullah facing a foot issue. In a small sample, Washington has 32 yards on six carries (5.2 y/c) and a touchdown. Jordan Howard in Chicago also should be considered, but Chicago is not good at football and would be towards the bottom of my wish list.
Sammie Coates and Kenny Stills should also have your attention. With average depth of targets of 34.3 yards and 27.1 yards respectively, these guys have the ability to put up big scores in a single route run. Terrelle Pryor kind of fits that home run mold as well with his 20.7 yard average depth of target. While defenders are focusing on Antonio Brown, Jarvis Landry and Corey Coleman (?), one of these three could be vertical for six. Deeper seasonal and daily players keep an eye.
Ryan Tannehill, Joe Flacco and Carson Wentz are the quarterbacks to consider adding, in that order. Miami, Tampa Bay and Washington defenses can be streamed if needed, but more on that to come later in the week.