2016 Fantasy Football, Week 4 Waiver Wire: Jordan Howard is Next Man Up
Week three of the National Football League is officially in the books. And with that, fantasy football fans are still looking towards the waiver wire to see if their team can be improved in any way. Some fantasy footballers will continue to react — or, overreact — to their players performances unjustly during this period with panic beginning to set in.
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 four: Packers, Eagles
Recently Graduated: Jamison Crowder, Quincy Enunwa and Terrelle Pryor were all featured in last week’s waiver wire column, but if they’re still available in your leagues, take the plunge for close to 20% of your FAAB (depending on the state of your pass catchers).
Jordan Howard | Bears
Starting tailback Jeremy Langford will be on the shelf for the next 4-to-6 weeks following an ankle injury in week three. That leaves rookie running back Jordan Howard the top choice in Chicago to lead the team in snaps out of the backfield. In two games, the Bulldozer has rushed 12 times for 67 yards (5.6 yards/carry) and hauled in six passes on seven targets for an additional 56 yards (9.3 yards/reception). The Bears draw a nice matchup for Howard in week five against the Colts — Indianapolis has been the second-most generous defense to opposing ball carriers through three weeks — but the Lions (10th best vs. opposing fantasy RBs) in week four and Jaguars (6th best vs. opposing fantasy RBs) in week six appear to be tougher matchups for Chicago’s run game.
Among tight ends, only Greg Olsen of the Panthers has been targeted on more occasions (25) than Kyle Rudolph’s 23. Rudolph has hauled in just 14 of those 23 receptions, but accumulated 166 yards (11.9 yards/reception) and two scores in doing so. Five of Rudolph’s targets and both scores have come in red zone chances and he’s earned 62.5% of the team’s red zone targets through three contests.
Tampa Bay released Austin Stefarian-Jenkins last week due to some off the field issues, but it didn’t take long for Cameron Brate to fill his void. Brate reeled in 11 of 17 targets for 92 yards (8.4 yards per reception) and a pair of trips to the painted grass through week three. Like Rudolph, Brate leads his team in red zone targets (5) and is tied with teammate Mike Evans with two scores each.
I like Rudolph more than Brate, but you can probably get similar production from Brate for less FAAB if you’re on a budget.
So you rolled the dice with the Packers or Eagles defense and you need to make a move this early on in the season. Or, maybe your D/ST simply underperformed through three weeks and you’re looking to stream going forward. Either way, week four looks like the week to pick up a Redskins’ defense that’ll face the Cleveland Browns and third-string signal-caller Cody Kessler. The ‘Skins defensive/special team unit have only put up 10 total points in three contests, but the Browns have surrendered the ninth-most points to opposing D/ST units early on this season. A secondary option at D/ST should be the Jaguars facing the Colts who have allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing D/ST.
Consider in leagues: 10+ teams
Waiver Priority Worthy: 6 and lower
Spend this much FAAB to acquire: 8-10%
Players I’d drop for him: Dolpins, Packers, Steelers
Deeper leaguers or teams that lack depth at the running back position need only apply here. Both Darkwa/Washington have reasonable upside, but neither have a direct path to a large percentage of touches at this point. Shane Vereen went down in week three, so Darkwa along with a bit of Paul Perkins and Bobby Rainey seems like the Giants’ recipe until Rashad Jennings is at full health. Darkwa is the only running back in New York not named Vereen to get a rushing opportunity in the red zone so far this season.
Theo Riddick is clearly the top back in Detroit — especially in the passing game — but Dwayne Washington has shown some promise (16 carries for 70 yards and a touchdown) and earned the most red zone rushing attempts of any Lions’ back through three weeks. Like the tight end situaiton above, I’d prefer Darkwa to Washington, but think you may be able to get the latter a bit cheaper if he’s still available.
Consider in leagues: All
Waiver Priority Worthy: 6 and lower
Spend this much FAAB to acquire: 5%
Players I’d drop for him: Shane Vereen, Ameer Abdullah, Adrian Peterson
More to come later in the week as waivers process…