Whether your draft has you already deciding between diving head-first into your money Scrooge McDuck style or build a moat with your winnings, or if your roster looks just about as attractive as the Jets, you still want to make the best pick up possible on the waiver wire. Only a fool would let their fantasy roster sit week after week without making the necessary roster moves, unless they’re genius enough to play with the type of owners who think it’s a smart move to get the best kicker available in the third round. For those in the latter, here are the top waiver wire pick ups for your fantasy football team this week.
After a start to the season that featured many low scoring weeks for big-time fantasy players, we’re finally getting to the point where things are almost back to normal. Players like Todd Gurley, Tom Brady, Russell Wilson, and other familiar names are having monster days, and in the immortal words of Dennis Green, “they are who we thought they were.”
That may make your starting lineup look great, but finding the perfect waiver wire doesn’t get easier. There aren’t the bonafide studs you’d normally like to see if you’re at the top of your waiver wire order, but there is still a ton of talent that could change help out your team from stars thriving thanks to injuries or potential stash studs. Here are the top ten options for your fantasy waiver wire this week.
10. D’Onta Foreman (owned in 5.1% of ESPN Leagues)
People who drafted Foreman this year have to be a bit upset he’s on the list at this point. Foreman is extremely talented and has the chance to be a huge fantasy asset, and he showed it this week with eight carries for 25 yards while adding another 65 yards through the air on two catches. Normally when your rookie running back is playing well when he touches the ball, the simple solution to your constantly stalling offense would be to feed the man, but as of right now, there’s a roadblock in his way in the form of Lamar Miller.
Lamar Miller snap rate by week, starting with opener: 81%, 74%, 70%. D'Onta Foreman 2%, 26%, 24%.
— Adam Levitan (@adamlevitan) September 25, 2017
It has to be frustrating considering Miller hasn’t cracked 65 yards on the ground even though he receives the bulk of the carries. Foreman was selected just three picks behind Kareem Hunt and just needs that type of opportunity. His touches have gone up every week as he shows who the better running back is each time he’s on the field. He’s an excellent stash option if you’re a Miller owner, and should definitely be owned in deeper leagues as a fantasy star waiting to bust out.
9. Jacoby Brissett (.8%)
If you’re having quarterback problems I feel bad for you, but you could find your waiver wire fantasy hero in Brissett. You definitely don’t want to be in a position where you need the Colts’ quarterback as Week 4 rolls around, but after staring at yourself in the mirror for a few hours wondering where you went wrong, you can realize that Brissett is a solid fantasy option.
— NFL (@NFL) September 24, 2017
This was clearly the best day of his young career and is something you can’t bank on considering he doesn’t have the luxury of going against the Browns every week, but he’s showed two things you look for in a fantasy quarterback — the ability to keep turnovers to a minimum, and the chance to add points on the ground. Nobody in the world likes seeing their player lose points due to a turnover, and Brissett has just one turnover during two games with the Colts. With the chance he can score on the ground by creating with his legs, his upside is higher than most quarterbacks sitting on the wire.
8. Andre Ellington (.9%)
It’s taken a few weeks to figure out who’s the fantasy option you have to go with in the Cardinals’ backfield, but after Monday night’s performance, Ellington clearly has the most upside.
Cardinals final HB snap count: Andre Ellington 49, Chris Johnson 31, Elijhaa Penny 2, Kerwynn Williams 1. Out of 81
— Nathan Jahnke (@PFF_NateJahnke) September 26, 2017
His 81 total yards don’t exactly jump out at you, but he’s on the field more than any other Cardinals running back and has the upside of being the team’s primary receiving back. Staying away from bad teams is usually a pretty solid strategy for fantasy football, but his eight targets shouldn’t be something you willingly ignore. He should be owned in every single PPR format and has a matchup against a 49ers defense that just made Todd Gurley look like a superhero on the horizon.
7. Cooper Kupp (16.1%)
Cupp is a weird entry to this list because he might be available on Wednesday after many people make their waiver wire moves. The rookie wideout was a fantasy darling to many heading into this season and proved his worth with a breakout Week 1 performance. Since then he’s been nothing but quiet, including a two catch for 17-yard performance on a night where his team put up a million points.
Having said that, there is still a big opportunity for Cupp for the remainder of the year, as well as next week with both Tavon Austin and Sammy Watkins remaining in concussion protocol. He should get back to his normal six-target opportunity as Goff continues to make strides each and every week. When others bail on Kupp, it’s time for you to capitilize.
6. Paul Richardson (2.8%)
Richardson has been on these lists earlier before and here’s a friendly reminder than you’ve made the mistake of not picking him up sooner. He has the ability to become a reliable fantasy option on the Seahawks with 19 targets over three games despite dealing with a finger injury. He’s also managed to find the end zone in back-to-back games. If all of those extremely plausible reasons on why you should pick him up aren’t enough, he could see his workload grow even more thanks to Doug Baldwin’s recent injury.
#Seahawks WR Doug Baldwin (groin) will have an MRI, but the early word is that his injury is not serious. Had 10 catches, 105 yds pre-injury
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 25, 2017
Even if he doesn’t miss a ton of time, the easy bet is assuming Richardson will take the bulk of the load while his hammy recovers. As Russell Wilson continues to put up better numbers and reach midseason form, Richardson will be the guy to help him get there.
5. Ryan Griffin (.8%)
— Peter Willis (@LHS_PWillis) September 25, 2017
Tight end has been the toughest position in fantasy football to figure out, as it is every single year. Unless you have a big name, you’re likely checking the waiver wire on a regular basis to find your guy, and now Griffin has thrown his name into the ring. The rookie tight end who would normally be the backup to C.J Fiedorowicz in Houston got the first start of his career and showed he was on the same page as DeShaun Watson early. With five catches for 61 yards and a touchdown during the first opportunity of his career, the potential is clearly there.
4. Wendell Smallwood (2.9%)
Opportunity equals success. With Darren Sproles suffering a brutal injury that will sideline him the entire season, Smallwood’s stock just went up. He immediately becomes the big pass-catching option out of the backfield as LeGarrette Blount remains the bruiser back. What makes Smallwood even more valuable is his chance to succeed on the ground, finishing with just as many carries as Blount. The upside to become the lead back on this team is there, although you should never count on him getting goal-line carries. He’s most useful in PPR settings, but the fact that he was given a steady workload on the ground should give you the confidence to pick up him no matter what.
3. Devin Funchess (11.2%)
Funchess is another guy who has gone from honorable mention to must-pick up. He may not put this honor on his resume, although he should, he should definitely find his way onto your roster after this week. He has still yet to eclipse 70 yards this season and hasn’t had more than four catches through three games, but his stock just flew up with Kelvin Benjamin likely hitting the sidelines.
If Kelvin Benjamin misses time, Cam Newton will likely send his targets to Devin Funchess https://t.co/kc6YajwfrE
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) September 25, 2017
Funchess has had a steady amount of opportunities with 18 targets thus far. With a solid floor and a high ceiling, he should be an easy sell for even the most loaded fantasy roster.
2. Geronimo Allison (.4%)
For those of you sitting in the back who decided to ignore last week’s advice, Allison is now the hottest wide receiver on the wire. With Randall Cobb sidelined and a team that still has the best quarterback on the planet, the potential has always been there. Now, the numbers are too after his six catches for 122 yards. Even if Cobb comes back healthy, there’s still a ton of opportunity for a Packers’ wideout. This team will always throw the ball effectively with plenty of love from Aaron Rodgers to go around. You don’t have to hope for an injury like a psycho to make him relevant, so pickup him up with a clean slate of karma.
1. Branden Oliver (.5%)
It’s normally extremely unlikely to see a player like Oliver at the top of the list, but at this point, he’s the most essential insurance policy in fantasy football. He’s currently serving as the Chargers’ second running back option and a threat as a receiver out of the backfield, but he could see his workload grow if Melvin Gordon’s knee injury is worse than it seems.
Chargers' Melvin Gordon reportedly dealing with 'minor' bone bruise https://t.co/eM26sHwonB
— numberFire NFL (@numberFire_NFL) September 25, 2017
A bone bruise sounds like nothing compared to the injuries some of these players endure, but we’ve seen this very injury sideline players for multiple weeks before. As talented as Gordon may be, he’s shown he’s fragile. We’ve seen Oliver find success before when he’s been asked to fill in as the team’s starter, something that shouldn’t change this season. Keep an eye out for Gordon’s injury, but in the meantime, pick up Oliver as a high-upside insurance policy that could make some noise later this season.
For last week’s pickups, click here.