Adam Levitan

Waiver Wired

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Waiver Wire: Week 5

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

“The bye weeks are coming, the bye weeks are coming!”

We’re finally getting into the portion of the season where we can shine. Anyone can draft Adrian Peterson, A.J. Green and Peyton Manning and be 4-0. Not everyone can build the depth necessary to navigate both bye weeks and injuries.

Attacking the waiver wire at this time of year leads us down two paths: If we have a rash of byes or hurt players, we need plug-n-play types. If we’re in good shape both health and schedule-wise, we can continue to just add the best talents to our benches. There are both options available on a lot of wires this week.

On to the assets. Here is how I would rank the top players available in at least 50 percent of Yahoo leagues at each position. Notes and recommendations on each player will follow below.

Editor's Note: Rotoworld's partner FanDuel is hosting a one-week $300,000 Fantasy Football league for Week 5. It's $25 to join and first prize is $25,000. Starts Sunday at 1pm ET. Here's the link.

1. Terrelle Pryor
2. Brian Hoyer
3. Ryan Tannehill
4. Ryan Fitzpatrick

Running backs
1. Danny Woodhead
2. Rashad Jennings
3. Roy Helu
4. Jacquizz Rodgers
5. Willis McGahee
6. Brandon Bolden
7. LeGarrette Blount
8. Johnathan Franklin
9. Kendall Hunter
10. Andre Ellington

Wide receivers
1. Justin Blackmon
2. Jeremy Kerley
3. Nate Washington
4. Robert Woods
5. Leonard Hankerson
6. Kendall Wright
7. Ryan Broyles
8. Terrance Williams
* Alshon Jeffery is owned in 46 percent of Yahoo leagues. If he’s available, he’d be my No. 1 add at wideout

Tight Ends
1. Heath Miller
2. Coby Fleener
3. Charles Clay
4. Brandon Pettigrew
5. Kellen Winslow

Defense/Special Teams
1. Falcons
2. Rams
3. Browns

1. Greg Zuerlein
2. Nick Novak
3. Steven Hauschka

1. Terrelle Pryor, Raiders – Owned in 22 percent of Yahoo leagues
Terrelle Pryor (concussion) appeared to have medical clearance to play in Week 4, but the Raiders erred on the side of caution and held him out. It would be a huge surprise if he isn’t ready to play against the Chargers’ 30th-ranked defense in Week 5. And I still don’t understand why he’s available in so many leagues. Pryor has averaged 61.7 rushing yards per game in four career NFL starts and is rapidly improving as a passer. I’d certainly consider him a top-16 quarterback play going forward.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 10-team leagues

2. Brian Hoyer, Browns – Owned in 6 percent of Yahoo leagues
Brandon Weeden (thumb) has been medically cleared to play. But the Browns are still rolling with Hoyer, and it could stay that way all season long. First of all, Hoyer has actually moved the offense consistently. In two starts (and two wins), he’s gone 55-of-92 (59.7 percent) for 590 yards with five touchdowns and three interceptions. Hoyer is the teacher’s pet of GM Mike Lombardi, while Weeden is the tarnished remains of the old regime. Hoyer gets an injury-ravaged Bills defense this week that played way over their heads in a home upset of the Ravens Week 4. They’ll crumble back to earth this week, making Hoyer a strong plug-n-play in two-quarterback leagues. He has two elite talents to throw to in Josh Gordon/ Jordan Cameron, and the Browns have no running game to rely on.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues

3. Ryan Tannehill, Dolphins – Owned in 22 percent of Yahoo leagues
The Dolphins inability to protect Ryan Tannehill and their refusal to establish a running game is concerning. But week in and week out, the kid proves he can really play. In Monday night’s loss to the Saints, he kept the ball on a read option and ran for 26 yards and finished with four rushes for 48 yards. Tannehill, a former college wideout, has that kind of athleticism. He’s thrown for at least 236 yards and a score in every game this year. Don’t expect the Dolphins to be able to run against the Ravens Sunday, meaning another game in which they’ll rely on Tannehill’s arm.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues

4. Ryan Fitzpatrick – Owned in 1 percent of Yahoo leagues
Jake Locker (hip) is going to be out at least a month, meaning Ryan Fitzpatrick is pushed into the starting gig. We know what he is from his 65 starts with the Bills between 2008 and 2012. Fitz is a smart (Harvard educated) game manager with a woefully weak arm who often struggled as the weather turned in Buffalo. Think Alex Smith but with less athleticism and a more aggressive approach. Fitzpatrick’s career-high for yardage is 3,832 (239.5 per game) and for touchdowns is 24 (1.5 per game). That’s the absolute ceiling here, especially with the Titans trying to run the ball and play defense to win games. Fitzpatrick is a desperation add in two-QB formats only.
Recommendation: Should be owned in two-quarterback leagues only

Watch List: Matt Cassel, Mike Glennon, Chad Henne – Cassel likely did enough in Week 4 to keep the job when the Vikings come out of their bye in Week 6. … Glennon did nothing in his debut to say he’s a viable NFL starter, but he does get the Eagles in Week 6. … Henne is better than Blaine Gabbert. It remains to be seen if that’s enough for him to get the job back.

Cut Bait: Jake Locker, Brandon Weeden, Blaine Gabbert – Locker was showing signs of turning the corner, but it’s almost impossible to wait a month for a QB2 unless you have really deep rosters. … As discussed above, it looks like Weeden has lost out to Brian Hoyer for good. … The Jags are trying to ensure they land Teddy Bridgewater by starting Gabbert.

Editor’s Note: For more waiver thoughts and news from around the league, follow Adam Levitan, Rotoworld Football and our dominant News Page.

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Adam Levitan is in his seventh season covering football and basketball for Rotoworld. He won the Fantasy Sports Writers Association award for Best Series in 2011 and 2009, and ESPN's overall fantasy football title in 2000. Find him on Twitter.
Email :Adam Levitan

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