Each week, CPGM writer @itsharristime will be letting you know who to “buy or bye” off the Waiver for your upcoming fantasy week. These are players that are owned in less than 50% of Yahoo leagues. Scoring is based on full point PPR.
How did you fare during the “Bye-Apocalypse” of Week 10? Did you lock up your playoff berth, or are you further off than you were before Week 10? Did you make deals at your league’s trade deadline to make that extra push?
For most seasonal leagues, Week 10 brought about the fantasy trade deadline. Truthfully, I missed the deadline completely in 2/3 seasonal leagues. My dreams of a last minute offer for a healthy Derrius Guice were shattered this morning when I texted a couple of buddies in those leagues asking “did we have a trade deadline or something”?
They simply laughed in response.
Truthfully, outside of a move for Guice, my roster(s) have been constructed on draft day and through waiver buys. This is fundamental for fantasy success, as having to rely on the variance of other fantasy GMs bias/decision making is an unsound way to build a winner.
With a blockbuster trade not possible for most leagues, this makes the waiver “Buy and Bye” even more critical as we search for our waiver buys. This could be a league winner, a bye week fill in, or, in some cases, a warm body to fill a roster spot.
With that in mind, and the Bye-Apocalypse behind us, let’s win this week.
Buy – Nick Foles, 21% Owned, Jacksonville Jaguars
With streamers Ryan TanneThrill and Daniel “Dimes” Jones both on Bye in Week 11, it’s tough to go to the tried, tested and true streamers.
It is a good news bad news story here for Jacksonville fans and fantasy owners that grabbed Gardner Minshew early on waivers.
The bad news? Minshew is being benched and subsequently Minshew-mania fizzles out, only 8 short weeks after it exploded onto the NFL scene.
The good news? Nick Foles is only owned in 21% of leagues with Jacksonville on Bye in Week 10. It’s also a good news story for Jacksonville fans in the fact that Minshew showed he is an NFL QB, and will be a building block for the future in northern Florida. Minshew’s connection with WR DJ Chark is undeniable, with the two teaming up for 5 TDs in only 8 games.
Though Minshew proved his value as a QB1, there were a couple of games where his rookie resume showed through. Minshew also leads the league with 11 fumbles, which ultimately played a role in the Jags going back to a healthy Foles. The thinking here is that the steady presence and veteran savvy of Foles might have secured wins in a close game vs the Saints, and a very winnable game against the JJ Watt-less Texans in Week 9.
Now, what do we know about Foles outside of his Superbowl MVP performance with the Eagles?
Foles has been known for being an up and down performer during his 7+ years in the NFL. The highs have been on the games biggest stage and his performance in Superbowl LII will not soon be forgotten. Foles’ lows (see 2015 St.Louis Rams) too are tough to forget.
The veteran QB arugably has the best corp of WR’s he’s ever worked with: DJ Chark, Dede Westbrook and Keelan Cole. With Foles’ ability to throw downfield, I expect Chark and Cole to be fantasy relevant and continue to produce for Jacksonville. Foles’ also checks down under pressure, which could bode well for Westbrook and RB Leonard Fournette.
Foles should be looked to as a QB2, and be expected to have “boom” and “bust” weeks. The schedule is in Foles/Jaguars favor, and for the fantasy football playoffs as the Jags face the Buccaneers in Week 13, Chargers in Week 14, Raiders in Week 15, and the Falcons in Week 16.
Foles is scheduled back to face the Colts in Week 11 who are without Jacoby Brisset and proved to be inept with Brian Hoyer “The Destroyer” under centre.
I would imagine in most leagues that Foles won’t warrant a waiver buy, and can be added as a free agent. I’m buying Foles as a playoff stash and riding his “boom” weeks to a championship.
Other Quarterbacks I’m Buying on the Waiver Wire –
- Derek Carr, 45% Owned, Oakland Raiders
- Sam Darnold, 22% Owned, New York Jets
Bye – Cam Newton, 21% Owned, Carolina Panthers
Things were starting to look up two weeks ago when there was speculation that Cam was coming back.
With Newton now officially on IR, a chance of a 2019 comeback is not possible. It is unlikely that Newton even returns as a Panther. There are limited cap implications if Newton was cut by the team, and local beat reporters have been talking about a move by the Panther brass.
It’s an unfortunate turn of events for Newton. In Curtis Samuel, Christian McCaffrey and DJ Moore, Cam has the best complement of offensive weapons he’s had at his disposal since joining the Panthers. Even during his MVP season he did not have this type of firepower to pass to.
Newton may not return to MVP levels, but he is a legitimate QB1. If playing dynasty, I’d be looking to buy Newton while other owners scratch their head on what to do with the former MVP. In season long, there is no point of Newton taking up a roster spot and his current 21% ownership is head scratching. Bye-bye Cam, we’ll see you in Chicago next year!
Buy – Brian Hill, 4% Owned, Atlanta Falcons
Am I the only one excited about Hillsanity?
OK, I know that I am.
But, don’t let the relative obscurity of the name “Brian Hill” thwart you from making him your #1 waiver buy this week.
Because mark my words, Brian Hill will be a league winner.
Any self respecting fantasy owner wouldn’t blindly trust a fantasy writer without some kind of proof, right?
The sample size on Hill is admittedly small. In two seasons of limited usage, we only have a total of 81 snaps to look at. With these 81 snaps, Hill has snapped off an impressive 6.4 YPC. This is an improvement on the already impressive 5.3 YPC he achieved while playing at Wyoming.
And in his “starter” back debut after Devonta Freeman went down with an ankle injury in Week 10, Hill did not disappoint. Hill saw 20, that’s right, 20 running touches and produced 61 YDs on the ground. He was targeted twice as well for 1 reception,10 YDs and a TD. The start of Hillsanity produced 14.10 PPR points when Freeman went down in the 3rd quarter.
With Ito Smith still in concussion protocol, and Freeman out for at least two weeks and a lengthy injury history, this is Hill’s backfield. Even if a healthy Smith or Freeman come back, Hill will establish him as the RB1 with a Falcons team that is not ready to quit. Shown in the Falcons drubbing of the Saints in Week 10, this former Superbowl contending team is not ready to roll over.
And who will lead the Falcons back to respectability? The arm of Matt Ryan and the stout 6’1, 220 pound no-name frame of RB1 Brian Hill. I’ve got Hill as a “buy” in all formats and will be a league winner.
If you are reading this, you are probably in the playoff mix and in a competitive league that has already claimed Derrius Guice. In the case that Guice is still available, I would have claims in for both Guice and Hill, and damn the FAAB budget! Your in it to win it.
Other Running Backs I’m Buying on the Waiver Wire –
- Derrius Guice, 37% Owned, Washington Redskins
- Alexander Mattison, 29% Owned, Minnesota Vikings
- Darrell Henderson, 28% Owned, Los Angeles Rams
Bye – Ty Johnson, 37% Owned, Detroit Lions
How quickly things can change in fantasy football. It was in this very column a few short weeks ago that I was saying Ty Johnson was a must “buy”.
An injury to QB Matt Stafford and a concussion later, I’m waving bye to Ty Johnson across the board.
The opportunity was there for Johnson to establish himself as an RB1 and it simply did not happen. With a concussion in Week 10 and the severity of it unknown, I’m not trusting my fantasy fortunes on a Lions RB.
With the Lions playoffs hopes extremely dim, and Stafford’s immediate health uncertain, the picture isn’t rosy for the Lions.
Waive bye to Johnson and add a Hill or an elite handcuff instead. The Ty Johnson season won’t be happening this year.
Buy – Darius Slayton, 10% Owned, New York Giants
One 2 TD game can be considered an outlier.
Two 2 TD games? Now you’ve got my attention.
Slayton in 8 games has put up 5 TDs and 394 YDs. This TD total ties Slayton for 5th in the NFL in receiving TD’s, pretty impressive for the 5th round rookie out of Auburn who projected as a “project” player with questionable hand skills.
The WR’s athletic testing was off the charts, with a 4.39s 40 time. Slayton showed he could produce at Auburn with a 19.1 YPR, and his deep threat ability has translated at the NFL level.
Slayton shows a clear chemistry with Daniel Jones, and one that hasn’t slowed down since the two were paired together in Week 3. With Sterling Shepard still battling concussion symptoms and Tate best in the slot, I like Slayton’s usage going forward. The Giants have tough match ups post bye with Chicago and Green Bay, but things soften significantly as the fantasy playoffs start with games vs Philadelphia, Miami, and Washington.
If you have the luxury of stashing a Bye week player, I’m recommending buying Slayton and storing him for prime match-ups in the fantasy playoffs.
Other Wide Receivers I’m Buying on the Waiver Wire –
- AJ Brown, 31% Owned, Tennessee Titans
- Mecole Hardman, 27% Owned, Kansas City Chiefs
- Dionate Johnson, 18% Owned, Pittsburgh Steelers
- Phillip Dorsett, 28% Owned, New England Patriots
- Deebo Samuel, 15% Owned, San Francisco 49ers
- Tre’Quan Smith, 4% Owned, New Orleans Saints
Bye – Kenny Stills, 26% Owned, Houston Texans
Be bold. I’m going to stand by this by proclaiming that the Kenny Stills breakout party is postponed. Potentially indefinitely.
Look, Stills had an incredible opportunity to bust out with the injury to deep threat Will Fuller in Week 7. It just didn’t happen. Stills has received 5,5, and 4 targets since Fuller went down. This usage isn’t dissimilar from his usage in the slot prior to Fuller’s injury.
Stills volume stayed the same, as did his production. It’s clear that the Texans are getting their receiving offense by committee. And with Fuller slated to return, Stills should return to the slot.
Sure, Stills will be a steady 8 FP you can plug in every week, but are we looking for that? We certainly aren’t playing for the upside of Stills. With a potential Fuller return, as well as an upcoming schedule that sees the Texans play the Ravens, Colts, Patriots, Broncos and Tennessee., Stills is droppable.
I’m waiving bye to Stills and will set my Stills breakout party gear aside for next season. Or maybe the season after.
Buy – Darren Fells, 43% Owned, Houston Texans
I wasn’t an early Fells adopter. With the Texans long history of the TE position being under the “next man up” mentality, and with a plethora of legitimate receiving options in Houston, I wasn’t sold.
There was some question if Fells was even the best receiver at his own position. Jordan Aikins proved to be a legitimate threat vying for targets in the Houston passing game.
Fells has cemented himself as a consistent fantasy producer for a position desperate for production in fantasy football. He has had weeks of 15.90 FP, 16 FP, 12.90 FP, 23.80 FP and 7.10 FP as usable weeks. This makes Fells TE10 on the season.
The encouraging sign for Fells is that he isn’t match-up dependent. Having put up fantasy points against defenses that are tough on TE’s such as the Chargers. There is not a detectable trend so far this season with Fells. At a position where success is almost solely based on a TE TD, I like Fells as a PPR threat.
I’m buying Fells for those that forgot about him while he was on Bye.
Other Tight Ends I’m Buying on the Waiver Wire:
- OJ Howard, 40% Owned, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Mike Gesicki, 40% Owned, Miami Dolphins
- Noah Fant, 15% Owned, Denver Broncos
- Dallas Goedert, 17% Owned, Philadelphia Eagles
- Dawson Knox, 5% Owned, Buffalo Bills
Bye – No One. TE Position is SNAFU
Like last week, we are holding tight at TE. Unless you have an injured TE, such as Trey Burton (who shouldn’t be on your roster anyways), you aren’t dropping anyone at TE. You are holding onto what you got and praying for a TD.
Defensive Buy of the Week
Buy – Oakland Raiders vs Cincinnati Bengals
It’s a dark day when we are turning to the Black Hole for fantasy points.
Or is it?
The Raiders in 2019 under Jon Gruden have been competitive on both sides of the ball, with an improved O-line and tough defense.
Chucky has his team playing like every snap matters. And, with the Raiders currently sitting at 5-4, the Raiders are still in contention for a Wild Card spot.
And what better way to inch closer to the playoffs then a match-up vs the lowly Bengals at the Coliseum?
There is no better way. With the Raiders having played 5 straight games on the road (I’m including London as a road game), the Raiders have been enjoying the home cooking, reeling off 2 straight wins in Oakland. I like them to continue that streak to 3 vs a lost Bengals team.
The Bengals have given up the 7th most FP to D/ST, and are coming off a game vs Baltimore in which the D/ST put up 24 points. I don’t see anything changing with the Bengals rolling with rookie QB Ryan Finley again, and, no AJ Green in sight.
And don’t worry about the head shakes you’ll get from your fellow fantasy GM’s when you pickup the Raiders D/ST as an FA. Just kick back and laugh when they pickup 15 FP for you at the end of the week.
Rainy Day Stash– David Njoku, TE, Cleveland Browns
Were you one of the many football fans that were excited for a high octane offense from the Browns this season? And who could blame you. Led by Baker Mayfield, a dominant run game headlined by Nick Chubb, shifty Kareem Hunt, and arguably one of the most talented receiving corps in the NFL with Odell Beckham Jr, Jarvis Landry, and David Njoku, things were setup nicely for the team on the lake.
Alas, things haven’t quite panned out for Njoku and the Browns. Derailed by a weak offensive line,puzzling play calling, and sophomore regression for QB Baker Mayfield, the first 10 games have been forgettable.
Njoku started off his season in fine form, being the the Red Zone threat we anticipated him to be for the “high-octane” Browns. He was targeted a total of 6 times in Week 1, was used on 98% of snaps, and brought in 4 catches, for 37 YDs, a TD, and 13.7 FP. This put him at TE8 on the week. Of the 7 targets he received over 2 games, 28.5% of those targets were in the Red Zone.
As we now know, Njoku would be felled with a broken wrist early in Week 2. The subsequent usage of TE’s in the Browns system has been interesting between Demetrius Harris and Ricky Seals-Jones. Used sparingly, Harris has seen 53.4% of snaps, and Seals-Jones on the field for 35.4% of snaps. Seals-Jones has primarily been used out of the slot, while Harris has filled a blocking role. The one similarity that has carried over from when Njoku was on the field in Week 1?
You guessed it, their Red Zone usage. Harris and Seals-Jones have commanded 11.10% and 6.10% in the Browns Red Zone targets when playing. They’ve amassed a total of 3 Red Zone receptions and a total of 4 TDs. These are numbers to consider as it accounts for 44.44% of ALL Browns receiving TDs this season.
What does this mean?
It means that the Browns haven’t seen the Red Zone a whole hell of a lot. When they do, they target the TE. Njoku is coming off IR in Week 12, and had his cast removed on November 5th. Monitor Njoku’s status in the coming weeks. With Seals-Jones banged up and Harris more of a blocker, Njoku’s role is secured upon his return if healthy.
Many dropped Njoku earlier in the season, I’d recommend adding him immediately. Even if you don’t have an IR spot, this could be a smart buy as the Browns have mouth watering match-ups upon Njoku’s return, and, during the fantasy playoffs: Week 12 vs Dolphins, Week 14 vs Cincinnati, and Week 15 vs Arizona, the #1 in points allowed to the TE position.
I expect the Browns to get right over this period, and to finish the season with some good momentum to carry over into the 2020 season.
I’m stashing Njoku for the not so distant fantasy future.
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About the Author- @itsharristime is relatively new to the fantasy football scene having spent most of his life watching and playing hockey like a good Canadian. He’s making up for lost time by playing big on Draft, FanDuel, and is involved in season long and dynasty leagues on FFPC, Yahoo, ESPN and MyFantasyLeague. Steeler football, family, rock n’ roll and keeping things simple.
Seek value and have no player bias=winning formula.