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.
Have you been waiting patiently like I have for the Miles Sanders breakout? Or, if not Sanders, some other bench stash that you’ve held onto for 8 weeks eating away at a precious roster spot? You’ve watched potential starters come and go holding onto maybe that Justice Hill type that really only needs that ONE opportunity?
Well, for me, that unicorn I’m chasing is Sanders and he seemed to be on pace for a breakout game after busting a 65 YD TD run. I figured this game would happen a little earlier when scouting him in the off-season, but, I wasn’t complaining.
Then, just as quickly as Miles Sanders flashed fantasy relevance, he turned to dust: Sanders went to the dressing room in the 3rd quarter with an apparent shoulder injury, status is unknown.
What did we learn from this example of holding Miles Sanders for 8 weeks?
Well, a few things. One is that you must trust your research and process when drafting players in the off-season. Don’t roster a player that you don’t envision playing a role on your team. Even if you expect this role to be in the latter part of the season, prepare yourself for that player to be firmly entrenched on the pine until they are fantasy relevant.
The second piece is that when building a roster, you must be agile and flexible when it comes to adding, dropping and trading. Even though you may love a prospect like Miles Sanders, if there is an apparent need for lets say a WR, do you move him to another owner that likes his upside and hails from East Pennsylvania? There has to be a time when you analyze the upside of holding a player, and what the downside to your team is to continue to hold that roster spot.
I’m using Sanders as an example, but it can hold true to many other players that are currently not playing up to their all-star potential: Odell Beckham Jr, Melvin Gordon III, Le’Veon Bell, Baker Mayfield, and the list goes on.
With half of the season behind us, having to re-evaluate now and making and addressing an area of need is better than missing out on the fantasy playoffs without taking your shot.
Buy – Sam Darnold, 23% Owned, New York Jets
It would be tough with Halloween falling in Week 9 not to include Sam Darnold in my buy segment. Darnold was infamously quoted for “seeing ghosts” after matching up against the fearsome Patriots defense in Week 7.
I can’t really blame the guy. With a porous oline, and the Patriots running what seemed like a constant blitz, Darnold wasn’t given many options. The Jets play calling was even scarier, leaving Darnold to fend for himself for most of the 33-0 loss to the Patriots. The most frightening piece was not Darnold seeing ghosts, but how ghoulishly underused star RB Le’veon Bell was used in the loss. That’s a tale for another day though.
Now, as haunting as Darnold’s and the Jets performance was in Week 7, things are looking up. It’s time to put the scare into the opposition, and what better way to do that than a match-up with the Miami Dolphins.
The Dolphins as of writing this on Monday morning had given up 2nd most points to QBs so far this season. After playing the Steelers at home on MNF, this could be bumped to #1.
Even after getting sacked 8 times vs Jacksonville, Darnold still put up a serviceable 15.62 FP, with a 92 YD Robby Anderson TD negated with an interference.
The Jets are a hot mess. As a team, I don’t think there is a more frightening freak show in the NFL. But, I don’t care, as I’m sure you don’t when it comes to winning fantasy football match-ups. Chris Herndon should be back in Week 9, and, if Robby Anderson is not traded, I like the Jets to get right vs the Dolphins. And then to do the same vs the Giants, Redskins, Raiders, Bengals and the Dolphins (again).
The end of the season schedule for Darnold is one of the best for QB/WR and I expect Darnold to stop seeing Ghosts, and doing a bit more of this:
Other Quarterbacks I’m Buying on the Waiver Wire –
- Cam Newton, 41% Owned, Carolina Panthers
- Derek Carr, 26% Owned, Oakland Raiders
- Daniel Jones, 23% Owned, New York Giants
Bye – Mitch Trubisky, 25% Owned, Chicago Bears
It’s truly unfortunate that Chicago’s Super Bowl hopes hinge on the play of former 1st rounder and QB bust Mitchell Trubisky.
What we experienced with Trubisky in 2018 was an ability to play to his strengths and exploit defenses with his mobility and out of the pocket accuracy.
That simply isn’t happening, with a prime example exhibited vs the Chargers at home in Week 8. Even when not facing much pressure, Trubisky was sailing balls wide and over the heads of open receivers. Trubisky’s Konami Code ability was almost non-existent with only 10 rushing YDS. This is particularly alarming with Nagy going to a run first approach, pounding the ball with rookie David Montgomery and his 27 carries.
Even if Biscuits can muster a monster game by the end of the season, it’s not worth holding onto this bust or boom QB. With matchups vs the Eagles, Lions and Rams over the next 3 weeks, I wouldn’t be surprised if Nagy goes back to game manager Chase Daniel. At least he can hit an open receiver.
Bye-bye once again Bortles North. I bid you adieu.
Buy – Alexander Mattison, 24% Owned, Minnesota Vikings
Besides Halloween, do you know what other time of year it is?
It is “Handcuff and Hope” season.
The majority of usable RBs have long been snagged up, most notable being Chase Edmonds and Ty Johnson over the last few weeks. It’s barren out there folks and barring a Mark Walton breakout post Kenyan Drake trade, handcuff and hope might be your best strategy.
And who better to kick-off that season than 4th rounder Alexander Mattison of the Minnesota Vikings?
Mattison has incredible burst as displayed at the combine being in the top 5 in both vertical and broad jump. At Boise State in his Junior Season, Mattison finished in the top 10 in rushing yards (1,415) and rushing TDs (17).
In a scheme that promotes the run, the Vikings are a perfect fit for Mattison’s skill set. In limited usage, Mattison has still put up fantasy numbers while playing behind superstar Dalvin Cook.
If Cook was to go down, Mattison would be a locked in RB1.
Buy Mattison and let the “Handcuff and Hope” season commence.
Other Running Backs I’m Buying on the Waiver Wire –
- Ronald Jones II, 49% Owned, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Jaylen Samuels, 18% Owned, Pittsburgh Steelers
- Mark Walton, 27% Owned, Miami Dolphins
- Benny Snell Jr., 8% Owned, Pittsburgh Steelers
- Derrius Guice, 29% Owned, Washington Redskins
Bye – Dion Lewis, 13% Owned, Tennessee Titans
It seems like a decade since Dion Lewis was a league winner for fantasy owners in 2017 as a member of the New England Patriots.
Lewis simply isn’t being used in the run game with Derrick Henry dominating the rushing attempts. Best known for his pass catching ability, Lewis is not seeing targets in the Titans pass game. This is holding true even after the change from Mariota to Tannehill. His targets have actually regressed with Tannehill under center, not a positive sign.
Earlier I talked about “Handcuff and Hope” in regards to Alexander Mattison. The difference between Lewis and Mattison? Mattison has upside.
I’m waving “bye” to Lewis and using that roster spot on an upside handcuff RB, or addressing another area of need on my roster.
Buy – A.J. Brown, 25% Owned, Tennessee Titans
Overshadowed by other super talented WRs with the same last name, AJ might be the best Brown WR talent in the NFL. He may just be the best rookie WR that no one is talking about.
And why not?
One reason: Marcus Mariota.
Many analysts and fantasy footballers believed that A.J Brown was the #1 WR prospect in the 2019 draft in terms of talent. In rookie dynasty draft, Brown was the #3 WR drafted, and a top 10 pick.
The only thing that dampened Brown’s draft position, and early season production, was his landing spot: Tennessee.
With one uber talented WR already on the roster in Corey Davis, it was unclear what the plan would be for A.J Brown. And even with a QB change from Marcus Mariota to Ryan Tannehill, Brown’s exact role is unclear. It seems that the passing game is simply going to the “next man” up system, with Brown, Davis, and Jonnu Smith all getting looks.
Brown has put up usable weeks in terms of fantasy production (24.40, 12.20, 9.10), and at the very least should be a buy to store on your bench. It’s interesting to note that Corey Davis has only seen 6 more targets than Brown on the season, and Brown has outproduced Davis by 6 fantasy points.
I’m buying Brown and scratching my head at Davis’ 64% ownership.
Other Wide Receivers I’m Buying on the Waiver Wire –
- Auden Tate, 28% Owned, Cincinnati Bengals
- Deebo Samuel, 12% Owned, San Francisco 49ers
- N’Keal Harry, 12% Owned, New England Patriots
- Tre’Quan Smith, 4% Owned, New Orleans Saints
Bye – Marquise Goodwin, 14% Owned, San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers are a run first team. There, I said it. If the career game for Tevin Coleman (4 TDs, 3 rushing, 1 passing, 105 rushing YDs, 13 receiving YDs) isn’t enough evidence, take a look at how the 49ers have went undefeated through 8 weeks: by running the football.
Before Coleman came back healthy, it was the Mostert-Wilson-Breida show, and it didn’t seem to matter who was in the SF backfield.
With the focus on the run, and, the recent addition of Emmanuel Sanders to the receiving corp, Goodwin can go bye-bye.
Goodwin has thrilling deep threat speed and has given “boom” weeks to fantasy owners before. He’s currently out with a suspected concussion sustained in Week 7, and I don’t see him taking the field consistently enough to warrant a bench spot. The 49ers rolled out Sanders, Pettis and Samuel in 3 WR sets against the Panthers and I don’t see Goodwin cracking this trio.
Good-bye Goodwin, and wish you all the best in Tokyo.
Buy – Jonnu Smith, 19% Owned, Tennessee Titans
It’s a terrifying column when you are recommending two Titans in the same “Buy or Bye”.
Both A.J. Brown and TE Jonnu Smith though aren’t that scary of a Buy.
Smith has long teased fantasy owners with a 93rd percentile SPAQ-x rating, and was a dominate producer at Florida International.
Jonnu was locked behind veteran Delanie Walker, and was only given glimpses when Walker went down with injuries over the past two years.
Now, with Walker’s current status in question and in his 35th year, the time is now for Smith.
Smith blew up in a big way in Week 8 putting up TE1 numbers with 19.80 FP, good for the overall TE3 performance on the week.
This might be the ceiling for Smith, but I expect the floor to be solid with Ryan Tannehill now under center and moving the ball down the field.
I’m confidently buying Jonnu in all formats going forward.
Other Tight Ends I’m Buying on the Waiver Wire:
- Chris Herndon, 28% Owned, New York Jets
- Jarred Cook, 49% Owned, New Orleans Saints
- Dallas Goedert, 22% Owned, Philadelphia Eagles
- Darren Fells, 18% Owned, Houston Texans
Bye – Dawson Knox, 15% Owned, Buffalo Bills
The future is bright for Dawson Knox. The immediate future however, looks downright scary for the young TE with the return of Tyler Kroft.
In Week 6 Knox did see 5 targets for 2 receptions and 22 YDs. It was discouraging in Week 7 vs the Eagles that Knox saw exactly 0 targets. This is especially concerning since the Bills were trailing and Allen was looking for targets to open up the weak Eagles secondary. Instead, those targets went to Kroft who saw a total of 4 targets.
I like Knox the prospect, but if I can, I’m buying Jonnu Smith and saying bye to Knox.
If not, it is clear that Knox is a TD or bust option for your fantasy squad. With a plus schedule upcoming, it’s not a bad option, but be prepared for the 0.
Defensive Buy of the Week
Buy – Dallas Cowboys vs New York Giants
Coming off a bye and adding Super Bowl champion pass rusher Michael Bennett, I love the Cowboys as a streamer in Week 9.
Bennett should help a middling pass rush (17th NFL), and could be the piece that helps elevate an under-performing unit that some thought was one of the best in the NFC.
It’s interesting to note that the Patriots traded Bennett to the NFC as opposed to just dropping him. This speaks volumes to me that Belichek and Co. didn’t want to see him on a rival AFC team.
Even without the addition of Bennett, the Cowboys would have been a lock against NFC East rivals the New York Giants who have allowed the 3rd most FP to D/ST so far this season.
I’m buying a rested Cowboys squad against rookie QB Daniel “Danny Dimes” Jones and the predictable play calling of Pat Shurmur.
Rainy Day Stash– Tre’Quan Smith, WR, New Orleans Saints
Rainy days seem to be a plenty this fantasy season.
What better way to brighten up a dark, damp fall day than a WR with upside attached to the high octane Saints offense again QB’d by future Hall of Famer Drew Brees?
Yes, that’s the kind of stash I like to make if I have the roster space.
Look no further than Tre’Quan Smith. Smith has tantalized us with his athletic profile and in game talent when given the opportunity.
In 13 games in 2018, Smith only saw 44 targets, making 28 catches and ranked 19th in YPR.
The biggest metric to take notice of for your fantasy team? Tre’Quan’s jaw dropping 2.29 FP per target that had him ranked 8th among all WRs in 2018. This is the type of upside you want on your bench.
Having been limited to only 2 games this season, and with Drew Brees returning in Week 8, Tre’Quan could be a league winner if healthy and active in the Saints passing game.
I like Tre’Quan as a Rainy Day Stash that will fly under the radar in most leagues.
Who wouldn’t feel all warm and fuzzy on a cold fall day with a WR being added to your roster with 20+ FP upside in Week 9 and beyond?
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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.