Welcome to our in-season coverage of waiver wire considerations for this week.
We won’t be forcing waiver wire advice or suggestions. Instead, expect to see a wide-ranging number of players each week, based solely on increasing snaps, injury or any combination of events that suggest a player’s status could change in the future. You can expect we will be providing a bit of justification for the addition as well as just how deep the particular player is. We are only highlighting those players that we believe deserve some level of attention, not merely players who happen to see targets or log a carry. As is always the case in fantasy, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Whether you are a multiple-year winner or in a constant state of rebuilding, the waiver wire is, arguably, your largest source of talent from which you will build your future dynasty. Being first to act and last to react, year over year, will play a huge role in the building and shaping of your team(s). It takes a lot of commitment to stay that engaged, but it’s an activity that will pay dividends every year.
Don’t forget to check Ken Kelly’s “Dynasty Aftermath” weekly for more notes on players who should be on your radar.
Here are your players for this week:
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Kenneth Dixon, RB BAL
Dixon was added to the active roster following the deactivation of Alex Collins. In his first game he garnered eight rushes for 37 yards and chipped in with a single reception for six yards. It’s clearly the Gus Edwards show from here on out but Dixon is still young (24) and has the size and skill set to be a difference-maker if he can stay off the trainer’s table. Dixon isn’t a free agent until 2020 so owners will need to stay patient.
Ian Thomas, TE CAR
Thomas has been left for dead in many leagues due the return of Greg Olsen. Olsen left Sunday’s game again with a new foot injury and is expected to miss the rest of the season. There’s every reason to think this could be it for the aging veteran and he could easily transition to the broadcasting booth. For Thomas, he’ll take over as the starting tight end and should be added in all formats. In relief of Olsen, Thomas produced five receptions for 46 yards and could be a valuable depth player down the stretch.
Jeff Wilson Jr., RB SF
We mentioned Wilson last week as well but he’s still available in many leagues. He got his second action of the year on Sunday and made good on his touches, producing 61 yards on 15 rushes and, astoundingly, adding eight receptions for 73 yards. This all with Matt Breida supposedly fully healthy and no longer carrying an injury designation. Wilson, like a few others this year, has come from nowhere to be a producer. He needs to be added immediately in all formats.
Justin Jackson, RB SD
The AFC version of Jeff Wilson (above) and with similar size (6’0/199). Jackson received material touches for the second week in a row with Melvin Gordon down and he produced 63 yards and a touchdown on eight rushes while chipping in another 19 yards on a single reception. He looked dynamic with the ball in his hands and possesses plus-level agility with a willingness to churn out tough yardage between the tackles. He looked far more capable than Austin Ekeler and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him lead the backfield in week 14, sending Ekeler back to a pure third-down role. Like Wilson above, add Jackson in all formats but with the understanding that when Melvin Gordon returns, Jackson’s role will be diminished.
Damien Williams, RB KC
The shocking saga of Kareem Hunt has opened the door for Williams, a 26 year-old running back who will back up Spencer Ware. Williams has more receiving ability than does Ware and has the ability to get downhill on his rushes, producing 38 yards on five carries in his first game with material snaps. Ware is clearly the starter but Williams has enough ability to be added should he show well and earn more snaps. Head coach Andy Reid isn’t afraid to use a hot-hand approach and Williams is in a position to benefit should Ware not seize the opportunity.
Darrel Williams, RB KC
Williams has been a hot add following the release of Kareem Hunt but will be no better than third on the depth chart. He carries good size (6’0/225) and downhill ability but failed to impress during the NFL Combine, running a 4.72 40 and jumping a 32″ vertical. He’s a worthy addition for the next few weeks but likely won’t factor down the stretch and will end up back on in your free agent pool. There has been talk head coach Andy Reid has mentioned wanting to establish one more runner for the committee to there’s a chance for Williams, but he’s a long shot. You can see more on Williams here.
Dan Arnold, TE NO
Arnold continues to see snaps and appears to be running as the TE3 if snap count is any indication, though he’s seen time as the top target for Drew Brees. In week 13, Arnold only produced two receptions and 20 yards but the second-year player is getting valuable experience in an offense that utilizes the tight end position. Add him in deep roster leagues.
Adam Shaheen, TE CHI
Shaheen has returned from IR and saw two targets, converting both of them for five yards and a touchdown. He’s clearly behind the underwhelming Trey Burton and doesn’t project as anything more than an extremely deep-roster addition and best as a desperation handcuff for fantasy teams possessing Burton and little else.
Cody Core, WR CIN
I’ve had my eye on Core for a couple years now as he possesses an intriguing mix of size (6’3/210) and athleticism. Following A.J. Green being carted off, Core saw four targets, converting on one of them, a 30 yard touchdown. The status of Green isn’t known but there’s reason for pessimism. The Bengals’ season is all but over and the ship is on fire and listing badly. Should Green miss any time, as seems likely, Core could factor down the stretch. Add him as a developmental talent who could see material snaps over the next four weeks.
Bruce Ellington, WR DET
Ellington was mentioned weeks ago but now both Marvin Jones and Golden Tate are out of the equation and Matt Stafford has little left in the cupboard. Ellington will be inherit the WR2 role behind Kenny Golladay and while he can be added for the remaining games of 2018, I would think you can do better elsewhere.
Marcell Ateman, WR OAK
Ateman has been mentioned on DLF recently and he’s played more than 80% of snaps over the past three weeks. In Sunday’s game vs. the Chiefs, he caught 2-of-4 targets for 16 yards and a nice touchdown reception where he used his body to box-out the defender, climbed the ladder and secured the score. Add Ateman in all formats in hopes that he continues to gain experience through increasing usage and snaps.
Anthony Firkser, TE TEN
Firkser continues to hang around and he now has 10 targets over his past three games, including his first touchdown on Sunday. He’s now eclipsed 40 yards in this same three-week period. The starting job is clearly owned by Jonnu Smith but Firkser should be on the radar for the balance of 2018 should Smith miss any time.
Deep Roster Considerations:
Scott Simonson, TE NYG: Two receptions, 25 yards
Dontrell Hilliard, RB CLE: Four receptions, 40 yards
Trent Sherfield, WR ARI: One reception, 21 yards
See you next week!
You can find Jeff on Twitter at @dlf_jeff