Last Tuesday’s NFL trade deadline did not disappoint, with IDP studs Roquan Smith and Bradley Chubb both moved during contract years. Luckily we’re still several weeks from typical fantasy trade deadlines, so there’s time to adjust for your contenders and time to build for your pretenders.
While we’re not likely to find many diamonds in the rough on the waiver wire at this point in the season, I’m an advocate of bottom-of-the-roster churn. That means taking swings on whatever looks good in hopes of hitting on a starter or tradeable asset.
There are definitely a few interesting prospects on this week’s waiver wire, so let’s dig in.
Keep in mind when reading:
- This advice is geared more toward 14- and 16-team dynasty setups, or 12-team setups with fairly large roster limits (65 spots or so). My goal is to write this for managers who must dig deeper on the wire in order to stay ahead for both this season and future years.
- I’m probably not going to list many IDPs you can find in my top 150 rankings, which I update weekly now that we’re pretty deep into the season. I’ll list some obvious “shallow” league options but I don’t plan to go into much detail on those players unless there’s some growing dynasty (this season and beyond) appeal.
- Not everyone I list is a recommended add. Sometimes I may just want to write up a player to convince you not to waste your FAAB on him.
Micheal Clemons, NYJ
Granted he’s at best the fourth edge option behind Carl Lawson, John Franklin-Myers, and fellow rookie Jermaine Johnson II, but the trade of Jacob Martin frees up a handful of snaps along the edge for someone (Bryce Huff is also around). Clemons is relentless and doesn’t look like most NFL rookies with long arms and a chiseled 6-foot-5, 265-pound frame. Then again, most rookies aren’t 25 years old! The fourth-round pick registered four combined tackles against Buffalo. He’s unlikely to have starting value this season, but could see a bump next year should the Jets jettison Carl Lawson prior to the final year of his contract.
Yes, I’m holding back tears as I write this, but Rashan Gary was reportedly on crutches after suffering a knee injury early in Green Bay’s stunning loss to Detroit. Enagbare isn’t a high-upside prospect but is worthy of a roster spot should Gary’s injury end up being a multiple-game deal. Enagbare would certainly share the additional workload with Jonathan Garvin, so don’t get carried away, but the rookie fifth-rounder from South Carolina does have a couple of sacks on the season.
Markus Golden, ARI
You know who’s capable of going on some seriously productive tears? That’s right, none other than the Golden boy. You know who has some nice matchups for opposing edges coming up? The very same. Golden, credited with half-a-sack on four quarterback hits (plus six total tackles) on Sunday, gets the Rams in week ten, and has just one “shy away” matchup down the stretch. He’s a great waiver wire add or cheap trade target for those in true position or big play formats.
Bruce Irvin, SEA
I’m the first to admit that I thought Irvin had retired before Seattle brought back its first-round pick from ten years ago prior to week seven. His snap counts (24, 45 and 37) merit giving him a look though, and on Sunday he notched his first sack since the 2019 season to go along with three total tackles (two for loss). This fantasy thing is supposed to be fun, you know, so if you’re a fan of the Seahawks or Raiders and want to roll Irvin out in your lineup in the name of nostalgia, I’m here for you.
Josh Uche, NE
You can’t read too much into Uche’s stat line (three sacks among his five solos and one assist) from Sunday, as the Patriots sacked hapless Sam Ehlinger a whopping nine times in a 26-3 rout. Uche played just 25 snaps, which is pretty much on par for what he’s seeing in his third season. And his career has no doubt been a disappointment so far, but he was drafted in the second round for a reason, and Uche has for sure shown some flashes of dominance from time to time. It’s hard to keep him rostered when he’s playing such a limited role, but he’s also not the worst end-of-your-roster stash just in case he matures into a more consistent force off the edge.
- Carlos Basham, A.J. Epenesa and Shaq Lawson, BUF – None of them did much to speak of on Sunday, but all would stand to see an uptick in usage should Gregory Rousseau miss time with an ankle injury that forced him out of Buffalo’s loss to New York.
- Kurt Hinish, HOU – Such is the state of affairs along Houston’s interior line that Hinish, an undrafted rookie from Notre Dame, appears to be the most palatable fantasy option. He’s been playing a good bit though, and in week nine notched a sack plus three combined tackles on 40 of 65 snaps. Still, he’s best avoided, and only rosterable in leagues where anyone with a pulse is guaranteed a bench spot.
Derrick Barnes, DET
I know, I know, but before you wince and close out your browser tab, keep in mind Barnes is only in year two, and has seen defensive snaps in just 22 games. And now he’s coming off a career outing, with a sack, four solo tackles, eight assists, and a pass defensed. And he easily eclipsed his season high in snaps with 50 – granted that only happened after Malcolm Rodriguez departed with a first-half elbow injury. The injury doesn’t sound like anything too serious, so Barnes could be back to a bit role in week ten, but all’s not lost for the former fourth-round pick.
Terrel Bernard, BUF
The rookie could legitimately have a lot of value next season should Tremaine Edmunds depart Buffalo in free agency. As it stands now, Bernard merits spot start consideration in case of injury, as was the case in week nine with Matt Milano sidelined. Bernard responded with a modest two solos and five assists, but he’s no doubt worthy of a bench spot in dynasty leagues.
Blake Martinez, LV
Full-time linebacker Divine Deablo, already banged up with back and wrist injuries that had him questionable to play in week nine, exited Las Vegas’ loss to Jacksonville early with a forearm injury. That opened the door for Martinez to play a season-high in snaps, and of course he responded with double-digit tackles (eight solos, three assists). Martinez isn’t the IDP asset he used to be, but should Deablo miss games, the former tackle-heavy hero once again has starting appeal.
The undrafted rookie from Wisconsin was of course scooped up off waivers last week following the Halloween trade of Roquan Smith. Sanborn didn’t see a full workload, playing 49 of 56 defensive snaps, but he did lead Bears linebackers in tackles with seven solos. I’m dubious of dynasty value, but he should be rostered in all IDP leagues.
Nicholas Morrow, of course, served as the full-time linebacker, with Joe Thomas maintaining his role as the No. 3 in three-linebacker sets. Preseason stud Sterling Weatherford and newly acquired A.J. Klein both only saw work on special teams.
- Krys Barnes, GB – The Isaiah McDuffie experience was a forgettable one. With De’Vondre Campbell out, it was Barnes who led the Packers in tackles (four solos, four assists) after being activated from injured reserve on Saturday. Barnes is still behind Campbell and rookie Quay Walker when everyone is healthy.
Kerby Joseph, DET
Joe Mixon owned week nine, but we also experienced a bit of a Kerby Joseph breakout party. The rookie took advantage of a couple of Aaron Rodgers miscues for his first two career interceptions, and reached double-digit tackles with five solos and five assists. Joseph isn’t a fantasy-friendly box safety type, but he does have good speed and a collegiate history of playmaking production (five interceptions as a senior at Illinois). He possibly suffered a concussion during the second half, so if you pick him up off waivers, be mindful that he may not be able to play in week ten.
And the Lions get it right back! Rodgers has thrown three INTs! Mayhem in Detroit!
— The 33rd Team (@The33rdTeamFB) November 6, 2022
- Jonathan Owens, HOU – The undrafted Owens, who was on a tear through three weeks with 36 tackles, found himself benched in week eight in favor of Eric Murray. Rest easy if you’ve been riding with this Texan – Owens was back to a primary role in week nine, tallying seven solo tackles and three assists on 50 snaps (77 percent).
- Andrew Wingard, JAC – Starter Rayshawn Jenkins left Sunday’s game with a possible concussion. Wingard is capable of solid tackle production when called upon, and would be in line for a likely full workload should Jenkins miss time.
- Andrew Adams, TEN – Adams was at it again with Amani Hooker sidelined with a shoulder injury, collecting six solo tackles and an assist. If Hooker can’t make it back for week ten, Adams is fine to fire up as an S2.
Akayleb Evans, MIN
Cameron Dantzler‘s ankle injury sounds somewhat serious, meaning Evans, who impressed Sunday in relief of Dantzler, could be in line for a major role in week ten in a juicy matchup with Buffalo. The fourth-round rookie registered four combined tackles (two for loss) and knocked away a fourth-down pass intended for Terry McLaurin during the third quarter.
Troy Hill, LAR
You really can’t go wrong following Arizona around for cornerback production. Assuming you’re not in a combined defensive backs setup, Jalen Ramsey isn’t available. Hill is the next best option from a cornerback room that includes Derion Kendrick and David Long, Jr. Hill returned from injured reserve in week eight, and hit his stride in week nine with four solo tackles (one in the backfield), three assists and two passes defensed.