by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
Looking to hit the waiver wire? Who isn’t looking to improve, though making any hasty decisions off one game could ultimately prove more costly than helpful. With that in mind, let’s take a look at a few players who may be available and if they are worth targeting or not:
Brian Hoyer – Quarterback – Chicago Bears
The more he performs, the more likely it becomes that Jay Cutler ultimately returns to a reserve role. All Hoyer did yesterday was complete 33 of 43 passes for 397 yards, 2 TD and 0 INT. He’s now thrown for 300+ yards in three straight games, all while racking up 6 TD vs. 0 INT. Keep in mind, over the first two games Cutler threw for a total of 373 yards with 1 TD and 2 INT. You can point to the level of competition (the past two weeks have been favorable matchups with the Lions and Colts), but at this point you can’t say that Hoyer doesn’t give them a better chance to win. While there’s still going to be risk in shallower formats, in many instances he’s going to become a must own option.
Verdict – Must own in 14+ team or two-quarterback leagues
Marcus Mariota – Quarterback – Tennessee Titans
It’s not that he tossed for a lot of yardage, but he did what he had to and broke out with his legs:
Obviously it was a nice line, but despite attempting at least 29 passes each game only once has he eclipsed 238 yards and this was the first time he cracked 22 rushing yards. Sure we know there’s potential, but it’s hard to get overly excited.
Verdict – Leave for only the deepest of formats
Matt Asiata – Running Back – Minnesota Vikings
It was tough sledding for both Minnesota running backs, though there’s no question who the better performer was:
Before anyone jumps to the conclusion that Asiata will now emerge as “the man”, keep in mind that it was just a week ago that McKinnon posted an 18/85/1 line while Asiata took 6 carries for 6 yards. This is going to continue to be a committee, and that’s going to leave both players tough to trust.
Verdict – Leave for the desperate
Devontae Booker – Running Back – Denver Broncos
Booker appears to be forcing his way into a more prominent role for Denver. Just look at the yardage split from this past week:
Booker is just an injury away from a significant role, and could creep into FLEX discussion without one if this type of split continues. In other words, consider him a must stash.
Verdict – Worth stashing
Cameron Meredith – Wide Receiver – Chicago Bears
Eddie Royal was viewed as the beneficiary of Kevin White’s injury, but instead it was Meredith who gained the start and exploded to the tune of 9 receptions, 130 yards and 1 TD (he was targeted 12 times). Of course there is at least a little bit of concern stemming from a pair of fumbles, one of which he lost. That gives him 3 fumbles in his three games, losing 2. If he can’t hold onto the football his opportunities are going to diminish quickly. Given this production and with the rest of the receiving corps banged up he’s going to be worth grabbing, just be prepared to cut bait if the fumbles continues.
Verdict – Enough upside to warrant owning in all formats
Sammie Coates – Wide Receiver – Pittsburgh Steelers
If you just look at the numbers it was a monster game for Coates, who posted 6 receptions for 139 yards and 2 TD. However he struggled with some bad drops and needed 11 targets and a 72 yard receptions to post the gaudy numbers. He has seen his targets increase over the past two weeks (19 total), but he’s the epitome of a boom or bust receiver (he’s averaging 22.2 yards per reception). Obviously in this offense he’s worth owning, but he needs to find consistency and become less reliant on the big play to develop into a worthwhile weekly option.
Verdict – Worth stashing in all formats
Davante Adams – Wide Receiver – Green Bay Packers
He posted his biggest day of the season, with 5 receptions for 85 yards and 1 TD on Sunday Night. Overall he’s had 7+ targets and scored a TD in three of four games, which would make it seem like he’s a viable option. However he’s turned 24 targets into just 13 catches and this was the first time he’s had more than 50 yards in a game (184 yards over his four games). You also know that he’s going to play behind Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson, which makes it tough to envision consistent production. He’s been TD dependent thus far, and that’s not something we’d want to bank on continuing.
Verdict – Worth owning in deeper formats, but too much risk in shallower ones
Adam Thielen – Wide Receiver – Minnesota Vikings
The beneficiary of the absence of Stefon Diggs, he posted 7 receptions (on 8 targets) for 127 yards and 1 TD. At the same time, as soon as Diggs is healthy you know he’s going to step back into the top receiver role. The team also will eventually incorporate Laquon Treadwell heavily into the mix, further capping Thielen’s upside and potential.
Verdict – Short-term play, but little else
Sources – ESPN, NFL.com