by Will Overton
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:
Tim Hightower – Running Back – New Orleans Saints
Over the last few weeks Tim Hightower has been climbing the list of handcuffs you want to own. After yesterday I think it’s fair to say Hightower has jumped up a class. Mark Ingram has struggled some this season and has no doubt frustrated fantasy owners who likely took him in round two. After a fumble early in yesterday’s game Ingram was benched and never saw the field again. Meanwhile Hightower came in and racked up 102 yards on 26 carries.
Hightower got a chance last season when Ingram was injured and he shined in the team’s final four games. Hightower averaged 81.8 yards per game rushing, caught 12 passes and scored four TD’s in those four games. I don’t think the Saints are done with Ingram, but after this there is no way the Saints can’t start giving Hightower more looks.
Verdct – Must Buy
Chris Hogan – Wide Receiver – New England Patriots
For the second time in four games since Tom Brady returned from suspension Chris Hogan blew up with a big game. Hogan caught four passes yesterday against the Buffalo Bills, racking up 91 yards and scoring a TD. Hogan has had the best games of all receivers since Brady’s return, but even in those two big games he’s only had a total of nine targets, and in the other two games he combined for three. The fact is Hogan is going to have some big games against bad secondary’s, but despite how good the Patriots passing attack is, no one outside of Rob Gronkowski can really be trusted week to week with the way the ball is spread around. Hogan seems to be the deep threat on the team which helps his value, but you can’t use him every week.
Verdict – Streaming Option in the Right Matchup
J.J. Nelson – Wide Receiver – Arizona Cardinals
There is definitely talent in J.J. Nelson and we got to see what he can do with the right opportunity yesterday as he caught eight balls for 79 yards and a pair of TD’s. This was with two receivers injured and out and another one slowed with an injury of his own making Nelson the second option for the day. Jaron Brown isn’t coming back this season which bumps Nelson up a spot, and Michael Floyd seems like he’ll be a game day decision every week. This won’t be Nelson’s last big game of the season, but he needs some help from the guys in front of him making him had to count on outside of deeper leagues.
Verdict – Deep League Add
Josh McCown – Quarterback – Cleveland Browns
There are some question marks here, namely one big one in Cody Kessler. The Browns are waiting for their young QB to clear concussion protocol, and when he does they’ll have a decision to make. If McCown continues to be the starter he has a certain appeal to him in fantasy leagues. The Browns let McCown open up the offense and sling the ball around when he is at the helm, this leads to interceptions, but it also leads to a lot of yards and usually a couple TD’s too. I don’t think I’d be super comfortable with him as my QB1 in standard leagues, but QB2 or deep league option isn’t bad.
Verdict – QB2 Add If He Starts
Robert Kelley – Running Back – Washington Redskins
Most of what I was reading leading into the Redskins game yesterday was that with Matt Jones out the guy to add was Chris Thompson, which turned out to be the wrong decision. The Redskins treated Robert Kelley as RB1 and he carried the ball 21 times for 87 yards and a TD score. Thompson was definitely the passing down back, but Kelley got the carries. We had a small sample size from Kelley coming into this game, but even then he had 103 yards on 17 carries which is 6.1 YPC. If Jones is out Kelley is a must play, but even if Jones comes back, he’s been really hit or miss all season and I think Kelley could find himself in a carry split with a chance to work his way into the featured role.
Verdict – Must Add (Especially If You Own Matt Jones)
Eric Ebron – Tight End – Detroit Lions
After missing three games in a row Eric Ebron returned to the field for the Detroit Lions yesterday and took no time getting back into the flow of the offense. Ebron had a season high 10 targets, catching seven passes for 79 yards, also both season high totals. The Detroit Lions offense is a pass happy one, more so than almost any offense in the league and Ebron is going to step in and play a big role clearly. It’d be nice to see him targeted a bit more in the red zone, but with an average of five catches per game this season and 58 yards per game he’s in the running for top 10 tight end status every week.
Verdict – Add If You Need A Tight End
Terron Ward – Running Back – Atlanta Falcons
With Tevin Coleman out yesterday the expectations were that Devonta Freeman would be the one and only featured back, but Terron Ward was surprisingly involved. Ward carried the ball six times for 46 yards and caught one pass for 11 yards. Seven touches isn’t a ton by any stretch, but the Falcons seem to want a two back system and with Coleman out that second guy is going to be Ward who made the most of his touches. We don’t know if Coleman will be back this week, miss another game or miss multiple games, but Ward is worth a flier in deep leagues and we find out Coleman is worse off than we thought then the value goes up.
Verdict – Worth A Stash In Deep Leagues