We reached the quarter pole last weekend in the NFL regular season, and that means we’re almost a third of the way to the Fantasy playoffs in most standard formats. The waiver wire continues to be a good source of Fantasy pick-ups for those with itchy trigger fingers. However, just because a guy explodes onto the scene one week doesn’t mean he’ll be a dependable target long-term. We have decided to call this the Kevin Ogletree rule. In one of my leagues, I decided after the Week 1 performance of Ogletree that I needed depth at wide receiver, and dropped Washington Redskins RB Alfred Morris. Yeah, ouch. To make matters worse, I am a Florida Atlantic University alumnus, and it would give me great pride to have an Owl scoring points for me each week.
To be fair, no, I am not an idiot. Ha. I have Maurice Jones-Drew and Adrian Peterson in that league. But yeah, I have been annoyed, to say the least.
So, anyway, just be careful with that waiver wire. It can lead to some good results in the short term, and sometimes down the stretch, but it can also be a risky proposition like the stock market.
Jackie Battle, RB, San Diego: Even Battle was surprised to see himself as the top running back option last Sunday in Kansas City against his former team. He saw 15 carries for just 39 yards, but he was able to score a touchdown, his third in as many games. Head coach Norv Turner indicated that he will continue to gradually ease RB Ryan Mathews (clavicle) into the game plan, so Battle might end up having some solid short-term Fantasy value. If you’re in need of an emergency RB, especially due to bye week troubles with four teams (Buccaneers, Cowboys, Lions, Raiders) off, Battle might be a decent low-end RB2 or ‘flex’ option.
Davone Bess, WR, Miami: We all know about Brian Hartline, and his franchise record performance in Arizona a week ago. But don’t sleep on Bess, either. The Dolphins have looked surprisingly good on offense, and rookie QB Ryan Tannehill continues to mature, and has displayed good accuracy. While Hartline has emerged as the downfield target, Bess is more of the security blanket. For those in PPR formats, he’ll likely be targeted a little more. While his yardage might not necessarily be more than Hartline in most weeks, he will see plenty of looks, especially in the red zone. The more Miami’s offense improves, the more valuable Bess will become to Fantasy owners.
Brandon Bolden, RB, New England: Don’t look now, but the Patriots might have discovered a gem last week in New England. Bolden, the rookie out of Mississippi, which ironically is the same school the Patriots went to for former RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis, rolled up 137 yards on 16 totes last week, including a touchdown. While Bolden still has Stevan Ridley, Danny Woodhead, and potentially Shane Vereen in the mix in the backfield, another performance like this could change the thinking of ‘The Hoodie’, head coach Bill Belichick. He tends to roll with the hot hand, and Bolden could forcibly make his way to the top of the depth chart with another strong Sunday performance.
Scott Chandler, TE, Buffalo: Speaking of that New England-Buffalo shootout, Chandler displayed some tremendous concentration and good hands in or around the red zone last week, snaring two touchdowns from QB Ryan Fitzpatrick. Will Chandler ever be Rob Gronkowski or Jimmy Graham? Well, probably not. But he is an adequate bye-week replacement, and/or serviceable injury fill-in. At this point, he is still viewed as a Top 12-15 option at his position, but his stock is certainly on the rise.
Packers DST: The Packers defense was scorched by the New Orleans Saints, and mainly QB Drew Brees, in their Week 4 game. However, with the Indianapolis Colts paying a visit this week, the Packers might be worth a look. It is very, very sad to see what has happened to head coach Chuck Pagano, who was diagnosed with a treatable form of leukemia this week. However, Fantasy minds are always churning, he isn’t coming back, and the reality of the situation is the team is in flux with offensive coordinator Bruce Arians taking over the reins for now. This means there could be some shaky play, miscommunication, and, perhaps, plenty of turnovers. It’s crappy to take advantage of a bad situation, but do it before someone else does.
Andre Roberts, WR, Arizona: Roberts has really started to jell nicely with QB Kevin Kolb. Not only is it good for potential Fantasy owners of Roberts, but a reliable No. 2 receiver takes away some of the double-teams from Larry Fitzgerald, as well. Roberts has cashed in with four scores in four weeks, including three fourth quarter touchdowns. While the yardage totals won’t wow anyone most weeks, he can be a surprising option depending on the matchup. He is certainly worth using now as a low-end WR3 or ‘flex’ Fantasy play.
Ryan Tannehill, QB, Miami: Tannehill fell just one yard short of the NFL rookie record for passing yardage in a single game, posting 431 yards. That’s the good news. The bad news is that he entered the week with the lowest passer rating of any QB in the NFL. So one week does not all of a sudden make him a bona fide Fantasy option. However, it does help make his stock rise, and he is worth grabbing in all leagues which require two starting QBs. I’d still have him as a low-end QB2 in most standard leagues of 12 or more teams, but that could change before the season is over. He has improved tremendously on his accuracy.
Greg Zuerlein, PK, St. Louis: Zuerlein was impressive in his Week 4 game, actually setting the franchise record for longest field goal twice in the same contest. Zuerlein was true on a 58-yarder earlier in the game, and then he connected on a 60-yarder later in the contest. He has knocked through all 12 of his field goal attempts, and he is really starting to turn the heads of Fantasy owners. If you’re in a league which rewards longer distance field goals, then Zuerlein is certainly worth a look. The fact that the Rams offense is still a little shaky might mean more field goal chances, especially from great lengths.