With the season hitting the quarter pole, your team is either in need of a minor tweak or treating the waiver wire as if the Fantasy Football Santa is coming down your chimney packing a much-needed WR3 or the long-awaited breakout running back which coincides with your first pick.
(BTW, Fantasy Football Santa will curse you with Geno Smith and an assorted package of longshot WRs/TEs and the Raiders defense if you leave him cookies and milk. Fantasy Football Santa accepts wings, beer and a bowl of unsalted peanuts. The more, the merrier).
Let’s go diving, shall we?
Eddie Royal, WR, Chargers: Royal has shown tendencies of appearing as frequently as Santa, yet this looks like the season (we hope) that his 2-3 game stretch is more of a trend than the fleeting despair he has caused owners whose foolish optimism results in putting him as a WR2/Flex and getting a 3-26-0 line for their troubles. Royal has caught a pair of touchdowns in his last two games, yet the reason for excitement this year is that Royal has become a frequent target for Phillip Rivers, as he shares the team lead with Keenan Allen with 29 targets. That number is a reason why Royal, owned in 27 percent of polled standard leagues, will be a hot commodity among wire requests. The Chargers can’t run the ball, which means more opportunities for Royal, who (for now) looks like a solid WR3/Flex option, especially this week as San Diego welcomes a so-so Jets pass defense.
Jerick McKinnon, RB, Vikings: Call it intuition, but I used my last pick in a money league on McKinnon. That may explain the texts and emails regarding trade offers for him. We finally saw what the rookie from Georgia Southern is capable of during last week’s win over the Falcons, as he rushed for 135 yards on 18 carries while adding a catch for 17 yards. McKinnon did sustain an ankle injury that could affect his status for Thursday’s game against the Packers and there is also the fact that Matt Asiata will remain the lead back in Minnesota, but despite both issues, McKinnon is a must-own. Sunday’s performance showed just how wicked he is in the open field; he could be equally explosive if he gets the chance to run on the Packers’ league-worst run defense. McKinnon entered the week owned in just 19 percent of polled leagues, but his name was on a lot of “send” emails and player requests, which means you’ll miss out if you weren’t one of those hot on your league’s wire on Sunday night.
Brian Quick, WR, Rams: The receiving void in St. Louis has been filled by the third-year pro from Appalachian State, who has 16 receptions among a team-best 22 targets. Quick was targeted nine times in each of his first two games, and while rookie quarterback Austin Davis looked his way just four times in the Rams’ week three loss to the Cowboys, one of those targets resulted in a 51-yard touchdown pass. The Rams will be throwing often for most of the season, which projects into solid, high-end WR3 totals for Quick, who could elevate to low-end WR2 this week as St. Louis gets a Philadelphia secondary that is 25th against the pass. Third-year wideouts have a history of breaking out, and Quick, owned in just 40 percent of polled standard leagues, is in position to deliver more than expected.
Darrin Reaves, RB, Panthers: The latest in a wave of young backs shuttling from the waiver wire, Reaves has been presented with an opportunity to seize the bulk of Carolina’s ground game. Jonathan Stewart and Mike Tolbert are already sidelined and DeAngelo Williams’ ankle leaves him out for Sunday’s game against the Bears. Reaves is only 5’10”, but is built like a T-34 tank (kids, the T-34 tank was….oh, hell, type in “World War II,” and “Russian tanks,” and you’ll get it) at 220 pounds. The rookie from Alabama-Birmingham has good speed and can also be a solid receiving option as well. Owned in just six percent of polled standard leagues, Reaves is a good stash and store play. Keep in mind that all three of the Panthers injured RBs have serious mileage on them, so don’t be surprised if Reaves is getting the majority of carries in a few weeks if he proves effective.
Mike Glennon, QB, Buccaneers: His work isn’t a thing of beauty, yet Glennon has shown to be a reasonably effective Fantasy player in his brief time in the League. While he only completed half of his 42 attempts at Pittsburgh last week, Glennon did throw three touchdowns and reacquainted himself with Vincent Jackson by targeting him 10 times, including the game-winning TD in the final 10 seconds. Jackson thrived with Glennon under center last year, and there’s no reason to think the trend won’t continue this week against the shoddy Saints secondary. Glennon is a solid play in two-QB leagues and can deliver a decent payoff for high rollers in deeper leagues. He’s owned in just five percent of polled standard leagues, so go against the grain and stash off a QB who could surprise you when your normal starter has his bye week.
Marvin Jones, WR, Bengals: Oh, we loved the versatility of Mohamed Sanu, but the return of Jones gives Andy Dalton his top red zone threat. Jones scored nine of his 10 touchdowns in the red zone last season and will immediately provide an impact as the undefeated Bengals visit a listing Patriots team on Sunday night. He missed the first three games with a broken foot and has shown no lingering effects since returning to practice. Jones elevates the value of both Dalton and A.J. Green with his presence. He’s owned in just 22 percent of polled standard leagues and makes for a good WR3/Flex option this week and should remain a steady option as he works himself back in shape.
Clay Harbor, TE, Jaguars: You know, for a team that’s winless, the Jags certainly have their share of intriguing Fantasy options. With Marcedes Lewis out until at least week 11, Harbor, who went 24-292-2 in limited action last season, becomes a stealth choice at the position. Harbor caught all eight of his targets for 69 yards last week, including a 30-yard reception that showed his athleticism. He’s owned in less than one percent of polled leagues, yet he’s in position to be a reliable option as rookie quarterback Blake Bortles continues to develop and establish comfort levels with the receivers around him. Lewis is a ninth-year veteran, which means the younger Harbor has the makings of being this year’s Tim Wright among, “Do You Know Who I Am?” options at the position.