Injury Based Waiver Wire Analysis: Darren McFadden, Trevor Siemian and Others
Trevor Siemian QB, Denver
Siemian returned to the lineup for the Broncos last week from a one game absence due to a foot injury. The Inside Injuries algorithm has Siemian listed as an elevated injury risk due to the lingering effects of that injury, but also with an above average Health Performance Factor. Siemian didn't show any real lingering effects of the injury while throwing for over 350 yards against the Titans on Sunday. Denver has completely lost its running game and now must rely on Siemian uncorking it 40, even 50 times to put up any points as an offense. The Broncos have the Patriots defense next up, a unit that still struggles to rush the passer, which should allow Siemian to at least put up solid volume numbers as the Broncos try and keep up with Tom Brady and company. These factors all make Siemian a solid streaming option for Fantasy owners worried about slumping quarterbacks in a make or break Fantasy playoff week.
Bilal Powell RB, New York Jets
Powell has always held value in the event that Matt Forte went down with an injury, which is exactly what happened Sunday in San Francisco. Powell had a monster game (albeit against the horrible 49ers run defense) after Forte went out with a knee injury and should get another opportunity to produce this week if Forte is out, which seems likely. Forte's knee injury landed him with a high injury risk and below average Health Performance Factor designation from Inside Injuries, which makes it very unlikely that Forte is back this week. With the severity of the injury and with Forte being an aging veteran on a bad team, it is even possible that Forte is out for the year, which makes Powell a potential Fantasy championship swinging type player. Powell's matchup this week against the Dolphins is much tougher than the cupcake defense he faced in San Francisco, but he should still get a massive workload, which makes him a very valuable asset.
Kenneth Farrow RB, San Diego
Melvin Gordon went down Sunday for the Chargers, which could be a sad ending to a breakout season for the second-year back. Gordon has been a Fantasy stud since the start of the season, but his status is week-to-week moving forward after he suffered injuries to his knee and hip in Sunday's loss to the Panthers. If Gordon (elevated IRC, below average HPF) misses any time, which seems likely, Farrow is the back likely to pick up most of the vacated workload in the San Diego backfield. Due to the touchdown and yardage volume that Gordon has put up this year, any back who takes the reigns in his absence has significant value. If you are hurting at the running back position (i.e. you lost Gordon), Farrow could be a great pickup and could help save your season.
Darren McFadden RB, Dallas
This is a bit of a deep sleeper bonus, but McFadden is reportedly going to be activated this week for the first time all season. McFadden still receives an elevated injury risk designation, but his above average Health Performance Factor indicates that he should be ready to roll in his return from an elbow injury that has kept him out all year until now. Why exactly, even if healthy, is McFadden an attractive option with Zeke Elliott holding down the Dallas backfield? The answer is because Dallas can lock up the NFC East and a first round bye this week, which could cause them to be very cautious with their stud rookie back in weeks 16 and 17, meaning there could be opportunity for McFadden (over 1,000 yards last year) and Alfred Morris to get some touches for the best running game in the NFL. This may not payoff until week 17, so McFadden doesn't have as much value in Fantasy leagues in which the season concludes in week 16. If your league finishes up in week 17, however, McFadden could be a high impact stash for the final week.
Taylor Gabriel WR, Atlanta
Gabriel has been a big play weapon for weeks now, and his role only expanded Sunday against the Rams in the absence of Julio Jones and Mohammed Sanu. Many consider Jones likely to play this week after he was listed as a game-time decision last week, but our algorithm has him listed as a high injury risk with a poor Health Performance Factor, which has us less optimistic about his return, especially in a game against the 49ers that the Falcons can likely win without him. If Jones is indeed out again, Gabriel becomes a high-upside flex play this week against the putrid San Francisco defense. While he does have bust potential, Gabriel should at least be picked up in all leagues. He is another candidate for the "Fantasy championship swing player" that comes around each year.
Marqise Lee WR, Jacksonville
Lee went over 100 yards this weekend against the tough Vikings defense, showing serious explosiveness in what could be a breakout game. Lee will have to continue the success for this to be labeled a breakout, which has been tough for him throughout his career, but he should get plenty of opportunity with Julius Thomas out for the season and Allen Hurns (high IRC, poor HPF) banged up. Lee has some favorable matchups the rest of the way, save for Houston this week, and is another player who could put up solid numbers down the stretch to save your playoff hopes.
Be the first to know
Want FREE Fantasy and Gaming Advice and Savings Delivered to your Inbox? Sign up for our Newsletter.