After a bye week that was one of the worst in recent memory, you may think the waiver wire is useless and won’t help improve your team. The truth is that is what your league-mates want you to think. As we approach the halfway point this fantasy season, it becomes more imperative to find players that can give you an edge.
Any hope you may be holding out for the top draft pick that just isn’t working out, is probably a lost cause. Instead, you have an opportunity to move on from that draft pick to a backup you never thought would be on a roster, let alone in your starting lineup. Take a look at these players to add to your roster as either a starter or a break in case of injury or bye week type player.
Allen Lazard, GB:
Originally this spot was supposed to have Allen Lazard here, but here was ruled out to a positive covid test for the Thursday night game this week. My argument for getting a Packers wide receiver in your lineup remains the same, however. With Davante Adams out this week, this leaves a gaping 42% target share to literally any Packers receiver. Now we pivot to Randall Cobb who is the third most targeted wide receiver on the roster now steps into an opportunity where he could see a large number of targets. What he does with those targets may not be the same output of an Adams.
In PPR formats, Cobb could be a nice play this week, especially if he can find the end zone. Ultimately he should be treated as a boom-bust type play, but even has some nice streaming play over the next few weeks depending on what Packers wide receivers are healthy or not. The next few weeks include matchups against the Chiefs, Seahawks, and Vikings so Cobb may become more than a 1-week play.
Kenneth Gainwell, PHI:
This will be one of the biggest pickups of the week strictly due to opportunity. With Miles Sanders suffering a leg injury, he will be sidelined for the foreseeable future. While he did not suffer any fractures it gives Kenneth Gainwell an opportunity nonetheless. While he has been used mainly as a pass catcher on third downs giving more value to managers in PPR formats, he will be playable in other formats as well. His rushing totals this year have not been very impressive, but this eagles offense does not have a bell cow back and their quarterback likes to take these opportunities to run for himself as well.
After Sanders exited the game, Gainwell’s receiving usage was highlighted by his route run. He ran a route on 24 of his 35 snaps which I wouldn’t expect to slow down. With the running back position being decimated by injuries, Gainwell is certainly worth investing in if he is available.
Brandon Bolden, NE:
Brandon Bolden has been another valuable addition in PPR formats. He has been somewhat consistent for the Patriots, who have been known to not care about your fantasy team when it comes to running backs. With James White out for the year due to a hip injury, Bolden has stepped into that role and into fantasy relevance. He has caught 20 of his 22 targets for 162 yards, which is good for 8.1 yards per reception. He has also scored once on the year.
I would still characterize Bolden as a bit of a gamble playing with rookie quarterback Mac Jones, but is definitely worth stashing on your bench for a rainy day. When deciding on who to play, ask yourself how many other running backs will receive his amount of targets or overall volume that are still available on your waiver wire. The answer is not many and that makes Bolden an easy addition to your roster.
Darius Slayton, NYG:
Darius Slayton had a great rookie year, and for one reason or another, it feels like he has gotten worse each year. Much of that can probably be placed on his quarterback, but earlier this season he did have a few bad drops. The 24-year-old has been recovering from a hamstring injury and came back in a solid fashion. He received 9 targets and caught five of them for 63 yards. Nothing spectacular, but if Slayton can receive eight or more targets again, he will be a fine flex play this week.
The Giants have been decimated by injuries early and often this year and as long as Slayton remains healthy and one of the only proven pass catchers he will be a critical piece of this offense. Next week, Slayton gets a shot at a terrible Chiefs defense that is allowing over 275 passing yards a game and has given up a whopping 13 touchdowns through the air in 7 games. A great matchup that your opponent won’t be expecting.
Carson Wentz, IND:
Yes, you read that right, Carson Wentz has stepped back into the spotlight after his play over the last four weeks. While Wentz is more of a bye-week fill-in or a QB2 in two-quarterback formats, I would be keeping my eye on his upcoming matchups if you need a quarterback. over the last four games, he has scored 9 touchdowns and has been consistent over that time frame. If you need any more of an explanation, he has tied a record set by Peyton Manning for most consecutive multi-touchdown games without an interception in franchise history.
Does this mean he should be compared to Manning going forward? Absolutely not, but he is certainly being talked about in the right company. Next week he faces a very beatable Titans defense this year. However over the last few weeks, points have been harder to come by, I expect the Titans to take an early lead and the Colts to be chasing which will force Wentz to pass more than normal. Wentz would be a fine replacement for Lamar Jackson on his bye week.