The names in this column are underwhelming again this week. As we approach the end of this quirky regular season, this year has been atypical in terms of waiver wire additions. In deeper bench leagues, drafting strategically has been more valuable than in previous years, which will be a bigger topic for the offseason.

The next couple of weeks are about making a final push for the playoffs or planning a bench for the playoffs, depending on where a team ranks in the standings. In deeper leagues, this week is like most in the fact that most pickups are flex plays or contingency stashes.

Roster % for FPC Championship bid data provided by Fantasy Mojo

All high stakes bids are based on 1000 FAAB budget. Home league bids based on percentage of total FAAB starting amount.

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Quarterback

Marcus Mariota, Atlanta Falcons

72% rostered FFPC
FAAB Bid: 10-20

Mariota is under scrutiny with attention on his limited passing volume to Kyle Pitts and in last week’s standalone game, multiple passes to the young phenom were off target. However, Mariota is in the top half of the league in both CPOE and CPOE/EPA composite and will remain as the starting quarterback as long as the Falcons are within a couple games of the division lead. The Falcons have an incredible matchup this week against the Chicago Bears who have traded key pieces on defense and have allowed over 30 points in three consecutive games. 

Jameis Winston, New Orleans Saints

18% rostered FFPC
FAAB Bid: 1-2

The Andy Dalton experiment needs to end. Please do not give the Philadelphia Eagles a top-5 pick. Winston provides enough big play potential to give the Saints a chance to win a few games down the stretch. Not a huge recommendation as a pickup, more of a plea for a change in quarterback from the Saints.

Home League Waiver Pickups of the Week

Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco 49ers

The 49ers have a top-three rest-of-season schedule for quarterbacks. Not a priority over mobile quarterbacks, but Garoppolo has fantasy value in the closing weeks with a very nice schedule. Not ideal for one quarterback teams, but a solid addition for two quarterback teams.

Running Back

I am not immediately dropping Eno Benjamin as he will likely find a home sooner than later and return to a similar role as a contingency stash. Benjamin has been fine as a runner this season as he leads all Cardinals running backs averaging 3.4 yards after contact per rush. 

Keaontay Ingram, Arizona Cardinals

35% rostered FFPC
FAAB: 25-125

The 220-pound rookie has a three-down profile and is in line for a huge role if/when James Connor misses time again this season. Ingram has struggled as a runner in a limited sample size, however, not all can be attributed to him as he is averaging -0.2 yards before contact, which is partially due to poor offensive line performance. Ingram provides touchdown upside similar to that of Connor as Kliff Kingsbury tends to favor running the ball in the red zone as evidenced by a -12% Pass Rate Over Expectation in the red zone prior to Week 10.

Jordan Wilkins, Indianapolis Colts

30% rostered FFPC
FAAB: 1-10

Not a priority addition, more of a stash. Also fine with Zack Moss, but out of the four snaps Jonathan Taylor was not on the field for, Wilkins was on the field for 75% of Taylor’s breather plays. If Matt Ryan closes the season out as the starting quarterback, the running backs will be more involved in the passing game. Taylor had incredible usage on Sunday but has been battling through injuries all year.

Ameer Abdullah, Las Vegas Raiders

77% rostered FFPC
FAAB: 1-10

Abdullah is a passing down back on a team with two wins, an immobile quarterback, and a poor pass blocking offensive line. Not league-winning material but has had four receptions in two of the past three games.

Home League Waiver Pickups of the Week

Isiah Pacheco, Kansas City Chiefs

FAAB – $pend it all!

Clyde Edwards-Helaire had 0 touches on Sunday as Pacheco handled 16-of017 running back carries.  Pacheco has only been targeted three times all season, however, this should increase in upcoming weeks. The Chiefs have a favorable schedule to finish the season and are currently a touchdown favorite against the Chargers this week. Pacheco has league-winning touchdown upside.

Wide Receiver

This week the home league adds are with the deeper league adds because regardless of how deep the benches are both Nico Collins and Christian Watson need to be aggressively bid on this week.

Nico Collins, Houston Texans

81% FFPC
FAAB Bid: 40-150, Home Leagues 25%

If you are not reading Rich Hribar’s worksheet, Nico Collins’s double-digit target game may have surprised you. Collins is the receiver to roster on the lowly Texans as Rich Hribar pointed out prior to Sunday, Collins had produced more yards than Brandin Cooks in all four of his previous games played. Sunday makes it five straight and with Cooks likely on the way out of town after this season, Collins is a buy in dynasty leagues. Multiple weeks of this usage lead me to prioritize Collins over Christian Watson

Christian Watson, Green Bay Packers

74% rostered FFPC
FAAB Bid: 40-150, Home Leagues 20-25%

Watson scored three touchdowns on Sunday which will create a frenzy of managers rushing to add the rookie receiver. Watson does have the liberty of catching passes from the two-time reigning MVP which is also a positive. My one concern is the variance associated with Watson. Although he finished the week as the highest-scoring wide receiver the Green Bay Packers threw the ball 14 times. Watson has eclipsed a 25% target per route run which is a very solid number, especially for a rookie receiver. Buy Watson but expect some variance.

Parris Campbell, Indianapolis Colts

81% FFPC
FAAB Bid: 20-60

The Indianapolis Colts threw everyone a curveball on Sunday as Matt Ryan was announced as the starting quarterback. As I mentioned earlier this season and on the Tuesday podcast a couple weeks ago, Campbell is likely ahead of Alec Pierce in targets with Ryan as the starting quarterback. Unfortunately, I have dropped Campbell under the assumption Sam Ehlinger was finishing out the season. In his past three games with Matt Ryan Campbell has averaged over 10 targets per game, compared to just 3.5 in Ehlinger’s starts. Campbell is a must-roster and a weekly floor play in PPR leagues if Ryan is the Colts’ quarterback.

Ben Skowronek, Los Angeles Rams

17% rostered FFPC
FAAB Bid: 1-10

Desperation play in deep leagues as Cooper Kupp is expected to miss significant time, possibly the rest of the season assuming the Rams are out of contention. I honestly don’t know how this offense moves the ball consistently without Kupp. Skowronek vs Jefferson is like the Colts’ Campbell vs Pierce situation. I lean Skowronek as he averages 7.3 air yards per target compared to Van Jefferson’s 19.6 air yards per target (small sample size).

Kendall Hinton, Denver Broncos

unrostered FFPC
FAAB Bid: 1-5

Hinton’s volume depends on the health status of K.J. Hamler and Jerry Jeudy. Hinton ran a route on 47-of-49 dropbacks on Sunday after Jeudy was injured on the first play. The offense is the worst in the league, but Hinton could provide some flex value if Hamler and Jeudy are unable to play against the Raiders this week.

Tight End

Foster Moreau, Las Vegas Raiders

82% rostered FFPC
FAAB Bid: 50-100 

Moreau was likely scooped up in most leagues on Sunday, following the news that Darren Waller was placed on injured reserve. He’s not a league winner, but Moreau has averaged five targets in his six games this year and will continue to have impactful usage over the next three weeks.

Juwan Johnson, New Orleans Saints

86% rostered FFPC
FAAB Bid: 10-25

Johnson has now tallied four touchdowns in his past four games. Johnson has had a drop in routes with the return of Adam Trautman and his touchdown production is probably unsustainable, but he like most tight ends needs to find the end zone to be fantasy relevant. I do lean Johnson as a cheap option if desperate.

Trey McBride, Arizona Cardinals

2% rostered FFPC
FAAB Bid: 1-2

Zach Ertz is now out for the season, meaning rookie tight end Trey McBride is on most waiver lists as a must-add. McBride has earned a target on 4.4% of his routes run this season and 75% of those targets were in a game without DeAndre Hopkins active. As mentioned in the Sharp Football 2022 preview, Zach Ertz had a 24% target share in games without DeAndre Hopkins compared to a 14.6% target share when Hopkins was active. Ertz has had similar splits this year as he has dipped from a 20.9% target share in Weeks 1-6 without Hopkins to a 14.9% target share in Weeks 7-10 with Hopkins. In addition, Marquise Brown is nearing a return and I have little belief that this rookie will be usable in fantasy this season. 

Home League Waiver Pickups of the Week

Cole Kmet, Chicago Bears

FAAB: 10-50%

Kmet has five touchdowns in his past three weeks, not bad for a guy that scored two touchdowns in his previous 37 regular season games. Although the touchdown rate is unsustainable, the usage is critical to Kmet’s future success. Since Week 8, Kmet has had a target share of 20.8% up from 13.8% in Weeks 1-7, in addition, Kmet has a 38.5% target share on passes in the red zone over the past three weeks.

Defense/Special Teams

New Orleans Saints, 66% rostered FFPC

Season-long pressure metrics are poor, however, in the past three games have pressure rates of 37.2%, 40%, and 42.5%. The Saints host the Rams who have allowed 31 sacks and are now without their star receiver.

Washington Commanders, 7% rostered FFPC

Possibly returning Chase Young to a defensive line that is currently third with a 37.4% pressure rate. In addition, favorites against the Houston Texan offense.

Look Ahead D/ST

Miami Dolphins – Recurring theme, target the Texans’ opposition, especially a high-powered offense coming off a bye. Davis Mills will be forced to throw in this game, which can lead to turnovers.

Kicker

Greg Joseph, Minnesota Vikings – Indoor game in a week in which weather could be a factor.

Cairo Santos, Chicago Bears – Indoor game in a game matching the highest total on the week.

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