2018 Waiver Whispers – Week 4

Tyler Boyd, WR, Cincinnati Bengals(Rostered in only 3.2% of NFL.com leagues) Boyd was in this column last week and I have to be honest not even I thought he would have followed up with a performance like he did this week. After being solid in the first two weeks racking up 14 targets 9 receptions 117 yards and a TD, Boyd exploded against the Carolina Panthers catching 6 balls for 132 yards and scoring a touchdown. Adding to his value coming into this week’s waiver period, is the fact that AJ Green is dealing with a groin injury that he suffered late in Boyd’s breakout game. Even if Green can get on the field for week 4, Boyd is becoming a key part of this offense under Bill Lazor and a favorite target of Andy Dalton’s. He only trails AJ Green in receptions by 4 through 3 weeks.

Calvin Ridley, WR, Atlanta Falcons(Rostered in only 11.6% of NFL.com leagues) Another alumni of the Waiver Wire Whisper Column: Calvin Ridley? I just assume no one is reading this, so maybe these guys will be here all year long! After not posting any numbers in the week one contest, the first round talent out of Alabama, Calvin Ridley equaled Julio Jones for a team high 64 yards in week two. He then had a career day week 3 posting . 7 catches for 146 yards and found the end zone three times! Ok, so his career is only 3 games long but Ridley did something not even Julio can seem to do and that was find the end zone on a pass from Matt Ryan in back to back games! With Ridley emerging and with a nose for the end zone, he and Matt Ryan are looking like a nice combo in Fantasy land!

Chris Godwin, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers(Rostered in less than 7% of NFL.com leagues) Chris Godwin was a OG Waiver Wire Whisper for me this year. He was hyped plenty in the offseason and so far it has lived up to it this year as he has now scored in every single game this year. His performance on Monday night would have been even bigger if the officials hadn’t called back a long TD due to a questionable down by contact call. This Tampa Bay offense lead by the improbable Fitzmagic just will not stop and Godwin now has 3 TDs and 171 receiving yards on the year.

Dallas Goedert, TE, Philadelphia Eagles(Rostered in less than 1% of NFL.com leagues) In most leagues and in most waiver cases I would not suggest adding a second string TE to your roster if you were looking for week to week starter worthy production. But this is not your normal Tight End and it is definitely not your normal offense. In Carson Wentz’s return to action he targeted the Tight End position a whopping 21 times. This is impressive especially when comparing it to receivers and backs on the team as they were targeted only 16 times. A healthy 7 of those targets went to Goedert even with 10 going to Zach Ertz. The Eagles’ receiving corps is banged up and has not been productive thus far this year. The Eagles under HC Doug Pederson has always loved using the TE more than the league average and now he has the highest touted TE coming into the NFL from the 2018 draft. While I think the usage may be more inconsistent week to week for Goedert I think he has the talent and is within a scheme that could make him a worthy streaming option as bye weeks start and injuries continue to pile up.

Chris Ivory, RB, Buffalo Bills(Rostered in less than 1% of NFL.com leagues) If you happened to take my reluctant advice last week and stash Chris Ivory you were likely aware that he ran the ball 20 times for 56 yards in a wild upset of the Minnesota Vikings. The important thing to note here other than the monster workload of 20 carries an four targets in the passing game, was that the offense for the Bills under Josh Allen saw a boost for the Bills running game. I know it is still a sady 2.8 YPC but that was a huge improvement on their running game from the first two weeks. Starting running back Lesean McCoy is facing off the field concerns but more detrimental to his immediate playing time is his rib cartilage injury. If he is forced to miss more than the week 3 tilt against the Vikings then Ivory could be poised for relevance in fantasy football. Buyer’s beware! Don’t expect a league winner here, but enough usage to help you win a week is possible in acquiring the starting running back of an NFL team.

Baker Mayfield, QB, Cleveland Browns(Rostered in less than 5% of NFL.com leagues) I don’t want to beat the BakerMANIA drum here but he looked good in relief last Thursday night. He is the official named starter this week and likely for the remainder of this season. When Baker came into the game in the second quarter he was efficient and on target. And although he did not throw a single touchdown, he also didn’t turn the ball over and was able to tally 200+ yards. The Browns have an embarrassment of riches on offense and for those in QB injury trouble, like managers who rostered Jimmy Garappolo, it may be wise to take a look at Baker.

Nyheim Hines, RB, Indianapolis Cotls(Rostered in less than 1% of NFL.com leagues) It is no well kept secret that the Colts defense has issues this year. This could cause the Colts offense to be playing from behind in quite a few games as they have in 2 out of 3 so far this year. A nice stash is Nyheim Hines who is the dedicated receiving back in the Colts’ backfield. He has does not lack talent and speed and has successfully shaken off a bad preseason to rack up 100 all purpose yards and a rushing TD through 3 games. If you have a stash spot take a look at Hines.

Wendell Smallwood, RB, Philadelphia Eagles(Rostered in less than 1% of NFL.com leagues) Smallwood is another deep dive waiver target because if Sproles, Ajayi, and Clement are all healthy he will essentially be rendered useless for fantasy purposes. That being said, with Sproles and Ajayi both inactive last week against the Colts, Smallwood carried the rock 10 times for 56 yards and a touchdown while adding 3 catches for 35 yards. If you have burner spot available stash Smallwood and monitor the health of the other Philly backs he could be a nice flex play if they remain sidelined, especially if you are desperate at the RB position.

Ryan Grant, WR, Indianapolis Colts(Rostered in less than 1% of NFL.com leagues) Ryan Grant has been like many ancillary wide receivers in their respective offenses: inconsistent. He went from 9 targets in week one against Cincinnati  to only a total of 6 targets in the following two weeks combine. The encouraging part of Grant’s 2018 campaign is that last week against a tough Eagles defense he found pay dirt. If and when the Colts can get their offense in synch Grant could be an excellent weapon at Andrew Luck’s disposal.

Jalen Richard, RB, Oakland Raiders(Rostered in less than 1% of NFL.com leagues) I wrote about Richard’s potential in an Oakland offense that could spend most of the year climbing back into ball games via the pass. In the week one contest Richard saw a whopping  11 targets, catching 9 of them for 55 yards. Richard was in fact nonexistent in week 2 barely seeing the field and only gaining 3 total yards. The fact of the matter is that in a game where Oakland was leading the Broncos most of the contest, Richard was not utilized. We look at week 3 against the Dolphins and Richard saw 7 targets catching 6 balls for 59 yards. He is not a rockstar waiver add but could be serviceable in deeper leagues, especially ppr scoring.

Greg Olsen,TE, Carolina Panthers(Rostered in just under 73% of NFL.com leagues) Olsen is still very highly rostered in leagues but he could provide a sneaky pick up if those who drafted him in your league dropped him after he re-injured his foot. Take a look and pick him up now if you can spare the roster spot. The Panthers are on bye this week but Olsen is targeting a week 5 return and has always been a favorite weapon of Cam Newton’s.

Jordy Nelson, WR, Oakland Raiders(Rostered in 67.7% of NFL.com leagues but was dropped in over 10.3% after last week) So after week one the idea was that Jared Cook could be the useful secondary target in the Oakland offense and provide value to those Fantasy managers that spent precious FAB or their high waiver priority on him. WRONG! I joke, I joke, but Cook seems to have faded a bit the last two weeks as he has only just tied his 9 targets from week one in the sequential two games following that contest. On the opposite end of involvement in the Raiders offense is veteran WR Jordy Nelson who, after a combined 8 total targets in weeks one and two, amassed 6 catches on 8 targets for 173 yards and touchdown. Through 3 games the Raiders look inconsistent at best on offense but if we have any indication of how things will play out going forward there will be beneficial fantasy days for the pass catchers, even if we don’t know who they will be. I know this sounds frustrating, but Jordy is worth speculative add as a guy that was being hyped by both his coach and quarterback coming into the year.

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