Forget about Sundays, fantasy football championships are won on Tuesdays. I’ll be providing you with weekly advice for navigating what could often be an intimidating waiver wire claim process. It’s a fun mix of deep stashes, dynasty roster changes, and FAAB suggestions. If you enjoy this article or want to discuss any of the players with mix-I’m always happy to engage with readers and fellow dynasty degenerates on Twitter, @Top2Matt.
Josh Dobbs (Owned in 0.1% of ESPN Leagues): Stash
Dobbs very quietly won out the QB2 job in Pittsburgh this preseason. This deep stash target threw for 434 yards and 4 touchdowns while rushing for another 64 yards and a touchdown. Dobbs beat out the system veteran, Landry Jones, proving Pittsburgh sees something special in the sophomore out of Tennessee. Roethlisberger looked even closer to retirement in Week 1; he completed just 56% of his passes, 3 of which resulted in interceptions in the Steelers overtime tie vs Cleveland. I understand that Pittsburgh invested high draft capital in Mason Rudolph, however, they also spent a 3rd round pick in 2017 on Dobbs; if Big Ben is out of the picture next season this should be a very close quarterback battle.
Phillip Lindsay (Owned in 2% of ESPN Leagues): Waiver Wire Target
Lindsay shocked even his most dedicated truthers by coming out Week 1 and outperforming the hyped rookie Royce Freeman. Lindsay and Freeman rushed for an identical 71 yards on 15 carries, but Lindsay contributed to the passing game, nabbing 2 of his 3 targets for 31 yards and a touchdown. Lindsay truthers have good reason to believe this wasn’t a fluke: this preseason he beat out DeAngelo Henderson to make the Broncos roster by rushing for 70 yards on 13 carries and catching 4 of his 5 targets for 58 yards and a touchdown. It’s too early to say Lindsay will continue splitting with Freeman, but if Vance Joseph is anything, he’s unpredictable. I’m okay spending 25-30% of my Free Agent Acquisition Budget (FAAB) on his upside, but its buyer beware-you’re buying the player and the coach.
Nyheim Hines (Owned in 7% of ESPN Leagues): Waiver Wire Target
Hines’ ADP this offseason was one heck of a roller coaster ride. His value came to a screeching halt after fumbling 3 of his 13 preseason carries, rushing for just 1.5 yards per carry, and failing to find the end zone. Instead, most fantasy players chose to draft Jordan Wilkins as the Marlon Mack replacement. Wilkins was less than impressive in Week 1: gaining 40 yards on 14 carries (2.9 yards per carry). Hines, however, proved to be a popular target for Luck in the passing game: Hines caught 7 of his 9 targets for 33 yards. Hines also rushed the ball 5 times for 19 yards (3.8 yards per carry). It appears as though Hines will be involved in the passing game of an offense led by Luck (who threw the ball 54 times in Week 1) and featuring 2 Tight Ends as top 3 weapons. Hines, however, is getting very little chatter and can be a steal for you. I’m okay with spending 20-25% of FAAB on him-but you very well may be able to get him cheaper.
Dante Pettis (Owned in 0.8% of ESPN Leagues): Waiver Wire Target
I’m not afraid to admit I was screaming in joy while watching Pettis pull in a touchdown pass in Week 1. I’ve been hype on the 49ers 2018 2nd round pick since watching his film, and it appears Jimmy Garoppolo feels a similar way. Pettis caught 2 of his 5 targets for 61 yards and that touchdown I previously, bashfully, mentioned. Pettis’ 64 yards was higher than Trent Taylor’s 28 yards and Pierre Garcon’s 21 yards combined. Goodwin also failed to produce in this game, due injury (concussion). Pettis could emerge as the most dynamic wideout in San Francisco; I’m willing to spend 25-35% of FAAB on him, easy.
Jarius Wright (Owned in 0.1% of ESPN Leagues): Stash
Wright emerged from the bottom of the Carolina depth chart to tie Funchess for the most targeted receiver by Newton in Week 1. Wright pulled in 3 of his 5 targets, for 23 yards. Veteran Torrey Smith saw just 2 targets in Week 1, the hyped-up first round pick DJ Moore saw 0 targets, and last year’s DFS darling Damiere Byrd also had 0 targets. I’m not paying up for him yet, but with Olsen likely to miss time he’s worth considering this week. I would spend up to 5% of my FAAB on him.
Jonnu Smith (Owned in 0.2% of ESPN Leagues): Waiver Wire Target
Smith was selected as the 100th overall pick by the Tennessee Titans in the 2017 NFL Draft. Smith’s strengths include quickness for the position, athleticism, and route running ability; making him a perfect replacement for Delanie Walker. Unfortunately, Walker is expected to now miss the season following his gruesome ankle injury. That leaves Smith as the next man up in Tennessee, and Mariota will need a dynamic player to balance the 13 targets Corey Davis received in Week 1. You need to temper expectations for this unproven talent, but Smith truthers may drive his value up; I’d spend between 10-15% of FAAB on him if I need to Tight End help.
Will Dissley: (Owned in 0.1% of ESPN Leagues): Waiver Wire Target
Nick Vannett, who? The 2018 4th round pick saw the majority of Tight End volume in Week 1: catching 3 of his 5 targets for 105 yards and a touchdown. That’s compared to Vannett’s 1 reception on 2 targets for 11 yards. Now, it appears Baldwin will miss significant time; taking Wilson from almost no proven weapons to no proven weapons. That leaves a lot of opportunity and upside for Dissley. I’m willing to spend 15-25% of FAAB on him if I need Tight End help.