Punch Drunk Wonderland

Week 10 Waiver Wire Targets

Via our friends at numberFire.

Week 10 is here and there are some nice new options on the waiver wire. Here’s a look at some solid waiver wire targets.

James White (RB, New England Patriots)

Some fantasy owners have masked their draft day deficiencies this year through adding Dion Lewis off the waiver wire. Those same teams now probably have a big void to fill.

Lewis is out for the year with a torn ACL, meaning his seven-plus targets per contest are no longer useful. Someone, now, has to step in and at least be the passing-down back within the best offense in the NFL.

Is that player Brandon Bolden? Consensus seems to think so, especially considering he was the guy who stepped in for Lewis when he went down in Sunday’s contest, playing 23 snaps. Bolden ended up catching 3 passes for 27 yards and a score through the air, which is very Lewis-like from a production standpoint.

But don’t ignore James White of your waiver wire, either. After all, he wasn’t active in this past week’s contest, which could be the reason Bolden played as many snaps as he did when Lewis got hurt.

Many thought White would be the one to take Shane Vereen‘s pass-catching role entering 2015, but obviously that went to Lewis. But don’t forget that, when Lewis missed a contest against the Jets earlier in the year, it was White who stepped in, playing 64.2% of the team’s snaps while catching 3 passes on 5 targets.

Lewis’ volume will surely be spread around in the offense, but if there’s a New England back I’m targeting off the wire this week, it’s White, not Bolden.

James Starks (RB, Green Bay Packers)

Eddie Lacy‘s career is starting to disappear faster than Sisqo’s, and it’s creating quite the mess for fantasy owners.

One of the worst things that can happen to your fantasy team is when a presumed stud — like Lacy — ends up underperforming week in and week out. Because you feel this need to play him, but his numbers just aren’t there.

Let me explain this to you simply: as it stands, you can’t use Eddie Lacy in fantasy football. Not until he shows you otherwise, at least.

Lacy has ranked as a top-20 PPR back just twice this year, never hitting the top-10 mark. Those two contests, by the way, are the only two where he scored a touchdown.

Meanwhile, James Starks is not only out-voluming him, but out-snapping him as well — Starks has played more snaps over the Packers’ last three contests, while Lacy hasn’t reached 60% of Green Bay’s snaps in a single game since Week 1.

From an advanced metrics standpoint, this makes sense. Lacy’s Rushing Net Expected Points (NEP) per rush average through Week 9 is -0.05, which ranks 34th of the 48 running backs with 50 or more carries. Starks, meanwhile, ranks 25th with a per rush rate of -0.02.

Karlos Williams (RB, Buffalo Bills)

Among relevant running backs this season, none have a higher Rushing NEP per rush average than Karlos Williams. And no player has produced more fantasy points per 100 snaps than him, too.

Owned in just 41.3% of ESPN leagues, Williams serves a couple of purposes off the waiver wire this week. First, LeSean McCoy is day-to-day with a shoulder injury, and considering the Bills play on Thursday, Williams could easily end up playing as the starter in Week 10.

Second, as you can probably tell by that statement, that means Williams is McCoy’s handcuff — if something happens to Shady, Williams is your guy. And at this point in the season, there’s nothing better than to stash your bench with strong handcuffs.

Lastly, Williams still has some standalone value in deeper leagues even when McCoy is active. In five games this year, Williams has ranked as a top-20 PPR running back four times, which is actually more instances than McCoy himself. Pretty sensational for a guy in a backup role.

Dorial Green-Beckham (WR, Tennessee Titans)

In Week 1, Green-Beckham‘s percentage of snaps played was a measly 15.3%. That rose to 16.2% in Week 2, then 17.2% in Week 3. Since then, we’ve seen a gradual increase: 26.1%, 42.0%, 66.7%, 61.0% and 67.7%. As I always say, you need to be on the field in order to produce in fantasy football.

Green-Beckham, under interim coach Mike Mularkey, was able to catch 5 passes for 77 yards this past week in a plus-matchup against the Saints, leading the Titans in targets. This came four days after Mularkey himself said that DGB needed to have a big game to increase his playing time, given Kendall Wright was sidelined.

To me, Green-Beckham is the perfect bench asset — a physically gifted young receiver who’s still growing as a rookie in an improving offense.

Kenny Stills (WR, Miami Dolphins)

After the Dolphins’ bye in Week 5, the team let it be known that they’d trot Stills out on the field more under interim head coach Dan Campbell. Though that contest didn’t show us much, the last three have, as Stills has seen 76.2%, 82.5% and 63.8% of the Dolphins’ snaps. He’s also been targeted 12 times over Miami’s last two games, posting reasonable numbers.

Part of this is certainly game script related, but at the same time, Miami’s rest-of-season schedule sort of dictates a fast tempo, play-from-behind offense. They get the Eagles this week and still have the Colts and Chargers on their schedule as well, which come during the fantasy playoffs. Even if Stills’ portion of the offense doesn’t grow down the stretch, deeper leagues could find him valuable later on in higher-scoring games. Naturally, though, he’s still a risky play each week given natural variance.

Dontrelle Inman (WR, San Diego Chargers)

Even though Malcom Floyd left Monday night’s game fairly early, Dontrelle Inman still saw just five targets. That’s not exactly a ringing endorsement, but if Floyd is out for an extended period of time, we should see more Inman, as he’d be the de facto number-two wide receiver on the Chargers. And that’s not a bad thing if you’re looking to add him off the wire — so far this year, albeit without their bye, no team has dropped back to pass more than San Diego. Volume could end up being there, making Inman a worthwhile look during waivers this week.

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