Punch Drunk Wonderland

Week 5 Waiver Wire Targets

Each week throughout the season PDW will be posting a list of those players worth targeting on your weekly waiver wire. These lists will be made up from PDW contributors as well as fantasy partner content. Please check back weekly for the hot pickups. 

This week’s picks are courtesy of our friends at numberFire.

Terrance West, RB, Baltimore Ravens

ESPN Ownership: 45%
Yahoo Ownership: 28%

Yes, Terrance West has been one of the least efficient players at the running back position throughout his tumultuous NFL career (third-worst Rushing Net Expected Points (NEP) out of all 100-plus rushers dating back to last year). But that seemed to change this offseason when he got in shape and impressed the Baltimore Ravens coaching staff so much that they were willing to part ways with Trent Richardson!

On Sunday, he rewarded their good faith, rushing for 121 yards on 21 carries and scoring a touchdown. This was after former starter Justin Forsett was a late inactive due to his ineffectiveness to start the season. Passing game specialist Buck Allen got his first action of the season but saw only three carries and three targets. This was clearly West’s backfield, and he played well.

That said, expectations should be tempered, as he beat up on a struggling Oakland Raiders defense ranked 23rd in Adjusted Defensive Rushing NEP per rush heading into Sunday. This is only West’s second 100-yard game in his NFL career, and he was an afterthought to all 32 teams this offseason until the Ravens stepped in late. Still, he offers competent ability and a presumptive workload in a league devoid of consistent running back play. Volume matters, and West seems to offer that moving forward.

Quincy Enunwa, WR, New York Jets

ESPN Ownership: 40.2%
Yahoo Ownership: 37%

For the third week in a row, Quincy Enunwa highlights this list, and perhaps after another productive week, the fantasy community will take notice.

With the New York Jets considering placing Eric Decker on injured reserve with a shoulder injury, Enunwa was once again thrust into a major role, seeing 7 targets and turning them into 6 receptions for 60 yards. That’s 32 targets in four games and a role that seems to be growing on a weekly basis. And if Ryan Fitzpatrick would stop imploding (nine interceptions in the past two games for those keeping count), perhaps his fantasy value would be even higher.

The Jets face a Pittsburgh Steelers team next week that has struggled against the pass, ranking just 21st in Adjusted Passing NEP per play entering Week 4, and Enunwa should be a featured member of that offensive attack alongside the banged up Brandon Marshall. While he is more valuable in PPR leagues than in standard formats, he is still a player worth owning in most leagues.

Chris Hogan, WR, New England Patriots

ESPN Ownership: 31.7%
Yahoo Ownership: 24%

Tom Brady is back!

After serving a four-game suspension, Brady is rested, pissed, and potentially walking into the best offense he has ever had for the New England Patriots. Sure, they were shut out on Sunday, but that was in large part due to an inept passing game led by an injured rookie in Jacoby Brissett.

When Brady returns, he will enter an offense with Rob Gronkowski, an effective LeGarrette Blount, and a passing game that has added the explosive Malcolm Mitchell and former Buffalo Bills receiver Chris Hogan. And it’s the latter that should intrigue you the most as waivers approach this week.

Hogan saw moderate success during the first three years of his career in Buffalo but never saw more than 61 targets in a limited role. The Patriots saw something that they liked and poached him from the Bills as a restricted free agent, and he is the presumptive starter on the outside in a New England offense that has been searching for a player to fill that role since Randy Moss left in 2010.

Brandon LaFell came close in 2014, seeing 119 targets and turning them into 953 yards and 7 touchdowns, although he wasn’t as effective as his raw numbers would indicate, and the team let him walk after an invisible 2015 season. But that’s the role you are hoping for in an offense that could be one of the most dangerous in the NFL with Brady at the helm.

Hogan is worth a speculative add in 12-team or deeper leagues.

Kenneth Dixon, RB, Baltimore Ravens

ESPN Ownership: 20.8%
Yahoo Ownership: 25%

But I thought you said Terrance West was the guy to pick up?

Perhaps, and it really depends on what you need. Despite performing well as team through a quarter of the season, the Baltimore Ravens have struggled to develop a consistent running game until Sunday against the Raiders’ defense.

Dixon was impressive in the preseason, rushing for 107 yards on 22 carries (4.9 yards per carry) before seeing his regular-season debut stalled due to a knee injury. In college, Dixon was one of the best all-purpose backs in the NCAA, totaling 1,537 rushing and receiving yards as a senior and scoring 26 touchdowns behind a below average offensive line at Louisiana Tech.

Justin Forsett is 31 years old and ineffective and was benched on Sunday. Third-down specialist Buck Allen hasn’t been an efficient rusher as a pro and has been inactive in each game to start the season until Sunday. And Terrance West has been average until facing an Oakland defense that ranked 23rd in Adjusted NEP per rush. That leaves plenty of room for Dixon to emerge in Marc Trestman’s running-back-friendly offense.

While we obviously have no idea if Dixon can be an effective player for the Ravens, given his profile and opportunity, he is certainly a player worth stashing with the last bench spot on your roster. Perhaps he can put together a David Johnson-type of finish to his rookie season. If you need an immediate contributor, perhaps West is your man.

But if you are looking for an upside play, Dixon offers plenty as he is eased into this offense in the next few weeks.

Bilal Powell, RB, New York Jets

ESPN Ownership: 36.2%
Yahoo Ownership: 22%

While the New York Jets do not seem worried about the injury that caused Matt Forte to be carted to the locker room on Sunday, they should be concerned about the 30-year-old back wearing down after the massive workload they gave him in the first two games (59 touches). That may already be happening, with Forte totaling just 29 carries, 92 yards, and zero touchdowns in the past two weeks, while also losing passing-downs work to Bilal Powell.

Powell had an underrated finish to the 2015 season, especially in PPR formats where he had three top-seven PPR performances at the running back position over the final four weeks. His work in the running game was also above average, with an even 0.00 Rushing NEP per rush, which bested the league average of -0.04.

On Sunday, Powell was much more effective, with 26 rushing yards on 4 carries and 6 receptions (on 9 targets) for 54 yards. Meanwhile, Forte could manage just 27 yards on 14 carries and just 2 receptions for 14 yards before being injured.

In the event that Forte wears down or is more injured than the team presumes, Powell is a priority handcuff at worst and offers value as a speculative upside add in PPR leagues if you have the roster space.

Continue to more Waiver Wire Targets at numberFire.com… (@numberfire)

 

 

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