The one good thing about having only two Sunday afternoon games? It makes writing this column a whole lot easier. Although, it doesn’t help that this week’s waiver wire is not looking too hot—I almost didn’t include a quarterback—it just adds to the importance of building your bench. I think people tend to underrate the value of a good bench. Your bench has hidden value, while your starting lineup has active value. And it’s your job to convert that hidden value to active value.
Think of it like this: You don’t use your bench players. Their sole purpose is to potentially fill in for a starter in later weeks.
But most players who spend time on your bench, spend the season on your bench. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but what if you could turn those players into players that you can actually use? It’s Week 7, so I’d assume most fantasy trade deadlines are almost a month away. Now’s the time to look at your team and see which players have been riding the bench all season long. See what moves you can possibly make. Perhaps a 1-for-2 deal? Having this luxury to build up your starting lineup is so crucial, hence the importance of fortifying your bench. Unfortunately, that might be a bit tougher this week… unless you need a wide receiver.
NOTE: Players listed below are owned in fewer than 45% of leagues and typically geared toward 12-team leagues.
Andy Dalton (QB - DAL) | Available in 76% of leagues
I listed Dalton here last week and, as the old saying goes: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Dalton is in a prime position to succeed with Ezekiel Elliott, CeeDee Lamb, Michael Gallup, and Amari Cooper all at his disposal. I’d suggest waiting to see how he performs Monday night, though. The criteria you should be looking for, aside from fantasy points: volume of passes and rushing ability. Dallas has let the ball fly all season long, which bodes well for Dalton. As for his rushing ability, I think the Cowboys will leave that to Elliott. He’s not the best option, but Dalton may suffice if you need a quarterback.
Dan Marino’s Reincarnation (QB - MIA) | Available in 100% of leagues
There’s a good shot the only way you’re finding a good quarterback this week is if a legend is reincarnated as his 23-year-old self. Seriously, there are no good options. Ryan Fitzpatrick was scooped up after last week’s performance, leaving the likes of *checks notes* Nick Foles and Philip Rivers. Yuck. Besides, imagine how awesome Marino would be in modern offenses?
J.D. McKissic (RB - WSH) | Available in 73% of leagues
Like Jaime Eisner said in his column, McKissic is a must-own. He was already averaging 9.6 points over three games, then he went out and dropped 14.4 points on eight carries and six targets. He was my top waiver add last week, so congrats to the 13% of you who listened. To everyone else, snag him immediately.
Giovani Bernard (RB - CIN) | Available in 97% of leagues
Last week, I pinned Bernard as a potential stash in case Joe Mixon’s injury lingers. Well, the time has come for Bernard’s annual priority pickup. It seems like he always provides one week of fantasy value, though if Mixon stays hurt, Bernard can be more than just a one-week starter. Mixon has been Cincinnati’s bellcow this season, and when he left the game, Bernard immediately slotted into Mixon’s role. Now’s the time to stash Bernard if you have space.
Gus Edwards (RB - BAL) | Available in 99% of leagues
It’s not a good week to need a running back, though that can be said about most weeks. As with Bernard, Edwards’ value is directly tied to the health of the team’s starter. In this case, it’s Mark Ingram, who left the Ravens’ game with an ankle injury. Before Ingram went down, Edwards was still seeing 32% of Baltimore’s backfield snaps (J.K. Dobbins led the team with 35%). Dobbins has the upside, but Edwards still managed to score on 14 carries. Again, I’m so sorry if you have to resort to Edwards on the waiver wire, but he could be the best option available, even if you have to sit him next week because of Baltimore’s bye.
Boston Scott (RB - PHI) | Available in 90% of leagues
Miles Sanders hurt his knee Sunday, which paved the way for Scott to see the bulk of the Eagles’ snaps at running back. While Scott didn’t do much with his opportunity, he’s still in line to start for Philadelphia’s game on Thursday Night Football. Scott hasn’t proven to be worthy of a start, but he could be a flex option if you’re desperate.
Tee Higgins (WR - CIN) | Available in 57% of leagues
I’ve also written about Higgins before, but it surprised me to see him this available. Higgins has posted 15.7 points per game over the last four weeks, all while seeing at least eight targets. In fact, Higgins has arguably surpassed A.J. Green on the Bengals’ pecking order. The rookie has seen more targets than Green in three of the last four weeks. Why Higgins isn’t on more rosters is beyond me.
Keelan Cole (WR - JAC) | Available in 86% of leagues
I promise I’m not just recycling my columns, because Cole was on here last week, too. Look at his stats this season: 15.7 points, 17.8, 8.3, 8.6, 10.7, 20.3, and he’s averaging 6.3 targets per game. I’ll spare you another week of pleading for Cole’s case, but if you need a receiver, snatch up Cole before someone else does.
Tim Patrick (WR - DEN) | Available in 82% of leagues
Patrick has also been in this column before, which begs the question: Is anyone reading this? Patrick, Cole, and Higgins are all outperforming Green and T.Y. Hilton, yet Green and Hilton are more rostered than those three. Each season, it’s so easy to find gems on the waiver wire for the position. A guy like Patrick, who leads the team in targets this season, should not be this available. Pick him up, but consider holding him for the week as the Broncos face the Chiefs.
Adam Humphries (WR - TEN) | Available in 56% of leagues
Finally, a new face in the column! I was going to include Humphries for Week 4, but he missed that game due to a COVID-19 list designation. In his four games this season, Humphries has averaged 13.5 points per game. Humphries gets enough work to make him a viable option in fantasy, especially as the team’s primary slot receiver. The way he’s been targeted in this offense, Humphries is not only the Titans’ WR2, but he could be a nice streaming option this week against Pittsburgh.
Irv Smith Jr (TE - MIN) | Available in 5% of leagues
There were a boatload of free-agent tight ends who put up big numbers this week, but be cautious about signing them. The best indicator for future success is snaps and targets, which Smith has seen a decent amount of lately. Smith saw five targets in the Vikings’ blowout loss—three more than veteran Kyle Rudolph. It’s an enticing sign, though the caveat here is Minnesota has its bye this week, so look elsewhere if you need a starter in Week 7. He’s an intriguing stash, though.
Anthony Firkser (TE - TEN) | Available in 99% of leagues
It’s not easy to find viable tight ends on the waiver wire. As I mentioned above, Firkser was one of those widely available tight ends who went off on Sunday. If Jonnu Smith —who left Sunday’s game with an injury— misses time, Firkser could become a huge addition to fantasy lineups. Tennessee loves to use their tight ends, as evident by Smith’s team-leading 27 targets through Week 5. Firkser saw nine targets Sunday. Keep an eye on Smith’s status because it could make Firkser a hot pickup.
- Dec 06, 2022
- Dec 05, 2022