Bye weeks are finally over which means the days of rummaging through the scrap heap are also over well, hopefully. Whether it be an injury replacement or trying to find a diamond in the rough to replace one of your disappointing draft picks, there’s a chance you could find a player in the waiver wire to propel you further in the playoff race.
*Statistics provided are using 0.5 PPR settings
Robby Anderson, NYJ (WR): Robby Anderson has proved to be a very useful fantasy player this year despite, you know, being a Jets receiver. He can be a risky play due to his low reception rates, but you can’t argue with the touchdown production, scoring at least one in four straight games. Anderson is owned in just 70 percent of ESPN leagues despite being the 15th ranked receiver so far, so his production is more than you could ever want from a free agent signing this late in the season. I don’t expect a huge game from the Jets against a 7-3 Carolina team coming off the bye, but Anderson’s consistent production since Week six makes him a valuable waiver wire pick-up and flex option.
James White, New England (RB): White has not had more than five carries for 25 yards since week one this season, so this move is strictly for PPR leagues as James White is essentially just a receiver in Belichick’s system. Patriots running backs are a tricky bunch to get a grasp of in fantasy, so while this is far from a guarantee, the Patriots’ reliance on White in the screen game makes him more reliable and less boom-or-bust than many bench running backs around the league. White matches up well this week against a Miami defense that ranks just 24th in the league against opposing running backs. With fellow pass-catching running back Rex Burkhead starting to get into the mix, it’s possible that White sees less touches, but as of right now there’s no reason to believe White won’t continue to be the main screen guy.
Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona (WR): Okay, so maybe don’t ACTUALLY sit him. After all, Fitz has been a top five fantasy receiver and leaving that on your bench regardless of the situation is dumb. Think of this as more of a “you might end up disappointed if you leave him in your starting lineup” type sit ‘em. Larry Fitzgerald has thrived his whole career with below-average quarterbacks, but Blaine Gabbert and Drew Stanton are among the worst to ever throw a pass to him. Fitz could very easily finish with 10 catches for 150 yards because that’s just what he does, but I’m inclined to believe he won’t do too well once Jacksonville’s suffocating pass rush gets a hold of whichever quarterback ends up starting. Did I mention the Jags have only allowed one touchdown to opposing receivers this season? This is a match-up nightmare for the future Hall-of-Famer.
Cameron Brate, Tampa Bay (TE): Brate started off the season with very consistent double-digit point games, but over the last few weeks has fallen off a cliff with just two catches on three targets for nine yards. Combine that with a match-up against Atlanta, who has only allowed one touchdown to a tight end all season, and a lack of Jameis Winston, Brate has minimal upside this week.
Eric Rose is a fourth-year student majoring in communication studies with a minor in journalism. He can be reached at ER827957@wcupa.edu.