If you didn’t grab one of this week’s popular waiver wire players it’s okay. There are still plenty of intriguing pickups after the dust settles.
All players listed are under 40 percent owned in Yahoo and ESPN leagues
Wendell Smallwood, Running Back, Philadelphia Eagles (Yahoo – 15 percent owned, ESPN – 11.5 percent owned)
It’s about the time where running backs will be very hard to come by. Chances are strong that you’ll be looking for a short-term solution. While there isn’t a surefire answer in the post waiver variety, there is a decent chance that Wendell Smallwood could help you in the not-so-distant future.
Wendell Smallwood doesn’t have the starting job locked down, but he is a very good speculative add. There’s a couple reasons for this.
For one, Eagles starter Ryan Mathews is among the most injury-prone players in the NFL. He has been nursing an ankle injury which kept him out most of week 3’s matchup with the Steelers.
Another reason for adding Smallwood is that he has been earning more opportunities to stay on the field. He looked impressive against a tough Steelers run defense as he ran for 79 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries. ESPN Eagles reporter Tim McManus has reported that Smallwood should get “plenty of opportunities” this season.
This week, Smallwood faces a porous Detroit Lions defense that has allowed 114.5 rushing yards per game.
Running backs i’d drop for Smallwood: Darren Sproles, James White, Orleans Darkwa, Fozzy Whittaker.
Robert Woods, Wide Receiver, Buffalo Bills (Yahoo – 19 percent owned, ESPN – 15.8 percent owned)
First-string receiver Sammy Watkins appears to be headed for a second surgery on his foot which would sideline him for the rest of the season. Robert Woods seems to be the next man up, and he did well last week to prove he deserves the promotion.
Woods snagged 7-of-10 targets against the Patriots and converted those receptions into 89 yards. Woods’ competition for targets includes Marquise Goodwin, Greg Salas, Charles Clay, and Walter Powell. Goodwin is a deep threat and the rest of the depth chart is very uninspiring. Woods looks to be the most dependable option for the Buffalo passing game.
Woods’ next three games include favorable matchups against the Los Angeles Rams, San Fransisco 49ers, and Miami Dolphins.
Eddie Royal, Wide Receiver, Chicago Bears (Yahoo – 38 percent owned, ESPN – 25.1 percent owned)
Eddie Royal exploded last week against the Lions as he reeled in 7-of-7 targets for 111 yards and a touchdown. That was a pretty encouraging performance for Royal. A recent development has given his stock an extra boost.
Bears teammate Kevin White was placed on injured reserve on Wednesday with a severe high-ankle sprain and a broken fibula. This opens the door for a consistent dosage of targets for Royal. White has received a team-high 36 targets through four weeks this year.
Wide receivers i’d drop for Woods and Royal: Tyler Lockett, Michael Thomas, Markus Wheaton, Devin Funchess, Anquan Boldin.
Cameron Brate, Tight End, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Yahoo – 20 percent owned, ESPN – 16.7 percent owned)
Brate has shown that he has deserved the starting spot ever since the team released former teammate Austin Seferian-Jenkins to the waiver wire He has received 18 targets in two weeks which resulted in 113 yards and two touchdowns. Brate ranks eighth in targets among tight ends from week 1 through week 4 with 26 total.
He also ranks highly in red zone targets. He has 6 total and places seventh overall among tight ends in that regard.
Tight ends i’d drop for Brate: Jason Witten, Dwayne Allen, Jacob Tamme, Jared Cook, Jesse James.