Well, week 1 is in the books. And something else that is likely in the books for your league is the first run of waivers. We all know the feeling of not getting the guy you wanted because you had a low waiver priority or someone else dumped way too much FAAB on your favorite waiver target. It sucks. That’s alright though because this article is here for you every single week this fantasy season. I will be using ESPN’s ownership and trend numbers as of Wednesday morning each week, so bear in mind that it could change. So let’s take a look at some free agent sleepers going forward!
Three free agent sleepers might not have been claimed
Javorius (Buck) Allen RB BAL – (4.5% owned, increased by 4.1%)
There are clearly some people who have keyed in on the value of Buck going forward. The most recent news about Danny Woodhead says that he is likely to miss 6-8 weeks with a hamstring injury. In case you missed the game on Sunday, Buck Allen received 21 carries and one target. And because the game script was good for the Ravens, there was no need to pass the ball or use check-downs. Still, in this game Buck Allen out snapped Terrance West 33 to 27. Allen will be the one taking pass-catching duties while Woodhead is out. I expect him to lead this backfield in touches most weeks until that happens. The only downside is that they will likely use West more near the goal line, so Allen’s upside may be capped.
Sam Bradford QB MIN – (25% owned, increased 13.7%)
Here’s a stat for you: Since Pat Shurmur has taken over as the Offensive Coordinator in Minnesota, Bradford has averaged 29 completions, 278 yards, 1.5 TDs. 0.4 Ints and a 75.3% completion percentage. He’s a former #1 draft pick, he has solid offensive weapons around him and his O-line is actually protecting him. People must be starting to run out of reasons to not like him, right? Last year people complained that all of his passes were dink-and-dunk style passes, and that was fair. However, in week 1 Bradford averaged 10.81 yards per passing attempt. His highest in 2016 was only 9.23 yards per attempt. The Vikings offense has found the keys to round out their offense with a run game. This will suck defenses in more often than last season, which will allow Bradford to take more shots downfield.
Kenny Golladay WR DET – (38.8% owned, increased 31.5%)
Golladay was on most waiver pickup articles over the last few days. To be honest, I wasn’t planning on adding him to this list until I saw his ownership percentage. The preseason sensation did the thing that he does best again: Catch touchdowns. He received two red zone targets in week one and the Lions will likely continue to feature the big-bodied rookie there more often.
Before the season began, most news outlets were claiming that Golladay would split the WR3 job with TJ Jones. Well, the final snap count was in favor of Golladay, 44 to 19 (44 was good for 62% of offensive snaps). With this week one performance on seven targets, I expect his role to be cemented as the team’s WR3. We will wait to see whether his target share changes, but Golladay should be rostered in every league, so if he is somehow still a free agent go get him NOW!
Three free agent sleepers who could have been dropped
Samaje Perine RB WAS – (1.0% owned, changed -11.1%)
Samaje Perine played zero offensive snaps in week one. That sentence is why the rookie Redskin running back has been dropped in most leagues. Rob Kelley and Chris Thompson took care of the backfield in week one for the Redskins. Thompson actually had a decent week because he had a big catch for a TD, but even so he still only had 7 total touches with the football. Kelley, on the other hand, had 10 carries for an abysmal showing of 30 yards and one target that he couldn’t bring in. The Washington offense struggled as a whole.
Rob Kelley has never been a truly impressive running back. Most of his fantasy value was based on opportunity. Well, I don’t think it will take long for Jay Gruden to switch things up and try out his shiny new rookie. Perine has an impressive skill set and could be a great flyer if you have the bench space.
James Conner RB PIT – (2.0% owned, changed -7.0%)
This is another RB flyer that people are giving up on because they need fill-in players. There is no doubt that Conner has little stand-alone fantasy value. Well since we all saw David Johnson got injured in week one, we must remind ourselves that our fantasy studs aren’t invincible. Bell is a player who already has injuries under his belt, so if he were to get injured again Conner would be the guy who steps into that role. The Steelers released running backs Knile Davis and Fitzgerald Toussaint before the season, which secured Conner’s role as the backup to Bell. Conner is definitely still a lottery ticket at this point, but the payoff could be huge if Bell were to miss time.
Willie Snead WR NO – (93.4% owned, changed -0.6%)
Yes, Willie Snead is still highly owned, but in some leagues, it looks like he’s being dropped from rosters. If that is the case, grab him while you can. Next week people will be more eager to grab him with only one game remaining left on his suspension. For now, though, he still has to sit out two more games. With that being said, if you drafted a solid roster and haven’t lost any guys to injury, you should consider taking a peek for Snead in your free agent pool (or trading for him while his price is low). He will be a decent flex player with WR2 on a Drew Brees offense.
So there were a few free agent sleepers that I’m grabbing after the waivers settle today. Keep The Fantasy Authority on your favorites bar, as we have tons of awesome weekly content this season! I’ll be back next week with a new batch of free agent sleepers for you to scoop up. Impress your league-mates by grabbing a sleeper a week before he goes off!