Playing the Waiver Wire for Week 11
How should owners approach the Broncos backfield off the waiver wire? Is Jordan Matthews a must own heading into Week 11? Our Jamey Eisenberg shares his take.
Editor's note: FanDuel.com is hosting a one-week $2.5 million Fantasy Football contest for Week 11. It's only $25 to join and first prize is $300,000. Starts Sunday, November 16th at 1 p.m. ET. Enter now to play with Jamey.
The Broncos plan to use a hot-hand approach at running back now that Ronnie Hillman is expected to miss at least two weeks with a mid-foot sprain. As Fantasy owners, this is the worst news possible.
We know the Fantasy Football world we live in now is based on tandems and committee backfields, but at least you'd like some clarity for a potential go-to guy. For this week, C.J. Anderson has health on his side, and he's the hot hand heading into the matchup at St. Louis.
But Montee Ball is expected to return from his groin injury, and Juwan Thompson could ruin our day with an early touchdown. He would be third on the list, with Anderson currently on top and Ball second.
Anderson could end up being a difference maker for Fantasy owners, and he's the top player to add this week off the waiver wire. He had 13 carries for 90 yards and four catches for 73 yards and a touchdown at Oakland.
While Ball could steal the show against the Rams, Anderson should open the game as the starter, and he's worth buying into at 3 percent ownership on CBSSports.com. He's a top priority this week along with Mark Sanchez (69 percent), Jordan Matthews (47 percent) and Mychal Rivera (64 percent).
Injuries: Carson Palmer (knee)
and Nick Foles (collarbone)
Key players on bye: Tony Romo, Michael Vick, Joe Flacco and Blake Bortles
Priority list (add them in this order): Mark Sanchez (69 percent ownership), Robert Griffin III (57 percent), Josh McCown (17 percent), Michael Vick (25 percent), Drew Stanton (1 percent), Zach Mettenberger (8 percent), Ryan Mallett (7 percent)
Potential drop candidates: Andy Dalton (88 percent), Joe Flacco (81 percent), Ryan Tannehill (79 percent)
Why Sanchez is the best: We expected Sanchez to play well against the Panthers in Week 10, and he delivered with 332 passing yards and two touchdowns for 25 Fantasy points. He doesn't have the same upside this week at Green Bay, but Sanchez appears to have a full grasp of the Chip Kelly offense and should be chasing points in this matchup, meaning plenty of throwing. He remains a Top 12 quarterback in Week 11 and should be a standout option as long as he remains the starter ahead of Foles. In our opinion, Sanchez should be the starter the rest of the year.
Of note: We hope Griffin comes off his bye week and takes advantage of this matchup against the Buccaneers, who have allowed at least two touchdowns to every quarterback on the road. Griffin is still looking for his first 20-point Fantasy outing this year. ... McCown's not a bad starting option in deeper leagues if you lost Palmer or need a replacement for Romo this week. He has at least 17 Fantasy points in the three full games he's played, including 23 points against Atlanta last week. We like his targets with Mike Evans, Vincent Jackson and Austin Seferian-Jenkins, and it's not a difficult matchup at Washington. Just keep in mind the Redskins have not allowed a quarterback to score multiple touchdowns in their past two games against Dallas and Minnesota. ... Even though Vick is off this week, he does have some potential moving forward. He had 20 Fantasy points against the Steelers in Week 10 and has not turned the ball over in two starts going back to Week 9 at Kansas City. He doesn't have an easy schedule after the bye (at BUF, vs. MIA, at MIN, at TEN. vs. NE and at MIA), but he is worth using in two-quarterback leagues. ... Stanton already started three games for the Cardinals this year when Palmer was out with a shoulder injury and had six Fantasy points, 22 points and four points. He'll be a spot starter in deeper leagues when the matchup is right, but this isn't a week to trust him against the Lions. He does benefit from playing for Bruce Arians, so there will be a lot of pass attempts to help his cause. ... Mettenberger is worth speculating on in deeper leagues this week with his matchup against the Steelers at home. Pittsburgh has allowed multiple touchdowns to each of the past four opposing quarterbacks it has faced. ... We'll see how Mallett does in his first start for the Texans, but the safe approach in re-draft leagues is to scout his performance in a tough matchup against the Browns. If he plays well then he could be worth adding in deeper formats.
Injuries: Arian Foster (groin), Reggie Bush (ankle), Ronnie Hillman
(foot), Lamar Miller (shoulder), Stepfan Taylor (calf), Giovani Bernard
(hip), Khiry Robinson (forearm), Doug Martin (ankle), Pierre Thomas
(shoulder), Montee Ball (groin), Rashad Jennings (knee), Ryan Mathews
(knee), Mike Tolbert (leg)
Key players on bye: DeMarco Murray, Justin Forsett, Denard Robinson, Chris Ivory
Priority list (add them in this order): C.J. Anderson (3 percent ownership), Theo Riddick (22 percent), Alfred Blue (33 percent), Jonathan Stewart (64 percent), Jonas Gray (33 percent), Isaiah Crowell (30 percent), Charles Sims (45 percent), Tre Mason (64 percent), Carlos Hyde (60 percent), Bryce Brown (43 percent) and Benny Cunningham (26 percent)
Potential drop candidates: Reggie Bush (95 percent), Bishop Sankey (68 percent), Lorenzo Taliaferro (68 percent), Branden Oliver (66 percent) and Doug Martin (63 percent)
Why Anderson is the best: The running back who has led the Broncos in touches during each game this season has either scored a touchdown or gained 85 total yards in seven of nine games, including Anderson last week against the Raiders. As we said earlier, there's no guarantee Anderson will hold off Ball this week, but he's worth speculating on as the No. 1 option off waivers. If Ball isn't ready to return and Anderson gets off to a hot start, he should do well against the Rams in this matchup.
Of note: There isn't a real priority list for the running backs after Anderson as all of them have plenty of pros and cons depending on your need for this week or the rest of the season. ... Riddick is worth a look in all leagues if Bush is out against the Cardinals. He has a touchdown in three of the past four games and has filled in nicely when Bush has been out or injured. The Cardinals have allowed four running backs to catch four passes this season, which should help Riddick in PPR leagues. ... Foster is expected to play this week against the Browns, but if he suffers a setback in practice then Blue would be a potential starter in all leagues. Every Foster owner should handcuff Blue for the remainder of the year. ... Stewart has the chance for another productive game this week against the Falcons, who have struggled with running backs all season. He had 11 Fantasy points at Philadelphia and continues to prove he's more effective than DeAngelo Williams. We wish the Panthers realized that as well and gave Stewart more work. ... Gray is worth stashing in all leagues for when the Patriots start leaning on their ground game. I don't love Gray as a starting option this week at the Colts, but he could get a short-yardage rushing touchdown if the opportunity arises. ... Crowell scored a touchdown in Week 10 at Cincinnati, but so did Ben Tate and Terrance West. Those two are ahead of Crowell on the depth chart, but he still had 12 carries for 41 yards against the Bengals. This is now four games this season where he's had at least 11 carries, and he's finished with double digits in Fantasy points in three of them. He could be a flex in deeper leagues this week against the Texans. ... Sims should eventually take over as the featured option for the Bucs ahead of Bobby Rainey, and he might be the best stash candidate on this list. He has a tough matchup at Washington this week, but then he gets Cincinnati and Chicago in his next two games. He could be a nice flex option in those two weeks. ... The Rams backfield is still one to avoid, especially this week against the Broncos. But Mason finally showed signs of life as a receiver against Arizona in Week 10 with four catches, and Cunningham scored another touchdown. In deeper leagues, Fantasy owner might be forced to use these two, so we hope they continue to improve. ... Brown played well against the Chiefs in Week 10 with seven carries for 35 and six catches for 65 yards, but he lost a fumble going into the end zone, which marred his day. He has plenty of upside, but he's part of a three-headed backfield with Fred Jackson and Anthony Dixon, which limits his upside. ... Hyde remains a handcuff to Frank Gore and a potential lottery ticket, and we hope he continues to get more work in tandem with Gore. Hyde had four carries for 36 yards and a touchdown at New Orleans in Week 10.
Injuries: Andrew Hawkins (knee), Cecil Shorts (concussion), Allen Hurns
(concussion), Devin Hester (ankle)
Key players on bye: Dez Bryant, Terrance Williams, Torrey Smith, Steve Smith, Allen Robinson, Percy Harvin, Eric Decker
Priority list (add them in this order): Jordan Matthews (47 percent ownership), John Brown (32 percent), Malcom Floyd (51 percent), Dwayne Bowe (66 percent ownership), Jarvis Landry (7 percent), Chris Hogan (0 percent), Preston Parker (0 percent)
Potential drop candidates: Michael Floyd (100 percent), Michael Crabtree (100 percent), Marques Colston (98 percent), Terrance Williams (98 percent), Wes Welker (76 percent)
Why Matthews is the best: Matthews seems to enjoy the change from Foles to Sanchez. Since taking over in Week 9 at Houston, Sanchez has got Matthews in the end zone three times. He had seven catches for 138 yards and two touchdowns against Carolina, and this could be a sign of things to come. The Eagles will likely be chasing points this week at Green Bay, and Matthews should again be heavily involved. He's a must-start option in three receiver leagues and a potential starter in all formats.
Of note: This isn't a great week for receivers off waivers, but Brown has done well with Stanton under center. He has 18 targets from Stanton for 10 catches, 132 yards and three touchdowns. This isn't a great matchup for Week 11 against Detroit, but he has scored all five of his touchdowns at home. I'd use him as a No. 3 receiver this week, and he's better than Michael Floyd at this point. ... The other Floyd, Malcom, is a great one-week option with his matchup against the Raiders. In his past five games against Oakland, Floyd has four touchdowns, including five catches for 103 yards and a score against the Raiders in Week 6. ... Bowe is likely going to have a hard time with the Seahawks at home this week, but he does have at least six catches and 55 yards in each of his past three games. He had eight catches for 93 yards at Buffalo in Week 10 and could be useful in deeper PPR leagues. The downside is he has yet to score a touchdown this year. ... Landry is like Bowe in that he can be useful in PPR leagues with 12 catches in his past two games, but Landry actually finds the end zone with two touchdowns this season. He has 16 targets the past two games, and the Bills have allowed 10 touchdowns to opposing receivers this year. ... Hogan and Parker are coming off two solid games, but neither is exciting in most formats. In deeper leagues, however, Hogan has two touchdowns in the five games Kyle Orton has started, and Parker has 13 targets in the past two games, with seven catches for 79 yards and a touchdown last week at Seattle.
Injuries: Delanie Walker
(concussion), Jordan Cameron
(concussion), Eric Ebron (hamstring), Tyler Eifert (elbow), Kyle Rudolph
Key players on bye: Jason Witten, Owen Daniels
Priority list (add them in this order): Mychal Rivera (64 percent ownership), Kyle Rudolph (30 percent), Austin Seferian-Jenkins (7 percent), Coby Fleener (39 percent), Charles Clay (65 percent), Jared Cook (35 percent), Brent Celek (4 percent)
Potential drop candidates: Vernon Davis (100 percent), Heath Miller (91 percent), Zach Ertz (76 percent), Jordan Cameron (71 percent)
Why Rivera is the best: We liked Rivera heading into Week 10 against Denver, and he delivered with six catches for 64 yards and a touchdown on eight targets. He now has at least eight Fantasy points in each of his past three games with six catches in each outing and three touchdowns over that span. He also has 28 targets in those games, and Derek Carr is looking for him, which is a positive for a team that will likely be chasing points every week. He did not have a catch in Week 6 against San Diego, but he only had three targets in that game. Look for him to do much better in the rematch this week.
Of note: We hope Rudolph can play this week after being out the past six games following groin surgery. If he does play at Chicago then consider him a starting option in all leagues. The Bears allow the most Fantasy points to opposing tight ends, and Rudolph has a touchdown and double digits in Fantasy points in each of his past two trips to Chicago the past two years. Chase Ford (1 percent) would be a nice sleeper if Rudolph is out. ... Seferian-Jenkins had a season-high nine targets against the Falcons in Week 10, and he finished with five catches for 30 yards and a touchdown. He has scored in two of his past three games, and he has a favorable matchup against the Redskins, who have allowed seven touchdowns to tight ends this year, including two in the past two games. ... Fleener is totally touchdown dependent to help your Fantasy team, but he did have four catches for 77 yards on 11 targets in Week 9 at the Giants and has at least 64 receiving yards in two of his past three games. While Dwayne Allen remains the No. 1 tight end in Indianapolis, Fleener is a nice sleeper this week against the Patriots, who have allowed a tight end to score in each of the past three games. ... The good news with Clay is he has a touchdown in every other game for the past four weeks, and he failed to score in Week 10 at Detroit, so that's encouraging. He also has 17 targets the past two games and has 12 catches for 110 yards over that span. Fantasy owners in PPR leagues should like Clay, who also had seven catches for 31 yards in Week 2 at Buffalo. The bad news is Buffalo has allowed just two touchdowns to opposing tight ends, so Clay might have trouble scoring this week. ... Cook is just a desperation add in deeper leagues. He scored his first touchdown of the season in Week 10 at Arizona with two catches for 84 yards, and that was his first game with more than seven Fantasy points on the year. But the Broncos have allowed four touchdowns to tight ends in their past three games, which could also help Lance Kendricks (2 percent), who has four touchdowns on the season. ... Celek was great against the Panthers with five catches for 116 yards on six targets, but we need to see more from him before adding him in most formats.
Bills (at MIA): 65 percent
Saints (vs. CIN): 61 percent
Browns (vs. HOU): 53 percent
Chargers (vs. OAK): 25 percent
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