Erin Skelley, aka “Erin the Fantasy Girl” on Texans Radio/Sports Radio 610 in Houston, dishes out waiver wire magic for Week 5.
Week 1 would have been too soon. Even week 2. But with four games behind us, it’s exactly the right time. Go ahead. Panic.
Panic? Yes. That 0-4 record isn't going to turn itself around on its own. But after your little meltdown, you need a plan. Just moaning about your embarrassing fantasy team is no fun for anyone. Not even me!
But as you look at your underperformers and your options – do nothing, shop the waiver wire, offer a trade or simply quit – you can get dizzy pretty quickly. What to do, what to do… My general rule of thumb is pay attention to how the head coach is dealing with the slumping player. Take David Wilson, for instance, who has 130 yards and zero touchdowns through four games. Four games! Think Tom Coughlin is happy about that? His little slump doesn’t seem to be improving. In fact, Wilson didn’t even start in Sunday’s contest, nor did he play third downs. I wouldn’t start Wilson another game until he does something. Not worth the heartache.
It’s a tougher call with quarterbacks. If you own San Francisco’s Collin Kaepernick, how much longer do you hold on? His 856 yards, four TDs and five interceptions are a far cry from his pre-season projections. But I’m sure it’s hard to simply bench him. You keep wondering, thinking, hoping he’ll turn it around. In a situation like this, I would pick up another quality QB and play the matchups week-to-week. It sounds easy because it is. The quarterback position is so loaded that you can claim someone who is putting up serious points.
And then there are the injuries. This is perhaps the trickiest situation of all. Of course, you want to hold on as long as you can, but with bye weeks upon us, your bench is getting crowded. So agonizing, I know! The further the hole you’re in, the bigger the chance you take. So trading or dumping may be the extreme measure you’re forced to deploy to get yourself back in the race.
While you chew on that, here are some waiver picks widely available:
Brian Hoyer, QB, Cleveland Browns – Who is Brian Hoyer? Good question two weeks ago, but now he’s one of the hottest fantasy commodities. Hoyer is coming off another incredible performance with 269 yards and two touchdowns. And the Browns are winning! Hoyer is a really good QB2 start, and even a viable QB1 start if your current one is ailing. Available in 94 percent of Yahoo leagues.
Rashad Jennings, RB, Oakland Raiders – Coming off an impressive performance with 116 total yards, the backup to the backup running back will get the nod again on Sunday with both Darren McFadden and Marcel Reece out. Another 100-yard performance is wishful thinking, but do you have a better plan? Available in 92 percent of Yahoo leagues.
Danny Woodhead, RB, San Diego Chargers – I’d feel a lot better about this pick if Phillip Rivers didn’t rotate favorite receivers every week. Still, it should be noted that Woodhead caught two touchdowns on 54 receiving yards, while also rushing for 32 yards. Think deep leagues only here. Available in 58 percent of Yahoo leagues.
Le’Veon Bell, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers – Ok, Bell is not widely available like most of these guys. But he deserved a spot on this list! In his debut on Sunday, Bell scored two touchdowns on 57 yards rushing and 27 receiving yards. He will get a ton of carries. Pittsburgh desperately needs him. Not widely available, but worth a glance at the wire. Keep in mind, he has a bye this week, but still worth stashing away. Available in 28 percent of Yahoo leagues.
Alshon Jeffery, WR, Chicago Bears – What a day for Alshon. The second-year player reeled in five receptions for 107 receiving yards and a touchdown, while also rushing for 27 yards. I don’t want to overreact to just one great game, but I think I will anyway. My reasoning: the potential shootout with New Orleans. Love him as your WR3. Available in 53 percent of Yahoo leagues.
Carolina DEF – Ranking 10th in the league is a good start. But they play Arizona too. What’s not to like?
Erin Skelley joins Texans Radio every week on SportsRadio 610. Follow her on Twitter @erinskelley. She’ll babble fantasy to anyone who will listen.