NFL Fantasy Fixer-Uppers Week 4
The season is already a quarter over. Can you believe it? I know I sure can't. And that means the fantasy season is even further along. Whether you are dominating your league or could really use some help the waiver wire is your friend. You should always be aware of who is available and work the wire each week. It's the only way to stay ahead of the game and keep your squad towards the top of the league. Here are some players that just might help you this week and beyond.
Travis Kelce, TE, Kansas City Chiefs (37% owned standard ESPN leagues)
Kelce was a sleeper pick in a lot of fantasy drafts this season. Sleeper no more. Kelce officially broke onto the national stage during Monday night’s demolition of the New England Patriots. The tight end snagged a season high eight passes for 93 yards while finding the end zone for a second straight week. His numbers have improved each week and he figures to be a steady contributor in the passing game. Kansas City has two stars in the backfield which could really open up the play action passes for Alex Smith. With so many injuries wreaking havoc on the tight end position this might be your last chance to grab Kelce. He is certainly worth putting in a high waiver claim for if you need help at that position.
Carson Palmer, QB, Arizona Cardinals (7% owned)
Arizona is one of two remaining unbeaten teams (Cincinnati being the other) and what makes it more impressive is that for their last two games it was Drew Stanton under center. That should all change come Sunday. Palmer is expected back from a nerve issue in his shoulder and has a favorable match-up in Denver. It’s also nice that Larry Fitzgerald will be running routes for Palmer Sunday and the rest of the season. Palmer may not have been a sexy fantasy option (really? Sexy fantasy?) but he did throw for more than 300 yards and two scores in his one appearance this season. That is money in the bank. Available in more than 90 percent of leagues Palmer is more than likely better than the backup QB you are rostering and in some cases might be better than your starter. Pick him up and plug him into your lineup this week.
Isiah Crowell, RB, Cleveland Browns (6% owned)
Ben Tate is expected back this week but let’s face it. When has Tate been healthy enough to provide steady fantasy worth? The answer? Not often. Crowell appears to be second in line for carries though Terrence West will garner a few as well. So why pick up Crowell? For one, West is owned in 86% of leagues while Crowell is left toiling on the waiver wire. Second, as I mentioned Cleveland’s backfield is far from clear cut and Crowell may end up with the lion’s share of the touches. He is the bigger back and should see the goal line work at a minimum. That in and of itself is fantasy gold. Remember when Mike Tolbert had all the goal line carries in San Diego a few years back? The difference here is Crowell will see additional touches as well. Tate is due back this week but Crowell is worth a bench stash. He may not be worth starting now but that could all change if Tate is injured again or ineffective.
Jerick, McKinnon, RB, Minnesota Vikings (<1% owned)
I usually round up the decimals in the ownership percentages but this one is too much fun. Anytime you can write less than one percent you take it. The rookie speedster had more than three times as many carries in Week Four (18) than he had in the previous three games combined (5). What does that tell you? Well, maybe nothing. But maybe something! And isn’t that what the waiver wire is all about? McKinnon ran his way to 135 yards on those 18 carries and provides much more upside than current starter Matt Asaita. Sure, Asiata found paydirt three times against the Falcons but the fact that McKinnon saw that many touches may mean a changing of the guard is imminent. He is certainly worth a roster spot, especially if you were an unlucky owner who spent a pick on Adrian Peterson this year.
Darrin Reaves, RB, Carolina Panthers (<1% owned)
There’s that less than one percent ownership again although if I rounded this I would have to round down to zero. Reaves is virtually unowned in fantasy leagues currently but that could change tomorrow. The reason is simply because the Panthers don’t really have any healthy options coming out of the backfield. Mike Tolbert is out. I’d be shocked if Jonathan Stewart played. DeAngelo Williams? Well, he could suit up but he also might miss the game. That leaves Reaves. If you asked me one week ago if I knew who he was I would think he’s someone who went to your high school. That being said, I know who he is now and that’s what’s important. In limited duty Sunday he didn’t provide much totaling 26 yards on 12 carries but that was in a blowout loss against a tough Baltimore defense. He may or may not start Sunday, that will be determined later in the week, but if you are desperate for a running back and have exhausted all other options Reaves might be worth a look.
Is there a player you may have had your eye on that I didn't mention? If you want my thoughts please leave a comment and I will get back with a response as quickly as possible. Or if you want to follow me on Twitter you can ask me there @therichwhiteguy.