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The Waiver Wizard Week 11
Halloween is October 31st, but perhaps the NFL missed the memo. Viewers were tricked, rather than treated, with four horrific “primetime” performances, with the inclusion of the Sunday morning game in Germany.
Thursday night? A 16-13 slogfest between the 1-8 Carolina Panthers and 3-7 Chicago Bears. One offensive touchdown scored.
Sunday morning? A 10-6 snoozer between the 5-5 Indianapolis Colts and 2-8 New England Patriots. One offensive touchdown scored, neither quarterback passed for more than 195 yards.
Sunday afternoon’s “game of the week” between the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants was a 49-17 blowout, where viewers watched Dak Prescott pick apart a dilapidated secondary and Tommy DeVito scramble for his life each play.
Sunday night? Perhaps the most competitive game of the bunch between the 4-5 New York Jets and 5-5 Las Vegas Raiders. One touchdown scored, and a whole bunch of disappointing performances.
I’m hopeful that tonight’s contest between the Denver Broncos and Buffalo Bills will be more entertaining, since things can’t get much worse. The theme of this week might just be “thank goodness that is over with, lets move on”. Luckily, Kansas City, Miami, Philadelphia, and the Los Angeles Rams all return next week for a much-needed shot in the arm. Fingers crossed that Week 11 is deep enough into November that teams remember to actually score touchdowns again.
Joshua Dobbs (39 percent rostered) – This should be the final week that Dobbs fits my “rostered in less than 40 percent” requirement to recommend, following his stellar performance against the New Orleans Saints. Even though he has bounced around on multiple rosters, the “Passtronaut” has excelled at adapting to new playbooks on the fly, and has become a real threat as a running option. We spoke at length about his upside on my Sirius XM spot last week, and an upcoming favorable schedule coupled with the imminent return of All-Pro Justin Jefferson have Dobbs’ arrow pointing sky-high. He is a mid-range QB1 for the near future, and I’d prefer to start him over other more-lauded options like Trevor Lawrence, Geno Smith or Jared Goff moving forward.
FAAB: Dobbs is worth a $15-20 bid for teams that are currently struggling at the quarterback position. With so many offenses mired in the doldrums (I mentioned just a few earlier), Dobbs is worth considering for any manager who starts options other than Mahomes, Hurts, Allen, Herbert, Tagovailoa or Jackson.
Jameis Winston (1 percent rostered) – Winston’s inclusion here comes with a few obvious caveats. First and foremost, the New Orleans Saints have a bye in Week 11, so he will not be an immediate help to anyone looking for a spot-start. Second, there is a chance that Derek Carr might be able to return in Week 12, after the nasty shoulder injury and concussion that he sustained against Minnesota on Sunday. Should Carr remain out, Winston becomes an upside play against the Atlanta Falcons, due to his propensity for taking chances with pushing the ball downfield. One needs to know his limitations, and his appeal takes a further hit in leagues that heavily penalize managers for turnovers. All that said, this is an extremely thin week at the position for waiver wire selections.
FAAB: Winston is worth a minimum bid for teams looking for possible help during the following week. No NFL teams have a bye in Week 12, so the appeal here is middling at best.
Rico Dowdle (4 percent rostered) – Dowdle has mainly been on Fantasy radars as a handcuff option for Tony Pollard, but he has created some stand-alone value of late due to his violent running style. This past weekend in the rout against the New York Giants, Dowdle finished with 12 carries for 79 yards and a touchdown, and appeared the more effective runner when afforded the opportunity. Pollard hasn’t scored a rushing touchdown (somehow) since Week 1, and has averaged less than 4.5 YPC each week dating back to the third game of the season against Arizona. During that timespan, Pollard has eclipsed double-digit Fantasy points just one time. With Pollard being such a bust, there is a distinct possibility that Dallas turns this back into a committee situation, and provides Dowdle with additional chances. The Cowboys have an above-average schedule upcoming against defenses that struggle to stop the run, and I’d rather get ahead of the curve here if at all possible. Invest.
FAAB: Dowdle is worth a $5-10 investment for any team looking to shore up depth at the position, and not just for Pollard managers. He is a viable RB1 should Pollard miss any extended period of time.
Keaton Mitchell (23 percent rostered) – Last week’s waiver-wire darling, Mitchell continues to impress me when afforded the opportunity. This past weekend against Cleveland he only received four touches, but made the most out of them, picking up 34 yards on the ground with a touchdown, and adding in a 32-yard reception. For whatever reason, Baltimore opted to not have him involved much in the second half of the game – perhaps that contributed to their eventual collapse and loss to Cleveland. Mitchell appears to have clearly overtaken Justice Hill as the primary backup option behind Gus Edwards for the Ravens, and despite his diminutive stature, he runs with authority with the ball in his hands, akin to a De’Veon Achane. His volatility will be high because one is banking on his elite point-per-touch production to continue, so factor that in when considering his addition. Also, the Baltimore Ravens still haven’t passed their bye, which occurs in Week 13.
FAAB: Mitchell is worth a $5-10 investment for teams looking to add depth, especially in PPR formats. His production is forcing Baltimore’s hand with getting him more involved each week.
Noah Brown (27 percent rostered) – I dismissed Brown’s 6/153/1 total in Week 9 as a fluke, as he had done little before that to warrant pickup consideration. Needless to say, I can’t be so quick to do that again. Brown was a focal point in Houston’s passing attack once again on Sunday, securing 7 receptions for 172 yards on 8 targets in the Texans surprise victory over the Cincinnati Bengals. With Houston struggling to run the ball and being involved in shootouts to stay competitive each week, he will remain an upside WR3 play. Houston squares off against Arizona, Jacksonville and Denver in the next three weeks, and all of those secondaries will present opportunities for the 6’2, 215 lb. Brown to thrive as the downfield target for C.J. Stroud. This season is already the most productive of Brown’s career – remember that he has been in the league since 2017 (he was formerly with the Dallas Cowboys).
FAAB: Brown is worth a $5-7 investment as a WR3 option in deeper formats. I don’t want to be overly skeptical of his recent success, but he hasn’t shown the ability to be a major factor over his six-year career previously. That said, he is a perfect fit for what Houston is trying to accomplish to stay competitive.
A.T. Perry (1 percent rostered) – I’ll admit, Perry was entirely off of my rookie radar entering the season, and for good reason – he wasn’t active on the roster until Week 8, and didn’t have a target thrown his way until this past game. A sixth-round selection from Wake Forest, Perry was described to me on Twitter as a “Quentin Johnston-lite” option, possessing a huge 6’5,205 lb. frame and large catch radius. Similar to Winston above, Perry’s upside will be tricky to predict without keeping track of news from New Orleans out of their bye week. As of this moment, he is penciled in behind Chris Olave, Michael Thomas and Rashid Shaheed on the depth chart. Should Thomas miss any extended period of time (or face criminal charges for his recent off-field transgressions), the Saints would do well to provide snaps to Perry over Keith Kirkwood and Lynn Bowden. New Orleans squares off against several exploitable secondaries, and if the team opens up their passing attack more aggressively, he stands to benefit.
FAAB: Perry is worth a minimum bid for managers looking to maximize their return and aren’t afraid of a little risk. Teams that evaluate and adjust out of the byes often make it a point to provide chances for rookies.
Luke Musgrave (17 percent rostered) - There are no obvious suggestions at the position, (especially with Trey McBride exceeding the parameters I use), so I’ll fall back to last week’s highlight, Musgrave. Rather than being a touchdown-dependent option like others within the TE2 realm (Michael Mayer, Logan Thomas, Hunter Henry), Musgrave has seen consistent volume in Green Bay, and I feel that it is only a matter of time before he starts putting some receptions into the end zone. Outside of Romeo Doubs, Green Bay has few consistent receiving threats (yes, that is a shot at Christian Watson), and the Packers would do well to get Musgrave more involved in a Cole Kmet-type role. He has the ability to stretch the seam against any opposition, and his best days are ahead of him.
FAAB: Musgrave is worth a $3-5 investment at an otherwise thin position as a TE2 with upside.