Waiver wire pickup priorities, target and schedule adjusted.

By Adam Hall
Adam Hall You can lose your league during the draft, but you win your league through the waiver wire and trades. This adage is the fundamental maxim of fantasy football. Today I’ll helping you make the best choices with your waiver claim, or your FAAB points, to make sure you’re winning on the waiver wire front.

Working the waiver wire is about more than who’s hot from week to week, it’s about recognizing deeper trends that will allow for sustained success, this is the difference between picking up Jordan Howard, or Kevin Ogeltree. In this piece and any going forward, we’ll analyze a player’s likelihood for success via three standards. 1. Positional need on team (potential) 2. Targets and 3. How they fit into my strength of schedule statistics which was posted previously.

1. Tarik Cohen, RB, Chicago Bears:

Cohen was fifth in targets out of the entire NFL in week 1, this provides the fantasy world with a bit of relief as Cohen did not rely on explosive plays to dictate his fantasy performance. The Bears are running low on receiving options with Kevin White out for the season, this leads me to think that Cohen will continue to be an integral part of the passing attack and thus is a can’t miss prospect for week one. According to my stats the Bears are in a great position to work with a player like Cohen. Chicago has the ranked 17th ranked rush schedule, but the 10th easiest passing schedule. This benefits Cohen more than Howard, who continues to struggle in the passing game, as we saw with the goal line drop in week one’s game.

2. Kenny Golladay, WR, Detroit Lions:

Kenny Golladay was a late third round pick for the Lions this year, he’s 6’4”, 225 lbs and runs a 4.5 40 yard dash, and boy did he play like it on Sunday. Golladay was targeted, seven times on Sunday which was tied for second most on the team. The Bears have the 13th easiest passing schedule in the NFL this year. With an easier schedule than most in front of them, a heavy pattern of usage already and a dire need for a large body in the Detroit offense, I expect Golladay to be a killer pickup to use all year.

3. Kerwynn Williams, RB, Arizona Cardinals Williams is here because he seems to be the player that is poised to replace David Johnson in the Cardinals rotation. Williams was given a majority of the snaps once DJ went down on Sunday, and his skill set meshes better in the Cardinal’s scheme. Although Arizona signed Chris Johnson today, it is still likely that Williams will be given a solid bulk of the carries. Chris Johnson is a senior back and may be a threat to Kerwynn’s dominance, but I think Williams is the most likely to be worth the pick up here.

Andre Ellington, and Chris Johnson are likely to be placed in as committee players, although if you are in a one point PPR league, Ellington may be a great option as Johnson had nine targets on Sunday, playing only a percentage of the snaps.

4. Paul Richardson, WR, Seattle Seahawks Richardshon has been showing off his athletic talents since last year’s post-season where he made play after play that were OBJesque. He continued this style of play in the pre-season, where he had a great report already figured out with Wilson. This trend has carried on to the regular season, where Richardson saw a team leading seven targets. This was nearly double what Doug Baldwin was given. As teams continually double cover Baldwin out of fear, Richardson will soon capitalize on the opportunity, get him before you can’t!

5. Jermain Kearse, WR, New York Jets Although the Jets look like a hot mess, perhaps even a dumpster fire this season, this may stand to help Kearse more than hurt him in the long run. One thing we know about bad teams is that they have to pass the ball when they get behind. The Jets will be behind, thus their number one wide receiver has value as a high end WR3 or a low end WR2. Furthermore, according to the strength of schedule metric, the Jets have the 3rd easiest passing schedule in the league this year.

Kearse was targeted nine times on Sunday which led the team. Considering how shortly he’s been with the Jets at this point, it would be a good wager to say that he’ll continue to grow with the team and become an even better part of the offense. The notion that the RBs would get all the targets in New York seems to be slightly overblown as Powell and Forte only received a combined 11 targets. Kearse is under the radar and is a likely easy pickup this week. 6. Shane Vereen, RB, New York Giants. Shane Vereen proved himself to be a valuable PPR asset once again on Sunday night. He was targeted a team high ten times which led to a 14+ point PPR performance. No one else fills the role that Vereen does in the offense. With all of the talented receivers and tight ends roaming the middle and outsides of the fields, no one is left to play the checkdown role. With Manning’s offensive line looking as porous as usual, one would conclude that Eli will be utilizing the checkdown far more often than he would like, going forward. The Giants have a pretty tough road ahead, but if anything, this will add fuel to the need for a viable checkdown back, which Vereen is likely the best on the wire at this time.

7. Charles Clay, TE, Buffalo Bills. Reports from camp over the last few months have said that Tyrod and Clay have been developing a strong connection. With Sammy out of the picture, the only person that Taylor has that he trusts and knows how to work with is Charles Clay. This manifested on Sunday as nine targets with four receptions for 53 yards and a touchdown. Even though Charles wasn’t the most efficient player on the field, Tyrod still went his way time and again. The Bills also have a slightly easier schedule than the rest of the league and should benefit. Finally the Bills defense is gutted, meaning that they will likely have to play from behind often, turning into more opportunities for Clay.

8. Carson Wentz, QB, Philadelphia Eagles. Wentz has everything you need in a QB, a great receiving corps, a solid offensive line, and all the faith of the coaching staff. In a recent series, I wrote I explained what it takes to succeed and fail at quarterback, and Wentz has everything a team could ask for. After his 20+ point performance on Sunday, Wentz is on everyone’s radar, but picking him up could be worth it. The Eagles have the 9th easiest schedule this year according to my model and Wentz’s 300+ yard 2 TD performance is just the beginning this year. I would expect that Wentz ends up as a middle QB1 and is worth the claim.