After a full week of games, you’re probably scouring the waiver wire, relying on posts like XN Sports’ Rich Hribar’s PPR Adds. In a deep league, things are a bit more tricky since the pickings are so slim. Sometimes you have to pick up a player based on pure speculation. Sometimes you have to pick up a player you aren’t even going to use for a few weeks. Let’s take a look at some running backs and wide receivers that have less than 25% ownership in Yahoo leagues and where we can fit them in on our rosters.
Julian Edelman (25%): With Danny Amendola inevitably finding the injured list within one game of joining the Pats, Edelman figures to the be the top target for Tom Brady on Thursday against the Jets. With Shane Vereen and Rob Gronkowski out, and Aaron Dobson and Zach Sudfeld questionable, he might be the only target. Even with Amendola around, Edelman caught seven passes on nine targets for 79 yards and two touchdowns and figures to be a solid own for the foreseeable future.
Andre Roberts (22%): Although the focus was on Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd, Roberts caught as many passes as Fitz and saw three more targets than Floyd. In his first game with Carson Palmer, Roberts caught eight passes on nine targets for 97 yards – compared to Floyd’s four receptions on six targets for 82 yards. Palmer is a very capable quarterback who, while turning the ball over too often, will put up plenty of yards and touchdowns for all three receivers to be ownable. Especially with no hint of a running game behind him.
Marlon Brown (5%): With Jacoby Jones sidelined for four-to-six weeks with a knee injury, the 6’5” Georgia product leaps into the number two spot on the Ravens depth chart. Brown was solid in his Ravens debut, catching four passes on six targets for 65 yards and a touchdown, collecting four first downs in the process. Torrey Smith isn’t the type of number one that piles up a ton of receptions and the tight ends are iffy so Brown could have big value as the number two target for Joe Flacco.
Rod Streater (7%): Second-year receivers are always important to watch and Streater could be in line for a breakout. After seeing 74 targets in his rookie year (but only catching 39 of them for 584 yards and three TDs), Streater started his sophomore campaign with five catches on eight targets for 70 yards and a nine yard rush. New quarterback Terrelle Pryor targeted Streater more than anyone else as the former Temple standout collected 27 more yards than “number one” Denarius Moore.
Jerome Simpson (4%): Rich Hribar of XN Sports listed Simpson as a receiver to avoid this week since he was only able to put up a seven-reception, 140 yard game because the Lions front seven were too much of a match for Adrian Peterson. While Rich is right that different circumstances would have led to a more run-heavy attack, Simpson saw one more target than “number one” Greg Jennings (and at least four more than anyone else) and caught four more passes than the former Packer. Simpson could well end up being the top receiver for a team without much receiving depth and a top pass catcher who turns 30 in two weeks and hasn’t played a full season since 2010.
Eddie Royal (3%): If you saw the late Monday night game, you saw Phil Rivers hit Royal in the endzone not once but twice. Although Royal only caught three of his six targets, his 24 yards and two TDs were headturning. I don’t see Royal as an option in most leagues but deep league owners may want to consider taking a shot or at least being sure to tune in to his next game.
Daniel Thomas (13%): I snatched Thomas late in the draft in the XN Sports League of Champions because I was weak at running back and wanted to go for an all-or-nothing bet that Lamar Miller will not work out. You guessed it, Miller put up one of the worst running back lines of the week, running 10 times for a mere three yards. To be fair, Thomas wasn’t a big factor either with eight carries for 14 yards and a touchdown to go with a five yard reception. The focus isn’t his production but Miller’s. We’ll see how he does against defenses weaker than the Browns but I have a feeling Thomas will end up with the lion’s share of the carries in South Florida.
Mike Tolbert (10%): Tolbert didn’t factor into the Panthers-Seahawks game much but there wasn’t a lot of Carolina offense to be found anywhere. Although he only rushed four times for 10 yards, I’m a big believer in Tolbert’s ability to stay relevant in deep leagues despite sub-par yard totals. Well, sub-par for a half back, Tolbert plays full back. He put up seven touchdowns in 54 attempts for Carolina last year and 19 touchdowns over the two previous seasons in San Diego. He’s not a weekly starter but if you get a good matchup you can do a lot worse.
Roy Helu (21%): Helu is only an option in deep leagues right now and not a starting one – yet. Alfred Morris‘ backup put up just one rush for five yards and one catch for 11 yards but this pickup isn’t based on his production, rather Morris’ lack thereof. The Eagles defense was surprisingly vicious at the line, holding Morris to 12 carries for 45 yards and a touchdown and one reception for nine yards. Not a bad effort, especially when you consider how much the Skins had to pass after falling behind early. It was Morris’ fumble on the first play of the game and the missed toss from RG3 in the redzone that turned into a safety that was most concerning. As Mike Clay of ProFootballFocus shows, rookie running back production is rarely a good predictor of future production and for everything you think you know about Morris, you don’t.