If you play in a deep fantasy football league, you have to hit the waiver wire hard every Tuesday to improve your lineup. There are a lot more players off the board than in standard 10- and 12-team leagues so it’s important to look for potential since anyone already producing will be quickly snatched up. Let’s take a look at some players who might not have great standard league value but could be steals on the deep league waiver wire.
Danny Woodhead: Unlike the other players on this list, Woodhead does have immediate value in almost all leagues, especially PPR. With Danario Alexander and Malcom Floyd sidelined, Rivers has turned toWoodhead and Antonio Gates as his primary targets. It’s rare that a team so depleted at receiver would lean so heavily on their passing attack but Ryan Mathews can’t be relied upon so it’ll be Phil Rivers’ show most of the time. With that in mind, Mathews has just seven receptions to Woodhead’s 22. Woodhead has been targeted at 24 times over the Chargers’ last three games and has come away with 20 receptions and two touchdowns. He’s also run the ball 19 times for 90 yards, a strong 4.7 yards per carry. Woodhead figures to be a big part of the Bolts’ passing attack and is a must-grab in PPR leagues.
Rashad Jennings: With Darren McFadden leaving Sunday’s game with a hamstring injury and Marcel Reece joining him with a knee injury, third-stringer Rashard Jennings carried the load against the Redskins with 15 rushes for 45 yards and eight receptions for 71 yards. If he gets the start against the Chargers in Week 5, he figures to be a must-own in deep leagues, especially in PPR formats.
Roy Helu Jr.: Helu has been one of my favorite stashes this season since he’s the only running back option outside of Alfred Morris in Washington. With Morris leaving early with a rib injury on Sunday, Helu ran 13 times for 41 yards while catching two passes for 43 yards. The Redskins have a bye in Week 5 so Morris will be all healed up by the next game but with Morris’ lack of production in the passing game and how often the Redskins are playing catch-up and not running the ball, Helu remains a good stash.
Mike Goodson: After being suspended for the first four games, Goodson will return to the Jets in Week 5 and it couldn’t come at a better time with Chris Ivory sidelined by a hammy injury. The Jets didn’t hold on to Goodson through all his legal troubles just to keep him on the bench. Although he missed almost all of the 2011 season, Goodson owns a solid 4.5 yards per carry over 160 rushes with the Panthers and Raiders. He’s also a very good receiving back, catching all 16 of his targets for 195 yards and a touchdown in Oakland last year and 40 catches for 310 yards in 2010 with Carolina. Just because he hasn’t been around the first four weeks doesn’t mean he should be ignored on the waiver wire.
Robert Woods: Rookie receivers are problematic in fantasy but they also grow as the season moves along. Robert Woods hasn’t seen a ton of success just yet but he’s getting the opportunities and that’s all fantasy owners can really wish for. After seeing few looks in Weeks 1 and 2 (five receptions, 86 yards, one touchdown), Woods has been targeted 18 times over the last two games and has seen more snaps than number one receiver Stevie Johnson in both. The problem with Woods is that he’s only caught six of those 18 targets but, like fellow rookie Kenbrell Thompkins, he’s getting the chances to produce which gives him solid fantasy value. He already has two touchdowns and while he may not have the best hands, he’ll continue to get plenty of looks from EJ Manuel.
Nate Washington: Washington has seen at least seven targets in three of his four games this year and has piled up 12 receptions on 18 targets for 236 yards and two touchdowns over the last two weeks. With Kenny Britt out of the picture, he’s the top target in Tennessee and Ryan Fitzpatrick is going to have to look his way often.
Jerome Simpson: His inconsistency is troublesome but deep leaguers can’t ignore a guy with 342 yards over the first four weeks. Though he’s been kept out of the endzone, he’s been targeted at least eight times in three of his four games and 11 times by Matt Cassel on Sunday. If Cassel starts again, Simpson looks like his go-to guy since his 11 targets were seven more than the second-most targeted receiver Greg Jennings.