Waiver Wire Dumpster Diving Week 7
Week 6 goes in the “win” column for Dumpster Dives with guys like Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Cameron Brate, and Josh Doctson coming up big while JuJu Smith-Shuster and Ryan Griffin got a lot of snaps and targets and showed more promise going forward. With more bye weeks and some unfortunate injuries, the waiver wire promises to be active. If you miss out on your top targets, however, these Dumpster Dive guys will likely still be there for you.
I look for candidates owned in less than 10 percent of ESPN leagues.
BENNIE FOWLER III (1.7% OWNED)
Fowler’s usage has been sporadic at best, having seen three, seven, two then eight targets over the past four weeks. That kind of inconsistency is something I typically avoid. However, with Emmanuel Sanders set to miss some time with a sprained ankle, a lot of targets open up and Fowler seems to be the next man up.
In the five games Denver has played, Sanders has 42 targets or 8.4 targets per game. Fowler is actually third on the team in targets with 24 for the season or just under five per game. So if Fowler does step into Sanders role, especially for longer than one week, he could see a large uptick in usage. Siemian is also not afraid to look Fowler’s way in the red zone as Fowler already has four targets in that area, second-most among receivers for the Broncos (right behind Sanders, who has six).
Denver is matched up versus the Los Angeles Chargers. The Chargers are currently giving up the ninth-most fantasy points to wide receivers, allowing 24.4 points on average to the position. Furthermore, when referencing the Buy Low Machine App, you can see that if Sanders misses more than a game or two, Fowler can have some serious long-term value for your team. Seven of the Broncos remaining matchups are favorable for the receiver position.
DION LEWIS (6.5% OWNED)
Last week I gave Lewis an “honorable mention,” and this week he is still under-owned. I can’t pass up the low hanging fruit, so I’m including Lewis as a full-fledged Dumpster Dive candidate this week. For four straight weeks, Lewis has seen an increase in rushing attempts and is rushing the ball for 5.03 yards per carry for the season. This is also his second week in a row with over 50 yards rushing.
After Mike Gillislee fumbled in the second quarter, Lewis got the bulk of the carries, including a goal-line carry which he converted. Lewis also has as many red zone looks (carries plus targets), five, as Gillislee over the past three weeks.
James White has seen the bulk of the targets from the backfield thus far, whereas Gillislee doesn’t have a single target in the passing game. Lewis is the best dual threat in the Patriots backfield. In 2015, when Lewis had his breakout campaign, he did the bulk of his damage in the passing game. In 2017 he has shown impressive burst and elusiveness rushing as well. If Lewis is back to his 2015 form, before his knee injury, he could be a league-winning waiver wire pickup.
ORLEANS DARKWA (4.3% OWNED)
Finally! I’ve been saying Darkwa is the best running back on the Giants roster for a year now, and in Week 6 he finally got a chance to show he should have the lead role. Sunday night against the tough Denver run defense, Darkwa toted the ball at 5.6 yards per carry for 117 yards in total and added a 13-yard reception as the cherry on top.
With all of the injuries plaguing the Giants offense, the coaching staff needed to flip the script in some way. Week 6 was the blueprint to life without Odell Beckham as Eli Manning attempted a season-low 19 passes. Until then, Manning’s season low in attempts was 32. Darkwa got the bulk of that redistributed workload and made a strong case for the No. 1 role, hitting his holes decisively, running hard, and showing some decent burst on his 47-yard run in the second quarter. Wayne Gallman, who ran for three yards per carry in the same game, has been unimpressive this season when given opportunity.
GEORGE KITTLE (9.2% OWNED)
The rookie tight end from Iowa is a SPARQ freak, scoring top among the 2017 rookies at his position. His 4.52 40-yard dash time, speed score, agility score, and catch radius are all in the 94th percentile or higher for TEs. And now he is getting paired up with rookie quarterback C.J. Beathard, who was also drafted out of Iowa. Normally a change under center is reason for me to pause, at least a week, to see how roles develop. However, I have to believe that some familiarity and chemistry is baked into these two and that should bode well for an athletic TE in the middle of the field.
Week 6, Kittle was on the field for 91 percent of the team’s offensive plays and received eight targets, seven of them coming after Beathard took over for Hoyer. For the season, Kittle has had a 77.4 percent snap share and has seen 49 targets on the season or 8.2 targets per game. Even if the 49ers dial down their pass attempts with Beathard under center, Kittle has become a key cog in the offense.