Waiver Wire Dumpster Diving Week 13
Waiver Wire Dumpster Diving takes you beyond the obvious plays and helps you find undervalued gems for deep leagues.
By Week 13 you probably thought you were done needing this column, and then Michael Crabtree went and tried to punch Aqib Talib in his helmet and both players got a two-game suspension.
There are still plenty of undervalued players available that can add to your fantasy lineup and keep you in the playoffs, even if one of your stars were to have a series of unfortunate events come their way.
Each week, I look for candidates owned in 10% or less of ESPN leagues
RICKY SEALS-JONES (1.5% OWNED)
The undrafted free agent rookie out of Texas A&M is probably not a name you are very familiar with, but Seals-Jones could be a poor man’s version of Evan Engram. The wide receiver to tight end convert had not seen the field in 2017 until Week 11 and even then he has only logged limited snaps. However, when he is on the field, he has been getting targets. In Week 12, out of his 17 snaps on the field, 12 were passing plays. Over the last two weeks, he has seen 11 targets, racking up 126 yards and three touchdowns.
There is reason to believe he sees even more use moving forward too. In an interview with Arizona Sports 98.7FM, Cardinals General Manager Steve Keim raved about Seals-Jones;
“The guy that continues to impress me is Ricky Seals-Jones… the one thing you see on tape, you see the mismatches he creates… it encourages you to think about moving forward with a guy that we really haven’t had in this offense in a long time, a mismatch tight end.”
Last week I theorized that Jermaine Gresham should get picked up as the switch to Blaine Gabbert under center would be a good thing for the TE position. But after seeing a second week of Seals-Jones and hearing what the organization thinks of the rookie, I admit I was wrong on which TE should get picked up in all leagues. I’m still holding true to the reasoning, just changing which guy on the depth chart is the better buy.
MIKE DAVIS (0.9% OWNED)
Neither of the two players to start the season atop of the Seahawks depth chart at running back have done anything this season to keep their job. J.D. McKissic would be the best fit if they schemed their offense to mask a porous offensive line, but head coach Pete Carroll has said that Mike Davis will be back for Week 13. He’s likely to get another crack at the lead role. Eddie Lacy failed to impress when given the volume, again rushing for only 46 yards on 17 carries,1 and the Seahawks seem unwilling to use McKissic in anything beyond the third-down role.
The Seahawks cannot continue to function with Russell Wilson as their top rusher, and after their Week 13 matchup against Philly, their offense really opens up for the RB position. Weeks 14 through 16 they face Jacksonville, the Los Angeles Rams, and Dallas, defenses allowing the 17th, 2nd, and 12th most fantasy points to the RB position respectively. It’s not often you can pick up a potential workhorse back on a playoff-caliber team this late in the season.
CORDARRELLE PATTERSON (0.6% OWNED)
We already know Michael Crabtree is going to miss the next two games, and there is a chance Amari Cooper (concussion) misses a game or two as well. Since both of those players averaged a 90-plus percent snap count, that leaves a lot of opportunity up for grabs. Patterson should be able to take advantage of that opening. When Crabtree missed time in Week 8, he saw an uptick to 90 percent of the snaps.
Over the past 2 weeks, Patterson has only seen four targets in each competition, but his 16.7 yards per reception over that same span demonstrates his electric playmaking ability. If Cooper misses time, Patterson is their most explosive playmaker and brings something on the field no other Raider does. One simple screen pass could make your fantasy day. If you are in a league where you get points for kick returns, he brings increased value in that facet as well.
JIMMY GAROPPOLO (6.6% OWNED)
It’s not certain that Garoppolo starts Week 13. However, if they don’t name him the starter (hopefully by the time you read this), I have no idea what Shanahan and company are doing down there in the bay area. But if C.J. Beathard’s leg/hip injury sidelines him for any period of time, there won’t be a choice for the rookie head coach.
During his fill-in stint for Tom Brady in 2016, Garoppolo threw for 496 yards, four TDs, no interceptions, and 8.5 yards per attempt in the two games he started. In last week’s garbage time relief effort, he completed both of his pass attempts and threw for a score against Seattle’s secondary. It’s a small sample size but a very promising sample. Garoppolo also has nice playoff schedule facing Houston and Tennessee who are both in the top 10 in fantasy points given up to the QB position over the last four weeks.2 You will need to find a different streaming option when he faces Jacksonville in Week 16.
*A great tool to check all players playoff matchups is the RotoViz “Buy Low Machine”. I used it to check all players upcoming match-ups for this piece.