If there is ever a better example of continually attacking the waiver wire and churning the bottom of your roster it is the Patriots’ “WR1” Meyers.
Three weeks ago, Meyers started to see an opportunity in a blowout loss to the 49ers with 6 targets. The following week he increased his targets to 10, in a close loss to the Bills. This past week, he absolutely exploded with fourteen (14) targets, turning that into 12 catches for 169 yards.
If you started Meyers this week, you most likely won. More importantly, if you listened to THE BREAKOUT FINDER and paid attention to our Waiver Grabs and Dumpster Dives, you could have added Meyers for almost nothing this past week. In a very competitive league, I was able to add Meyers for a 7% FAB bid. This week? He would go for 50%, assuming he was even still available.
The idea is always to get ahead of the production and look for usage patterns. Targets and carries are nice, but you also need to look at snaps and routes run. To put it more simply: We want players on the field a lot. As simple as that sounds, it is the first step to production. This time of year usage increases matter a great deal. Players get injured, players breakdown, and new opportunities present themselves. Guys like Travis Fulgham, and now Meyers, can carry you to the playoffs.
Now, we’re on to Week 10.
As always, our threshold is players rostered in less than 20% of Yahoo! leagues.
Drew Lock QB Denver (20%)
Lock has produced well in fantasy after coming off of the IR. The Broncos fell into a big hole this past weekend against Atlanta, but Lock was able to rack up points in garbage time. The young weapons in the Denver receiving core seem to be taking a step forward. Lock can be used in 2QB leagues (superflex), and can be considered as a streamer in all leagues this week against a leaky Las Vegas Raiders’ defense.
Jake Luton QB Jacksonville (3%)
Luton looks like the QB to roster in Jacksonville. This is a dark day for Gardner Minshew-lovers, but the 6-6 Luton started out well with over 300-yards passing in a competitive loss to Houston. He should be rostered in 2QB leagues.
Rex Burkead RB New England (19%)
The Patriots’ backfield is a mess for fantasy purposes with three backs seeing work. However, Burkhead continues to see opportunities every game. Hopefully we get clarity today as to Damien Harris’ injury, but if Harris misses, Burkhead would see a lot of work in tough match-up against Baltimore.
Kalen Ballage RB LA Chargers (1%)
Ballage has been a fantasy punchline in the past with some truly awful play. But there is a reason teams keep signing him every time he moves on: He is 6-2, 230 and runs a 4.4 forty-yard dash.
At the end of the day, this is the NFL, and elite athletes will get more looks. The 24-year old Ballage seems to be in a potential situation where he could see a real opportunity. This past weekend, Ballage had 15 rushing attempts for 69 yards and a score. He also had 3 catches. He looked fresh and confident. Stranger things have happened in 2020, and Ballage seeing another starter’s workload this weekend should not shock anyone.
Troymaine Pope RB LA Chargers (1%)
Pope played well two weeks ago, but then saw no work this weekend. How the Chargers view him for this week is anyone’s guess. In very deep leagues, he can be a cheap add just to see how things play out in the backfield.
Duke Johnson RB Houston (17%)
The fantasy community has always loved Duke Johnson — and for good reason:
He is a great receiving back and a capable runner. When David Johnson left with a concussion last week, [Duke] Johnson filled in and found the end zone. If [David] Johnson misses, the other Johnson will be a very good start this week against Cleveland (his former team). He will be a very popular play in DFS this week, as well.
Brian Hill RB Atlanta (13%)
Just a reminder that Hill is the handcuff in Atlanta. Roster handcuffs this time of year if you have an open spot.
Devontae Booker RB Las Vegas (1%)
Booker rushed for 68 yards on only 8 carries last weekend. Josh Jacobs was banged up all week, but was able to go. Last season, Jacobs got injured and DeAndre Washington became a league winner. If Jacobs were to miss, Booker would see a substantial role. Consider rostering Booker now.
Preston Williams WR Miami (18%)
Williams had to leave the game with a foot injury this past weekend. He sustained the injury on a touchdown catch. It sounds like he will miss this week, but will not be gone for long. If he is cut consider adding him for cheap. He could be useful depth to have during the playoffs if he develops a connection with new starting signal-caller, Tua Tagavailoa.
Darnell Mooney WR Chicago (17%)
We recommended Mooney multiple times in this article, including last week.
This past weekend, Chicago fell behind, and Mooney actually out-targeted Allen Robinson (11-9). He has a very high ADOT and a ton of air yards to go along with a solid target share. Mooney now faces off against Minnesota in a winnable match-up where he should see a few deep balls. If you need a spot-start FLEX or WR3, this is potential high-reward play (with risk, obviously).
Richie James WR San Francisco (2%)
James exploded on Thursday Night with 184-yards and a touchdown in a game where Brandon Aiyuk, Kendrick Bourne and Deebo Samuel all missed.
Aiyuk will be back, and Samuel could be back. If Samuel misses, James could be used this week. He flashed talent and the 49ers should be in garbage time against New Orleans.
Jakobi Meyers WR New England (13%)
This is the pass-catcher to own in New England, and most likely the best offensive skill player to own for the rest of the season. His ceiling was reveled this past weekend. Do not expect another 150-yard-plus performance, but getting 8-plus targets a game is realistic, and the type of reliable volume we want.
Breshad Perriman WR NY Jets (7%)
Joe Flacco started and nearly pulled off the win in an overtime loss to New England on Monday Night. Perriman scored twice, and went over 100-yards receiving. The Jets are on a bye and it is a bad offense with three receivers who should see targets, but if you are desperate for a WR3-4, Perriman can be added cheap.
K.J. Hamler WR Denver (2%)
We recommended Hamler this past weekend on Dumpster Diving, and he did not disappoint.
Hamler saw the most volume he has seen all season with 10 targets this past weekend against Atlanta. The second-round draft pick is one of the faster wideouts in the NFL. He can be a speculative add to see if this sort of volume sustains. He also could be a dart throw this week against Las Vegas if your team is in a bind (think desperation FLEX or WR3).
Danny Amendola WR Detroit (2%)
The veteran Amendola had 10 targets and 7 catches this past weekend for Detroit. He led the team in both. If you need a spot-start this weekend, Amendola can be considered as long as Kenny Golladay is out.
Denzel Mims WR NY Jets (7%)
Another second-round pick, Mims is a very talented rookie in a terrible situation.
It is reasonable to think that after the bye week, his role could grow. But this is an Adam Gase-coached team and all bets are off, even if the team is 0-9. Mims did lead the Jets with 8 targets against New England; we need to bet on talent and opportunity, and Mims has both. Stash him.
Irv Smith TE Minnesota (7%)
We have written about Smith so many times this past season.
Smith saw low volume, but produced with two (2) touchdown catches this past weekend against Chicago. All productivity at TE needs to be looked at considering what a mess the position has been for many fantasy teams this season. Smith is a TE2 with upside.
Jacob Hollister TE Seattle (0%)
Hollister has clearly passed Greg Olsen in the tight end-pecking order for Seattle. The main issue for searching for TE production in Seattle is that three players play and see targets, and the total volume is low. This is a speculative add on the hope that Hollister can continue to see a growing role and if he does, he could be a useful player as the season progresses.
Ross Dwelley TE San Francisco (8%)
Dwelley is a TE2 and nothing more, but we must monitor this situation post-George Kittle. Dwelley was well ahead of Jordan Reed in Reed’s first game off IR. He caught 3 passes for 52 yards. In the TE wasteland, and in deep leagues, Dwelley may be needed. This week, the entire 49ers offense may get smothered at New Orleans.