Tuesday - Jan 15, 2019

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ON SECOND THOUGHT: Week 4

Rookies are a four letter word to me.  So what could have happened this last week to make me suggest more than 5 first-year players to you, my loyal readers?

To start off, first-year players hardly ever find a spot on my roster.  That wasn’t just some cute opening sentence, I really do not trust rookies on my fantasy team.  Let me put it to you this way. If I was the 12th pick in a 12-person league snake draft and Ezekiel Elliott somehow fell to me, I would have went with the next best running back and receiver on the board.  It’s nothing against rookies, I just want my players to be consistent and rookies are the most inconsistent group of players there are.

If you have a good one you will at times see flashes of brilliance, but the whole scope of work over a full season is almost always lacking.  Granted, I do miss out once in a while on some great ones but more often than not my fear of rookies has produced wise picks.  Now, after the start of this 2016 season, I may have to revise my thoughts on rookies.  Just like every once in a while you can have a single standout rookie, I am starting to believe that this is going to be a standout season for rookies overall.

My articles are always written with the idea of asking the reader to relax and get out from under the ether and make a wise decision instead of an impulse one.  Well, call me the Kool-Aid drinker because I am about to unleash more rookies (and second year) players as my picks this week for the waiver wire then I usually suggest during the course of a season, so let’s dive in and as always we’ll start with quarterbacks.

Dak Prescott has looked great this season, there is no way to talk yourself out of that.  He has done such a fine job that murmurs around the league have been talking of the QB position being his even when Tony Romo does come back.  He is available in 58% of leagues, so the good news is that he can still be picked up in a majority of them.

Prescott had not thrown a touchdown yet this season, but he had also not turned the ball over.  Some Cowboys fans didn’t even know that it was legal for a QB to go a full game without turning the ball over, true story.  Then he comes out this week and throws for 248 yards and a touchdown while running for 36 yards and another touchdown.  That was enough to get the fantasy world salivating for this week’s waiver wire.

I have to admit, if you do get Prescott he will most likely make a nice bye-week fill-in and back-up QB on your roster but he hadn’t thrown a TD or a pick for a reason.  They are keeping it simple for him.  Eventually they are going to need more from him as defenses figure him out and I don’t think he will react as well as the next two QBs I am going to talk about.  So even though I don’t hate the idea of taking Prescott off of waiver, I do still have to say, “On Second Thought,” he might not be the best QB waiver wire pick this week.  I believe that I would rather try to get Trevor Siemian or Carson Wentz instead.

What would happen if you dropped a rookie, ok, really a second year player with little to no experience, in the middle of a Super Bowl winning offense and behind one of the best Super Bowl winning defenses of all time?  Easy, you get Trevor Siemian.

Siemian, who is available in 95% of leagues, has shown  more ability to handle the reins of this high octane team than most of us believed he would.  In all fairness, it can’t be that tough when your D allows basically nothing to the opposing offense and you have C.J. Anderson behind you and Demaryius Thomas to throw to.  That being said, he has done a masterful job of doing what he needs to in order to make sure this team does not miss a beat.

He went out this weekend against a very tough Bengals team in the jungle at Cincinnati and still put up 312 yards passing and 4 touchdowns.  For all intents and purposes he seems to be something special.

Speak about special and you have to mention Carson Wentz.  Wentz, available in 81% of leagues, is showing poise during play and leadership in the huddle far, far beyond his lack of experience in the NFL.  He has put up good numbers every week so far, in fact, he has already thrown for 669 yards and 5 touchdown in this, his rookie season.

Part of those great numbers came from his Week 3 outing where he threw for 301 yards and 2 TDs against a very off balance Steelers defense.  He keeps it simple and seems to have really adjusted into coach Doug Pederson’s system, this is a guy that I feel you could grab off of the waiver wire and plug and play immediately.

The running back group joined in by surprising us this week with a couple of rookie RBs as well.  At 98% available, Wendell Smallwood is almost on waivers in every single league.  Smallwood ran for 79 yards and 1 touchdown in his Week 3 match-up against Pittsburgh.

The problem is, every Eagles RB had a good day, and Smallwood is 4th on the depth chart.  I unfortunately see this one as a one-time wonder situation. I would not rush to the waiver wire for him if I were you.  Instead, you may want to consider the likes of DeAndre Washington and Jordan Howard.

Washington only had 57 yards rushing this last week and 5 yards receiving, but it was on only 6 carries and one reception.  He made the most out of what he was given and according to the Raider coaching staff has earned a similar amount of touches, if not more, this next week.

In other words, he seems to be impressing the powers that be and they seem like they are willing to encourage him as long as he continues to produce. He is a long shot, but he is not even close to as long of a shot as Smallwood, so grab Washington and stash him for bye weeks or in case Latavius Murray gets injured.

Jordan Howard on the other hand has got some extra chances now because Jeremy Langford, who has been ineffective for the most part this season, is reportedly out for 4-6 weeks.  Couple that with Ka’Deem Carey‘s hamstring injury and you just might have yourself a starting running back over the next few weeks.

He’s not just any starting running back who got his job to injury, no.  He is available in 84% of leagues and ran for 45 yards on just 9 carries and caught 4 balls for 47 yards.  Look, he can do it all out of the backfield.  He is the only running back that made the team that is not hurt and, oh yeah, he’s pretty good too.  With the amount of garbage time minutes that will be available for anyone in a Bears uniform this season, I believe Howard is the running back to grab this week.

About Rick Olson

Rick joined FantasySharks,com as a staff writer in 2013, though he fell in love with fantasy football in 1988 with the first league he played in. In his articles he tries to feature players off the radar or deeper than most since, in his experience, by the time a player is a waiver wire "must have" they are not usually available in most leagues.