We set aside our top category this week, as the options for finding a player with an immediate fantasy impact are limited. Which is not to say that there are not any options, we have a handful of solid pickups this week and a handful of players on the radar. Injuries to key players across the league are forcing teams to reach down their depth charts, creating an opportunity for fantasy owners to capitalize on. There’s something for everyone in this week’s waiver wonders!
RB Chris Polk, Houston
The loss of Arian Foster, this time for sure for the rest of the season, opens up opportunity in the Texans backfield. Let’s be honest, we have been here before and seen what Alfred Blue can, and perhaps more specifically, cannot do. Given the opportunity earlier this season, Blue performed well in only one game then nursed a toe injury as Foster got back onto the playing field. Polk will be in the mix, and will be given just as much opportunity as Blue to be the lead back. This is a situation that will take a few games to sort out, grab Polk now.
WR Danny Amendola, New England
The Patriots are not even trying to run the ball anymore, relying on the pass early and often, and even in the waning moments of the game when they are “running out” the clock. Amendola backed up a seven-catch 105-yard performance against the Colts by putting up 86 yards on eight catches plus a touchdown grab against the Jets. Brandon LaFell returned for New England, and he was hideous, leaving Amendola as a key option in the prolific Patriots passing attack.
WR Nate Washington, Houston
The loss of Arian Foster will force the Texans to pass the ball more, bumping up the fantasy value of everyone involved in that passing game not named Hoyer or Mallett. Washington came alive this week against the Dolphins, going for 127 yards on nine catches, two of them for touchdowns. Houston has a favorable matchup this week against the Titans, so Washington is a player that can be used right away.
On the Radar
WR Robert Woods, Buffalo
Injuries to Sammy Watkins and Percy Harvin have provided Woods the opportunity to see plenty of playing time. This week against the Jaguars, he responded by catching nine passes for 84 yards and a touchdown. The wide receiver situation in Buffalo seems to be a revolving door with injuries, keep an eye on things and if Woods is on the field, he is a viable fantasy option.
TE Vernon Davis, San Francisco
The struggles of Colin Kaepernick have brought down the fantasy value of the entire offense, but this past week Davis showed some signs of fantasy life. He has been in and out of the lineup battling injury, but against the Seahawks be clicked with Kaepernick four times for 61 yards. Davis has proven in the past to be a valuable fantasy commodity, we will drop him on the radar to see if he continues to be involved in the offense.
WR Tyler Lockett, Seattle
Lockett has been the definition of hit-or-miss this season, catching either four, two, or zero passes in games this season. This week against the 49ers, he caught five passes for 79 yards and a touchdown, which in the Seattle offense, is a top-notch game for a wideout. We would like to see some consistency, so for now, we will put him on the radar to see if he can be a week-to-week performer that can be trusted.