Tuesday - Mar 26, 2019

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Week 5 Waiver Wire Pickups

I’m cutting out the ‘Smokin Hot’ category, at least for this week. Nothing really stands out to me in the free agent world, at least nothing that should still be available in most leagues that warrants being tagged as ‘Hot Hot Hot’. We’ve got some players listed as the waiver wire is always a place you should be looking. A handful of wideouts get a mention this week to help you build a little depth at that position, and we dig deep at the running back position for the dynasty leaguer. But fear not, instead of cutting the article short, we’ll discuss the Patriots running game in detail.

I get a lot of e-mails asking me why I never have any Patriots running back mentioned in this column. The simple answer is, there are too many of them and you never know which one is going to get the bulk of the carries on a given week. Just as it was looking like Fred Taylor was going to grab the mantle as the featured back on a regular basis, Fragile Freddy gets hurt and is out for an extended period of time, perhaps as long as the entire season. This past week, many thought the opportunity was there for Laurence Maroney to establish himself as the guy, but he saw the ball only five times and ran for 21 yards. Instead, Sammy Morris was the hot hand this week, carrying the ball 17 times for 68 yards. Morris also caught a couple of balls for 39 yards. Meanwhile, Kevin Faulk is the regular third-down back in

New England. An exciting player when he gets the ball, he’s too unpredictable from week to week to be a fantasy starter. Every once in a while, the Patriots have a game plan of passing the ball for 60 minutes, which bumps up Faulk’s numbers. Again, unpredictable.

So in summary, my advice is to look elsewhere. Sure, Morris is worth a roster spot in most leagues, and Maroney is a boarderline candidate for being rostered … but you’d be better of letting it be on someone else’s roster. I would rather have a true backup RB from another team, someone that will step in and get close to 100 percent of the action should the starter get hurt. Unless three of the four guys on

New England go down to injury, there will never be a point in the season where you can put one of them in your starting fantasy lineup with confidence.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, on to this week’s not hot, but just ok, waiver wire wonders …

Solid Pickups

WR Jeremy Maclin,

Philadelphia

Maclin is certainly worth a roster spot as a reward for his two-touchdown, 142-yard performance this past week. The Eagles passing offense is inconsistent – last week Maclin, next week back to DeSean Jackson? And what about when Kevin Curtis returns from injury, coach Andy Reid says he doesn’t know what he’ll do about playing time. Those owners with the room, continue to play roulette with the last spot on your roster and grab Maclin as this week’s waiver flavor of the week. 

WR Austin Collie,

Indianapolis

Collie was mentioned in this space last week and 97 yards with two touchdowns this past week gets him another mention this week as I see him as available still in many leagues. The Colts have some favorable matchups coming up, specifically this week against the Rams.

Indianapolis will have to make a decision when Anthony Gonzalez gets back to 100 percent, but until then Collie is worth a roster spot in any format.

On The Radar

WR Miles Austin,

Dallas

Austin has a career day this past week, 250 yards and two touchdowns. Wow.  Unfortunately, the Cowboys have a bye this upcoming week and it looks like Roy Williams will be back. He is worth a roster spot in almost all formats so grab him now to build some depth at the WR position.

QB Chad Henne,

Miami

For those that are starved for a starting NFL quarterback, look no further than Henne. The new Dolphins quarterback was mentioned in this space a couple of weeks ago, and based on his performance this past Monday night, he has proven that the Wolverine bloodline at the position is indeed strong. A two-touchdown, 241-yard performance against the Jets is a signal that Henne is here to stay, and I submit that based on the matchup (i.e. vs.

New Orleans in Week 7), he is a viable spot fantasy starter to cover a bye week.

WR Mike Wallace,

Pittsburgh

As WR depth is tested with bye weeks and injury, Wallace is a viable candidate to be your third starting WR in deep leagues. Though he only caught two passes this week, one was for a touchdown and he narrowly missed another. The rookie has proved he belongs on the field, and though 2-5 catches are going to be the norm, the deep threat is just as likely to hit the endzone for those precious six fantasy points. 

WR Muhsin Muhammad,

Carolina

Looking for a spot starter that will get you at least a little something? Muhammad fits the mold. The Panthers passing offense is struggling, but Muhammad has caught at least four balls in each game this season. That’s not a lot, but a small consistent number is better than picking up a zero for the week.

Deep and/or Dynasty Only

RB Kenneth Darby, St. Louis

I’d have Darby ranked at least one grouping higher in this week’s article, except that he plays for the St. Louis Rams. He’s moved past Samkon Gado on the Rams depth chart so he’s now the backup to starter Steven Jackson. Even if

Jackson goes down, the

St. Louis running game is not worth much (anything?), but those in deep and dynasty leagues can take a look at their last couple of roster spots and decide if Darby is worth taking a chance on.

RB Jerious Norwood,

Atlanta

Continuing to dig deep into the depths to find a potential running back, we go to

Atlanta where

Norwood scored the bulk of the garbage time carries this past week. He’s getting healthy again, so he looks to be the backup to Michael Turner again.

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