We’re only a few weeks away from the fantasy football playoffs! There are six teams on bye this week, so here are our much-needed waiver wire suggestions.
J.J. Nelson, Ari WR
Did you miss on J.J. when we mentioned him last week? Probably. Are you going to miss again this week because the Cardinals are on bye? Probably. At the start of the season, the Cardinals looked like they had the most talented receiver rotation in the NFL with Fitz, David Johnson, John Brown, Michael Floyd, Jaron Brown, and J.J. Nelson. Jaron Brown tore his ACL, Michael Floyd didn’t even record a reception last week, John Brown is liable to miss a game at any time with sickle cell, and Fitz is dealing with an ankle sprain. Arians has gone on record saying J.J. didn’t fill in for anybody because that’s his job right now and somebody has to take it back (J.J. did play 65 of 71 snaps).
Tim Hightower, NO RB
Mark Ingram fumbled again and this time got benched right away. Hightower is 30 years old without much tread on his tires and looked pretty good running against a tough Seattle defense. It’s hard to put much stock in the Saints publicly saying they want to get him more involved when Drew Brees would rather pad his stats with fades and quick slants inside the 5 yard line. Hightower has reached legitimate handcuff status again and should be picked up by all Ingram owners.
Charcandrick West, KC RB
Spencer Ware is probably in NFL concussion protocol and is considered questionable for the soft matchup against the Jags. Jamaal Charles is getting his knee checked again this week and wasn’t even active last week. The Chiefs are insisting Alex Smith doesn’t have a concussion, but it doesn’t really matter who is taking snaps or running for the Chiefs with the Jags in town.
Antone Smith/Peyton Barber, TB RB
Probably best not to bet on one of these guys to start for you this week, but they could pay dividends once the backfield resolves itself. Doug Martin is still mysteriously not practicing with a hamstring issue and Rodgers is dealing with a sprained foot. Smith/Barber are the best lottery tickets of the week.
Rob Kelley, Was RB
Kelley is a less talented, slower, older Matt Jones who doesn’t fumble. Matt Jones will probably be back in the rotation after the bye, but Kelley is still worth the handcuff and bench spot at this point.
Kapri Bibbs, Den RB
Booker left for a short period time after sustaining a shoulder injury, but returned later in the game. He is going through more tests on his shoulder and the feeling is he will be fine to play this week. Booker’s injury status and fumble at the goal line make Bibbs a great handcuff to own or to stash at the end of your bench.
Tyreke Hill, KC WR
Hill is pretty tempting as a spot start if Nick Foles is starting. With a strong rushing attack and Jeremy Maclin drawing defensive attention, the Chiefs have given receivers like Albert Wilson and Chris Conley every chance to solidify their spot in the rotation. Hill is taking advantage of his opportunity with 4 touchdowns on the season and looks to have earned his playing time.
Ryan Matthews, Phi RB
As an Eagles fan, it’s pretty satisfying to see Matthews starting gig in jeopardy because he can’t hang onto the ball. Now if we could only send that message to our receivers. It was also super satisfying to see Sproles in the backfield for a majority of the game. The backfield could turn back into a 3 or 4 headed monster at any time so it’s probably best to dangle Matthews on the trade block after his next decent game.
Hunter Henry, SD TE
It was a good run while it lasted, but Antonio Gates is back to running his 5.2 forty yard dash routes. Rivers only has eyes for one tight end at a time and until the Chargers finally move on from Gates, Henry will be relegated to blocking duty.