Andy’s Week 4 Waiver Wire Pick-ups

Fantasy Football Waiver Wire

By Andy Miley:


There is nothing more important to keeping yourself connected to a fantasy league than by working the waiver wire every week. Inseason management is crucial to fantasy football success. Keep those juices flowing by reading this column every week as it will provide you with a few players that might be available to improve your team. I only play in point per reception leagues (sorry for the last five years and my mindset makes it too difficult to go back for standard scoring), so consider that when reviewing my advice.

RB Matt Jones, Washington

This 2015 third round pick made a major impact the week before against the St. Louis Rams rushing for over 120 yards and two touchdowns. Jones has quick feet, can start and stop on a dime, uses spin moves, and has decent vision. When the runner has room to operate, he can make defenders miss, knifing through the line of scrimmage. The problem is the former Gator is not great in short yardage situations and tries to cut too many of his runs to the outside. I see him as more of a slasher, who will always need a complimentary back who can run with inside power.

Jones leads the Washington offense in carries so far this season, but veteran Alfred Morris is still a danger to syphon touches away. During the game against the Giants, another threat emerged in the diminutive Chris Thompson. Although the former Gator caught all of his passing targets sent his way this season, there were only three targets. Thompson grabbed nine of the 13 attempts in his direction. Jones was a part-time player at Florida and has not shown a proclivity to being a good receiver (19 career college receptions). The rookie is a decent pass blocker, but needs to anchor better. When Washington falls behind, Thompson might be the only play the coaching staff trusts. Some people might raise some cain when they look at Jones’ fumble into the end zone for a touchback. It was a result of Jones trying to spin away from the clutches of a defender, but he needs protect the ball if he wants to continue leading his team in carries.

I know this won’t be a popular opinion, but Jones is a good two down threat who needs to work on his pass protection and hands if he ever wants to be a true lead NFL back or major fantasy factor. Fantasy owners who can grab him off the waiver wire should be willing to spend 10-20% of their budget. Don’t grab Jones expecting an every week starter though.

RB Bilal Powell, Jets

The fifth year back from Louisville got called into action for the injured Chris Ivory, who remained active for the Jets, but did not play against the Eagles. I thought Powell had been misused last season with Chris Johnson in the fold. Perhaps with the creative Chan Gailey as the New York offensive coordinator, the fifth year back can get closer to the almost 1000 combined yardage and 40 catch runner he was back in 2013. The Jets did not run him downhill, instead they used Powell mostly in space with the New York back finishing with ten carries for 31 yards and with seven catches for 44 yards in Giants stadium.

Powell uses his soft hands well, while playing more like a change of pace runner, who occasionally lines up in the slot or split out in five receiver empty back sets. He got relieved, at times, by Zac Stacy, but the Jets coaching staff used him more often proving their trust in him. The back has a bit of a wiggle and runs best in the open field to show off his lateral agility. Powell got small in the hole and made the first guy miss on plays that got blocked well. He did most of his running damage on delays, but showed full effort every time the back touched the pigskin. The runner creates room with a well-timed spin move to avoid would-be tacklers and got out of bounds to help preserve time when the Jets were trying to get back into this game. As a pass blocker, Powell did a good job stepping up and keeping pressure off Ryan Fitzpatrick.

Powell’s value on the waiver wire depends on if you own Ivory and the scoring of the league (remember I’m at least a half point PPR snob). I feel that the fifth year former Louisville back is worth about 5-10% of an owner’s budget if they need a bye week back as I expect Ivory to fight the injury bug for most of the year.

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