Andy’s Week 9 Waiver Wire Pick-ups
By Andrew 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 LaGarrette Blount, Patriots
The sixth year former Oregon Duck is always an intriguing fantasy player. He is a great option when the Patriots plan to run the ball over 20 times in a game, but the back can certainly hurt you like he did the prior week with negative three yards rushing against the Jets.
Blount started the game against Miami, running low and powerfully, and carried defenders with him like a battering ram storming a castle. The runner does a great job falling forward and always keeps his legs chopping while throwing out a stiff-arm or two to keep defenders off his body. Fellow New England back, Dion Lewis, is more of a complete player, but Blount can grind out yards against seven and eight man fronts that Lewis cannot. The Patriots are playing six bottom half teams against the run during the next eight games which could be a fantasy goldmine for Blount owners. His 18 touches for 74 yards against Miami might not win you match ups, but depending on game script, he should get some goal line carries as well. I would spend 5-10% of my budget to grab Blount.
WR Rishard Matthews
The fourth year receiver was thought to barely be holding onto his roster spot in the preseason only to become one of the Dolphins best weapons despite the additions of Kenny Stills and first rounder DeVante Parker. Mathews lined up mostly on the outside, is a good hand fighter with decent concentration on the sidelines. The wide out adjusts well to the ball in the air and can pluck it in tight coverage, but had his share of concentration issues. This included him letting a defensive back cutting in front of the receiver for an interception.
Matthews has the skill set of a WR2 or WR3 with his limited speed and quickness along with the emergence of second year Jarvis Landry, so I doubt he will be more than a flex player. It was encouraging to see the fourth year wide out got 12 targets, which was four more targets than Landry. The Dolphins get to face five teams that have bottom 16 pass defenses over the next month and a half, so Matthews could still have a role to play. Pick him up for a minimum bid.
RB Theo Riddick, Lions
The diminutive third year rusher has made most of his fantasy impact catching the pigskin, instead of running the ball. He had six receptions for 30 yards on seven targets while chipping in 17 yards on five carries in London. Riddick has quick feet, uses spin moves, soft hands, and good balance to be an effective producer in the Lions dismal passing game. The back does well pass blocking, stepping up and taking on blitzers. There were several times he lined up as an outside receiver on five wide sets. With Joique Bell looking healthier as an inside runner (seven carries for 56 yards against the Chiefs), Riddick’s role in the passing game looks safer with Ameer Abdullah getting one one rushing carry and playing mostly special teams returner roles. Riddick does his best work on screens and in space. The Lions defense has not been able to slow down offenses, so this receiving back’s job appears to be more important than ever. I would spend 10% of my remaining bidding dollars to get him on my roster.
RB Charcandrick West, Chiefs
When Jamaal Charles went down to injury, most of the fantasy community were sure that Knile Davis would be the benefactor. This second year free agent from Abilene Christian has taken the huge opportunity and made the role his own. Now the runner has created back to back fantasy relevant efforts (24 touches for 122 yards and a touchdown versus Detroit). West is a smooth runner, who glides through the line of scrimmage, getting small, and uses a few spin moves to get free in the open. While he is not much of a pass blocker, the back has soft hands and can get into the flat in a hurry. The new Chief runner did a great job knifing through the line on the way to the end zone. West has decent vision, loose hips, and a nice burst that make him dangerous in space. I would spend the rest of my bank on him as Andy Reed has already proven he can make the most out of the offensive weapons that he has.