Andy’s Week 13 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 or even ones to avoid. 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 Jeremy Langford, Chicago Bears
*Note Langford is still un-owned in 15-20% of leagues on most big sites.
The rookie back is more smooth than physical, which worked well in the Big Ten, but not as well in the NFC Central. Langford has average vision and sometimes struggles to find the running lanes quickly. There were too many times the runner bounced the play to the outside when there was enough space to work inside. He has average straight ahead speed with a 4.42 timed forty, but finds difficulty, at times, to move laterally. I believe the rookie has average leg drive, making him less than effective in short yardage situations, but he did look better than a gimpy Matt Forte on Thanksgiving. The back finished with twelve carries for 48 yards with a short yardage touchdown.
The former Spartan split out wide a few times in five receiver sets or got sent in motion to get a free release off the line. When lining up in the backfield, Langford works best without a fullback to get in his way. The runner increases his effectiveness in space when he uses spin moves, stiff-arms, and his bouncy feet to make defenders miss. He displays a lot of patience on counters and misdirection plays that take advantage of his north and south speed especially in the open field when the back can find that extra burst. Langford protects the ball well, falls forward, and shows off a good center of gravity making it quite difficult to bring him down. He is a good blocker in the passing game by shadowing the blitzer, firing out to them, and by not giving up. The back struggled catching the ball, only corralling one of the three passes thrown his way. Two throws bounced off him and both of those passes were almost intercepted by the Packers, so the runner needs to make sure he isn’t knocking the pigskin up in the air for anyone else to snag.
His size 6’ 208 lbs, along with his lack of wiggle, makes it hard to envision him as a long term lead back. He reminds me quite a bit of former Giant/Colt Ahmad Bradshaw, but without the toughness. But with Forte moving on after this season, I would expect Langford to be a huge dynasty asset. Grab him with ten percent of what you have left of your waiver budget.
WR DeVante Parker, Miami Dolphins
The former first round rookie out of Louisville has spent most of his first ten professional games learning his craft or fighting off injury when he should have been playing. However, when Rishard Matthews got knocked out of the game, the former Cardinal broke out of his shell catching four passes for 80 yards, and a touchdown on ten targets. Parker has the most physical presence of any other Dolphin receiver, but that kind of power based game seemed to lead to significant injuries during both the college and beginning of his professional career.
At 6’ 3” 209 lbs, the wide out gets to full speed in a hurry while running a full route tree. He disguises his routes well and does a great job of tracking the ball in the air while running underneath it. Parker shields the pigskin well from defenders, using his body well to win jump balls especially in the redzone. His amazing body control is one of his biggest assets along with his huge catch radius. He needs to become a bigger physical presence against stronger NFL corners as he lacks in power despite a solid frame. The receiver tends to let the ball bounce off his shoulders instead of plucking it out of the air to make it his. His run blocking needs some help as he is playing in a run first offense. The Dolphins need to develop another receiving threat alongside Jarvis Landry and Parker is more of a Brandon Marshall to Landry’s Eric Decker. At this time, I would be willing to spend five percent of my waiver wire monies to get the Miami rookie, but remember his continual playing time is not guaranteed.