Before the season I wrote an article about some deep waiver wire targets to help turnover the bottom of your roster with high upside fliers. A few of the names (Kyle Jusczyk and Nathan Peterman) have done little to reward their owners and have been likely dropped in most leagues. A few players, however, have flashed enough potential to stick on the back-end of rosters. Tarik Cohen, Paul Richardson, and Mack Hollins have each flashed varying levels of promise.
Today I’m back with some midseason waiver wire suggestions. As always, these are deep waiver wire targets so only add these players if you have room to spare on the bottom of your roster, but these shots in the dark can have substantial payoffs. And if you’re looking for some redraft waiver wire targets be sure to check out the awesome work some of my colleagues here at Fantasy Assembly have been doing throughout the year.
Rod Smith, RB, Cowboys
It hasn’t yet been determined how the carries will work out in Dallas during Ezekiel Elliott’s six game suspension, but Smith is by far the most intriguing option for dynasty owners. Veterans Alfred Morris and Darren McFadden may end up seeing the bulk of the carries, but both are older players with very limited upside.
Smith has reportedly looked impressive in practices dating back to the summer and at least carries with him the allure of being an unknown commodity. Smith, a UDFA out of Ohio State in 2015, isn’t the most athletically exciting prospect, but has looked solid when given a chance and would be in a great situation behind Dallas’ Offensive line if he earns a chance. Of course, Smith obviously has pretty limited long-term upside in Dallas due to the presence of Elliott, but a strong showing in these next six games could lead to him finding a role on another team or to him becoming a valuable handcuff for Elliott owners.
Even if neither of those things happen, its possible he becomes a usable running back for the stretch run this year. If given the chance, I’ll take him over McFadden and Morris in dynasty formats.
Demarcus Robinson, WR, Chiefs
Robinson was a 4th round WR from the 2016 draft who I ended up targeting pretty heavily in leagues last year due to his high upside. Robinson was a fairly significant character concern at Florida which contributed to his falling to the 4th round of the draft, but he has always been considered a talented player. According to his nfl.com draft profile he is, “Immensely talented with elite combination of straight-line speed and quick-twitch athleticism”. Unfortunately for Robinson it was a different character concern wide receiver from the 2016 draft (Tyreek Hill) who broke out for the Chiefs last season. However, Robinson appears to be coming along this season and gradually earning more playing time.
Robinson only has 12 catches this season, but he’s seeing the field more and more, and targets have begun to head his way. Between Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, and Kareem Hunt, Robinson likely will not have the chance to become a true #1 receiver, but with the Chiefs offense suddenly an explosive force, being a solid #2 receiver is still on the table. For an end of roster pickup, I’ll take that.
Ricardo Louis, WR, Browns
Louis is another 4th round WR from the 2016 draft with upside tied to his impressive athleticism. At the combine he posted a 4.43 40 yard dash, a 38 inch vertical, and 18 reps on the bench press at 6’2” and 215 pounds. Unfortunately, Louis has notoriously bad hands which is kind of a problem since he is in fact a wide receiver. Despite that, Louis has had a catch in every game this season for Cleveland and has almost reached 300 yards on the season.
Cleveland, of course, does not have a loaded WR corps, so Louis may have an opportunity or may simply be the best of a bad bunch. Either way, a player with that athletic profile, decent draft capital investment, and some early career production despite horrific quarterback play, is worth a flier.
Jonnu Smith, TE, Titans
Smith is a 3rd round pick by the Titans out of FIU from this past spring. His athletic profile is promising with a 4.62 40 yard dash and a 38” vertical at 6’3” and 250 pounds. He has also begun to flash big time talent on the field with a couple of touchdowns despite being largely kept off the field by Delanie Walker. This year Smith will likely remain hidden behind Walker, but with Walker getting older (he turns 34 before next season) and potentially not returning to the Titans next season, Smith will likely be a core piece of a young and exciting Tennessee offense with Marcus Mariota.
He may not contribute this year, but if you only have room for one player on this list, Smith would be my choice.
Taywan Taylor, WR, Titans
Taylor may already be rostered in your league after being a 3rd round selection in the draft, but if not he’s an exciting route runner who, like Smith, looks like he will continue to grow into a key role in a young Titans offense.
Between Mariota, Derrick Henry, Corey Davis, Smith, Taylor, and a good young offensive line, I want to invest in the Titans offense. Taylor represents a low-cost lottery ticket towards some of the production I see coming to Tennessee. Like Robinson, he may never be a true #1, but I think he has an excellent chance to be a solid player in an explosive offense.
A few other names to consider.
- Adam Shaheen
- Trent Taylor
- Mack Brown
- Leonte Caroo
The list of intriguing waiver wire targets may seem pretty sparse this year, but churning the bottom of your roster with new fliers every few weeks is something I always advise, if you can spare the roster space. As I stated in the beginning, these are deep waiver targets so expectations should be limited, but finding core pieces for your roster is possible if you are active and willing to sift through the trash a bit.
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