Hopefully all of you fellow fantasy footballers are reading this article sitting pretty at 1-0 after a nice week one dub. Fear not if you didn’t though, because each week I’m going to be breaking down the waiver wire and giving you all the names you need to own to have a successful season. Being a smart waiver wire vulture can make or break your fantasy season, but you need to make the right calls. Believe it or not, fantasy points aren’t everything. Of course, the most sought after players are going to be the ones who lit up the stat sheet, but to really be successful you’ll need to dig deeper to find out who has the best chance to repeat a solid performance. In this weekly column, I’ll pick out a few guys who are worth the add, and a few who won’t repeat a big performance. Let’s make some savvy moves.
By Matt Orecchio
Worth the Add – WR Dede Westbrook, Jacksonville Jaguars (5.1 points in Week 1)
No Jaguars receiver made a big splash in week one, but Westbrook was perhaps the most impressive. He entered the week third on the depth chart, but no one really knew how Blake Bortles would distribute his targets. Although Keelan Cole and Donte Moncrief saw more field time (76% and 69% of offensive snaps, respectively), Westbrook saw a healthy 31 snaps (50%) and saw much more field time than the #4, DJ Chark, who only saw 13 snaps. Westbrook was thrown to over the middle, reeled in a few out route balls, and was even used on a wide receiver screen play. He saw 6 targets, and caught 5 (83.3% catch rate) for 51 yards. Cole, meanwhile, only saw 4 targets as he spent most of the game covered by Janoris Jenkins. Moncrief saw 5 targets, but could only catch one of them for 14 yards. Westbrook obviously didn’t light up the stat sheet, but I like what I saw from him and I think his snap count improves even more going forward. It might take a bit of time for the Jaguars to figure out the pecking order in the receiver room, but Westbrook looked the most impressive in the opener.
Won’t Repeat – WR Tyler Lockett, Seattle Seahawks (11.9 points in Week 1)
Many might be thinking that Lockett is a great add due to the lack of receivers in Seattle. Doug Baldwin currently has no timetable for return, and Lockett had a solid day with 59 yards and a TD. Until further notice, though, I’d stay away from all Seahawks pass-catchers. Russell Wilson threw 33 passes, and targeted Lockett only 4 times. That isn’t a number you like to see, especially considering that Lockett was on the field for 100% of offensive snaps. He hauled in 3 of those passes, and without a long 50-yard TD he would’ve put up a stinker. We’ve known Lockett to be more of a deep threat, and unless he can score a deep TD each week he’s unable to be counted on. Plus, his snap count should go down once Doug Baldwin returns. He’s simply not going to be consistent enough to be worth an add.
Worth the Add – RB Austin Ekeler, Los Angeles Chargers (18.6 points in Week 1)
Austin Ekeler was on the field for only 22 total snaps on Sunday (30%). Melvin Gordon was on the field for 62 snaps (84%). Yet they both ended up with 18.6 fantasy points in a standard scoring setting. How is that even possible? Ekeler saw 10 touches; a touch on 45% of his snaps. Gordon saw a touch on 39% of his snaps. Ekeler was also much more efficient, turning 5 receptions into 87 yards and a TD and 5 carries into 39 additional yards. Melvin was also deadly in the passing game, catching 9 balls for 102 yards. But he averaged 4.3 YPC compared to Ekeler’s 7.8. My guess is that they give Ekeler some more snaps in the coming weeks. Melvin is undoubtedly the bellcow back in Los Angeles, but when you put up an extremely efficient performance like Ekeler did, you give the man more playing time. I’m not saying he’ll score you 18.6 points again, but he’ll see enough volume to be worth a waiver wire add.
Won’t Repeat – RB Kenneth Dixon, Baltimore Ravens (10.6 points in Week 1)
Dixon had the best fantasy day of any Ravens back, much to the chagrin of Alex Collins owners. Collins ran for only 13 yards and also fumbled (although he did score a TD). Javorius Allen even did better than Collins with 32 total yards and a TD. But the obvious guy to add seems to be Dixon, who ran for 44 yards and a TD while garnering the most carries. I doubt the Ravens will continue to use their backs like this however, and this outcome seemed to be more of a product of the 47-3 drubbing the Ravens gave the Bills. They were obviously going to run the ball all game, and why keep feeding Collins when you can get everyone involved? Dixon wasn’t even impressive anyway, averaging only 3.4 YPC. One of those carries was for 15 yards, so 12 of his carries went for 29 yards. Yikes. I doubt the Ravens will be beating up on everyone like they did to the Bills, so plan on seeing Alex Collins as the guy in that backfield again.
Also worth an add –
RB Phillip Lindsay, Denver Broncos (16.2 points in Week 1)
WR Kenny Stills, Miami Dolphins (22.6 points in Week 1)
TE Jared Cook, Oakland Raiders (14.5 points in Week 1)
Be wary of –
WR Brandon Marshall, Seattle Seahawks (10.6 points in Week 1)
WR DeSean Jackson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (26.6 points in Week 1)
TE Will Dissly, Seattle Seahawks (16.5 points in Week 1)