The second half of the fantasy season starts tonight with an AFC North rivalry matchup between the Bengals and the Browns. It’s likely been a serious waiver wire week for you with bye weeks and injuries to Le’Veon Bell, Matt Forte, Keenan Allen, Steve Smith Sr., and the entire Niners backfield all included. Let’s take a look at the best top waiver wire picks from this season. Coincidentally, a few will be featured in tonight’s game on NFL Network.
Quarterback – Andy Dalton, CIN
15 TD / 4 INT, 1,992 pass yards, 2 rushing TDs
Any reason to recount that A-Dalt touchdown, I’ll take it.
In the first handful of weeks, people waited for Andy Dalton to fall apart and he didn’t. There was also a stretch of 4 games with potentially tough passing matchups (Baltimore, Kansas City, Seattle and Buffalo), and Dalton averaged 319.5 yards and 2.25 touchdowns against them. Having AJ Green and Marvin Jones healthy and Tyler Eifert playing to his potential are huge factors for that and why his success should sustain.
When you’re a running back in Bill Belichick’s system and you get on his good side, your numbers are going to benefit greatly from it. Dion Lewis was expected to be Shane Vereen’s replacement, but he’s he’s Shane Vereening better than Shane Vereen could (if that makes sense). In the 6 games Lewis has played, he has had more with double-digit touches than Marshawn Lynch, has scored touchdowns than Adrian Peterson, and more 100+ total yard games than Frank Gore and Justin Forsett.
WR – Allen Robinson, JAX
34 catches, 586 yards, 6 TDs
As Blake Bortles’s stock has risen, so has A-Rob’s. You can’t really sit him when he’s averaged 5.5 catches, 93 yards and 1 TD over the last 6 games. Robinson also leads all receivers in receptions of 20+ yards with 14.
TE – Gary Barnidge, CLE
40 catches, 567 yards, 6 TDs
Oh you didn’t draft Gronk? No worries because Gary Barnidge was available for EVERYONE after the first 3 weeks of the season. 30 years old and playing better than the rest of the tight ends in the league, Barnidge has scored touchdowns or caught for over 100 yards in every game since Week 3.
QB – That’s a really nice problem to have. While Philip Rivers is going to continue throwing it more than anyone with crazy high volume, but Ben Roethlisberger has the better matchup with better weapons to throw to as well. The Raiders are allowing 312 pass yards per game, 2nd most in the league.
WR – I’m not as jealous as this group as I was your QBs. I feel the most comfortable about Eric Decker against the Jaguars. Ryan Fitzpatrick being a little banged up means he’ll go to his possession option more which is Decker, and he has scored in 5 of his last 6 games. Then I go with Stefon Diggs despite facing a tough Rams defense. Diggs has earned the starting spot as the Vikings downfield playmaker. Not only do I hate Hilton’s matchup and quarterback (at the moment), the MRI he had on his foot and missing some practice doesn’t give me much optimism.
Time for the “Reverse Rivers”…which isn’t as suggestive as you think, ya sicko!
Philip Rivers is going to throw a ton on Monday Night Football with the San Diego run game being weak and the Bears only giving up 2 rushing touchdowns all weekend. He’ll be without Allen, but he has to chuck it out of necessity. In games that Rivers has thrown at least 37 passes, he averages 381 yards and 2.4 touchdowns. The gameplan for the Bengals tonight should be very run oriented anyway as the Browns are giving up more rush yards than anyone in the league.
Does Los Angeles count since they’ll be receiving the Rams soon?
I really wanted to pull the Lee Corso “Not so fast, my friend!” but I can’t, in my heart of hearts. Tavon Austin is the one decent option if your league counts return yards and you need a spots start out of someone. Austin has 6 total touchdowns with 2 coming on the rush, and 141 yards running too.
But Todd Gurley is the only viable option out of St. Louis and in a big big way…
WR – Neither option is great and they are both going against incredible pass defenses, but I lean toward James Jones simply for the Aaron Rodgers factor.
QB – Big Ben for the reasons I listed above.
…and Todd Gurley is the realness. He’s the best running back in the league right now and if he stays healthy, I don’t see that changing anytime soon.
Have more lineup questions? Feel free to ask on both Facebook and Twitter! Also, don’t hesitate to post any questions for next week’s Mailbag. Good luck this weekend!
At his 20th “Flight School” Camp in Santa Barbara, Jordan took the mic for a Q&A session…and it was everything an MJ fan would want it to be.
If you had to win one game, who would you want coaching: Phil Jackson or Dean Smith?
“Dean Smith…Phil was lucky because I was taught the game by Dean Smith.”
What did you think when Shaq said the All-Time Lakers could beat the Bulls’ greatest players?
“I just felt like he was just talking (Jordan shrug)…The thing is, we’d never know. I think we would’ve killed them…It’s just a debate”
Who would you choose to go one-on-one with between Stephen Curry or LeBron?
“Right now? I would go against StephON (I love that he calls him Stephon) because I’m a little bit bigger than he is so I could back him down…but LeBron’s too big.”
Who would you add to Team Jordan?
“Any sport?…I’m a big fan of Mike Trout. But he’s Nike. I can’t steal Nike’s guys.”
If you were in your prime, could you beat LeBron in a one-on-one game?
“This is the ESPN Question. I know it’s going to be all over ESPN…(longer pause).
Cue another Jordan shrug.
MJ’s also a big Robin Thicke fan, apparently.
Jordan wasn’t wrong about the LeBron one-on-one question. It went viral in minutes. I haven’t even flipped on ESPN yet today, but it’s easy to guess what they are talking about.
I personally hate the debate. Jordan said so himself, while responding to Shaq’s nonsense, we’d never know because they won’t ever play each other in their prime. I also think people who get hung up on the debate don’t allow themselves the opportunity to appreciate what LeBron has accomplished.
What we forget is that the younger generation today didn’t even see Jordan play in a Chicago Bulls uniform. Kids going into high school weren’t even born yet, and neither were the kids who sat around Jordan at the Q&A. So when you hear rumors of a Space Jam sequel potentially happening, isn’t it logical for LeBron to star in it since most kids today grew up watching him play instead of Jordan?
Here’s the video to most of the Q&A and it’s definitely worth the watch.