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St. Louis Rams RB Todd Gurley is a hot fantasy football waiver wire pick-up in week 5
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Fantasy Football Waiver Wire

FREE weekly fantasy football pick-up / drop advice

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Our weekly "Waiver Wire" column is part of FootballDocs In-season content. All of FootballDocs In-season content is 100% free.

Truism of fantasy football: every year there are players that will not be drafted in a fantasy football draft but will emerge off the fantasy football waiver wire to be solid additions for a fantasy football team, sometimes exploding to stud status. Good work on the waiver wire involves knowing who is low on the radar just before their stock goes through the roof. But who has time for that? That answer is easy... the Docs. These are the geeks that live, breathe, and talk fantasy football 365 days a year. So just sit back, relax, and let the Docs do the work for you. Come check out FootballDocs Fantasy Football Pickup Drop Advice every Monday as the Docs boil it down for you nice and simple: who to watch, who to ignore, and most importantly... who to grab! Since each team's needs are unique, the Docs will suggest players to pick up based on the following significant positions: QB, RB, WR, TE, K, and D. Word of caution: While a quick trigger in the free agent market can make a bad team good, it can also make a good team bad. Before just adding the players listed below to your roster, here are a few guidelines to help ensure that the former happens rather than the latter.

1. Do not just randomly pick-up a player or drop a player solely based on the information given below - use some discretion - as the quality of the player varies from league to league due to the size and scoring system of each league. In addition, team needs vary from fantasy team to fantasy team, so some discretion can go a long way. The list posted below is to bring some players to your attention and give you a comment or two regarding their possibilities.

2. Generally speaking, it is not a good idea to drop any player you drafted in the first ten rounds of your draft in the first few weeks. Be patient, particularly with wide receivers as they are very inconsistent in most scoring systems, posting a horrible week one week and then backing it up with a good performance in the following week.

3. Be quick to grab running backs, especially as new starters are announced or as players emerge with huge games. This does not mean dropping a traditionally good player in order to pick up one of these running backs, but if you have an extra D, K, TE, or even a lower tier WR, it is probably in your best interest to drop one of them and take a chance.  RBs are in high demand and almost always carry value provided they are a primary back for a NFL team.

As always, thank you for visiting and welcome to FootballDocs Fantasy Football - "Where the geeks meet the gridiron."

FREE Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Advice
NFL Week 5

Monday, October 5th, 2015

Welcome to the Team (a.k.a. Pick-Up)

Note: This advice is intended for redraft leagues only.


Todd Gurley, RB, STL - Gurley is right on schedule and is gaining steam. The scaring thing is that he is still not up to full speed post-ACL. Gurley was a beast and ran extremely well on Sunday going for 146 rushing yards on 19 carries. He also caught 2 passes for 15 yards. Gurley looks to be the real deal, and he runs like a veteran as a rookie. He's owned in 87.7% of fantasy leagues, but a little more than 1 out of every 10 of you can pick Gurley up right now. If you are in that 10% of the fantasy population, drop everything you are going and run to your waiver wire right now to get him.

Ronnie Hillman, RB, DEN - The Denver ground game is a dumpster fire right now, yet the Broncos are still 4 - 0. There were all sorts of reasons to get excited about Gary Kubiak's arrival in Denver. Kubiak loves to feature a strong run game, and he has a proven track record dating back to Terrell Davis in the 90's and Arian Foster in more recent times of making fantasy monsters. That has not happened yet in Denver, and the ground attack keeps sputtering. Hillman did finish the day with 103 rushing yards and a TD on 11 carries. However, the bulk of those were gained in a 72 yard TD scamper. Hillman and C.J. Anderson shared carries, and Anderson turned his 11 attempts into 43 yards. Take away Hillman's 72 yard run, and he struggled mightily as well. However, momentum is always something to watch, and Hillman warrants consideration if you have the room. We don't recommend dropping Anderson if you have him, but the RB lottery is on in Denver. Whether it pays out this year or not is still TBD, but now is the time to punch your ticket if you can due to the extremely high payout... if it ever pays out. Hillman is owned in 23.0% of fantasy leagues.

Duke Johnson, RB, CLE - The rookie Johnson flashed a fantasy pulse on Sunday with 31 rushing yards, 9 receptions on 10 targets for 85 yards, and a receiving TD. Johnson was a stud coming out of the University of Miami, but he has been slowed down by injuries thus far. He is gaining speed now though and getting much more healthy. He's sharing carries with Isaiah Crowell, but each week Johnson is creeping more and more into duty and snaps on the field. The key to the waiver wire is buying early before a player's fantasy stock goes through the roof and makes them unavailable for pick-up. Johnson warrants a buy given his showing on Sunday. He is owned in 37.4% of fantasy leagues.

Tavon Austin, WR, STL - QB/WR chemistry is an odd thing that can blossom quickly, and there is a new signal caller in town with QB Nick Foles. Austin pulled in 6 receptions on 7 targets for 96 yards and 2 TDs. He also had a couple of rushing attempts for 20 yards. 116 total yards and 2 TDs will land you squarely on the fantasy radar every time. Austin and Foles were in sync (but not in a boy band waving their hands in the air kind of way), and this could be the sign of growing chemistry. Austin is the type of player with the speed and quickness to take it to the house on any given play from anywhere on the field, which is the kind of upside that is well suited for fantasy football. Austin is owned in only 6% of fantasy leagues.

Allen Hurns, WR, JAX - Folks haven't got the memo on Jacksonville and their passing attack, but they are starting to understand. Hurns is a weapon for QB Blake Bortles, and Bortles has no problem tossing him the rock if open. Given the receiving talent in Jacksonville, folks will be open as it is hard to double team any given receiver given the number of options and talent at receiver in Jacksonville. Hurns had 11 receptions on 15 (yes 15) targets for 116 yards and a TD. In the previous week, Hurns had 70 yards and a TD. Noticed served. Hurns is owned in just 5.0% of fantasy leagues.

Ted Ginn, WR, CAR - Ginn has become one of Cam Newton's favorite targets. He pulled in 2 TDs on Sunday, and if you watch the Panthers play, Ginn is involved in many key plays for Newton. He can now be considered Carolina's #1 WR, and it's hard to find a #1 WR just sitting there on the waiver wire. Well, you've got just exactly that with Ginn, who is owned in just 3.9% of fantasy leagues. That won't be the case after this week, as Ginn will be a hot target on the waiver wire.

Leonard Hankerson, WR, ATL - The Falcons looks like a completely different team, and WR Julio Jones is playing out of his mind. WR Roddy White on the other hand looks slow and having trouble getting separation, which has opened the door for Hankerson in the offense. Hankerson caught 6 passes on 8 targets for 103 yards and a TD. This is Hankerson's 2nd fantasy showing in just 4 weeks, as he had 77 yards and a TD against the Giants in Week 2. For those in deeper leagues, Hankerson is a player to keep in mind and can produce when the pickings are slim on the waiver wire. Hankerson is owned in 1.2% of fantasy leagues.

Kamar Aiken, WR, BAL - Aiken could provide a stop-gap WR for a few fantasy teams in deeper leagues for as long as WR Steve Smith is sidelined with a back injury. QB Joe Flacco throws arguably the best deep ball in the NFL, and Aiken is one of the few remaining options at WR for him. With Smith out, Aiken pulled in 5 catches on 7 targets for 77 yards and a TD against the Steelers. It should be noted Aiken had 89 receiving yards in Week 2 against Oakland, so he has shown he can get it done earlier this season. Aiken is owned in 0.4% of fantasy leagues.

Riley Cooper, WR, PHI - For those looking for a Hail Mary, here it is. Cooper has been nonexistent all year until Sunday, where he caught 72 yards on 2 receptions and a TD. Most of those yards were off a 62 yard bomb from Bradford, as Cooper slipped behind the defense. Can you blame them? It's easy to forget about Cooper. The only reason Cooper makes the list is the Eagles are swirling with instability, which presents opportunity for someone to step up. The odds are very low for Cooper, but stranger things have happened. Cooper is surprisingly owned in 0.4% of fantasy leagues entering Week 4. We are concerned with 0.4% of you. Best to get checked out by a doc.

Blake Bortles, QB, JAX - Bortles is the real deal. He has a ton of talent at receiver. He throws a beautiful ball from the pocket. He plays for an awful team that is going to force him to throw... a lot. Bortles had 50 pass attempts on Sunday and completed 28 of them for 298 yards and a TD. He also had 31 rushing yards to boot. Over his last three weeks, Bortles has eclipsed over 20 fantasy points in each of those weeks. The Jacksonville playbook will remain wide open for Bortles, who should continue to shine on the fantasy front in 2015. Bortles is owned in just 3.5% of fantasy leagues.

Sam Bradford, QB, PHI - Bradford threw some very nice touch passes against the Redskins and ended the day with 270 passing yards, 3 TDs, and 14 rushing yards. The Eagles have been out of sync, but once they do get in sync, Bradford's fantasy stock will surge. For now, you can still get him. While we don't feel the Eagles are in sync yet, it will happen eventually. In the meantime, you pick up Bradford, stash him on your bench, and wait it out if you can. Bradford is owned in 28.5% of fantasy leagues.

Josh McCown, QB, CLE - McCown torched the Chargers on Sunday to the tune of 356 passing yards, 2 TDs, and no INTs. He did have a fumble, but overall, it was a great game in an otherwise low scoring fantasy week in the NFL overall. Over his last 2 weeks, McCown has averaged 349 passing yards and 2 TDs. Cleveland has lots of receiving weapons and McCown most likely will have to continue to sling the ball around to help make amends for deficiencies in other areas. McCown is owned in only 0.7% of fantasy leagues.

Richard Rodgers, TE, GRB - Rodgers found Rodgers for the 2nd time this season, as Rodgers pulled in 45 receiving yards and a TD against the 49ers. 2 TDs in 4 games gives hope for Rodgers, although he has proven to be feast or famine this year. Regardless, it's nice to have a TD option at TE to look for on the wavier wire when dealing with a bye, and Rodgers gives you that option. Perhaps more depending on how things play out. Rodgers is owned in 7.5% of fantasy leagues.

Show 'em the Door (a.k.a. Drop)

Note: This advice is intended for redraft leagues only.


We are firm believers that QBs, WRs, and RBs with whom you thought had enough value to draft should not be cut from your fantasy team in the first few weeks of the season unless they get significantly injured or lose their starting job. Give it some time before deciding that they are not fit for your team to see if they can prove you right. Naturally you have to cut someone to make room for any new additions to your team, and as a guideline, extra Ds, Ks, TEs, or even a lower tier WR are great candidates to give the boot.

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