Pierce’s Picks: Week 5 Waiver Wire Adds

Fantasy Football Free-for-All!

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Dirk Shadd, Tampa Bay Times

Pierce Munsey, Section Editor

Welcome back to the latest edition of Pierce’s Picks! This week, I’ll be going over my favorite players to target on the waiver wire.

Joshua Kelley (RB, Los Angeles Chargers)

According to ESPN, the Chargers’ starting running back, Austin Ekeler, will miss 4-6 weeks with a hamstring injury, which will inevitably lead to more volume for Kelley. In Week 3, Ekeler had a 72% snap count, while Kelley was only on the field for 29% of snaps (Lineups). However, in Week 4, since Ekeler got injured in the first quarter, Kelley saw his snap count increase to 57% (Lineups). Although the Chargers also have Justin Jackson at RB—who could potentially eat up targets and carries—he only saw the field for 40% of the snaps, which leads me to believe that although the Chargers may roll with a committee backfield, they will use Kelley more often (Lineups). Usually, I am not keen on picking up a running back who operates in a committee, but I am willing to make an exception for Kelley.

The Chargers will head to New Orleans for a Monday night tilt, and the Saints have surrendered the 16th most fantasy points to running backs this season, which implies that their unit is solid—but nothing special (ESPN). I wouldn’t start Kelley right away unless you need to fill a FLEX spot in a deeper league, but I would advise fantasy owners to pick him up now in case he does have a strong performance. This is because after their trip to “The Big Easy,” the Chargers will face the Jets, Dolphins, and Jaguars respectively. These should all be winnable games for Los Angeles, so I expect that Kelley will have a positive game script. In addition, he is a more powerful, durable back than Justin Jackson, so the Chargers will most likely turn toward Kelley later in the game to melt the clock.  The Jets have allowed the 7th most fantasy points to running backs, the Dolphins have allowed the 8th most, and the Jags have allowed 5th most (ESPN). Obviously, these are all favorable matchups for Kelley.

Scotty Miller (WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

Tom Brady has thrown for eight touchdowns and over 650 yards in his last two games. With OJ Howard out for the rest of the season with a ruptured achilles, there is just one less mouth for Brady to feed, giving Miller more chances to produce (ESPN). In addition, according to Sporting News, Chris Godwin is unlikely to play given that the Bucs have to play again on Thursday and he is dealing with a hamstring injury. Scotty Miller is going to have a lot of targets. Even against a tough Chicago defense, Miller is a solid FLEX option for this week. He could be even more valuable in the future if Godwin and Evans continue to get banged up.

Chase Edmonds (RB, Arizona Cardinals)

I wrote about Edmonds last year, and I am back on his bandwagon. With Kenyan Drake questionable after suffering a chest injury last week in Carolina, Edmonds could see a huge uptick in volume on Sunday. Even better, he is going up against the New York Jets. So, if Drake is hurt, I could easily see Edmonds putting up around 20 PPR points. However, even if Drake does play, you should still consider picking up Edmonds. In fact, Kenyan Drake did not receive a single target against the Panthers, while Edmonds received six, which is a critical statistic in PPR scoring (ESPN). Kliff Kingsbury has shown in the past he is not afraid to bench his starting running back, so Edmonds could emerge as the RB1 in Arizona.