Leon’s List is a weekly post about waiver wire players I’m keeping an eye on.
I decided to switch up the format for the newsletter. I am scraping the section on how last week’s players performed. Instead, I am going to feature something interesting I found in our league.
What I was fascinated by this week was Vince’s starting QBs through the first quarter of the season. Does Vince have a quarterback curse? Here are Vince’s quarterbacks through 5 weeks and their fantasy point totals:
- Week 1: Derek Carr - 17.8
- Week 2: Trey Lance - 2.5
- Week 3: Tua Tagovailoa - 12.4
- Week 4: Tua Tagovailoa - 3.4
- Week 5: Teddy Bridgewater - 0.0
With the exception of Derek Carr, all quarterbacks were injured during the game in the week Vince started them. Trey Lance suffered a season ending leg injury in Week 2. Tua got concussions in both Weeks 3 and 4. Finally, Bridgewater just played one snap last week before going into the locker room with a head injury.
I’m not saying Vince is cursed … but I would be worried if his starting quarterback is on my favorite NFL team.
There wasn’t much action on the waiver wire this past week. The biggest spender was Tyler with $10. Alan was a close second with $7 spent.
The most popular player was rookie running back, Isiah Pacheco with 3 bids
To make up for the lack of waiver wire pickups, we had two trades this week!
Jonathan Taylor (Vince) for D’Andre Swift (Kyle)
Vince and Kyle swapped lead running backs currently dealing with injuries. I think this trade is even with no clear winner.
Swift has been out the past 2 weeks with a shoulder injury. From the initial reports, it seems like the Lions are being cautious and giving Swift time to heal from the injury. JT missed last Thursday’s game with an ankle injury. The reporting says JT would have been able if it was a regular Sunday game.
Dontrell Hilliard (Vince) for Allen Lazard (Tyler)
Vince was busy this week, executing two trades within a couple days. He sends Dontrell Hilliard to Tyler for Allen Lazard. I think Vince wins this trade by a hair, 60 to 40.
Allen Lazard and Romeo Doubs are more 1A and 1B than a true WR1 and WR2. If Aaron Rodger and the Packers start airing it out, I can see Lazard finishing as a solid WR2 in fantasy (ranked WR13 to WR24 overall).
On the other hand, Hilliard finds value only if King Henry goes down to injury. Henry is starting to be more involved in the passing game. This eats into Hillard’s already thin standalone value.
Geno Smith (QB - SEA)
I recommended two of his receivers, Tyler Lockett and Will Dissly, in previous weeks. I might as well go all-in on the Geno Smith hype train. Seattle’s defense has been leaky, allowing 30.8 points per game. As a result, Geno Smith and the Seahawks had to run up the score to stay in games. I don’t expect this to change anytime soon.
Alec Pierce (WR - IND)
Alec Pierce has seen 20 targets in the last 3 weeks. He was able to convert those targets to 30.7 fantasy points. He has become the second receiver behind Michael Pittman in Indy.
Matt Ryan appears to be dinking and dunking like Big Ben was last year. This is good news for Pierce, as he is running quick short routes and stacking up receptions for 0.5 point each.
Chase Claypool (WR - PIT)
Kenny Pickett threw the ball 52 times last week. It was mostly due to being down 31-3 to the Bills at halftime. Pickett spread the ball evenly among his three receivers, Dionte Johnson (13 targets), Geroge Pickens (8 targets), and Chase Claypool (9 targets). Claypool was in 91% of the offensive snaps.
Just like Seattle, Pittsburgh’s defense has been awful. They give up the 6th most points in the league. The Steelers are also the 3rd worst team in rushing yards per game with 89 total rushing yards per game.
All these stats lead me to believe that the Steelers will fall behind in games and have to pass to catch up. Claypool is in line to benefit from the increased passing attempts from Pickett.
Joshua Kelley (RB - LAC)
This is more of a stash/handcuff play than a plug and play. Joshua Kelley has taken over the RB2 role from Sony Michel. I don’t expect the Chargers to use a running back committee anytime soon. But Kelley is a suitable handcuff for Austin Ekeler.
Eno Benjamin (RB - ARI)
James Connor left last week’s game with a rib injury. Early reports say that it is nothing serious.
Eno Benjamin would be the lead back if Connor is not able to go. Benjamin was able to rack up 13.3 fantasy points last week when Connor left the game in the second quarter. If Connor is not able to play on Sunday, Benjamin has a juicy matchup against the Seattle defense mentioned earlier.
Cade Otton (TE - TB)
Cade Otton, rookie out of UW, filled in nicely at Tight End last week as Cameron Brate was held out with a concussion. Otton caught 6 of his 7 targets for 43 yards. The Bucs get the lowly Steelers next week.
Hayden Hurst (TE - CIN)
Hayden Hurst is heating up with 15 targets over the last 2 weeks. He scored 24.5 fantasy points with those looks. The opportunities opened up due to Tee Higgins sitting for most of the game last week. If Higgin’s sprained ankle takes him out of Week 6, I can see another big day for Hurst.
Chicago and Washington Defense
As mentioned last week, Justin Fields and Carson Wentz are two of the most sacked quarterbacks in the league. After 5 weeks, Fields is the 5th and Wentz is the 3rd on the list. These two quarterbacks and offenses face each other on Thursday night. I expect a low scoring and gritty game with lots of sacks and turnovers.
Best Thing I Saw
I loved this segment from NFL Live on the differences between running plays from shotgun and under center. It’s great to hear what goes through the defensive players’ minds when they see these different looks.