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Deep dive: Young RBs, WRs prime waiver wire targets


While Michael Fabiano serves up the top waiver-wire options in fantasy football each week, I am here for those who need to dive a little deeper. Depending on your league, you may have no shot at the guys on Fabiano's list. Whether it's because of huge rosters, too many members or a low priority on the waiver wire (because you rule at fantasy), sometimes the top options simply aren't available. With that in mind, here are some deeper waiver-wire options if you're scraping the bottom of the barrel, or miss out on the top options for the week.

Several of these "deep" waiver pickups have graduated to Fabiano's top-10 in recent weeks, such as Andre Holmes, Branden Oliver, Malcom Floyd, Lorenzo Taliaferro, Alfred Blue, Dwayne Allen, Brian Quick and Teddy Bridgewater. This piece is here to try and help you get ahead of the competition, or find gems in deep leagues. Of course, for each of those successes, I recommend a Chad Henne-type. Welp, you can't win them all. Let's hope we can find a winner in this crop below.



Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders (2.8 percent owned): Carr returned from the Raiders bye week ready to prove that this was his team. He sure made a statement, throwing four touchdown passes in a losing effort against the San Diego Chargers. Carr's late-game interception was certainly one to forget, but the rookie signal-caller was slinging the ball well and connecting with his young, talented pass-catchers in Andre Holmes (a former deep dive member) and Brice Butler. Carr has a bit of a tough schedule coming up, but this team could have new life under interim head coach Tony Sparano, and that will all be channeled through the arm of Carr. He's definitely worth an add in two-QB and deeper leagues.

Brian Hoyer, Cleveland Browns (4.3 percent owned): I had been keeping an eye on Hoyer, and while Sunday's performance wasn't exactly a statistical outburst (he completed just eight of 17 passes for 217 yards and one touchdown), it proved that Hoyer isn't going anywhere anytime soon (sorry, Johnny Manziel fans). The reason I've added Hoyer to this list for Week 7 is that he has a very favorable schedule in the coming weeks, with five of his next six matchups coming against teams in the bottom half of fantasy points against (FPA) rankings for quarterbacks. He next faces the Jaguars (28th ranked FPA) and two weeks later takes on the Buccaneers (30th ranked FPA). Add in the fact that Hoyer will get the uber-talented Josh Gordon back in Week 12, and there's reason to believe that Ohio's golden boy could turn into a golden goose for fantasy owners down the stretch. It's important to remember that FPA rankings are far from gospel when it comes to fantasy, but when you're digging deep for a quarterback you take what you can get.

Worth keeping an eye on: Mike Glennon (TB), Blake Bortles (JAC)

Running backs


Juwan Thompson, Denver Broncos (0.5 percent owned): We didn't know how the Broncos backfield would look sans Montee Ball heading into Sunday. We now have a much clearer picture. It will be Ronnie Hillman leading the way, with Thompson getting in a little bit of work. C.J. Anderson could get into the mix, but he only played one offensive snap against the Jets. If you're desperate for a running back or looking for a player to stash in deeper leagues, Thompson is one to target.

Isaiah Crowell, Cleveland Browns (8.6 percent owned): Crowell has been featured in past editions of both this column and Fabiano's weekly look at the waiver wire, but he needs to be mentioned again after a good game on Sunday. Ben Tate has become the lead back in Cleveland since returning from injury, but the Browns didn't ignore Crowell, who some see as the most talented back on the roster. He's definitely worth an add-and-stash in most leagues, as he could provide nice value as a flex play if he keeps getting 10-15 touches per game.

Worth keeping an eye on: James White (NE), James Starks (GB)

Wide receivers


Davante Adams, Green Bay Packers (0.8 percent owned): I'm going to keep talking about this kid until more of you pick him up. Aaron Rodgers said this week that while watching game film he saw Adams starting to separate himself, and told him he'd be in line for a lot more work. He wasn't lying. Rodgers targeted Adams eight times on Sunday (second-most on the team after Jordy Nelson) and the rookie responded by hauling in six of those targets for 77 yards. Adams didn't find the end zone, but he now very clearly has the trust of his quarterback (watch the video to the right for more proof), so the scores will come. Adams is no longer just a deep league waiver wire target -- he deserves to be rostered in most standard leagues, too.

Odell Beckham, New York Giants (11.5 percent owned): Many more owners responded to Beckham's big game last week and added him, as his percentage owned jumped by about eight points among leagues. The rookie only saw four balls come his way (he caught two for 28 yards) during an embarrasing shutout on Sunday night. However, the injury to Victor Cruz will open the door for more work for Beckham. Watching him on tape, it is clear that the NFL game is not too fast for him, and he has next-level quickness and athleticism. It's only a matter of time until Beckham drops a massive game on the fantasy world. And as I always say here, it's better to be early than late when it comes to these type of games and players (see Oliver, Branden).

Louis Murphy, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0.3 percent owned): Why do fantasy owners hate Louis Murphy? Is it those god-awful jerseys he's sporting on Sundays? It must be, because the guy has been one of the most consistent wide receivers in fantasy recently, averaging 10.9 fantasy points per game over the last three weeks. Now, Murphy isn't going to win you your week, but if you are forced to start three wide receivers, or are in need of a flex play it's hard to argue against a consistent 10-plus points per week. The Buccaneers are going to be behind in the coming weeks (a lot), meaning Murphy will have plenty of chances for garbage points (which still count!). He's worth an add in most leagues.

Worth keeping an eye on: Travis Benjamin (CLE), Jarvis Landry (MIA)

Tight ends


Timothy Wright, New England Patriots (5.0 percent owned): Well, at least Wright took advantage of his opportunity on Sunday, hauling in his one target for a 1-yard touchdown. After his breakout performance on limited snaps against Cincinnati, many fantasy owners and pundits were hoping he'd see an increased workload. That, sadly, was not the case as Wright only played on 16 of the team's 74 snaps. He still has upside, but for now it's minimal and his value is as a TE2 at best.

Jace Amaro, New York Jets (0.8 percent owned): I really need to take my own advice more. Worried about the Jets offense, I sat Amaro in favor of Wright in our PPR dynasty league in the office (the starting tight end I drafted, Kyle Rudolph, is injured). As I had been suspecting, Amaro's role in the offense increased, as he caught 10 passes for 68 yards and a touchdown against the Broncos. I don't feel this is a fluke either -- Amaro will continue to earn a more prominent role in the Jets offense. He likely won't vault into true TE1 status this season, but in deeper leagues he's a good bet to at least net you five-plus points in yardage with the occasional touchdown as well. And as inconsistent as the tight end position is this year, that's not too bad of a weekly output in deep leagues. Take a chance on Amaro if you have the space on your roster.

Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0.5 percent owned): Seferian-Jenkins caught four of his five targets this week (with one drop), totalling 58 receiving yards on the day. With Vincent Jackson, Mike Evans and Murphy all seeing a fair amount of targets, Seferian-Jenkins' value is limited. I still like his upside, however, and if you have the space to stash him it could be worthwhile, especially if your starting tight end is battling injuries (Vernon Davis, Jimmy Graham) or has a lengthy injury history (Owen Daniels).

Worth keeping an eye on: Eric Ebron (DET)

-- Alex Gelhar is a fantasy and features writer for who walked out of his first movie this weekend. He and a friend went to see "The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby" Her/Him double feature on Saturday, understanding it'd be a three-plus hour experience. After experiencing two-plus hours of nothing they opted to grab a beer instead. They were not disappointed. Follow Alex on Twitter for fantasy advice and film musings @AlexGelhar.