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Deep dive: Forgotten RBs, WRs to add off waivers

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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 targets if you're scraping the bottom of the barrel.

Many of these "deep" waiver pickups have graduated to Fabiano's top-10 in recent weeks, such as Odell Beckham, Jarvis Landry, Latavius Murray, Dan Herron and Charles Johnson. 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.

Quarterbacks

 

Mark Sanchez, Philadelphia Eagles (18.4 percent owned): The Sanchize has been the definition of "ugly but effective" when it comes to fantasy football. His performances on the field the past two weeks have been ugly at times (six turnovers), but he's also racked up 300-plus yards in three straight games. To put that in perspective, he'd never even had two straight 300-yard games prior to this season. His Week 14 matchup against Seattle isn't ideal, but other than that he gets the Cowboys (twice) and Redskins to close out his fantasy season. Sanchez has a chance to be fantasy gold in the playoffs if he can keep the turnovers to a minimum and keep padding his stats.

Teddy Bridgewater, Minnesota Vikings (5.8 percent owned): Bridgewater hasn't been spectacular, but he's quietly put together a couple nice weeks over the past month. He scored 19.60 fantasy points against the Packers, and could have had even more were it not for a few errant passes. His emerging rapport with Charles Johnson is a great sign for the future. Speaking of, he has two cushy matchups on the horizon against the Panthers and Jets in Weeks 13 and 14, so if you're in need of a quarterback in deeper leagues, Teddy might be your guy.

Worth keeping an eye on: Colt McCoy (WAS), Michael Vick (NYJ)

Running backs

 

Carlos Hyde, San Francisco 49ers (37.5 percent owned): The running back position is so thin right now, that I wanted to use this space as a reminder about Los Hyde. He hasn't really garnered enough touches or done enough on the field to really merit must-add consideration, but he has been looking strong in recent weeks and there are plenty of football pundits clamoring for him to see more touches. If you have space on your roster and he's available, he's worth a speculative add and stash in case he ends up usurping more carries from Frank Gore.

Jonathan Stewart, Carolina Panthers (14.5 percent owned): Stewart is owned in 45 percent fewer leagues than his backfield mate, DeAngelo Williams, which verges on criminal. Stewart has been the harder, more effective runner of late, even if the stats don't show it. This is another reminder for fantasy owners, as the Panthers were on their bye last week. If Stewart is on your waiver wire, he has a great matchup against the Vikings next, who just were clobbered by Eddie Lacy for 125 rushing yards. Stewart could be a sneaky flex play this week, assuming the Panthers used their bye to realize who the most effective back on their roster is.

Dri Archer, Pittsburgh Steelers (0.9 percent owned): Welcome to the world of super-speculative fantasy advice! Given the vast wasteland of available running back talent, I'm forced to dig even deeper here. Archer hasn't done much for the Steelers yet, but that can happen with a rookie taken in the third round as a prospect. The reason I'm wasting your time blathering on about Archer is because with LeGarrette Blount gone, Archer is now the lone backup with any experience on the Steelers depth chart to Le'Veon Bell (Josh Harris was promoted from Pittsburgh's practice squad last week). This means he has serious handcuff appeal if anything were to happen to Bell in the coming weeks, and it could be a sign that his role is set to increase. Archer is a freakish athlete with outrageous speed, and it wouldn't be terribly surprising if the Steelers started working him in a bit more as a change of pace to Bell to keep him fresh for a potential playoff push.

Worth keeping an eye on: Bryce Brown (BUF), Charles Sims (TB)

Wide receivers

 

John Brown, Arizona Cardinals (7.6 percent owned): The Cardinals were shut down last week by the Seahawks in Seattle -- big surprise. Despite the uphill battle, Brown still had three catches for 61 yards. Brown has had at least 60 receiving yards in four of his last five games, adding in two touchdowns in the span as well. He's one of Drew Stanton's favorite targets, and if Larry Fitzgerald misses more time, the Birds could lean on Brown to spark their passing attack.

Kenny Stills, New Orleans Saints (5.8 percent owned): Stills had season highs in receptions (eight) and targets (nine) on Monday night football, scoring 9.6 fantasy points. As I've been saying for weeks, with Brandin Cooks landing on IR it frees up a number of targets, many of which could keep falling to Stills. He's been one of the more consistent wideouts for the Saints since their Week 6 bye, and his production could see another uptick in the coming weeks.

Justin Hunter, Tennessee Titans (40 percent owned): Much like with Hyde above, this is more of a friendly reminder than a truly deep waiver-wire add. Hunter received a lot of offseason hype, but has failed to deliver fantasy-wise for much of the season. However, he seems to be building a slight rapport with his rookie quarterback, Zach Mettenberger. Hunter has seen 10 targets in two of Mettenberger's four starts, and while he only managed four catches in both of those games, it's hard to ignore that volume of targets. Hunter has a great matchup this weekend against the Houston secondary, so if he's available and you need a WR3 or flex he could be worth an add.

Andrew Hawkins, Cleveland Browns (11.1 percent owned): Why Hawkins isn't owned in more fantasy leagues is a mystery to me. Even though the return of Josh Gordon cut into Hawkins' targets, he still notched 93 receiving yards on five catches. In fact, he's hadd at least 88 receiving yards in four of his last five games. He's an excellent WR3 with the Browns passing attack potentially coming more alive with Gordon, and has added value in PPR formats.

Worth keeping an eye on: Paul Richardson (SEA), Donte Moncrief (IND), Stedman Bailey (STL), Kenny Britt (STL)

Tight ends

 

Timothy Wright, New England Patriots (2.7 percent owned): One of the saddest parts of this fantasy season has been the tight end position. In any given week, almost half of the top-scoring tight ends will be of the one catch for a touchdown variety. Which is why I'm writing about Tim Wright in this edition of the deep dive. Wright has had a few of those games, but has also been seeing a bit of an increased snap count and workload for the Patriots. He's still a boom-or-bust option, but given the fact that he's scored six touchdowns in his last seven games, there are plenty of opportunies for him to hit paydirt for your fantasy team.

Mychal Rivera, Oakland Raiders (15.9 percent owned): Rivera caught just one pass for eight yards last week, but I still like his potential down the stretch. Rookie quarterbacks often look to their tight ends as safety nets, and while Rivera's magical stretch from Weeks 8 to 10 could have just been dumb luck, you could also say his struggles in Weeks 11 and 12 were the product of the Raiders' ineffective passing game. Given the disaster that is the tight end position, I don't mind rolling with Rivera for another week or two to see if he rebounds.

Worth keeping an eye on: Jace Amaro (NYJ), Packers TEs, Seahawks TEs, (the disaster continues)

-- Alex Gelhar is a fantasy and features writer for NFL.com. His "Friends" Thanksgiving episode power rankings would go: 1) The One Where Ross Got High, 2) The One With Chandler in a Box, 3) The One With the Rumor. Discuss this topic further, or hit him up with your fantasy football questions @AlexGelhar.

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