While my esteemed colleague Michael Fabiano will be serving 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 savvy drafters, too many members or you have 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 Lorenzo Taliaferro, Alfred Blue, Dwayne Allen, Brian Quick and Darrin Reaves. 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
Mike Glennon, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0.3 percent owned): The state of fantasy quarterbacks is a mess right now outside of the established elite. EJ Manuel has been benched. Geno Smith is regressing. Kirk Cousins was exposed. So who does that leave? Well, Glennon could actually be fantasy relevant now. The Bucs' offense still struggled in the first half with Glennon under center, but he showed flashes of his arm talent and athleticism while bringing them back to victory. He strung together some solid fantasy starts last year, and that could become the case again in 2014. Even though head coach Lovie Smith was non-commital about his starting quarterback situation, if Glennon keeps going he could take over the reigns full time. He posted 18.08 fantasy points, even though he threw an interception (that only happened because Mike Evans was injured on the play). If you're desperate at quarterback, now is the time to buy low and get in on Glennon in case he catches fire.
Branden Oliver (0.2 percent owned): I included Oliver in last week's edition of this column, so if you took a chance and stashed him, good for you. He received only one less touch than Donald Brown on Sunday, and two less targets. Oliver was also the slightly more effective rusher with a 2.6 yards per carry average to Brown's 1.9, but that came in part because Oliver was rotated in more on passing downs. Regardless, Oliver will continue to see work in the offense with Danny Woodhead sidelined for the season and Ryan Mathews still out for a few weeks. Be quick to get him off waivers before it's too late.
Jerick McKinnon, Minnesota Vikings (0.6 percent owned): McKinnon was also featured in a past edition of this column, but he deserves mentioning again after breaking out in a big way on Sunday. McKinnon had 152 yards from scrimmage on 19 touches and was clearly the more dynamic back compared to running mate and top waiver-wire optionMatt Asiata. McKinnon needs to be rostered in all leagues as the Vikings will likely lean on the run as they ease Teddy Bridgewater into his starting role.
Malcom Floyd, San Diego Chargers (5.9 percent owned): OK. Eddie Royal scored again. Still, I'm not boarding this bandwagon. We've seen this before. Royal scored five touchdowns in the first two games last year, but then only found the end zone three more times in the next 14 games, barely crossing the double digit mark in each game. Floyd is the team's deep threat, a more complete receiver and the one who should be owned in most fantasy formats.
Andre Holmes, Oakland Raiders (0.2 percent owned): Holmes was someone who I had my eye on last week, as I was wondering if he'd recapture his magic from the end of 2013 when he averaged 4.4 catches and 73.2 yards per game during the final five games of the season. With Rod Streater out at least four to five weeks (and probably more) Holmes could be seeing even more action in the Oakland offense. I know "Oakland offense" doesn't exactly scream fantasy gold mine, but consider that Holmes was targeted 12 times on Sunday, catching five of those passes for 74 yards and a touchdown. He's a great flier option if you're in need of a wide receiver.
Davante Adams, Green Bay Packers (0.6 percent owned): The Packers have a history of drafting standout wide receivers in the second round under general manager Ted Thompson. Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb all came from the second round, and it seems that Davante Adams (second-round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft) might be the next in line. Adams' involvement in the offense jumped significantly after he played on just nine snaps in Week 1. He's played in 36, 34 and 37 snaps respectively over the past three weeks, posting 13 catches for 79 yards in the process. His stat line would be even better had this insane touchdown throw from Aaron Rodgers not been called back on a holding penalty. The Packers' offense could be heating up, so now is the time to get on board with Adams, who has all but supplanted Jarrett Boykin as the team's third receiver.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0.5 percent owned): I had been wanting to put Seferian-Jenkins on this list previously while he worked his way back from a Week 1 injury, but I waited. Now, I can't keep him off any longer. The Buccaneers offense has been targeting the tight end position frequently, as Brandon Myers received 14 targets in the two-plus games Seferian-Jenkins was sidelined. ASJ is a far superior athlete than Myers, and should find plenty of opportunities now that he's back. His three catches for 44 yards on Sunday are only the beginning of what could be an impressive rookie season.
Jace Amaro, New York Jets (0.8 percent owned): Rookie tight ends typically don't make a splash in fantasy football, but we might have two on our hands this season. Amaro has become a bigger part of the Jets' offense the last two weeks, ranking third and fourth in targets in Weeks 3 and 4, respectively. While he failed to find the end zone, he averaged over 50 receiving yards per game in both contests. Given the injuries to tight ends, Amaro is worth stashing in deeper leagues as he could become quite valuable if his role in the offense continues to grow.