Players featured previously in this article that are now on the Waiver Wire or fantasy relevant:
- Kenyan Drake
- Adam Humphries
- Josh Ferguson
- Cameron Artis-Payne
- Jordan Howard
- Marqise Lee
- Wendell Smallwood
- Hunter Henry
- Paxton Lynch
- Paul Perkins
- Dorial Green-Beckham
- Andre Ellington
- Brian Quick
Jared Goff (LA) – HBO’s “Hard Knocks” didn’t do Goff any favors, as it revealed that the #1 overall pick is in over his head and has a long way to go to get on the field and contribute. He’s actually the first QB taken #1 overall who didn’t start in Week 1 since the great JaMarcus Russell, which isn’t great company to be with. The Rams made him a healthy scratch in Week 1, but they promoted him to the backup role ahead of Sean Mannion starting in Week 2. Goff will turn just 22 in October, so he’s incredibly young coming into the league – Carson Wentz is 22 months older than him. It’s probably for the best if they give Goff some extra time to adjust to the league, but we’d still guess that he’ll see the field late in the year if the Rams are out of contention. Also, Case Keenum continues to be an underwhelming option, so Goff could get his chance if they are in need of a spark.
Cody Kessler (Cle) – The Robert Griffin III Era in Cleveland was over after just one game, and if this jersey was still around, it would need to be updated with Kessler’s name. I said before Week 2 that I’d bet a week’s pay that Josh McCown doesn’t make it through the next 15 games unscathed, and it only took two quarters for him to injure his non-throwing shoulder. The Browns made one of the most bizarre picks in the draft by selecting Kessler in the third round – #93 overall – as he showed below-average arm strength and he looked like a marginal prospect at best. HC Hue Jackson targeted Kessler in the draft because of his “pinpoint accuracy,” and Kessler has actually performed well above my low standards for him. Kessler has been impressive enough to potentially hold off McCown for the starting job when he’s healthy enough to play again, especially since the Browns have very little to play for.
Geno Smith and Bryce Petty (NYJ) – The Jets clearly don’t think highly of their former second-round pick, or he would likely be starting already. The Jets’ 2016 season is going down in flames as we speak, as they sit at 1-5 and likely on the outside looking in at the playoffs, even with a much easier slate in their final 10 games. Ryan Fitzpatrick has a 6-INT and a 3-INT game to his name already this season, and he currently has a 5-to-11 TD-to-INT ratio. Smith did come in at the end of their Week 6 blowout, but HC Todd Bowles said after the game they’ll give Fitz another start in Week 7. If Fitz blows up one more time, Geno could get one last audition as a starter in the near before hits free agency this off-season. The Jets could also turn to Petty for an audition as well because the Jets have shown absolutely no desire to bring back Smith last year. However, they went throw Petty into the fire if they don’t think that he’s ready.
Tom Savage (Hou) – The Texans obviously gave Brock Osweiler a hefty contract this off-season to be their QB, but he’s looked incredibly bad in tough matchups against the Patriots (Week 3) and Vikings (Week 5). They are obviously going to give him a long leash to work things out, but this team also has aspirations of making a run in the playoffs, so Bill O’Brien won’t give him the entire slate to stumble through the season. I’ve never been a huge fan of Savage dating back to his days at Rutgers and Pitt because I thought he was a chronic underachiever, but there’s no doubt he has the arm talent and body to be an NFL pocket passer. The Texans will give B.O. every chance to succeed, but a move to Savage isn’t out of the question down the road.
Trevone Boykin (Sea) – QB Russell Wilson played through an ankle injury to start the year, and he suffered an MCL sprain in Week 3. Wilson played pretty well through the injury in Week 4, so the Seahawks didn’t need to turn to the rookie QB. Boykin should be ready to go in the future in case Wilson aggravates either of his injuries, and Boykin did fine replacing him against the 49ers, completing 7/9 passes for 65 yards, 1 TD, and 1 INT. The former TCU Horned Frog Boykin could play in a pinch if Wilson aggravates the injury. He had a strong preseason and training camp, and he has a lot of attributes that Wilson possessed coming into the league with a strong arm and quick feet.
Mike Glennon (TB) – Jameis Winston is clearly the franchise QB in Tampa Bay, but Glennon is an intriguing player who could be this off-season’s Brock Osweiler – maybe not for that kind of money – as a player who gets a chance to be a starting QB in 2017 after backing up for most of his career. The Bucs were looking for a day-two pick before the draft for Glennon, but they never got any offers that interested them. He’s huge at 6’6”, 225 pounds and has a big arm, and he has the potential to be a mid-to-back end NFL starter.
Jimmy Garoppolo (NE) – Garoppolo certainly wasn’t overwhelmed as a first-time starter this season, and he put some good play down on tape in 1.5 games leading this offense. Jimmy G certainly has the pedigree to become a starter as a second-round pick back in 2014, and I’d guess that a QB-needy team this off-season could move a day-two pick for Garoppolo this off-season.
Knile Davis (GB) – Davis is the former “Mr. Handcuff” of fantasy football behind Jamaal Charles, but he’ll now be thrust into a potential role with the Packers. Green Bay is in a hell of a spot with James Starks (knee) likely out a month and Eddie Lacy (ankle) playing through an ankle injury, so they traded a conditional late-round pick for Davis. Knile’s play fell off from his first two seasons in 2013-14, and he fell out of favor in Kansas City with Spencer Ware and Charcandrick West clearly becoming better options. Davis isn’t nearly as good as his legend became two years ago, but he’s still only 25 years old and he could be forced into a prominent role in an above-average offense at some point.
Mike Davis (SF) – Starting RB Carlos Hyde had his right arm in a sling at practice on Tuesday, this after he briefly left Week 6 with a shoulder issue. If Hyde can’t go, it appears that Davis is the next man up after he played ahead of Shaun Draughn in Week 6 (39% of the snaps to 8%). HC Chip Kelly didn’t draft Davis, but he is a 2015 4th-round pick who has impressed enough to move up the depth chart. He’s not the most explosive back out there, but he’s a tough inside runner who could produce with some volume.
Alex Collins (Sea) – Thomas Rawls has been a walking injury since he broke out in the middle of last season, and now he’s going to miss multiple weeks with a hairline fibula fracture. Christine Michael has outplayed Rawls since the preseason, and he took control of the job. C.J. Prosise has also struggled to get on the field with his broken hand, and Collins has been more of a factor, although they did bring in C.J. Spiller to be a change-of-pace back to Michael. A window could develop this year for Collins to make an impact as an early-down runner, especially with Michael’s inconsistencies over the years, and Collins is a powerful inside runner who can push a pile. He scored a TD in Week 6 spelling Michael.
Tyler Ervin (Hou) – It’s the Lamar Miller show at running back for the Texans through six weeks, as he handled the rock 125 times. That means that there’s been little work for anyone else in this backfield so far this year. Miller has handled the ball a ton through six weeks, which he certainly won’t be able to keep up. We’d expect Bill O’Brien to get his speedy rookie RB Ervin more involved by the end of the season as at least a change-of-pace option or as a receiver.
Peyton Barber (TB) – The Buccaneers placed Charles Sims (knee) on the injured reserve, leaving the Bucs with Doug Martin and Jacquizz Rodgers as the top two backs out of their bye in Week 7. UDFA rookie Barber is now in the mix, and he could have more prominent role at some point down the stretch. Barber (5’11”, 225 pounds) is a cousin of Marion Barber, and he’s the early-down type and short-yardage runner.
Malcolm Brown (LA) – Brown got some run as the #2 RB with Benny Cunningham out the lineup in Week 5, catching a 26-yard pass and getting two carries playing behind Todd Gurley. Brown is a former 5-star recruit who underwhelmed while at Texas, but he has the size (5’11”, 224 pounds) and skills to excel on three down if called upon to do so. Cunningham returned in Week 6, but Brown could factor in if Gurley missed time this year.
Daniel Lasco (NO) – HC Sean Payton will do whatever he wants with his skilled players, and he’s used the rookie Lasco ahead of Travaris Cadet at times this year. Lasco is known for his speed and athleticism, which makes him an intriguing prospect if he can an earn a role as a change-of pace back or as a receiver going forward. He dealt with injuries and he generally disappointed while at Cal, but he certainly has a high ceiling if he can tap into his talent.
Lance Dunbar (Dal) – It’s good to see Dunbar back on the field after he tore his ACL and ruptured his patellar tendon last season after a promising start to his 2015 campaign. He’s played plenty to start the year, including 22% of the snaps in Week 4 with 2 catches. There’s some hope for him going forward in PPR formats after he averaged 5+ catches in his four games last season. We’ve also seen rookie QB Dak Prescott check it down quite a bit to his TE Jason Witten and WR Cole Beasley, and some of those passes could turn into looks for Dunbar. However, he did sit out the last two weeks with a knee injury.
D.J. Foster (NE) – The Patriots made Foster inactive early in the year, which was good news for nervous James White owners, as he looks the primary backup to White while Dion Lewis is on the mend. Foster flashed onto the scene in the final preseason game with Tom Brady, posting 9/110 receiving on 10 targets and he added 9/22 rushing – although he did lose a fumble in the game. Foster is an intriguing talent, who split his time between WR and RB while at Arizona State, and he would make a fantasy impact if he ever ascended to the top passing-back role in this offense. They made him active in Brady’s first game back in Week 5, and he finished with 6/17 rushing while playing 15% of the snaps late in the game.
Buck Allen (Bal) – The Ravens finally cut an ineffective Justin Forsett before Week 5, and they bumped up Allen into the lineup. Buck isn’t much of a lead runner, but he does have some chops as a receiver to come through for fantasy, like we saw at times at the end of 2015 when he was a rookie. The problem is the Ravens have a more talented option in Kenneth Dixon, so Allen will likely go back to being the #3 RB. Still, he’s a very capable receiver out of the backfield if he’s ever pushed into a bigger role.
Ricardo Louis (Cle) – Louis was a workout warrior at the Combine and he has ideal size (6’2”, 215 pounds) and speed to eventually make an impact. The Browns got him in the lineup the last three weeks after WR Corey Coleman broke his hand at practice before Week 3. He’s played extensively the last four weeks, including 65% of the snaps in Week 5, and he’s racked up a solid 13 catches in that time. He’s more of a long-term project for the future, but he has a chance to make impact in the coming weeks now that Josh Gordon will never wear a Browns jersey ever again. Also, Terrelle Pryor is dealing with a hamstring injury heading into Week 7, so Louis could be the top WR on the outside for Cody Kessler.
Chester Rogers (Ind) – The Colts have an incredibly weak all-around roster, and UDFA Rogers out of Grambling State is now their #3 WR with Donte Moncrief out of the lineup. Rogers actually had 4/63 receiving in Week 6 while playing 72% of the snaps, as his role expanded with WR Phillip Dorsett suffering a hamstring injury. Even when he is healthy, Dorsett isn’t exactly a strong #2 WR right now because he’s not a developed route runner. Rogers could have an opportunity for some targets the next couple weeks while Dorsett and Moncrief are out.
Jeff Janis (GB) – Janis is still alive, as we found out in Week 6 when he registered his first catches of the season. He played 46% of the snaps after Davante Adams suffered a head injury, and Janis could be forced to play plenty again in Week 7 with the Packers playing on Thursday night. Janis is a workout warrior with his off-the-charts athletic ability and straight-line speed, but HC Mike McCarthy has refused to give him any kind of role in the offense when they are full strength. If he ever got an extended chance at playing time, he might just explode.
Josh Doctson (Was) – Doctson was our favorite WR prospect going into the draft because of his all-around game, but he is slow off the mark because of an Achilles injury that hindered him all preseason and has cropped backed up once again. He was featured on 3 red-zone targets as Kirk Cousins threw him a couple fades in the end zone in Week 2. Doctson isn’t quite ready to break out just yet because of his injury, but he needs to be watched once he gets healthy because they could feature him at some point. I don’t when that will be at this point, and he could be a candidate for the IR – Jay Gruden said he’ll sit out at least their bye in Week 9 – but he’s still someone you want around for 2017.
Devin Funchess (Car) – Funchess hasn’t had an easy time in the early part of the season after a pretty good showing in August. He’s also stuck in a rotation with Ted Ginn and Corey Brown for playing time across from Kelvin Benjamin. He’s yet another big target for Cam Newton to throw the ball to, and Funchess will likely need to score to come through in most weeks because Benjamin and Greg Olsen are going to see the volume in this offense. He did have a season-best 56 yards in Week 4, and he scored his second TD of the year in Week 6.
Braxton Miller (Hou) – First-round rookie WR Will Fuller has stolen all the headlines in Houston, but they have another intriguing rookie WR in Miller. He’s a former college QB at Ohio State who transitioned to WR in his final collegiate season, but his move to a new position has gone incredibly smooth. Miller beat out Cecil Shorts for the starting spot out of the slot in 3-WR sets for the Texans. He did sustain a hamstring injury in Week 2, which has cost him two weeks, but he’s been back the last two weeks. He clearly has a role in the offense, and while it may be tough to pry away targets from studs DeAndre Hopkins and Fuller, Miller is a playmaker in his own right.
Malcolm Mitchell (NE) – Mitchell drew positive reviews during the preseason, which is hard to do for rookie WRs trying to get on the same page with veteran QB Tom Brady. The Patriots have had an absolutely terrible track record of drafting WRs in the early rounds over the last decade, but there’s cautious optimism in New England that Mitchell could break the drought. He’s has 6 catches in five games so far, but he’d need an injury in front of him to make a big impact. Mitchell suffered a gruesome elbow injury in the preseason, but he recovered quickly and is definitely on the radar if he can give Brady much needed size on the outside.
Paul Richardson (Sea) – Richardson is a former 2014 second-round pick, who’s career has gotten off to a slow start after an ACL tear in his rookie year and a slow recovery and his subsequent hamstring last year. The Seahawks are giving him a chance to rotate in with top WRs Doug Baldwin, Tyler Lockett, and Jermaine Kearse. Lockett is trying to play through a torn PCL, which has given Richardson a few more opportunities to play. Richardson has a lot of speed to burn, so it wouldn’t surprise me if he makes a couple big plays in the near future if this offense can get on track.
Seth Roberts (Oak) – The Raiders love Roberts, a second-year slot WR out of West Alabama, and he’s played plenty early in the year. He’s already scored 3 TDs, and he scored 5 TDs as a rookie. Derek Carr clearly likes looking for him down by the end zone. Obviously, Cooper and Michael Crabtree are going to see heavy targets each week, but Roberts will battle Clive Walford for the #3 receiver role here with an ever-improving Carr at the helm. Roberts is decent-sized target, so he’ll continue to be an annoying vulture for Cooper and Crabtree owners.
Charone Peake, Jalin Marshall, and Robby Anderson (NYJ) – WR Eric Decker could miss more time with a torn rotator cuff, and it could cost him the rest of the season. That means the Jets are down to Anderson, Marshall, and Peake behind Brandon Marshall and Quincy Enunwa. Anderson is a speedy UDFA prospect out of Temple in a 6’3”, 190-pound frame. Peake is a bit of a developmental prospect they took in the seventh round, and he’s a more physical player at 6’2” 209 pounds. He wasn’t very productive at Clemson, but he could have a better pro career. Marshall is small (5’10”, 200 pounds), speedy UDFA rookie out of Ohio State, who has some short-area quickness that makes him effective as a returner.
Laquon Treadwell (Min) – The start to Treadwell’s rookie season has been awfully painful since he looked to be a perfect fit as the X receiver in a Norv Turner offense, and he was also one of the more pro-ready prospects in the class. Treadwell is buried on the depth chart behind Adam Thielen, Charles Johnson, and Cordarelle Patterson, so he’s not going to bust out any time soon. The good news is that Johnson and Thielen are underwhelming, so it could be just a matter of time before they give Treadwell his shot to win this job. The Vikings used a first-round pick on Treadwell and they aren’t getting a whole lot across from Stefon Diggs, so it would be wise to give him a shot to develop with Sam Bradford.
Jalen Strong (Hou) – Strong has been a disappointment as the #70 overall pick in 2015, but he has started to produce with a little more playing time recently because of hamstring injuries to Will Fuller and Braxton Miller. Strong had consecutive 5-catch games in Weeks 4-5, and he had a critical sideline catch for 36 yards to propel the Texans’ comeback victory over the Colts in Week 6. Strong can play outside and inside, and he’s the top backup for the top three WRs in Houston.
Erik Swoope (Ind) – Starting TE Dwayne Allen injured his ankle in Week 5, opening the door for the former Miami basketball player to get on the field. He played 55% of the snaps and posted 2/42 receiving, boosted by a long gainer down the sideline. Allen is week-to-week with the injury, so Swoope could be fairly active next to Jack Doyle in 2-TE sets the next couple weeks. Swoope checks in at 6’5”, 257 pounds, and he of course follows in the footsteps of another Miami basketball player turned NFL TE in Jimmy Graham.
Austin Hooper (Atl) – Hooper exploded in Week 2 against the Raiders with 3/84 receiving, and he scored on a 42-yard TD on 4 targets in Week 4 against the Panthers. Jacob Tamme’s role has diminished recently, and at some point the Falcons need to get a more explosive TE in the fold to help out Matt Ryan and Julio Jones in the passing game. Once Hooper gets some more experience under his belt, the Falcons would be wise to get him on the field more than Tamme.
Jerell Adams (NYG) – Adams was arguably the most athletic TE prospect in the 2016 draft class, but he had some major work to do in the classroom to get on the field. He’s apparently done a good job, as he played 30% of the snaps with Larry Donnell out of the lineup and he had 2/27 receiving in Week 5. I compared Adams to Ladarius Green and Gavin Escobar in our “Rookie Report” article because of how tall and lanky he is and because of his movement skills, and he clearly has the most potential out of these Giants TEs down the road
Trey Burton (Phi) – Starting TE Zach Ertz is back in the mix off his rib injury, but Burton could be a bit of a thorn for him going forward. Brent Celek had been the starter with Ertz out, but Burton is the much better receiving threat for Carson Wentz. He finished with 7/68/1 receiving on 13 targets in Weeks 2-3. Burton clearly showed he has more potential as a receiver than Celek, who has made a career out of being a blocker first. Burton is another move TE out of the University of Florida, in the same mold as Jordan Reed and Aaron Hernandez, as Burton can move and checks in at 6’3”, 235 pounds.
Tyler Higbee (LA) – Higbee has just a 2-yard catch through six games, and he’s played primarily in just 2-TE sets with Lance Kendricks. He did play 33% of the snaps in Week 6, and QB Case Keenum did miss him for a TD in Week 4. The Rams eventually need to get more playmakers on the field and Higbee is certainly much more talented than Kendricks. Higbee is unlikely to ever go off in this limited offense this season, but he’s a player to watch for in Dynasty formats if Jared Goff ever starts to show some promise.
Xavier Grimble (Pit) – Grimble is a third-year player who has jumped around the league since signing with the Giants as a UDFA out of USC in 2014. He’s with his fourth team in three years, but he’s finally playing and making an impact playing next to Jesse James in 2-TE sets – he has at least a catch in three straight games. He’s made a couple athletic plays as a receiver, including a TD in Week 2. Grimble’s biggest knock had been his blocking, but he has the speed, frame, and hands to be a factor in the NFL. The Steelers could look to start using him in some more creative ways, but they also could activate Ladarius Green (ankle) very soon.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins (NYJ) – ASJ’s career has been an absolute mess, but it’s possible that he just needs a fresh start in a new location. In his debut with the Jets in Week 5, he finished with 2/17 receiving while playing a healthy 34% of the snaps. However, he suffered an ankle injury and missed Week 6, and he’s had a history of injury issue. The Jets have absolutely nothing at TE at this point, and he could develop into a competent receiver if the Jets use more sets with TEs involved.
Crockett Gillmore (Bal) – Gillmore is going to be an annoying vulture for Dennis Pitta owners, as the Ravens have been going with more 2-TE sets. He stole a TD in Week 5, and he played on 47% of the snaps in Week 6. Second-year TE Maxx Williams (knee) landed on the IR and has been a bust in general, so Gillmore isn’t going anywhere and he could have a bigger role if Pitta’s durability issues creep back in.