I'm not gonna lie, this is a pretty ugly week for the waiver wire. With that being the case, try improving your team through trades, not just the waiver wire. This is the time of year when fantasy owners tend to get desperate, so make some trade offers. You might get a steal from an owner that has to win this week.
Alright, let's see which free agents are still available. Keep in mind the owner % mentioned is for 10-team standard ESPN leagues. Some of these players below are good for the short-term, while others have more long-term value. You have to make the call on what your team needs. Immediate help to start this week, or a player to stash on your bench and hope he breaks out. Let's get started.
Jimmy Garoppolo: He's widely available in leagues and looked great against the Browns on Monday Night Football. He's rostered in about 34% of 10-team ESPN leagues, and most weeks he'll have to throw more than he did against Cleveland. Also, he's already had his bye week so his numbers are better than they look. Jimmy should have to pass more this week against the Rams.
Josh Allen and Jacoby Brissett: They both have a bye this week, but you can beat the waiver wire by picking one of them up now, and not having to worry about getting them next week. Coming off a concussion Allen still had 10 carries against the Titans, so you know he'll continue to run. Plus, Allen gets the best possible matchup against the lowly Dolphins in Week 7. He could win your week for you, so grab him now. As for Brissett, he gets the Texans in week 7 so the matchup isn't scary, and we know what T.Y. Hilton can do to Houston.
Matthew Stafford: He gets the Packers this week in what could be a high-scoring game. The Lions scored 62 points against the Packers in 2 meetings last year, so he could be poised for another big game despite the Packers having a revamped defense this year. He's owned in 42% of standard ESPN leagues.
Gardner Minshew: Dude continues to produce, and he has a great No.1 WR with D.J. Chark. This week, he gets a nice matchup at home against the Saints, so fire him up if you need him. He did really well against a Panthers defense that held Deshaun Watson and the Texans to 10 points in week 4. He's only rostered in 18% of ESPN leagues.
Chris Thompson and Adrian Peterson: If there's ever a week to use these guys, this is it. They get the Dolphins, so feel free to use Thompson in a PPR as a flex, and Peterson in non-PPR as a flex. Thompson is probably owned in your league, but somebody might drop him because the Redskins are a disaster. Peterson is out there in 52% of leagues, so pick him up if you need him.
Jon Hilliman: He has a tough matchup against the Patriots this week, but if you're desperate you should be able to use him before Saquon Barkley likely returns for Week 7. Hilliman's widely available.
Ito Smith: Devonta Freeman hasn't looked good, so Smith is a decent stash as the Falcons might be looking to see what Smith can do with their season in the toilet.
Robbie Anderson: He's only available in shallow leagues, but he might have been dropped. With Darnold returning, Anderson could be a nice option down the stretch. He's rostered in 66% of ESPN leagues.
D.K. Metcalf: He's coming off a decent game against the Rams where he caught a long TD. He might have been dropped in your league, so he's worth taking a look at. He's available in about 38% of standard leagues. Metcalf is very talented, but he seems dependent on the big play for now.
Geronimo Allison: He's out there in 58% of leagues and there's a good chance Devante Adams misses another game.
Auden Tate: Somebody has to catch some passes for the Bengals besides Tyler Boyd. Is that a ringing endorsement of what?
Mohamed Sanu: Sanu made the list last week, and he came through with a TD against Houston. He's hard to trust though since he's the 4th option in Atlanta's passing game.
Byron Pringle: Tyreek Hill may return this week, so Pringle is a bit of a dart throw. But he is available in almost all leagues, and he faces the Texans this Sunday.
Chris Herndon: He's finally off suspension and Sam Darnold might be back this week too. He's out there in about 88% of leagues, so pick him up if you need a TE.
Gerald Everett: That's 2 straight quality games for Everett, and we know the Rams will score points. He's only rostered in 3% of ESPN 10-team standard leagues.
The Cowboys and the Ravens have good matchups this week against the Jets and Bengals respectively, so look for them first on the waiver wire.
If you have any questions, feel free to hit me up on Twitter or listen to my radio show MoneyLine with Jerry Bo Sundays from 10-noon on ESPN 97.5 FM. We talk all things fantasy football and NFL gambling getting you ready for kickoff every Sunday.
- In a week that is in large part about being thankful for the good things we are fortunate to have in life, Texans’ fans can have an extra helping of glee. After three years of enduring an absolute turkey of a franchise, it is certainly a football blessing to have the Texans gobble up three straight wins to get to 6-4 and make it a legitimately big game Sunday versus 7-3 Jacksonville at NRG Stadium.
Should the Texans beat the Jaguars for a second time, they sweep the season series and take over first place in the AFC South. Raise your hands if back in early September you had this as a likely scenario. Hands down liars! With six more games to play after Sunday it’s not as if the Texans clinch the division with a win, but it clearly positions them to take the division and go from last to first as the Jaguars did from 2021 to last season. Among the Texans’ final six games, only Cleveland is an opponent currently with a winning record. The Broncos have won four in a row to enter the wild card race at 5-5, but that game is in Houston. Then the Texans play at the offensively impotent Jets and the dead in the water Titans. The Deshaun Watson-less Browns are here Christmas Eve before the Texans get their second game with the Titans, ahead of the season finale at the presently 5-5 Colts. That is a very favorable schedule. With a win over the Jags Sunday, the Texans finishing 11-6 becomes very plausible. That would force the Jaguars to win five of their final six games, which include playing at Cleveland and a home date vs. the Ravens. Jacksonville’s other four games project as wins: home games vs. the no-Joe Burrow Bengals and the horrible Panthers, road games at Tampa Bay and Tennessee.
On the flip side, if the Jaguars come here and win Sunday, they come relatively close to putting away the division. The Jags’ would leave with a two game lead, and a split with the Texans would give the Jacksonville the tiebreaker via better divisional record, unless they somehow lose at Tennessee in their season finale.
Beating the Jags again doesn’t figure to be as easy as it turned out to be for the Texans in Florida back in September. The Texans won 37-17 despite being outgained 404 yards to 366. After getting out to a 17-0 lead, the Texans saw Jacksonville draw within 17-10 with 4:35 to go in the third quarter. Then Andrew Beck shockingly rumbled 85 yards for a touchdown on a kickoff return. Thereafter the outcome was never in doubt. The Texans were turnover-free in the game, the Jaguars coughed it up twice. With C.J. Stroud coming off of a three interceptions game you know taking care of the ball is a point of re-emphasis this week.
The Jaguars are a perfect 4-0 on the road, one of the road games being a road trip not a true road game. They beat the Buffalo Bills in London.
If C.J Stroud opted to take the rest of the season off, he’d still have the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year award just about sewn up. Fellow freshman Texan Tank Dell is in the hunt for runner-up. The dynamic 165 pound former Houston Cougar has six touchdown catches. That equals the rookie TD haul total of Andre Johnson and DeAndre Hopkins combined. Johnson had four TD grabs as a rookie in 2003, Hopkins just two as a rook in 2013. Dell is on pace for 10 touchdown catches. The schedule being 17 games now impacts this stuff of course, but Dell missed the Saints game while in concussion protocol. In the Super Bowl era, only nine first year wide receivers have cracked double digits in TD receptions. Randy Moss blew away the field with his epic 17 TD catch rookie season with the Minnesota Vikings in 1998. Next with 13 are Ja’Marr Chase two years go with the Bengals and the begoggled John Jefferson with the Chargers in 1978. Odell Beckham and Mike Evans caught 12 apiece as rookies, Mike Williams 11. Calvin Ridley, Daryl Turner, and Sammy White each snared 10. White did it in a 14 game schedule.
Rams rookie fifth round pick Puka Nacua is Dell’s chief competition for rookie wideout of the year. Nacua is on pace for a whopping 117 receptions for more than 1500 yards.
A Thanksgiving-related note/quasi prediction. If the Texans ultimately finish second in the division, here’s a guess that they play at the Arlington Cowboys Turkey Day 2024. The Texans next season will play a game at the NFC East team that finishes in its division this year in the same place the Texans do theirs. The Cowboys are going to be second behind Philadelphia in the NFC East. C.J. Stroud’s arrival means no more zero nationally televised games for the Texans. A Texans-Cowboys holiday tilt makes sense. The Texans have played two Thanksgiving Day games, both at Detroit.
Looking for more Texans coverage?
Texans on Tap is the weekly Texan-centric podcast I am part of alongside Brandon Strange and Josh Jordan. On our regular schedule a first video segment goes up Monday on the SportsMapTexans YouTube channel.