RB Spencer Ware
The Claims Report is a Wednesday feature that will analyze weekly waiver additions.
Unicorns & Glitter!!! claimed RB Spencer Ware ($65)
Another week, another Chiefs injury at running back.
When Jamaal Charles went down with an ACL way back in Week 5, relative unknown Charcandrick West was given the mantle and ran off with it. He’s currently the RB32 with just five starts to his name, and one of those (this past week) was cut short due to a hamstring injury. In those games, West topped 18 fantasy points three times, proving that pretty much any RB in Andy Reid’s offense has the ceiling of a RB1.
Enter Spencer Ware, who took over following West’s injury and promptly galloped for 96 yards and two scores in a 33-3 beatdown against the Chargers. Granted, that San Diego run defense is getting scorched by everyone who opposes them, but this much remains free of skepticism: Ware deserved to be this week’s priority add based on opportunity alone. A former sixth round pick out of LSU, Ware’s measurables don’t jump off the page. He ran an ugly 4.67 40 (22nd percentile), only had 17 bench press reps (22nd percentile), and posted an agility score that would put him in the 44th percentile. He didn’t produce much at college, either.
Still, he looked like a force in relief duty last week and we already know the kind of market share he’ll get as the Chiefs main back. It helps that Coach Reid has made it clear to the entire universe that he hates Knile Davis with every fiber (that’s an Andy Reid weight pun; get it?!) of his being. The Chiefs have a great schedule coming up as well. Here it is, by ranking of total points allowed to running backs where the higher the rank, the tastier the match-up: vs. BUF (23rd), at OAK (29th), vs. SD (31st), at BAL (10th), vs. CLE (28th). That’s two bottom five defenses during the playoffs.
Beach Bums claimed DST New England Patriots ($18)
That’s a big bid for a largely inconsistent, historically bend-but-don’t-break defense.
This week, the Patriots get Brock Osweiler in just his second career start, but this is likely a claim with the playoffs in mind. Beach Bum has secured a first round bye, so his playoffs begin in Week 15, at which point the Patriots draw the lowly Titans at home, followed up by a road match-up with the Jets.
American Dream claimed QB Brian Hoyer ($8)
There’s got to be some strategy imbedded in this move, but I can’t quite see it. American Dream already has Derek Carr, Eli Manning, and the returning Tony Romo at quarterback and has thus far been unsuccessful unloading either of the two veterans in trade. So on the surface at least, Hoyer has no immediate path to playing time here and there doesn’t seem to be an impetus to proactively find a replacement for Manning or Romo. His last two opponents are Capital City FFC and the Drugged Llamas and neither team is hurting for a quarterback, so this isn’t a preventative move either. Maybe he’s just following in the footsteps of Unicorns and Glitter!!! and devoting a bunch of roster spots to a fairly easy to replace position just for the heck of it.
American Dream claimed TE Benjamin Watson ($4)
American Dream’s tight ends have been a mess this year. He’s had an on again, off again relationship with Austin Seferian-Jenkins, the paper bag man who never suits up and plays, and has often started Richard Rodgers, who has gone over double digits in fantasy points three times but is too touchdown dependent. But Benjamin Watson isn’t much different. He’s posted two monster 18+ point games but has been held under 10 points in his other eight games.
Beach Bums claimed WR JJ Nelson ($4)
Carson Palmer and the Cardinals have been dealing with injuries in their passing game off on and all year. Last week, more cropped up and forced the team to deploy JJ Nelson in a bigger role. From there, he managed to convert six targets into four grabs (one for a score) and 142 yards. Not bad for a fifth round pick thrust into his first real action (he did have three catches for 70 yards in Week 8 against the Browns, but hey, its the Browns).
As for metrics, how’s this one: Nelson ran a 4.28 40-yard dash, which puts him in the 100th percentile of players who’ve done the same test. As far as straightline speed without pads goes, he’s the cream of the crop. He also has decent size at 5’10”, though he weighs only around 150 soaking wet, and has a limited catch radius (he finished in just the 45th percentile in that test). Still, one standout skill is more than a lot of guys can boast, and he appears at least somewhere on the periphery of a high octane passing attack. For $4, you could make a lot worse gambles.
Beach Bums claimed QB Alex Smith ($4)
The only thing noteworthy about this transaction is that it came at the expense of Percy Harvin, who has been burning a hole in a roster spot for far too long now. Alex Smith has become our league’s version of Dr. Kevorkian. When you have a player on your roster that seems valuable but isn’t and you finally snap and decide to dump them, the guy you do it for is Smith. Just ask Colin Kaepernick.
American Dream claimed K Mason Crosby ($4)
Meh. He kicks footballs.
Capital City FFC claimed RB Stevan Ridley
At this point in the season, the best you can do is insulate yourself from injury as much as possible. This season, Stevan Ridley has actually lost a yard on seven carries — that almost seems impossible for an NFL running back — but stands as Chris Ivory’s back-up, or at least possible back-up, in a Chan Gailey offense. Thus, marginal handcuff value.
Noteworthy from this transaction, to make room for Ridley, CJ Spiller was cut. Spiller was my longest tenured player, having been taken in the seventh round of our inaugural draft in 2012. With ties to Spiller cut, Ryan Tannehill takes over that banner for my squad. He was claimed for $5 in August 2012, just after that first draft.
Greased Up Deaf Guy claimed RB Bilal Powell
See above, then add this: I feel dumb because I didn’t realize Bilal Powell was a free agent. The last I had checked, he was on the Drugged Llamas, and since the Drugged Llamas never bother doing anything on the waiver wire to improve his team, I just assumed he was still sitting there on the bench.
Munney Men claimed WR Jaelen Strong
I’ve lost track of how many times Munney Men has drafted/added Jaelen Strong, cut him, then added him back.