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Charles Herrmann (@HermsNFL)
The Lateral Chief Editor
Malcolm McMillan (@McLateralFF)
The Lateral Writer
Week two of the new format here at The Lateral and it already feels much better than what we had before. This week the WRs present an interesting problem given that none of the receivers in our pool have major upside, but luckily the obvious adds at that position this week are very solid. Remember, we are not going to be covering the obvious adds here, so those of you chasing that barrage of Ballage analysis will be disappointed.
Diving Into Week 11 Waivers
The Pool: Alex Smith (WFT), Jameis Winston (NO), Daniel Jones (NYG)
Charles' Pick: One item of note before I make my pick: before the infamous leg injury in Week 10 of the NFL 2018 season, Alex Smith was the QB22 and that was without the then-Ohio State WR Terry McLaurin on the team. All things considered, that's weirdly not bad in context and I don't hate the idea of Smith as a weekly streamer if you're in a pinch even in that Washington offense. My pick is Jameis Winston. With the injury to QB Drew Brees, which we talked about here and here, Winston is walking into taking the reins of a solid offense with some great weapons. Obviously, Winston is a bit of a gamble given his track record of being a bit reckless, but despite that, he's shown he can be a top 5 fantasy option. Hell, he did that last year, y'all. Peep the Saints upcoming schedule and hold your nose because it's going to be a bumpy ride. Let's see how Famous Jameis rolls in The Big Easy.
Malcolm's Pick: Last year Jameis Winston was QB8, Daniel Jones was QB17, and Alex Smith was fighting to walk, let alone get back on the field again. This year Drew Brees is QB16, Daniel Jones is QB22 (but nearly four points off Brees PPG), and no Washington Football Team QB has managed a better pace than 13.89 PPG.
That really is the long and short of it. All the historical data points to Winston being the better QB and being the Saints QB as being the better situation. Yes, Winston will throw picks, something so obvious I do not even need to link to it, but he will also throw TDs. Brees could be out for the rest of the season for fantasy purposes, so Jameis Winston is a borderline must-add unless you have a top-five QB. The two matchups against Atlanta in the next three weeks do not hurt either if you are fighting in a playoff push.
The Obvious Add: Tua Tagovailoa (MIA)
The Pool: Salvon Ahmed (MIA), Devontae Booker (LV), Damien Harris (NE)
Charles' Pick: There's a case for all three of these players so let's start from the top. On one hand, Salvon Ahmed stepped in and produced this past week en route to being the RB14, but on the other hand that was without RB Matt Breida available. Who knows if Breida is active next week to further muddy the waters of the Miami backfield in Myles Gaskin's absence. Ahmed is probably the best one-week stopgap, but that's still not 100% guaranteed. At the end of the day, I look long-term and between Booker and Harris, I'm going with Damien Harris. While I do have positive feelings regarding Booker, Harris ran like a man possessed leading the way for the Patriots on Monday Night Football and isn't looking likely to cede the job to RB Sony Michel upon his return. It's tough to trust a Patriots RB, but at least Harris doesn't have Josh Jacobs in front of him.
(Lowkey shoutout to Seattle RB Alex Collins if Chris Carson isn't ready for Thursday night. Could be a huge bust but I wouldn't mind taking a stab there if you're a desperate team in a deeper league.)
Malcolm's Pick: What do you need from your RB? Do you need a win next week and must start a waiver wire pickup at your RB slot? Then Salvon Ahmed is the add for you. Miami is a one-back backfield, highlighted by the dominance in the backfield of Ahmed over the past two weeks and fellow RB Myles Gaskin prior to that. Need further proof? The Dolphins just cut TD vulture RB Jordan Howard, clearing the way for Ahmed to hold onto the starting gig until Gaskin comes back.
If you need bench depth, then I prefer Damien Harris, who I have written about before in glowing terms. Yes it is a crowded backfield in New England and Harris will never see passing down work, but nobody on waivers is likely to have his volume ROS. If you are looking for some handcuffs, I again recommend Ahmed, but Devontae Booker is now the clear number two in Las Vegas, and may even be flirting with stand-alone value similar to the Phillip Lindsay situation in Denver (rushing volume and TD upside but no passing game value). If Jacobs were to go down, Booker would become an RB1/RB2 instantly.
The Obvious Add: Wayne Gallman (NYG)
The Injury Fill-In: Kalen Ballage (LAC)
The Pool: Keelan Cole Sr. (JAC), Marvin Hall (DET), Jakeem Grant (MIA)
Charles' Pick: Keelan Cole Sr. is the move here. Things got a bit wonky for him after I included him in my Fantasy Ice Fishing 2.0 piece several weeks ago, but referencing back to that is a gentle reminder that Cole Sr. was performing well before the skid he hit between Weeks 7-9. It pains me as a Leviska Shenault Jr. fan, but Cole Sr. is heavily involved in this Jacksonville offense regardless of who the QB is. Credit where credit is due on this one.
Malcolm's Pick: Thank god there are so many obvious adds because these three do not inspire confidence. However, I think the best way to look at these three is to look at their performance over the last two weeks, and then compare it to their performance prior to the past two weeks. Why the past two weeks? Because that is where a key impact factor occurred for all three players. Jake Luton started throwing the ball to Keelan Cole Sr. in Week 9, Lions WR Golladay has been out in Week 9 and 10, opening a door for Marvin Hall, and Dolphins QB Tua finally got his sea legs in Week 9 against Arizona, stabilizing the opportunity for Jakeem Grant.
Here are the splits (Week 1-8/Week 9-10): Keelan Cole Sr. (WR35/WR33), Marvin Hall (WR104/WR45), Jakeem Grant (WR94/WR39). This leaves us with a clear winner in Keelan Cole Sr., who is a stable low-end WR3. If you are feeling lucky and want to take a shot on a speculative add that has upside, it is clear that Tua feels comfortable throwing the ball to Grant, who has seen five targets each of the past two games. At the moment though, even with TD upside he is not a better option than Cole, who has seen that level of work most of the season. Hall is nothing more than relevant due to Golladay's injury and will be irrelevant once Golladay returns.
The Obvious Adds: Michael Pittman Jr. (IND), Jakobi Meyers (NE), Cole Beasley (BUF)
The Pool: Jordan Reed (SF), Taysom Hill (NO), Richard Rodgers (PHI)
Charles' Pick: I've got to go with Taysom Hill on this one. The #hack of him being qualified at TE is pretty great considering he'll be likely to find himself throwing the ball at quarterback splitting some time with Jameis Winston without Drew Brees. We don't have many fantasy football cheat codes, but this is one of them. Don't get me wrong, it's ballsy as all hell and may not pay off, but c'mon; we're talking about the tight end position.
Malcolm's Pick: I want to say Taysom Hill, but I cannot imagine Sean Payton wants to play his son more than he wants to win football games, and the Saints are worse the more they involve Taysom Hill. Richard Rodgers was weirdly the Eagles TE to start in Week 10, but given Ertz is on the way back, do not waste your FAAB.
That leaves you with Jordan Reed. Yes, he is on a bye week, but that's what Logan Thomas is for. Sang them both and you will have a guaranteed eight to nine points a week, which for the TE position could really be worse! Seriously though I think Reed will be a low-end TE1 ROS as long as he is healthy and Kittle is not, and the game logs support that theory.
The Obvious Add: Logan Thomas (WFT)
The Pool: Los Angeles Rams, Los Angeles Chargers, Atlanta Falcons
Charles' Pick: *checks schedule* Ahhh, yes. The Los Angeles Chargers are facing the Jets in Week 10. Nothing else to say here ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Malcolm's Pick: Charles is right, just add the Los Angeles Chargers against the Jets. If you cannot though, the Rams have been a DST1 so far this season, and they have some good matchups the rest of the season. I still prefer the Dolphins.
The Obvious Add: Miami Dolphins
The Pool: Ryan Succop (TB), Zane Gonzalez (ARI), Chris Boswell (PIT)
Charles' Pick: Give me Ryan Succop. A Week 10 matchup between Tampa Bay and the Rams calls for a solid tug of war and plenty of opportunities for both kickers to have themselves a day. Of the group, Succop and his Buccaneers have the best game script opportunity in the context of field goaling.
Malcolm's Pick: I am going to go with Chris Boswell after I learned my lesson calling him a bust leading into Week 10. This Jacksonville matchup feels like a repeat of that Cincinnati matchup where the Boz scored 14 points, and worse case he has a very stable floor. I really think you cannot go wrong with any of these, but Succop has a tough matchup against the Los Angeles Rams, and Gonzalez may have too good a matchup against the Seahawks.
The Obvious Add: Randy Bullock (CIN)
The Obvious Add: Randy Bullock (CIN)
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