Jordan Howard and the Week 4 Waiver Wire Adds
If you play in a league with waiver priority, SAVE it! None of the waiver wire players listed this week are worth spending your priority on. Jordan Howard is a speculative add at best, although he headlines this week’s article due to the limited number of recommended players.
As usual, all players listed are owned in 50% or fewer of Yahoo leagues. Suggested FAAB bids are highlighted in green.
Jordan Howard – RB – Chicago Bears (21% owned) | 6% FAAB
In the first half on Sunday night against the Cowboys, the Bears starting RB Jeremy Langford had just 2 carries for 8 yards. Jordan Howard then came in and ripped off a 36 yard gain on his first attempt. When the Bears emerged for the second half, it was Jordan Howard who started at RB eventually finishing with 9 carries for 45 yards, while Langford had just 3 carries.
UPDATE: Langford was carted off in the 2nd half with what appears to be an Achilles injury.
I’ve already fielded a few question about using a #1 waiver priority on Howard, and I still don’t think he is worth it. The Bears are one of the worst teams in the league, and they don’t figure to improve given the injuries to key players like Cutler and Langford. Coach John Fox is notorious for not trusting rookies, meaning Ka’Deem Carey could actually become the back to own if he is able to recover from his hamstring injury in time for week 4. Jordan Howard may get one week of workhorse touches if Carey can’t go, but most likely he will find himself in a RBBC situation.
For those wondering who Jordan Howard is, you can check out his draft analysis on NFL.com.
The cliff notes: Jordan Howard is a power runner who initially attended Alabama-Birmingham before later transferring to Indiana. He was awarded first team all Big Ten honors averaging 6.2 yards per rush, and has the ability to compete at any level. At his pro-day Jordan Howard ran a solid 4.59 40-yard dash, and as a bruising runner should be prepared to step in as the early down back for the Chicago Bears.
Weaknesses: Injury history. Absorbs so much contact it may be difficult for him to stay healthy for an entire season. Jordan Howard didn’t factor into the passing game much in college.
Conclusion: Don’t go all out to acquire Jordan Howard. If the cost isn’t too steep, he is an intriguing speculative add, but the situation doesn’t look overly promising for a breakout campaign.
Orleans Darkwa – RB – Giants (1% owned) | 6% FAAB
Rashad Jennings was a surprise scratch on Sunday as he was apparently unable to adjust to playing with a cast on his hand. A RBBC was formed between Shane Vereen (12 touches) and Orleans Darkwa (11 touches). Orleans performed well as he handled 10 carries for 53 yards and a TD, while adding one reception for 9 yards through the air.
UPDATE: Darkwa’s value just took a huge leap forward, as Shane Vereen is out for the season with a triceps injury. Darkwa will now likely assume the early down work until Rashad Jennings is able to play. Bobby Rainey may see some work in passing situations, but for as long as Jennings is out, Darkwa could have decent RB2 value.
UPDATE #2: Rashad Jennings is considered questionable for week 4. While Darkwa is an intriguing waiver wire add, I still wouldn’t burn waiver priority on him.
Kyle Rudolph – TE – Vikings (41% owned) | 6% FAAB
As I mentioned in the intro, if you have a league with waiver priority you should save it this week. If you need TE help and your waivers reset, chances are that Rudolph will be the best available. Through his first 3 weeks now, Kyle Rudolph has amassed a whopping 26 targets. Those have been converted into 14 receptions for 166 yards and 2 scores. If the Vikings TE is still available in your league, this will likely be the last week he is out there on the heels of a strong 10 target, 7 reception, 70 yard, 1 TD line against a stout Carolina defense. Make the move and start him as a low end TE1 going forward.
Steve Smith Sr. – WR – Ravens (39% owned) | 3% FAAB
3 games. 26 targets. 16 receptions. 170 yards. 1 brutal achilles injury. Most fantasy managers must be focusing on the injury, and Steve Smith’s age (37) when considering adding him to their roster. I’m willing to overlook those factors and focus on the targets where SSS is averaging just under 9 targets per week. While Mike Wallace operates as the big play threat, Smith Sr. will see the most targets, and eventually the TD’s and yardage should follow. If you need WR help, and are considering a guy like Terrelle Pryor, I’d take a look at Steve Smith first heading in to week 4.
Terrelle Pryor – WR – Browns (20% owned) | 3% FAAB
Well. Pryor will certainly be one of the most heavily discussed players heading into the 4th week of fantasy football. The former Ohio State quarterback who converted to wide receiver decided to roll back the clock and remind Miami he can still produce in a multitude of ways. Lets check those stats from Sunday against the Dolphins:
- 3 of 5 passing for 35 yards
- 21 yards rushing. 1 rushing TD
- 8 receptions on 14 targets! 144 yards receiving
- 23.9 fantasy points – Standard leagues
Obviously if he keeps up those numbers Terrelle Pryor is your new QBWR1 in fantasy football. The only real problems here are that he plays for the Browns (another one of the worst teams in football), who are starting a 3rd string QB each week. Josh Gordon will return from suspension soon to take away some of those looks, and the schedule isn’t exactly a cakewalk with WAS, NE, TEN and CIN coming up.
To summarize, Terrelle Pryor is certainly worth an add in most leagues to see if he can reproduce his amazing success from week 3. I’m pulling for Pryor on a personal level as he plays with fire regardless of the quality of the team around him, and seems to have the talent to back it up. Heading in to week 4 treat Terrelle Pryor as a low end flex play with boom or bust ability that can be started depending on the quality of the other WRs in your lineup.
Jamison Crowder – WR – Redskins (16% owned) | 1% FAAB
As the WR3 of the Redskins fantasy owners didn’t expect much out of Jamison Crowder coming in to the season, but his target numbers have been strong (25 targets through 3 games), and he is one of Kirk Cousins’ go to weapons in the red zone (7 RZ targets through 3 weeks). With a decent schedule ahead consisting of Cle and Bal, Crowder is a trending wide receiver who should see his ownership continue to rise. In the even of an injury to DJax or Pierre Garcon Jamison would become a must add, meaning forward thinking owners will want to pick him up now as a low end WR3 with upside given the red zone targets.
Dwayne Washington – RB – Lions (23% owned) | 1% FAAB
It looks like Ameer Abdullah will be out for the rest of the year due to a torn ligament in his foot. While Theo Riddick will continue to see most of the work in the pass heavy Lions attack, Dwayne Washington’s role should continue to develop on the heels of a solid week 3 performance. Against the Packers this past Sunday Washington ran the ball 10 times for 38 yards, while Riddick handled an equal number of carries for just 9 yards.
Riddick is well suited to the open field as a receiving back, but between the tackles he fails to move the pile which is where Dwayne Washington should come in. While he is just a rookie and will have his ups and downs, now is the time to pick up Washington in 12+ team leagues if he is still available.
Deep League Waiver Wire Pickups
Cameron Brate – TE – Buccaneers (1% owned) | 1% FAAB
Given the way this season is going at tight end, there will likely be a “flavor of the week” posted here each Monday, and this week it is Cameron Brate of the Bucs. Following the release of Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Cameron Brate is the new TE1 for a QB who is slowly coming in to this own in Jameis Winston. His first official week as a starter Brate made the most of his opportunities converting 10 targets into 5 receptions for 46 yards and 2 TDs. Cameron will join the ranks of fellow TE2’s like Jesse James, Dwayne Allen and Zach Miller that you aren’t sure whether you should start or sit each week.
Wendell Smallwood – RB – Eagles (1% owned) | 1% FAAB
There has been no explanation as to why Ryan Mathews mysteriously disappeared from the Eagles run game Sunday after carrying the ball just 2 times for -5 yards. All we know is after the first quarter a RBBC of Sproles, Smallwood and Barner emerged. Sproles was the receiving weapon as expected, while Wendell Smallwood and Kenjon Barner split carries with Smallwood receiving the lion’s share (17). Wendell absolutely dominated the Steelers en route to a 17 carry, 79 yard, 1 TD performance which should put him on the radar in deeper leagues. With the Eagles on bye in week 4 and four different running backs all competing for touches there should be no hurry to add Smallwood, but if you’re in a league with few waiver wire running back options you may want to add Wendell as the speculative add who could turn in to something down the line.
Kenyan Drake – RB – Dolphins (16% owned) | 1% FAAB
Kenyan Drake received the “start” in week 3 against the Browns, but it was a full blown RBBC between Drake, Ajayi and Isaiah Pead. Drake performed well with 9 carries for 37 yards, while Jay Ajayi did well with his 7 carries for 28 yards and a game winning score. Its possible this situation will change week to week going forward, making Drake a very risky flex play even in 14+ team leagues.
Ka’Deem Carey – RB – Bears (1% owned) | 0% FAAB
All eyes will be on Jordan Howard this week (and rightfully so), however, given John Fox’s history with not trusting rookies, it isn’t outside the realm of possibility that Ka’Deem Carey could actually emerge as the back to own in Chicago. Carey is currently dealing with a hamstring injury, with no timetable for return, so this is a very deep waiver wire stash. A 3rd year RB, Ka’Deem averaged 4.4 YPC his rookie season, and 3.7 YPC in 2015. He hasn’t been particularly involved in the passing game (just 8 receptions in 2 seasons), but there was a guy named Matt Forte seeing most of the targets during that timeframe.
When he does return owners will want to check the snap counts to see who is seeing more action, but if you’re in a league where Jordan Howard is long gone, you can take the speculative route on Carey and see what develops for the Bears.