Each week David Gautieri previews the Top 5 waiver wire adds based on the Consistency model! Follow David on Twitter at @GuruFantasyWrld
Is there anything worse than picking up a player after he has a big week just to drop him after he has a dud the next? There isn’t… so each week, I’ll be highlighting players who I believe have staying power & can become consistent performers for your team. Here are five players I wanted to highlight heading into Week 4:
Myles Gaskin is essentially the last “consistent” RB available in more than 50% of leagues. He’s not quite “clutch” level, but he’s been more than serviceable, with double-digit fantasy points in all 3 weeks. He hasn’t had less than 4 receptions in a game yet, leads the Dolphins in receptions through 3 games, & seemingly settled into a workhorse rushing role this past Thursday night, handling 22 carries to Jordan Howard’s & Matt Breida’s 3 & 3. To everyone’s surprise, Howard & Breida have actually been incorporated less since Week 1 – not more. Gaskin’s snap % has risen from 65% Week 1, to 66% Week 2, all the way to 76% this past Thursday. He’s a must-add if he’s somehow still available, even in 10-team leagues.
Finding consistent performers at RB after Week 3 is like finding a needle in a haystack – except a lot more difficult. But, we can still look for backups who have shown some semblance of consistency in one way or another, and Edmonds has – by consistently outproducing Kenyan Drake as a receiver in 3 consecutive weeks, with 8 total receptions on 11 targets to Drake’s 5 total receptions on 5 targets. It’s going to take Edmonds coming up from the mid-30’s in snap count percentage (he’s played 35%, 36%, & 32%), but Drake hasn’t lit the world on fire as a rusher yet (16/60, 20/86, & 18/73) so it’s possible Edmonds’ earns a few more carries to supplement his receiving role & make him a matchup-based flex option in his own right (perhaps starting this week in a tasty matchup against Carolina?)
Carlos Hyde – a consistent fantasy option? No, I’m not kidding you. This one obviously hinges on one specific factor – Chris Carson’s health. Because when Carson is active, Hyde isn’t just inconsistent, he’s worse – completely useless. But it shouldn’t be understated just how valuable Hyde would become in the instance Carson were to miss this week’s game or potentially suffer a setback to his knee later down the line. Simply put, the offense is scorching hot. Seattle is currently 2nd in the league in points per-game (behind only the Packers), with a whopping 37.0 PPG through 3 weeks. Chris Carson is the RB10, ahead of RB’s like CEH & Jonathan Taylor – and that’s with Hyde vulturing a TD from him Week 1. Needless to say, there are A LOT of fantasy points to be scored from this backfield & Carlos Hyde is just one Chris Carson injury away from inheriting a large chunk of them.
Can we take a minute to talk about how much volume there is in the Cincinnati passing game? Through 3 games, Joe Burrow is second in the league in passing attempts, behind only Dak Prescott. Burrow’s thrown the ball 141 times – an average of 47 attempts per game, and for 300+ yards in each of the last 2. CIN has also run the second-most plays per-game through 3 weeks, behind only the Cowboys. Throw in the fact that Higgins has out-snapped AJ Green each of the last two weeks & led the entire WR corps in snaps this past week (with 58) – and it’s not hard to see the upside here. Higgin is quickly becoming Joe Burrow’s second-most reliable receiving-option & already appears to be the preferred target around the goal-line. On a team that figures to be playing from behind the vast majority of their games & continue to be amongst the league-leaders in passing attempts, that puts Higgins squarely in the flex conversation – even as a rookie. It’s going to be very difficult for him not to see at least 5 targets on a weekly basis.
Herbert was in the column last week & I’m including him again this week. The major selling point is his rushing ability & the buffer it provides his fantasy floor. It’s quite assuring to see that his 7 attempts in 2 games aren’t just the result of scrambles, and that the team is actually calling zone/read options designed to put the ball into Herbert’s hands & take advantage of his athleticism. He had a rushing TD in his first start & took 3 carries for another 15 yards in his second start. 15 rushing yards might not sound crazy, but it’s the fantasy equivalent of an extra 37.5 passing yards, or half an extra passing TD… The rushing-TD he scored in his first start was worth the fantasy equivalent of an extra 150 passing yards. Those kinds of rushing totals are going to help Herbert remain a consistent fantasy option even when he underwhelms as a passer. And if there’s any indication from his second start this past week, there aren’t going to be many weeks when he underwhelms as a passer – not with the receiving weapons this offense has.