Each week David Gautieri previews the Top 5 waiver wire adds based on the Consistency model! Follow David on Twitter at @GuruFantasyWrld
There are very few consistent options left on waivers, so consider getting ahead of the game & stashing a second D/ST with quality playoff matchups this week if you miss out on Tua Tagovailoa & the high-upside RB stashes. With that being said, here’s a look at some players who are worth prioritizing:
Tua Tagovailoa has already arrived as a passer. He’s completing 65% of his passes (including 71% this past week) & he hasn’t thrown an interception yet on 52 attempts. Most importantly, he’s already starting to unleash the rushing upside (35 yards this past week) which will buffer his fantasy floor during down passing weeks & make him a consistent option. And by the looks of it, there aren’t going to be many more down passing weeks for him. This kid looks like a bonafide stud & he’s coming into his own – quickly. If he’s somehow still available in your 1QB leagues, correct that.
At what point do the Ravens just come out and announce Edwards as the starter? They’ve leaned on Gus “Bus” as a runner more than JK Dobbins since Mark Ingram went down, and they gave him a whopping 5 (!!) touches inside the 5-yard line this past week against the Colts. He now has a rushing TD in 3-straight games. I expect Edwards to remain the TD-maker for this team moving forward – even when Ingram returns. That’s great news with a schedule consisting of matchups against DAL, CLE, JAX, & NYG to finish the fantasy season.
A lot of people are going to see that Kalen Ballage was relegated back to the practice squad after his “breakout” game this past week & they’ll completely disregard him on waivers. I believe that is a major mistake. Ballage, at 6’1/228 with 4.46 speed, is easily the most physically-suited to complement Austin Ekeler. He clearly looked like the best LA back on the field this past week & the advanced metrics also support his case. He gained 43 of his 69 yards after-contact (2.87 per-attempt) – a figure he hit only 1 time in 24 games with Miami (in a game skewed by a 75-yard TD run). Now that he’s evolved to the point of creating legitimate yardage for himself & is in a system which is currently 12th in RB fantasy points scored & has had 4 different backs (Ekeler, Jackson, Kelley, Pope) have a 5-reception game, there’s some serious upside here. Joshua Kelley has barely averaged as many yards per attempt (3.2) as Ballage has after-contact (2.87). Kelley’s 1.5 yards after-contact per-attempt doesn’t even compare. He’s clearly not the answer & Justin Jackson is hurt. It would be borderline criminal for the Chargers to not activate Ballage again & give him the bid for the No. 2 job he’s rightfully earned. He’s a bit of an all-or-nothing add, but if we get the “all” & Ballage does supplant Kelley in LA, it’ll be worth considering him weekly as a flex/RB2.
Did you know that Curtis Samuel is actually averaging more PPG (11.3) than DJ Moore (11.1) in .5PPR formats? Samuel had a slow start to the year, not hitting double-digit fantasy points in any of the first 4 games. But in the last 4? He’s hit double-digits in every game & just had his first 100-yard receiving game of the season this past week. Most importantly, he’s seen a rushing attempt in every single game & is averaging 2.75 attempts per-game. Seeing that kind of rushing volume has helped reduce his volatility & will help allow him to continue becoming a more consistent fantasy option. He hasn’t scored less than 5 fantasy points in a single game all year & has only gone below 9 twice.
Schultz appears to be the Cowboy least affected by QB changes. Even through the turbulence that Andy Dalton & Ben DiNucci brought, Schultz has actually maintained fairly consistent production (4/35, 2/22, 6/53, 4/48 the past 4 games). He’s not dead, and from the looks of Garrett Gilbert’s gutsy performance against the Steelers, neither is this offense. Because of how often the Cowboys are going to be facing a negative gamescript, and the fact that Schultz is currently out-snapping all three Dallas WR’s (69 snaps played this past week to the WR’s 68, 59, & 38), Schultz remains in position to be someone who you can rely on if you need to insert him into your starting lineup. He’s a safeguard for those looking to add a TE2 as depth.