Each week David Gautieri previews the Top 5 waiver wire adds based on the Consistency model! Follow David on Twitter at @GuruFantasyWrld
It’s that time of year! We’re finally starting to stack enough games to get a better idea about players’ true consistency! We have our consistent performers, but on top of that, some deeper (& possibly hidden) yet consistent trends are starting to emerge. Let’s take a look at 5 players rostered in less than 50% of leagues who are either consistently performing or have shown some consistent trends which hint at more consistent production in the future:
This year’s rookie class is starting to really challenge the notion that rookies can’t be “consistent” fantasy options, and I for one could not be happier about it. Herbert’s not available in your 12-team leagues, but let’s talk about his legitimacy in 10-teamers & 1QB formats. Through 5 weeks, Justin Herbert is QB8 in PPG, with weekly finishes as the QB13, QB19, QB7, & QB3 (pending the Tuesday night game). He needs to be treated as a top-10 QB moving forward.
There’s a distinct group of difference-making fantasy QB’s this year (Russ, Mahomes, Lamar, Josh Allen, Kyler, Deshaun, Aaron Rodgers, Cam Newton, & yes, Justin Herbert). In 1QB formats, every other QB falls under the “streaming” category. In what is an extremely potent Dallas offense, Dalton’s got a real chance at entering that upper echelon of actual difference-makers. You don’t need me to pitch you on him in 12-team or Superflex leagues, but in 1QB formats, if your QB isn’t one of the above-mentioned difference-makers, you need to strongly consider dropping them for Andy Dalton – yes, I’m looking at those of you with Tom Brady & Drew Brees as your starter.
There’s no way to pitch Chase Claypool’s past production as “consistent.” He had one fantasy-worthy game out of three through the first three games, before exploding this past week. But we have to look at the trajectory here. Claypool’s snaps increased every week through the first 3 weeks (from 19 to 24 to 61), as did his targets (from 2 to 3 to 4). Nevermind the fact he looked amazing every step of the way… This past week, coming out of an early bye, it’s hard to tell whether Claypool’s performance was a result of the team actually planning to scheme more for him, or just the fact that Diontae Johnson got hurt. I’m gonna argue it’s somewhere in between, in part because Claypool was given 3 carries this past week after taking his first & only carry through the first 3 games for 8 yards. Regardless, it’s safe to say he’s going to completely displace James Washington in 3WR sets & it’s not unfair to assume he’s going to overtake Diontae Johnson as the No. 2 target in due time, perhaps quickly. There’s even a universe (perhaps many) where he overtakes Juju as the team’s top fantasy WR – this year. This upcoming week is going to be telling, but I don’t know how you don’t consider this guy an every-week starter at this point, at the very least.
Laviska Shenault Jr.
Laviska Shenault has increased his reception total in all 5 games this year (from 3 to 3 to 5 to 5 to 7). He’s scored in double-digit PPR points in 4 out of 5 games & he hasn’t scored less than 8.4 points in a single game. This was his first week without a rushing attempt, but it was also his career-high in receptions (7) & receiving yards (79). Viska is involved in one way or another on a weekly basis – and that gives him a tremendously high floor. He’s already useful now & his value is going to skyrocket if he scratches at his ceiling for even one game.
Is Travis Fulgham a flash in the pan or someone who you’ll be able to consistently trust in your lineup? There are a lot of different factors at play which are going to determine that. The first is when do Jalen Reagor & Dallas Goedert come back, and how well do they play upon their return? The second is, how washed is Zach Ertz really? There’s the potential that Reagor & Goedert come back strong & that Ertz benefits from their presence. But there’s also the potential that Reagor takes time to settle in as a rookie, and/or that Ertz really is washed, nevermind the potential that one of Reagor, Goedert, or Ertz has a setback or is hurt (again). I don’t love this week’s matchup against Baltimore, but the remaining schedule after that is so soft (NYG, DAL, BYE, NYG, CLE, SEA, GB, NO, AZ, DAL) that it’s quite possible Fulgham (who had 10 receptions on 13 targets this past week) maintains a worthy enough role to the point you’re comfortable using him on a weekly basis.