The fantasy football playoffs are approaching in most leagues, and if depth is a concern for your team, the waiver wire is the easiest place to look for the best late-season additions.
There are still fantasy-relevant players who play starting roles sitting on the waiver wires of almost all ESPN and Yahoo! Sports leagues, including some of the best performers from Week 9, such as Nick Foles.
Let’s take a look at a few players who fantasy owners must add if they are concerned about reaching their league’s playoffs.
Nick Foles, QB: The Philadelphia Eagles quarterback had a career performance on Sunday with 406 passing yards and seven touchdowns. Even though we cannot expect this level of production each week, it’s time to take Foles seriously as a high-end QB2 in most fantasy leagues.
Not only has Foles proven he can be an effective pocket passer with 10 touchdowns and zero interceptions over the last three weeks, he also has plenty of quality targets in the Eagles passing offense, including wide receivers DeSean Jackson, Riley Cooper, and running back LeSean McCoy.
Foles also has a lot of quality matchups for the rest of the season because the Eagles play seven teams ranked 20th or worse in pass defense in their final seven games. He’s still available in over 80 percent of ESPN standard leagues.
Rashad Jennings, RB: Injuries to Raiders running backs allowed Jennings to start in Week 9 and he ran for 102 yards and a touchdown. But his real value is being a running back who also makes an impact in the passing game, evidenced by his seven receptions for 72 yards against the Eagles on Sunday.
Oakland has a good offensive line and ranks third in the NFL in rush yards per game (147.8), so it would be surprising if Jennings workload was decreased in Week 10, especially after one of the finer performances of his career.
There are several quality running backs on byes in Week 10, so adding Jennings to your roster as a starting running back or a flex option makes sense. He’s available in over 95 percent of ESPN standard leagues and is a must-add in deep, 12-16 team leagues.
Aaron Dobson, WR: Dobson had the best game of his career on Sunday, catching five passes for 130 yards and two touchdowns. His most impressive stat was the nine targets he received from Tom Brady, which shows the growing amount of confidence that the Patriots quarterback has in the rookie wideout.
With tight end Rob Gronkowski and receiver Danny Amendola healthy and in the lineup, Dobson should get a lot of one-on-one matchups while defenses focus most of their attention on the two aforementioned stars.
It should also be noted that Dobson’s speed and quickness makes him one of the few deep threats that the Patriots have in their offense, so expect him to get 1-3 targets per game on pass attempts of 20 yards more for the rest of the year.
Riley Cooper, WR: The Eagles receiver was one of the biggest beneficiaries of Foles’ seven-touchdown game on Sunday, catching five passes for 139 yards and a season-high three touchdowns on six targets.
Given the Eagles’ tendency to throw often and Foles’ willingness to spread around the yards, this offense is fully capable of supporting two or three fantasy-relevant pass-catchers, which includes Cooper. He’s now a high-end WR3 or a low-end WR2, and with byes giving fantasy owners tough roster decisions over the next couple of weeks, Cooper is a must-add as a flex option, especially in deeper leagues.
Michael Crabtree, WR: The 49ers’ passing offense has been steadily improving following some early-season struggles, and it will get a nice boost when Crabtree makes his return from an injury. The former first-round pick offers 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick a receiver capable of making big plays downfield and tough catches on the sidelines.
He’s also a reliable third-down player with his quickness , impressive route-running ability and the great chemistry he has with Kaepernick. Injuries and a lack of quality options in the San Francisco passing game should result in Crabtree getting 5-10 targets each game when his comeback is complete.
Here’s the latest on Crabtree’s comeback from injury:
Marc Sessler (@MarcSesslerNFL) October 20, 2013