For many of you, congratulations. You’ve made it to the halfway mark of the fantasy football season.
For others, my condolences. Just chalk it up to 2020.
A good number of fantasy managers have worked the waiver wire and kept themselves afloat in tight leagues.
Judging by the waiver trends on some of the popular websites, many of you also have managed to avoid fool’s gold and stick with players who could boost your rosters long term.
Now is not the time to count your successes or give up on a tightly contested playoff race. There are always players who click in the second half of the season — or fall off a cliff.
Here are 10 to consider picking up this week.
Zack Moss, RB, Bills
Eight weeks in, we finally see what a fully healthy Zack Moss looks like, and it doesn’t look good for Devin Singletary. Moss had a season-high 14 carries for 81 yards and two touchdowns Sunday against the Patriots (20.1 fantasy points). Singletary had a decent game (9.7 points), but it seems like he has less pop than Moss.
“This is probably the most I felt like myself just from everything from top to bottom,” Moss said via wkbw.com. “I was just happy I was able to come out and be ready to go in a game like this. I was really comfortable today and want to build off that going into the rest of the year.”
The Bills gave a lot of credit to tweaks in the offensive line, so we’ll have to see if Moss can separate himself in the backfield. However, it’s not like Singletary hasn’t had multiple chances to cement the lead-dog role.
J.K. Dobbins, RB, Ravens
It took some patience, but J.K. Dobbins’ fantasy GMs finally got to see what the rookie looks like with Mark Ingram (ankle) out of the way, and they had to like what they saw: season highs of 15 carries and 113 yards for a 7.5-yard average.
“J.K. wasn’t anything surprising to us; he’s going to play well,” said coach John Harbaugh, according to the team website. “All of our backs are excellent backs. … We kind of expected him to play well, just like we do the other guys to play well when they go in there.”
According to reports, Ingram could miss more time. But Dobbins still would have to share carries with Gus Edwards, who is a load around the goal line. Dobbins is claimed in about 49% of ESPN leagues and 36% on NFL.com.
Jalen Reagor, WR, Eagles
Other players on this list had much bigger fantasy days than Jalen Reagor’s three catches for 16 yards and a touchdown plus a two-point conversion, but Reagor got other looks on end-zone routes that could’ve produced a much bigger game.
It was also his first game back after missing five weeks with a thumb injury, and he provided an immediate complement to Travis Fulgham, who also scored.
“Every week is great learning for them and they’re getting better by the week,” quarterback Carson Wentz said via the team website. “Those guys are making great plays along with our tight ends and Greg (Ward) in the slot and different guys are stepping up. I’m excited to keep building off what they’ve done so far and keep getting better.”
The Eagles have a bye in Week 9, then face the Giants, Browns and Seahawks.
Marvin Jones, WR, Lions
We all know Marvin Jones is no Kenny Golladay, but it could be a very interesting week for him.
Jones has been the subject of trade rumors as several teams, such as the Browns, seek wide receiver help by Tuesday’s deadline.
“There’s nothing for me to worry about or even ask. What they do is what they do,” Jones said via mlive.com.
Meanwhile, Golladay suffered a hip injury against the Colts, and its severity wasn’t immediately clear.
Jones had just three catches but scored on two of them, making for a second straight week of double-digit fantasy production in half-point PPR formats.
Anyone who claims Jones might hope he stays with the Lions, who have the Vikings, Washington, Panthers and Texans up next. Jones is available in more than half of Yahoo and NFL.com leagues and slightly less than half of ESPN leagues.
Damien Harris, RB, Patriots
Just when you thought you could write off Damien Harris — and most of the Patriots playmakers — he notches several “wins”: his first career touchdown, his second 100-yard rushing game and his best yards per carry (6.4). But he didn’t get the win he wanted.
“I can’t say I’m too happy about anything right now. Winning is more important than anything,” Harris said after a 24-21 loss to the Bills.
Harris looked as explosive as any point this season, recording a season-high 16.2 fantasy points, while Sony Michel heals up from a quadriceps injury.
You never know what the future holds for any Bill Belichick running back, but at least in the short term, it seems Harris has staked a claim to a significant share of touches.
DeeJay Dallas, RB, Seahawks
We saw a rush in DeeJay Dallas claims on Yahoo when it became apparent that both Chris Carson and Carlos Hyde could miss the 49ers game, while Travis Homer also had a knee injury.
The Seahawks were down to one healthy back in Dallas, and all he did was combine for 58 yards and two touchdowns for 17.8 fantasy points.
“I thought he was lights out,” quarterback Russell Wilson said via newstribune.com. “I thought he was very calm in the huddle. He was on top of his protections. He was very efficient in the running game, caught the ball well. He’s a special player, and I’m glad he’s on our team and stepped up.”
Dallas is worth a stash, especially given Carson’s and Hyde’s history of having problems staying healthy.
Darnell Mooney, WR, Bears
Darnell Mooney is sixth in air yards per reception (26.7) and 11th in target separation (2.1 yards per target), according to FantasyData.com. That was on full display on Mooney’s 50-yard reception against the Saints.
But we’ve known the speedy rookie is a long-bomb threat. The surprise was his 3-yard touchdown catch in the fourth quarter.
Mooney said he was well-aware he was an option in that package.
“I’m just honored the coaches have faith in me in the red zone to give me the ball and have an opportunity to score,” he told WBBM-AM 780.
Nyheim Hines, RB, Colts
Nyheim Hines rewarded Philip Rivers for targeting him, coming through with two touchdown catches against the Lions.
Hines is usually heavily involved in the passing game, it just doesn’t typically amount to double-digit fantasy points, even in PPR.
If you’re willing to roll the dice, the Ravens have been vulnerable to pass-catching running backs, including Clyde Edwards-Helaire (five catches for 70 yards), Antonio Gibson (4-82), J.D. McKissic (7-20) and Joe Mixon (6-35). Of those, only McKissic fell short of double-digit fantasy points.
Jordan Wilkins, RB, Colts
I’m less certain about Jordan Wilkins’ ability to coexist with Jonathan Taylor than I am about Nyheim Hines, who always will have a role in the passing game.
If Wilkins’ performance Sunday (89 yards and a touchdown) becomes more than a one-week thing, he and Taylor could form a muddy situation like the ones in Baltimore, Detroit and New England in which no one back meets his full potential on a consistent basis.
“We kind of rode his hot hand a little bit,” Colts coach Frank Reich said of Wilkins via indystar.com. “He just was seeing it well, had great balance, made some great runs.”
Wilkins hadn’t done much with a handful of starts in the past, but he could be a late bloomer.
The Colts live and die by their running backs (certainly not by T.Y. Hilton anymore), so if Taylor is on your roster, Wilkins represents a major threat. If you have room for a stash, you almost have to protect yourself by picking up Wilkins or Hines if they’re available.
For those who just want to take a flier on Wilkins, he could become a Gus-Edwards-like red-zone vulture.
Mike Williams, WR, Chargers
This is Mike Williams in a nutshell: The six games he has played since Week 1 have gone so-so, bust, bust, boom, bust, boom.
And when we say “bust,” we’re talking about the one or two catches for fewer than 20 yards variety. Usually you don’t want to mess with a hit-or-miss player such as Williams, but he has scored three touchdowns in the last three games.
Justin Herbert’s big arm makes it worth taking a flier on him in deep leagues and for DFS games.
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