If you took the advice of The Pug last week, chances are you came out on top as The Pug was on top of his game last week. As we enter into the mid point of the fantasy season, now is the time to find the waiver wire gem or pull off a trade to keep your fantasy season afloat or continue your dominance of the league. Questions about trades or who to sit/start? The Pug has you covered! Ask The Pug on Facebook on The Scrum Sports page or on Twitter @thescrumsports!
Jimmy Graham- TE- Seattle Seahawks- After being traded to Seattle from the New Orleans Saints, Graham went from a fantasy star to borderline irrelevance. Well Graham has finally seemed to get back his mojo back after breaking the 100 yard mark in consecutive games for the first time since 2013. All signs point towards a successful week six for Graham, who goes against a Falcons defense ranked 26th against the pass and is giving up the second most points in the league to tight ends. Also coming off the bye week and allowing Russell Wilson to get healthier isn’t going to hurt matters.
Jeremy Maclin- WR- Kansas City Chiefs- Having the bye week to stew on an embarrassing loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Chiefs face the division rival Oakland Raiders and their league worst pass defense. The Raiders have been successful this season in pulling out close victories in shoot outs, and this game may not be any different in terms of style. The Raiders are one of two teams to allow over 1,000 yards to opposing wide receivers this year, and Maclin is a talented receiver that should take advantage of the situation.
Ryan Matthews- RB- Philadelphia Eagles- Ryan Matthews hasn’t been all that productive fantasy wise since week two, but the Pug believes this is the week that all turns around. After suffering their first loss of the season last week to the Detroit Lions, the Eagles should lean on the ground game to help take pressure off of Carson Wentz. The Redskins rank 30th in the league against the rush, and are one of two teams to allow seven rushing touchdowns so far this season. Matthews should receive his fair share of work in this game, and a multi-touchdown game isn’t too far fetched.
High Risk, High Reward
Case Keenum- QB- Los Angeles Rams- After coming off a no touchdown, two interception game, this may seem like a stretch, but Keenum has seemed to get more comfortable with the Rams offense over the past few weeks. This week he faces the Detroit Lions who actually played a good defensive game last week, but still rank 23rd in the league against the pass. The high reward chance comes from the fact the Lions have given up more fantasy points to opposing signal callers than any other team in the league, and have given up 14 touchdown passes as opposed to only pulling in two interceptions this season. The high risk with this start lies in the fact the Rams have the 30th ranked passing attack in the league, although this game has the opportunity to be a breakout game for the young QB.
Mike Wallace- WR- Baltimore Ravens- An early season waiver wire gem by The Pug, Wallace has been solid for an otherwise mediocre offense. Although his numbers have fallen off slightly in the past few weeks and he hasn’t found the end zone since week two, this week’s game against the Giants could be a breakout game for Wallace. The possible absence of Steve Smith Sr. and a new offensive coordinator that could look to utilize Wallace’s speed, could all be a recipe for success. The Giants have given up the forth highest number of yards to opposing wide receivers and may have their hands full this weekend against Wallace and the Ravens looking to bounce back after a lackluster offensive performance last week against the Washington Redskins.
Cameron Artis-Payne- RB- Carolina Panthers- This is a high risk move for a number of reasons. The most obvious risk is because there is a chance Jonathan Stewart returns to action this week, although the size of the load he can handle is also undetermined. Even without Stewart in the starting lineup, there is always the chance that Fozzy Whittaker takes carries away from him, as Whittaker had the majority of the carries two weeks ago and Artis-Payne was the workhorse this past Monday night against the Buccaneers. The high reward is simply based on matchup. They play against a Saints team that ranks 26th against the rush and has given up more touchdowns to opposing backs (8) then any other team in the league this season.
Players To Avoid
Ezekiel Elliot- RB- Dallas Cowboys- The rookie sensation has really been living up to the hype as of late as the Cowboys have been rolling. This may be the week to dial it back and find an alternative is possible as the Cowboys will face the Green Bay Packers defense that has only allowed 170 yards and one touchdown on the ground. If you have a viable replacement this may be the week you look like a genius for benching the rookie.
Andrew Luck- QB- Indianapolis Colts- Poor Andrew Luck. His numbers may not have returned to the level the were prior to his injury plagued 2015 season, but much of the blame shouldn’t fall on his shoulders. His offensive line has been horrendous, and he is on pace to be sacked 60 times this season. Things won’t be any easier against him this week as the Colts face a Texans defense that has allowed less than 1,00 yards passing and only three touchdowns to opposing quarterbacks this season. The Texans boast the top rated pass defense in the league in terms of yards allowed per game, and although Luck catches a break not having to rely on his offensive line to block J.J. Watt, they have still found a way to sack the opposing QB 13 times this season. The Pug doesn’t trust Luck at all this week.
Jordan Reed- TE- Washington Redskins- Reed has been one of the more consistent fantasy options at tight end this season, but this may be the week to have him grab bench. The Redskins face the Philadelphia Eagles this week, and the Eagles have allowed the fewest fantasy points to opposing tight ends this season. In fact, they have only allowed opposing tight ends to catch six passes for 43 yards and no touchdowns through four games. Reed hasn’t had much success against the Eagles in the past either, averaging only 44.2 yards per game against them in his career.
Waiver Wire Gem(s) Of The Week
Andrew Hawkins- WR- Cleveland Browns- It may be hard to think of picking up any member of the Cleveland Browns and expect them to achieve fantasy relevance, but Hawkins has been stepping up as of late, and the Cleveland brass wants to get him even more looks in the near future. The Browns will be playing from behind quite often, which will mean more opportunities then the normal wide receiver. If the Browns really do get Hawkins more involved in the offense like they say they want to , he may be the steal of the mid-season waiver wire.
Sammie Coates- WR- Pittsburgh Steelers- Coates had a monster game that will likely make him one of the top targets on the waiver wire this week, but with the underperformance of Markus Wheaton and the year long suspension to Martavis Bryant, Coates has emerged as the clear cut number two option for Big Ben in the Steelers passing attack. He is a great pick up, but may not be much of a secret after catching six passes for 139 yards and a pair of scores against the Jets last Sunday.
Worth noting is Jeremy Kerley would have made the list this week, but with the quarterback change in San Francisco, it’s a situation worth keeping an eye on to see if Colin Kaepernick targets him as often as Blaine Gabbert was.