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Working the Wire: Buying Low on Schaub

Kevin Payne

Kevin Payne

Kevin has worked for Rotowire just under a decade and has covered basketball, baseball and football. A glutton for punishment, he roots for his hometown Bills, Sabres and the New York Yankees. He hosts the RotoWire SiriusXM show every Wednesday and Friday and you can follow him on Twitter @KCPayne26.

QUARTERBACK

Primary Targets

Matt Schaub, HOU -
Houston appeared to have Sunday's game in hand until Schaub threw a game-changing pick-six to Seattle's Richard Sherman before losing in overtime. The Texans offense has been extremely run heavy the last few seasons, but that hasn't been the case through four weeks. Schaub is on pace to throw 708 passes, which would be 164 (more than 10 more attempts per game) than last season. The increase could be due to game circumstances, though it should be noted the game they lost to the Ravens was his lowest number of attempts (35) in a game this season. The Texans have one of their better receiving corps of the last few seasons with the addition of DeAndre Hopkins and Garrett Graham emerging at tight end. Schaub has what appears to be a tough matchup next week in San Francisco but has Jacksonville (twice), Oakland and a couple other favorable matchups on his schedule. FAAB: $6-$10

Secondary Targets

Matt Cassel, MIN -
After Sunday's performance in getting the Vikings their first win it's hard to imagine going back to Christian Ponder even if he's healthy. Cassel had 248 passing yards (a 9.9 YPA) with two touchdowns and no interceptions while completing passes to seven receivers. The performance is even more impressive considering the Steelers had one of the better pass defenses coming into the game statistically. The division appears to be one of the higher scoring in the league, which could lead to either shootouts or garbage time production if Cassel has the job. Just remember Christian Ponder could be back under center Week 6. FAAB: $2-$4

Hail Mary

Ryan Fitzpatrick, TEN -
While there isn't a solid timetable for Jake Locker's return, it seems as though he should miss a good chunk of the season. Ex-Bill Ryan Fitzpatrick will get another starting chance for the Titans, meaning you can expect a Harvard reference at least a couple times per game by the announcers. There isn't much upside with Fitzpatrick, and he doesn't have the greatest receiving corps to work with. That said, he has the starting job for multiple weeks, making him relevant in two-quarterback formats and possibly when he faces the Jaguars. FAAB: $1 or FCFS

RUNNING BACK

Primary Targets

Rashad Jennings, OAK -
What did you have the over/under set at for total games Darren McFadden would play this season? I liked Latavius Murray as a deep sleeper this season due to McFadden's fragility, but he's on injured reserve himself. Marcel Reece is banged up as well, which means Jennings should have plenty of work this week against an average defense in San Diego. He caught eight passes on eight targets Sunday against Washington, giving him some added value in PPR formats. FAAB: $12-$18

Danny Woodhead, SD -
It's highly unlikely Woodhead will catch two deep touchdowns the rest of the season, but it's hard to ignore how big a role he has in the Chargers passing game. Woodhead likely has the most targets (27) of any receiver or running back on your waiver wire and should continue to rack up catches the rest of the season. This recommendation is really geared toward PPR formats where he'll have value as a lesser version of Darren Sproles. FAAB: $8-$14 in PPR formats

Secondary Targets

Mike Goodson, NYJ -
With the return of Justin Blackmon this week it seems like Goodson's return from suspension is going a little under the radar. Chris Ivory is out, and while Bilal Powell has been solid, Goodson should find himself some touches in the Jets running game. It's likely he won't have a big role initially but should work himself into the mix the next few weeks. Goodson is versatile enough to run between the tackles and be involved as a receiver out of the backfield. At the very least monitor how he's used Monday night against the Falcons.
FAAB: $3-$8

Hail Mary

Roy Helu, WAS -
Helu would find himself much higher on this list if Alfred Morris' rib injury was something worse than it appears. Helu finished with 84 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown Sunday in relief of Morris, who had to leave the game. With his bruising running style it's not a complete surprise that Morris got hurt, though he's been durable throughout his career. The Redskins have a Week 5 bye, giving Morris another week to heal and giving him a good chance to suit up Week 6. Helu is only worth a look if it looks like Morris might be questionable or if we find out the injury is worse than what it appears now. FAAB: $1 or FCFS

Wide Receivers

Primary Targets

Alshon Jeffery, CHI -
Jeffery had a monster fantasy game Sunday, finishing with 107 receiving yards along with a touchdown and a successful two-point conversion. The Lions were doing everything they could to slow down Brandon Marshall, leaving Jeffery in single coverage. Jeffery at 6-foot-3 was able to exploit his size over the small cornerback on both the touchdown and two-point conversion, snagging the jump ball on both plays. Jeffery averages eight targets per game, and with Marc Trestman as their head coach the Bears should continue to throw a lot. FAAB: $6-$10

Secondary Targets

Robert Woods, BUF -
I think there's a decent argument that between Steve Johnson and Robert Woods the latter could be the more valuable fantasy commodity. Part of that is due to Johnson drawing the top corner from opposing teams (this week it will be Cleveland's Joe Haden) and giving Woods softer coverage. He appears to have a good rapport with fellow rookie EJ Manuel and has averaged eight targets over his last three games. FAAB: $5-$9

Greg Jennings, MIN -
Jennings had a nice little breakout game across the pond, finishing with 90 receiving yards and two touchdowns. While those numbers look great they came on only four targets, which will be extremely difficult to replicate. The other side of that coin could be that with Cassel under center Jennings will be targeted more in the red zone. FAAB: $4-$8

Terrance Williams, DAL -
With Miles Austin dealing with his annual hamstring injury, Williams picked up the start opposite of Dez Bryant. The rookie wide receiver finished with seven catches for 71 yards on eight targets. There isn't a timetable for Austin's return, so Williams could be in for plenty of more snaps. He'll get constant single coverage with defenses rolling help toward Bryant, and Romo didn't hesitate to look his way Sunday. FAAB: $4-$8

Hail Mary

Jon Baldwin, SF -
I refuse to give up on Baldwin given the receiver's size and potential. He was activated for last Thursday night's game and has had enough time now to learn the San Francisco offense. His two catches for 19 yards is nothing spectacular, but the 49ers need to find a third receiving option behind Vernon Davis and Anquan Boldin. FAAB: $1 or FCFS

TIGHT END

Secondary Targets

Garrett Graham, HOU -
Graham scored for the third time in four games Sunday, a surprising stat for someone who only has 16 targets this season. Matt Schaub has always loved to throw the seam pattern, and the Texans love to use two tight ends (think James Casey or Joel Dreessen) running routes on their pass plays. The lack of targets limits Graham's upside, but Schaub has looked his direction in the red zone. FAAB: $3-$6

Hail Mary

Mychal Rivera, OAK -
David Ausberry was getting a little sleeper buzz in two-tight end leagues this offseason after Brandon Myers left town. However, a shoulder injury has landed Rivera on IR, leaving Rivera as the most viable pass-catching option at tight end. The Raider quarterback play has been surprisingly good with Terrelle Pryor, and even Matt Flynn didn't look completely terrible Sunday. Watch to see if Rivera starts to get some red-zone looks as he becomes more comfortable with the offense. FAAB: $1 or FCFS

DEFENSE

Cleveland Browns -
The Thursday night games have typically resulted in low-scoring affairs with the week shortened for both teams. Cleveland has put together a solid defense this season under Ray Horton and some new personnel. Joe Haden is one of the best corners in the league and the defense hasn't allowed a 100-yard rushed or a 300-yard passer yet this season. EJ Manuel has looked like a rookie at times with six turnovers, and the Bills offensive line has allowed 11 sacks over the last three games.