Waiver Wire Pickups: Week 8 - Waiver Wire - Rotoworld.com

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Mark Lindquist

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Waiver Wire Pickups: Week 8

Monday, October 15, 2018


Rather than our usual start/sits column in this space, we're going to be rolling with a rundown of the best players available on the waiver wire that are worth consideration of a claim. Ownership percentages referenced -- unless noted otherwise -- come from Fantrax.

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Bowling Green QB Jarret Doege -- The Falcons might be an out-and-out mess right now -- fare thee well, Coach Jinks -- but Doege has been steady as a clock this season. He threw for 379 yards and three touchdowns in Saturday’s loss to Western Michigan, his fourth game of three scoring passes this season. He’s hit the mark each of his last two games, and has topped 300 yards passing in two of his last three games. Even better, Bowling Green will face a pair of bottom-30 scoring defenses in their next two games (Ohio, Kent State). They will not play a team with a top-70 defense until they close out the regular season against Buffalo on Nov. 23.


Utah State QB Jordan Love -- Love had thrown just five touchdown passes through the first four games of the season. He’s nearly tossed double that number in the last two games alone, burning BYU for four scores in Week 6 and then ambushing UNLV with five more. Love has also thrown for at least 320 yards in two of his last three games. Love’s schedule is even more favorable in terms of opposing defenses. New Mexico, Hawaii, San Jose State and Colorado State all represent soft matchups. Only this coming weekend’s game against Wyoming and the regular-season finale against Boise State give pause. If you like to mix-and-match your quarterbacks, Love will be a perfect fit for your roster.


Iowa QB Nathan Stanley -- Please stop laughing. Iowa has scored 40-plus points in each of their last two games. Stanley has thrown for multiple touchdowns in each of his last four games. He cooked Minnesota for four two weekends ago, then upped the ante for six against Indiana on Saturday -- with both of those games coming on the road. He has topped 300 yards passing in three of his last four games. Iowa hosts an up-and-down Maryland team this coming weekend. Now, it’s always possible that Stanley’s recent success is just a blip on the radar -- we are talking about Iowa, after all. But the talent on the team is conducive to an aerial game and there’s no denying Stanley’s numbers over the past few weeks. If you do roll the dice on the Hawkeyes signal-caller, he’s got workable matchups against Purdue, Northwestern, Illinois and Nebraska down the stretch.


Nebraska RB Devine Ozigbo --  With Greg Bell on the move, the Huskers are going to lean hard on Ozigbo and true frosh Maurice Washington down the stretch. Washington’s a fun prospect for keeper and dynasty purposes, but his tangible fantasy benefit at this point is negligible. Ozigbo, however, is worth consideration of a pick-up. He rushed for 159 yards and a pair of scores in Saturday’s thriller of a loss to Northwestern, this after bolting for 170 yards and two touchdowns versus Purdue at the end of September. While this production is heartening, the tricky thing with Ozigbo is consistency. He’s never shown it during his career, a trend which has most certainly continued this season. In three of his six games this season, he’s failed to crack even 60 yards rushing. At least part of this could just be coaching tendencies from Mr. Scott Frost, as those three games under 60 yards rushing all came with single-digit carries (also against the defenses of Wisconsin, Michigan and Troy).


Minnesota RB Mohamed Ibrahim -- Owned in just 2% of leagues on Fantrax (two!), Ibrahim is criminally-underowned. The true freshman is coming off his second career 100-yard game in running for 158 yards and two scores against, wait for it: Ohio State. It’s not a one-off, either. When healthy this season -- Ibrahim dealt with injury early in the campaign and has only four games under his belt -- he’s gone over 60 yards every time he’s stepped on the field. Three of his four contests this season have seen him at 95 or more yards on the ground. The best rushing defense Minnesota will face down the stretch is that of Purdue, ranked 54th in the country against the run on a per-game average. His best match-ups -- this coming Saturday against Nebraska and Nov. 3 against Illinois -- are potential firework games. Get your sparklers ready for when the claim goes through.


UCLA RB Joshua Kelley -- How strange it is, to see UCLA with a running game. It just doesn’t compute after seemingly endless futility in recent years. Kelley has gone over 120 yards rushing in each of his last three games, topping out with 157 yards and three scores in Saturday’s blowout of Cal. We’ve seen his carries escalate in this three-stretch, starting at 12, moving to 20 and topping out with a workmanlike 30 against the Golden Bears. We consider few players in the college football fantasy landscape must-starts, and Kelley isn’t that yet.. He’s immediately startable against Arizona’s dreadful run-defense (107th) this coming weekend -- what have you done Kevin Sumlin --  though. After that you’ll have to weigh your options. We’d consider him a no-go against Utah and Oregon, but quite playable against Arizona State, USC and Stanford. For all the name value in that latter lot, there’s not a top-60 run-defense amongst them. Kelley is owned in just eight-percent of Fantrax leagues.


Louisiana RB Elijah Mitchell -- If Mitchell happened to make it through the last week without being claimed after he went off for 191 yards rushing and three touchdowns against Texas State on Oct. 6, you might want to move now. He just put together a 107-yard, three-touchdown performance against New Mexico State on Saturday. Mitchell will have an opportunity to feast upon some of the worst run defenses in the country as the season chills, including Arkansas State (125th against the run), Georgia State (124th), South Alabama (117th) and UL-Monroe (110th).


Appalachian State RB Darrynton Evans -- Unfortunately, Evans is receiving opportunity, here, due to the broken, dislocated ankle sustained by Jalin Moore against Arkansas State a week ago Tuesday. He finished that contest rushing for 115 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries. Given the superb team he plays for and the talent around him, Evans should have a respectable close to the campaign in place of Moore. Appalachian State does not play a representative run defense until Troy, in the regular-season finale. Prior to that contest, Evans will have matchups against the suspect defenses of Louisiana-Lafayette, Georgia Southern, Coastal Carolina, Texas State and Georgia State.


Temple WR Ventell Bryant -- We’ve all had the Ventell Bryants of the world on our rosters before. The guys who enter every preseason with a shade of hype only to disappoint. Bryant earned his intrigue with a 54-895-4 receiving line in 2016. With great expectation comes great heartbreak, though, and Bryant was very much a heartbreaker last season, finishing the year with just 29 catches for 280 yards and no touchdowns in 10 games. He’s already almost bested his catch-tally from last season (sitting on 27 catches in seven games) and has more than cruised by last year’s yardage total, with 354 yards receiving and a touchdown to his credit. Bryant’s best work came in this past weekend’s win over Navy, in which he caught eight passes for 147 yards and a score. To be clear, this was his first game over even 60 yards receiving this season, so we might be talking about a one-off, here. Temple only has so many options offensively and somebody has to get the ball, all the more so with RB Ryquell Armstrong currently dealing with a leg injury.


Liberty WR B.J. Farrow -- With star wideout Antonio Gandy-Golden unavailable against Troy on Saturday due to mono, Farrow stepped up to catch eight passes for 101 yards and a touchdown. We’ll have to play the waiting game with Gandy-Golden, but even if he’s given the all-clear for Saturday’s game against Idaho State, we’d still consider Farrow a sharp pickup. He’s gone over 100 yards in two of his last three games, with 15 combined catches between those two big showings. Liberty’s passing offense ranks eighth in the country and will go up against the aforementioned Bengals of Idaho State, plus UMass, New Mexico State and Norfolk State before year’s end. A pair of no-fly-zone games against Virginia and Auburn are the only real tripping points remaining on the schedule. Those thin at receiver in deeper formats would be wise to look his way.


Utah State WR Ron’Quavion Tarver -- We highlighted Jordan Love at the start of the column, here’s a beneficiary of his ascendency. Tarver failed to find the end zone in any of his first four games this season. Then came a nine-catch, 128-yard showing against Air Force. He didn’t find the end zone in that one, either, but since that huge performance Tarver’s scored two touchdowns in each of his last two games. He’ll be facing the same downtrodden assortment of losing defenses as we highlighted with Love, of course, and now that he’s broken the touchdown seal the good times might just be getting started.



Mark Lindquist holds a master's degree from the University of Iowa and writes baseball and college football for Rotoworld.com. He's currently working on a memoir about life, death, rock 'n' roll and his year teaching at a Chinese university. You can reach him on Twitter @markrlindquist.
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