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Waiver Wire Rankings (Week 4): Bilal Powell Emerges in New York

Sep 23, 2013
More impressive: Bilal Powell's rushing on Sunday (149 yds) or Jason Kelce (background of photo)?

More impressive: Bilal Powell’s rushing total on Sunday (149 yds) or Jason Kelce’s beard in this photo?


With injuries piling up and byes looming, the waiver wire is bound to be a key focus for fantasy owners this week. Just about everyone can use reinforcements this time of year and we’re here to help with another batch of waiver wire rankings.


As a refresher of how our process works, we asked several featured experts to rank a list (provided by us) of RB/WR/TE based off of rest of season value. Their picks were then combined to determine consensus waiver wire rankings. Read on below to view the consensus picks of the experts. You can also check out their individual waiver rankings here.
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Featured Pros

Derek Lofland (Fantasy Football Maniax)

Michael Pichan (RotoInfo)

Ryan Hester (FootballandBrackets)

Wayne Bretsky (BretskyBall)

Ryan Hodge (The Fantasy Bums)

Waiver Wire Rankings (Standard Scoring)

 Note: Expert rankings made prior to Nate Burleson injury news (broken arm), which may impact Ryan Broyles.

 Player  Position  Team  Consensus Rank  Best Rank  Worst Rank
 Bilal Powell  RB  NYJ  1.0  1  1
 Kenbrell Thompkins  WR  NE  3.8  2  6
 Isaiah Pead  RB  STL  5.6  3  8
 Stephen Hill  WR  NYJ  5.8  2  14
 Heath Miller  TE  PIT  8.0  3  12
 Johnathan Franklin  RB  GB  9.0  2  16
 Kendall Wright  WR  TEN  9.2  4  17
 Brandon Bolden  RB  NE  10.0  5  15
 Jacquizz Rodgers  RB  ATL  10.2  2  16
 Alshon Jeffery  WR  CHI  10.4  3  14
 Jason Snelling  RB  ATL  10.6  7  12
 Charles Clay  TE  MIA  11.0  8  17
 Ryan Broyles (News)  WR  DET  11.6  7  18
 Aaron Dobson  WR  NE  11.8  5  18
 Santonio Holmes  WR  NYJ  11.8  6  16
 Brandon LaFell  WR  CAR  11.8  5  18
 Nate Burleson (INJ)  WR  DET  13.4  7  18
 Nate Washington  WR  TEN  16.0  14  18

*Click to view each expert’s waiver wire rankings >>


Week 4 Waiver Wire Advice


We also asked each expert to share a specific piece of advice for this week’s waiver wire (player to target, strategy tip, etc). Here are the experts’ suggestions.


Derek Lofland Fantasy Football Maniax            

The Waiver Wire is always an interesting place at the beginning of the season, as it is difficult to tell if players are one-week wonders or if a big game is going to translate into success for the rest of the season. Two players that stood out to me this week that could be excellent additions to fantasy teams are New York Jets RB Bilal Powell and Chicago Bears WR Alshon Jeffery. Powell had a big game against the Buffalo Bills with 27 carries for 149 yards, while fellow Jets RB Chris Ivory had only five carries for four yards and hurt his hamstring. Jeffery bounced back nicely this week with seven catches for 51 yards after having only one catch last week. Both players are going to be viable fantasy plays if they see that many looks, which means they are excellent waiver wire bargains if your team is in need of upgrades heading into the bye weeks.


Michael Pichan RotoInfo

During the preseason I suggested that Fantasy owners should pass on Rams RB Daryl Richardson in the 5th-6th round and, instead, grab Jets’ Bilal Powell around the 12th round. Through 3 weeks, Bilal is the 11th ranked running back in standard league formats, has averaged 3.8 yds/attempt or more in six of the eight game (dating back to last year) when he has seen double-digit carries, and with Chris Ivory now nursing an injury, Powell seems primed to carry the work load in the Jets’ backfield.


Wayne Bretsky BretskyBall

When looking at this list, Bilal Powell is the class of this group. He’s not an elite runner, but gets what is blocked and can put up solid numbers when given the work — see his career-best 149 yards on 27 carries Sunday. Chris Ivory is once-again battling a hamstring injury and with Mike Goodson suspended for one more game, there is very little keeping Powell from another similar workload in Week 4.


A name that is not on this list — but should be — is Arizona running back Andre Ellington. After a mini-breakout in Week 2, Ellington was similarly productive in Week 3 and though he didn’t get into the end zone, the rookie, notably, played roughly the same number of snaps as “starter” Rashard Mendenhall. Mendy is currently nursing a toe injury and, if history is any indication, he’s likely to be soon suffering from several other maladies. The electric Ellington belongs in any grouping that considers the names above.


Ryan Hester FootballandBrackets

Some of the best waiver wire pickups are borne from injuries to other players. Bilal Powell certainly fits the bill as he emerged the every-down running back following a tweak to Chris Ivory’s hamstring. Ivory had injured the hamstring in camp, so his ability to come back right away has to be in doubt. Powell could be an every-week low-end RB2 with top-16 upside. The next two opponents (Tennessee and Atlanta) aren’t amazing matchups, but both teams have been susceptible to the ground game at times this season.


Brandon Bolden has the skills and opportunity to be a Shane Vereen “Lite” while Vereen remains out with injury. Bolden could see a chunk of what was supposed to be Vereen’s workload and produce like a sneaky RB2/FLEX in PPR leagues.



Thanks to this week’s Featured Pros for stopping by to share their advice. You can view their weekly rankings along with the rest of the expert consensus here: Week 4 Rankings >>