Upon writing this, Bengals wide receiver Marvin Jones has three touchdowns.
In the first half.
Spoiler alert, folks. He’ll be featured in this column among others, but we are already halfway through the season. Just stop and think about that for a second. Or, don’t stop and think about it because you will more than likely cry afterwards. As fantasy owners continue to make their playoff push, the waiver wire continues to be your best friend the rest of the way. Use it.
Note: Ownership percentages are based off Yahoo! leagues.
Marvin Jones, Cincinnati Bengals (18%): Three touchdowns at the half? Are you kidding me? Clearly, Jones is emerging as a very reliable complementary red zone option across from A.J. Green. Jones would finish the day with four (count ’em) four receiving touchdowns in this game. Cincinnati wants to use this guy inside the 10 yard line. He saw a few different screen plays inside the 10 during this game, and also was used on the fades. In fact, all four of his touchdowns came inside the the fifteen yard line, so while he won’t give fantasy owners the big play, who cares? His percentage of scoring a touchdown is pretty high if he keeps getting the looks that close, especially when opposing defenses are focusing on Green. Jones has now found the end zone six times over the last three weeks, seeing 19 targets during that span. Quarterback Andy Dalton is playing the quarterback position as good as well anyone in football over the last three weeks, and if that trend continues, Jones will continue to be very fantasy relevant.
Rishard Matthews, Miami Dolphins (0%): A deeper league add here, but Matthews has the opportunity to make a name for himself. After scoring a touchdown for the second straight game, Brandon Gibson exited Sunday’s contest with a knee injury. It was later announced that the injury will more than likely sideline him for the rest of the season. Enter Matthews, a guy who coming into this game had just five catches on six targets. However, when Gibson left, Matthews stepped into his role, catching three balls for 30 yards. He was targeted six times, and was just off on a very big plays. Matthews and the Dolphins still have plenty of favorable matchups down the road, and considering quarterback Ryan Tannehill is averaging a healthy 37 pass attempts per game, the volume will be there for Matthews to produce. Besides, we know how hit or miss Mike Wallace can be, and on those miss games, Matthews should pick up the slack. He’s worth a look, especially with all of those injuries to the wideout position.
Oakland Raiders defense (11%): The Raiders? The Raiders? Yes, the Raiders, folks. Six teams are on a bye next week, as well, including strong defensive units like San Francisco, Denver and Arizona. Oakland’s defense was impressive on Sunday afternoon, picking off Ben Roethlisberger twice, and allowing less than 300 total yards of offense. This unit has quietly been strong this season, and next week, they get to face the potential Matt Barkley-led Eagles. I mean, come on. This offense has looked atrocious the last two weeks, and on the season, Philadelphia is inside the top-10 in fantasy points allowed to opposing defenses. A bad New York Giants defense forced three turnovers and four sacks against Philadelphia on Sunday, without allowing an offensive touchdown. For you streamers out there, target Oakland for Week 9.
Emmanuel Sanders, Pittsburgh Steelers (50%): Sanders posted his second strong fantasy outing in the last three weeks on Sunday afternoon. The speedy wideout was targeted a healthy 11 times, resulting in seven catches for 88 yards and a score. Sanders is used in many different ways for the Steelers, and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger trusts him. Sanders has been targeted a very strong 57 times through the first half of the season, and if the Steelers continue to play as bad as they currently look, they’ll be throwing the ball quite a bit this season. He needs to be owned in more than half of Yahoo! leagues.
Andre Brown, New York Giants (20%): You think the Giants are thrilled to get their best back? After Brown fractured his leg in the preseason, many assumed David Wilson would carry the load and dominate fantasy land. However, Wilson forgot how to hang onto the ball, went down with injury himself, and then former Madden coverboy Peyton Hillis took the reigns. Yuck. Hillis has been productive in two games with New York, but the Giants have a bye in Week 9, then get Brown back from injury a week later. Considering the state of the running back position right now, Brown is a must-add if he’s out there, and Yahoo! says he is. We saw what he could do last year. Even in a limited role, Brown scored eight rushing touchdowns in 2012, all of which came inside the two-yard line. Guess what? The Giants love running the ball when up close, and do so more than many other teams in the league. Brown, as long as he immediately the starting back, can win leagues for owners this year.
Adam Pfeifer is a featured fantasy sports columnist for Rant Sports.
You can follow him on Twitter @aPfeiferRS.