New York Giants WR Kadarius Toney

Waiver Wire Week 6: Kadarius Toney is Here to Stay

The Giants are no strangers to wide receiver breakouts. They have had them in pedigreed draft picks such as Odell Beckham and Hakeem Nicks. They have had them in development prospects such as Victor Cruz. But I'm not sure they have ever seen one like Kadarius Toney, who overcame injuries to complementary offensive stars Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley to chase the rookie receiving yards record and emerge as the top waiver wire option for Week 6.

Roster percentages are for ESPN/Yahoo.

Kadarius Toney, WR, New York Giants

12%/17%

I wasn't optimistic for Toney's rookie season. He needed three years to graduate beyond a two-catch-per-game gadget player at Florida. The Giants seemed to select him 20th in the draft in a panic after the Eagles traded in front of them and selected a more accomplished undersized receiver in DeVonta Smith. And Toney missed the bulk of the offseason from a combination of a contract dispute, COVID, and injuries. But Toney erased all of those concerns in one tremendous breakout of 10 catches and 189 yards. He broke Odell Beckham's rookie receiving yards record with the team and could have pushed the new record further if he hadn't thrown a punch and been ejected with time left in the fourth quarter.

There are caveats to throw at Sunday's performance even beyond the temper tantrum. The Giants were already missing Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton for hamstring injuries and lost Kenny Golladay to a knee injury barely a third of the way into the game. Behind by multiple scores, quarterback substitute Mike Glennon had little choice but to fling the ball at Toney. But I think it would be overthinking things to use those caveats to dissuade a major FAB bid. Toney did not look like a product of circumstances. He ran a diverse route tree and showed off a complete receiver skill set. For me, the highlight was a 26-yard sideline catch that showed a leaping ability and body control I didn't expect from a perceived raw 6-foot-0 and 193-pound receiver.

And because I feel I can trust Toney's skill set, I choose to trust the recent rookie receiver precedents. There have been 14 rookie receivers with 150-yard games in the past decade. Three of them finished as WR1s in PPR formats. Three finished as WR2s. Four finished as WR3s. Three finished as WR4s. And just one failed to meet any of those standards of fantasy utility. I expect Toney to sustain his fantasy value even as his Giants teammates return to health.

Recommended FAB bid (% of maximum): 51%
Should you use your No. 1 waiver priority on him: Yes

Alex Collins, RB, Seattle Seahawks

42%/37%

The Seahawks never fully explained the extent of Chris Carson's neck injury, and they barely had time to on a short week before playing the Rams last Thursday night. Alex Collins provided a decent line of 17 touches and 72 yards but failed to score. And that may be the best you see from him this season if the team's 10 off days allow Carson time to fully recover and face the Steelers next Sunday night. But you don't have to read too much between head coach Pete Carroll's lines to believe that Carson is a question mark for Week 6 and may generally be dealing with a serious injury. If that's the case, Collins deserves every bit of my recommended 26% FAB bid. His 71% snap and 60.0% carry shares on Thursday mirrored Carson's 71% and 67.4% shares from Weeks 1 and 2 when he was fully healthy. Backfield teammates DeeJay Dallas and Travis Homer played just 22% and 12% of snaps on Thursday, respectively. Collins looks like an old-school every-down handcuff, and with the uncertainty of his starter, Collins may be the most valuable handcuff in football even with an unappealing Week 6 matchup with the Steelers and their seventh ranked run defense DVOA and without quarterback Russell Wilson for at least a few weeks.

Recommended FAB bid (% of maximum): 26%
Should you use your No. 1 waiver priority on him: No

Darrel Williams, RB, Kansas City Chiefs

8%/17%

Compared to Collins, Williams has the cleaner path to short-term playing time. Clyde Edwards-Helaire sprained his MCL on Sunday night and likely will miss the next several weeks. But I don't trust Williams to dominate his backfield in touches the way that Collins did on Thursday. Williams managed that on Sunday night, seeing five carries and five targets compared to just two and two for teammate Jerick McKinnon. But those two Chiefs backs split the snaps much more evenly at 43% and 31%. Even with Edwards-Helaire healthy in September, Williams paced his backfield with 1.6 expected rushing and receiving touchdowns. And I will probably chase those touchdowns on what will still likely be the league's No. 1 DVOA offense though five weeks. But consider your fantasy team's short- and long-term needs before you exhaust your FAB for Williams. I don't expect him to rival the workloads of recent handcuff starters such as Alexander Mattison or Damien Williams.

Recommended FAB bid (% of maximum): 21%
Should you use your No. 1 waiver priority on him: No

Eljiah Mitchell, RB, San Francisco 49ers

68%/68%

I was surprised to see Mitchell make it back from his shoulder injury for Week 5 when the 49ers have their bye in Week 6 and could have extended his rehab another two weeks because of it. But I wasn't surprised to see Mitchell reassert his role as the team's lead back as soon as he played. Mitchell saw a 54.4% carry share in Weeks 1 and 2 before his injury and took nine of the team's 12 non-quarterback carries on Sunday. His overall 31.0% carry share may look worse, but that's only because Trey Lance took 16 carries himself. That is unlikely to continue—either Lance will develop as a processor and a passer, or head coach Kyle Shanahan will return Jimmy Garoppolo to the lineup when he is recovered from his calf injury, very likely in Week 7 after the bye. And that makes Mitchell a clear RB2 with his massive 68% versus 3% playing time edge over fellow rookie back Trey Sermon. Pick Mitchell up if you play in the close to a third of leagues where he was dropped. Just make sure you have a bench spot for him this week with the 49ers on bye.

Recommended FAB bid (% of maximum): 12%
Should you use your No. 1 waiver priority on him: No

Trey Lance, QB, San Francisco 49ers

36%/47%

Lance won't play in Week 6 with the 49ers on bye. And he seems unlikely to play in Week 7, at which point incumbent quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo will have had three weeks to recover from a non-serious calf injury. But Lance provided the reason to stick with his fantasy stash in what may prove to be a spot start in Week 5. He may have underwhelmed as a passer with an interception and 8.3% completions under expectation per Next Gen Stats. But he did what fantasy players prefer their quarterbacks to do: ran the ball. His 16 carries for 89 yards increased his carry share to 41.4% from the last two weeks. The run-heaviest quarterbacks excel in fantasy no matter their passing success. Last year, Lamar Jackson paced his position with a 30.2% carry share that is well below Lance's current mark as a starter.

Recommended FAB bid (% of maximum): 11%
Should you use your No. 1 waiver priority on him: No

Emmanuel Sanders, WR, Buffalo Bills

60%/63%

If Sanders hadn't settled the debate of his or Cole Beasley's fantasy preference with two touchdowns in Week 3, he certainly did with another two touchdowns in Week 5. There was little doubt that Sanders would have the scoring edge between those two. Still, Sanders has exceeded my expectations in both his four actual touchdowns and his 2.9 expected touchdowns based on where he has seen his targets. That latter total is tied for eighth-most among all wide receivers. Meanwhile, Sanders has maintained a snap share above 70% all five weeks while Beasley has trended down from a 91% snap share in Week 1 to a 60%, 66%, 60%, and now 39% share in Weeks 2 to 5. Sanders looks like the clear second option in an appealing fantasy offense.

Recommended FAB bid (% of maximum): 8%
Should you use your No. 1 waiver priority on him: No

Dawson Knox, TE, Buffalo Bills

70%/78%

And the tight end Knox may be the third option. His 117 yards and a touchdown from Sunday night were somewhat fortunate. He contributed half of that production on a 53-yard touchdown catch when quarterback Josh Allen rolled his way to a coverage breakdown. But Knox also has a 13.5% target share that is 19th-highest among tight ends. He has played more than 70% of offensive snaps in four straight games after reaching that threshold just three times all of last season. And while his 2.6 expected touchdowns do not fully support his five actual scores—his 2.6-touchdown surplus is the highest at his position—that former total is the second-most among all tight ends. Like Sanders, Knox looks like one of Allen's preferred end zone targets. And that could buoy top-10 tight end value even if Knox falls short of that standard in terms of his target share.

Recommended FAB bid (% of maximum): 7%
Should you use your No. 1 waiver priority on him: No

Myles Gaskin, RB, Miami Dolphins

77%/73%

Gaskin hit a lot of waiver wires after a two-carry, zero-target disappearing act in Week 4. But with the hindsight of his five-carry, 10-target rebound on Sunday, that Week 4 stinker looks like an obvious outlier. Across the five weeks, Gaskin has played 54%, 61%, 52%, 23%, and 69% of offensive snaps and seen 14, nine, 16, two, and 15 touches. I can't explain what happened two weeks ago. Head coach Brian Flores made no indication of an injury, and no one I saw reported on one. But I can only assume that there was a fire with that smoke. Gaskin seems likely to fall short of his bell-cow preseason expectations. But as a lead back with five or more targets in all but that mysterious Week 4, Gaskin should be rostered even in shallow fantasy leagues.

Recommended FAB bid (% of maximum): 6%
Should you use your No. 1 waiver priority on him: No

Michael Carter, RB, New York Jets

65%/54%

Compared to Gaskin, Carter has a much easier playing time trend to unpack. His snap share has increased from 25% in Week 1 to 45%, 43%, 51%, and 52% the last four weeks. And his total touches have increased from five to 13, 11, 14, and 13. None of those totals wow. His overall 44.8% carry and 9.4% target shares are just 30th and 44th among running backs. But Carter is a few more notches on an upward trajectory away from clear flex value. And those notches could happen by Week 7 with the Jets entering their bye this week and with that chance to practice and reevaluate their roster and play choices. If you have a bench spot to spare, speculate on Carter's continued rookie advancement.

Recommended FAB bid (% of maximum): 4%
Should you use your No. 1 waiver priority on him: No

AJ Dillon, RB, Green Bay Packers

56%/66%

Unlike Gaskin or Carter, Dillon does not have a realistic chance at a lead role this year—at least not while Aaron Jones is healthy and doing things like this. Still, I think Dillon has more than handcuff value. His snap share has yet to increase past 40%, but his touches have increased from five, six, and eight the first three weeks to 16 and 12 the last two weeks. Meanwhile, the 6-foot-0, 247-pound Dillon more than doubled his red zone workload with five touches there in Week 5 versus just two combined in September. The Packers may choose to run Dillon on those punishing plays near the end zone to help keep Jones healthy. And if they do, it could push Dillon past the low-end flex ceiling of his predecessor Jamaal Williams.

Recommended FAB bid (% of maximum): 4%
Should you use your No. 1 waiver priority on him: No

Alexander Mattison, RB, Minnesota Vikings

64%/76%

Mattison is just a handcuff. But if Collins isn't the most valuable one of those in fantasy these days, Mattison must be. He filled in for an injured Dalvin Cook in Weeks 3 and 5 and saw 32 touches both games. Bottom-half Seahawks and Lions run defenses may deserve a bit of the credit for that, but Mattison seems poised to play every down and dominate his backfield touches whenever Cook misses time. That's more than most handcuffs can confidently claim. But speaking of confidence, I have no idea when Cook will return from his ankle injury. The Vikings have not been transparent on the severity of that injury. After Cook returned for a lesser 49% snap share in Week 4, I expected him to play his normal lion's share on Sunday. Until we have clarity, you should roster Mattison in every league.

Recommended FAB bid (% of maximum): 4%
Should you use your No. 1 waiver priority on him: No

Khalil Herbert, RB, Chicago Bears

5%/19%

Herbert may have bested teammate Damien Williams with 18 versus 16 carries and a 53% versus 48% snap share on Sunday. But I don't believe that would have happened in a closer contest. Williams took nine of the team's first 11 running back carries and ceded a lot of work to the rookie with the Bears up multiple scores in the third and fourth quarters. Still, Herbert demands a fantasy look because of how he played. His 2.8 yards after contact per attempt will likely steal headlines and could explain the team's decision to close with him in an effort to kill clock. But I was further impressed by his vision that saw him cutting back to open lanes that weren't obvious by the intended gap.

A full-on committee would hurt Herbert like it would Williams, and we may be headed there if receiving back Tarik Cohen can return to the field when he is eligible to come off the PUP list in Week 7. But Herbert teased a potential on Sunday I didn't expect from a sixth-round rookie. As such, I would prefer to roster him for a few weeks just like I would his teammate Williams to see if workloads change with normal starter David Montgomery poised to miss the next month or more.

Recommended FAB bid (% of maximum): 3%
Should you use your No. 1 waiver priority on him: No

Devontae Booker, RB, New York Giants

4%/7%

I know Saquon Barkley may have superhuman healing powers, but I'm still shocked that the cleat he took to his ankle on Sunday may only sideline him for one week. That's an important timeline because, while Booker looks like a clear-cut handcuff after playing 88% of snaps on Sunday, the Giants draw Aaron Donald and the Rams in Week 6. They may have underwhelmed so far this season, but the Rams had the second-best run defense by DVOA last year and just held Alex Collins to 3.7 yards per carry on Thursday night. Booker seems unlikely to make my RB2 cutoff this week and as such demands only a modest FAB bid unless the news on Barkley takes a turn for the worse.

Recommended FAB bid (% of maximum): 2%
Should you use your No. 1 waiver priority on him: No

Rhamondre Stevenson, RB, New England Patriots

6%/7%

Stevenson hasn't beaten the door down for a 2% FAB bid. After a Week 1 fumble, he was a healthy scratch in Weeks 2 through 4, the last of which came after James White's season-ending hip injury. And when he finally returned to action in Week 5, Stevenson averaged an anemic 2.1 yards per carry and did not see a target. Damien Harris will probably continue his run as the Patriots lead back. But I think Stevenson is worth a speculative add because Harris has fallen short of a standout start to his 2021, too. His bottom-three -21.2% rushing DVOA may not be his fault. The Patriots have a bottom-three run-blocking offensive line with 3.20 adjusted line yards. And to his credit, Harris has run for a decent 2.0 yards after contact per attempt. But Harris also fumbled for his second time on Sunday, and that turnover may push this backfield to the committee his and Stevenson's respective 33% and 34% Week 5 snap shares would suggest—even if that split was more the result of a Harris injury scare this time around. Even a 60/40 split could work for Stevenson on the short end if he can parlay his 6-foot-0, 227-pound frame into red zone work and a run at eight or more touchdowns.

Recommended FAB bid (% of maximum): 2%
Should you use your No. 1 waiver priority on him: No

Jerry Jeudy, WR, Denver Broncos

72%/75%

I haven't seen any recent updates on Jeudy's timeline of recovery from the high-ankle sprain he suffered in Week 1. But Ian Rapoport's settled estimate of return at the time was around six weeks. That would put Jeudy on track to return in Week 7 with several weeks of buffer before the Broncos would likely consider pushing him past their Week 11 bye. If I had the roster room, I would add him this week. Jeudy saw a standout seven targets on just 31 snaps before his injury. Those 0.23 targets per snap would have had him first among regular receivers in 2020. Diontae Johnson was the only wideout with a 0.20 rate over 50 or more targets last season.

Recommended FAB bid (% of maximum): 2%
Should you use your No. 1 waiver priority on him: No

Jamal Agnew, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars

0%/0%

So much for my thought that Laviska Shenault would threaten a top-20 target share with DJ Chark sidelined with a broken ankle. According to Mike Clay, the Jaguars decided to shift Shenault to an outside role to more directly replace what Chark provided the team. And while that could offer fantasy players an occasional 58-yard catch like the one he had on Sunday, Shenault may see more underwhelming three-target games as something of a square peg for the round hole of his new assignment. If you want to chase catches in a deeper PPR format, Agnew may be the better bet. With Chark out, Agnew saw his snap share spike from 14% in Week 4 to 63% in Week 5. And he tied for the team lead with eight targets playing from the slot where Shenault saw a 19.9% target share the first four weeks that was 43rd among wide receivers.

Recommended FAB bid (% of maximum): 1%
Should you use your No. 1 waiver priority on him: No

Players on More Than 80% of Rosters to Add

Robert Woods, WR, Los Angeles Rams (97%/97%)
Rob Gronkowski, TE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (94%/92%)
Leonard Fournette, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (92%/93%)
Cordarrelle Patterson, RB/WR, Atlanta Falcons (90%/89%)
Courtland Sutton, WR, Denver Broncos (89%/89%)
Chase Claypool, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers (89%/89%)
Marquise Brown, WR, Baltimore Ravens (89%/87%)
DeVonta Smith, WR, Philadelphia Eagles (89%/86%)
Antonio Brown, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (88%/92%)
Tyler Boyd, WR, Cincinnati Bengals (87%/89%)
Michael Thomas, WR, New Orleans Saints (86%/79%)
Javonte Williams, RB, Denver Broncos (84%/85%)
Damien Williams, RB, Chicago Bears (82%/79%)
Tyler Higbee, TE, Los Angeles Rams (78%/93%)
Zack Moss, RB, Buffalo Bills (77%/84%)
Dalton Schultz, TE, Dallas Cowboys (68%/83%)
Joe Burrow, QB, Cincinnati Bengals (67%/80%)

Players on More Than 20% of Rosters You Can Drop

JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers (88%/80%)
Kenyan Drake, RB, Las Vegas Raiders (72%/65%)
Jarvis Landry, WR, Cleveland Browns (72%/63%)
Brandon Aiyuk, WR, San Francisco 49ers (71%/74%)
Will Fuller, WR, Miami Dolphins (60%/41%)
Trey Sermon, RB, San Francisco 49ers (59%/76%)
Curtis Samuel, WR, Washington Football Team (51%/31%)
DJ Chark, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars (50%/28%)
Sony Michel, RB, Los Angeles Rams (49%/50%)
Ronald Jones, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (44%/47%)
Daniel Jones, QB, New York Giants (44%/41%)
Samaje Perine, RB, Cincinnati Bengals (33%/27%)
Justin Fields, QB, Chicago Bears (32%/37%)
James White, RB, New England Patriots (27%/12%)
Raheem Mostert, RB, San Francisco 49ers (25%/19%)
Phillip Lindsay, RB, Houston Texans (23%/20%)
Cole Kmet, TE, Chicago Bears (12%/23%)

Comments

17 comments, Last at 15 Oct 2021, 10:35am

1 There have been 14 rookie…

There have been 14 rookie receivers with 150-yard games in the past decade. Three of them finished as WR1s in PPR formats. Three finished as WR2s. Four finished as WR3s. Three finished as WR4s. And just one failed to meet any of those standards of fantasy utility.

Who was the receiver that didn't finish as at least a WR4? 

4 Small League pickups

I am in a small league (10 teams, start 2 WR, 2 RB, 1 Flex, hardly any bench).  

I am thinking about picking up WR Kadarius Toney this week, but who should I drop from the list below, if anyone? I am not opposed to keeping the players below, but if Toney continues his production, he might be able to replace a player below and add value to my team. Here are my thoughts, need to keep Woods, Ridley, and Brown. That leaves Higgins and Sanders to choose from. Will Sanders keep his value, and will Higgins be of value with the production Chase has been getting lately?

Robert Woods

Calvin Ridley

Marquise Brown

Tee Higgins

Emmanuel Sanders

 

My RB's are McCaffrey, Swift, Eli Mitchell and Damien Williams if I need to also drop one of them, but would prefer not to as I need depth for injuries and bye weeks.

Thank you for any assistance! 

 

5 Re: Toney

After running a projections update today, I have Toney as the least valuable of your receivers.  Here is that full list with my projected PPR points over the rest of this season.

PlayerName    FanPts
Christian McCaffrey    265.6
Calvin Ridley    188.8
D'Andre Swift    173.5
Robert Woods    162.6
Marquise Brown    145.0
Emmanuel Sanders    141.6
Tee Higgins    133.1
Elijah Mitchell    129.6
Kadarius Toney    121.6
Damien Williams    110.7

Williams is the lowest in part because I project David Montgomery to return in a bit more than a month.  But I get if you feel you need to keep him because of his short-term value and lack of running back options.

If I were going to drop one of your receivers, it would probably be Sanders.  I think he has a lower ceiling than your other receiver options including Toney, and that could matter in a shallow league.  But push came to shove, I think I'd stick with the team you have.

6 As always, thanks for a…

As always, thanks for a great wrote up this week (one in which I need to make a number of moves).

Thelis column doesn't get a lot of comments, but it's probably my favorite recurring thing going on at FO right now and I hope leadership sees enough value in it to continue with it.

7 Awesome work

I’m a new member and frequent reader. Thank you for this content , you’re terrific 

9 Rest of Season Projections

Hello - given Scott's response above, is it possible to publish the rest of season projections?  The content on FO preparing for the draft and weekly lineups/pickups is fantastic, but the projections would be especially helpful in evaluating trade possibilities.  Thanks!

14 Re: Rest of season projections

I maintain rest of season fantasy projections throughout the year like I do weekly projections, but I believe that is a lower priority to get on the site with some of the other major updates coming.  For now, your best bet is probably to ask me whatever questions on Twitter.  I'm always happy to answer them and provide that data for you that way.

12 All in on Toney

I read that he played fewer than 30% of his snaps in the slot week 5, compared to over 60% in week 4. He's winning all over the field, as you alluded to. There's also this nugget: https://twitter.com/jagibbs_23/status/1447617486493470724?s=20.

That versatility is going to matter when the other WRs get healthy, if they ever do -- Shepard and Golladay are not exactly the pictures of long-term health. His dynamism jumps off the screen. Excited to see what he can do.  

13 Two TEs for those in need of bye/injury help

- Ricky Seals-Jones (WFT) (played <90% of snaps, ran a route on 88% of drop-backs, received 8 targets)

- Dan Arnold (JAX) (received a 24% target share, TE1 on a team that has thrown to the position a lot all season)

I picked up both in a 14-team league this morning (was starting Cook, whose volatile nature I could no longer endure at fantasy's weakest position). You could do worse!

15 Lions Receiver

Thanks Scott!  For a PPR league, is St. Brown a stronger rest of season option than Raymond?

16 Re: Lions

In reply to by super.mighty

I have St. Brown (125 PPR points) projected a bit ahead of Raymond (114) the rest of the season, but that includes a fair bit of guesswork.  We haven't seen the team play without Quintez Cephus yet.

17 Lookahead WR for Week 7

Diggs is on bye next week and if MT is not back, I will need a WR.  Can you offer some insights into plug and play WRs for next week in a very deep league (12 team, .5ppr, we start 3 WR plus a flex)?