Damien Harris – Sony Michel was put on IR before the Monday night game as they were activating Harris. Harris proceeded to take his 17 carries for 100 yards rushing. Michel hasn’t had more than 10 carries this season, but I think that’s more a product of the fact that they don’t want to give him those carries rather than Cam Newton hogging all of them. It’s possible that Harris and Newton become the main 1-2 punch in the read-option, which would increase Harris’ value if he actually gets opportunity. He might not be involved in the pass game much, but that remains to be seen; I would project him to be a TD dependent RB2/flex. Remember, this was his first NFL action, so there is some upside here. At the same time, the Patriots backfields can become very muddy, so I really hope you saw the multiple Instagram stories or the Week 4 waiver wire article where you could’ve got him for cheap or free. If you desperately need a RB though after the Ekeler/Chubb injuries, do what you have to do. FAAB recommendation: 20%
D’Ernest Johnson – Johnson led the Browns in rushing with 95 yards on 13 carries after Nick Chubb went down with his MCL injury. It’s possible that Kareem Hunt would’ve seen a lot more time on the field, but he was nursing a groin injury throughout last week, and only got in a limited practice on Friday. Given the Browns are all about establishing the run and working off of that, Johnson should be involved as Hunt’s complement. The Browns offensive line is good, but they have some tough matchups over the next two weeks (Colts, Steelers). That might scare some off, but Johnson might be usable against the Bengals and Riaders in Weeks 7 and 8 before Chubb potentially comes back in Week 10 (Week 9 bye). If you’re not going to use him for 2 weeks, I would either advise not getting him or to put in a relatively low bid. 10-15 touches/game is what I envision for Johnson on a weekly basis, and any more than that would be a bonus. If you watched him run, he did look good, and had some moves. One thing to keep in mind about Johnson is that he’s a good pass catcher; it’s possible he sees a couple more targets go his way than Chubb was seeing. He didn’t see any third downs in Week 4. FAAB recommendation: 10-15%
Chase Edmonds – The longer Kenyan Drake doesn’t get it done, the more likely it is for Edmonds to start eating into Drake’s touches. He’s already the preferred pass-catcher (out-targeted Drake 17-5 through 4 games, even though Drake has run more routes). So yes, Edmonds had more targets (6) in Week 4 than Drake had all season. The upside is massive on this offense if a back can succeed, so it’s important to stash Edmonds if you have the room. You can also plug him into your lineup in a pinch if you have to for the shot at upside. FAAB recommendation: 10%
Justin Jackson and Josh Kelley – With Ekeler out for 4-6 weeks with a Grade 2 hamstring injury, the backfield will likely be split between Jackson and Kelley. Kelley acted as the 1a between the two after Ekeler went out in Week 4; Kelley played on 58% of snaps and Jackson played on 38%. Kelley is the preferred add if available, but he might be a lot more expensive. I would spend around 30% of my FAAB on Kelley if I’m in need, but it’s also possible that spending 15% on Jackson is the smarter move. This backfield can definitely become more of a 50/50 split, and there’s nothing that Kelley has shown that would make him the defacto 1a moving forward aside from the fact that he was the guy behind Ekeler while Jackson was hurt. The two fumbles that Kelley had don’t help either. Both are capable in the pass game.
Tee Higgins – He’s the best long term add this week. Higgins is running the most routes of any Bengals WR, he has the most air yards, and had 16 targets in the last two weeks. His 150 air yards in Week 3 was 5th in the NFL, and his 132 in Week 4 was 9th in the NFL. He already had 4 end zone targets, and his role has been present since only Week 3. He has a chance to have a big year. His floor is a WR3, but I wouldn’t feel great about playing him against the Ravens this week. FAAB recommendation: Up to 20%
Russell Gage – The Falcons offense was in flux with Julio Jones limited and Calvin Ridley not playing a full complement of snaps either. He needs these guys to be on for him to show out. Either way, he’s a PPR WR3 despite that bad Monday night. Any WR who is capable of getting 9+ targets shouldn’t be on the waiver wire, especially on a team whose defense can’t hold anyone. FAAB recommendation: 5-7% after a down week
Brandon Aiyuk – He looked great on his TD run, but his opportunity isn’t there. Plus, they got Kittle and Deebo back, and there will be a QB change back to Jimmy G. A lot of flux, but Aiyuk is a decent bench stash. FAAB recommendation: 5%
Laviska Shenault – His opportunity went up last week, but he’s still not playing a full complement of snaps. The only time he did was when DJ Chark was out in Week 3. Still, he’s electric with the ball in his hands and is a high upside player if his opportunity become consistent. He’s an upside flex play this week in a good matchup against the Texans. He’s a stash. FAAB recommendation: 7%
Alshon Jeffery – He’s going to back soon, and Carson Wentz has no one to throw the ball to besides Zack Ertz and Miles Sanders. He needs an outside threat, and Jeffery will be productive when healthy. He has a WR2 ceiling. FAAB recommendation: 10%
Scotty Miller – One week rental while Chris Godwin sits out again on Thursday night. Scotty Miller led the Bucs in air yards coming into Week 4 with 223. He then had another 113 air yards in Week 4. He’s a good start, and the matchup isn’t as bad as it looks against the Bears. He’ll be a WR3 this week. FAAB recommendation: 2-3%
Hunter Renfrow – Renfrow collected almost all of his targets during garbage time last week. He’s a deep league add in PPR leagues, and becomes startable if Henry Ruggs and Bryan Edwards is out again. The Raiders should find themselves behind again against the Chiefs. FAAB recommendation: $1
Zach Pascal – Pascal might be the #1 WR for the Colts right now. TY Hilton had 4 weeks to do his thing, and couldn’t. He had 8 targets last week, and it’s possible that this type of usage continues as long as Parris Campbell is out. Hilton still has a chance of re-emerging, but it hasn’t looked pretty so far. FAAB recommendation: 5%
Tim Patrick – Courtland Sutton out for the year, Noah Fant is out for a couple of weeks with an ankle injury, and KJ Hamler has a hamstring injury. Patrick can assume 8+ targets/game while these guys are out. The only issue I have with Patrick are the matchups he has coming up: Patriots, Miami isn’t amazing, KC, then a bye. I rather leave him on the wire, personally. In a deep league, spend a couple bucks.
Tre’Quan Smith – I would assume Michael Thomas is back this week, but I could be wrong. If his misses again, Smith can see some opporuntity, but it was really the 2 TDs that gave him those points last week. He only had 4 targets, and the matchup isn’t amazing against the Chargers. FAAB recommendation: 3%
Dalton Schultz – Cowboys defense is terrible, and Schultz will continue to get targets as a result of their need to throw the ball. Their pace is high in any type of game script, which is what you want for fantasy output. Since Week 1 when Blake Jarwin got hurt, he’s averaged 8 targets/game. His 45 routes run in Week 4 was only 4 less than Amari Cooper; he’s a big part of the passing game. FAAB recommendation: 15%
Robert Tonyan – Robert Tonyan has 5 TDs over the last 3 games… he’s obviously an end zone target for Aaron Rodgers. With Davante Adams back next week potentially, I wouldn’t expect his targets to stay up at 5 and 6 like it was over the last two weeks. However, there is a good chance the coaching staff involves him more, because of three things: 1) the obvious production, 2) he caught all 11 of his targets over the past two weeks, and 3) Allen Lazard will also be out for an extended period. If Schultz isn’t available, Tonyan is worth a pickup to take a stab on someone who can potentially be a year long guy. It’s also worth noting that he hasn’t had any spikes in routes run because of Adams or Lazard missing time, meaning he was already running the same number of routes before they got hurt. FAAB recommendation: 5-8%
Mo Alie-Cox – Alie-Cox is getting it done when he gets his opportunities. We would love for him to actually get targets, but with Jack Doyle and Trey Burton back, it doesn’t look great. Alie-Cox only ran 14 routes compared to Burton’s 20 and Doyle’s 16 in Week 4, and he only ran 9 routes to Doyle’s 16 in Week 3. He would need to see a big bump here to expect any sort of consistency. He does have a better shot than most of grabbing a TD this week though, as Cleveland has allowed 4 TDs in 4 games this year to the tight end position. FAAB recommendation: 1%
Rob Gronkowski – Gronk ran a season-high 32 routes in Week 4, and without OJ Howard, it’s possible that he has a bigger role in the passing game. It’s also possible that they will need him to block more. He’s a prospective add if available, but I wouldn’t spend much. FAAB recommendation: 1%
Jimmy Graham – Graham is running most of his routes from the slot, and he’ll have better days against better defenses. The Bears couldn’t get anything going against the Colts last week. He’s a potential week long add, but his matchup against the Bucs isn’t too bad this week. FAAB recommendation: 1%
Drew Sample – It’s digging a little deep, but you might not have a choice. The Ravens have very strong corners, so it’s possible Joe Burrow looks towards his tight ends. David Njoku and Austin Hooper combined for 65 yards and a TD in Week 1, Darren Falls and Jordan Akins combined for 9 catches for 78 yards and a TD in Week 2, and Travis Kelce went for 87 yards on 6 catches in Week 3. FAAB recommendation: $1-$2
Greg Olsen – Olsen had 6 and 7 targets over the past two weeks, respectively, and has a good matchup this week. Mo Alie-Cox gained 111 yards on 5 catches in Week 2, Jonnu Smith caught 5 for 61 in Week 3, and Akins/Fells combined for 5/67 in Week 4. He has a shot to have a decent day in Week 5 against Minnesota.
- Teddy Bridgewater @ Atlanta
- Kirk Cousins @ Seattle
- Gardner Minshew @ Houston
- Justin Herbert @ New Orleans
- Ryan Tannehill vs Buffalo
- Daniel Jones @ Dallas
- Arizona @ NYJ
- Kansas City vs Las Vegas
- Denver @ New England (if Cam is out)
- Houston vs Jacksonville
Buy Lows/Sell Highs
Buy lows: DJ Moore (because you can get him for flex value (pennies), while his upside is still very high. The only reason why people are upset with him is because of his draft capital and expectations and his performance in relation to that), Jerry Jeudy, David Montgomery, Le’Veon Bell, Marquise Brown, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Jonathan Taylor, Cam Akers, Josh Jacobs, Miles Sanders, Deebo Samuel, Julio Jones,
Note on sell highs: Selling a player high doesn’t mean a player can’t be great this year. It mostly means to take advantage of a strong week that is less likely to re-occur. And you likely won’t be able to do that later; this is your window. Do not get too emotionally attached to a huge performance.
Joe Mixon – He was a buy low last week. And now, you want to always take advantage after a boom week like this, and next two matchups suck. If you can keep him long term, that’s perfectly fine because of his guaranteed volume.
Robert Tonyan, Odell Beckham Jr, Melvin Gordon, Will Fuller (to take advantage of a good matchup while he’s healthy), Jerick McKinnon (if someone views him as a RB2 all year), Latavius Murray, Todd Gurley, Devin Singletary,
Sell low: TY Hilton, AJ Green, Kenyan Drake, David Johnson