Alexander Mattison – Dalvin Cook has a groin injury, and is not expected to play this week. The Vikings have a bye the following week (Week 7), and it’s possible Cook is back. Mattison can be a one-week rental, but I would keep him through the bye in case Cook misses again or re-aggravates his injury. Mattison is one of the top-end handcuffs to roster anyway, so him taking up a bench spot isn’t burning a hole. He’ll be a workhorse back against the Falcons this week, and will be involved in the pass game; the Falcons have given up the most receptions, most reception TDs, and 2nd most receiving yards to RBs so far this season. As a result, they’ve given up a ton of fantasy points to the RB position. FAAB recommendation: 20% if you have Cook, 15% if you need a RB this week.
Justin Jackson – Jackson is potentially more of a long-term pickup than Mattison. On Monday night, he played on 59% of snaps compared to Josh Kelley’s 35%, and looks to be better suited in an Austin-Ekeler-lite role. The touches started out relatively even between the two, but Jackson made more plays, looked better, and was the passing-down and hurry-up back. He’s simply looking to be more valuable than Kelley right now. Once Ekeler comes back, it’s possible that Jackson is the complement over Kelley, just like how Jackson started out the year before he got hurt early in the Week 1. FAAB recommendation: 25%-30%
Phillip Lindsay – Melvin Gordon might be facing a 3-game suspension after he was arrested for a DUI on Tuesday night. He was sent home on Wednesday without practicing. That leaves Lindsay with a ton of potential volume over the next few weeks, and a chance to cement his role in the backfield. He’s startable this week against the Patriots as a RB2, and has a lot of good matchups down the stretch. His bye week is also behind him. He’ll be a RB2 while Gordon is out, and a potential flex play once Gordon comes back. FAAB recommendation: 20-25%
Damien Harris – If Harris is still available, I’d scoop him up in case the Patriots continue to give him volume. Sony Michel is still on IR, so the early down downhill role is still available for Harris. Either way, Harris has an opportunity to grab that role from Michel when he’s back, and has the upside to relegate Rex Burkhead as well. When it’s all said and done, the hope is that this is a Harris/White backfield. FAAB recommendation: 15%-20%
Phillip Lindsay – Lindsay was dropped in a bunch of leagues, but seems like he’ll be making his way back in Week 6 against the Patriots. This was a 50/50 split before Lindsay got hurt in Week 1, so he’ll get enough work to be in flex consideration most weeks… especially considering how many RBs have gotten hurt. FAAB recommendation: 5%
Adrian Peterson – He’s available in a lot of leagues, and the Redskins are going up against the Jaguars in Week 6. There’s a chance he get some volume, but the risk with this backfield is that the volume gets redistributed like it did in Week 2, leaving Peterson in the dust. He got volume again in Week 3, but just keep that in mind. There are more chances than not that Peterson gets some volume against Jacksonville, so he’s in flex consideration as a TD-dependent RB3. FAAB recommendation: 7%
JD McKissic – McKissic has been leading Washington in snaps almost every week, and he’ll be racking up receptions with it. He’s a PPR flex play if you really need a RB bad. FAAB recommendation: 1%
La’Mical Perine – Perine is the Jets young buck at RB. He’s big, explosive, and can catch. The Jets are reportedly shopping Le’Veon Bell, and it’s possible Perine gets his opportunity at some point with the Jets already having a lost season. He’s a bench stash in 14-team leagues, but the upside isn’t obvious right now. FAAB recommendation: 1%, if that
Tee Higgins – If Tee Higgins is still available on your waiver wire, it’s a great time to pick him up a) after underperforming in a tough matchup, and b) right before another tough matchup on paper. He’s 8th among NFL WRs in air yards for the season. Among Bengals WRs over the last two weeks, he’s first in air yards, tied with Tyler Boyd in targets, he’s first in receiving yards, and has the most end zone targets. Another thing to note is that AJ Green has a hamstring injury, but his opportunity has dropped off dramatically after the first 3 weeks regardless.
Higgins and Tyler Boyd are going to be the 2 top options for Joe Burrow going forward, and Higgins is a great prospect, and actually compares a lot to AJ Green. He’s likely to be the top target in the end zone as well, as he already has 4 end zone targets in 5 weeks. After 9, 7, and 8 targets over the last three weeks, respectively, Higgins is already in the WR3 conversation, and has WR2 upside in good matchups.
Chase Claypool – Claypool had a ridiculous Sundayday – 4 TDs… really scored 5, one got called back on a penalty. But it’s really tough to ignore him on the waiver wire this week. There’s a risk that he gets relegated to a part time player again once Diontae Johnson comes back… and it’ll likely be Diontae Johnson and Juju back as full-time guys on the outside and the slot, respectively, but then the question is will they let Claypool get all the snaps or at least a majority of the snaps ahead of James Washington on the perimeter opposite Diontae Johnson.
You would have to think that would be the case after this monster game, but Mike Tomlin kind of downplayed Claypool’s performance a little bit. There’s risk of that, but there’s no doubt there is a ton of upside with Claypool. Keep in mind that Claypool was still third in routes run behind Juju and James Washington in Week 5, and he’ll likely be behind Diontae and Juju when he’s back. I would still potentially spend up to 20% of my FAAB if I really need that upside WR on my team… but if it’s just a nice to have, I would only spend up to 15% or so because of the opportunity not being guaranteed moving forward.
Laviska Shenault – Shenault has a more secure role than Claypool, and also has a lot of upside, so if you’re looking for a combination, Shenault is your guy. DJ Chark has an ankle injury… no word on the severity just yet, whether its a high ankle injury or not. If it is, he’ll be out for several weeks, and Shenault becomes the guy. Shenault’s targets have been going up over the first 5 weeks – 4, 4, 6, 6, 8 targets through 5 weeks. He’s electric when he has the ball in his hands; he’s a playmaker. The Jaguars are going to be down in a lot of games, and there are targets to go around, even when Chark is back. Shenault ran a season-high 39 routes in Week 5, and it resulted in his best game of the season. He’s the best WR option in Jacksonville outside fo Chark.
Mecole Hardman and Demarcus Robinson – With Sammy Watkins out for a few weeks with a hamstring injury, Hardman should step up into a big role for Patrick Mahomes. Hardman ran 39 routes in Week 5, and Robinson ran 41 routes. Both of these are their most since Week 2. It’ll be Tyreek, Hardman, and Robinson being the main WRs for Mahomes. I prefer Hardman, since they use him in different ways, but Robinson will also be targeted deep as well. Hardman will be the hot name and more expensive add, but Robinson shouldn’t be too far behind; the value add will be Robinson. Hardman FAAB recommendation: 13-15%. Robinson FAAB recommendation: 5-8%
Brandin Cooks – Brandin Cooks led the Texans with 8 catches on 12 targets for 161 yards and a TD against the Jaguars this week after not catching a ball last week. That’s how this shit works. He’s available in a lot of leagues, and he should be rostered. One thing did change this week, and that’s Bill O’Brien being in the fold. FAAB recommendation: 10%
Mike Williams – Williams wasn’t a favorite target for Justin Herbert until this week once his boy Keenan Allen got hurt, but it seemed like it was just back spasms for Allen, which is minor. Allen will have the bye week to get right, so Williams is an add on deep benches in case either Allen can’t go in Week 7, or if Herbert starts going Williams’ way… because if he does, Williams can have the type of night he had against the Saints more often than not. FAAB recommendation: 5%
Travis Fulgham – It was Travis Fulgham who got volume this past week, and not Greg Ward. Fulgham should be picked up, but I wouldn’t spend anything of significance on him because the targets can easily go elsewhere. DeSean Jackson and Alshon Jeffery will be coming back soon, as well. He’s intriguing, because he did his thing against a good secondary, and he’ll have to do it again this week against Baltimore. FAAB recommendation: 5%
Henry Ruggs – With Ruggs healthy again, he should be added to rosters. We saw how easily he was able to separate last week, and he’s desperately needed on an offense that doesn’t have a ton to work with in the passing game. After a slow start, Ruggs can start to break out. Keep in mind that he has his bye this week. FAAB recommendation: 5%
Marquez Valdes-Scantling – With Allen Lazard out, MVS is the defacto #2 WR to Davante Adams. With Adams back, this helps MVS… the defense will be focusing on Adams while MVS can potentially run free deep. Reference Week 1. He’s an upside flex option this week against Tampa. FAAB recommendation: 5%
Preston Williams – Williams came alive last week against the 49ers, and he sees the Jets this week, making him the perfect streamer. He has his bye the week after, followed by the Rams and Cardinals… looks like this will be a 1-week stand. FAAB recommendation: 3%
N’Keal Harry – With Cam Newton potentially back next week, Harry becomes fantasy relevant once again. He goes up against Denver, so he’s in flex consideration. FAAB recommendation: 3-5%
Tight End Pickups
Robert Tonyan – Even though Davante Adams should be back, Allen Lazard will still be out. Tonyan has shown enough on his targets that he can be trusted by Rodgers, he’s been running a ton of routes with or without Adams, and he’s being targeted on play-action. Those are a few signs pointing to continued success. FAAB recommendation: 10%
Jimmy Graham – Graham has been getting it done this season for the most part as a low-end TE1; Week 2 was the only blip. He’s running enough routes, he’s in the slot enough, and he’s being targeted in the end zone. FAAB recommendation: 10%
Austin Hooper – Hooper’s target share went above 25% over the last two weeks. Can start to be a trend… the rate at which he gets targeted on play action passes is also relatively high, so efficient targets plus high target share is a recipe for success if that continues. Even though David Njoku was back this week, Hooper’s ran more routes than he’s had since Week 1. He hasn’t been running more routes with Njoku out the last three weeks, so it’s the spike is not related to Njoku being out. FAAB recommendation: 10%
Eric Ebron – Ebron had a good game in terms of usage, but he had one fumble lost officially, but he lost two in crunch time unofficially. Brutal game for him, but either way, his usage has been increasing a bit. He has a great schedule for TEs the rest of the way, and that continues this week against Cleveland. FAAB recommendation: 5%
Trey Burton – Burton has a decent matchup this week, and had 6 and 5 targets over the last two weeks. He’s running the most routes of any of the Colts TEs over the past two weeks. Doyle is right behind him, and Mo Alie-Cox is way behind.
Darren Fells – Fells has a good matchup this week against Tennessee. He had a couple of big plays last week in a good matchup, and is a dart-throw in Week 6.
Yes, I’m dropping Matt Ryan, but he should be fine once Julio is back.
Justin Herbert – Ok, after a few games now, Justin Herbert looks legit. 3 great fantasy weeks out of 4, and he didn’t kill you in Week 3. He has weapons, he’s willing to sling it deep, and he likes to scramble a little bit. He has a bye this week, but he can be a season-long asset for you starting with Jacksonville and Denver in Week 7. FAAB recommendation: 10% if you need a QB.
Andy Dalton – The Cowboys passing offense is set up for success. Good running game, a lot of play action, and he has Amari/Lamb/Cooper. He even has Dalton Schultz running free while these three are getting the attention of defenses. Dalton can easily be a top-7 fantasy QB; he’s never had a support cast and/or system anywhere close to this one in his career. FAAB recommendation: 10-15%. 2QB/Superflex: 100%
Ryan Fitzpatrick – Fitz has gotten it done 4 weeks in a row, and now he sees the Jets. Easy streamer before his Week 7 bye. FAAB recommendation: 5%
Ryan Tannehill – Tannehill will be fine against Houston, and you might be able to pick him up before the Tuesday night game for free, depending on your platform. FAAB recommendation: 1% or free
Matt Stafford – Stafford has a good matchup against Jacksonville, and he has the weapons to get it done. FAAB recommendation: 1% or free
Gardner Minshew – Minshew has a great matchup against Detroit, and he has been very consistent outside of the Week 3 Thursday night game against Miami without DJ Chark.
- Miami vs NYJ
- Washington @ NYG
Buy Lows/Sell Highs
Buy Low: Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Raheem Mostert, David Montgomery, DJ Chark (wait on ankle injury news), Amari Cooper, Justin Jefferson, Terry McLaurin, Tyler Boyd, Tee Higgins, Tyler Lockett, Keenan Allen, Michael Gallup (pennies), Dalvin Cook (injury, bye week).
Sell High: Mike Evans, DJ Moore (sell on name value after decent game), Todd Gurley.
Buy High: DK Metcalf, Adam Thielen, Miles Sanders, Josh Jacobs, Marquise Brown, Robby Anderson, Allen Robinson, Kareem Hunt, Darrel Henderson (if you can get cheap for bench stash).