Embed from Getty Images

Must Pickups

J.D. McKissic – He’s available in about 60% of Yahoo leagues. Antonio Gibson’s shin injury is manifesting itself into missed playing time this past week, coming in and out of the game, so it’s bothering him. They’re getting an MRI, don’t know the results of that as of now, but the upside of McKissic starting in some sort of absence is high, and there’s the possibility of this not getting better for Gibson anytime soon, so you have the chance, even if its relatively low, of McKissic being the main back. The reason why McKissic would be so valuable is because of the value he already brings as a receiver, the fact that he’s already the 2-minute and passing down back. He’ll then get a bunch of early down carries and routes as well, which would make him an instant high-end RB2. Last week, he out-carried Jaret Patterson 8-1. He had 18 total opportunities when you count the 10 targets he had. Patterson should be picked up as well for cheap, like that smart few dollar waiver wire add who can potentially be the primary early down guy… it’s very possible that that happens, but my money is on McKissic. There’s always the possibility that Gibson doesn’t miss time, or that he’s fine or whatever, but I’m still taking the shot on McKissic, and I’d be willing to spend 15% of FAAB even if I don’t know that Gibson will miss time. If I do know Gibson will miss time, I’ll be willing to go up to 30%, maybe more.

D’Ernest Johnson – If we find out that Nick Chubb can’t make it to Thursday night’s game, Johnson would be an obvious must pick-up for a spot start against the Broncos. Not the best matchup in the world, the Browns running game is legit, and Johnson has had a productive game with these two missing last year. Demetric Felton is their other RB, but he’s being used primary as a wide receiver. I’d spend about 10% if Chubb can’t make it to Thursday, and there’s always a chance that Chubb doesn’t even make it back for Week 8 either. Update: Nick Chubb has been ruled out for Thursday, so Johnson becomes a must pick-up.

RB Pickups

Jaret Patterson – Didn’t want Patterson to be overlooked, so refer to the blurb on McKissic above.

Rhamondre Stevenson is an interesting one this week. He ran the most routes of any of the Patriots RBs on Sunday, and that includes Brandon Bolden… I think that’s significant, because Bill Belichick and his staff is usually very intentional in terms of what his players do in terms of role. Is it possible that he’s working his way into the Bolden role, or maybe he’s a bit of a Rex Burkhead – someone who does a little bit of everything? That’s kind of what I saw out of him this week. There’s value there… also, Damien Harris was still in and out of the game a bit. Is there a chance that he got a little bit more opportunity because of Damien Harris’ rib injury coming into the game? Maybe, but I think it can be more than that. I’d spend about 5% of FAAB for Stevenson as a prospective flier.

I’m avoiding Ravens backfield. Even with Latavius Murray’s ankle injury, it’s really tough for me to depend on any of the other Ravens RBs. Devonta Freeman was hardly getting carries before this past week, Le’Veon Bell got almost the same work as Freeman but didn’t look nearly as good as Freeman, but Ty’Son Williams can easily make his way into the rotation… first on the depth chart or last, we will have no idea. We don’t know the extent of Murray’s injury. If I had to play one because of bye weeks or whatever, it’ll be Freeman because he’s been active every week and he was efficient last week. But I don’t wanna do it. Ty’Son Williams should be the clear starter in this backfield.

Also avoiding Seahawks backfield. Chris Carson is on IR, Alex Collins has a hip/glute injury, and there’s no word on whether he’s playing on Monday night against the Saints. Not a great matchup, first of all. Second, who is going to be the 1a? My guess is Rashad Penny if he’s active. Pete Carroll did say that Penny is full speed, ready to go, but that’s not something we’ve been able to say about Penny at all since he came into the NFL. Deejay Dallas is going to be involved, could even be the 1a in Penny’s first game back, and then don’t forget about Travis Homer, who also can stay involved… again, in a not so great matchup. That’s why I wouldn’t want to spend, or necessarily even take up a roster spot if I need help during the bye. Now, if I want to stash Penny and I have the room, sure, but he’s not my priority. It’s possible Collins is back the week after, and there’s still a bit of a cluster in that backfield. Also, this offense sucks without Russell Wilson.

Marlon Mack – The Ravens might need a RB, the Chiefs might need a RB, the Browns might need a RB, and there’s no secret that Mack in on the market, and that there are a couple of teams interested. He’s a solid stash.

Michael Carter is also available in a little less than 50% of leagues…. He was the Jets primary back before the bye, and it’s possible he gets a larger share as the year continues. He’s a stash, but not a high priority one compared to the other high upside handcuffs that we know about.

WR Pickups

Sterling Shepard should be picked up – he’s an every week WR3, and he gets upgraded when his WRs are not healthy… and that seems to be the case with the Giants. It seems like this whole offense is in flux every single week. Kenny Golladay is hurt with the knee injury, Kadarius Toney couldn’t stay on the field this week after trying to go. He had 14 targets in this game, obviously got it done in a big way in Weeks 1 and 2 before he got hurt in Week 3… so he’s the best WR available in most leagues. If Golladay and Toney are out this week, he’s a WR2 start against Carolina. FAAB: 10%

Darnell Mooney ran the most routes on the Bears this past week, and the targets are fairly and tightly distributed between him and Allen Robinson right now. As bad as the overall passing game has looked, it’s getting better, slowly, and Mooney has shown some rapport with Justin Fields. He sees Tampa this week – obviously a great matchup, so Mooney has some upside this week in the midst of all the players on bye. FAAB: 7%

Tim Patrick has found a way to get it done for the most part every week, whether it’s via yardage of by finding the end zone. The Browns matchup isn’t terrible. Outside of Denzel Ward, Cleveland hasn’t been super successful defending WRs. If you need a WR during bye weeks, he’s a good target. Not someone I want to depend on every week as a WR3, but he’s a good bye week fill-in.

Rashod Bateman isn’t necessarily someone I’m looking to start right away, but I definitely want to stash him. Sammy Watkins was out this past week, so it is possible that Bateman got the start because of that, but the fact that he wasn’t even eased in was a good sign. Marquise Brown ran 29 routes, and he ran 22, 3rd on the team behind Brown and Mark Andrews. If Bateman can beat out Sammy Watkins, remember, he’s now on a potential pass-first offense, there would be some upside here for a very talented rookie WR. No guarantee he breaks out in Year 1, but he has a shot. Solid stash for now, I can understand not grabbing him this week if you have to fill in for bye weeks.

AJ Green has actually been getting it done over the last couple of weeks, he’s similar to Tim Patrick in that sense. Green is running as many routes as DeAndre Hopkins, can’t say the same for Christian Kirk and Rondale Moore. He’s on a good offense, and he’s a great bye week fill-in if available. The Texans have been defending WRs pretty well for the most part, so I’d temper expectations, but I wouldn’t overthink it if I need a bye week fill-in. He can also be a low-end WR3, but end up being a consistent one for you and you might choose to keep him as depth or as a flex.

Amon-Ra St Brown is another good by he week fill-in. 8 targets, 8 targets, 7 targets over the last three weeks, and at least 5 receptions in each of them as well. Obvious negative game script against the Rams this week. He’s a solid PPR flex this week in the midst of bye weeks.

If you have the luxury of stashing someone and Michael Gallup is still available, I’d scoop him up. The Cowboys have been run heavy lately, and you might be wondering that the Cowboys offense isn’t even propping up the two WRs they do have on a consistent basis… but I do think that this offense becomes more pass heavy when Gallup is back and they go 3 WR way more than they’re doing now. I think all three Cowboys WRs are going to be able to get it done more often than not, and Gallup is underrated and very talented. He should be back soon too, it’s possible he starts practicing after their bye this week.

Tight End Pickups

Ricky Seals-Jones is a must-add this week at the position if you’re in need. He ran a route on 95% of routes, which is absurd. He got it done last week because of it, and he’s a TE1 start in every game Logan Thomas misses, which most likely will be through Washington’s Week 9 bye. So that’s 2 more solid weeks of TE1 production. I would say he’s probably a top-7 or 8 option over the next two weeks.

Mo Alie-Cox is temping based on his production, and there might not be too many options, but he only ran 9 routes last week, which accounted for less than 40% of route participation. Tougher than usual matchup this week, so just temper expectations if you’re picking him up.

CJ Uzomah is going up against Baltimore this week. They’ve given up the 3rd most fantasy points to tight ends so far this year, and Uzomah is running enough routes to potentially get it done for you if you really need a streamer.

A couple of other names to pay attention to – Evan Engram, OJ Howard, and Pat Freiermuth.

QB Streams

Matt Ryan hasn’t been terrible as of late, even without Calvin Ridley before the bye against the Jets he got it done… he sees Miami this week and he gets Ridley back. He’s a solid streaming option this week.

Tua Tagovailoa gets Atlanta this week. He doesn’t have all of his weapons, and he still got it done last week.

Carson Wentz is a great stream this week against San Francisco, whose secondary is pretty beat up… it does suck that both Parris Campbell and TY Hilton are banged up, but there’s still opportunity for Wentz to get it done… he’s been solid in 5 of 6 weeks this year.

Daniel Jones had a rough week, but I’d be willing to throw him in my lineup because of the upside he presents. Relatively tough matchup against Carolina, but Jones is still an upside play regardless of matchup because of the rushing ability.

Taylor Heinicke wasn’t great last week either, but willing to throw him in my lineup as well against in what can be a negative game script against Green Bay.

DEF Streams

The Patriots were dropped last week in a lot of leagues, and they get the Jets at home this week, so make sure you pick them up if they’re available. They killed it the last time around against the Jets.

I’m cool with Cleveland against Denver at home. Good defense against an average offense at home.

New Orleans was also dropped in a lot of leagues, and they have Geno Smith and Seattle… so they’re a great stream this week.