Fantasy Waiver Wire Pickups – Week 5
I know that this season will be unprecedented on many fronts, but Week 4 especially was a whirlwind of emotions across the league. You saw games get cancelled due to positive COVID-19 cases, games were moved, false positives threatening one game, and two Monday night football games… WOW! As this season is unprecedented on many fronts, I just want to take the time wish the best to the players, front office staff, and all of their families dealing with the virus, and wish them all to health quickly. With all of the uncertainty that ran through Week 4, lets take some time to recap on our previous selections before we being rolling into another great week of Fantasy Football.
Nick Foles: 14.9
Carlos Hyde: 0
Matt Breida (DROP): 7.8
Justin Jefferson: 14.3
N’Keal Harry (DROP): 11.1
Mo Alie-Cox: 8.3
Los Angeles Rams: 12.0
Another decent Fantasy week for our Add/Drop candidates lets take a quick dive into the numbers. Nick Foles game vs. the Colts was underwhelming, but for a spot start streaming option, you can’t complain about just shy of 15 points. Its better than negative points which I have seen in past fantasy seasons. I am hoping you read my last article carefully where it noted “IF CHRIS CARSON DOES NOT PLAY, CARLOS HYDE IS A GOOD OPTION,” because in fact, Carson suited up and played through previous injury (and looked good), and Hyde did not see the field due to a shoulder injury. Breida and Harry performed better than expected, but they are still drop candidates due to the uncertainty around the position, and both not being in the top targets for their organization. When Cam Newton returns, Harry will see fewer targets due to running a mobile system where Monday’s starter(s) were both pocket passers. Justin Jefferson is a stud, and I expect him to continue filling the holes that Stefon Diggs left in the Vikings offense. Mo Alie-Cox did it again and out scored and out snapped his running mate in Doyle; expect this to continue, as Rivers loves targeting the Tight End. Lastly, the Rams were absolute studs. I can guarantee if you picked them up, their 12 points outscored at least one of your opponents positional players, you can thank me later. Lets roll into Week 5!
RULES: These picks will be for players that are UNDER 40% rostered (ESPN Rankings) in standard leagues. These selections will not only be starting caliber players, but will also provide bench depth for the comings weeks. Reminder, these players will not always be for the respective week, we plan to look ahead a bit to beat the mass pickup as the player gains notoriety or favorable matchup. Any future projections will be noted in the body of the analysis.
Quarterback: Teddy Bridgewater- Carolina Panthers (12.6% Rostered)
Teddy “Two Gloves” Bridgewater, after the tumults rollercoaster that has been his career working back from a serious injury through the depths of numerous rosters, I cant even begin to explain how great it is to see him starting for the Carolina Panthers. Bridgewater looked great in his Week 4 game vs. the Arizona Cardinals. Bridgewater went 26/37 for 276 yards and 2 Touchdowns, and also had 6 rushing attempts for a total of 32 yards and 1 TD. Teddy is an overly capable dual threat QB, and with the loss of Christian McCaffrey, the dump off pass is often non-existent, so Teddy has to take matters into his own hands. Bridgewater has a favorable Week 5 matchup vs. the Atlanta Falcons, who are allowing 34.1 fantasy points on average to the opposition Quarterback. With the loss of McCaffrey for at least another week, Bridgewater will need to spread the ball out to stay in contention for this game, so watch for him to get his top receiving threats (DJ Moore, Robby Anderson, and Ian Thomas) into the mix in what could be a great matchup against a shaky secondary. Bridgewater has the pocket presence to read defensive pressure, and has the unique ability to both pass and run depending on the situation. Look for Bridgewater to utilize his mobility and strength to overpower the Falcons defense.
Running Back: D’Ernest Johnson- Cleveland Browns (0.0% Rostered)
D’Ernest Johnson… Who? Johnson is a product of the University of South Florida (USF) Bulls, where he holds records for all-purpose yards, running back receptions, and receiving yards by a running back. With a trifecta of records at USF, there is no doubt that Johnson could be a formidable option for the Cleveland Browns moving forward. Having previously played in the AAF (oh the memories…) for the Orlando Apollos, through 8 games, Johnson had 372 rushing yards and 2 Touchdowns companied by 220 receiving yards and 1 TD. Cleveland has utilized a dual headed (Kareem Hunt and Nick Chubb) running back attack throughout the 2020 season, but with Chubb going down with an MCL Sprain (6 Week IR), Johnson will be the next man up to split touches with Hunt. Through 4 games, the Browns are averaging 204.5 rushing yards per game, which sits them atop the NFL in rushing offenses. Johnson came in during the second half of the Week 4 game when Chubb was sidelined, and on 13 touches, Johnson had 95 yards. With his ability to catch out of the backfield, expect Johnson to get more involved in the offense moving forward. Regardless of the difficult matchup coming up (Indianapolis Colts), I expect the Browns to continue to pound the rock, and if Johnson sees the touches, I fully expect him to capitalize on the opportunities.
Running Back: Jeff Wilson Jr. DROP- San Francisco 49ers (60.5% Rostered)
When looking at my weekly Add/Drop candidates, I was shocked to see that Jeff Wilson was owned in 60.5% of Fantasy leagues. Largely, that is due to the injuries to Raheem Mostert and Tevin Coleman, but looking into the near future, it seems as if Mostert has a chance to resume practice this week, and the possibility of suiting up this weekend vs. the Dolphins. In the interim while the backfield was riddled with injuries, Jerick McKinnon (Week 3 Add Candidate) stepped up to the plate and has been an absolute home run. McKinnon is ranked as the #10 RB in PPR scoring formats with 34 for 195 yards and 3 Touchdowns on the ground, paired with 13 receptions for 102 yards and a Touchdown, for a total of 66.5 fantasy points on the season. With McKinnon owning the backfield, and the possibility of Mostert returning to the offense, this essentially leads to little to no offensive possibilities for Wilson. Through the first 4 Weeks of the season, with high levels of uncertainty in the running game, Wilson is still only seeing the field on average 11.5% of offensive snaps… That type of snap share does not warrant a 60.5% ownership in any format of league. With such a little share of the offensive game, Wilson is an easy cut moving forward.
Wide Receiver: Tee Higgins- Cincinnati Bengals (36.6% Rostered)
In all honesty, this is not how I expected the Bengals offense to look coming into this year. With AJ Green finally being ‘healthy’ opposite Tyler Boyd, and a stud rookie Quarterback; I expected this offense to be outstanding throughout the 2020 campaign. Boy was I wrong… Tyler Boyd has seen double coverage due to AJ Green and John Ross playing like garbage, so Higgins has been forced to step up in the absence of the veterans. Lets put this into perspective, Zac Taylor has had pass catching struggles throughout this year, and they continually bench John Ross on a non-injury basis… Tee Higgins has been a savior in an offense with needs. Through Week 4, Higgins offensive snaps have been increasing weekly, and he is averaging 55.8% of offensive snaps per game. In Week 4 against the Jaguars, Higgins went 12/22 for 152 yards and 2 Touchdowns. Although this has been a small sample size to this point, Higgins has been playing outstanding and has an enormous upside if the veteran Wide Receivers continue to underwhelm. Do not be afraid to cut AJ Green to pick up Tee Higgins. With Green’s inability to remain healthy or consistent, its not worth the gamble if he has the ability to put up 0 points on any given week.
Wide Receiver: Hunter Renfrow- Las Vegas Raiders (38.9% Rostered)
Coming into the season, the offensive focus was around Josh Jacobs, Darren Waller, Henry Ruggs, and Bryan Edwards, but with the two rookie pass catchers dealing with lower body injuries, Hunter Renfrow has been present in the equation more than ever. With the rookie injuries coming early in the season, Hunter Renfrow has seen his offensive snap percentage increase each week, and now sits around an average of 58.5%. Renfrow has seen 17 targets in the last two games alone, as well as seeing some kick and punt return responsibilities in the last two games. The Raiders take on the Kansas City Chiefs in an unfavorable matchup this Sunday, but with Derek Carr and the offense presumably from behind for the majority of the game, look for Carr to air the ball out to try and catch the lead. With Renfrow’s check-down ability, he will be an offensive weapon that should have a high utilization in Week 5. Watch the news though, and continue to check the @WholeNineSports Twitter Account, because if either of the rookies are back to 100%, there should be a pivot play through the social channels. Renfrow has a high upside in the WR3 position in deeper leagues as Waller will be predominantly blanketed in double coverage (since its the only way you can stop him), leaving Renfrow as a potentially open option. Again, we will be continuing to watch the upcoming practice reports and will post a pivot play through social media (@WholeNineSports and @AJAudet80) if Renfrow loses traction in the offense.
Tight End: Dalton Schultz- Dallas Cowboys (33.7% Rostered)
Coming into the season, everyone was riding the Blake Jarwin train, but with Jarwin out for the season with a torn ACL, Schultz has filled in his shoes, and has been holding his own in the Dallas Cowboy’s offense. After a stellar end to the 2019 season, Jarwin had immeasurable hype surrounding him, but Schultz has done an outstanding job as TE1 in Dallas thus far. In Week 4 against a solid Browns defense, Schultz reeled in 4 receptions for 72 yards and a Touchdown. Through the last 3 games (since Jarwin has been sidelined) Schultz has had 18 receptions for 219 yards and 2 Touchdowns, and 24 targets through the last 3 games. In a pass first offense, where Dak Prescott has been playing outstanding this season, Schultz has been able to hold his own in targets and receptions against stud WR’s like Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, and CeeDee Lamb. With Prescott having 1,690 passing yards through 4 games, it is easy to see why people want a share of the Cowboys passing attack. With such strong options at WR, Schultz has been a solid check-down option if the play does not progress as expected. With games against the Giants, Cardinals, and… Football Team (Washington) coming up, expect Schultz to remain relevant and for Prescott to feed to hot hands.
Streaming Defense of the Week: Kansas City Chiefs (33.7% Rostered) vs. Las Vegas Raiders
If you listened to me last week, and played the Rams, you’re welcome. If you still have them on your roster, PLAY THEM against the last ranked offensive team in the NFL. I feel like I would be doing you all an injustice by taking the easy way out and saying “Keep the Rams in your lineup,” so I am going to give you another streaming option if you don’t still have the Rams in your lineup. The Kansas City Chiefs have a complete team; there are no doubts about that. With the offensive firepower that Kansas City has, most conversation focuses there, and not on the fact that their defense is top notch. Kansas City sits in the top 5 in Defensive Efficiency ratings, and in the top 10 in both defense vs. the pass and run. Kansas City takes on the Raiders in Week 5, and this is an outstanding matchup for the Chiefs. The Raiders have been dealing with injuries throughout the season, and players like Henry Ruggs and Bryan Edwards are still looking doubtful for the game this weekend. KC should be able to overpower the Raiders offensive attack, and have a high scoring defensive affair.
Let me know your thoughts! Reach out on twitter at @AJAudet80 for discussion on the fantasy selections above. Any questions on your fantasy lineups, trades, or additional waivers pickups, hit me on twitter for advice! I look forward to hearing from you and working to build a strong fantasy community.