“A guy who seems calm but plays when he plays; A guy who goes completely crazy when the right time comes; A guy who has bulging ideas rather than muscles. That kind of guy.” –Gangnam Style by Psy
With four weeks under your belt where do you stand? Are you 4-0 like the Texans, 0-4 like the Saints or somewhere in between? The better question is can you go Gangnam Style on the wire? Will you keep your wits about you or go chasing after the flavor of the week?
Regardless of where you stand, here’s the free agents to add in Week 5. Availability is based on ESPN leagues and FAAB values are based on a $100 budget. Keep in mind that four teams are on bye this week: Oakland, Detroit, Dallas and Tampa Bay.
Andre Roberts WR Arizona (98.2%, $2) Roberts has started to have a good chemistry with QB Kevin Kolb in the desert. Roberts made the big plays to force overtime in the Cardinals’ win over Miami Sunday. He’s tied for the league lead in receiving touchdowns with four. Roberts picked up two of them Sunday with his 6-118-2 line. Roberts’ rise is something worth noticing especially when the Cardinals play St. Louis Thursday.
Jackie Battle RB San Diego (91%, $2) Battle has made some hay even with Ryan Mathews in the lineup. He has three touchdowns in the last three weeks and has seen double-digit carries in two of them. Battle may have been motivated by playing against his former team, the Chiefs, but you can’t deny that Norv Turner is calling for him to get the rock. With a matchup against New Orelans on deck in week 5, this might be your call to Battle.
Davone Bess WR Miami (92.6%; $1) Everyone will be flocking to teammate Brian Hartline after his monster game at Arizona. While everyone is focusing on Hartline, keep Bess on your radar, especially in PPR leagues. Bess is the more consistent receiver on the Dolphins roster. Look at his stats so far this season (5-45, 3-43, 5-86, 7-123) and he’s a calm, stable, secure addition. Add to that a matchup with a shoddy Cincinnati secondary and Bess has the potential to find the end zone for the first time this season.
Domenik Hixon WR NY Giants ($1, 99.5%) Hixon was the wideout who benefited the most while Hakeem Nicks sat out the week 4 game against Philadelphia. Hixon posted a 6-114 line on Phily and was targeted 11 times. There’s a serious amount of doubt about Nicks’ status for week 5 against Cleveland. Hixon would be a nice pickup to help fill in for the byes this week.
Kevin Kolb-QB Arizona ($2, 92.2%). Kolb has finally shown signs of the quarterback Arizona traded for two years ago. We’ve seen his production increase week-by-week from 140 yards and 1 TD against New England up to 324 yards and 3TDs (but 2 INTs) against Miami.
Arizona also has a poor running game so the only way the 4-0 Cardinals get down the field is through the passing attack. Arizona has also been using a lot of play action passes to get the defense on its heels. Just remember if you’re going to use him, he plays Thursday.
Tim Tebow QB NY Jets ($1, 86.5%) The Jets are looking awful this season. They just lost Santonio Holmes for multiple weeks. Shonn Greene is averaging 2.8 yards per carry this season. Mark Sanchez has throw for fewer than 140 yards in two of four games. The 49ers just went into Gotham and hammered the Jets 34-0. It’s time for a change. It’s Tebow Time. It will be a tough matchup with Houston on Monday Night Football but with a week 9 bye, he could be a good stash on the bench.
And now the sucker bets. These are the guys that people will run to the wire for and wind up getting burned.
Rashard Mendenhall RB Pittsburgh (36.3% available) is not worth your time. Pittsburgh has been inept at running this season, averaging 65 yards a game on the ground and just 2.6 yards per carry.
It’s unknown what kind of a workload he will get when he comes back into the lineup in week 5 against the Eagles. Remember he came off of a torn ACL on New Year’s Day and this would be his first action in 10 months.
The bigger problem in Pittsburgh is the offensive line. First round pick David DeCastro is lost for the season with a knee injury and the rest of the line hasn’t been able to get any holes opened in the running game. Pittsburgh’s longest run of the season is 13 yards. Don’t expect that to change overnight when Mendenhall suits up.
Brandon Bolden RB New England (99.7% available) is another guy to pass on. Bolden had a nice game posting 16-137-1 against Buffalo on Sunday in a 52-28 win. Before that game, he has 7-15-1 for the previous three games including zero carries against Arizona.
The big question with him is what is his role going to be in close games? The Patriots seem to be much more comfortable with Stevan Ridley being the bell cow for now. The other thing to look ahead to here is the Patriots’ next few games. Denver and Seattle are both tough against the run but the Jets and St. Louis are total cream puffs.
It’s highly doubtful Bolden would be able to come close to the same numbers as this past week in a timeshare with Ridley unless the Pats score more than 42 points. They might not do it against Denver and it would be shocking if they did against Seattle.
Miami WR Brian Hartline is the biggest avoid of the week. Yes, he had an amazing game against Arizona with 12-253-1. He also had a good game against Oakland with 9-111 in week two against Oakland but how did he fare in his other two games? The answer is 3-50 in the season opener and 1-41 in week three.
Which Brian Hartline will you get from week to week is a critical question. For those of you thinking he’ll be great in week six, the Dolphins are taking on St. Louis then and the running game should be in full effect.
On top of that, the secret is out on him and teams will be working to keep him in tight coverage. Keep in mind the fact that Miami rookie QB Ryan Tannehill has thrown for less than 220 yards in three of four games. The passing yardage hasn’t been there in mass quantities this season for Miami and I don’t expect it to be either as long as Reggie Bush is healthy.