So obviously the big news from this past weekend is the loss of Jamaal Charles for the rest of the season. The Chiefs running back suffered a torn ACL in his knee and is done for the season. But now, the presumed handcuff before the beginning of the season, Knile Davis, only saw two carries after Charles went down. It had been reported weeks ago that Charcandrick West had passed him on the depth chart, and it appeared so as he received 12 carries after Charles’ departure. West appears to be the new starting running back in Kansas City and needs to be immediately owned in all leagues. Knile Davis will also get touches, but not nearly as much as West. Davis should be owned in all 12 team leagues and above as anything could happen and both could be in a time share or if one underperformed, the other could excel. Also keep an eye on a running back signing from the Chiefs in the next day or so. They tried out both Ben Tate and Pierre Thomas on Monday and Thomas could be an interesting prospect as his pass catching ability could get him a decent role.
Despite being immensely talented and having a prime opportunity with Joique Bell being out, Ameer Abdullah couldn’t capitalize on the golden opportunity. Abdullah still needs to be owned and considered RB3/Flex worthy every week. But someone who is quietly (maybe before yesterday at least) putting up solid and consistent stats is Theo Riddick (who was also labeled as a sleeper by Jay). Riddick had 10 receptions yesterday on 13 targets for 53 yards with a touchdown. Riddick has now secured at least five receptions in the last four games and with Abdullah struggling and Bell not healing, expect Riddick to keep putting up consistent numbers that will make him a PPR asset every week. Have him on your bench with byes coming up if you are in a PPR league.
Marques Colston went down with a separated shoulder on Sunday with potentially more damage and could be out for a while. C.J. Spiller (who may be droppable in deep PPR leagues or those with small benches) is struggling and not doing much, and Brandin Cooks can’t seem to find his rhythm outside of garbage time. Enter Willie Snead, who has three straight weeks of at least five receptions and two straight games of at least 89 yards receiving. He has not seen any fewer than six targets since week two and even saw 11 yesterday. Coming off a six reception, 141 yard performance, Snead has proven to be worth snatching on your bench going forward in all formats. He continues to see more targets every week and has become a weekly WR3 as the number two passing option for Drew Brees.
If you haven’t picked up Thomas Rawls by now, you probably lost your chance as he went off yesterday for 169 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries, clearly ahead of veteran Fred Jackson, who is strictly on third downs now. Marshawn Lynch is expected to practice this week and play this weekend, but anything can change with their franchise player and could end up sitting another week. That means Rawls earns immediate RB2 consideration with a lot of upside in a workhorse type role. Once Lynch does return, Rawls is probably droppable but is a strong handcuff to have going forward for Lynch owners potentially. Plus, with Rawls doing so well, there is not a lot of reason to rush back Lynch from a soft tissue issue in his lower body, further pointing to him being questionable for this week.
If you couldn’t tell that Gary Barnidge is the real thing, grab him if you still can this week. He is clearly a strong low-end TE1 weekly and could a very nice FLEX play on any given week or sit in for your starting TE. He has at least six receptions and has scored a touchdown in the past three games straight and shows no signs of slowing down. He has caught for at least 75 receiving yards in that three game span and has two weeks of ten receptions as well in those three weeks. His role will keep increasing and is the 1B option in that pass offense next to Travis Benjamin. Considering how shallow the TE position is, your streaming days could be over for TEs with Barnidge around.
Someone I had mentioned last week who could be an interesting PPR option with the season-ending injury of Lance Dunbar is Darren McFadden. Run-DMC responded with five rushing attempts and nine receptions on ten targets for 62 yards. Going forward as the running back situation continues to be murky with Joseph Randle doing nothing to separate himself from the pack and Christine Michael receiving only one touch for the second week in a row, McFadden could be the best running back to own in Dallas. He should continue to see work as the primary 3rd down back and change of pace running back. And when Dez Bryant returns (possibly week 7) and Tony Romo returns (possibly week 11), the run game will open up more as the pass game becomes more of a threat again. That will only make McFadden more valuable as that would be creeping towards fantasy playoff territory. Grab him and treat him as a weekly RB3/FLEX option in PPR leagues.
Despite DeSean Jackson and Jordan Reed hopefully returning in the next week or two, Jamison Crowder’s fantasy outlook still looks bright going forward as he has secured a role as the slot wide receiver and would still be the #3 passing option after Reed and Jackson return. Crowder has seen reception total increase each of the past three weeks (six in week three, seven in week four, and eight in week five) while seeing a combined 27 targets over that span as well. Considering that he has caught 23 of his 28 targets this season (82% catch rate), Crowder is an efficient pass catcher who could still see a decent amount of targets going forward as the short yardage safety valve for Kirk Cousins. Crowder is a low-end WR3 prospect with the returns of Jackson and Reed soon, but considering how both are prone to injury, Crowder could easily get more opportunities as the season progresses.
And lastly, and I’m not sure how he is still only owned in 49% of Yahoo! leagues (as of Monday night) but Duke Johnson needs to be owned in all formats. He is quickly getting more and more touches and ended up with the same amount of touches as Isaiah Crowell did on Sunday (15 apiece). Johnson also received 17 touches in week four and continues to outperform Crowell, especially in the pass game. Johnson has received 18 targets in the past two weeks and has 193 combined yards in that span as well. Not to mention that he has received at least six receptions in the past three straight games. Johnson is quickly becoming a strong PPR asset to have and will even be valuable in standard as he continues to receive more touches each and every week.
That’ll do it for me this week. And always remember, there are three guarantees in life: life, death, and my fantasy football advice being right.
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