We’re approaching the quarter pole of the fantasy regular season and the elements are showing their teeth. Those of you that started 1-2/0-3 are approaching Dead Man’s Pass were a loss can completely throw you into a tailspin. The ice is slick, the days are long and the food is low. If you are thriving on the trail, then now is the time to take some chances and separate yourself. Let’s forage for those scarce nutrients and press on.  

Each week, I will list intriguing players owned in no more than 30% of leagues per ESPN. For a primer on additional roster management and waiver wire principals read this. At the end I will also point out some players that can be safely dropped for a better option.

Priority will be classified in 4 ways:

HIGH – immediate starter on most teams and trade bait at worst; be aggressive!

MEDIUM – probable FLEX-level starter right now; add if you have need at the position.

LOW – still a lottery ticket, but showing signs of growth; add if you have bench room.

FREE – likely can add post-waivers without using FAAB or priority if your league allows.

Players with “PPR+” designation mean they will be extra useful in formats that reward receptions.

Snap rates courtesy of Jared Smola (@SmolaDS) who was tweeting them out all Monday morning!

First Aid Kit

Players set to inherit a bigger role due to injury

Darrel Williams, RB, KC (priority HIGH pending Lesean McCoy and Damien Williams’ status) – As long as Damien Williams remains sidelined, Darrel will presumably fill his role. This offense is extremely pass heavy but it appears the Chiefs are content using DW 2.0 heavily as a receiver catching 5-5 targets this week. He added 9 carries which is similar to what Damien was getting prior to injury. Lesean McCoy went out late Sunday with what appeared to be a re-aggravation of his ankle injury, which would put Darrel in line to be KC’s majority back. That spells RB1 upside. 

Wayne Gallman, RB, NYG (priority MEDIUM pending Saquon Barkley’s status) – My heart breaks as I write this because whether he’s on your roster or not, Saquon is a joy to watch. Seeing him limp off the field with assistance from trainers was a low point in the 2019 season. Nevertheless, this means there is an opening for carries in the Giants’ backfield. Gallman is a bland, unathletic replacement for Barkley, but he appears to be the next man up. He is immediately in the FLEX conversation but I wouldn’t get too excited about his prospects to fill Barkley’s shoes. UPDATE – Barkley is out 4-8 weeks with a high ankle sprain. Tragic. 

C.J. Prosise, RB, SEA (priority LOW PPR+) – After Sunday there are a lot of moving parts in the Seattle backfield. Prosise lands under this section because his opportunity was based on an injury to Rashaad Penny, although it was also an in-game benching of the fumbling Chris Carson that gave Prosise a chance. On top of all this, neither Penny nor Carson have impressed too much this year and there could be an opening for the myth of CJ Prosise to become reality.

In the box score you’ll see 5 receptions for 38 scoreless yards but Prosise has potential to be much more. Injuries have always been his bugaboo, but right now I’d classify him as a deep league stash given the injured and unsettled nature of this backfield. 

Phillip Dorsett, WR, NE (priority HIGH pending Julian Edelman’s status) – The options for Tom Brady keep shrinking, which is bad for the Patriots but good for us. Dorsett was in consideration as a desperation FLEX but if Edelman misses games he would be upgraded to a WR2. Don’t overthink this: he has been productive in limited time already and now could blossom as one of Brady’s primary targets. UPDATE – Initial x-rays were negative and Edelman underwent an MRI Monday, which was also negative. I don’t think Dorsett gets a major bump. 

Parris Campbell & Deon Cain, WR, IND (priority MEDIUM pending TY Hilton’s status) – I wrote both these guys up after Devin Funchess went to IR, however neither has seized the opportunity. Hilton left Sunday’s game with an aggravation of his existing quad injury and was seen on the sideline icing it in the second half. Unfortunately this feels like a multi-week absence for Hilton, so one of the young Colts has to step up. Cain was on the field more in week 3, playing 54% of the snaps while Campbell was at 45%. Right now either one is a WR4 but there are plenty of targets up for grabs. 

Powerbars

High calorie options to grab for a boost

Daniel Jones, QB, NYG (priority HIGH in multi-QB formats) – Danny Dimes really owned the haters this Sunday, throwing for 300 yards in his first NFL start. He was panned as a high draft pick, but it’s likely that if he had been selected in the 3rd round this would have been a much more anticipated debut. Watching him in action, I thought he made good decisions and I was impressed with a little Konami Code™ ability, running for 28 yards and 2 scores. You can’t ask much more from a young gun than to lead a game winning last second drive on the road. Jones is a must add in multi-QB formats and is even in consideration for single-QB streaming in the right matchup. Mark your calendars for week 7 against Arizona. 

Kyle Allen, QB, CAR (priority HIGH in multi-QB formats) – While Jones was almost certainly owned prior to Sunday, there is a chance Kyle Allen slipped through the cracks. Because of the uncertainty around Cam, Allen wasn’t a confirmed starter until late in the week but now he may have stirred up some controversy back home. He exploded for 261 passing yards and 4 TDs in the desert looking, frankly, much better than whatever version of Cam Newton had been playing QB. He’s easily an awesome add in multi-QB formats and like Jones can now be on the single-QB streaming list. 

Rex Burkhead, RB, NE (priority MEDIUM) – For the second time in 3 games, Burkhead has looked like the most dynamic back on the Patriots. So far he has shown superior running ability compared to incumbent Sony Michel, gaining 112 yards on 24 carries (4.7 ypc) to Michel’s 108 yards on 45 carries (2.4 ypc). Additionally, Burkhead can play in the passing game, with 13 receptions already in this young season. Sunday he filled in admirably in a suped-up James White role playing 74% of the snaps. It wouldn’t shock me if he continued to carve out significant touches in this offense. If the Pats’ coaching staff can see what we’re seeing, their hand may be forced soon. 

Jamaal Williams, RB, GB (priority LOW) – This is why we can’t have nice things. If you’re reading this, it must mean that Aaron Jones’ bellcow potential has been put out to pasture. The hard truth is that Williams is here to stay in a legit 50/50 timeshare, and he even outplayed Jones in week 3. Of course Jones saved his fantasy day by converting 2 goal line carries but otherwise Jamaal was better and played more snaps at 61%. I wouldn’t be thrilled to start Williams, but the facts are he’s FLEX-worthy in a pinch and worth rostering. 

Diontae Johnson, WR, PIT (priority LOW) – Named the starter heading into week 3, Johnson played the part well turning 6 targets into a 3-52-1 line. Many thought that Mason Rudolph would connect with his college mate James Washington but that did not yield much production. JuJu led the team as expected but Diontae was second in looks (5) and snaps (92%) and I would expect that to continue. Expectations should be tempered tho, as the whole offense looked rough against SF. He’s a nice WR4 stash on your bench.

Mack Hollins, WR, PHI  (priority LOW) – I wrote about Hollins and teammate JJ Arcega-Whiteside last week, but Hollins emerged, playing 99% of the snaps for Philadelphia. Mack reeled in 4 of 7 targets for 62 yards and was much more involved than rookie darling JJAW. As long as Alshon Jeffery remains sidelined, Hollins can be a WR4/5, and a bye week option. 

Preston Williams, WR, MIA (priority LOW) – Williams is familiar to the Sherpa, as he is still under-rostered but emerging as the de facto WR1 in this putrid Miami offense. On Sunday he saw 12 targets which is wonderful, but converting them into 4-68-0 is not. He’s probably long gone in dynasty formats, but keeper league players take notice as the Dolphins are due for major QB and OL upgrades as soon as 2020. 

Auden Tate, WR, CIN (priority LOW/FREE) – The big bodied, second year WR exploded out of nowhere for 6-88 on 10 targets against Buffalo. Tate was impressive in college scoring 16 TDs across 2 years, good for a 75th percentile dominator rating. He also broke out as a teenager, which is also puts him in the top 25th percentile. The negatives with him are that he tested fairly unathletically and was a 7th round draft pick.

It remains to be seen whether this was an exploitable advantage that Cincinnati saw heading into the game or if he will carve out a real role. With AJ Green staying mum on his return, Dalton slinging it, and room for 3 relevant WRs in this offense, Tate is a worthwhile add. I just wouldn’t be too aggressive for this depth piece.

Will Dissly, TE, SEA (priority MEDIUM) – He has now caught 11/12 targets for 112 yards and 3 TDs over the past 2 weeks. Going back to the beginning of 2018, he caught 6/10 targets for 147-2 in the first 2 weeks before disappearing and finally suffering a season ending injury. Dissly has not shown sustained success yet but I’m comfortable saying he is a priority TE streamer as we enter the bye weeks. He may even wind up a multi-week option. 

Dawson Knox, TE, BUF (priority FREE) – The bar for a fantasy relevant TE is so low that virtually anyone with a pulse qualifies. Knox is an intriguing athletic specimen, testing above the 70th percentile for both burst and agility scores. In his first real taste of game action, he put up an impressive 3-67-1 complete with a Vance McDonald-esque catch and run with a monster stiff arm along the sideline. The volume will be low in this offense but the fact they used Knox in a TE jet sweep tells me they like him as a versatile playmaker. He’s on the fringes of the TE streamer list. 

Stragglers

Leave these guys behind, it’s time to move on

Latavius Murray, RB, NO – He saw 2 opportunities Sunday and now has 13 carries in 3 games. This is not the “Ingram role” you hoped for. 

Antonio Brown, WR, N/A – He was released and then basically retired? I don’t know, but safe to drop if you haven’t yet. 

Donte Moncrief, WR, PIT – I told you to do it last week. He was inactive, now just drop him. 

Geronimo Allison, WR, GB – There was some life after a week 2 score, but he’s seen 7 targets compared to 21 each for Davante Adams and Marquez Valdes-Scantling. If you’re holding on I suggest you give up. 

Keke Coutee, WR, HOU – Zero targets in a crowded passing game. I can’t see when you’d ever feel comfortable starting him without injuries.

Corey Davis, WR, TEN – I just can’t with this offense anymore. I’d drop Davis for anyone listed with HIGH or MEDIUM priority on this list. 

Keep the conversation going on Twitter!

  1. Argh says:
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    Which 2 do you want most between Minshew, Allen, Jones, and Rudolph? My qb in a 2 qb Has sucked…a lot…

    Really my whole team has been bad. Are you making any moves here for players above or hoping for turnarounds? Almost all my picks have been huge disappointments and I’m 0-3. 10 team PPR with 2qb, wr, rb, 4 flex, d/st, 4 bench.
    Qb: Stafford, Rudolph
    Rb: mccaffery
    Wr: Adams
    Flex: hardman, Kirk, agholor, Robinson (Kc)
    Be: kittle (bye), Diggs, woods, d Thompson.

    Was planning on faabing Thompson for Williams, and maybe swapping Rudolph for Minshew. Had Kirk, hardman and Robinson on my bench with Diggs Kittle and Woods starting. Sigh. Not sure what to do about those three.

    • al_FF_red

      What a BOOF says:
      (link)

      Allen best QB of that bunch, Stafford Jones are close followed by Minshew. No reason to believe in Rudolph now but he could certainly improve.

      I would start Chiefs with a role every week and Kirk > Agholor (especially with Alshon coming back)

      Diggs is benched for now, fortunately I had limited exposure to MIN passing game but its not viable with 20 attempts a game

      CMC and ADams are fine, Adams will come around ARod already has said he needs more targets.

      Think Darwin is droppable now, theoretical upside is there but hes obviously far down the order in KC. Would drop for QB upgrade, DarrelW, Burkhead

  2. Blake Somerville says:
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    what do I do about Jared Cook? pickings are slim for TE’s on the waiver wire

    I have

    V Davis
    Oshaughnessy
    gesicki
    ebron
    Boyle
    graham
    Eifert
    Burton
    uzomah
    fant
    Rudolph
    doyle

    • al_FF_red

      What a BOOF says:
      (link)

      I think with that list go for Ebron with TYH probably sidelined or just hold Cook and hope

      Don’t see an obvious upgrade unless u explore trades

  3. Mike says:
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    I play in a dynasty PPR 2QB league, 6pt catching and throwing TDs, 4pt passing TDs

    Should I trade my Waller for Kerryon Johnson? Was offered it today and am leaning towards accepting the deal. What do you think?

    my starting roster

    QB Mahomes

    QB Rivers

    WR Beckham

    WR John Brown

    WR Mecole Hardman

    RB CMC

    RB Chubb

    TE Waller

    FLEX Demarcus Robinson

    FLEX Mostert

    BENCH

    Preston Williams

    Austin Hooper

    Malcom Brown

    Dallas Goedart

    Taysom Hill

    Gardner Minshew

    Ty Johnson

    • al_FF_red

      What a BOOF says:
      (link)

      So you’d then start Hooper in TE and upgrade Mostert to Kerryon in FLEX

      I LOVE Waller but that’s a good trade for you. Get Kerryon.

  4. Super Terrific Carpal Tunnel Virusy Box vs Mail Robot (who wins?) says:
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    PPR with return yards worth the same as scrimmage
    QB (1): goff, allen
    RB (2) carry-on, mack, wilkins, gore
    WR (2) edelman, fitz, samuel, mclaurin, marv jones, green
    TE: olsen, herndon (was going to drop herndon for more RB’s anyway after olsen has been this solid)
    1 util
    IR (1) barkley

    well there goes anybody but a WR in the util for probably the rest of my season now 0-3. lost week one from henry getting hurt. trying to trade one of mclaurin/marv jones/samuel for a RB straight up or maybe gore + one of those for lesser WR + better RB

    1. i have the best waiver here (weekly reset to standings) the other KC d-will or gallman here 1st?

    2. got an offer of edleman for jeffery + freeman (ATL) but not sure this is any good here. jeffery murdered me last year when i drafted him everywhere at what looked like good value then routinely started him more times than was good for me as a #2 WR. meanwhile edleman is set to be quite good this year with AB out.

    • al_FF_red

      What a BOOF says:
      (link)

      Losing Saquon is brutal, no way around it

      Id swing for the fences with DW 2.0 and hope Shady is out a while and he goes HAM

      Gallman likely falls into a timeshare (they’ll sign someone) for a while and I just dont see upside. 5-8 points with the occasional TD.

      The trade is interesting since Freeman showed some life. I dont think losing Edleman is massive and Jeffrey could be 80% of Edelman and then Freeman could be a help and now Ito Smith has a concussion. Id still make that DW claim but dont hate that trade for you. I bet there is some interesting WRs on the wire you can add as well like Diontae Johnson, Cain or Campbell.

      • Super Terrific Carpal Tunnel Virusy Box vs Mail Robot (who wins?) says:
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        yeah decent FA’s at WR but i just don’t need those over any of samuel/marv jones/mclaurin at all, it’s why i’m trying to move one of them for RB value, or even fitz/green. edleman’s floor though seems pretty good, esp with the return yardage stuff.

  5. Nick says:
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    Hey bud, rough week as I lost by 5 points, anyways 2-1 in this standard 12-team, roster as follows;

    QB-Lamar
    WR-Thielan/Godwin/McLaurin
    RB- Kamara & D Montgomery
    Flex- M Sanders
    TE-Andrews
    K-Lutz
    D-Dallas
    Bench-K Murray, L Murray, Fuller, Scantling, D Samuel & A Brown

    So I have Antonio to drop & maybe Deebo if something is enticing. I have $82 left in FAAB & the following guys are available;

    S Shepard; this is tempting for me but I do have alot of WR depth & really need RBs, right?
    Gallman; should I target him with $10-15 as a bench warmer? I’m sure Barkley owner going to bid high as they have $100
    Tate; use minimal $ on Tate & hope he has some connection with D Jones?
    One of the Colts WR you mentioned in your post?
    rest available is md to low priority as its a 12-teamer

    Thanks as always

    • Nick says:
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      also Dissly is on waviers, could be an option since Andrews was not exactly healthy last week & it hurt me big time…

      • al_FF_red

        What a BOOF says:
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        I like Dissly ESPECIALLY this week vs. Zona

        Tate the best add of who you listed

        Personally dont think Ill be adding Gallman anywhere. Already went for 28% in one league Im in and I expect to see higher values tomorrow. I’ll do a keep em honest bid but max out at 10%

        Of the Colts Ive always been a Cain guy but total toss up between the two I dont pretend to know what Reich and Co will do

  6. eballs says:
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    Here’s the squad (0.5 ppr)

    Kerryon, Henry, Michel, Adams, OBJ, DJ Moore, Agholor, Dorsett, Malcom Brown, Mostert, Darwin Thompson, McDonald, Hockenson

    Would you cut anyone here for these free agents?

    Westbrook, Gallup (stash), Pettis, Stills, Auden Tate
    Wilson Jr., Pollard, Mattison, Howard, Gallman

    • eballs says:
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      Also include Parris Campbell and Deon Cain as potential adds

      • al_FF_red

        What a BOOF says:
        (link)

        Darwin is a cut at this time they obviously dont trust him
        Mostert is a cut, I should have included him now that Tevin probably coming back soon

        I wouldnt add Gallup yet, timetabel unknown and I rarely stash injured players

        Id add Mattison, best handcuff in the game. Total league winner if Dalvin goes down

        All the rest are fine bench stashes but not immediate contributors if you dont have injuries or byes

  7. The Sportsguy says:
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    0-3. Good on paper, all underperforming..
    Brady
    Carson/sanders/ J white/ tevin Coleman
    Thomas / JUJU / Diggs / M Williams / Conley
    O.J. Howard

    14 teamer, we play 2 FB 3wr and flex…

    Assuming I spent a ton of money on Gallman, would I even play him? At rb2 or flex? Don’t think he’s worth spending 75% of my FAAB to get him.

    • al_FF_red

      What a BOOF says:
      (link)

      Certainly not 75% on Gallman… Ill keep my league mates honest with a 10% bid but someone gonna spend more and Im fine with that. He’s probably comparable to timeshare Coleman in expected production

      Id much rather spend less on a guy I think is actually talented who may pop with increased opportunity like Cain/Campbell/Diontae/Burkhead

  8. Drekkan85 says:
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    So I’m in a 12 team standard scoring keeper league. Under our format you get to keep a guy at the round you drafted him for one year (minimum round 8), then half that, and then the first for each consecutive year.

    Especially in this type of keeper league – at what point does it make sense to add Kareem Hunt from the waiver/FA pool? He’s currently sitting there and as I look at a middling Chubb performance after another, I can’t help but wonder if there’s a steal to be had if you can keep him stashed on the bench for a few weeks.

    So when, if ever, is the time to pull the trigger? Is having that potential around more important than having a guy like Jamaal Williams/John Brown/Sutton?

    • al_FF_red

      What a BOOF says:
      (link)

      I typically don’t like stashing players more than a week or so out because so much changes week to week, its hard to had a dead bench spot.

      I don’t think Chubb himself is the problem it’s the offense as a while, and Hunt won’t magically fix that. That being said, I am not really excited by Jamaal Williams’ talent and I would say hold Hunt instead of Williams while you can. But know that you may have to cut Hunt if things get tight with injuries/byes.

      I have no doubt Hunt will be owned in every league by week 8 or so, just depends on how far out you’re willing to play chicken with everyone else. Given the RB landscape this year with 80% of the league in a legit timeshare, 50% Hunt is more intriguing now than it was in August. And with every passing week, its more reasonable to add him.

      • al_FF_red

        What a BOOF says:
        (link)

        I would not drop John Brown who may have a real breakout this year if healthy or Sutton who has shown some signs of life in Denver.

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