Your body hurts and your lungs sting with every breath of freezing air. I know that many days you regret this adventure. Like that one time you benched DJ Chark, or when you blew the top waiver priority on Wayne Gallman. It can get bleak on the mountain, I won’t lie about that.
There is excitement in the challenge, however. Even if you’re winless and feel like you’ve lost your way, don’t give up. I am old enough to have seen 0-5 teams advance to a championship. Each week a new puzzle presents itself, and we just need to solve one at a time.
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
Devlin Hodges, QB, PIT (priority LOW in multi-QB leagues) – Who? Yes, I’m not surprised if that’s your response. I wouldn’t be a good Sherpa if I didn’t have some fun facts about this undrafted rookie 3rd string QB. He played college ball at Samford and boasts a 69% career completion rate, threw 111 TDs and only 41 interceptions. He had over 30 TDs in each of his last 3 years in college. He also has a little Konami code™ to his game, chipping in over 1000 career yards on the ground.
Hodges looked poised thrust into the limelight when Mason Rudolph went down. He also showed mettle taking his Samford Bulldogs to the brink of victory against Florida State. Although overmatched, he threw for 475 yards and had his team leading with 7 minutes to play back in 2018. The odds are stacked against him to be anything of substance in the NFL, but he’s at least shown some potential as a gunslinger.
Chase Edmonds, RB, ARI (priority HIGH pending David Johnson’s status) – Whoa boy. This is a big one. David Johnson played through his week 5 game but was spelled a lot by Edmonds during the contest. Turns out, on Monday the Cardinals revealed he was battling a back injury. Johnson ranks 6th in weighted opportunities per game and is appropriately the RB6 on the season so far. The Cards as a whole are destined for some TD progression after kicking more red zone field goals than anyone in the NFL.
Well, if DJ can’t go, Chase Edmonds steps into all that potential. I project him to handle a 3 down workload similar to Johnson and he has exciting athletic potential as well. A 4th round pick out of Fordham he has 96th percentile agility and a BMI good enough to be a lead back. Edmonds should be an RB1 for however long DJ misses.
Darius Slayton, WR, NYG (priority LOW/FREE) – Slayton could be developing to a big play option for the rebuilding Giants. A bona fide deep threat with 4.3 speed, Slayton averaged an excellent 19 yards per catch in college. With reinstated Golden Tate primarily lining up in the slot (83%), outside receiving options are up for grabs. Sterling Shepard is the incumbent of course, but he suffered a concussion on Sunday. Slayton stepped up and got noticed, producing 4-62-1 against a strong Vikings secondary.
Byron Pringle, WR, KC (priority LOW/FREE) – A second year pro, Pringle landed on the Chiefs after going undrafted out of Kansas State. He checks some boxes as a prospect, with a 75th percentile dominator ranking and 4.4 wheels that he used to average 24 yards per reception in college. When Sammy Watkins left the game after only 3 snaps, Pringle was the beneficiary hauling in 6 of 9 targets for 103 yards and a score.
We don’t know what is going to happen to Pringle’s role, because while Watkins may be out a while with his hamstring injury, Tyreek Hill should be back soon. Nevertheless, we have to pay attention to any roles in this offense. I don’t advocate burning much waiver capital but he could be an interesting post waiver run add.
Josh Oliver, TE, JAX (priority FREE) – This is an add for deep dynasty leagues. Jacksonville’s starting TE James O’Shaughnessy tore his ACL, opening the door for this promising athletic specimen. Oliver has a 66th percentile SPARQ score and a very reasonable 20% college dominator rating as a TE. He’s worth an add to see if he can make some noise with Gardner Minshew.
High calorie options to grab for a boost
Alexander Mattison, RB, MIN (priority LOW) – With few RBs making a name for themselves in week 5, this is your reminder that Mattison is fantasy’s best handcuff. A premium stash if you have the bench space.
Diontae Johnson, WR, PIT (priority MEDIUM) – With Preston Williams on bye, Johnson becomes the second member of the Sherpa All-Stars. He led the Steelers in targets (8) for the first game all season and continues to see his role grow. Johnson didn’t get into the endzone but I remain concerned that he is he rostered less than James Washington. Let’s fix that.
Auden Tate, WR, CIN (priority MEDIUM) – Tate played 100% of the snaps in the first game with John Ross out. He parlayed that into a mere 3-26-1 line but more importantly he is seeing a large role on a team that will face many, many negative game scripts. The Bengals are horrible, like Miami Dolphins horrible, but as my Sherpa mentor once said “garbage time points count the same as game winning points.”
Anthony Miller, WR, CHI (priority LOW) – Miller was a promising 2018 rookie catching an impressive 7 TDs. Injures slowed his start in 2019 but this could be the beginning of his ascent to WR2 on the Bears. That wouldn’t be more than a WR4/FLEX option, but he could be fantasy relevant with his penchant for TDs. Miller has a bye this week, so if you have a need at WR try to stash him cheap this week.
Duke Williams, WR, BUF (priority FREE) – It took 27 years for Duke to see his first NFL action but he made it one for the books snatching a TD and 3 other passes for 29 yards. He played 78% of the Bills snaps and effectively replaced Zay Jones in the offense. On Monday, the Bills shipped Jones off to Oakland, ensuring Williams will keep a role in this offense. He’s less athletic than the bulky Auden Tate, however, and I don’t see him rising about the 3rd option for the Bills. He may be a useful bench piece in very deep leagues.
Gerald Everett, TE, LAR (priority MEDIUM) – Ok, time to pay attention. After Everett scored in week 4, some people perked up but the former 2nd round pick now commands our waiver bids. The uber athletic tight end rolled the Seahawks for 7-136 on 11 targets last Thursday. The Rams have thrown the ball a ridiculous 117 times in the last 2 games and given their struggles to #establishtherun and their exposed defense, that won’t slow down. Everett is absolutely a priority streamer and may work his way into the TE1 conversation very soon.
Leave these guys behind, it’s time to move on
Rashaad Penny and Malcolm Brown – Early on these RBs looked like 50/50 committee members in their respective backfields but now are mere handcuffs.
Corey Davis – Not sure why I have to put this here. If you’re going to hold your nose and roster a Titans WR, make it AJ Brown.
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