Week 4 saw our path get rocky and full of pitfalls as multiple players tested positive for COVID-19 and some games were postponed with tentative rescheduling. The waiver landscape became even more crucial than ever with not only injuries to deal with but also alternates for postponed games.  There isn’t a lot to splurge on this week, but as we have seen bench depth may be more important in 2020 than any other season.

I group the adds by position and then within the position, rank them in order of preference. The sherpa will only advise players who are rostered in less than 50% of ESPN leagues.

NEW FEATURES – I have made the FAAB suggestion a percentage of whatever your budget is instead of raw dollars. I also separated the quarterback section into suggestions for single and multi-QB formats. 

This went to press before both MNF games.

Single QB – A rookie upstart should now be considered in any format

Justin Herbert (5%) – Sunday’s performance put Herbert on the redraft single QB map. He has now started 3 games in the NFL and is averaging 300 yards passing in each game and showing considerable accuracy completing over 70% of his passes. The kicker for Herbert is the upcoming schedule: @NO, NYJ, @MIA, Jax, LV. All five matchups in a row are ripe for fantasy points, and I would be happy to start him as a back end QB1 until proven otherwise.  

Superflex / 2QB – No QB injuries opened up new long term starters

Brian Hoyer (10%) – I would really only add Hoyer if you lost Cam Newton as he can be a bridge until Cam is clear from COVID protocol. Early reports are saying he may only miss this week as long as no further complications. But it would be good to prepare for needing a QB in week 5 as well. In a vacuum I have no real interest in Hoyer as anything more than a desperation start if you have no one else.

RBOne potential league winner headlines an otherwise lackluster group

Chase Edmonds (15-20%) – Starter Kenyan Drake exited Sunday under his own power but did not return to the game. In his stead, Edmonds showed his versatile skill set on the ground but also catching 5 passes for 24 yards and a TD. This is a league winning-type add in fantasy leagues. Keep an ear to the ground for Drake updates, but if you don’t hear anything I would be aggressive and assume Edmonds is good for at least a few weeks as a RB1/2. The 50% suggestion would be if Drake is tagged for an extended absence. 

D’Ernest Johnson (15-20%) – News Monday confirmed a fairly serious knee injury for Nick Chubb. The expectation is that he will miss 6 week (plan for 8), and Johnson is the next man up behind Kareem Hunt. The third year player caught 72 passes out of the backfield in college and will spell Hunt in this offense. Coach Kevin Stefanski wants to use 2 backs and Johnson can be a FLEX option while Chubb is out.

Justin Jackson (10-15%)Austin Ekeler suffered what appeared to be a severe leg injury and could barely make it on to the cart. Jackson would be the next man up in this backfield, but he is no Ekeler substitute. Joshua Kelley probably takes more of a feature role in the short term, but there’s a place for Jackson here. Treat him as bench depth or desperation flex while Ekeler is out.

Damien Harris (10%) – Close to being activated, Harris should step in and get 10-12 carries for the Patriots. If he proves to be more effective than Sony Michel, I’d expect he earns more work going forward. Additionally, Michel went on IR Monday afternoon, leaving the early down work up to Harris. If you can snag him now on the low, Harris will pay dividends later in the season.

Ke’Shawn Vaughn (5-10%) – With LeSean McCoy out, Vaughn saw the field and even got into the endzone. His score put the Bucs up for good and it was a nice catch where he had to bully two defenders to break the plane. Until Fournette comes back, Vaughn is now the defacto third down back and that is useful in a Tom Brady offense. Ronald Jones will keep the majority of the work, but Vaughn’s skill set compliments Jones. 

WR – Some of these guys should have been picked up last week, but you may have a second chance

Tee Higgins (25%) – For the second week in a row it appears like the X WR torch has been passed ahead of schedule. Higgins saw 7 targets and one carry, coming down with 4 catches and 90 total yards. A.J. Green got 5 targets, but could only muster 1 reception for 3 yards. The Cincinnati legend continues his terribly inefficient year and the rebuilding Bengals have no real reason to force the ball to Green. If he’s available, snag Higgins and enjoy the rookie’s ascension.  

Brandon Aiyuk (15-20%) – He had a monster day in week 3 with almost everyone else hobbled but it wasn’t enough to get him rostered on 50% of ESPN teams. As I write this, Aiyuk just took a screen pass 38 yards for a score and legitimately hurdled the last defender to hit paydirt. I think the seal is broken on this explosive first round pick, and Kyle Shanahan has no choice but to get him more involved. 

Hunter Renfrow (15%) – Due to receiver attrition, Renfrow finds himself as the second option behind Darren Waller. As long as he’s the only game in town, Renfrow can offer solid PPR floor with his 8-10 targets per game. 

Marquez Valdes-Scantling (10%) – With Lazard out most of the season post-core surgery, MVS can shine as the main target opposite Davante Adams. He probably won’t be a 10 target beast, but can take any pass to the house. A fill in at WR3 or bench stash for now.

Scotty Miller, Justin Watson (10%) – While Godwin is out (1-3 more weeks) these two receivers will continue to ham and egg behind Mike Evans. Miller is certainly more explosive and can break off big gains while Watson is a reliable slot man. The target tree got pruned again with O.J. Howard going down for the rest of the season with an Achilles tear. Either of these guys are startable in a pinch.

Tim Patrick (5%) – With Courtland Sutton out for the year and K.J. Hamler going down early, Patrick seized the opportunity and saw the team high in targets (7) which he turned into a career game of 6-113-1. The former undrafted free agent has a fun athletic profile, but has yet to make much of an impact on the field. Noah Fant will also be missing for a while so Patrick will see an uptick in snaps and presumably targets in the short term.

Tre’Quan Smith (5%) – With Michael Thomas on his way back, Smith’s time is probably coming to an end. However, he found the endzone twice in week 4 and if you need a plug and play receiver, add him and hope MT needs more time.

Laviska Shenault (5%) – There is not a lot of buzz going around despite his best game as a pro. He’s earning the coaches’ trust and on pace for 116 total targets and carries in his rookie season. A hamstring tweak will keep him under the radar, and make him a good cheap add and stash.

Darnell Mooney (3%) – The former Tulane standout has been creeping up the pecking order and new starter Nick Foles gave him a season high 9 targets in week 4. He now has more targets on the season than Anthony Miller and his deep speed fits well with the tendencies of Foles. I wouldn’t get too excited but there’s some opportunity here for Mooney and the QB change bodes well. 

Isaiah Ford (1%) – It pains me to admit this but Preston Williams just isn’t cutting it. Ford has out targeted him in the last 3 games 21-10. Playing primarily in the slot, he has quietly been a useful piece of this Dolphins’ passing attack. Boasting a truly elite prospect profile, the former 7th rounder seems to have carved out a role. This is an offense that will be throwing a lot and Ford is an interesting bench piece. 

TE – one underrated player scored again and can help many teams

Dalton Schultz (5%) – It’s fantasy malpractice to have Schultz on your league’s waivers after this week. The Cowboys are a high volume, fast paced offense attached to a terrible defense. Schultz is not Travis Kelce, but with the dearth of tight end option, he needs to be rostered. 

Albert Okwuegbunam (1-3%)Noah Fant’s understudy gets a chance to shine earlier than expected. He is a workout warrior who destroyed the combine which we like for fantasy tight ends. Denver was getting Fant heavily involved so AlbertO has a good chance to have a fantasy relevant stint.

Join the conversation on Twitter!

  1. hamtime says:
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    1. Are you worried about the Mike Davis expiry date? He’s been awesome but I doubt he’ll be able to coexist with cmc. What’s he worth? Is trading for kupp or metcalf a reach

    2. Number 4 waiver – who would you prioritize if at all: Justin Jackson, d’ernest, Patrick, Ahlson

    3. Pls rank and thoughts on relevancy ROS for: Mike Williams, renfrow, claypool, Gabriel Davis, pascal, Kirk

    4. Thoughts on jimmyG ROS. You prefer bridgewater, Carr over him?

    • al_FF_red

      al_FF_red says:
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      1. I would absolutley trade Davis for Metcalf… probably Kupp too but try to get Metcalf if that’s an option

      2. D”Ernest then Jackson I think… not interested in Alshon…. who is Patrick?

      3. Check my ROS top 80 WRs tomorrow I think I’d have them Renfrow, Williams, Claypool, Davis, Kirk, pascal, Gabriel or close to that

      4. I think I’d take Bridge (gamescripts) then JG then Carr

      • The Harrow says:
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        he means t.patrick WR DEN, the likely new WR 2 if hamler stays out (actually he’s not NEW as in a rookie)

        • The Harrow says:
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          also the 6th guy listed above by you in the WR section.

  2. RicoSuave says:
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    Good work al_FF_red!

    12 team PPR…

    is it time to move on from AJ Green? There aren’t that many options on the wire but I could bid for Scotty Miller, Tim Pattrick
    Thanks,

    • al_FF_red

      al_FF_red says:
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      Sadly, it seems so. The objective evidence seems to say he’s either washed OR Cin just wants to use their youth… either way for fantasy there’s not much reason to think he’ll be an asset

      watch him go 8-120-2 next week

      • RicoSuave says:
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        ouch! I know… that’s what I’m affraid of. at this point i can’t rely on him and won’t put him on my lineup until he shows signs of life…
        thanks

  3. lindorphins says:
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    Would Golden Tate top your WR list if he’s available? Thanks!

    • al_FF_red

      al_FF_red says:
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      He’s a low upside bench piece imo… I like having upside like Higgins or Aiyuk on my bench. That being said, he’s in the Renfrow range of what you can expect

      • lindorphins says:
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        Thanks. Higgins is owned and I already have Aiyuk so I’ve been debating dropping MVS for Tate.

        • The Harrow says:
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          i’d stick with MVS there (unless lazard just as magically comes back as he went out)

  4. hamtime says:
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    Would you try and trade Julio for maybe Taylor? Who are safe and sensible RBs to acquire for him?

    • al_FF_red

      al_FF_red says:
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      Yeah, JT would be nice

      Mixon, Jacobs… that back end RB1 if you could… I guess he just had a setback so thats gonna be a tough sell. Hunt or JT might be in the range tho

  5. Mike says:
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    PPR, own Zeke, Gaskins and McKinnon

    Use my #1 waiver position on Justin Jackson or D’Ernest Johnson?

    Or pass

    • al_FF_red

      al_FF_red says:
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      I think Johnson or Jackson would be your RB4… guess it depends on how you value depth. I think Id pass on this group of RBs for week 5

      • Mike says:
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        You da man thanks!! hey thanks for all your work

  6. uncle wighty says:
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    Okwuegbunam or Graham this week?

  7. hamtime says:
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    14m league

    Have Kirk on my bench and feel sick about it. Would you rather take a risk on someone like Keyshawn Vaughn, Mike Williams, David Moore, Ford?

  8. Ludicrous Speed says:
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    Pls rank at WR for ROS, 12T half-ppr:
    McLauren
    Kupp
    Chark
    Diontae

    Thx

  9. Trader says:
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    Patrick needs to introduce himself to you.

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