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Quarterback: Matthew Stafford
Stafford had a season-high QBR of 92.4 on a season-low 222 passing yards in Week 5 vs. PHI. He still ended up with 17 fantasy points for QB14 on the week in Cooper Kupp’s first game of the season. Puka Nacua was still dominant as well. The Rams have ARI and PIT at home coming up before DAL and GB on the road before their bye in Week 9. Stafford is a startable option for the next month in single-QB leagues and a must-start in Superflex Leagues.
Running Back: Alexander Mattison
Mattison has been fine. Not great. Certainly not “Dalvin Cook”, but fine. He’s also left a few receptions and scores on the field with drops. All that said, without Justin Jefferson for the next few games, Mattison will see more work – even if Cam Akers works in as well. A-Matt (lame, I know, but there’s not much there) has only run for 3.3 yards per carry, seeing just eight carries last week, but was scripted a receiving touchdown in the red zone. His numbers have been above average, which isn’t attractive, but also helps with a cheaper “buy” looking ahead at more touches without Jefferson in the lineup for MIN.
Wide Receiver: Jordan Addison
This is easy math. Jefferson is out for at least four weeks. There are already reports that even after that return timeline, he may still not be ready. Addison might be a WR1 on half of the other teams in the NFL. KJ Osborn will have boosted looks as well, but Addison is the clear best option and should see Jefferson-level looks. Cousins and the Vikings are passing often and will continue to do so with one of the league’s worst defenses. Last week, Addison went 6/64/1 on a season-high target landing at 18.5 PPR points and WR15 with Jefferson playing. Be aware of a tough matchup schedule approaching (@CHI vs. SF, @GB, @ATL vs. NO, @DEN). All of those except CHI have elite shutdown corners and/or defensive units in general. Still, though, Addison is a backend WR1 moving forward.
Tight End: Jake Ferguson
Ferguson is TE14 in PPR, but coming off a TE22 performance against the 49ers, who dominated the Cowboys Sunday night. Before just three targets in Week 5, Ferguson had seven targets in three of the previous four games. Dak Prescott is struggling mightily right now. CeeDee Lamb and Prescott are not in sync. Ferguson is the one getting check downs and red zone looks. The Cowboys play their former OC Kellen Moore this week at the Chargers. Then, DAL hits their bye. So, make sure you have a Week 7 replacement when Ferguson is gone, but otherwise, he’s a cheap TE1 with upside. If you’re streaming, just start Ferguson each week.
Quarterback: Kirk Cousins
Cousins is QB4 on the season. That won’t last without Jefferson for a month. JJ has been placed on IR with a hamstring issue. Cousins has yet to play a game without Jettas, as he has never missed an NFL game. That leaves rookie Jordan Addison and KJ Osborn, plus the run game. As you’ve read above, I actually want Addison and Mattison (as well as Osborn), but not Cousins. Cousins has failed to throw 30+ attempts in the last two games and hasn’t reached 300 passing yards since Week 3. Without Jefferson, I can see Cousins being more of a middling QB2 but still has the numbers to sell. I’d flip Cousins for Stafford straight up.
Running Back: James Cook
Cook is by far the best back in Buffalo, but they don’t care. He had a season-low five carries for NEGATIVE (-).8 rushing yards and three receptions for 25 receiving yards resulting in 5.1 PPR points and RB36 in Week 5. Of course, he’ll have better weeks ahead, but the Bills just don’t utilize RBs the way they should and could with a player like Cook. Don’t give him away, but I’d try to move away from Cook in all formats trying to get two players back – handcuff + WR2/3.
Wide Receiver: Chris Olave
Olave is one of the best receiving talents in the league, but since Alvin Kamara returned, he’s been WR70 in PPR. In the first three games, while Kamara was suspended, Olave was WR12. He’s now WR29 in PPR through five weeks. Michael Thomas is healthy and being targeted in the intermediate range with Derek Carr’s busted shoulder. Olave did score his first touchdown last week, but his targets have fallen off a cliff the last two weeks. Weeks 1-3: 32 total targets. Weeks 4-5: 11 total targets. Olave should have had a bigger game if not for a 40+ yard reception being negated by penalty. I love Olave, but he’s not currently on my roster.
Tight End: Tyler Higbee
Higbee had back-to-back TE9 finishes heading into Week 5, but then his buddy Kupp returned with 8/118 on 12 targets. Nacua also stayed consistent. Higbee saw his involvement plummet to just three targets for 2/20 and a TE29 finish. Higbee does get ARI this week which has been a positive matchup for years, but I’d rather use that in my trade talks vs. hold and hope. Following ARI, the Rams play PIT, DAL and GB before their bye in Week 10. I don’t like those matchups. Give me Ferguson over Higbee.