2020 Week 5: Three Things from Sunday Night Games + Top 5’s Waivers/Buy-Sell/Sleepers/DST/IDPs
I know this was a pretty good week in FFM-land (Mahomes and Kyler were 1-2 in 'used' QBs in fantasy scoring this week, so far...and they are the most owned/used FFM QBs. Plus, some HAD to use Darrell Henderson or Chase Edmonds which helped). You wanna know why I knew it was a decent week across FFM? It’s the time of the season where I get the following emails, texts, conversations at the grocery store…
“Well, I won this week…but it was total luck.”
…and then after proclaiming the win lucky, I get the on reason why it was lucky (like…if I hadn’t of started Claypool…or if my opponent didn’t lose Dak) and then after that I get their long list of reasons why their team really sucks still and what they’ll do differently next year.
Hey, congrats on the win…I guess?
Or…should I say, “My condolences on your victory”?
CHEER UP! You just won a fantasy football game that you needed to win!!! Who hurt you when you were younger?
If some of us accepted FF-defeat as graciously as you dismiss away your victories, we might be better FF owners – and we wouldn’t fly off the handle trying to save our entire season in a week and/or making wild sit-start moves based off last week’s results and/or declaring your season over at 2pmET on Sunday. Or at least yowe might enjoy the FF ride better, instead of living under a cloud of our own design all season.
Text/emails I never receive by 2-3pmET on Sundays during the season – “Man, what a great start to my game. I think I’m going to win big. I really think I can win a title this year!” 10+ years doing this = 0 times anything like it has happened.
Text/emails I have received by 2-3pmET on Sundays during the season about 3,000+ times over 10+ years doing this – “Well, I’m screwed. They aren’t throwing to ____/____ got hurt and is out…game over, season over…and next year I’m never going to draft WRs on a team that starts with the letter I or L or P…”
Then half of those 3,000+ people will email/text later Sunday or Monday-Tuesday – “Whaddya know, I won my game this week. But I was only because I was lucky that…blah-blah-blah, and I’m screwed this upcoming week playing the best team in the league for sure and my key guy is on a BYE.”
Now you know how my Week 5 Sunday into Monday went. But I also know that means a good week overall – looks like a 60-70% win rate is trending across all platforms with two games still to go that can sway things still. Our teams are starting to come together a little bit, overall, in general -- but plenty of work still to do.
Why do I share the story above about the negativity on winning? To mock? No. Because this is the time of year where injuries, COVID, BYEs start happening, and because of our depth and scouting of talent/awareness of talent off waivers, sit-start, etc., we start winning games in unorthodox ways. We are winning on purpose now/ahead!! This is where we can make our move if we keep our heads/wits about us. THEY (your opponents) will start making more wrong sit-start, more wrong waiver pickups, more wrong trades…if you give them enough time during the BYE week stretches. THEY will panic at (0-3), (1-3), (1-4) records and do bizarre things to dull the pain. If you just keep your head about this you will catch up to them (if you started in a hole this season) or you will pull away from them and strip them of their talent when they panic if your season is humming along fine now.
There’s a lot of season left…if you’re (1-4) or a scuffling (2-3)…and some (0-5) teams (of which it doesn’t look like any are left in my control group of results I track across FFM will exist, thank God…this week it looks like we got any of the remaining 0-4s off the schneid)…all you scuffling teams right now – it’s not fun but it’s not over. You lost at least one game with the winning points on the bench. You lost one because you faced a George Kittle type event from Week 4 or whatever other shocker thing happened whatever week. You’ve lost because Diontae Johnson (ow whatever WR of the multiples that have done this to us) keeps playing one play and leaving and you’re playing fantasy one-man short every Sunday. It doesn’t mean you’re a bad planner/football mind – just this is a crazy season of injuries and game swings, and just one extra win by now would make you feel completely different.
You gotta approach this upcoming week like business as usual if you are within two games of the playoffs. Two games out with 8 weeks to go is one step away from one game out with 7 weeks to go. I could do the same math if you’re three games out and look to be in too deep a hole. Just when your roster is dying…Chase Claypool’s emerge.
I keep drilling on this message for the losing record teams because like my 3,000+ text/email message story – most everyone/too many in fantasy is drawn to perpetual doom and gloom. Wins are secretly bad, because your team has so many flaws…and Losses are expected, welcomed prophesy because you knew you were going to lose and you’re never going to play fantasy football again because of all the injuries and COVID, etc.
This is a GAME. Keep playing the game. You can’t always be winning or ahead.
It’s like Blackjack.
Right now, I feel like (for FF) that I’m hitting on ‘12’ and seem like I’m always getting a face card/bust on my sit-start picks -- if I choose ‘A’ over ‘B’ in a 50/50 call…’A’ gets hurt in 1st-quarter and ‘B’ has a great game. I mean…the odds I don’t get a face card hitting on ‘12’ is 9 cards out of 13. The odds are in supposed to be in my favor! So, why do I keep drawing face cards at that exact time when I hit on ‘12’?
Is it because I’m a bad Blackjack player? Should I stop playing Blackjack? Should I change tables? What you should do is stick to your plan…your mathematics (scouting)…keep playing hands and the game could turn. It should turn, statistically.
Stick to the plan. Manage this week to make smart not emotional waivers and trades and sit-starts and let the cards fall where they may. We’re in the part of the season that is to our ‘advantage’. We’re in that ‘lucky’ phase that’s not luck – our opponents aren’t as deep on the roster and are following typical sheep advice…which is why none of them possessed Chase Claypool for weeks like most of us.
Let’s use Claypool Week 5 as a lesson to learn/mindset to have:
We got Chase Claypool because we believed Claypool might pop…now he did. Some of you won because of it. Some of you had him on the bench but now have a legit WR pop off your bench. Your WR depth chart just changed radically, potentially.
I have news for you…Chase Claypool being on your team the past 2-3 weeks…it wasn’t luck. So, don’t demean you or I for making that investment in advance, for seeing it ahead of everyone else.
Go be savvy this week…not ‘lucky’. It’s not over unless you mentally decide it is.
Don’t get complacent if things are going well (and most FFM teams are now more 3-2 than any other record there could be). Don’t get complacent on top. Now is the time to start taking advantage of the panicked…not being the one panicked being taken advantage of. Plenty of time left, but don’t rest on laurels…keep looking for people/situations to take advantage of.
Tom Brady ran out of time/downs this week…but we’ve still got time/downs to go in FF. It’s a long, crazy season (like every season). Keep playing the game. We’re entering our FFM-advantage weeks with BYEs ahead. You have time…this delusional guy thought he did but didn’t: https://youtu.be/dgxie2KoRQI?t=12
-- Here’s Three Things/quick notes that caught my attention from each Sunday game (subject to change as I rewatch all this week) --
-- I’ve been saying it for a couple of weeks now, but I don’t know how much longer Kliff Kingsbury is going to put up with Kenyan Drake (18-60-01, 1-2-0/1) being a sluggish/down-killing runner…when Chase Edmonds (3-36-1, 5-56-0/6) is clearly a better spark/player for this offense. It might be that his patience has ended right here this game. It’s very obvious Drake is not ‘right’/sluggish/plodding…my eyes say.
-- Maybe the Cardinals will trade for Le’Veon Bell (13-60-0, 1-7-0/1)? Someone should. Bell put down good tape here – he showed that he’s healed and still viable. Really good work here behind a disaster O-Line/offense. Why wouldn’t the Jets trade him this week? He’s starting to push for it on social media…he knows how this works.
-- Christian Kirk (5-78-0/7) had a solid game here but note this was as ‘favorable’ a game as the Arizona passing game could have, and Kirk had a very basic/OK game of output. He’s viable during this great schedule stretch, but I see no special connection or upswing happening.
-- Lamar Jackson (19-37 for 180 yards, 2 TDs/1 INT, 2-3-0) is torpedoing fantasy seasons… Just not enough passer volume to compete with the high-end QBs of 2020. You’re kinda stuck with him, because he can go off anytime…but QBs of 2020 are starting to pass him by. He’s not the nuclear bomb QB that he was in 2019.
-- The Ravens are going to shut down your top WRs, unless you have an ace QB with those ace WRs (like Mahomes Week 3). Tee Higgins (4-62-0/8) and Tyler Boyd (4-42-0/6) both were held in check, even in garbage time.
And if you didn’t think A.J. Green (0-0-0/1) was done before…now, you can be sure.
-- You knew this Joe Mixon (24-59-0, 6-35-0/8) event was going to be worrisome facing the Ravens defense, but a positive take away from it…6 catches in a game in back-to-back games, after being ignored in the passing game for the Zac Taylor era.
If Mixon hits 5+ catches next week…then we know it’s real. It’s just hopeful right now after two back-to-back weeks of elevated targeting…we need another week to get excited about his PPR-life.
-- Chase Claypool (7-110-3/11, 3-6-1), amiright?
I may not know when to ever play one player over another week-to-week, but don’t tell me I don’t know football scouting.
Do we start Claypool week-to-week now? Until he’s named starter…it’s touch-and-go, but he’s probably on the verge of being a starter even if he doesn’t officially ‘start’. We have to see what words come out of Steelers camp.
-- Claypool might be replacing Diontae Johnson (injured back, left early) in the starting lineup temporarily…maybe permanently if Diontae doesn’t stop going into a game and getting hurt on every first-second touch he gets.
I think there is a growing risk Diontae lost his place in the pecking order, but it’s more likely they didn’t have to risk putting Diontae back into a game that was pretty winnable. But we have to see what the Steelers do. Bench Washington? Trade JuJu? Bench Diontae? My guess is Washington will find the bench more and a long-shot chance the Steelers trade JuJu (but interesting NFL trades never happen).
-- I was shocked to look at the box score and see that Travis Fulgham (10-152-1/13) had a big-time game. He’s a very average WR benefitting from all the WR injuries here. I was more shocked that the Steelers pass defense would allow this…the Steelers pass D/overall defense is starting to show some serious cracks.
-- Facing a so-so defense, normally, that had it’s four best players out for the game…Deshaun Watson (25-35 for 359 yards, 3 TDs/2 INTs, 2-25-0) played one of his worst games of the season…and he’s played nothing but bad games this season with a couple good quarters sprinkled in. Watson does not look good at all to me. More on this in the game reports this week.
-- D.J. Chark (3-16-0/4) got hurt in-game. Not sure how bad for the week ahead. Bradley Roby was taking him out anyway, as we anticipated. Hopefully, you were able to sell him high last week…because his value just sunk hard.
-- If Chark misses time…Laviska Shenault (7-79-0/8) and Keelan Cole (2-25-1/6, 1-2-0) get a little bump as streamer/useful/Flex-type WRs. Figuring the Jags are going down the tubes and there will be a lot of garbage-time throwing (like this game).
-- Josh Jacobs (23-77-2, 2-8-0/3) had 2 TDs, but also another low ypc (3.0)/low impact game from him. He’s becoming ‘hope the drive gets to the 1-2-yard line so JJ falls into the end zone’ type FF option. If not for the two short TDs…a panic button would have been hit nationally on Jacobs for FF after what would have been four weak FF weeks.
-- Derek Carr (22-31 for 247 yards, 3 TDs/1 INT) will be the talk of the week…a QB on most redraft waivers but he is playing excellent ball all season…11 TDs/1 INT on the season.
-- Clyde Edwards-Helaire (10-40-0, 3-40-0/8) has been a fantasy-bust so far. After a great Week 1 with 100+ yards rushing in his debut, he’s not rushed for more than 64 yards in a game since. He’s kinda out-of-sync in the passing game and has been stuffed near the goal line multiple times.
He hasn’t looked or played bad…it’s just he’s ‘OK’ in an offense that doesn’t need to lean on him. I’d like to say ‘Buy Low’ but he’s a magical rookie unicorn so everyone will be afraid they sold the hot thing at the wrong time…so, not easily obtainable. But a panicked owner knows no limits of panic, so may be reasonable if you time a deal right…if you believe in CEH. I worry that KC is worried…and might add a veteran RB for the stretch run.
-- So, Darrell Henderson (15-38-1, 3-30-1/4) is the starter again? Nope.
Sean McVay didn’t let his clothes dry before he was proclaiming Cam Akers (9-61-0) as going to get more work because he was the best yards per carry guy of the game (because of one long run late in the rain when it was out of hand). Outside of that one run, Akers had 8 carries for 13 yards rushing.
Sean McVay is not going to let Henderson beat out Akers, so just deal with it. Don’t try to figure it out.
-- I thought TFC would look better under any new QB, but Kyle Allen (9-13 for 74 yards, 0 TD/0 INT) looked OK/nothing special. And then Alex Smith (9-17 for 37 yards, 0 TD/0 INT) did not look great in for the injured Allen…but it was raining pretty much all his time in the game and it was a mess of offense both ways in the rain.
Next week’s starter? If given the choice I believe Ron Rivera will go with Kyle Allen.
-- OK, I give up… Tyler Higbee (2-12-0/2) is going nowhere fast. It isn’t that the team is shifting to Gerald Everett (4-90-0/4) instead…it’s that he’s not a part of the offense. Low targeting all season, one good game…time to find a better option. Time to give up here…the carryover from late 2019 never even really had a hint of happening. Even the three TD game was no shift in the offense like what happened late 2019.
-- No Julio? Russell Gage (2-16-0/5) and Olamide Zaccheaus (1-13-0/4) flopped. I’m not sure what you can count on not-Julio, not-Ridley from this passing game. Random events you try to guess when they click…and that’s frustrating.
-- Younghoe Koo (3/3 FG, 1/1 XPs) quietly came back off missing a game due to injury and nailed 3 FGs. Six of his next 7 games are kicking in a dome.
-- This might be Mike Davis’s (16-89-09-60-1/10) last game as the main starter...and it was another FF-gem. Now that the Panthers are a playoff contender…so CMC is trying to get back to be a part of it.
The Panthers are (0-2) with CMC starting, and (3-0) with Davis starting this season.
-- Raheem Mostert (11-90-0/3-29-0/3) back and he looked beyond fine. Miami’s defense was stopping everything but Mostert. My semi-fears are assuaged on the SF run game issues (looking at the data from Weeks 1-4). Mostert looks as good as any RB out there in the NFL/FF today.
-- Deebo Samuel (1-3-0, 2-19-0/8) may have had some hangover from being sick all week…or it was just everyone looked terrible on the 49ers AND Miami has a sneaky good defense too.
-- That good-looking Miami-DST gets the Jets at home this week…which will be one of the top play DSTs of Week 6. Getting Byron Jones back just took this DST to another level (above the garbage everything thought they were).
-- As I was saying about Philip Rivers (21-33 for 243 yards, 0 TD/2 INTs)…
I know what I’m doing.
There has to be a real decision on whether to bench him for Jacoby Brissett. But think back to the Adam Vinateri fiasco of 2019, and therein lies your answer (he cost them their season early and only injury stopped them from repeatedly hurting themselves).
The Colts are deemed one of the worst offenses in the NFL in my system/a great matchup for the opposing DSTs. But would you use the Cincy-DST against this week?
-- Did you sell Odell Beckham (5-58-0/9) last week off that dream game? If not, you missed the peak price you’ll ever get on him again. However, he’s not going to die…not as long as the Browns are in the playoff hunt. He’s playing energized and engaged for the first time in years…winning can do that.
-- Kareem Hunt (20-72-0, 3-21-1/4) was the clear lead in a tough battle/important game here…D’Ernest Johnson (8-32-0, 1-4-0/1) barely played until late – when Hunt went down grabbing his calf. May have been a cramp, but something to monitor.
-- I’ll be taking all the Dallas weapons’ projections down (to some degree) now working with Andy Dalton (9-11 for 111 yards, 1 TD/1 INT).
We know it won’t be as good as things were with Dak, so there’s a haircut right there.
Who Dalton prefers to throw to…who knows? You assume Amari but we don’t really know. Dalton was pretty decent with Tyler Boyd last year, but Dalton’s age/skills eroding with a new team, new offense, working 2nmd-team all year – a lot of unknowns.
-- The switch to Dalton…the torched (due to injury) O-Line…Dallas is a ‘favorable’ matchup for opposing DSTs potentially. If so, Washington has them 2x in the next five weeks. Arizona-DST might be OK Week 6.
-- I have to throw in the towel of confidence on Evan Engram (2-9-1, 1-16-0/2)…Daniel Jones is so bad, it’s too much to overcome. I still like him as a TE1 threat, and I’m not necessarily dropping him, and I will buy dirt cheap in trades or pickup off waivers – but I’m taking my projections down and making sure I have another TE to work with until I see if EE can turn a corner or not.
This should have been a 2 TD game instead of 1 TD one…but the problem is his actual TD was running, and the other one (called back) was a fake FG. Not ‘real’ TE TDs.
In the passing game for EE this game…2 targets…against a bad-against-the-TE pass defense. Unconscionable. It’s Daniel Jones’s fault. He sucks. I regret saying he was a better worst QB in the league last week – he’s rightfully as bad as the bad QBs. He was truly awful in this game.
-- D.K. Metcalf (6-93-2/11) has become the most dangerous WR in all of the NFL/FF. He’s not the best technician, but he still has defenders trying to hand fight with him up close and just throws them off and blazes past them to big plays. NFL coverage isn’t changing, so you have to just assume he’s going to put up 1,500+ yards and 16-20 TDs this season.
I never thought he’d make a clutch catch in the rain like he did to win this game, but he did. He has shaky hands in the normal (not deep ball) passing game of run route and stop and catch – but he dove and caught a bullet from Wilson in a steady rain. He’s a nuclear bomb WR for the NFL and FF. A 1st-round WR in redraft in 2021. I never thought he’d materialize into a great WR, but he’s just physically out-dominating coverage…whether with speed or power.
Before we get too excited…I’m guessing all the double teams start now on D.K. This great game on national TV might get D-C’s attention finally, and thus comes the re-rise of Tyler Lockett potentially.
-- Dalvin Cook (17-65-1, 5-24-0/5) gets hurt and Alexander Mattison (20-112-0, 3-24-0/3) walks in and is just as good/better. Why do NFL teams spend so much on their free agent RBs when this is so replaceable? Our FF lesson in 2020 – have the legit/key handcuffs to your major backs because they’re all dropping like flies.
-- Justin Jefferson (3-23-0/5) had his first FF ‘dud’ in three weeks. Classic Mike Zimmer, and it was smart due to the rain – get ahead and run the ball constantly. Minnesota ran the ball 41 times here…Seattle 16. In the end, Seattle has Russell Wilson…and Minnesota does not.
It’s the pressure on JJ ahead…the offense is not desiring to make him an FF star. This was a ‘great matchup’ and Cousins threw for just 249 yards and JJ had 23 yards receiving.
===== FIVE PLAYERS… =====
**NOTE: Tuesday Night Waiver Madness Video Q&A 8:00-9:30pmET, where we will go over more of all these things (below) every Tuesday night**
XX Likely time change due to special Tuesday Night Game, details forthcoming XX
Five Waivers To Trust…
*Looking at players owned less than 50% on average in leagues across the whole FF-landscape. Your league, obviously, may be different/deeper.
**Adding a school grade to show my interest level (A-F)
***FAAB % mentioned at any time below is based on a 17-20 man roster league. And it’s hard to predict the right bid % because every league, situation, lineup needs are so different. So, doing the best I can to ‘project’ (i.e. ‘guess’) what they will be based on early chatter.
1a) RB Alexander Mattison, MIN (A-to-D?)
It’s simple, there are a dozen+ backup RBs who are as good as the superstar starter, when it comes to fantasy – Mike Davis, Tony Pollard, Leonard Fournette, Latavius Murray, Jamaal Williams, etc., and Mattison is right there with them.
How exciting or not this is will be tied to whether Dalvin Cook is OK for Week 6…missing a game or two…or out longer.
It could be 100% of an FAAB budget or as low as 20% depending. Most established leagues Mattison is being sat on, but in regular redraft leagues he’s drifted on and off waivers due to roster crunch/COVID issues, etc. If you own Cook and didn’t hold Mattison…you have yourself to blame.
You need to examine all your RBs and contemplate if you should have their natural/talented/obvious backup.
1b) WR Chase Claypool, PIT (B+)
I mean, I’ve been pushing this for several weeks…so, I shouldn’t have to say anything here.
I wasn’t just saying, “He’s good” or ‘Watch out for this guy!” like the FF commentary on every player in the league all year ‘round. No, that didn’t happen here, you know where I’ve stood…and well, this stock just exploded. I’m not going to rehash my foreshadowing here or take time to gloat. Most of you already own him. Plus, we just had another FFM WR pop for our teams – so, take a Vegas prop and bet he loses arms and legs in a tragic mining accident this week.
I will say this – you should have already had him, especially if you owned Diontae, and most everyone of you do in redraft and many have acquired (initially or after-the-fact) in Dynasty. Great. Had to feel good-bad Sunday watching it…’good’ that you own the explosive waiver guy of the week, but ‘bad’ that he was likely on your bench. Hey…we want our bench guys doing well. We have faith in them when they produce. We have tradable assets, etc. Some of you ‘had’ to use him, and well…congrats on your win this week.
Now, before you sell your soul here (if you don’t have him)…just note he’s still not technically a starter, and this 4 TD day only happened because Diontae Johnson got hurt (shocker) early on. We don’t know what Claypool’s snaps and targets will be next week – but I think he might either make James Washington an extinct species, or gets JuJu traded, or gets Diontae some bench time until he stops getting hurt when he comes in contact with other humans. Likely…Washington is going to be the #4 WR in Week 6…but playing 50%+ of the snaps over Washington.
He’s going to break the bank on the FAAB budget, and I wouldn’t sell my soul for it because he’s still a rookie/WR surrounded by a lot of talent. He could easily see 1 catch next week. We may be past that with him, but what if it’s a 3-50-0 stat line next week? How exciting then? Your proper window was the past few weeks – now, you're going to want to chase so hard to be a part of the gang that formed weeks ago. Just make sure not to let your ego/possession desire/I have him on my other two team’s mindset make you do something crazy here.
2) QB Justin Herbert, LAC (B-/C+)
If there is one other player on this list that is a future superstar, besides Claypool, who might be ‘the future is now’ – it’s Herbert. He is playing sublime. Now, he has a broken O-Line and Anthony Lynn…but he’s had that all along and been great. In redraft, he is still floating around 50/50 on waivers. If you got a better QB2 for an emergency, good for you…but do you really? Matt Stafford is not as good as Justin Herbert. And that’s just one example.
It’s another Claypool situation – you should’ve already made your move if you were going to make it. The window could close tight after MNF.
3) RB Damien Harris, NE (C)
A rookie…one who ran for 100 yards in his ‘debut’ in 2020…BYE week this week…value still holds up, people are intrigued. There’s a lot of value in owning that -- I get to sell/trade hot or use as a #4-5 RB for my own redraft depth. I don’t see how he puts up consistent numbers in that cluster backfield.
4) WR Laviska Shenault, JAX (C-/D-)
If (and we don’t know yet) Chark goes down for a week or two due to his ankle…Shenault gets a bump. The next favorite target for Minshew.
5) WR Tee Higgins (C-/D-)
He’s a viable WR2 threat with Joe Burrow. There’s a relationship there…and A.J. Green is now known to be effectively ‘done’.
6) QB Derek Carr, LV (D)
Playing great. Good numbers. Is a viable QB2 for BYE week needs ahead. He tends to get hot and then falls off (for FF), so be cautious – but 2020 is launching all kinds of fresh QB greatness, and Carr is much better than given credit.
7) PK Younghoe Koo, ATL (D)
Was hurt, missed a week, and kinda fell off the radar – but he’s a quality kicker who is in a dome a lot the next 6 games (5 times in a dome). If you need to freshen up your kicker situation, he’s on the radar and on a lot of waivers last week.
8) PK Jason Sanders, MIA (D)
Beck-to-back weeks of hitting on 5-of-5 FGs in games. He’s 14-of-14 on attempts this season and kicks AT Denver this week…an altitude boost!!
9) RB D’Ernest Johnson, CLE (D)
Only if Kareem Hunt has a real quad problem/you own Hunt and need to backstop him.
Five Waivers To Distrust…
1) WR Travis Fulgham, PHI
Either when 1, 2 or 3 of Jalen Reagor (Wk7), Jeffrey, and/or DJax return…this story is going to start to fade from memory. It’s ‘Philly’, which means a lot of fan interest (like PIT, GB, DAL, etc.) with strong media – so, you will see many stories written now about how great he is and what a find by Philly and they pat themselves on the back. I don’t buy it. He’s OK and the Eagles stink, and you could take all the old Greg Ward romance novels written about him and do a ‘search for/replace with’ Travis Fulgham and republish them. Nice story…no legs to it.
I’ll re-watch their game this week and report out if I see something different, but I’ve scouted Fulgham out of college. I know he’s capable/OK, not a star.
2) WR Tyler Johnson, TB
Tyler Johnson is 10x more talented than Fulgham…a potential NFL starter/star. However, there’s no chance of that happening on purpose in Tampa Bay with Brady and the surrounding weapons right now. He’s buried. I know we all love him from our college scouting, and he looked nice on TNF, but it’s improbable he’s going to emerge off this depth chart when everyone is healthy.
3) TE Gerald Everett, LAR
Tyler Higbee’s issue is not because of a rise of Gerald Everett…this was just a game they decided to use Everett because you attack WAS at their linebackers in coverage and Sean McVay doesn’t remember who Tyler Higbee is. We are all looking for TE relief…this is not it.
4) WR Brandin Cooks, HOU
Even Travis Fulgham can go 100+ yards in a game, so who cares if Cooks follows up an 0-0-0/3 week with a pop against a defense decimated with injury? Deshaun looks terrible on top of all this. No thanks. Cooks is not ‘back’…he is what he is…a WR3/4.
5) RB Cam Akers, LAR
There will be a lot of chatter about Sean McVay talking up Akers this week, and I don’t doubt it’s true – but be careful trying to get into this Rams RB love triangle. McVay will try to push Akers, but the problem will be – he’s not that great. Darrell Henderson will always be lurking/taking touches, as will Malcolm Brown.
I don’t see Akers as a shot at greatness. You want to pair him with your DHendo? Fine. You want to just get Akers to flip him…you have that potential this week. As this week goes on, you will see more and more about Akers getting more touches and his momentum will pick up. If you want to grab to sit on to see what happens to the heat on him this week, feel free – but don’t think you got a strong savior RB here.
Five Buy Low Players…
*NOT ‘Buy at any price’…it’s buy LOW. Try to find a deal. If none to be had, walk away. It’s also NOT…go immediately ask the owner ‘What do you want for ____’, don’t telegraph your desires.*
Comments for Week 5-into-6: This is almost the same list as last week, and rightfully so. No real great new ‘buy low’ player sprung out at me Sunday into Monday. I might land on one with more thought as we go through the week, but the names from Week 4-into-5 are almost all here in the same order (just different commentary).
1) Josh Allen, BUF
You know how I feel here – he’s playing as well as and stylistically like Patrick Mahomes.
Does his owner have two good QBs? Did his owner bench him this week for fear of a TUE cancellation? Maybe a deal can be struck before Tuesday with panicked owners from Sunday-Monday games?
Trade Valuation? QB1, heavy price…but potentially very worth it.
2) Raheem Mostert, SF
Looked great Sunday. He’s back and healthy and they kicked Jerick McKinnon to the curb quickly with Mostert back. One of the 3-5 best RBs for fantasy ahead…and he had kind of a muted game/touch count Week 5. Try and capitalize on it.
Trade Valuation? You want to pay an RB1.5 price if it all possible, but may have to go low-end RB1 if you really want in.
3) Ben Roethlisberger, PIT
Great schedule ahead (except for the 2x BAL games). Chase Claypool coming on. Diontae might stay healthy past the 1st-quarter in games ahead. The downside – three of 4 games this season he’s been less than 240 yards passing, but 10 TDs/1 INT on the season against a not-so-easy schedule.
Trade Valuation? QB1.5 or don’t bother because Derek Carr is putting up equal/better numbers.
4) John Brown, BUF
Might have been benched for TUE fears, and that he’s battling a nagging calf issue. He might come DIRT cheap and be a WR2 hopeful for you on a great passing game the ROS…one people are still not fully respecting.
Trade Valuation? WR3…he’s being all but given away in many deals I’ve seen the past week of pursuit.
5) Justin Herbert, LAC (Dynasty/SFlex…not redraft, per se)
I love-love-love what I see from Herbert. Obviously, everyone is buying in to some degree. I just think I’m willing to pay prices/show love that would make him acquirable. If you believe like I do…if you need a QB for the future, and useful for the now – here he is. Better than Burrow, in a different way, I have a feeling. https://youtu.be/Pd0VBm8gU5o
Trade Valuation? For Dynasty…he’s QB1 valuation that if you believe, you’re just going to have to pay heavy or wait for a down week/for this stock price to come in some.
6) David Johnson, HOU
Slipped this one in on you. Made you wanna hurl at the sight? I’m just noting – DJ is grinding nicely for yards. He converted several 3rd & short plays to help HOU win this week…like converted all of them he got a chance at. I bet it was like 4-5-6 of them. He was the silent MVP of their Week 5.
New coach, and he played most of the game like usual. His crime right now is not getting those 1-5 yard TD opps that stalling RBs like a Josh Jacobs or Todd Gurley have been getting. If he starts getting them…he’s going to be a great buy low acquisition because his price continues to fall but his workload is that of a strong RB2. Watson has also misfired, by a mile, to DJ three times in the end zone this year – three TDs lost because Deshaun Watson sucks. There will be a time they will connect, you hope. For the price – this is a smart acquisition.
Trade Valuation? RB2-2.5…he’s being given away. Not an exciting name and no TDs or heavy catch counts to get people faintly interested. He’s around the top 24 RBs in non-PPR and PPR, among the healthy/active. He’s useful with upside but being sold cheap.
7) Le’Veon Bell, NYJ
He looked very solid/good. No hangover from missing a few weeks with his leg issue. Totally clear.
Now, if he stays on the Jets…he blows, he’s an RB3 at-best.
What I am hoping is his tape here was good enough to get the suddenly (4-1) Bears interested. The Chiefs may be wondering if they should make a move. Miami should be thinking about it.
Bell is trash today, but once the rumors/trade happens – BOOM. You can flip it before he hits the field. Le’Veon could be the Kenyan Drake/2019 story of 2020.
Trade Valuation? RB3…treat like he’s dead, hoping his current owner has had enough. He may get traded to a bad FF place.
*Hunter Henry belongs on here, but you probably cannot acquire him pre-MNF…so let’s see what he does on MNF and re-assess. Perhaps he belongs as high as #1 on this list (because of all the TE issues out there across entire leagues).
Five Sell High Players…
*NOT ‘Sell at any price’…it’s sell HIGH/sell good. Try to find someone in love with your player or values throw into a multiplayer deal. If no one respects the player/buys right…then walk away.*
1) CeeDee Lamb, DAL
This is a tricky one…a gutsy moving of a chess piece to deceive your opponent.
CeeDee Lamb has been very good…most everything on Dallas has been very good for FF. There are numbers to show/bluff Lamb as a WR1 in PPR the last few weeks. He has production to sell. And we would all logically think that production is at-risk with Andy Dalton, no? It doesn’t die…it just doesn’t support the prior pinball machine numbers. So, Lamb’s hot streak is likely to unwind a bit.
It’s not just about trading off a hot streak – it’s the name. If you try to trade Amari, people will go “Oh, you’re trying to dump Amari with Dalton on me, no way!” But if you offer CeeDee Lamb, people turn into one of those zombies from The Walking Dead – “Ohhhhh, CeeDee…I could own the magical rookie who will probably never have a production dip ever and I’m sure this will be Dalton’s top look!”
I bet you could get a lot for Lamb if you needed to sell Lamb for pieces to fill holes…to trade ‘up’, to ‘flip this house’ at peak pricing. This is about selling something white hot, a beloved name and multiplying the loaves and fishes from it. Nothing against the Lamb…
I bet you would not believe that Chase Claypool has a better PPR PPG scoring this season than CeeDee Lamb, but he does…
Sell Valuation? WR1.0-1.25 or just keep, I guess.
2) Darrell Henderson, LAR
Well, it looks like Henderson is the starter again, right? Two TDs in Week 5!!
Sean McVay couldn’t rush to the press conference fast enough to proclaim Cam Akers has earned more touches because he got loose late for a long run.
You are never going to see McVay tie himself to Henderson, on purpose…only mass injury will allow/force it. Coming off a 2 TD game…you might be able to sell this off higher than you think. If people just look at his last 3-4 games, it’s pretty sweet.
Sell Valuation? RB1.5-2.0 or just hold otherwise because he’s as good an RB3 as anyone.
3) Deshaun Watson, HOU
Back-to-back 300+ yard passing games. Finally, a ‘win’ for his team…with the new coaching staff. Everything is fixed!!!
Sell out of this fast but sell high, like the old Deshaun…or close to it. I think Watson looks terrible and he really scuffled here for a while with a bad defense missing it’s four best defensive players – and Watson still scuffled around missing throws and super-reluctant to run. He’s one of the ten worst QBs I’m watching play every week. How does this get better – I think it’s a mental thing not anything else. He is playing ‘checked out’ or passive…or I don’t know what but it’s not good.
Sell Valuation? Flip him like he’s still a top guy. Watson + ___ for Josh Allen type deal opportunity here, maybe.
4) T.Y. Hilton, IND
You got your good game – and it was painful to watch. It wasn’t great, it was good. Now sell it for what you can get. Philip Rivers is so bad there’s no way decent FF games can hold up. TYH has name value and now a solid game that you can toss into a multiplayer deal and some people will bite on the memories of TYH.
If you believe Brissett is coming, then you don’t have to make this move.
Sell Valuation? WR2 sell off...or as close as you can get. The name has some respect. Better in deals where it is ____ + TYH for ____ where TYH is the sweetener you don’t care about.
5) Travis Fulgham, PHI
Scored a TD on live television Week 4. Then 10 catches for 100+ this week…a star is born! I don’t think so. When Jeffrey-DJax returns it’s over, and it’s probably over regardless. Sell this piping hot if you get it off waivers.
Sell Valuation? WR2.5-3…good for a sweetener kick into a deal.
Five Deep Sleeper Waivers Pickups…
*Total flyer/lowly owned or not-owned players
1) TE Jordan Akins, HOU
Look…most of our TEs are not working, for a variety of reasons. Higbee…Engram…Goedert…J. Cook…Hurst…Ertz…etc.
The only things working are Kelce-Waller and kinda Mark Andrews. George Kittle had one big event Week 4…and 4-44-0 this week/Week 5. Jonnu Smith is benefitting from all the Titans WR issues that could be all clear in a week.
There’s a lot of TE pain out there, currently…per usual.
Among all the prospects/contenders/pretenders – I still believe Jordan Akins is playing like, getting the snaps and targets like a strong PPR TE1. You can basically get him for free in most leagues. He should be cleared of his concussion and then he’s a legit starter option for Week 6.
I’m a believer. And…I don’t have many other options!
2) J.D. McKissic, WAS
I’ve been pushing this for weeks but he’s a name people don’t want to trust…and with good reason, just a random RB getting a spike in targets/catches. I think it holds up as useful as RB depth in PPR for the BYE/COVID weeks ahead. I hope you already added if you need stable RB depth in PPR.
3) RB Philip Lindsay, DEN
He should be back Week 6…and he’s a co-starter type and is a Gordon injury away from being a lead back.
4) RB Matt Breida, MIA
Myles Gaskin is killing Miami…he is a wasted touch. He’s still the beloved starter. Breida is emerging as the alternative. If Gaskin gets hurt or they get tired of his nothingness…Breida seems to be the next man up. He could ‘win’ this job (long shot) or it falls in his lap.
…or he never gets a shot and takes a handful of relief touches the ROS.
5) WR Jalen Reagor, PHI
He will be back Week 7 (supposedly) and I think he walks back in as the #1 look for Carson Wentz…maybe.
6) WR Nelson Agholor, LV
As I was promoting last week – he’s the Raiders’ top/#1 WR now. What that means in a Raiders team that rotates WRs a lot in shifts…probably hot and cold results, but Agholor has been hot lately. I’m not a big fan of his, but I have to admit he looks good/confident in Vegas.
7) WR Keelan Cole, JAX
If D.J. Chark’s injury is going to keep him out…Cole is a more realistic WR3/Flex option ahead. If Chark is good-to-go, not as exciting.
8) TE Cam Brate, TB
I’m caught between hearing how much Brady loves Brate and knowing the Bruce Arians offense is terrible for TEs…but also knowing Brady does a lot of what he wants…but also knowing Brady isn’t what he used to be…but also knowing Brady wants to throw to Gronk, if he’s throwing to a TE. There’s a spark of hope here going forward…but more likely Brady steps on your heart here.
9) WR Antonio Brown, FA
Eligible to return to play Week 9. I would guess the rumors of him going somewhere will start next week again.
10) RB Rashaad Penny, SEA
Supposedly coming back Week 8, but we’ll see. But in the era of every other player getting hurt…you might want the Chris Carson handcuff? Or…might Seattle trade Penny since they don’t really need him?
Five…it’s OK to quit them players:
1) WR A.J. Green, CIN
It is officially over. Don’t try to buy low, bottom fish, or hope he gets traded to the Packers, etc. It’s over.
2) TE Tyler Higbee, LAR
You can hold as a TE2 for another week to see, but it’s time to use another TE ahead of him…or trade for one. There is little sign of life here.
3) TE Jack Doyle or TE Mo Alie-Cox, IND
The Colts’ passing game is the worst, and thinks Trey Burton is the real threat to go-to.
4) WR James Washington, PIT
Has to be the odd-man out with the rise of Claypool.
5) Just 4 this week...five if you count the Indy TE duo.
Streaming DST Waiver(?) Options…
This is about Weeks 7-10. Week 6 v. BAL is a no-go, for sure.
Week 7 = Hosting NYG on TNF
Week 8 = Hosting DAL with their new QB Andy Dalton.
Week 9 = BYE
Week 10 = at NYG
The Eagles have a pretty decent defense. I won’t blame them for getting crushed by Chase Claypool Week 5.
A nice schedule stretch upcoming…
Week 6 v. BYE
Week 7 v. JAX
Week 8 @ DEN
Week 9 v. LV (not great)
Week 10 @ MIA
Week 11 at NYJ
When Chris Harris returns in a few weeks this gets 2x better.
With the Dak injury, suddenly this got more interesting as a sleeper DST…
Week 6 = at NYG
Week 7 = DAL
Week 8 = BYE
Week 9 = v. NYG
Week 10 = at DET
Week 11 = CIN
Week 12 = at DAL
With the exception of the bye week…you might can use this defense Weeks 6-12, IF the offense can lend any support. It’s a risky proposition.
A very good streamer defense with a nice schedule ahead with three bad spots to use another…
Week 6 = v. HOU (Watson looks weak)
Week 7 = v. PIT (NO)
Week 8 = at CIN (bad O-Line)
Week 9 = v. CHI
Week 10 = v. IND
Week 11 = at BAL (NO)
Week 12 = at IND
Week 13 = CLE
Week 14 = at JAX
Week 15 = DET
From Weeks 6-15, you can use this DST with some confidence seven times in 10 weeks. They burned their BYE Week 4.
(below) From my push for the Chiefs-DST get last week…(and why you will want the MIA-DST)…*Updated for the latest schedule changes.
You know what pairing works great with KC…the Chiefs and the Dolphins…
Week 6 = MIA v NYJ (KC at BUF)
Week 7 = KC at DEN (MIA bye)
Week 8 = KC at NYJ
Week 9 = KC v. CAR
Week 10 = MIA v. LAC (KC bye) *This just went ‘bad’ on the schedule change. Not a damning matchup, but not favorable (used to be v. NYJ)
Week 11 = MIA at DEN (KC at LV)
Week 12 = MIA at NYJ (KC at TB)
Week 13 = KC v. DEN or MIA v. CIN
Week 14 = KC at MIA
From Weeks 4-15 you get 11 weeks, and 3 matchups with DEN and 3 with the Jets…over half vs. DEN and NYJ. Miami doesn’t have a terrible defense either.
You may know I like this defensive unit a lot, as a defense on the rise. The offense hurts its upside, but there is a lot of talent and discipline with this unit…and now the schedule gets interesting because of so many NFC East matchups in a short period of time:
Week 6 = WAS
Week 7 = at PHI on TNF
Week 8 = TB (not great)
Week 9 = at WAS
Week 10 = PHI
Week 11 = BYE
Week 12 = at CIN
Sleeper/lesser-name IDP’s whose box scores or live watch caught my attention…
1) LB Foye Oluokun, ATL
Missed most of Week 2 with an in-game injury and then missed Week 3. If you look at Weeks 1-4-5, he’s averaging 9.3 total tackles in those three games.
Also, note – in Week 2 he played only 22 snaps before getting hurt…in those 22 snaps he had 6 total tackles and THREE forced fumbles (remember the Dallas game? That was Oluokun’s doing).
2) CB Pierre Desir, NYJ
The starting corner for the Jets the past three weeks. He gets picked on a lot. His last two games: 9.5 total tackles, 1.0 INT, 1.0 PDs per game. He has 3 picks on the season.
3) CB Isaiah Oliver, ATL
Started all 5 games this season, 5.8 total tackles and 0.8 PDs per game on the season – pretty nice for a corner, and it’s been consistent not all driven by one big game.
4) LB Troy Reeder, MIA
Filling in for injured Micah Kiser…11 total tackles, 3.0 sacks. 2.0 TFLs. Ummm…not bad. He’s a throwback, high-energy thick middle linebacker. Depending upon how long Kiser is out…Reeder could have a nice run…OR, maybe, he just earned more snaps/time on regular basis.
Remembering Week 5...