The Wire - Week 4
By Levi Ellis
We are one game away from week 3 being in the books and it’s never too early to plan your waivers for the upcoming week. As we move on into week 4 you must start considering bye weeks which begin in week 5 with Detroit and Green Bay. If you have players on either team you must consider replacement starters now while the waiver wire prices are affordable. The goal is to always plan at least one week in advance to help you find the best bargains and values.
As we discuss potential FAAB bids in this article please keep in mind that the value is all relative to the details of your team as well as your league. If you are in a two quarterback or superflex league then quarterback values are clearly higher than other leagues. If your team is 0-3 at this point, you may need to place higher bids because you just can’t run the risk of losing out on a player who can help you win now. Or if you are trying to replace a player lost due to injury you may need to place a higher bid just to ensure you come away with that replacement player. So take the faab bid suggestion and consider the details of your specific league and roster to make a more informed decision before you place your bids. Don’t ever be afraid to “get your guy”!
A blind man can see that Nick Foles is the Bears starter going forward. Foles was called into the game with the Bears trailing late in the third and he delivered, going 16 for 29 with 188 yards, 3 touchdowns and 1 interception. He also had two other potential touchdowns taken away from a drop and a penalty. The Bears have offensive weapons and Foles has clearly provided a spark. Although the Bears next two opponents are not favorable (Indiannapolis & Tampa Bay) if you need a QB Foles may just be your guy. Bid comfortably with up to 20% of your remaining FAAB budget.
For those of you in two quarterback leagues or super flex leagues, Nick Mullens would be an excellent addition. Frankly, any player that plays in an offense run by Kyle Shanahan is an excellent addition to your team as he always finds ways to score. Mullens performed well going 25 of 36 for 343 yards and 1 touchdown this week on the road against the G men. Mullens is just a temporary player until Garoppolo is back so bid no more than 5% of your remaining FAAB budget.
The number one running back that should be on your list to add this week, if available, is Darrell Henderson Jr. Henderson finished the day with 20 carries for 114 yards and 1 touchdown. Sure Cam Akers was out for this week and the Rams have continued to say that they will use a committee this year, but Henderson’s performance against a Buffalo Bills defense in Buffalo cannot be ignored. This is a guy that I would be willing to spend 75% of my remaining FAAB dollars to acquire.
Carlos Hyde is a potential target this week if Chris Carson’s knee injury requires him to miss time. Seattle is a team that utilizes one primary back and Hyde is the perfect replacement for Carson. If Carson does miss time, bid up to 50% of your FAAB budget for this guy.
Jeff Wilson was not effective at all at running the ball this week with 12 carries for 15 yards; however he was great through the air with 3 catches for 54 yards a 1 touchdown. If Mostert continues to miss time, Wilson will get opportunities and he has been extremely good at scoring touchdowns in his limited opportunities. Although Wilson’s role is just temporary he is a player worth using as a flex starter while Mostert is out. Bid up to 10% of your remaining FAAB budget for Wilson.
One thing is clear, the Patriots will run the ball a lot this season. In Sunday’s game against the Raiders we saw Rex Burkhead get 6 carries for 49 yards and two touchdowns combined with 10 targets, yes you read that right, 10 targets with 7 catches for 49 more yards and 1 touchdown. Sony Michel had 9 carries for 117 yards with two catches for 23 yards and JJ Taylor had 11 carries for 43 yards. The issue here is you would need a crystal ball to predict which Patriots running back to play each week. All players may be worth owning depending on the size of the league but I would stay away from this situation, unless of course you do have that crystal ball. Minimum bids only for these players.
If you own Todd Gurley you may want to go ahead and grab his handcuff in Brian Hill. Hill had 9 carries for 58 yards and 1 touchdown Sunday and he looked explosive at times. Hill is not a player that I have a lot of confidence in but the Falcons have yet to use Gurley as a bell cow back so there could be some upside with adding Hill now. 5% of your remaining FAAB budget seems about right.
One thing that always seems to be king in fantasy football is VOLUME. Well Myles Gaskins is getting that. Thursday night he had 22 carries for just 66 yards but he did add another 29 yards on 5 catches. For the time being, Gaskins is getting that volume and although the results have been mixed, you could do worse. 5% of your remaining FAAB is all I’m comfortable bidding since his statistics haven’t exactly wowed me yet.
There were a lot of relatively unowned wide receivers that stepped up this week but none more so than Justin Jefferson who finished the day with 9 targets, 7 catches for 175 yards and 1 touchdown. If this guy is on your waiver wire it’s time to spend your FAAB. I would bid 90% and possibly all of my budget for this guy. Not only is he talented and we have seen what he can do but he also plays on a team that has a bad defense and will have to throw the ball to stay in games. If you pass up on Jefferson you will be kicking yourself for the rest of the season.
A guy that probably everyone has heard of at this point is Allen Lazard. Lazard may not be owned in all leagues going into this week but he should be owned in all leagues after this week. Davante Adams was out this week and Lazard stepped up in a big way with 8 targets for 6 catches, 146 yards and 1 touchdown. Lazard is the clear cut number two wide receiver in this offense and this offense is putting points on the board. If Lazard is available bid up to 20% of your remaining budget.
Joe Burrow may have already established a great rapport with rookie Tee Higgins. Higgins finished the game with 5 catches for 40 yards and 2 touchdowns. It seems that Higgins may already be replacing AJ Green and that wasn’t expected until next year. John Ross was a healthy scratch this week so Higgins may be moving up the depth chart. The Bengals will be playing from behind all year and they seem content with Burrow airing it out each week. Higgins is a guy you should want on your roster so bid up to 25% of your remaining FAAB.
Now that Nick Foles is most likely the starter (he has to be, right) guys like Anthony Miller and Darnell Mooney should be in consideration. Miller had 2 catches for 41 yards and 1 touchdown this week and Mooney had 2 catches for 19 yards. Both guys will see more accurate passes moving forward and both have lots of talent. Miller is the higher pedigree player and quite frankly the better player but both guys are great options. Bid up to 25% for Miller and stay more around the 3% range for Mooney.
If Deebo or Kittle continue to miss, then Brandon Aiyuk will continue to get opportunities. He finished this week with 8 targets for 5 catches and 70 yards, but he also had 3 carries for 31 yards and 1 touchdown. Does that remind you of anyone? How about Deebo Samuel. Kyle Shanahan loves to involve his wide receivers in the running game and Aiyuk didn’t disappoint. It sounds like both Deebo and Kittle have an opportunity to play next week so bid conservatively but Aiyuk should continue to get better. I’m in the 10% of your remaining FAAB budget range on this one.
If Diontae Johnson misses time for a concussion then go see if James Washington or Chase Claypool are available. Both guys have produced when given the opportunity and if Johnson misses time there will be a lot of targets to go around.
If Chris Godwin misses more time then Scotty Miller will be involved in that offense. He’s more of a complimentary piece but he does produce when given the opportunity. Miller finished the day with 5 targets for 3 catches and 83 yards. There are a lot of weapons on that Tampa Bay team so bid conservatively with somewhere around 5% of your remaining FAAB dollars.
As long as Jamison Crowder misses time, Braxton Berrios will have a phenomenal opportunity to produce. If he continues to impress he may have a role even after Crowder returns. Keep in mind this is the Jets we’re talking about hear but he has looked solid in his starts this year and finished this week with 4 catches for 64 yards and 1 touchdown. If Crowder is out again bid 10% of your budget to get Berrios.
One guy that came out of nowhere this week was Cedrick Wilson of the Dallas Cowboys. He finished with 7 targets, 5 catches for 107 yards and 2 touchdowns. Look I was just as shocked as you were. I barely knew who Cedrick Wilson was before the game started and now I’m trying to figure out how involved he will be moving forward. Logic tells me he can’t be too involved with all the other weapons they have and they won’t be playing the 32nd worst pass defense every week but Wilson is still someone to consider. For now, I’m skeptical that he will be routinely involved in the offense so I recommend taking a conservative approach and bidding no more than 3% of your remaining faab budget. Spend your FAAB on a player that is more likely to be involved weekly.
A rookie that continues to impress me is Gabriel Davis of the Buffalo Bills. Each week he seems to be more and more involved in the offense. He finished this week with 4 catches and 81 yards. The Bills seem to have morphed into a passing team now when Josh Allen doesn’t tuck it and run it himself. Davis is a player I want to own but keep your expectations tempered. If John Brown misses time then Davis will be more involved. Bid with your head and not your heart and keep it to no more than 5% of your remaining FAAB.
Christian Kirk missed this week so Andy Isabella was finally involved in the offense and he didn’t disappoint. Isabella finished with 4 catches for 47 yards and 2 touchdowns. I fully expect Isabella to be a boom or bust player for the rest of the season but in games against bad defenses or games where one of the top three wide receivers are out, Isabella is a great play. Also keep in mind he is a former second round pick so the Cardinals are invested in him. Bid 5% unless there's news that Kirk will miss more time.
The Eagles are just a mess at the skill positions. They were already hurting for wide receiver help and now both Desean Jackson and Dallas Goedert are hurt and are likely to miss time. Greg Ward had 8 catches for 72 yards and 1 touchdown. Another guy that I expect to be involved moving forward if Jackson misses time is the rookie John Hightower. Both Ward and Hightower are guys worth owning because frankly, the Eagles have to throw the ball to someone. Ward should go for something like 10% of your budget while Hightower could be a minimum bid.
Tim Patrick is a guy the Broncos like and he had 4 catches for 43 yards and 1 touchdown this week. Zach Pascal should be more involved while Parris Cambell is out. If Russell Gage or Julio continue to miss time, Olamide Zaccheaus could have a role, he finished this week's game with 6 targets for 4 catches and 41 yards. Kalif Raymond had 3 catches for 118 yards this week and if AJ Brown continues to miss time he should see more and more opportunities. Other guys that also interest me if AJ Brown continues to miss time are Adam Humphries (4 catches 41 yards) and Corey Davis (5 catches 69 yards). The Titans are another team that seem to be passing the ball even more this year and Tannehill has continued to be very good to this point. All three guys are streaming options.
Mo Allie Cox appears to be legit. He followed up last week's breakout performance with a stat line of 3 catches for 50 yards and 1 touchdown this week. As I mentioned in last week's column, Rivers loves to throw to the tight end. So it goes something like this: Rivers likes tight ends, Mo is good, Rivers likes Mo so Mo is worth a look. Bid up to 10% of your remaining FAAB for Mo.
Jimmy Graham looked like a fantasy superstar with a stat line of 6 catches for 60 yards and 2 touchdowns. Maybe Graham has found the fountain of youth or maybe he was just lucky but this situation is worth monitoring. I’m skeptical that Graham still has athleticism so stick to a minimum bid for now.
The Packers may actually have tight ends that do more than block. This week Robert Tonyan had 5 catches for 50 yards and 1 touchdown and Jace Sternberger came away with 3 catches for 36 yards. We need to monitor this situation more but maybe just maybe the Packers will have a fantasy relevant tight end moving forward. Keep your bids to the minimum for now but also keep a close eye on this.
If George Kittle or Jordan Reed miss time, Ross Dwelley is worth a look. He finished this week with 4 catches for 49 yards. Tyler Kroft came out of the week with 4 catches for 24 yards and 2 touchdowns so if Dawson Knox continues to miss, Kroft could be worth a look. Greg Olsen had 5 catches for 61 yards although this week was a shootout with the Cowboys. Seattle does like to use their tight ends though so keep an eye on this situation. I think this is most likely just a tease but Eric Ebron actually performed this week with 5 catches for 52 yards and 1 touchdown.
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