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by Nick Ercolano
October 02, 2018
Week 4 is in the novels, so we're looking at snatching the gold mines off of the waiver wire. Let's get it. This list will only be composed of players owned in 55% or less of Yahoo leagues.
1. Baker Mayfield - Cleveland Browns
- Yahoo Ownership: 44%
Baker had his first start on Sunday as an NFL QB, on the road in OAK. He threw for 295 yards and two touchdowns, which would normally equate to a good fantasy day. However, his team did not help him out whatsoever. He'd wind up throwing two pics and losing two fumbles, which of course will kill you in fantasy. Interception number one, Callaway slips on the ground, the ball hits him in the hands and a defender grabs the deflection. Pick #2 - It's late in the 4th with almost no time, Baker is trying to push the ball down the field and gets picked off on a hailmary. He was strip sacked on a play where the RT got pushed into the pocket into about half a second, and the second fumble was a botched snap by the center. All of his turnovers were easily avoidable, and outside of the second interception, none of them should've happened. His teammates were credited with 6 drops on the day. That's not going to help the bottomline either. On the second drive, Baker did leave some points on the field too, overthrowing Callaway on what would've been a 50-yard TD and then Landry in the endzone on a slant.
I'm happy with this performance if I own Baker, he looked very good, just a few minor things that need to be cleaned up, but check out his schedule.
- Next three matchups: BAL, LAC, @TB (@PIT, KC, ATL)
- Use #1 Waiver Wire: No
- FAAB Spend: $7-10
2. Derek Carr - Oakland Raiders
- Yahoo Ownership: 36%
On this list for the second straight week, Carr threw for 437 yards and four touchdowns in this one. It's the first time he threw multi TD passes in a game, but he's now 4th in the NFL in passing yards (1,373) averaging 343.25 yards/game, with the third highest adjusted completion percentage (81.9%).
He gets a tough Week 5 matchup at LA, but the Chargers have been far from great against QBs. They just let Beathard throw for 298 yards and two touchdowns against them a week after Jared Goff put up 354 and 3 touchdowns. They are not an avoid at all costs matchup. After that, Carr takes on the Earl-Thomasless Seahawks at home, gets a bye, then gets Indy and SF.
- Next three matchups: @LAC, SEA, BYE (IND, @SF)
- FAAB Spend: $5
3. Blake Bortles - Jacksonville Jaguars
- Yahoo Ownership: 33%
Well, it's tough to know when to stream Blake. We thought last week would be it, turns out the Jets were the defense to attack with Bortes in your lineup. Blakey went off for 388 yards and two touchdowns, making it the second time in three weeks that he's thrown for over 375 yards.
Fournette retweaked his hamstring, and I'll bet this is a multi-week absence again. Bortles and this passing game will have to be relied on more heavily moving forward, and what better matchup could you ask for than against the Chiefs in Week 5. They'll travel to Arrowhead where there should be plenty of throwing. They take on Dallas on the road in Week 6, but have a home matchup vs. Hou who just allowed about 4000 fantasy point to Andrew Luck.
- Next three matchups: @KC, @DAL, HOU, PHI
4. Marcus Mariota - Tennessee Titans
Mariota looked like a competent QB in this one for the first time in what seems like two years. After dealing with this elbow injury for the past few weeks, it seems like he's past it. He came out firing, throwing for over 100 yards in the 1st quarter - finishing the game with 344 passing yards and two touchdowns on 43 attempts, adding 46 yards and a score on the ground. Those 43 attempts, only twice in his career has he thrown the ball more than 43 times in a game, that's good news. We're also seeing Mariota get much more involved on the ground. He had 51 rushing yards last week, 46 this week, those would have been his 2nd and 3rd highest game totals in his 15 regular season games last year - you like to see this a lot. Mariota will be a streaming option in Week 5 as they travel to Buffalo to take on the Bills who've allowed the 11th most FPs to the QB position.
- Next three matchups: @BUF, BAL, LAC
5. Joe Flacco - Baltimore Ravens
- Yahoo Ownership: 25%
Another one whose name keeps landing on this list. He needs to be owned guys. Simple as that. All of the preseason talk is coming to fruition, and his connection with Smokey is real. He threw for 363 yards on SNF, the second time, going over 360 this year. In 2016, he didn't throw for more than 290 yards in a single game. Through a quarter of the szn, Flacco is on pace to throw for over 5,000 yards and a 30:8 TD:INT ratio. He gets CLV and then TEN on the road, which aren't easy matchups but both defenses just got shredded by Carr and Wentz, then a beautiful home game versus the Saints pass defense.
- Next three matchups: @CLV, @TEN, NO
- FAAB Spend: $5-8
6. Jameis Winston - Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Yahoo Ownership: 11%
In what was easy to see coming, Winston started the 2nd half of Sunday's game at Chicago for the Bucs. He'd finish the game completing 16-of-20 passes for 145 yards, a touchdown, and two interceptions. The first INT was his arm getting hit by who else, Khalil Mack on a bull rush, which launched straight up into the air. The second one was bad, he stared down his WR, but you're going to get some turnovers with Winston.
The encouraging news, 145 passing yards in one half, against a tough CHI defense, is going to translate to fantasy points. That's not easy to just come off the bench at half, on the road versus a very good defense. His 80% completion rate was impressive given that his aDOT was 9.4. And that's what you're going to get from Jameis. The weapons are insane in Tampa Bay, and the pass defense is equally, but oppositely insane in that they're going to let up five million points. They're allowing 358 yards/game, a 13:1 TD:INT ratio, a league-high 20 pass plays of 20+ yards and a league-high 130.5 opposing QB rating.
They have a bye in Week 5, so he'll be ready to roll in Week 6 in what should be an absolute slugfest between Winston and the Falcons in the dome. This game might have an over/under of 200 points tbh.
- Next three matchups: BYE, @ATL, CLE
1. T.J. Yeldon/Corey Grant - Jacksonville Jaguars
- Yahoo Ownership: 50%/2%
So, obviously, Fournette re-aggravates his hamstring injury, not gonna say I told you so, but I might have tweeted this out this week:
I'm expecting this to be a multi-week absence, meaning Yeldon becomes once again a plug-and-play RB2 based on volume. People like to get cute with Grant, but no it's Yeldon. Out-snapping Grant 48-7 in this one and out-touching him 21-3. Yeldon turned those 21 touches into 100 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns. They get a great matchup at KC next week, as long as Fournette is out, Yeldon is a great play - he's my top WW add this week.
- Next three matchups: @KC, @DAL, HOU
- Use #1 Waiver Wire: Yes
- FAAB Spend: $12-18
2. Ronald Jones - Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Yahoo Ownership: 24%
People are going to get unnecessarily excited about Jones, and I'm being as objective as possible here. For the first time this year, the Bucs activated their 2nd round rookie RB Jones. Jones did out-carry Barber 10-7. He ran for 29 yards, 2.9 ypc, 2.0 YAC. Barber ran for 3.4 ypc, 2.7 YAC. Both caught 1-of-2 targets for essentially nothing. Barber did out-snap Jones 31-20 in this one. But it's clear that Barber has been bad, and they're going to give Jones a chance to show what he has. Doesn't mean he's becoming a 20-touch guy, doesn't mean that after an awful preseason that he's going to be good all of the sudden. What happened on Sunday may very well be what happens going forward for the ROS. This is a bad offensive line for running. Outside of Ali Marpet at Guard, they don't have a single offensive lineman graded inside their position's top-30 in run blocking per PFF AND they ranked dead last in the NFL in Football Outsiders run-blocking DVOA.
It's a bad situation and it's a backfield I'm avoiding until further notice.
- FAAB Spend: $2-3
3. Nyheim Hines - Indianapolis Colts
- Yahoo Ownership: 15%
Hines is becoming a back you can play by default and his role in the offense. T.Y. Hilton got hurt on Sunday and has basically already been announced out for this week since they play on a short week on TNF @ NE. Jack Doyle was out and doesn't seem to be close to returning, he hasn't gotten in even a limited practice in two weeks. Marlon Mack, it's anyones guess as to whether or not he's going to play, but I'm going to guess no.
Hines saw tied for team-high 11 targets on Sunday and far away led RBs in snaps, 62-31 over Wilkins. He converted those 11 targets into a team-high 9 catches for 63 yards and two touchdowns. He doesn't give you much in the run game, but he's now caught 5 or more passes in 3-of-4 games and should be heavily used if Hilton, Doyle and Mack are all ruled out in what could be a shootout (53 ov/un, 2nd in Week 5) in Foxborough.
- Next three matchups: @NE, @NYJ, BUF
- FAAB Spend: $5 in PPR
1. Antonio Callaway - Cleveland Browns
- Yahoo Ownership: 38%
The stat line doesn't tell the story, but like I said with Baker, he was a play away from a monster game. Another nine targets in this one gives him 20 total over the last two weeks, with an aDOT of 17.5 in that span. He's seen 25% of the teams targets, 43% of their air yards and is playing on 80% of the teams snaps. The big games are just inches away and after BAL and LAC, he gets a ridiculous stretch of games where I expect him to put up top-24 numbers over that span.
- FAAB Spend: $10
2. Taywan Taylor - Tennessee Titans
- Yahoo Ownership: 13%
With Rishard Matthews gone, Taylor is going to be the WR2 here. He flashed in preseason and was expected to have a big role here. All he does is make plays when he's on the field. He caught 7-of-9 targets for 77 yards on Sunday, making this the second time in three weeks he's scored double-digit FPs. The knock against Taylor was never his skill or talent, but the coaching staff just didn't want to play him. For some reason Tajae Sharpe had been running ahead of him, but since Week 1, we've seen Taylor's snap share increase every single week, as Sharpe's has decreased almost identically. It's his job to lose as we're starting to get back a healthy Mariota. He's a better PPR play, but he has some breakout potential in an offense with no help from the running game, no Shard and no Delanie Walker - they're badly looking for playmakers.
- Next three matchups: @BUF, BAL, @LAC
- FAAB Spend: $7-8
3. Ryan Grant/Chester Rogers - Indianapolis Colts
- Yahoo Ownership: 11%/0%
Same thing as Nyheim Hines - Hilton, Doyle and Mack out. Grant had been a near 80% snap player, and with Hilton in and out of the lineup, Rogers became that as well on Sunday. Neither guy has much TD upside, but both can be solid floor PPR plays. Grant is currently on pace for 72 catches and 752 yards while Rogers caught 8-of-11 targets for 85 yards on Sunday.
- Next three matchups: @NE, @NYJ, BUF
- FAAB Spend: $2-5
4. Keke Coutee - Houston Texans
- Yahoo Ownership: 2%
Texans WR Keke Coutee had the most receptions (11) by a WR making his NFL debut since 1970. He had 15 targets on Sunday, which tied Corey Davis, Tyler Boyd and Stefon Diggs for the NFL-lead in Week 4. He turned those 11 catches into 109 yards
Bruce Ellington was their slot WR before being sent to the I.R. Now Will Fuller how has been banged up on and off, suffered a mild hamstring strain again on Sunday, leading to Coutee playing on 93% of their offensive snaps and seeing 36% of the team's targets. It might seem like a crowded group of weapons in Houston, but it's not. They don't have a TE catching passes and Lamar Miller and Alfred Blue are giving them almost nothing out of the backfield. Hopkins and Fuller are accounting for 52% of the team's targets right now - they have room for Coutee to make an impact and be a real third weapon in an offense that needs one. Coutee was the Texans 4th round pick this year out of Texas Tech. He runs a 4.43 40-yard dash, but he missed most of the summer as well as the first few games dealing with a hamstring injury.
Now, back and fully healthy, if Fuller misses time, Coutee could be a flex play in every league, not just deeper ones. He's a stash in all leagues as long as Fuller is healthy, but I like his upside.
- Next three matchups: DAL, BUF, @JAX
- FAAB Spend: $5-8 (more if Fuller is sidelined longer)
1. Vance McDonald - Pittsburgh Steelers
- Yahoo Ownership: 43%
Back-to-back strong performances from McDonald has him atop the TE depth chart for Pittsburgh. For the first time this year, Vance out-snapped Jess James, 39-28 and has now run 58 routes compared to 28 for Jesse James over the last two weeks. McDonald has impressively turned 58 routes intoa 9-174-1 line. For a position as shallow as TE this year, McDonald is looking more and more like a TE1 in this high-powered offense. He gets a fantastic matchup in Week 5 against a decimated ATL defense.
- Next three matchups: ATL, @CIN, BYE
- FAAB Spend: $7-10
2. Cameron Brate - Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Yahoo Ownership: 23%
With O.J. Howard expected to miss a few weeks (2-4), and Winston taking over at QB, Brate will be a weekly TD threat, as we saw on Sunday, catching his second TD on the season from Winston. The two have always connected in the RZ and with no one to compete with Brate for TE targets while Howard is sidelined, he should flirt with weekly TE1 numbers.
- Next three matchups: BYE, @ATL, CLE
- FAAB Spend: $2-3
3. Ricky Seals-Jones - Arizona Cardinals
- Yahoo Ownership: 22%
This is simply out of hope that Rosen will develop into a strong passer in Arizona. A week after catching a 35-yard TD pass, RSJ followed up with an above-average 2-52 game in the Cardinals 20-17 loss to the Seahawks. He's a stash for now, but could develop into a top-12 option if he and the rookie can continue gaining chemistry.
- Next three matchups: @SF, @MIN, DEN
Tyler Eifert is obviously out for the year, if you're taking a TE there it's C.J. Ozomah, not Tyler Kroft. He's second behind Eifert in snaps, targets, receptions, yards that stuff. Don't waste your WW on Kroft, please.
Three rules to streaming: Favorites to win, home teams in a low over/under.
1. Carolina Panthers vs. New York Giants
- Yahoo Ownership: 40%
- Point Spread: -6.5
- Over/Under - 44.5
2. Cincinnati Bengals vs. Miami Dolphins
- Yahoo Ownership: 10%
- Point Spread: -6
- Over/Under: 50.5
3. San Francisco 49ers vs. Arizona Cardinals
- Point Spread: -4.5
- Over/Under: 41
by Noah Pires
December 12, 2018
by Nick Ercolano
December 10, 2018
by Noah Pires
December 08, 2018