by Noah Pires
October 06, 2020
Baker Mayfield - Cleveland Browns
Waiver Priority: No
Baker’s box score over the past three weeks doesn’t tell the full story of just how good he’s looked. You’d think in a game where the Browns drop one shy of a 50 burger, much of the output would be Mayfield’s doing, but it was the running game that accounted for a lot of the scoring Sunday. This is a trend that’s likely to continue, as is seems that no matter who’s toting the rock will go for 77 yards and a tug, but with Nick Chubb leaving the game early and OBJ looking like his old self, maybe they skew a bit more pass heavy these next few weeks. The volume is going to need to be there for the Browns’ gunslinger to be able to be a trusted fantasy option over these next two weeks, playing the Colts and Steelers, but after that short slate of tough games, has a stretch of beautiful ones. Before their week 14 bout with the Ravens, Cleveland gets the Bengals, Raiders, Texans, Eagles, Jaguars, and Titans all in a row, a stretch where Baker should present QB1 upside game after game. He’s not the sexiest pickup, especially considering he won’t be immediately startable, but if you have a deep enough bench to stash him, or want to “buy low” in a 2QB/SF league, then this is your chance.
Daniel Jones - New York Giants
I have nothing to say other than he plays the Dallas Cowboys next week. I don’t care how bad he’s looked, how bad the o-line is, how bad his receivers are...I don’t care about anything. The Cowboys’ defense is now featuring on every Charmin UltraSoft commercial going forward and I don’t even think that’s doing them justice for how bad they’ve looked. Daniel Jones could play blindfolded next week and go for three tugs. A rule of mine going forward is if a QB is < 60% owned and plays the Cowboys, I’m streaming them. It’s that simple (shoutout Animal).
Teddy Bridgewater - Carolina Panthers
I’m not a fan of Teddy 2 Gloves, like, at all, but he had a great game this past week and now gets to face the Atlanta Falcons. Yes Kirk Cousins, I like that. I’m pretty sure my 12 year old self could go for 3 TDs against ATL, so Bridgewater should have no issues presenting back-end QB1 upside in this very favorable matchup. I mean, even the Bears’ QB combo totaled 4 scores against this sorry excuse of a defense, which is about as low as it gets.
Justin Herbert - Los Angeles Chargers (America's Team)
Josh Allen 2.0 is proving the world (BDGE) very wrong. Yes, they blew the game, and yes, Tyrod was one needle away from still being the man behind center in LA, but everything Herbert has shown is what we want from a fantasy QB. He throws to Keenan Allen a zillion times a game, and with Austin Ekeler’s hammy mirroring Will Fuller’s, it will be easier to make those throws underneath than rely on the run game over these next few weeks, and seeing as who they’re playing, should be a viable starter going forward. The Saints are a pass-funnel next week, and after them, draw the Jets, Dolphins, Jaguars, and Raiders, none of which present any sort of defensive threat. JH could also be in line for more rushing work, as his favorite check down option now seems to be dealing with hammy issues, so there’s going to be a built-in floor for the former Oregon Duck as well. If you drafted him in dynasty, you’ve got yourself a good one, and thank you for not listening to anything I said from April until now.
Joshua Kelley - Los Angeles Chargers
Waiver Priority: Yes
Fuck Josh Kelley, all my homies hate Josh Kelley. He isn’t good...never was, never will be. Despite this, it’s hard to deny he’s worth an add in all leagues if he’s sitting on the waiver wire because our favorite bald headed back is now dealing with hamstring issues. I’m not expecting anything crazy from JK because, as I said before, the guy stinks, but volume tends to win out, and in this case, is no different. The Chargers love to pound the rock and rely on their defense, a scheme that may struggle against New Orleans next week, but the schedule thereafter, which I mentioned earlier in the Herbert portion of the article, should be pretty favorable for the former Bruin. One thing that concerns me, though, is the fumble he committed, which lead to a TB TD en route to the eventual comeback by the Bucs, so that may make Anthony Lynn a bit hesitant handing over the reins to the rookie, especially with Justin Jackson now healthy. In the end, though, I'd love to say to not spend all your FAAB on the guy, but I have to put my hatred to the wayside on this one. Go out and get him if you have the means to do so.
Alexander Mattison - Minnesota Vikings
Dalvin Cook’s injury doesn’t look to be serious, and honestly, I don’t even know what happened to him. All I know is whoever is at RB for the Vikings is going to eat, and in Dalvin’s short absence, Mattison found himself in the endzone in no time at all. This pickup is very similar to an upcoming one as well - Tony Pollard - where, if you pick them up right now, you won’t immediately reap the benefits, but in the long run, if something were to happen to the starter, you’d be in an ideal situation. If you’re rostering a fraudulent WR like Curtis Samuel (no shots at you CS, you just happened to get in the way), why not drop the for someone with the upside of a Mattison or Pollard? The chances of you ever starting a Curtis Samuel outside of a litany of injuries to your entire roster are slim to none, whereas if Cook were to ever go down, AM would present top 10 upside asap like Rocky.
Chase Edmonds - Arizona Cardinals
FAAB: $15-20 (all of it if Drake misses any sort of time)
Waiver Priority: No (unless Drake misses any sort of time)
So it doesn’t look like the injury Kenyan Drake sustained as the end of the game was anything serious, but what is serious is how bad KD has looked through four weeks. We made the excuse that his first two games were flukes against top tier run defenses in the 49ers and Football Team, but after logging a total of 108 yards on 31 totes against the woeful Lions and Panthers front sevens, there doesn’t seem to be much hope for #41. His lack of receiving game usage is concerning as well, and although Chase Edmonds hasn’t really threatened Drake on the ground, he’s been a consistent part of the Cardinals’ aerial attack. Through four weeks, not only has Edmonds looked better than Kenyan (honestly this is probably more objective than subjective), he’s also seemed to gain Kyler’s trust out of the backfield, seeing 4.3 targets per game and scored his second tuddy of the year on Sunday. It’s not going to be easy to outright take Drake’s job, but talent will eventually win out, and maybe the injury KD sustained was all Chase needed to begin seeing more looks going forward, which Kliff will excuse away as “trying to not get Kenyan Drake banged up”. Whatever the case may be, I’m running to the waiver wire to snag Edmonds before it’s too late, and at the same time, selling low on Drake - which certainly will not be easy given his dreadful start to the season.
Damien Harris - New England Patriots
I know last week I said to never bother grabbing a Patriots' back off waivers because it's a crapshoot every game as to who's going to get the top dog treatment, but seeing as Harris dominated both opportunities and looked good on the field in his first game byke, I think he's a pretty safe investment. The game was very slow most of the night for New England, as they tried to keep the ball out of both Patrick Mahomes and Brian Hoyer's hands, leading to a heavy rushing attack, but that shouldn't take away from what he did out there. The former Bama back broke a 40+ yard run and looked pretty spry doing so, and finished the day hitting the century mark on 17 totes. With Sony Michel being on IR, James White being a pass-game specialist, and Burkhead taking a backseat to Harris this past week, it looks like Damien should be in like for somewhat consistent usage going forward, and if he could post 100 yards with a combination of Stidham and Bald Brian behind center, I can only imagine how much he's going to benefit from the return of Cam Newton. I'd view him in a similar light as a guy like David Montgomery going forward, as his situation will likely make up for the lack of volume, in comparison, to a true lead-back in a shitty offense like Chicago.
Tony Pollard - Dallas Cowboys
Refer to the Mattison writeup above. The only difference is Zeke seems to never get hurt...like ever, but if he were to miss time, Pollard is about as solid of a handcuff as they come. Maybe I’m just scarred by Austin Ekeler punching a one way ticket to Snap City, but this seems like about the right time to snag legitimate handcuffs at a cheap price rather than waiting a week or two and only being able to shell out $37 on Tony because you dropped your other $63 on a combination of Dallas Goedert, Jeff Wilson Jr., and Parris Campbell. Bad memories...I know and I’m sorry about that.
Justin Jackson - Los Angeles Chargers
Let me reiterate: Fuck Josh Kelly. Justin Jackson does everything Kelley can do but better, but knowing Anthony Lynn, that means he’s not going to be the guy. Last season before his injury, he was looking like his ever-efficient self, averaging 6.5 yards per touch, albeit on limited volume. I can’t talk him up too much, because the chances he beats out JK for the job are 100% more likely in my brain than in reality, but he’s a nice stash on the off chance his flashes of brilliance earn himself some more run in the Chargers’ run-heavy gameplan. I think best case scenario is he plays the Ekeler role to JK’s Gordon role from 2019 where he remains usable due to receiving game usage and efficiency, but again, this is me being extremely optimistic. I’d reasonably expect a 35-40% snap share for JJ, or about 10-12 touches per game, which is barely enough to be a FLEX option if he isn’t getting goal line work, which he won’t.
Gus Edwards - Baltimore Ravens
Mark Ingram isn’t dead (yet), but J.K. Dobbins may as well be with his lack of usage. If there was ever a time to trot him out, it was Sunday in a route against the artists formerly known as the Redskins, but alas, he amassed six touches and turned that into a measly 17 yards. Since his week one double-tug performance, he’s been unimpressive and his lack of involvement is definitely concerning. Gus Edwards, on the other hand, has looked like prime Steven Jackson. His YPC numbers have been wild, going from 4.25 → 7.30 → 9.75 → 4.22, and although he’s barely a 25% snap share player, he has done more than enough to show that if something were to happen to Mark Ingram, he’s next in line to be the guy. The upside isn’t as tantalizing as we may like, as Lamar will still get his and Dobbins is bound to see more work as the year progresses (right?), but because Ingram didn’t get hurt and Edwards didn’t necessarily run wild this week, he’s someone you can likely grab for free.
D’Ernest Johnson - Cleveland Browns
This is completely contingent on Nick Chubb’s health. If he’s out for the season, or any stretch longer than a handful of weeks, then Johnson looks to be a solid enough option to be worth an add in every league. He actually led the Browns in carries, as Kareem Hunt came into the game with a groin injury that held him to JUST two TDs, along with the Browns being up a million and not needing to force Kareem up the middle 30 times. Johnson still looked pretty spry on Sunday, and even if he’s the #2 in the running game for the next few weeks, with how much Cleveland wants to run the ball, he could certainly be a 10-12 touch guy going forward. Hunt is the better overall back and will command all the goal line and third down work, so those double digits touches may lose a little intrigue, but at a thin position ravished by injuries and upcoming byes, you can certainly do a lot worse *cough* Dion Lewis *cough*.
Tee Higgins - Cincinnati Bengals
Tee Higgins has now totaled 22 targets over his last three weeks, and 16 over his previous two. He looks to be the Bengals’ X receiver of the future, and with A.J. Green running routes like Lt. Dan, also looks to be the X receiver of the now. Tyler Boyd is still by far the most trustworthy option on this offense, but it was nice to see Higgins’ targets turn into production this week, as his 9 looks last week resulted in just 40 yards (2 tugs tho so I guess we can be happy about that). The Bengals remain a team that won’t be playing with a lead very often, despite what we saw against the Jags on Sunday, which definitely bodes well for the continued usage going forward. My only issue is his inconsistent schedule going forward, and by that, I mean there isn’t ever a stretch of more than a few games where I’d feel comfortable rolling him out there. The Ravens and Colts are two opponents where I’d fade Tee, but after that, draws the Browns and Titans, which are soft spots. Then, a Steelers sandwich with Washington, the G-Men, Miami, and Dallas in between. Despite this, he’s someone I’m still willing to drop a pretty penny on, as everything is trending up for the former Clemson Tiger on an offense that can only improve.
Laviska Shenault Jr. - Jacksonville Jaguars
Similar to Tee Higgins, Laviska finds himself on a team that will be playing from behind in most, if not all, of their upcoming games. Shenault was overshadowed by his teammate D.J. Chark on Sunday, which is both good and bad. It’s bad because I’d like if he was the one scoring the tuddies, but it’s good because now nobody is realizing LS logged 91 yards on six touches all while solidifying himself as the team’s clear-cut #2 in the receiving game. His versatility alone makes him an intriguing pickup, but on top of that, his continued usage should make him a trusted FLEX option in favorable matchups, which won’t be few and far between given who Jacksonville is set to play. Next week, the Jags roll into Houston, who just let fellow rookie Justin Jefferson top the century mark against them, and thereafter, gets Detroit, the Chargers, Houston again, and Green Bay. Aside from LAC, I’d feel good slotting Viska into my FLEX spot, especially with how many injuries (and byes) are set to happen in the coming weeks.
Scotty Miller - Tampa Bay Buccaneers
With O.J. Howard now out for the remainder of 2020, along with Chris Godwin being banged up, Scotty Miller once again finds himself on the waiver wire article. He's actually been really solid to this point, and is one dropped tuddy away from logging either 70 yards or a tug in each of his first four weeks. His target totals aren't anything to write home about, topping out at seven and averaging just over five per week, but his aDOT (ranks 2nd behind just Calvin Ridley) and consistent output over the previous month makes him worth the add in all league formats. He's never going to be a WR1, 2, or even 3, but should provide some FLEX worthy games for the rest of the year, especially in Godwin's absence or in any NFC South matchup because as we all know, they boast less D than Varys.
Dalton Schultz - Dallas Cowboys
Waiver Priority: No (unless desperate at TE)
If the Cowboys are going to continue playing from behind for four quarters, I’m going to continue adding Cowboys to my roster. Dalton Schultz is basically Jack Doyle reincarnated, which is as mediocre as it gets, but with how the tight end position shapes up every year, mediocrity means a middling TE1. Over the last three weeks, since Blake Jarwin tore his ACL, Schultz has seen 24 targets, reeling in 17 of them for 208 yards and 2 tuddies, or in layman’s terms, has turned the fuck up. Volume+TD upside = a tight end you want on your roster, and seeing as how it isn’t just a one week wonder, DS is someone I’m actually interested in dropping some FAAB on. If he burns me, though, then I vow to never hype up an NFC East tight end again (rip Goedert and Logan Thomas).
Robert Tonyan - Green Bay Packers
Bobby Tonyan did his best Davante Adams impression Monday night, catching a touchdown basically every time the ball was thrown his way. At this point, we know MVS is just a decoy, and with Allen Lazard done for the year, Rob seems to be the 2nd or 3rd target in the receiving game. With Aaron Rodgers continuing his "fuck you" tour, all it takes is a handful of targets a game to turn that into production, and seeing as RT has caught a TD in three consecutive games, as well as his target numbers jumping from three, to five, to six over that span, it's safe to say he's going to remain a constant in the Green Bay offense. Because he's on bye this week, he may not be as high priority of an add as usual coming off a three tug performance, so you may not need to break the bank on him, but if you're currently trotting out the likes of Evan Engram or the remains of Chris Herndon on a weekly basis, then you may want to throw more than the suggested $ amount on what now looks to be a top-10 fantasy tight end.
Drew Sample - Cincinnati Bengals
Drew Sample is the even less sexy version of the already unsexy Schultz. Sample’s usage isn’t nearly as consistent as Dalton’s, as his target totals have swung from nine, to one, to five over these past three weeks, but his usage in the red zone and trust he’s seemed to have built with Burrow is something I’m willing to bet on in an ascending offense. He’s not a must-add by any means, but in dynasty leagues if he somehow happens to be on your waiver wire, I’d go out and drop a bag on him. As for seasonal leagues, if you’re like me and started Adam Trautman this week, then you know it can get a whole lot worse than taking a shot on Sample, making him a somewhat intriguing add for very little FAAB.
Just like last week, there are no defenses under 60% owned that meet the criteria of being home favorites with a low over under. The Cowboys and Seahawks are about as close as they get to hitting these marks, but those are two of the worst defenses these near-sighted eyes have ever seen, so I'm not going to suggest them.
I will recommend the Arizona Cardinals, though, coming in at just 50% owned, now facing a Jets offense that may be without Sam Darnold. Even if he was in the fold, this would be an elite streaming option because, well, the Jets fuggin stink.
I also don't hate the Cleveland Browns going up against the Colts. It's going to be a slow-paced game, which doesn't bode well for forcing turnovers, but when Phil is behind center, you can never rule out a pick six or two...or three.
And lastly, the Washington Football Team is pretty bottom of the barrel, but are worth the add if you're desperate. They're heavy underdogs against the Rams, but the Rams aren't all that great and Jared Goff is a fraud. They edged out the Giants this week, which was pretty embarrassing, and with WFT being a much stronger defense than what the boys in blue have to offer, I could realistically see Washington coming out of this contest with a W and a few turnovers to boot.
by Noah Pires
October 27, 2020
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