Week 7 Street FA Report

Updated: October 19th 2017

Each week we will recommend a group of players that are owned in less than 50% of RSO league that should be rostered. Depending on roster and league sizes not all of these players may be available. For that, we will offer 1 player that is owned in <10% of leagues as our Sleeper add.

Byes: LIONS, TEXANS

Add of the Week

Orleans Darkwa, RB – NYG (Owned 28%)

Week 6: 21 Car/117 yards, 1 Rec/13 yards

An RB target a couple of weeks ago I felt that Darkwa needed to be featured again due to his low increase in ownership. The Giants are hurting at WR, as evident by Eli Manning only attempting 19 passes on Sunday Night, which means they will be using the run game more throughout the season. There was a spike in interest for Wayne Gallman when he had a decent game in week 5 but Darkwa more than doubled his touches last week (21:9) suggesting that he will, in fact, be the primary option. Though there may not be another 100 yard game for Darkwa he should continue to see the bulk of run plays and offers a goal-line touchdown upside.

Suggested Bid: $1,000,000 – $3,000,000

QB Add

C.J. Beathard, QB – SF (Owned 9%)

Week 6: 19 for 36, 245 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 1 Car/14 yards

If you lost Aaron Rodgers you definitely are experiencing the Monday blues.  But the season goes on and you may need to find a new QB to either start or have as your bye week filler. If you were uninspired by Brett Hundley and his three-interception game last week here is a fresh new face to acquire. C.J. Beathard, a 3rd round rookie from Iowa, took over for Brian Hoyer last week and had an okay game in relief with almost 250 yards passing along with a touchdown and an interception. Similar to Hoyer, Beathard doesn’t possess a cannon arm but rather uses short, quick timing routes for high completion percentages to move the ball. Having a player like Pierre Garcon who is a target monster along with Matt Breida out of the backfield should give Beathard a strong security blanket for these types of passes. With all young QBs there will likely be a capped upside but if he can be mobile enough to add a couple of runs each week (he had 14 yards rushing last week) he could be a comfortable QB2.

Suggested Bid: $500,000 ($1,500,000 in Superflex/2QB)

WR Add

Bennie Fowler, WR – DEN (Owned 20%)

Week 6: 3 Rec/21 yards

Like the Giants, the Broncos have recently been ravaged by injuries to their receiver’s group. While we don’t know the full extent of each players’ injury Demaryius Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders, and rookie Isaiah McKenzie all left week 6’s game for at least a period of time. In the case of the latter two, they did not return and their injuries could be more serious. This means that Bennie Fowler could be in line to step into the WR2 role next week and beyond. He has had opportunities in the offense with 17 targets the last three weeks even with Thomas and Sanders playing ahead of him. He also scored two touchdowns in the season opener. At worst he should be added till we learn more about how severe the injuries those around him have. He could become a valuable flex option for desperate teams.

Suggested Bid: $1,000,000 – $2,000,000

TE Adds

Jonnu Smith, TE – TEN (Owned 31%)

Week 6: 1 Rec/10 yards

Jonnu Smith has quietly had a decent start to his career and is pushing forward this year’s class of superb rookie tight ends. Unfortunately for him and the Tennessee Titans Marcus Mariota missed the last game and a half, limiting the offense’s production. Mariota will be back healthier for week 7 which should boost the appeal of Smith moving forward. Similar to some of my previous listings this could be an even better pickup if you don’t have a clear candidate for your resign as Smith is likely to overtake Delaine Walker as the featured TE sooner rather than later. For the remainder of 2017, he has a touchdown opportunity upside each week and could see his target numbers increase as he becomes more familiar with the offense.

Suggested Bid: $500,000

Sleeper Add (<10%)

Aldrick Robinson, WR – SF (Owned 3%)

Week 6: 2 Rec/66 yards, 1 TD

Sometimes it just feels better to bet on the 9:1 horse because when they hit it’s just oh so sweet. That would be the case with adding Aldrick Robinson who has only played 38% of snaps this season for the 49ers. Still, with the backup QB starting now sometimes it’s the second-team receivers that have the better rapport with them. While already discussed that C.J. Beathard is more of a short, quick route passer it doesn’t mean that he won’t have a few opportunities to look deep, especially if defenses are focusing more on stopping Carlos Hyde and the underneath routes. In no given week will Robinson be a safe play but if you liked to have DeSean Jackson back in the day when he was going for a 60-yard touchdown every other week this might be your type of boom/bust sleeper.

Suggested Bid: $500,000

Week 6 Street FA Report

Updated: October 10th 2017

Each week we will recommend a group of players that are owned in less than 50% of RSO league that should be rostered. Depending on roster and league sizes not all of these players may be available. For that, we will offer 1 player that is owned in <10% of leagues as our Sleeper add.

BYES: Bills, Bengals, Cowboys, Seahawks

Add of the Week

Roger Lewis Jr, WR – NYG (Owned 1.5%)

Week 5: 1 Rec/29 yards, 1 TD

Football is a war of attrition. That was surely the case for the Giants who were left with only Roger Lewis Jr. at WR by the end of week 5. Between Odell Beckham Jr. and Brandon Marshall, there are approximately 15 targets per game that are now open due to their injuries. Along with this, Sterling Shepard is questionable for week 6 leaving Lewis as a volume player to add this week. The Giants (0-5) are likely going to see 2017 as a lost year and will be looking to see what they have for talent at all positions. Therefore, it is unlikely that they get desperate and make a move for a veteran WR. Lewis should see plenty of targets even when Shepard returns and should be a WR4 the rest of the season.

Suggested Bid: $2,000,000 – $5,000,000

RB Add

Matt Breida, RB – SF (Owned 39%)

Week 5: 10 Car/49 yards, 3 Rec/22 yards

During the offseason, the fantasy community was claiming the inevitable of when, not if, Carlos Hyde was going to be phased out of San Francisco who was going to be the RB to own? Some “pounded the table” for rookie Joe Williams who showed little in preseason before an ankle injury landed him on IR. But another rookie RB has come along that has been gaining some momentum the last couple weeks. Matt Breida outscored (10:3) and out-touched Carlos Hyde (13:11) in week 5 and seems like a better fit in Kyle Shannahan’s dink and dunk offense. Another winless team, the 49ers will likely be searching their roster for future talents. With Hyde being in a contract year they may be interested to see if Breida can be a player they can use moving forward. At the very least he will likely be splitting carries with Hyde for the rest of the year. If Hyde was to be injured (as he frequently has been in the past) then Breida would be in for a large workload.

Suggested Bid: $1,000,000

WR Add

Kendall Wright, WR – CHI (Owned 46%)

Week 5: 4 Rec/46 yards

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about D’eonte Thompson as a WR sleeper to add and he had a decent week last week (5-44-0). Unfortunately, Kendall Wright has come back from injury and seems to be the primary receiver for new starter Mitchell Trubisky moving forward. While the passing game in Chicago isn’t very efficient or start-studded it does expect to be featured more due to the negative game script that comes with being 1-4. This means our favorite garbage time points may boost several Bears players’ weekly totals. Similarly to why I want Jermaine Kearse in all formats due to him being the only reliable veteran receiver on his given team, Kendall Wright should have a similar production level moving forward.

Suggested Bid: $1,000,000

TE Adds

George Kittle, TE – SF (Owned 21%)

Week 5: 7 Rec/83 yards, 1 TD

Ed Dickson, TE – CAR (Owned 8%)

Week 5: 5 Rec/175 yards

Call it game script, call it luck but these two TEs showed that they need to be owned in what is another down year for the TE position. At age 30, Ed Dickson assuredly won’t have over 175 yards in one game for the rest of his career but he has shown to be a reliable replacement for Greg Olsen. In the last 2 weeks, Dickson has a 27% target share and one less target than Kelvin Benjamin (9:10). If Newton has found his mojo again then Dickson could continue to function as a matchup-based TE2.

Kittle, on the other hand, is another interesting rookie TE who has managed to break the stigma that TEs aren’t valuable year 1. If he wasn’t scooped up at the end of your rookie draft he might be a worthy stash at this point in the season to consider for the resign feature. He has had at least 1 catch in every game this season and was targeted 9 times last week, including the game-tying TD. Based on the position cost, lack of reliable options and his overall production, Kittle could be a steal to have on your roster in a year or two.

Suggested Bid: $500,000

Sleeper Add (<10%)

A.J. Derby, TE – DEN (Owned 4%)

Week 5: BYE

Sometimes the best way to find value on the wire is to have a player go off right before his bye. Everyone forgets about them and doesn’t concern their time with adding a player who won’t contribute next week. Similar to my analysis on Kittle, A.J. Derby is a young TE who needed some time to adjust to a new offense (he was traded from New England to Denver midway through last season). In week 4 he had his first big game with 4 catches for 75 yards and a highlight one-handed catch touchdown. He was also the only TE to receive a target in the game and is out targeting all other Denver TEs 12:10 showing that he has a firm control of the position. As the season goes along Derby could become Siemian’s dump off and red zone target. He’s another player to acquire for resign possibilities later in the season.

Suggested Bid: $500,000

Week 5 Street FA Report

Updated: October 5th 2017

Each week we will recommend a group of players that are owned in less than 50% of RSO league that should be rostered. Depending on roster and league sizes not all of these players may be available. For that, we will offer 1 player that is owned in <10% of leagues as our Sleeper add.

BYES: New Orleans, Atlanta, Denver, Washington

Add of the Week

Aaron Jones, RB – GB (Owned 28%)

Week 4: 13 Car/49 yards, 1 TD

You never hope for an injury to another person but once Ty Montgomery went out with a chest injury Thursday night I was excited to finally see what Jamaal Williams would do. Unfortunately, he also was injured after 4 carries leaving the Aarons, Jones and Ripkowski, as the only two options for Green Bay right now. Ripkowski is more of a fullback which means that Jones could be in for a heavy usage while the other two RBs are out. There are conflicting reports about how serious Montgomery’s injury is; some says he’s day-to-day while others suggest it could be 2-4 weeks. What is for sure is that with the amount of touches that Montgomery has received over the first 3 games suggests that Aaron Jones may have more than his fair number of chances moving forward.

Suggested Bid: $2,000,000 – $5,000,000

RB Adds

Elijah McGuire, RB – NYJ (Owned 30%)

Week 4: 10 Car/93 yards, 1 TD, 2 Rec/38 yards

I must be crazy for suggesting a Jets player 3 out of the first 4 weeks but they just keep exceeding expectations for me. McGuire, a 6th round rookie, had one of the two Jet runs that went for over 60 yards on their way to an overtime win last week. While Bilal Powell more than doubled his touches (25:12) it’ll be interesting to see what coaches want to do moving forward. The Jets are a team in rebuild and may want to see what they have at each position going into next offseason. They may not be able to run the ball as effectively as they did against the Jags each week but McGuire does have the speed and pass-catching ability to be used as a receiving back in this offense when needed.

Suggested Bid: $500,000 – $1,500,000

 

Alex Collins, RB – BAL (Owned 47%)

Week 4: 9 Car/82 yards

Baltimore’s offense has looked like molasses the past two weeks which makes it hard for fantasy owners to trust using any player on a weekly basis. Javorius Allen is still the back to own in PPR leagues since he is featured heavily in Joe Flacco’s passing game however, Alex Collins has shown that he is now likely the between tackles/goal line back. He had more carries than both Allen and Terrance West combined (9:6) last week. If he can stop fumbling the ball once a game Collins should have at least some use for the coming bye weeks.

Suggested Bid: $500,000 – $1,500,000

WR Adds

Adam Humphries, WR – TB (Owned 3%)

Week 4: 6 Rec/70 yards

Let me start by saying that I would only be adding Humphries in a league where I am hurting at WR for week 5 and may need a Hail Mary option. The Bucs face the Patriots (on a short week) who have been one of the worst pass defenses in NFL history through 4 games. Bill Belichick usually takes away your number option which means double coverage for Mike Evans. But there is nothing to suggest that one-on-one coverage everywhere else will slow down a team’s passing attack this year. In what could be another Thursday Night shootout Humphries could have a similar stat line to last week. A touchdown would just be icing.

Suggested Bid: $500,000

TE Adds

Tyler Kroft, TE – CIN (Owned 3%)

Week 4: 6 Rec/68 yards, 2 TD

Cincinnati loves to feature its tight ends no matter who is available. With Tyler Eifert out for a second straight week, Kroft took advantage of a poor Browns defense scoring two touchdowns. Though he will never outrank A.J. Green in targets Kroft is likely only competing with LaFell for second in target shares with Eifert out. Similar to what I said last week about Jordan Reed’s injury concerns leading to Vernon Davis’ week-to-week value the longer Eifert is out the more weeks that Kroft should be at least a TE2 option.

Suggested Bid: $500,000

Sleeper Add

ANYONE WITH FUTURE VALUE

I know this might sound like a cop-out but with RSOs new resign feature coming available this week if you have room at the end of your bench and don’t already have a resign candidate in mind (or the values are out of your price range) then why not take a shot with a player that might have value in 2018 and beyond. Several young QBs that could find themselves in starting roles next year are likely available including Jimmy Garoppolo, A.J. McCarron, and Jacoby Brissett. As well, there may be injured players that could be bargain bin finds to scoop up before they become healthy prior to next year’s auctions. A prime candidate for this would be Quincy Enunwa (yes another Jet) who is available in 22% of leagues. Remember that it will take a week for the system to process a free agent’s resign value so you won’t be able to see what their value is until week 6. But if you’re already thinking of using this strategy then you’re thinking long term anyway.

Suggested Bid: $500,000

Week 4 Waiver Report

Updated: September 27th 2017

Each week we will recommend a group of players that are owned in less than 50% of RSO league that should be rostered. Depending on roster and league sizes not all of these players may be available. For that, we will offer 1 player that is owned in <10% of leagues as our Sleeper add.

Add of the Week

Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE – NYJ (Owned 39%)

Week 3: 5 Rec/31 yards

Seferian-Jenkins (ASJ) joined his new team after serving his two-game suspension and looked like he hadn’t missed a beat. While 30 yards isn’t a lot this offers the perfect opportunity to still get him off the waivers without breaking the bank. The game was well in hand for most of the afternoon so the Jets ran the ball 30 times, limiting the passing game. But ASJ did tie Robby Anderson for the most targets (6) and brought in 5 catches. The Jets figure to be playing from behind more than they were this week which means that there is a definite upside to ASJ’s target volume. Along with this, Matt Forte injured his toe and left early in the game. If he misses any amount of time this only means more dump-off targets will be available. The Jets haven’t had a fantasy relevant TE since the days of Dustin Keller but if ASJ is truly over his personal demons this could be a great turnaround season for him.

Suggested Bid: $500,000 – $1,500,000

RB Add

Orleans Darkwa, RB – NYG (Owned 18%)

Week 3: 7 Car/22 yards, 1 Rec/11 yards

The Giants looked absolutely terrible on offense for the first two games and two-quarters of the season but then they scored three 4th quarter touchdowns and quieted at least some of their detractors. The overall state of the Giants run game is brutal, 48.7 yards/game and isn’t one to get excited about. I still prefer Shane Vereen (who I listed as a waiver add two weeks ago) since he has the greatest upside as the primary receiving back but it appears that Ben McAdoo is still trying to find a traditional way to use the running game in his offense. McAdoo does appear, however, to be losing faith in Paul Perkins since he only had 2 more carries than Darkwa. It’s not an unrealistic expectation for him to try and create a spark in the offense by switching up his lead back. Darkwa isn’t someone that you would add to start but with bye weeks coming soon and injuries to RBs piling up he might be a usable option in weeks to come.

Suggested Bid: $500,000

WR Add

Ryan Grant, WR – WAS (Owned 4%)

Week 3: 3 Rec/75 yards

I wanted to add Grant to this column last week but needed to see more from him and his 1 catch performance in week 2. Finally getting a chance to watch a full game on Sunday Night showed me that he is definitely involved in Kirk Cousin’s target list and is an add in every league right now. The best part of the week 3 game was that Josh Doctson had a highlight reel catch that will make everyone think that he is ready to be a big part of the offense. In reality, Doctson had only that one catch on two targets in the game. Cousins might be looking to Chris Thompson in the dump pass more often but I also expect opposing teams to scheme for this moving forward. Hopefully, this opens up more play action screens giving Grant and other receivers separation downfield.

Suggested Bid: $500,000

Bruce Ellington, WR – HOU (Owned 4%)

Week 3: 4 Rec/59 yards, 1 TD

Bruce Ellington was a player that I rostered throughout the preseason due to a number of receiver injuries that the Texans had. Unfortunately, he didn’t make the final cut for most of my fantasy teams and wasn’t used by the Texans for the first two weeks of the season. He showed up in week 3 however and looked like the second option behind DeAndre Hopkins playing on 70 of 71 offensive snap. He also caught his first touchdown of the season. There was plenty of optimism surrounding Ellington’s potential while in San Francisco so maybe it will be with this change of scenery that he will start to see fantasy value again. There has been recent news that Will Fuller could play in week 4 but between his one-dimensional usage as a speed receiver and frequent drops, the staff may want to see what Ellington can do first.

Suggested Bid: $500,000 – $1,000,000

TE Adds

Vernon Davis, TE – WAS (Owned 15%)

Week 3: 5 Rec/58 yards, 1 TD

Surprise, surprise Jordan Reed is injured and missed another game. If it walks like an injured duck and squawks like an injured duck then it’s probably an injury-prone duck. As I mentioned in the Grant piece above, Kirk Cousin’s is likely going to be throwing a high number of passes this season and likes to use his TE in the passing game each week. Vernon Davis may not be the player he was San Francisco years ago but there’s a reason Washington values him enough to have behind Jordan Reed. He’s a player who knows how to play fundamental football and gets open with his route running and quickness. Reed will likely be out for other games throughout the season so Davis will have his days. Tight End production can be hard to predict outside of a handful of players but if Reed is out Davis should be started in all leagues.

Suggested Bid: $1,000,000 – $1,500,000

Sleeper Add (<10%)

Corey Clement, RB – PHI (Owned 5%)

Week 3: 6 Car/22 yards, 1 TD

Another preseason player that both fellow RSO writer Bob Cowper (@RobertFCowper) and I liked this preseason was undrafted rookie running back, Corey Clement. I spoke about his potential in this offense in my preseason watch list article here. After Darren Sproles was injured last week he finally got see some action and he showed flashes of his ability with limited reps, scoring a late touchdown. Remember, during the preseason there were rumors about LeGarrette Blount not fitting well with the Eagles run scheme and Wendell Smallwood looked sluggish. Both were considered plausible cut candidates. Now that Sproles is done for the season (ACL tear and broken arm) Clement may have his shot to prove that he can be a part of this offense. It may not be immediate but I would expect Doug Pederson to play the guy that gives him the best chance to win the game; which I think could be Corey Clement.

Suggested Bid: $1,000,000 – $1,500,000

Week 3 Waiver Report

Updated: September 19th 2017

Each week we will recommend a group of players that are owned in less than 50% of RSO league that should be rostered. Depending on roster and league sizes not all of these players may be available. For that, we will offer 1 player that is owned in <10% of leagues as our Sleeper add.

Add of the Week

Rashard Higgins, WR – CLE (owned 10%)

Week 2: 7 Rec/95 yards, 1 Car/4 yards

The Browns had a rough go on Sunday against the Ravens. However, Rashard Higgins had a surprisingly good game (7-95-0) in a game in which two different QBs (Keizer and Hogan) were in the game. While it may have been just a young player taking advantage of some playing time in a one-sided game there are serious reasons for this to be the beginning of an under the radar season. Corey Coleman, Cleveland’s first-round pick from 2016, has broken his hand again and could be out 6-8 weeks while Kenny Britt has fallen on bad terms with head coach Hugh Jackson. This opens the door for Higgins to be the primary target on and an offense that projects to be down in more games than up this season. Depending on how deep your rookie drafts are this player may still be lingering at the bottom of some team’s rosters. He’s worth kicking the tires on for a trade if he can be at least a WR4 the rest of the season.

Suggested Bid: $1,000,000 – $5,000,000

QB Replacement

Trevor Siemian, QB – DEN (owned 41%)

Week 2: 22 for 32 Comp, 231 Passing, 4TD, 1 INT, 5 Car/14 yards

Through two weeks Trevor Siemian is the QB2 in fantasy (written before Monday night’s game results) yet is one of the least owned QBs that has a starting role. While he might not hold the consistency of a Drew Brees or Aaron Rodgers you definitely can do worse over the next 14 weeks. Denver seems more comfortable letting Siemian open up the offense this year compared to 2016 and with Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders as options outside he has plenty of talent to work with. There should be a consistent floor of 200 yards and a touchdown (12 points) each week. Cam Newton, Russell Wilson, Eli Manning, and Kirk Cousins’ owners should be looking to add Siemian as a comfortable substitute.

Suggested Bid: $1,000,000 – $3,000,000 ($7,000,000 in Superflex)

RB Stash

Tyler Ervin, RB – HOU (owned 13%)

Week 2: 3 Car/8 yards, 4 Rec/18 yards

RotoViz loved the metrics of Tyler Ervin coming out of college last season. His pass-catching ability, as well as his size, made him comparable to Danny Woodhead on Player Profiler. Unfortunately, he was also behind Lamar Miller who is himself a decent pass catching back and being paid too much to be put on the bench. Recently, however, Ervin has been playing more out of the slot as a receiver and with all the injuries to the receiving and tight end groups, he’s likely to see more playing time due to necessity. At this point, he would only be a stash candidate in deeper leagues but if you are already feeling the pressure from your RBs production and were unable to secure Cohen or Allen last week Ervin could be a poor man’s Ty Montgomery from a year ago.

Suggested Bid: $500,000 – $1,000,000

WR Replacements

Paul Richardson, WR – SEA (owned 38%) 2 Rec/19 yards, 1 TD

While Cincinnati’s offense has been the joke of NFL fans the first two weeks for not scoring a touchdown, Seattle’s offense hasn’t looked much better scoring their first touchdown late in the 4th quarter of week two’s game against San Francisco. That touchdown came from former 2nd round pick Paul Richardson who was labeled a sleeper WR to add during the offseason. Despite this, his ownership still hovers around 38%. He’s averaged 10PPR points/game and 12 targets over the first two weeks showing that he can be a downfield threat and red zone option for Russell Wilson. If the offense can turn things around and start scoring more than 10 points a game there is a chance that Richardson becomes a flexible WR.

Suggested Bid: $500,000 – $1,500,000

Terrance Williams, WR – DAL (owned 24%) 4 Rec/17 yards

Yikes, nobody expected the Cowboys to be dominated on both sides of the ball like they were against the Broncos last week. At least one silver lining is that the NFL lost their appeal for an Ezekiel Elliot stay so the team should be able to refocus their offensive game plan knowing they will have him for the remainder of the season. This means that defenses will have to keep contain on Zeke and Dak Prescott while double teaming Dez Bryant, opening up one-on-one matchups for Terrance Williams. While his touchdown upside is limited with Dez, Zeke, and Jason Witten in the lineup he still receives his share of the targets each week. He’s an ideal option to have on your bench during the midseason when bye weeks become a lineup killer.

Suggested Bid: $500,000

TE Stash

Benjamin Watson, TE – BAL (owned 5%)

Week 2: 8 Rec/91 yards

The Ravens haven’t been in very competitive games these first two weeks which has reduced their number of pass attempts (51) to the bottom of the league. Still, Watson had 8 receptions vs. the Browns and almost 20 PPR points last week. Dennis Pita received over 120 targets last season and while Jeremy Maclin has been a nice addition Flacco has a history of feeding his TEs, when healthy. Watson has also shown that he can handle a large number of targets from his time in New Orleans. For those who lost Greg Olsen this week, Watson could be a worthwhile replacement.

Suggested Bid: $500,000 – $1,500,000

Sleeper Add (<10%)

Deonte Thompson (owned 2%)

Week 2: 4 Rec/57 yards, 1 TD

The Bears looked more like the team that experts thought they would be in week 2 being shutout till the final moments of the 4th quarter. With injuries piling up at the WR position and likely a QB switch at some point it could be a long season for Da Bears. It is hard to tell how much of Deonte Thompson’s week 2 production came due to a blowout but some needs to catch the ball and he could be the next man up. Thompson has a strong speed adjusted score (92nd percentile) and showed some potential in the Bears’ preseason game against the Broncos earlier this year. With Kendall Wright and Josh Bellamy dropping several passes last week Thompson could be a volume add, similar to Jermaine Kearse last week.

Suggested Bid: $500,000

Week 2 Waiver Report

Updated: September 12th 2017

Each week we will recommend a group of players that are owned in less than 50% of RSO league that should be rostered. Depending on roster and league sizes not all of these players may be available. For that, we will offer 1 player that is owned in <10% of leagues as our Sleeper add.

Add of the Week

Tarik Cohen, RB – CHI (owned 45%) 5 Car/66 yards, 8 Rec/47 yards, 1 TD

Surely the biggest surprise of the week 1 was how much rookie runner Tarik Cohen was involved in the Bears’ offense. Yes, he did have 40% of his total yards on one big reverse field run play but overall he was heavily involved in the passing game with 8 catches on 12 targets (led team) and almost led the Bears to an upset win over the reigning NFC Champs. It’s not like Jordan Howard wasn’t involved (13-51-1) as he also had 3 catches but this could definitely decrease Howard’s role on passing downs. The Bears look like they could be joining the rest of the NFL on the RBBC bus now. For owners that think the Bears will be down in games and forced into passing formations, Cohen should see his share of targets each week, especially with news that Kevin White is being placed on IR now with a scapula injury. Give a bump in PPR leagues.

Suggested Bid: $1,00,000 – $4,000,000

RB Replacements

Shane Vereen, RB – NYG (owned 45%) 9 Rec/51 yards

Javorius Allen, RB – BAL (owned 19%) 21 Car/71 yards

Both of these running backs benefited from positive game script in week 1 but they did showcase what their role is in their respective offenses. For Vereen, he had 9 catches (5 on the final meaningless drive) but he was clearly the Giants passing down back. Perkins and Darkwa couldn’t get any run game going (36 yards) and the offensive line looked mediocre at best. If the Giants offense is unable to open holes for the running game they will be forced to use the dump passes as a substitute. This was the role Vereen had in New England and as long as he stays healthy it’s the role he will have this season in New York. With games against the AFC and NFC West, it’s probable that the Giants find themselves behind in games, unable to run the ball and relying on Vereen with screens and dump passes to keep the offense moving.

Javorius “Buck” Allen had 21 carries, 4th most in the opening week against the Bengals which should symbolize a bell cow role in an offense. Unfortunately, fellow back Terrance West also had 19 carries (7th most) and Joe Flacco only had 17 pass attempts in a total defensive domination by the Ravens. With Danny Woodhead going out with a hamstring injury early it did show, however, that Allen will be the secondary runner in case of a West injury or regression. This makes him an add if you have either of the other two Raven runners or a lack of depth at the position. Depending on the severity of the injury to Woodhead the Ravens do need to show which of West or Allen would be the pass catching back when games are closer. This could be Allen’s role with the upside of increased carries should West falter.

Suggested Bids: $500,000 – $1,000,000

WR Replacements

Jermaine Kearse, WR – NYJ (owned 26%) 7 Rec/59 yards

Danny Amendola, WR – NE (owned 26%) 6 Rec/ 100 yards

Many were shocked when the Jets shipped Sheldon Richardson to Seattle for some picks and Jermaine Kearse but to everyone’s surprise, Kearse led the Jets in both catches (7) and yards (59) in week 1. Sometimes volume trumps talent and despite previous reservations against Kearse’s talent when he is being fed #1 target numbers he has to be rostered. If Kearse maintains the target volume that he saw in week 1 and can offer a touchdown every 2 or 3 games he will be a nice option to have for bye weeks or when injuries start piling up.

The Patriots looked like a 16-0 team for the first half and a 0-16 team for the second half. It showed that they missed having Julian Edelman as a reliable target for crossing routes, bubble screens and 3rd down quick slants. Brandin Cooks and Chris Hogan were used more on the play action and deeper routes which leaves Danny Amendola and the RBs to be the underneath pass catchers. It’s unlikely that any of the backs are available but Amendola is available in 74% of RSO leagues which needs to be changed. The Patriots are changing offensive schemes weekly but the one constant for Tom Brady is to find the quick-hit routes to move the chains. Despite Bill Belichick saying that everyone will be picking up Edelman’s contributions, it is likely Amendola who will most replicate his usage.

Suggested Bids: $1,000,000 – $2,000,000

TE Substitute

Charles Clay, TE – BUF (owned 40%) 4 Rec/53 yards, 1 TD

Similar to my Jermaine Kearse analysis sometimes a guy just needs to be rostered for his volume alone. The Bills lost Robert Woods and Sammy Watkins to the Rams this offseason and Jordan Matthews hasn’t been a spectacular fantasy option since his rookie season. While they do have Shady McCoy to run the ball someone still needs to catch passes and touchdowns. Clay should be averaging a touchdown at least every other game this season and be a reliable target for Tyrod Taylor to have between the 20s and on 3rd down. While he’s not as sexy a name as Gronk or Kelce, Clay should be a low-end TE1 for most matchups this season.

Suggested Bid: $500,000 – $1,500,000

Sleeper Add (<10%)

Kerwynn Williams, RB – ARZ (Owned 9.7%) 5 Car/10 yards, 1 Rec/2 yards, 1 TD

This is pure speculation and may have no use by the end of the week but anytime a bell cow is injured you have to take a shot in the dark. When David Johnson went out after a big hit in the 3rd quarter it was Williams who took the goal line carry for a touchdown. After Johnson went out indefinitely with a wrist injury later in the game it was Williams who played the bulk of the snaps behind Carson Palmer. If Johnson’s injury is anything that keeps him out of next week’s game and beyond (which is a real possibility if reports are true) Williams will see his share of touches and targets. If you are playing the David Johnson owner and his RB depth is thin Williams is worth a minimum bid just to limit your opponent’s options heading into week 2.

Suggested Bid: $500,000