RSO Staff Picks: Week 7

Updated: October 19th 2017

Week 6 Results

1. Wendell – 8-6

2. English 6-8

3. Papson 4-10

Overall Standings

1. English – 55-36

2. Wendell – 54-37

3. Papson – 51-40

Wow, crazy week last week. Papson lost a bunch of close games and suffered a 4-10 week with English going 6-8, and Wendell winning the week at 8-6 (he won both his “island” picks with the Cardinals and Steelers pulling through for him).  Another great slate of games this week in what seems like a more wide open NFL than ever where each week anybody can beat anybody. Who will the big upsets be this week? Our staff picks are below:

NFL Game Picks

Game

Wendell

Papson

English

KC @ OAK

TB @ BUF

CAR @ CHI

TEN @ CLV

NO @ GB

JAX @ IND

ARI @ LAR

NYJ @ MIA

BAL @ MIN

DAL @ SF

SEA @ NYG

CIN @ PIT

DEN @ LAC

ATL @ NE

WAS @ PHI

     

 

Rounding Out the Lineup: Week 7

Updated: October 19th 2017

Most of us in competitive RSO league are not great at every position.  The nature of salary cap leagues forces many teams into gambles which might not have paid off.   Below you will find a few trade targets for competitive teams along with their current points per game ranking in PPR leagues who might shore up those RB2/WR2 and deeper flex spot gaps which did not pan out so far.  There are a variety of floor plays and ceiling gambles at various price points.  I would not consider these players “league winners” but all have the chance of helping your team going forward.

Running Backs

Doug Martin RB16 – Some questioned Doug Martin’s role once inserted into the lineup.  Martin has out-attempted Jacquizz Rodgers 13-3 and 14-3 in the two games since his return from suspension scoring once per game in the process.  This is clearly Martin’s backfield in the run game.  Charles Sims remains a fixture on passing downs with 5 and 4 receptions in the two games since Martin’s return compared to 1 in each game for Martin.  Sims’ role severely caps Martin’s work in the receiving game which will make for some limited fantasy outputs when Martin does not score.

On the plus side, there should be somewhat consistent scoring opportunities in Tampa Bay from Football Outsider’s 8th ranked passing unit.  Martin makes for a nice RB2 on those teams in need of running back help. His limited work so far might present an opportunity to pick up Martin.  He is also an attractive option on teams with limited RSO salary cap space to maneuver with as his suspension to start the year likely lowered his salary in many leagues.

Duke Johnson RB17 – The environment in Cleveland is not pretty.  The team is 0-6 with one of the worst offenses and defenses in the league and an uncertain, at best, quarterback outlook.   This is generally not the type of situation I am looking for when investing in running backs.

Duke Johnson has a few items working in his favor, however, when examining his rest-of-season outlook.  Cleveland already lost the top two wide receivers heading into the season to injury.  Johnson remains as the de facto WR1 currently leading the Browns in receiving targets, receptions, and yards.  He has at least three receptions in all but one game this season and accumulated at least 53 receptions each of his first two seasons.  Johnson fills the needs of RSO teams looking for solid floor plays out of the flex spot or RB injury/bye weeks.  He also provides some upside as a handcuff to fellow Browns’ running back Isaiah Crowell or if CLE decides to give Johnson more work do to Crowell’s ineffectiveness.

Jay Ajayi RB35 – No other running back on this list supplies more variance on a given week than Miami running back Jay Ajayi.  The “boom” portion comes largely from his enormous weekly rushing potential.  Ajayi produced an amazing three 200+ yard rushing performances in 2016.  He already has three games of 25 or more rushing attempts in 2017 and averages over 20 attempts per game.  The “bust” potential stems primarily from Ajayi’s lack of receiving game effectiveness.  The Dolphin running back averages only 1.7 receptions and 8.7 receiving yards per game over the last two years highlighted by a comically bad 3.3 yards per reception this season in which Ajayi has not managed a single game with at least 10 receiving yards.

If you are a gambling person, Ajayi imparts perhaps the highest ceiling option on this list of players.  He is the only player in the NFL with 100 or more rushing attempts and zero touchdowns.  Jay Cutler has been ugly so far but the Miami passing game could improve considering how late Cutler joined the Dolphins.  Positive touchdown regression could very well be on the horizon for Ajayi.  The defense also played well enough to keep Miami in games despite the offensive woes.  Consider him a high variance RB2 going forward.  Ajayi likely went for a costly salary if he was in your RSO free agent auction this year so fitting him under your cap could be an issue but teams might be more open to a trade because of that high salary.

Wide Receivers

Pierre Garcon WR24 – I believe if you told most people you could get the 6th ranked wide receiver in targets plus the 8th in receptions and yardage for minimal cost, they would jump at the chance.  Such is the case with San Francisco wide receiver Pierre Garcon.  Garcon’s zero touchdowns lower his fantasy output so far which could give you the ability to pounce.  The volatile quarterback situation with rookie C.J. Beathard taking over for Brian Hoyer certainly carries some risk but Garcon is the only established NFL receiver on the roster.  Garcon is a very tempting target for your flex spot who likely comes at a sharp discount especially with a rookie quarterback taking the helm.

Danny Amendola WR28 – Amendola filled the small slot receiver role in the New England offense beautifully so far looking extremely quick, getting open at will, and catching everything.  Amendola’s per game targets are right in line with the leading non-Gronk Patriot receivers with at least 3 receptions, 5 targets and 40 yards in each game this season.  Injuries are always a concern for smaller players with heavy workloads over the middle of the field, especially for a player who missed games in all but two seasons in the NFL.  Amendola likely was picked up on waivers in your league which should make for a very cheap way to get your hands on a piece of the high-powered New England offense.  He is a nice floor play for those in need of reliable points out of their flex spot.

Sterling Shepard WR37 – The Giants pulled players from the practice squad and off the street to fill starting receiver slots last week after New York lost Odell Beckham Jr., Brandon Marshall, Dwayne Harris, and Shepard to injury.  Shepard should return shortly but the others are lost for the year leaving Shepard with a golden opportunity for a big work load.  There is some danger going forward with regards to workload.  Head coach Ben McAdoo gave up play-calling duties last week resulting in the Giants completely flipping the script on the pass-heavy offense, going with 32 carries to only 19 passes.  With that said, Shepard is the only wide receiver on the roster with significant past production and figures to dominate targets along with rookie tight end Evan Engram.  I would feel very confident with Shepard in my flex when he returns and WR2 production is entirely possible.


Bio:  Bernard Faller has degrees in engineering and economics.  He currently lives in Las Vegas and enjoys athletics, poker, and fantasy football in his free time.  Send your questions and comments (both good and bad) on Twitter @BernardFaller1.

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

The Watch List: Week 8

Updated: October 19th 2017

Welcome to The Watch List, a resource to help RSO owners identify the storylines, players and matchups from the college game that deserve your attention.  To view my weekly picks, follow me on Twitter @robertfcowper.  Check back throughout the season as The Watch List will continue to update you on who is fantasy relevant and worth your draft capital next year. 

Storylines to Watch

  • Heisman Update:  Penn State and Saquon Barkley were off so no change to his Heisman hopes, he’s my top choice.  The other RB in the running is Stanford’s Bryce Love who just keeps on producing with another 148 yards and 2 TDs against Oregon.  The bad news is that Love injured his ankle; the good news is they are off again and he has until October 26 to heal.  Lamar Jackson is still tremendous (especially on the ground where he added 180 yards and 3 TDs) but the Cardinals are not a good team so he’s likely out of the Heisman running.  I’ll bet that Jackson will be on every ballot this year, a nod to his win last year, but he shouldn’t win if Louisville keeps playing so poorly.  Sam Darnold and Mason Rudolph are still the other two front runners.  Darnold was inefficient but didn’t throw any picks which is a nice change; Rudolph lit up a poor Baylor defense for 459 yards and 3 TDs on just 19 completions.
  • Topsy Turvy Top 25:  Four Top 10 teams lost this past weekend so there is some turnover this week.  Those losses went to #2 Clemson, #5 Washington, #8 Washington State and #10 Auburn.  Clemson fell to #7 while the others fell out of the Top 10.  Meanwhile, #8 Miami, #9 Oklahoma and #10 Oklahoma State all move into playoff consideration.  Miami is undefeated but I think an inferior team to both Oklahoma teams (not to mention they lost starting RB Mark Walton for the season).  The losses last week make it likely that we’ll see two SEC teams in the final four.  Even after one of Georgia or Alabama loses to the other in the SEC Championship, the loss will be to such a superior team to the likes of TCU that the committee will have to put them both in.
  • Bowl Projections:  I am working on a full bowl projection piece but here’s a bit of a preview of some of my favorite make-believe matchups.  Check back later this week for the full slate of my bowl projections and then check back after the regular season to read my previews for all of the real bowl matchups.
    • Sun Bowl, UCLA vs Florida State: Before they both head to the NFL it would be fun to see top QB prospect Josh Rosen face off against top S prospect Derwin James.
    • TaxSlayer Bowl, LSU vs Michigan: Could be the most entertaining 9-6 game ever televised.  The game would feature two standout DL prospects in LSU’s Arden Key and Michigan’s Rashan Gary.  Who knew keeping your eye off the ball could be fun.
    • Cotton Bowl, South Florida vs Oklahoma State:  If the over was 100, I would take the over.  My god would this one be incredible to watch although it would probably last about five hours.

Players to Watch

  • Will Grier, QB, West Virginia:  A number of my draft/scouting Twitter follows have been talking about Will Grier lately so I figured it was time to look more closely since I knew the name but not much about the prospect. Grier has an interesting back story. He started at Florida where he started six games as a freshman but was then suspended for a failed drug test for a performance enhancing drug. Grier claims he took an over-the-counter supplement that had a banned substance in it but denies doing anything wrong willfully. I’m not sure if I believe him but it doesn’t really matter. Grier transferred to West Virginia and was cleared to start the 2017 season by the NCAA after they determined that the season he sat out as a transfer could count towards his season-long PED suspension. So, where does Grier find himself now that he is in Morgantown? How about atop the NCAA passing ranks. Grier has 21 passing TDs which paces the country and is 9th in yards (2,092). Grier’s completion percentage (65.6% vs 65.7%) and TD:INT ratio (10:3 vs 21:5) have stayed consistent between his starts in 2015 and 2017 so the time off did not cause any lingering effect. What has changed is that his yards per attempt is up to 9.1 from 7.5. Extrapolated out for a full 2017 season, that higher YPA would be worth an extra 800 yards. After looking closely at Grier’s stats, I question his “clutch” ability. When it matters most, in the 4th quarter and on 3rd down, Grier’s completion percentage takes a huge dip to less than 55%. His efficiency is buoyed by what he does on 1st down (71.2%, 11 TDs) rather than what he does afterwards (61% and 10 TDs for 2nd-4th down). I have not watched much film of Grier except for some highlight reels and a DraftBreakdown.com film of Grier against Virginia Tech.  After watching Grier’s tape, I have some concern about his mechanics and need to see more.  Something is wonky about his short throws to the left that looks like he’s almost shot-putting the ball; throws to the center and right look more natural.  File this under possibly related, I only counted two deep throws to the left, both inaccurate and incomplete, whereas many more were thrown deep down the middle or to the right.  Maybe it was coverage or personnel or maybe he’s less confident throwing left.  That’s purely a guess based off 12 minutes of tape so take it with a huge grain of salt.  There were also a number of throws off balance or off his back foot, some of which actually were completed.  He’s fast enough to be a rushing threat and kept the ball on a number of zone read plays.  Per ESPN’s recruiting service he ran a 4.73 as a recruit so I would expect him to now be in the 4.65-4.70 range (Trubisky was 4.67). As far as his size, Grier is below average at 6’2″ and 204lb (Mitch Trubisky was the same height but 18lb heavier last year).  There’s definitely some things to like about Grier but I am not ready to add him to my top 2018 QB prospect list. He would benefit from another season at WVU where he can get more time in the weight room and prove that the PED suspension was a fluke. If Grier does come out, I would expect him to be a late Day 3 prospect and off the board in RSO leagues.
  • Ito Smith, RB, Southern Miss:  As a proud owner of both Kareem Hunt and Tarik Cohen in three of my six leagues, I wanted to try and identify next season’s small school back who surprises in September. I’m not predicting he will have the pro premiere that either Hunt or Cohen did, but Ito Smith would get my vote if I had to pick somebody right now. Smith is a senior and has played a big role since late in his freshman season. Smith has played in 44 games so far in his career which means he has a ton of experience, few injury concerns and is durable despite his size. In 2015, Smith ran 171 times for 1,128 rushing yards, 10 TDs, 49 receptions, 515 receiving yards and 3 TDs. In 2016 his rushing line was 265-1459-17 while he added 43-459-2 receiving. Smith’s 2017 numbers are on pace to match or surpass 2016 (118-733-7, 21-192-0). I know, that’s a lot of numbers to digest. Let’s just summarize the above section to say that Ito Smith has been supremely productive. The two biggest positives for me are 1) his receiving ability and 2) the 250+ attempts he had last season and is on pace for this season. Given Smith’s measurables and pass catching prowess he likely projects as a passing down back. What will increase his draft stock is his ability to play every down, illustrated by the number of touches he racks up on a bad Southern Miss team. Film of Smith from 2017 is not yet available on DraftBreakdown.com so I watched some 2016 tape instead. In my short study, I would say that he is patient, has enough speed to get to the edge (but not elite speed, maybe 4.50) and is an average to below average blocker. I couldn’t put my finger on who he reminded me of visually but he is thick and stout below the waist.  Like Grier, Smith looks to be a Day 3 or UDFA NFL prospect and could find a home on some deeper league RSO teams a la Tarik Cohen or Matt Breida depending on team depth chart.

Games to Watch

  •  #25 Memphis @ Houston, Thursday 8:00pm on ESPN:  Two NFL prospects will be on display in Memphis WR Anthony Miller and Houston DT Ed Oliver.  Oliver is just a sophomore and is enduring a bit of a sophomore slump this season (just 0.5 sacks but 36 tackles).  Meanwhile, Miller has been playing incredibly over the last two weeks (25 receptions, 314 yards and 6 TDs).
  • Maryland @ #5 Wisconsin, Saturday 12:00pm on FOX:  Penn State has a tough conference game this week while Wisconsin gets an easier opponent so it’s very important for the Badgers to hold serve here.  A loss, even a close one, to Maryland in a week where two of Ohio State, Michigan and Penn State will win could be devastating to their CFP hopes.  After Maryland, Wisconsin has Illinois and Indiana so they can cement their Top 5 spot over the rest of the month before the stretch run.
  • #10 Oklahoma State @ Texas, Saturday 12:00pm on ABC:  I have written a lot about these two teams so I won’t go into much detail other than to say you know who to keep your eyes on: Mason Rudolph and James Washington.  Texas may have found their QB in Sam Ehlinger.  He now has 658 total yards in the last two contests against Kansas State and Oklahoma, neither of which are push overs.  Ehlinger is a true freshman so he won’t be draft eligible for awhile, but a name to monitor.
  • #19 Michigan @ #2 Penn State, Saturday 7:30pm on ABC:  The UM offense has been terrible, even with John O’Korn pressed into service.  The Wolverines are 79th and 89th in points and yards respectively.  Penn State has no such issues on offense with superstar RB Saquon Barkley and the oft-forgotten senior QB Trace McSorley.  McSorley quietly is having a better, more efficient season than last.  He has a 67% completion percentage which is ten points higher than 2016 and his TD:INT ratio is very good 13:4.  He has also added four rushing scores.  This will be a close rivalry game but give the nod to the home team Nittany Lions.
  • #11 USC @ #13 Notre Dame, Saturday 7:30pm on NBC:  My, oh my, will it feel like a throwback night of football with two simultaneous games featuring four of the all-time winningest programs in Division 1 history.  USC and Notre Dame won’t have as much CFP implication since I think both teams are out of the picture, but it will be a great game and a scout’s dream.  The usual suspects who we have covered in this space will be present: Sam Darnold, Ronald Jones and Equanimeous St. Brown to name a few.  Keep an eye on some other draftable names too: Josh Adams and Deontay Burnett.  Adams has 776 yards and 5 TDs despite being pulled from some lopsided wins; he is averaging a crazy 9.0 yards per carry to truly illustrate his dominance.  Burnett is slight of frame but looms large for the Trojan offense.  Burnett is a first down machine: 29 of 49 receptions have gone for a first down, while all 7 of his third down receptions have converted.

Note: When watching film for a player in the offseason, I typically pick two games at random to watch.  If game film is not available I will search for highlight reels, but keep in mind these are the best plays that player had all season so they really need to jump off the screen.  I do not necessarily want to watch games where they did very well or very poorly as that may not be a great illustration of their true ability.  If possible, when comparing players at the same position I also like to watch film against common opponents.  Full disclosure, I am not watching film of every single game any player plays, instead I am looking for a representative sample.  When researching college players I use a number of resources, I would recommend bookmarking the below sites…

  • Stats: espn.com, sports-reference.com, cfbstats.com
  • Film: draftbreakdown.com, youtube.com (but be wary of highlight only reels)
  • Draft info and mocks: draftcountdown.com, nfldraftscout.com, walterfootball.com, mattwaldmanrsp.com, draftek.com
  • Draft history: drafthistory.com
  • Combine info: pro-football-reference.com, espn.com, nflcombineresults.com
  • Season preview magazines: Phil Steele, Lindy’s, Street and Smith’s
  • Podcasts: ESPN’s First Draft, Strong as Steele with Phil Steele, The Audible by Football Guys (specifically episodes w/ Matt Waldman), UTH Dynasty

Robert F. Cowper is a freelance writer who lives in New Jersey.  Robert works as a recreation professional, specializing in youth sports, when he isn’t acting as commissioner for his many fantasy sports leagues.

RSO Staff Picks: Week 6

Updated: October 12th 2017

Week 5 Results

1T. Wendell – 7-7

1T. English 7-7

3. Papson 6-8

Overall Standings

1. English – 49-28

2. Papson – 47-30

3. Wendell 46-31

Well, we all cooled off a bit last week with nobody going over .500 with his picks. While we were all correct picking the Birds, Jets and Colts, we whiffed picking the Lions, Giants, Steelers, Raiders and Cowboys! Week 6 has some great matchups on tap starting with two 4-1 teams battling it out on TNF as the Panthers play host to the Eagles. This will be a pivotal game for both franchises and will likely have big playoff implications come January. Big divisional matchups are on the slate as well with the Packers visiting the Vikings (can Rodgers bring the Pack back to play in this stadium for the SB in February), the 3-2 Patriots visiting the 3-2 Jets (that’s right) with the division lead on the line, and Indy visiting Nashville on MNF to take on the Titans in what looks to be a must-win if the Titans are going to win that division as many thought they could. All of our picks for Week 6 are below:

NFL Game Picks

Game

Wendell

Papson

English

PHI @ CAR

MIA @ ATL

GB @ MIN

DET @ NO

NE @ NYJ

SF @ WAS

CHI @ BAL

CLV @ HOU

TB @ ARI

LAR @ JAX

PIT @ KC

SD @ OAK

NYG @ DEN

IND @ TEN

 

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