The Watch List: Week 5

Updated: September 27th 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: I am starting to regret my plan to include a Heisman update in every weekly Watch List article.  The weekly movement so far has been greater than I expected but I do anticipate that we will have some more clarity in two or three weeks after teams get deeper into their conference schedule.  After his dominating performance against Iowa’s 26th ranked rush defense, Saquon Barkley leap frogs Mason Rudolph to my top spot.  Barkley had 305 yards from scrimmage and a rushing touchdown and was key to the Nittany Lions’ comeback victory.  Barkley just might be better than advertised.  Four QBs, in no particular order at the moment, round out my top five: Rudolph, Darnold, Rosen and Jackson.  Combined, those four threw just 9 TDs this weekend and a whopping 7 INTs.  They did throw for a lot of yards (1,400) but it was just a good reminder that none of them is perfect.
  • Georgia’s QB Controversy:  Head coach Kirby Smart has found himself living the old adage that “if you have two quarterbacks, you have zero.”  True freshman Jake Fromm took over for sophomore Jacob Eason after Eason was hurt to start the season.  Fromm has lead the team capably since then and has improved on Eason’s numbers from last year.  Eason was just over 55% completion percentage in 2016 while Fromm is over 62% this season.  As far as TD:INT ratio goes, Eason was 16:8 while Fromm is 7:1.  Smart has to stick with the hot hand for now but would be smart to find Eason some time in lopsided games, you never know when Eason will have to return to the starting role.  One last note, can everybody please stop with the “Jake Fromm State Farm” joke on Twitter?  Thank you.
  • Injuries to RB Prospects:  I have not done 2018 positional rankings yet but both Derrius Guice and Ronald Jones would be in or near my Top 5 as of today.  The problem is that both are struggling with injuries which have left the door open for their understudy to steal some share of the carries.  Jones, unexpectedly at least to me, did not travel to Cal and missed the game.  That let true freshman Stephen Carr load up with 26 touches and he succeeded with 129 total yards and a touchdown.  Guice did play against Auburn, in fact he had a one yard touchdown run on the Tigers first play that was set up by an interception, but was limited to just 8 carries and 14 yards.  Similar to Carr, Darrel Williams had 142 total yards and a score.  Even if Guice and Jones retain the biggest piece of the pie, I think there is no question that their teams will not rush them back.

Players to Watch

  • Jaylen Samuels, TE, NC State:  I’ll start off by saying that I have no idea what Samuels’ pro prospects are but it doesn’t matter, he’s quickly become one of my favorite college players.  Samuels is listed as a TE but he really isn’t.  At 5’11” and 228lb, he would be the first TE at the combine since 2000 to be shorter than 6’1″ (Pro-football-reference.com only goes back to 2000, I would bet that record would go back further).  What Samuels lacks in stature, he makes up for with “want to.”  Whatever you need him to do on the field, he wants to.  I have never seen such interesting game logs than his.  He has 164 career carries, 117 receptions and 2 passing completions.  He has 18 rushing TDs, 20 receiving TDs and 1 passing TD.  Against Florida State this past weekend, he had 17 touches for 75 yards and 2 TDs.  In the NFL he’ll project more as an h-back (same size as Matt Asiata) but could be the ultimate 3rd down weapon if he lands on the right team.
  • David Montgomery, RB, Iowa State:  By all accounts David Montgomery is a good kid with a good story which makes his success so far for the Cyclones refreshing.  Montgomery finished his freshman season off strong with 341 yards over the last three games and has continued that success into 2017.  His trend line, yards wise, is heading in the right direction this year with 82, 113 and 127 yards against Northern Iowa, Iowa and Akron respectively.  He’s also getting involved in the passing game with five catches each of the last two.  Montgomery is just a sophomore but I’m rooting for him to keep up the success and look forward to doing more in depth research next season.
  • Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson:  Etienne is a true freshman who has found a role as the hammer to close out Clemson’s wins.  He had a late 4th quarter touchdown against both Louisville and Boston College.  His yardage totals are impressive 81-98-113 but are mostly composed of yards gained on his three 50+ yard runs.  There is something strange looking about Etienne’s gait, I think it’s because he is such a long strider, but he is undeniably fast and explosive.  If he sees any daylight, he is gone.  In high school, he ran a hand-timed 4.24 40-yard dash.  I question the accuracy but given three years of college experience, I have no doubt that Etienne can end up in that range at the 2020 NFL combine.  Playing devil’s advocate to my own thoughts, I should point out that I am evaluating Etienne on the smallest of sample sizes: has just 23 carries through three games and zero receptions.  I’m hoping that he proves durable enough to earn 10-12 touches per game the rest of the way.
  • Bradley Chubb, DE, NC State:  Chubb will be one of the top ranked DE prospects in 2018 and is likely a first round talent.  I’ll bet most casual fans have never heard of him but if you watched the game against Florida State you might have noticed him.  Chubb had 7 tackles and 2 sacks.  Chubb also had a forced fumble but was not credited with one, maybe because of the crazy melee that followed trying to recover the fumble.

Games to Watch

  • #5 USC @ #16 Washington State, 10:30pm Friday on ESPN:  Pac-12 after dark is usually a great way to end your Saturdays but this week we get a great Friday night matchup to start off the weekend.  As returning readers know, I am down on QB Sam Darnold but up on RBs Ronald Jones and Stephen Carr.  Neither defense is great so we’ll see a lot of points.  I am interested in seeing Washington State QB Luke Falk against a defense with some NFL prospects, especially CB Iman Marshall.
  • Northwestern @ #10 Wisconsin, 12:00pm Saturday on ABC:  Northwestern’s senior RB Justin Jackson is on my watch list but I haven’t done enough research yet to feature him.  He had a great game against Bowling Green last game (121 yards, 3 TDs) but struggled against Duke the week before (just 18 yards).  Seeing him face Wisconsin’s 9th ranked rush defense will be telling.  Wisconsin’s QB, Alex Hornibrook, has been steady and takes care of the ball (70% completion percentage and just 1 INT).  The surprise for the Badgers though has been true freshman RB Jonathan Taylor.  Taylor is just a 3 star recruit from NJ but is averaging an impressive 8.3 yards per carry.  He lit up FAU for 223 yards and 3 TDs and followed that up with 128-1 against BYU.  The matchup has 13-9 written all over it but I’ll still be tuning in.
  • #2 Clemson @ #12 Virginia Tech, 8:00pm Saturday on ABC:  Beating Clemson would be a career defining win for Hokie coach Justin Fuente.  Fuente’s stock is already rising after a 10-4 season last year and a strong start to 2017.  There aren’t too many jobs bigger than Virginia Tech but he’ll be a candidate for some of them if he keeps it up.  Tech WR Cam Phillips has 34 receptions (4th most in the NCAA) which is nearly half of QB Josh Jackson’s completions.  Keep your eye on Clemson’s star in the making, freshman RB Travis Etienne.
  • Northern Illinois @ #19 San Diego State, 10:30 Saturday on CBSSN: Northern Illinois has a good non-conference win already under their belt against Nebraska and they will be looking to add another scalp in #19 San Diego State.  I think the 19th ranking is a little disrespectful, they should be ahead of South Florida.  Rashaad Penny, after his fantastic start, will find himself in the 5-7 range of my 2018 RBs when I start working on positional rankings.  Penny is second in the NCAA in rushing yards (716) and second in yards from scrimmage (803).  SDSU’s defense is good enough to make me feel confident in picking the Aztecs to keep their run alive.

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.

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

RSO Staff Picks: Week 3

Updated: September 22nd 2017

Week 2 Results

1. English – 13-3

T2. Wendell 11-5

T2. Papson – 11-5

Overall Standings

1. English – 23-8

2. Wendell 21-10

3. Papson – 20-11

Not a bad week for all three of us but English nailed the Falcons over the Packers as well as the Lions over the Giants to go 13-3 for the week, which puts him two games ahead of Wendell and three ahead of Papson. We got a NFC West battle (pillow fight?) on TNF tonight where Jared Goff will look to potentially shine to a national audience against a SF defense that played pretty well on the road last week in Seattle. The first London game is this week as well with the Jaguars playing host to a surprising Ravens team which has looked great through the first two weeks of the year. Tons of home underdogs this week so should have some interesting results and could be a big week for one of us to take a big lead in the standings. Here are our picks for Week 3:

NFL Game Picks

Game

Wendell

English

Papson

LAR @ SF

NYG @ PHI

BAL @ JAX

DEN @ BUF

PIT @ CHI

ATL @ DET

CLV @ IND

TB @ MIN

HOU @ NE

MIA @ NYJ

NO @ CAR

SEA @ TEN

CIN @ GB

KC @ LAC

OAK @ WAS

DAL @ ARI

Everyone enjoy the games in Week 3 and best of luck this week in your leagues!

The End of Eli?

Updated: September 21st 2017

Struggles of the New York Giants offense during the first two weeks of the NFL season led many to question whether Eli Manning’s play diminished to the point that his career is nearing the end.  The question becomes is this season that much different for Manning?  Are there other factors in the play here which contribute to the Giants’ poor play so far?  I take a deeper look into the question comparing this season with the rest of Eli’s career.

Eli’s Career

Eli Manning accumulated many accolades over the course of his 14 seasons.  Eli amassed 48,677 yards (8th all-time) and 321 touchdowns (7th all-time) so far in his career.  Manning’s yardage and touchdown numbers are greater than that of many quarterbacks in the Hall of Fame.  Those numbers are due, in part, to his remarkable run of availability.  Manning has been a model of good health over his career never missing a game to injury playing every game for the New York Giants.  The Giants have managed 6 playoff appearances during Manning’s time as quarterback and he owns an 8-4 playoff record during that time.  The New York quarterback also won two Super Bowl trophies over the years including two Super Bowl MVPs, beating Tom Brady and the New England Patriots for each win.

Not all has been great in the Manning realm throughout his career though.  Eli has been one of the most consistently inconsistent quarterbacks in the league.  He has the skills to produce great seasons like the Super Bowl winning 2011 year in which Manning threw for nearly 5,000 yards while at the same time fully capable of completely imploding as in the 2013 season in which he led the league with an astounding 27 interceptions.  Manning tossed 217 interceptions so far, second among active quarterbacks.  His inconsistency can appear even in the same game.  Manning may look like a Hall of Famer one minute making solid pinpoint accurate throws for chunks of a game.  The next minute might easily see Manning throwing horribly inaccurate throws and making awful decisions usually reserved for rookies.  And what about that stellar playoff record?  Outside of those two Super Bowl seasons, Manning produced exactly zero wins in four playoff appearances producing an abysmal 54% completion percentage, a miniscule 6.3 yards per attempt, and an ugly 3:7 touchdown to interception ratio during those games.

Eli Compared to Other Quarterbacks

I next take a look at how Manning has performed in relation to other NFL quarterbacks.  The chart below shows Manning’s yearly ranking for a variety of quarterback metrics including ESPN’s QBR, passer rating, and Football Outsider’s quarterback DVOA.  Manning’s average of each metric is displayed at the bottom of the chart not including 2017.  The results are decidedly mediocre.  Manning manages zero top-5 and few top-10 finishes by any measure throughout his entire career.  His best score is a middle of the pack average of 15th over his career.  Eli’s recent history is even worse.  From 2013-2016, Manning best average among the listed metrics is only 21st.  Put succinctly, Eli was never among the better quarterbacks in the league and his play in recent years qualifies only as average, at best, for starting quarterbacks in the NFL.  His play this season does appear completely not out of the norm when compared to his latest years.

So what types of players are the best comparables to Manning?  Jay Cutler and Joe Flacco provide the closest comps to Manning with very similar yards per attempt, completion percentage, and touchdown to interception ratios found below.  This may seem surprising at first but really should not be when one thinks about the players, particularly Cutler.  Manning and Cutler share many of the same strengths including good arm strength but also many of the same weaknesses including the afore-mentioned poor decision making and inconsistent accuracy.  Pro-Football-Reference’s Adjusted Yards per Attempt and Net Yards per Attempt are also included below for additional comparison purposes.

Eli’s Surrounding Circumstances in New York

Numbers sometimes hide the true value of a player working in a sub-optimal situation so we need to look at Manning’s surround cast during his time with the Giants to determine if he was handicapped by his fellow teammates.  Below we find Football Outsider’s efficiency rankings on total defense, offensive line pass protection (adjusted sack rate), and offensive rushing for New York during the Manning years with the average rank from 2004 to 2016.  New York’s defense and rushing attack have overall been within the norm of the NFL, ranking slightly above average.  Most interesting is the great pass protection Manning received over his career which has generally been superb.  New York finished outside the top-11 in adjusted sack rate only twice in thirteen years and Eli only faced very poor pass protection once which happened during his rookie season.  Overall, the data verifies Manning was not hindered by his teammates over the course of his career and his supporting personnel likely boosted his outcomes to some extent above what would be expected if Manning played for another team.

Looking at this season, there is no doubt the offensive line struggles significantly impact Manning’s performance.  Eli is under far more pressure than what he is accustomed to and the Giants’ coaching staff has not provided help for an offensive line that is clearly overmatched so far this year.  Manning has not helped the situation.  He looks like an immovable statue in the pocket and holds the ball far too long too often taking sacks when it is clear he should simply throw the ball away.

Conclusion

While Manning’s gross numbers and accomplishments suggest a player worth of Hall of Fame recognition, a deeper look into the statistics demonstrates a decidedly average quarterback over the course of his career.  His perception as a great quarterback relies significantly on what I will call “highlight” bias coming from two Super Bowl wins and his luck on the injury axis likely contributed by a great offensive line throughout much of his career.

We really should not be surprised by Manning’s current level of play given his drop off in efficiency over recent years.  Manning benefitted from stellar pass protection for most of his career.  With what looks to be one of the few truly bad offensive lines in Eli’s career this season, Manning’s lack of mobility might well be on full display.  Ben McAdoo and the rest of the New York coaching staff may very well adjust blocking schemes adding more blockers, or adjust offensive schemes to quicker throws.  If not, Manning and the Giants offense could be looking at a very ugly season.  Taking a broad view, it is doubtful Manning’s play greatly diminished this season as some suggest.  It is far more likely New York’s offensive line struggles simply magnify some of Eli’s deficiencies as a player.  Manning has not been a particularly good quarterback for a long time and that is unlikely to change as his career draws to an end.


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.

Additional Extension Details

Updated: September 23rd 2017

First off, before you read this article you should read my first extension article since this will be building off of that one.

  • October 3rd – That’s the day that extensions will be able to start being offered.  It’s the Tuesday after week 4 concludes.  We were thinking about starting it the week before, but the Bucs/Dolphins postponement made this an easy decision for us.  Also just to clarify, the extensions will run up until the week 13 games.
  • There will be a tiny subset of players who aren’t eligible – The big groups of DSTs, PKs, and tagged players I’ve already touched on.  Players (not including rookies) need to have been on the field for at least a snap sometimes in the last two seasons.  Teddy Bridgewater will probably be the most popular example of someone who falls into this category.  We just don’t have the data to be able to do something like that intelligently.
  • Extension values will be stable during the week – Values could change week-to-week, not day-to-day.  You’ll get a new extension offer every Tuesday morning.
  • You won’t be able to offer extensions to locked players – After their game starts on Thursday, Sunday, or Monday you’ll no longer be able to extend those players until the following Tuesday with a new offer.
  • IR Players are eligible – Pretty straight forward.
  • FAAB Players are eligible…but it’s delayed a week – Because we update the extension values once a week, you’ll have to wait a week before being able to offer an extension to a FAAB player.  This means FAAB players picked up after the week 12 games won’t be able to be extended.
  • Extensions will range in length from 2-4 years – These extensions don’t include the current year.  This means that a 2 years extension in 2017 will take the player through the 2019 season and would be scheduled to become a FA in 2020.
  • You don’t decide the length – The offer will have a length and a value, so you don’t have a say in how long the extension is.  It’s simply a take it or leave it offer.
  • Extensions don’t affect your auction contract allotment for the following season – Had this question posed to us, so thought I’d point it out.

If you’ve got questions, please reach out to Kyle, Matt, or Stephen @realitysportsonline.com.

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