Week 3 Street FA Report

Updated: September 20th 2022

Each week we will recommend a group of players that are owned in less than 75% of RSO leagues that should be rostered. Depending on roster and league sizes not all of these players may be available. For that, we will offer one (1) player that is owned in <25% of leagues as our Sleeper add.

Add of the Week

Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, SF (Owned 40%)

Week 2: 13/21 154 yards, 1 TD, 4 Car/5 yards, 1 TD

Losing a QB for the season often is the death-nail for most franchises and the production of fantasy value for the skill positions around the replacement is often diminished. Luckily, for the 49ers Jimmy Garoppolo knows the system and has worked with the offense for many years already. If Garoppolo is somehow still available in superflex leagues he is the must add this week and a significant amount of the remaining cap space should be allocated to acquiring him. Even in one (1) QB leagues Garoppolo offers solid QB2 weekly production with QB1 upside under the right conditions.

Suggested Bid: $3-5,000,000 (1 QB) / 70-90% remaining cap space (2QB/SF)

RB Adds

Eno Benjamin, RB, ARI, (Owned 65%)

Week 2: 8 Car/31 yards, 3 Rec/20 yards

Darrel Williams, RB, ARI (Owned 39%)

8 Car/59 yards, 1 TD, 2 Rec/3 yards

James Connor is apparently okay after missing time in week 2 with an injury but those who are always looking ahead to stash running backs with potential should now be considering both Eno Benjamin and Darrel Williams. In Connor’s absence, the two had nearly identical snap counts, slightly leaning towards Williams (39%:36%). WIlliams also did most of the work around the goal line while Benjamin was featured more on passing downs. In the case of Connor needing to miss more time or a new injury was to creep up, both would provide moderate fantasy upside.

Suggested Bid: $1,000,000

WR Add

Sterling Shepard, WR, NYG (Owned 54%)

Week 2: 6 Rec/34 yards

Two (2) weeks into the Giants’ season and it is clear that Sterling Shepard is the top option and should be rostered in all but the shallowest of leagues. He has fourteen (14) targets in two (2) games, tied for 25th and other than Saquon Barkley is the only fantasy option in that offense right now. The Giants’ offense is not going to put up many 30-point outings which will limit Shepard’s likelihood to provide high-end production, but a consistent WR4 for the season is not out of the question. Not bad for a player that had serious questions about whether he would bounce back at all from his injury at the end of last season.

Suggested Bid: $1,500,000

TE Add

Hayden Hurst, TE, CIN (Owned 56%)

Week 2: 5 Rec/24 yards

After being outshined by Mark Andrews in Baltimore and then replaced by Kyle Pitts in Atlanta it appears that Hayden Hurst has finally gained some appreciation for his talent by his new coaches in Cincinnati. Hurst is tied for 6th in targets (15) and tied for 5th in receptions (10) among tight ends through two weeks. The Bengals’ offense should be high scoring for much of the season providing many opportunities for production at a position that often relies on touchdown upside only. If owners are not rolling out one of the big five in their tight end position each week, consider Hurst as your weekly plug-n-play option. 

Suggested Bid: $500,000

Sleeper Add (<25%)

Shi Smith, WR, CAR (Owned 4.5%)

Week 2: 1 Rec/2 yards

Shi Smith was garnering praise throughout training camp from the coach staff and their respect has been shown thus far through two (2) games as he has operated as the third receiver head and shoulders above the other wide receivers in Carolina. He has also played a heavy majority of snaps despite being behind DJ Moore and Robbie Anderson which has increased his opportunities with nine (9) targets. He has not converted those targets in much fantasy production but our practice squad slots are a great place to stash talent for potential breakout in the coming weeks. 

Suggested Bid: $100,000 (PS) / $500,000

More Analysis by Nick Andrews

Week 6 Street FA Report

Updated: October 12th 2021

Each week we will recommend a group of players that are owned in less than 75% of RSO leagues that should be rostered. Depending on roster and league sizes not all of these players may be available. For that, we will offer one (1) player that is owned in <25% of leagues as our Sleeper add.

Add of the Week

Darrel Williams, RB – KC (Owned 53%)

Week 5: 5 Car/27 yards, 3 Rec/18 yards

Week 5 saw another two (2) starting running backs go down with long(ish) term injuries which places emphasis once again on spending high percentages of your remaining salary cap on their backups. I have suggested equal bid amounts to both options but have given the AOTW tiebreaker to the player who is on the better offense. Darrel Williams was already averaging 33 percent of Kansas City’s snaps before the injury to Clyde Edwards-Helaire so his role as the primary backup will offer a significant floor to those who acquire him. It would be unlikely that Williams takes the role outright from CEH once healthy but a successful month of play behind Patrick Mahomes may allow for him to see a more even split for snaps later in the season too. This is also another reason why I would be prioritizing Williams over our next running back add.

Suggested Bid: $5,000,000

RB Add

Devontae Booker, RB – NYG (Owned 27%)

Week 5: 16 Car/42 yards, 1 TD, 3 Rec/16 yards, 1 TD

This is the second consecutive year that a long-time backup will have to carry the bulk of the Giants backfield touches for Saquon Barkley while he is out with a lower-body injury. Devontae Booker served quite well as Barkley’s replacement in week 5 scoring two (2) touchdowns against the Cowboys. Most of his usage came long after the game was decided and with Daniel Jones nursing an injury of his own, the Giants offense may not offer the same short-range scoring opportunities that Darrel Williams and Kansas City will have. What Booker does have going for him is that the Giants have almost no other skill position players to compete with Booker so his usage should be high while Barkley is out. Booker could be an RB2 option as we head into the bye week stretch.

Suggested Bid: $5,000,000

WR Add

Quez Watkins, WR – PHI (Owned 32%)

Week 5: 3 Rec/48 yards

Quez Watkins has quietly had a strong start to the season for a player still available in over a third of RSO leagues. Watkins has only had more than three (3) targets once this season but he makes the most of his opportunity with a 76 percent catch rate and only one (1) game below six (6) PPR points. Again, not a league winner by any metric but consistent for a WR5 option in deeper leagues. Watkins’ speed also provides the upside of a big-play touchdown each week so as we head into the bye weeks portion of the season, Watkins’ floor may be better in tight matchup than others available on the wire at this point.

Suggested Bid: $1,000,000

TE Add

Ricky Seals-Jones, TE – WAS (Owned 8%)

Week 5: 5 Rec/41 yards

Backup tight end usage is tough to predict as often the reason tight ends are used at all is because of the talent of the individual rather than the scheme of involving the position. Ricky Seals-Jones filled in well for Logan Thomas who was placed on IR last week and will miss at least another two (2) games. Seals-Jones played all but one (1) offensive snap in week 5 and tied for second in targets behind Terry McLaurin with eight (8). A TE2 option while Thomas is inactive, Seals-Jones is another savior for the bye week blues if your team requires assistance.

Suggested Bid: $500,000

Sleeper Add (<25%)

KhaDarel Hodge, WR – DET (Owned <1%)

Week 5: 1 Rec/17 yards

There was not much coverage after week 5 about Quintez Cephus’ collarbone injury but with his 2021 season likely over it opens up a lot of snaps and targets for Lions’ receivers the rest of the season. KhaDarel Hodge only caught one (1) pass in week 5 but did have five (5) targets which may keep him off of many owners’ stash lists this week if they only check the box score. The Lions’ offense is not going to produce multiple weekly starters at wide receiver but they do expect to be in several negative game scripts for the remainder of the season. KhaDarel Hodge may be the benefactor of this scenario and have his moments if you can predict the weeks correctly.

Suggested Bid: $500,000

More Analysis by Nick Andrews

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.

More Analysis by Bob Cowper