Week 5 isn’t as good for the waiver wire as last week was but there’s a few gems, nonetheless. Tyler Boyd and Calvin Ridley, who were hot pickups last week, continued to dominate in Week 4. Even Andy Dalton, who I recommended as a good pickup if you’re streaming the quarterback position, had a great game on Sunday. Again, I’m using Yahoo! ownership percentages and these waiver suggestions are assuming a 12 team, PPR format but can be applied to other formats as well. With that being said, let’s get into the Week 5 waivers!
Keke Coutee (2% Owned)– The Houston Texans wide receiver had an outstanding NFL debut, where he set an NFL record for catches by a wide receiver in his debut with 11. He saw 15 targets and turned that into 11 catches for 109 yards and at times looked like the focal point of Houston’s offense. Coutee got used creatively all over the offense and the Texans’ didn’t even use his deep speed. Will Fuller didn’t play the whole game so that benefited Coutee but he still saw targets even with Fuller playing. Going back to college, Deshaun Watson has always liked his slot wide receiver and I expect Coutee to continue to get creative looks in this offense. He’s a must add in any PPR format and he may be a startable asset the rest of the reason.
Nick Chubb (19% Owned) – Browns’ rookie running back, Nick Chubb, continues to impress whenever he is given touches. Chubb has also out-produced fellow Browns’ running back Carlos Hyde on a per touch basis. Hyde has 83/285/5 for a 3.4 YPC, while Chubb has 10/146/2 and a 14.6 YPC. Now, obviously, Hyde has more carries so his YPC will be worse but Hyde owns PFF’s 76th run-grade and 75th elusive rating, while Chubb owns PFF’s 2nd best run grade and their 5th best elusive rating. Chubb’s play is demanding more touches and it’s not out of the question that he overtakes Hyde by the later portion of the season. If you’re hurting for running back help, Chubb is an add you should make as he could be a league winner.
Nyheim Hines (15% Owned) – Indianapolis’ running back situation has been real cloudy this season. In Week 4 though, we may have found some answers. Nyheim Hines has steadily seen an increased role from week to week, and he finally found success against the Texans. While he didn’t have much success running the ball, Hines showed he can be a dangerous PPR asset, posting nine catches for 63 yards and two touchdowns. Luck has been checking the ball down more and more, and that obviously benefits a pass catching running back like Hines. With Marlon Mack still out, Hines should continue to see the field even with Robert Turbin coming back. Turbin is a between the tackles runner and shouldn’t be a road block for Hines’ playing time.
Tyler Kroft (1% Owned) – Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert suffered a gruesome injury in Week 4, and had to actually be carted off the field. Not that there was much confusion, if you watched it happen, but he suffered a broken ankle and will be out all season. Afterwards, Tyler Boyd saw increased volume, but Tyler Kroft will instantly slot into the starting tight end spot as well. He only saw one target on Sunday, but you can bet that’ll expand. Andy Dalton loves to target his tight ends and Kroft was also a useful red zone weapon last year. Kroft had great numbers last year with Eifert out in 2017 where he posted 42 catches for 404 yards and 7 touchdowns. With the tight end landscape being a dumpster fire, Kroft is going to have useful weeks this year.
Taywan Taylor (3% Owned) – The Titans shocked the Eagles on Sunday and Taylor had a pretty solid fantasy day. Taylor has seen his snaps increase every week from 13% > 41% > 52% > 63%. He saw nine targets in Week 4 and posted seven catches for 77 yards. He’s a talented wide receiver, taken in the 3rd round in 2017 and he’s finally starting to emerge. With Rishard Matthews gone, Taylor is operating as the unquestioned number two wide receiver. Add on that Marcus Mariota is finally showing signs of life and I’m trying to add Taylor anywhere I can. Which is almost everywhere, seeing he has a criminally low 3% ownership percentage.
Fantasy Fallout: Jaguars Trade for Carlos Hyde
The Jaguars have made another trade mid-season. This time, for former Browns and 49ers running back, Carlos Hyde. The Jaguars dealt a 2019 5th round pick to the Browns for the back. This marks the second time that the Jaguars have traded with the Browns this year, as they also traded for QB Cody Kessler earlier this offseason. Here, we’ll evaluate what this trade means from a fantasy football perspective and how it affects everyone involved.
Right off the bat, this torpedos T.J. Yeldon’s value. Carlos Hyde coming in will push Yeldon to a backup role again, although it’ll likely be more of a timeshare than it was with Fournette. In terms of touches, I’d expect Hyde to get around 60-70% of the backfield touches and that’ll leave Yeldon around 30-40%. I do think Yeldon becomes a “buy” in dynasty though. This guarantees that he’s playing for a different team next year and he’s likely the consolation prize for the team that misses out on Lev Bell. Yeldon could have a bell cow role next year and the trade for Hyde should knock his value down enough that he’s worth poking the Yeldon owner to see if he wants to get out from under him now. In redraft though, Yeldon is playable in Week 7 as Hyde will be inactive but I think he’s droppable after Week 7.
For Carlos Hyde, he becomes a weekly low end RB1 or high end RB2 in Jacksonville now. He was touchdown dependent in Cleveland and was not efficient with his touches but he should continue to see volume on a team that will likely run him more than the Browns were. Ever since Baker Mayfield took over the starting job, the Browns have ranked 5th in pass attempts which curbed Hyde’s touch count. This trade says to me that the Jaguars want to be a run heavy offense again and that will stand to benefit Hyde. Unfortunately for Hyde’s fantasy owners, we won’t know his true value until we know what is happening with Fournette. My gut tells me that Fournette will get thrown onto the IR and maybe return later in the season but we have no way to be sure. If Fournette does come back in Week 10, then Hyde’s value should plummet as he takes a backseat to Fournette. However, there are two or three other possibilities, in my eyes. Scenario one, Fournette is put on IR and sits out for the rest of the season and Hyde becomes the lead running back on an offense that wants to lean on the run. That would make him a RB1 ROS. Scenario two, Fournette is put on IR but comes back later in the season. This would make Hyde an RB1 while Fournette is out and he may be plug and play for a few weeks. Scenario three, which I think is interesting, is that Fournette comes back in Week 10 but Hyde and Fournette split the backfield touches. This would essentially make both players unstartable. The Jaguars are not a particularly strong offense and would not be able to sustain to startable fantasy RBs. There’s an argument to be made for this strategy from a real football perspective though. Both Fournette and Hyde are injury prone and limiting their touches could benefit both players.
I do think this affects the peripheral pieces in Jacksonville, a little bit. Like I said, this trade signifies to me that the Jaguars want to be run heavy again. They’ve been one of the most pass heavy teams this year, largely by necessity, but this team doesn’t want to play like that. So this move likely lowers Blake Bortles weekly ceiling but may help his efficiency, although I doubt anybody was starting Bortles. I don’t think this trickles to the receivers a ton though. They may see less volume but they weren’t doing much anyways, outside of Dede Westbrook.
FIRE UP YOUR NICK CHUBB FOLKS! The Browns have moved on from Carlos Hyde and now we will unleash Nick Chubb. This makes Nick Chubb an every week RB2 for me, and honestly a high end one for me. Chubb was a highly touted prospect coming out of college who showed he was an amazing runner and a capable receiver. He has been extremely impressive and efficient on limited touches this year and he’s shown how elusive but also powerful he can be. I still believe in Baker and this offense has some nice pieces in it. The Browns also have an extremely nice schedule coming up, with the Texans being the next good run defense they face. They don’t play the Texans till December 2nd. Nick Chubb could be a league winner this year and you need to go get him. Add him off waivers, trade for him, just go get him. Starting him this week is risky, as we don’t know his workload yet but the Tampa Bay defense is tissue soft and I’d still slot him in as an RB2.
This also benefits Duke Johnson. Hopefully. Johnson has seen hardly any usage this year but I think we can assume that will change with the departure of Carlos Hyde. Johnson is a talented receiving back that can be electric when given touches. If he starts getting a substantial amount of touches though, he could also hurt Nick Chubb’s ceiling. There’s a world though where Johnson and Chubb share touches enough to make Johnson more valuable than Chubb in PPR formats. Johnson is still a must add in PPR formats until we see how the backfield touches shake out. I wouldn’t feel too confident in starting him this but that could obviously change in the coming weeks.
Fantasy Football: Week 7 Waiver Wire Pickups
I’m back after missing last week and it’s just in time. We’re getting to the heart of the fantasy football season and you’ve got to make your waiver wire count if you want to win your league. That being said, let’s get to it.
Baker Mayfield, QB (42% ownership) – He hasn’t been producing video game numbers or even great numbers, but if you watch him play, it’s very impressive. He’s making throws all over the field and getting absolutely no help from his wide receivers. Wide receivers Callaway and Ratley both dropped would-be touchdowns on Sunday and that would’ve drastically improved Mayfield’s fantasy day. The main reason to target Mayfield if you need a streaming quarterback, is because over the next three weeks he plays Tampa Bay, Pittsburgh, and Kansas City. All those games figure to be shootouts and all three pit Mayfield against some of the worst defenses in the league. Get him now.
Jermaine Kearse, WR (1%) – Kearse saw 10 targets on Sunday that he turned into nine catches for 94 yards. Now, with Quincy Enunwa out for three to four weeks with an ankle sprain, Kearse’s volume should not only continue to be stable, but it may actually increase. The Jets offense has been better than expected and Sam Darnold is doing a good job of propping up his weapons.
Ito Smith, RB (9%) – Smith has filled in well in Devonta Freeman’s absence, scoring a touchdown in three straight games. He has had flex appeal in all the games that Freeman has missed and I’d expect that to continue. Freeman was placed on injured reserve today and the Falcons offense is a high powered one. While Freeman continues to battle injuries, Ito Smith needs to be rostered.
Christian Kirk, WR (14%) – Rookie quarterback Josh Rosen has found a favorite. In Rosen’s first three games as a starter, Kirk has led the Cardinal’s in receptions. Kirk was a dynamic rookie coming out and is finally seeing volume that may make him viable in fantasy leagues. He’s likely still just a flier flex play as he’s paired with an anemic offense but Rosen and Kirk could be the only bright spots that we see.
Fantasy Football: Week 6 Start and Sit Decisions
There are a lot of interesting matchups this week so let’s dive into them and get started on the start/sit for this week!
Jameis Winston – Winston has a gucci matchup facing an Atlanta defense ranking bottom-five in fantasy points per game allowed to opposing quarterbacks. Both the Atlanta and Tampa defenses are quite terrible so I’d expect this to be a high scoring affair. You may have picked him up off waivers but he’s a top QB play this week.
Tyler Boyd – Boyd has out-targeted A.J. Green by three targets since Week 2, and ranks 11th among all wide receivers in targets over this span. With Green seeing shadow coverage from Joe Haden, Boyd should see good volume again. Pittsburgh ranks fourth-worst in fantasy points per game to opposing slot wide receivers, and that is coincidentally where Boyd runs 67% of his routes.
Austin Hooper – Hooper set a new career high in targets in Week 5 (12) and caught nine of them for 77 yards. He’s seen six or fewer targets in 91% of his career games, so this may have been an outlier. Hooper is still worth a start this week though. Atlanta has the second-highest implied total of the week and this should be a very high scoring affair.
Sony Michel – There’s breathing room for both Patriots running backs to provide RB1 the rest of this season. White and Michel occupied all of the team’s running back snaps last week and over the past two weeks, Michel totals 43 carries, one target, 222 yards, and two touchdowns. Kansas City ranks third-worst in yards per carry allowed and regularly gets gashed by opposing running backs. There’s always a risk Michel gets hurt if Kansas City takes a lead, but he’s a borderline RB1 this week.
Tyler Lockett – Lockett has put up fantasy WR2 numbers, but he hasn’t seen enough volume to support that rank. He ranks 57th in targets per game and is due for big TD regression. With Doug Baldwin back and practicing, Lockett is merely a borderline WR3 this week, in spite of the plus matchup against the Raiders.
Alfred Morris – Morris saw 10 carries and two targets following Matt Breida’s first quarter exit last week, while Kyle Juszczyk and Raheem Mostert combined for six carries and six targets. Your guess is as good as mine as to who Raheem Mostert is. Even with Breida out, Morris is still stuck in a low-upside committee. They’re road underdogs against the Packers and he’s no better than an RB3 this week.
Larry Fitzgerald – Fitzgerald hasn’t hit 6.0 fantasy points since Week 1 and is struggling to even see targets. He’s an easy fade and I don’t know how you can even put him in your lineup.
Mike Williams – Williams hit the ground running but the regression hit over the past two weeks, and he also saw a steady decline in volume. Over the past two weeks he also only totals seven targets and 60 yards. He’s another player I can’t see myself starting.
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