Mike Fanelli | October 1st, 2019
We are roughly a quarter of the way through the 2019 NFL season. Most teams have played four games with the exceptions being the New York Jets and San Francisco 49ers as they had their bye week this past weekend. This coming week, fantasy owners will be without their Detroit Lions and Miami Dolphins players. That means no Matthew Stafford, Kerryon Johnson, or Kenny Golladay. It also means no D/ST to stream against the awful Dolphins.
However, fantasy owners still need to add players off the waiver wire to replenish their bench as the injuries are starting to add up and some players are appearing to be busts and need to be dropped. Normally Steve writes this column but he had a last minute emergency so I’m taking over this week and will try my best to fill his shoes. Below I will provide you with players I think fantasy owners should add or not buy into based on their week four success. Let’s get to it!
Only players with less than 50% ownership are allowed for this column. Percents are based on ESPN.
Jameis Winston (44.8%)
Coming off his season-high 29.3 fantasy points against the Rams, Winston has back-to-back games with 25 or more fantasy points. He has thrown for 765 yards, seven touchdowns, and just two interceptions during that span. All the preseason hype looked dead but maybe Bruce Arians is starting to turn Winston into a franchise quarterback. With his next two matchups against the Saints and Panthers, Winston should be picked up in most leagues, especially by fantasy owners waiting on Drew Brees to return.
Gardner Minshew (14.3%)
Minshew is nothing if not consistent. In all four games this season, he has scored between 16.1 and 17.9 fantasy points. However, his schedule till the Jaguars week 10 bye is fantasy friendly. Over the next five weeks, Minshew plays the Panthers, Saints, Bengals, Jets, and Texans. None of those defenses have played great so far this season. He has thrown two touchdowns in three of four games this season and has scored more fantasy points than Aaron Rodgers. In super-flex leagues, Minshew is probably on a roster but if he isn’t, go grab him ASAP. Even in one quarterback leagues, Minshew is a great add if you stream the position or have your starter with a bye in the coming weeks.
Ronald Jones (41.3%)
Yes, Peyton Barber is still in the backfield but it looks like Jones might be taking over as the lead back. Jones had a team-high 47.9% of snaps and got a career-high 19 carries on Sunday. He has scored double-digit fantasy points in three of four games this season while averaging 5.7 yards per carry in two of those games. Is Jones going to become a plug and play running back? Probably not, but when the heavy bye weeks start to kick in, he could become a valuable RB2 for your fantasy team.
Hunter Henry (47.4%)
The damn injury bug won’t leave Henry alone as he hurt his knee in week one and hasn’t played since. However, at the time, reports said his recovery time would be 4-6 weeks. Based on that timeline, Henry could return as early as next week verse the Titans. Entering the season, Henry was viewed by most as a top-six tight end and did score 10 fantasy points in week one despite getting hurt. If you need an upgrade at tight end and can waste a roster spot for a few weeks, grab Henry now.
Darrel Williams (35.3%)
I’m not sold that Williams will have a consistent role for the rest of the season, but while Damien Williams is out, Darrel is a good weekly option for your flex position, especially in non PPR. Darrel didn’t touch the ball the first two weeks of the season when Damien was healthy but the last two weeks he has 25 touches and two touchdowns. However, on Sunday, Darrel averaged just 1.6 yards per carry and his fantasy day was saved by two rushing touchdowns. Patrick Mahomes had zero touchdowns and his lowest fantasy scoring game since he took over as the starter in 2018. Darrel is a nice fill in for a few weeks but not someone I expect to be on fantasy rosters once Damien returns.
Ryquell Armstead (2%)
Leonard Fournette had a great game against the Broncos on Sunday. While it may be too soon to grab handcuffs off the waiver wire, if your fantasy league has a slightly deeper bench or you have a “streamer spot”, Fournette owners might want to grab Armstead. Fournette has a long history of missing games because of injuries and Armstead showed he can play on Sunday. After getting just one touch all season long, Armstead got eight rushes for 42 yards, one catch for seven yards and a touchdown on his only target. No one is suggesting that Armstead is Fournette, but if (or more likely when) Fournette gets hurt, Armstead will step into a featured role on a team that wants to run the ball.
Geronimo Allison (27.2%)
The early belief is Davante Adams‘ toe injury isn’t serious and if he misses anytime, Allison jumps into the WR3/flex ballpark while he’s out. Allison was on the field for a season-high 79% of the snaps on Thursday night and scored 14.8 fantasy points. Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Jimmy Graham will also have an uptick in targets but Allison is due to have the biggest jump. After a tough start to the season, the Packers offense gets fantasy friendly matchups in five of their next seven games heading into their week 11 bye. If Adams misses time, Allison should be grabbed off waiver wire immediately.
As long as Marcus Mariota is the quarterback, I want nothing to do with the Titans wide receivers. Davis has been a bust so far in his career, in large part due to Mariota’s struggles. Both Davis and Brown scored more fantasy points (20.1 & 24.4) on Sunday than the previous three games combined (14.2 & 19.9). Needless to say, Sunday’s game was a fluke, nothing else. The Falcons defense was bad before but without Keanu Neal, it’s awful. Furthermore, the next two games for the Titans are against the Bills and Broncos. However, on a side note, I like both these receivers in dynasty for next season once the Titans replace Mariota. If the current owner is willing to sell, see how cheap and jump on it, especially for Brown.
Phillip Dorsett (37%)
From week three to week four, Dorsett’s ownership on ESPN jumped up 31.8%. He returned the faith put in him by scoring 3.9 fantasy points against the Bills. Hell, Matthew Slater had more fantasy points and he played zero snaps on offense. I know everyone thinks that with Antonio Brown gone, Dorsett will have value as the Patriots WR3. News flash, he won’t! Dorsett’s career-high in a season was three last year, he has three already this season. However, in the two games he reached the end zone Dorsett is averaging 22 fantasy points per game while in the two games he doesn’t score, he is averaging 5.4 fantasy points per game. Dorsett is touchdown dependent and there is plenty of better options at wide receivers on the waiver wire.
Suspended Players To Add
Golden Tate (51.7%)
Yes, I’m cheating here with the ownership percentage rule but Tate should be owned in closer to 70% of leagues as he returns from his four-game suspension. With Saquon Barkley out a few more weeks (though he claims he will back much sooner than the 6-8 week timeline originally reported), the Giants offense flows through Evan Engram and Sterling Shepard. However, after those two, Daniel Jones lacks proven weapons but that will change with Tate returning. With a productive quarterback combine with a horrible defense, fantasy owners should see plenty of fantasy points from Tate going forward, whether it’s during meaningful moments or in garbage time; either way, the points count the same.
Chris Herndon (8.1%)
Usually, the tight end position is one of the hardest, if not the hardest, position to find a guy you can trust weekly. However, so far this season there are 10 tight ends average 11 or more fantasy points per game. This weakens Herndon’s value as he has to sit out this week but will return this time next week in time to face the Cowboys. His value will depend on when Sam Darnold returns to the field, but to close out last season, Herndon saw four or more targets in seven of his last 10 games. With Le’Veon Bell and Robby Anderson drawing attention from the defense, Herndon could easily average double-digit fantasy points over the last 12 games of 2019.
Hopefully, this list helps you with your waiver claims tonight but if you have specific questions, feel free to ask me on twitter. Normally Steve mentions about donating to FantasyCares.net as all proceeds go towards the purchase of toys for children around the country. It’s a great cause and the fantasy community does a great job helping others, so please consider donating part of your league’s winnings this season.
Questions and comments?
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