Following another wild week in the NFL that consisted of some rather upside-down results, where several favorites got embarrassed at home (Colts, Falcons), and some lesser-known characters scoring in places where they [supposedly] shouldn’t have (Brandon Bolden, Foster Moreau). It was your typical batshit Sunday of football, with the chips not nearly falling where everyone thought they would.
With that being said, if your rosters are anything like mine, you’ll be running a rather particular talent evaluation across your entire team and seeking the finest reason to drop a selection of them. And while there’s not a stand-out must-have waiting in the wings across most leagues, I would say there are definitely some rosterable pickings to be had this week on the waiver wire.
Naturally, there is a majority of wide receivers consuming the bulk of the bunch, but there are several players at each position who are warranting attention. I target and mention only [worthwhile] players who are under 55 percent owned across Yahoo Fantasy season-long leagues, so they should mostly be attainable in a number of standard 12-team leagues.
A.J. Brown, WR (TEN, 10% Owned)
Prior to the 2019 season, the Titans offense under Marcus Mariota has been tumultuous and bipolar in consistency. And if anybody is doing their part to finally instill an identity to this offense, it’s wide receiver A.J. Brown. While he’s now the third-overall receiver in terms of the total targets for Tennessee (Corey Davis just took over second-overall with six targets in Week 4), he’s gone over 100 yards in nearly two of the four weeks, coming up just shy of the 100-yard mark against the Falcons (94 yards), and scored his first two NFL touchdowns in Week 4.
The rookie receiver may still wind up being a victim of the drastic swings of this offense week to week, but if anything he’s now an established deep threat for this Titans offense and Mariota, and reliable on a weekly basis should he continue to get open and shaking defenders the way he did in Atlanta.
Darrel Williams, RB (KC, 53% Owned)
I know 53-percent is pushing the envelope, but being a running back in an Andy Reid system where one of the members remains out with injury should warrant a roster stash spot at the very least. And I don’t believe he’s getting enough credit in the public eye, reflected in his current ownership going into this week’s waivers. He was only out-carried by LeSean McCoy by three touches (eight carries to McCoy’s eleven) and had one more reception than McCoy out of the backfield.
Compiling two rushing touchdowns through goal line work on Sunday, he also added 43 receiving yards on three receptions and 16 rushing yards. He’s no weekly guarantee to score by any means, but with Damien Williams a static uncertainty, there’s evidence that Andy Reid has no problem giving him work in change-of-stride of LeSean McCoy, especially at the goal line.
If you’re the McCoy or Damien Williams owner, he’s especially worth stashing if he’s available in your league. But if you’re desperate at running back and need of a filler on your roster, Darrel Williams is a worthy candidate to put in your pool of possible pickups this week.
Jimmy Graham, TE (GB, 36% Owned)
It’s not exactly his 2013 rendition, but he’s getting some significant target shares and it’s volume that most often results in production in fantasy. After a quasi-reminiscent performance of the Jimmy Graham of old in Week 4 against the Eagles, he put up six receptions on nine targets (which was a team second-highest) for 61 yards and a touchdown. A fraction of the Jimmy of yesteryear, but he’s clearly getting the attention from Rodgers that force-feeds production to the tenth-year tweener-athletic tight end.
Graham’s injury history is a definite recipe for concern, but given the circumstances you’re likely fishing for a tight end by, there’s essentially little to lose here by shedding the dead weight you’re dealing with. Unless of course you’re in need of a flyer at the flex position given the potential of injuries and upcoming byes, then in which you’re getting a guy who’s working his way out of touchdown-dependent status and has potential in that filler role for you in deeper leagues.
It’s a true gamble at the flex, but if it’s a tight end you’re in need of specifically, I would have little hesitation in making a claim on Jimmy Graham.
Marcus Mariota, QB (TEN, 11% Owned)
The dynamic catalyst to the sporadic offense in Tennessee forementioned, Marcus Mariota showed us his Good Marcus side in Week 4 on the road in Atlanta, putting up three touchdowns through the air via 18 completions on 27 pass attempts and 227 yards passing (and no interceptions). He also added three rushing attempts for 22 yards as well.
The fifth-year standout from Oregon is already looking in better form in 2019 than in seasons past, as he didn’t have a game all last year where he threw for more than two touchdowns, and a season in which he only had eleven total touchdowns through the air (he’s got seven now). The random games in which Corey Davis decides to show up actually help his cause (go figure), but also has a healthy Delanie Walker and added talent in rookie receiver A.J. Brown (see above).
Say what you want about his previous inconsistency until now, but he still has yet to throw an interception this season and is currently on pace to score nearly 28 passing touchdowns if he keeps this up. If you need a quarterback, look no further, as Mariota should be stashed in all standard-size leagues.
Geronimo Allison, WR (GB, 24% Owned)
After a Week 1 that left then-recent draft stockholders in disgust with a lack his involvement in the Packers’ offensive scheme, Geronimo Allison has since spring-boarded himself back to relevancy in Green Bay and among fantasy owners. Following his ghost stat line in the first week of the season, he’s since totaled 11 targets for 8 receptions, 76 yards and two touchdowns. Most recently he put up his best performance of 2019, amounting 52 of those yards and one touchdown against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Although he doesn’t come close to leading the team in targets, Allison is the third-overall red zone target by percentage for the Packers (13.64%), and should definitely be considered mildly touchdown-dependent upon adding him to your fantasy roster(s). But all in all, Geronimo Allison is more than deserving of consideration for any flyer flex position in standard-size 12-team leagues.
Dontrell Hilliard, RB (CLE, 1% Owned)
Alright, I’m trying to do some math here, and perhaps you can help me out:
Nick Chubb is 100% owned in all leagues. He handles a vast majority of carries, and is also relatively involved in the passing game. And for example, on Sunday he accounted for roughly 33.8% of the Browns volume on offense through the rushing and receiving game combined.
Dontrell Hilliard, Chubb’s direct backup for now (until Kareem Hunt is back from suspension AND hernia surgery), is less than 2% owned. He managed 27 yards on the ground over six attempts and a touchdown in Week 4, as well as two receptions for 27 additional yards.
If you put that equation together, does it equate to just a bit of insanity? That’s like carrying around an iPhone naked while you wait for your next case to arrive in the mail. You have to protect your top investments, even between insurance pieces. There’s no excuse for why at the very least a portion of Nick Chubb investors don’t have Hilliard in emergency reach on their benches.
However, if you’re simply in need of a running back, Hilliard still may be worth a look, as he did swoop a touchdown in the red zone in Week 1 as well (but and was not involved in the offense Week 2 and only in for one snap Week 3). He’s extremely depending on the goal line work, but if your league where he’s of consideration is PPR, then he is a flyer should you be thin at the position.