So, you’re trying to earn some extra points in your fantasy lineups I see.
I see you being sneaky, coming to a place looking for possible waiver wire adds, a case to play someone you’re unsure about over another, or simply seeing if it’s worth taking a risk on a guy that on first glance makes your opponents go “wtf”, because they don’t have the insight you have.
You know me from my 2019 “Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em’s” on Full Press Coverage, but this season, I’m taking on a new task – rolling with a completely sleeper article.
If you’re new to mine or FPC’s fantasy content, I just celebrated my first full year on the most successful podcast at FPC: The Full Press Fantasy Pod. My 2019 fantasy articles got thousands of views most weeks and I specialize in deep NFL offensive player analysis, both here and on the podcast. This is also my 13th year playing fantasy football.
Editor’s Note: Stat lines are unavailable for week four as no article was published due to editor’s sickness.
On paper prior to the start of the season these two quarterback options below looked like un-rosterable guys. Maybe even to you this week, you glanced over them. But to me, there’s something intriguing about their potential play and outcome of their team’s games that intrigue me. With Josh Allen, Ryan Tannehill, and now possibly Kyler Murray possibly not going because of COVID-19, it looks like you may need to hit free agents, and believe me, people don’t own these first two guys…
1) Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers @ New Orleans
Marshon Lattimore and Marcus Davenport will likely be out again and the Saints have allowed QBs Derek Carr, Aaron Rodgers and Matthew Stafford to throw for three touchdowns each in the last three weeks. While running back Austin Ekeler won’t be there in the pass game and to help move the chains on the ground, nor will WR Mike Williams, I’m still not worried. Herbert threw for three scores last week without them and have the ability to do so again. WR Keenan Allen will be heavily involved, but look for Herbert to use guys like WR Jalen Guyton and tight end Hunter Henry, and maybe even RB Justin Jackson through the air.
Did your ears perk up? Don’t know who Jalen Guyton is? He had a 72-yard TD reception last week.
2) Ryan Fitzpatrick, Miami @ San Francisco
Fitzpatrick is averaging more than 25 points in his last three games and is facing a depleted 49ers secondary on Sunday. San Francisco has allowed Kyler Murray and Carson Wentz more than 22 points this year and it has only beaten the two lowly teams from New York. Miami may be struggling, but it’s not struggling like the Giants and Jets. Fitzpatrick is averaging around 250 yards per game and has been the Dolphins’ leading rusher multiple times already this season. Pair that with a healthy DeVante Parker and Mike Gesicki. I like him as a streaming option this week. He’s also probably a little PO’ed that Miami is currently nine-point underdogs this week…
3) Kirk Cousins, Minnesota @ Seattle
I’ll admit this selection makes me a little nervous, however, I’d start Cousins solely based on Seattle’s defensive woes. I’m banking on two things: The Seahawks’ corners aren’t good and they’re allowing more than 400 yards passing per game. Matt Ryan, Cam Newton and Dak Prescott have also all scored multiple TDs against them. Only Ryan Fitzpatrick hasn’t, but he still rushed for a score and had 315 yards. Minnesota MUST make Cousins throw more though for this to work. The most passes he has attempted this season is 27 and he has yet to complete at least 20 of them. WRs Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson can get the job done if he throws more, but you need to bank on Cousins either doing that or being successful launching the long ball.
1) Damien Harris, New England vs Denver
This game has been flexed to Monday Night, giving Harris and the Patriots an extra day of rest. After rushing for 100 yards last week, that may come in handy. I don’t think Denver is going to put up many points in this game and I expect New England to be ahead early and strive to run the ball to run out the clock. Harris has also leap-frogged the entire depth chart and is listed as the No. 1 back. I don’t know about you, but I’d pick up a starting back out of free agency even if he loses a few touches to his QB. It’s also not for-sure that QB Cam Newton plays, so I think Harris can run for more yards than QB Jarrett Stidham (yes you’re supposed to laugh). Be cautious in PPR formats, as I don’t expect Harris to take pass-catching work away from RB James White and he could be slightly impeded by RB Rex Burkhead there too.
2) D’Ernest Johnson, Cleveland vs Indianapolis
Screw it, I’m going for it. We’ve seen how Cleveland has used Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt this season, making them priorities in not just the ground game but their air attack as well. Last game after Chubb left toward the end of the first quarter, Johnson came in and scooped up the groundwork. He rushed 13 times for 95 yards out of nowhere. 13 carries is more rushes than some starting solo RBs are getting on a weekly basis, take that how you will. I spent $35 of my $100 on him in one league, because it’s all or nothing for me with these cancelations and injuries. Even if he takes a step down in carries/yards, I still like him as a flex with high-upside possibility in a potential high-scoring game.
3) Devonta Freeman, New York Giants @ Dallas
Like I said, it’s all or nothing and Freeman is available in a lot of leagues because of the lack of scoring for the Giants. Freeman is no Saquon Barkley, but this is the week to move Freeman off the bench. Dallas just gave up 307 yards on the ground last week to the Browns even with Chubb exiting. Freeman had 15 total touches (11 carries) last week against a Rams team in a game that was closer than I expected. Freeman has 68 yards last week, and while that’s lower for fantasy value, it was still just his second game for the G-Men, and RB Dion Lewis is getting flexed out of the game plan. If he adds a score to those 68 yards, suddenly he makes headlines. This should be a high scoring game with the Cowboys’ horrible defense and I will flex him.
4) Antonio Gibson, Washington vs Los Angeles Rams
Gibson should see his normal workload on the ground as well as see an uptick in usage in the pass game now that QB Kyle Allen is starting. I’m not sold on the Rams despite their record and I think Washington could upset them this weekend at home. Gibson has scored a TD in the last three games and may be somewhat of a bell-cow, especially early on, while Allen is adjusting to Washington’s game-play. Gibson also picked up 82 yards on the ground last week and his targets in the passing game are increasing.
Editor’s Note: I did not include RBs Josh Kelley or Justin Jackson in this article even though I strongly wanted to. We saw Jackson take goal-line carries away from Ekeler even when Melvin Gordon was still a Charger and he should do it again in Ekeler’s absence. Kelley should get the groundwork, but the two were separated by just four carries last week. There’s too much uncertainty for me to make a call at this time, and they’re likely owned in your leagues anyway. But going forward, Sunday should give us better clarity.
1) D.J. Moore, Carolina @ Atlanta
WR Robby Anderson has been stealing the show in Carolina for the first quarter of the season, but Moore is due for a big game against a weak Falcons secondary. He may not find the end zone, as only three WRs have against Atlanta, but it also played a depleated Green Bay team last week who was missing WRs Davante Adams and Allen Lazard. All of those TDs went to TE Robert Tonyan. If he doesn’t find the end zone still, there’s solace in the fact that five WRs have gained more than 90 yards against the Falcons. This either has the potential for a low scoring game or a back-and-forth division battle. Either way, Moore is good for a score or 90-plus yards.
2) Justin Jefferson, Minnesota @ Seattle
If you have WR Adam Thilen you’re already playing him, but Jefferson owners should be excited too. Earlier I mentioned Seattle’s struggling corners which opens up big-play, high-point abilities for Jefferson. In the last two weeks Jefferson has 278 yards on 11 catches (14 targets) and a touchdown in his big 175-yard game against Tennessee. He should score with ease in prime time.
3) Darius Slayton, New York Giants @ Dallas
I like Golden Tate as well in this matchup, and I think both could be started, but I’m chasing Slayton’s big-play potential. Six receivers have scored at least 16 PPR points on Dallas this season, making him a bigger play in leagues with PPR. Despite New York’s problems moving the football and their plethora of under performers thus far, Slayton has scored in half of his games played and I think he scores again in a higher-scoring affair on Sunday.
4) Jamison Crowder vs Arizona
We now have to monitor this game due to a possible COVID positive, but if the game is played you play Jamison Crowder. The Cardinals’ secondary is weak and he’s the clear No. 1 for the Jets. Super Bowl champion QB Joe Flacco is starting for Sam Darnold (shoulder) and I expect him to feature Crowder. Crowder’s especially good in PPR as he should get a lot of catches out of the slot and in the short-field. Arizona has allowed at least one player to score 17 PPR or more in the last three games.
5) Laviska Shenault Jr., Jacksonville @ Houston
The Texans give up a lot through the air and don’t have all their components working successfully on either side of the football. You need to monitor Shenault’s hamstring injury as he is currently questionable ahead of Sunday, but I like that he has six targets in each of his last two games. D.J. Chark should benefit the most from Jacksonville’s weak CBs, but Houston has also allowed five people this year to already post 14 PPR points or more. That’s right in Shenault’s wheelhouse in terms of catches and yards. He already posted that same stat line in Cincinnati just last week (six catches, 86 yards).
1) Mo Alie-Cox, Indianapolis @ Cleveland
Prior to the season I was high on the TE position because TE-favorite-QB Philip Rivers signed with the Colts. However, I expected it to be TE Jack Doyle. But, since Jack Doyle isn’t doing jack sh**, Alie-Cox has emerged as a red zone favorite despite his limited snaps throughout the field. Alie-Cox either has a TD or 100-plus yards in three games and Cleveland has allowed a TE score in three of four games this year. As long as he’s leading the Colts TEs in red zone targets, he’s due in the red zone. At this point, drop Doyle and TE Trey Burton isn’t worth much either. However, I’d hold Burton before I hold Doyle, but I’d play Alie-Cox over both.
2) Ian Thomas, Carolina @ Atlanta
This is a leap of faith, but this is strictly based on matchup. Thomas got a career-high in targets last week and found the end zone for the first time. However, he only got five looks and caught a measly two of them. But, finding the end zone was a saving grace if you for some reason started him. Him scoring tells me he’s thought about in the red zone. Since Atlanta has allowed a TE to score in every game this season, Thomas has a chance. You need this game to be high-scoring though as I think Anderson and Moore will get pay-dirt first. He’s a low-end sleeper in my opinion, but a sleeper nonetheless. With three possible game cancelations, TE wire is probably looking thin. According to CBSSports, he’s owned in just two-percent of leagues.
3) Dalton Schultz, Dallas vs New York Giants
This is probably the last week Schultz can qualify as a sleeper. I’ve written about him before and owners have been vigilant in picking him up on waivers or as a free agent. But, it’s important to note that he’s the fifth-best scoring option not named Dak Prescott on this team, so the fact that he has garnered 24 targets in three games since Blake Jarwin hit IR is incredible. Schultz has also scored in two of those games and has more than 13 non-PPR points in those games. The Giants as a whole aren’t a good football team and they don’t have a good defense. Even if Prescott throws five TDs to five different people, Schultz is still one of them.
4) Evan Engram, New York Giants @ Dallas
Engram has pissed me off as an owner all season, so hopefully writing this sends a subliminal message to him and he has his best game of the year Sunday. Engram has underperformed in every game, but his 10 targets last week against the Rams raises my eyebrow. I think Dallas’ defense is bad enough that he puts up more yardage than the 35 last week on his six catches and is a factor in a battle of borderline unwatchable teams. TEs Hayden Hurst, Greg Olsen and Austin Hooper all have double-digit PPR points against Dallas and Engram should make it four out of five tries on Dallas’ secondary.
– Kayla Morton is the Managing Editor for Full Press Coverage Miami Dolphins. She is also the co-host of the FPC Fantasy Pod. Like and follow on Follow @northdakayla74 Follow @FPC_Dolphins and Facebook.