Workin’ the Wire for Week 5

2 Oct 2018 - 4:12pm | Roto Coach | Updated: 2 Oct 2018 - 4:35pm | Likes: 20 Like 
Workin’ the Wire for Week 5

With a multitude of key injuries, more data about how some key timeshares might look going forward, as well as the usual ebbs and flows of the average NFL weekend, this week’s “Workin’ the Wire” is extensive to say the least. With some twenty players included that I think need to be on your radar for the coming week or two, I’ve dispensed with the deep dive into additions this week in favor of covering more ground. With that in mind, fee free to hit me up here or on Twitter (@rotocoach) with any questions.


Josh Rosen-Arizona Cardinals: Through a game and a half Rosen has mostly looked like a rookie, but he play better in the second half of Sunday’s game against the Seahawks and was certainly an upgrade over Sam Bradford. The pieces around him-David Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald, and rookie wideout Christian Kirk (more on him late) should be enough to make him a bye week consideration in the right matchup.

C.J. Beathard-San Francisco 49ers: With the injury to Jimmy Garoppolo and a running back stable that’s already decimated, the 49ers are going to have to move the ball through the air. While Beathard isn’t going to stretch the field, he spent time in Shanahan’s offense last year as the starter and is familiar with the concepts. Expect him to target the backs and guys like Garcon and Kittle more than you’d like, but the defense isn’t going to stop enough teams to allow him to be a game manager so the passing attempts will be there.

Running Back

Randall Jones-Tampa Bay Buccaneers: In his Week 4 debut, Jones didn’t look all that much better than Peyton Barber had through the first three weeks so it’s pretty clear the issue here is the offensive line. Still, with Jameis Winston returning and a bye week on the horizon, there’s at least some reason for optimism after an awful August for Jones. Talent-wise he’s still the best back on the team, and the Bucs certainly aren’t going to stop anybody. Odds are we start seeing his workload get ramped up, but he could take off if Tampa Bay is able to integrate him into the passing game.

Nick Chubb-Cleveland Browns: This is still Carlos Hyde’s job at the moment, but it’s hard not to be impressed by Chubb’s 3 carry, 105 yard, 2 TD stat line from Sunday. Having turned to Mayfield already it’s probably only a matter of time before Chubb’s role growstoo. And performances like Week 4’s are the type that often start forcing the coaching staff’s hand.

Nyheim Hines-Indianapolis Colts: Hines was a little over-hyped this summer, but Sunday’s game was in line with some of those lofty expectations. The Colts receiving corps looks like it will be without Hilton for now, leaving Chester Rogers and Ryan Grant as the top options among the wideouts. Hines saw 11 target this week, catching 9 for 63 yards and 2 scores, and the Colts are using him mostly in the passing game. That trend should continue, as he’s presently on pace for 88 receptions and needs to be rostered in PPR formats.

Mike Davis-Seattle Seahawks: We’ve seen the Mike Davis movie before in Seattle and we know how it ends. Even with stretches of production, he’s never seemed to be able to hang onto a solid workload. First round rookie Rashaad Penny has looked awful to date, and starter Chris Carson is nursing and injury. Odds are Davis won’t pan out and this will become a committee, but we’ve seen random backfield takeovers before so if you’ve got the room he could be worth a stash.

Ito Smith-Atlanta Falcons: the clock is probably ticking on Smith’s value, as he’ll be relegated to the bench once Devonta Freeman returns. That said, Freeman and Tevin Coleman have been prone to missing stretches over the past few seasons, and Smith has shown he can be valuable committee back. He and former college teammate and now Raiders back Jalen Richard formed a similar duo while they were at Southern Miss together.

Corey Grant-Jacksonville Jaguars: With Leonard Fournette now sidelined indefinitely, T.J. Yeldon will take on the starters role in Jacksonville. As I’ve mentioned before, he’s always struggled a bit with an increased workload. Despite Grant’s poor Week 4, Jacksonville was moving in the direction of involving him more in the offense the past couple weeks with Fournette sidelined. Expect the coaching staff to revisit that plan as Yeldon can’t last more than a week or two as a 25+ touch guy.

Wide Receiver

D.J. Moore-Carolina Panthers: With Carolina coming off a bye Moore should fly a bit under the radar. But in Week 3 he finally topped Jarius Wright in snaps and is gaining on number two wideout Torrey Smith. So far it’s been the Cam Newton and Christian McCaffrey show for the Panthers, but they are going to need wide receiver contributions to keep from becoming one dimensional on offense, especially without Greg Olsen. Moore is a potential difference maker and I expect his role to grow coming out of the bye.

Dede Westbrook-Jacksonville Jaguars: The absence of Fournette may ultimately force the ball into Blake Bortles hands more often than the coaching staff would like, but he’s now put up huge numbers in two of the Jags last three games. Keelan Cole and Donte Moncrief are both involved as well, but both carry higher ownership and Westbrook is arguably the most dynamic of the three with the ball in his hands.

Christian Kirk-Arizona Cardinals: Larry Fitzgerald is still the top dog in Arizona, but he’s been playing banged up, which isn’t exactly unusual for a player his age. With Rosen now under center that Cardinals actually look capable of moving the football at times, and that’s a huge step up from what the team looked like with Bradford. With Rosen’s downfield passing ability has come an increased role for Kirk, who has now seen 13 targets over the past two games. He’s still more of a deep league option, but if Fitz were to miss any time, he’d become a must own player.

Cam Meredith-New Orleans Saints: It’s taken longer that expected for Meredith to recover from the season ending injury suffered last summer, but he does seem to be quietly rounding into form. The snap count and the targets are both trending in the right direction, but we still need to see what the offense looks like with another mouth to feed in Mark Ingram, who is coming off suspension this week.

Keke Coutee-Houston Texans: Pat Mahomes favorite target at Texas Tech, Coutee battled a hamstring injury throughout camp, which slowed his development. Many assumed he would eventually beat out Bruce Ellington for slot duties this season, with Fuller and Hopkins manning the outside. But Ellington is now on on IR and Fuller is nursing his own hamstring injury, all of which led to 15 targets in Coutee’s debut on Sunday. Hopkins is still the man here, but we know Fuller has been slow to recover in the past, meaning Coutee could pay immediate dividends as the number two target in the Texans offense.   

Marquez Valdes-Scantling: MVS saw three targets on Sunday, starting for Randall Cobb in the slot. With Geronimo Allison exiting the game with a concussion, his second in the past three seasons, and Randall Cobb looking questionable at best with a hamstring injury, Valdes-Scantling has been the most impressive of the Packers three rookie wideouts and would be the next man up in Green Bay. And we always like starting wideouts who get to play with Aaron Rodgers. The 6’ 4” Valdes-Scantling probably draws the better of the two matchups against the Lions next week, with Davante Adams seeing mostly Darius Slay, Valdes-Scantling would shift to the outside if Allison were to sit this one out.

Taywan Taylor-Tennessee Titans: Last week’s 9-6 victory at Jacksonville seems to be the type of street fight the Titans are relishing these days, but forced into more of a shootout by the Eagles in Week 4, Taylor was the number two receiver now that Rishard Matthews has departed. Dion Lewis still saw a heavy target load out of the backfield, but the fact that Corey Davis had a breakout 9-161-1 statline on 15 targets, and Taylor still managed to catch 7 balls for 77 yards is a good sign of potential things to come.

Tight End

Cameron Brate-Tampa Bay Buccaneers: The Bucs are on a bye this week, but when they return Jameis Winston is back under center. That’s good news for Brate, who has always thrived with Winston and struggled with Fitzmagic at the helm. And with O.J. Howard expected miss 2-4 weeks with a knee injury, Brate will have significant value for the next few weeks at a position that has pretty much been a dumpster fire all season.

Jeff Heuerman-Denver Broncos: He was heavily targeted in the Monday night affair with the Chiefs, but tight ends have shredded the Kansas City secondary all season so it’s possible that was just situational. He’s nothing more than a stash at the moment, but given the tight end injuries this season he may work is way into the weekly fantasy mix.    

Tyler Kroft-Cincinnati Bengals: Speaking of injuries, Tyler Eifert’s broken ankle will cost him the season, which is unfortunate given how well he was playing after battling back injuries the past two seasons. Kroft will split time with C.J. Uzomah, but has proven over the past few seasons that he can be a valuable weapon in the red zone. With John Ross battling a groin injury, Bengals tight ends could see a few extra looks in the coming weeks.

As always, this list is made up of players that are 30% owned or less in Yahoo leagues, and if you happen to be looking at a guy that falls above that threshold or can’t figure out why I left a player off the list, feel free to ping me on Twitter @rotocoach with any questions.

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