Free-agent Forecast: Week 5

Free-agent Forecast: Week 5

Roster Management

Free-agent Forecast: Week 5

By

Free-agent recommendations refer to 12-team league formats, unless specifically stated. FAAB $ amounts are based on a $100 budget.

Bye weeks: Detroit, Miami

(David Banks, USA TODAY Sports)

Quarterbacks

1-Week Plug & Play/grab & stash

Chase Daniel, Bears

A couple of caveats here: While Daniel isn’t going to be a fantasy savior, he has the skills and playmakers around him to warrant consideration in two-QB leagues or as a backup to cover byes. It looks like Mitchell Trubisky’s dislocated left shoulder will cost him at least Week 5 action. The Bears head to the United Kingdom to face Oakland in a favorable matchup. The trip overseas can be funky for fantasy purposes, so this one leans more to the stash side. Should Daniel play well, you’re ahead of the curve without having to find out to the contrary the hard way. There’s a reason he is one of the highest-paid backups in the league, and Daniel knows this system intimately from his time in Kansas City. Should he play well, stick with him if there’s a need for positional depth.

Availability: 97%
FAAB:
$1-2

Grab & Stash

Sam Darnold, Jets

Update: Darnold is at best 50/50 to return in Week 5 but remains a worthwhile stash for the reasons outlined below.

Darnold belongs on fantasy benches for depth purposes as we enter the heart of bye weeks. After the Eagles, it doesn’t get much easier — Dallas, New England, Jacksonville — before a cake schedule against Miami, the Giants, Washington, Oakland, Cincinnati, and Miami again. It’s quite possible gamers will be able to acquire him for no investment this week beyond a roster spot.

Availability: 50%
FAAB:
$0-1

(Thomas J. Russo, USA TODAY Sports)

Running Backs

Priority Free Agent

Jaylen Samuels, Steelers

While he was owned widely entering Week 4, a strong showing Monday night sends him into the upper echelon of waiver targets. Furthermore, the James Conner suffered an ankle injury that currently is being consider closer to minor than severe. On a short week, perhaps the coaching staff will rest Conner to avoid an injury similar to last year’s, which totally derailed his season. Check for Samuels in all formats to see if he is somehow still available.

Availability: 23%
FAAB:
$32-35

Benny Snell Jr., Steelers

If severe enough to cost time, Conner’s ankle injury would ascend the rookie into a prominent role. Snell is more of a powerback than Samuels, and it wouldn’t come as a surprise to see Snell take on the early-down work while ceding way to Samuels in passing situations. Snell warrants fantasy attention in most settings, and if we can learn the extent of Conner’s injury prior to waivers processing, it will go a long way in assessing how much to spend on Snell. Early reports are calling it a “tweak,” and Mike Tomlin is suggesting the rusher could be only limited in practice, rather than sitting. Don’t overspend in bidding leagues.

Availability: 96%
FAAB:
$4-6

Darrel Williams, Chiefs

Damien Williams sat out another contest and doesn’t appear particularly close to returning. Darrel Williams gets another inclusion in this space after his ownership rate increased only about 30 percentage points, on average. KC will continue to share the work between LeSean McCoy and the second-year Williams as long as the former Miami Dolphin Williams is on the mend. Indianapolis is the matchup on Sunday Night Football in Week 5, and Shady’s counterpart would make for a fine start once again.

Availability: 42%
FAAB:
$6-8

Jordan Wilkins, Colts

This one is predicated on the status of Marlon Mack’s ankle. The current terminology being bandied about is “tweaked,” and Mack felt like he could have returned. It doesn’t sound serious. Be prepared to add Wilkins regardless of whether you own Mack. Furthermore, even if No. 25 returns to action this week, his lack of durability is alarming. Wilkins will share time with third-down back Nyheim Hines in the event Mack sits. Indianapolis plays at Kansas City in Week 5 (favorable) and Week 6 bye. Houston and Denver are the Week 8 and 9 opponents, respectively. A bid of 5 to 6 percent of your overall cap is based on the idea Mack will not miss more than a game before the bye.

Availability: 73%
FAAB:
$5-6

grab & stash

Jay Ajayi, free agent

Purely speculative, but Ajayi is worthy of a low-cost addition in deeper leagues. He recently notified teams around the league that he is healthy. Given the volatility of the position, it would be wise to stash him before he lands on an NFL roster.

Availability: 79%
FAAB:
$1

Dumpster Dive

C.J. Prosise, Seahawks

It continues to be ugly as sin, but Prosise is touching the ball enough to matter with Rashaad Penny (hamstring) out. I can’t in good conscious recommend the former Golden Domer as a true waiver target. Look his way in the deepest of leagues or most desperate of situations. He scored in Week 4 on the ground but managed three carries for four yards total and didn’t catch a pass after being good for five receptions the prior week.

Availability: 80%
FAAB:
$0

(Mark J. Rebilas, USA TODAY Sports)

Wide Receivers

Priority Free Agent

Golden Tate, Giants

Tate is eligible to return to the Giants, and it’s worth a quick look to see if he is available on the wire. New York’s passing game will have ups and downs, as we’ve seen through two Daniel Jones starts, but there’s little reason the sure-handed PPR asset shouldn’t be owned.

Availability: 25%
FAAB:
$3-5

Geronimo Allison, Packers

Much like the Tate inclusion, this is a heads up to check your wire for Allison. He’s possibly available in shallow formats. Davante Adams is dealing with turf toe, which could sideline him and advance the slot receiver up the progression order.

Availability: 35%
FAAB:
$6-7

Jake Kumerow, Packers

Another waiver recommendation for Green Bay possibly losing Adams is Kumerow. However, the young receiver is also banged up. He sat out Weeks 3 and 4 but was much closer to playing vs. the Eagles with a questionable tag. Since the game was last Thursday, Kumerow has had extra time to recover. He has notable downfield ability and has made several splash plays in the preseason the past two years. He was dynamic in 2018’s first two exhibition contests before being lost for the season with an injury. Kumerow returned from the injury to score a 49-yard touchdown in late-season action. Take advantage of his general anonymity, particularly in casual leagues.

Availability: 25%
FAAB:
$2-4

1-Week Plug & Play

Keke Coutee, Texans vs. Falcons

Coutee saw three targets, securing one for 11 yards, in Week 4 after coming in following Kenny Stills’ hamstring injury. He also added 10 rushing yards. The young receiver played a season-high 40 snaps — plenty to matter in a similar role vs. the Falcons. Atlanta has allowed only 45 receptions but seven touchdowns so far, and five of those scores have come in the past two games. This being the same defense that made Marcus Mariota look like a star, while failing to sack him, which bodes well for Deshaun Watson seeing little pressure from a hapless front seven. Check on Stills’ status before inserting Coutee into a fantasy lineup.

Availability: 53%
FAAB:
$1-2

Antonio Callaway, Browns

Jarvis Landry was concussed after his big game in Week 4, and the timing couldn’t be much better for the return of the suspended Callaway. Cleveland heads to the Bay Area to take on the 49ers after a bye week. San Fran was beaten up in the secondary coming out of Week 3, and may be better rested, but this Browns offense has too many weapons to account for everyone. Callaway’s deep speed makes him a threat to score at any time. Starting CB Ahkello Witherspoon is out … last week Jason Verrett was burnt toast, so he’s conveniently “nicked up” and could miss Week 5. Emmanuel Moseley is expected to start opposite Richard Sherman as the Niners bring in veterans for tryouts this week. Callaway can move all over the field.

Availability: 73%
FAAB:
$1-2

1-Week Plug & Play/grab & stash

Mohamed Sanu, Falcons

Like several others on this week’s list, take a look for the veteran possession receiver on your league’s wire. He is unlikely to be available in competitive setups. In the first month of 2019, Sanu has topped 10 fantasy points in three-quarters of his games. The Falcons offensive line is a mess, requiring Matt Ryan to dump the ball quickly — a benefit to Sanu. Another plus is the consistent extra attention paid Julio Jones’ way. Houston has given up big days so far to opposing WR1s. Deploy Sanu in PPR if bye weeks and/or injuries are a problem.

Availability: 35%
FAAB:
$2-3

grab & stash

A.J. Brown, Titans

Pretty much each time a player scores two touchdowns over three receptions the reaction should be guarded. However, Tennessee’s offense is dying for someone to stand out, and the rookie is NFL-ready. Brown belongs on a roster, and there’s a reasonable argument he is a better fantasy option than Corey Davis. In Week 5, though, Tennessee has a brutal matchup against a Buffalo defense that has given up only one touchdown over 59 receptions to the position in 2019. Perhaps there is low-tier flex utility in PPR this week, but it’s best to snag Brown with the intention of keep him in reserve.

Availability: 53%
FAAB:
$2-3

Dontrelle Inman, Chargers

Provided his fourth-quarter quad injury proves to be minor, Inman will have immediate value for PPR gamers as long as the Chargers remain decimated by injuries. He knows the system, played 75 percent of the offensive snaps (even with the injury), and has the trust of Philip Rivers. LA was without TEs Hunter Henry and Virgil Green in Week 4, along with wideouts Mike Williams and Travis Benjamin. Monitor the status of all of these receiving options before investing in Inman. Given his leg injury, he’s worth no more than an inconsequential investment. It’s best to let waivers clear and snag him for no cost.

Availability: 95%
FAAB:
$0-1

(Brad Penner, USA TODAY Sports)

Tight Ends

Priority Free Agent

Jack Doyle, Colts

Doyle was included in this space last week, like Dissly, and he found the end zone against Oakland. While the veteran snagged only four balls for an uninspiring 22 yards, after missing so much time, it’s great to see him back in the mix for consecutive games. Doyle has played in every game this year, increasing his involvement the past two. He even survived a brutal helmet-to-helmet hit from Vontaze Burfict to remain in the game. Wideout T.Y. Hilton (quad) and RB Marlon Mack (ankle) facing injuries only increases the odds of Doyle seeing work near the stripe.

Availability: 49%
FAAB:
$4-5

1-week plug & play/Grab & Stash

James O’Shaughnessy, Jaguars

Purely a desperation move — because, let’s face it, this hasn’t been a banner year for tight ends — O’Shaughnessy warrants a look. The matchup is not ideal, so this recommendation is more one-sided based on his merits thus far. In four games, he has a pair of touchdowns and no fewer than 6.8 PPR points. While that doesn’t sound like a worthwhile waiver material, if you’re in a dire position of just wanting something … anything … from the lineup spot, Gardner Minshew’s lean checkdown deserves a look. Carolina rates as one of the toughest opponents of the position in 2019, so the hope here is another low-volume, cheap-TD output.

Availability: 99%
FAAB:
$0-1

grab & stash

Chris Herndon, Jets

New York returns from its bye week but will be without Herndon one more game. Check your wire to see if he is available as a stash for his Week 6 return to the field. The athletic playmaker has a chance to emerge as a weekly lineup fixture given the offense’s vertical struggles and a glaringly thin position across the league.

Availability: 50%
FAAB:
$1-2

Jesse James, Lions

Detroit is on a bye in Week 5, so this one comes down to whether there is room to stash James on your roster. Rookie tight end T.J. Hockenson suffered a shoulder injury and a concussion trying to hurdle Tyrann Mathieu in Week 4, and his timetable to return is uncertain. James is a quality blocker but an underrated receiving target, and he’ll be a fringe starting option as long as Hockenson is on the shelf.

Availability: 92%
FAAB:
$1-2

Kickers

Priority Free Agent

Josh Lambo, Jaguars

The veteran had made all six of his field goal attempts entering Week 4, spreading them an even two apiece. He banged four through the pipes vs. Denver and finished with two extra points. The Jaguars take on Carolina in Week 5, making Lambo a smooth fantasy choice. Jacksonville’s offense is just good to provide ample chances for three pointers.

Availability: 80%
FAAB:
$1

1-Week Plug & Play

Sam Ficken, Jets at Eagles

Philadelphia has permitted nine field goal attempts in four games. Seven have connected, and all 12 extra points have hit their mark. The Jets have been a kicker carousel in 2019, so don’t put tremendous confidence in Ficken’s accuracy. He should see enough opportunities to matter, however, and the Jets may have Sam Darnold back in Week 5. New York had a week off to prepare for the Eagles.

Availability: 78%
FAAB:
$0-1

Los Angeles Chargers kicker vs. Broncos

It really doesn’t matter much if it ends up being Michael Badgley or his replacement, punter Ty Long. This one is all about the matchup. Denver was a favorable opponent for kickers prior to Jacksonville’s Josh Lambo booting four field goals and a pair of extra points in Week 4. The Broncos allowed 8.3 fantasy points per game on a total of 6-for-7 field goals and a perfect seven extra points heading into that game. Don’t bother spending money or a waiver claim on either kicker, so wait until the first-come, first-served (FCFS) waivers open.

Availability: 81% (Badgley); 99% (Long)
FAAB:
$0 (FCFS) for both

Defense/Specials Teams

1-Week Plug & Play

Texans vs. Falcons

Matt Ryan has been sacked a modest 10 times through four games, but it is how he has been dropped that should be of note. In Week 1, Minnesota put him to the turf four times, and inferior pass rushes of Philadelphia and Indianapolis combined for one sack before the Titans took him down five times Sunday. Any recommendation against Atlanta comes with the warning for owners who play in leagues that penalize points against and/or yardage. With a battered offensive line and a penchant to pass, the Falcons are begging for Ryan to be sacked in excess once again.

Availability: 44%
FAAB:
$1

Bills at Titans

Buffalo harassed Tom Brady steadily throughout Week 4 play. The Bills didn’t actually sack Brady, but he was pressured on nearly 31 percent of his dropbacks, and he completed just 2-for-12 to gain 21 yards on those plays. Titans QB Marcus Mariota is arguably the streakiest quarterback in the game today, and his offensive line has allowed 17 sacks in four outings — including Atlanta failing to drop him in Week 4. Left tackle Taylor Lewan returns this week, but who knows if he’s rusty after a four-game suspension.

Availability: 49%
FAAB:
$1

THE LATEST

More Huddle
Home