Tue Sep 17 8:31am ET
By JEFF PAUR
Sr Fantasy Writer
Robinson has career game
Well, waiver wires will be busy this week after several key players, mostly quarterbacks, went down with an injury. Several fantasy teams will be scrambling a bit to fill the quarterback spot, but fear not, there are some quality options available. The position is deep and many players that can help are out there on waivers. Here are the top waiver wire options for Week 3. . . . .
Jacoby Brissett, Colts. Brissett is yet to throw for more than 200 yards in a game this year but has multiple touchdowns each of his first two games. And he did this against two very good defenses. He had a three-touchdown game last week against the Titans. The yards should start to come for Brissett in more favorable matchups, so he is a player to consider as a top fantasy backup. He has potential in this offense.
Teddy Bridgewater, Saints. Drew Brees is going to miss some time with his injury, leaving Bridgewater as the starter for the Saints. He didn’t look great in his first action last week but getting to practice full time as the starter will help in that area. He should get more comfortable, working with the first-team offense. This offense is very good, so Bridgewater could have some big games along the way as the starter.
Andy Dalton, Bengals. Dalton has two straight 300-yard games to start his season and multiple scores each of those games. He has attempted 93 passes in the Bengals suddenly pass-first offense. Dalton looks as good as ever in the new offense and has legit fantasy value as a streaming option for fantasy teams. He remains available in 56 percent of leagues.
Mason Rudolph, Steelers. Ben Roethilsberger is done for the season, needing surgery on his elbow. This leaves Rudolph as the starter for Pittsburgh. Rudolph was 12-of-19 for 112 yards and two touchdowns with an interception in relief of Roethilsberger last week. Rudolph might be a little erratic in his first NFL action, but he is a talented player, getting a chance to start in a good offense. He has the potential for the big game and could help fantasy teams as a streaming play.
Case Keenum, Redskins. Keenum has multiple scores each of his first two games. He has five touchdowns without an interception for the season. The Redskins have trouble running the ball, so this offense is going to be pass first much of the season. This bodes well for Keenum to post some solid numbers. He can help as a streamer for fantasy teams and remains available in 78 percent of leagues.
Raheem Mostert, 49ers. Mostert got a bigger role in the offense last week because of the injury to Tevin Coleman and took advantage of the increased workload. He had a great showing, rushing 13 times for 83 yards. And he caught three passes for 68 yards and a touchdown, giving him 151 total yards in the game. He is available in 64 percent of leagues. As long as Coleman is out, Mostert has value as a flex play for fantasy teams.
Peyton Barber, Bucs. Barber had a huge workload last week and did pretty well with his chances. He ran 23 times for 82 yards and a touchdown. He continues to have a pretty firm grip on the starter’s job, running ahead of Ronald Jones. Barber is owned in a lot of leagues but still available in 33 percent. He is worth grabbing if you need running back depth.
Frank Gore, Bills. Gore continues to start for the Bills and had 21 touches in the game last week. He had 83 total yards and a touchdown. Rookie Devin Singletary continues to impress with his chances, but injured his hamstring last week. He could miss some time or be limited because of the injury. This could give Gore even more work. He could have some fantasy value in the coming weeks and remains available in 66 percent of leagues.
Justin Jackson, Chargers. Jackson has eerily similar numbers the first two games, rushing for 57 yards in Week 1 and 59 yards last week. Jackson isn’t getting a huge workload but around double-digit touches and doing well with his work. He is another good depth player and available 28 percent of leagues.
Demarcus Robinson, Chiefs. Robinson will be the top pickup on waivers this week. He was the top benefactor of the Tyreek Hill injury, getting a chance to start in the Chiefs high-powered offense. Robinson had a career game, catching six passes for 172 yards and two touchdowns. He has obvious value as a starter in this offense, so if you need some short-term help at receiver, Robinson is a player to consider grabbing this week.
D.J. Chark, Jaguars. Chark continued his potential breakout season, scoring a touchdown for the second straight games. He had seven receptions on nine targets and has 11 receptions in two games. He is going to get his targets in an offense that isn’t afraid to air it out. Chark remains available 57 percent of leagues.
Deebo Samuel, 49ers. Samuel had his best game as a pro in Week 2, catching five passes for 87 yards and a touchdown. You could see why the 49ers are so high on their young receiver. Samuel is an exciting talent that could emerge as the go-to receiver in the 49ers pass-heavy offense. He remains available in 71 percent of leagues.
Cole Beasley, Bills. Beasley has nine receptions in two games and had 83 yard last week. The most important stat for Beasley, though, is his targets. He has been targeted 13 times in two games. Beasley is getting his weekly looks and should be a consistent factor all year in this Bills offense. He has some value in PPR formats, getting his catches.
Terry McLaurin, Redskins. This might be the last week you can grab McLaurin in your leagues. He is out there in 23 percent of leagues. He followed a big opener with another solid game last week, catching fire passes for 62 yards and a touchdown on nine targets. McLaurin is the top receiving option in the Redskins pass-first offense and seems on his way to a very good rookie season.
Nelson Agholor, Eagles. The Eagles are all beat up at receiver, leaving Agholor as maybe top option in the passing game the next few weeks. After the starters went down with injury last week, Agholor led the way at receiver. He had eight receptions for 107 yards and a touchdown on 11 targets. He will still drop some passes but has obvious potential as the No. 1 receiver in this offense.
Devin Smith, Cowboys. The injury to Michael Gallup opens the door for Smith to grab some more playing time the next few weeks. Smith had three receptions for 74 yards and a touchdown in extended work last week. He showed some ability and why he was a second-round pick a few years back. Smith could be a good short-term fix for fantasy teams.
Greg Olsen, Panthers. Olsen seems back to health and is producing near his old self. He had a 100-yard game last week, catching six passes for 110 yards. He has been targeted 18 times in two games, showing he remains one of Cam Newton’s favorite targets in the passing game. Olsen isn’t available in a ton of leagues, but out there in 30 percent.
Will Dissly, Seahawks. Dissly had a two-touchdown game last week. He caught five passes for 50 yards and two scores. Dissly showed some potential for big things last year but couldn’t stay healthy. If he can stay on the field this year, Dissly could have some big games along the way. He is worth a look as a streaming tight end.
Jeff Paur is a two-time finalist for FSWA Fantasy Football Writer of the Year and won the FSWA award for Best Fantasy Football Article on the Web in 2011. He also was the most accurate expert in 2012, winning the FSTA Fantasy Football Accuracy Award. If you have any questions for Jeff, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Jeff on Twitter @jeffpaur.
May 14th: Draft Values
Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said that quarterback Lamar Jackson must make defenses pay if they stack the box against the Ravens offense in 2020. "Those corners are going to be one-on-one and those safeties are going to be one-on-one against receivers, especially on some downfield throws, and we got to make them pay for it. We absolutely have to make them pay," Harbaugh said. Jackson led the league with 36 touchdown passes in the NFL's highest-scoring offense in 2019, also setting an NFL record for rushing yards for a QB with 1,206 on his way to MVP honors. At age 22, he was the youngest QB to win the award. But on throws that traveled at least 15 yards, Jackson ranked 27th in completions (35) and 22nd in completion rate (43.8 percent). He certainly has the arm to make teams pay, and it would be good news for second-year wideouts Marquise Brown and Miles Boykin if Jackson takes the next step as a deep thrower. Even if Jackson runs less than he did a year ago, he should be either the first or second QB selected in fantasy drafts.
Kansas City Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones hasn't had much traction with the team on a contract extension, but both sides still have until July 15 to work something out. Jones has yet to sign his franchise tender, but he's kept in touch with the Chiefs during the virtual offseason program, according to sources. The market for high-end defensive tackles like Jones is $20-plus-million per season. The 25-year-old former second-round selection in 2016 has racked up 33 sacks in his four seasons with the Chiefs, including 14.5 the last two years. He was a Pro Bowler in 2019 for the first time in his career and should be considered a top-20 defensive lineman in IDP formats.
Baltimore Ravens linebacker Matt Judon signed his one-year franchise tender on Thursday, according to a source. The one-year deal will carry a value of $16.27 million in 2020. The Ravens and Judon still have until July 15 to work out a long-term extension, but that's unlikely to happen considering the Ravens initially tagged Judon with the possibility of trading him. The former fifth-round pick in 2016 has 135 solo tackles, 45 tackles for loss, 82 QB hits, 28.5 sacks, eight passes defensed and seven forced fumbles in his four seasons. Judon was a Pro Bowler in 2019 when he had a career-high 9.5 sacks, 14 tackles for loss and 33 QB hits. He'll be entering his age-28 season in 2020.
New York Jets quarterback Joe Flacco (neck) says that he is embracing his new role as the backup quarterback to Sam Darnold. He says that his job is to help the team get better and to help a young quarterback see things as clearly as possible. Flacco started the first eight games for the Denver Broncos before suffering a season-ending neck injury. He still believes he can be a starting quarterback in the league, but understands his new role with the Jets.
Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins expects to put up numbers in the team's pass-happy offense under head coach Kliff Kingsbury in his first season in 2020. "So myself, being a receiver, of course I see my stats going up. ... But I definitely see myself having one of my more productive seasons," Hopkins said. He also said he hasn't met up with quarterback Kyler Murray yet, but he plans on getting together with him and the other receivers "soon." Arizona has plenty of aerial weapons in an attack that will feature a lot of four-wide sets, but Nuk will be the No. 1 option for a young QB with a ton of potential. He's consistently one of the most efficient fantasy wideouts on a yearly basis and is a no-doubt top-five fantasy receiver for drafts this fall.
The Carolina Panthers agreed to terms on an undisclosed one-year deal with cornerback Eli Apple on Thursday. Apple agreed with the Raiders earlier in free agency, but the Raiders backed out of the deal and put Apple back on the open market. The 10th overall pick in 2016 by the Giants, Apple failed to live up to his draft billing in two-plus seasons in the Big Apple, and he was underwhelming in 15 games for the Saints last year (53 solo tackles, no interceptions, four passes defensed). But with Donte Jackson and Corn Elder currently set as the two starting corners on the outside, Apple should see plenty of playing time for a Carolina secondary with plenty of questions.
Baltimore Ravens running back Justice Hill played sparingly during his rookie season last year. Hill finished the year with just 66 touches after getting stuck behind Mark Ingram II and Gus Edwards. The Ravens added to their crowded running back room in the 2020 NFL draft when they used a second-round pick on J.K. Dobbins. That leaves an unclear role for Hill in 2020. Head coach John Harbaugh is still high on Hill, however, stating that he expects the sophomore runner to make a big jump. He also went on to tell reporters that there is a role for all four runners in Baltimore. Hill remains a deep dynasty stash but he may not be fantasy relevant until 2021 when Ingram is presumably out of the picture.
The Las Vegas Raiders re-signed tight end Paul Butler to an undisclosed deal on Thursday. In a corresponding move, tight end Nick O'Leary (undisclosed) was placed on the Reserve/Non-Football Injury list. Butler hasn't appeared in a regular season game in two years in the NFL with the Raiders and Lions. O'Leary was signed as a free agent after catching 13 passes for 109 yards and a touchdown in 12 games (five starts) with the Jaguars and Dolphins in 2019. He was buried on the tight end depth chart to begin with, behind Darren Waller, Jason Witten and Foster Moreau. Las Vegas also has Derek Carrier and rookie Nick Bowers at the position.
Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew II has impressed new offensive coordinator Jay Gruden with his work during the virtual offseason program. Gruden likes how Minshew has taken charge and seems to have a good grasp of the offense. "He has shown a skill set where he can sit in a pocket, step up, make things happen outside the pocket. He's accurate, he's tough and obviously he's a great leader, so he's got the intangibles you want in a quarterback," Gruden said. The sixth-round pick went 6-6 as a starter in his rookie season and had the highest passer rating and fewest interceptions among rookie QBs in 2019. The 24-year-old took the league by storm last year out of nowhere and has the ability to make things happen outside the pocket and with his legs, as he rushed for 344 yards in 2019. All things considered, though, Minshew is a low-end QB2 that will likely see more inconsistency in his second season.
Green Bay Packers head coach Matt LaFleur is looking for his offense to find more explosive plays under quarterback Aaron Rodgers in 2020, the coach admitted on ESPN Wisconsin's Wilde & Tausch. The Packers ranked 19th in explosive-play rate in 2019, according to Sharp Football Stats. However, other than free-agent addition Devin Funchess in the passing game, the Packers didn't really give Rodgers any added help outside of receiver Davante Adams and running back Aaron Jones. It will be on LaFleur to scheme up more explosive situations this year, but it definitely helps to have Rodgers throwing the passes, even if he's getting older. What's certain is that the Packers will need someone besides Adams and Jones to step up for Rodgers to hold off the naysayers.
San Francisco 49ers left tackle Trent Williams agreed to a restructured deal in the final year of his contract in 2020. Williams is due to make $12.5 million this year, but the 49ers agreed to give him some of that up front after he didn't make any money in 2019. The Redskins traded Williams to San Francisco during the draft in April, where he'll immediately become the blind-side protector for quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo after not playing at all last season. Even though Williams will turn 32 years old in July, the seven-time Pro Bowler is an immediate upgrade for the team's offensive line and should continue to be one of the better left tackles in the NFL.
Arizona Cardinals All-Pro linebacker Chandler Jones has more sacks and forced fumbles than any defender since he entered the league in 2012, and his 96 sacks through eight seasons are four more than Bruce Smith, the all-time sacks leader, at the same point in his career. Jones was one of two players in NFL history in 2019 to have 19-plus sacks and eight-plus forced fumbles in a single season. He's been really good, but he wants to work on improving against the run, his eye placement and his hand work. Jones plans to spend more practice time with the defensive line so that he can get more comfortable playing between the tackles. The two-time All-Pro and member of the league's 2010s All-Decade team can certainly get to the QB, but he'll need to improve his tackling numbers in order to justify his high price in IDP leagues.
Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson said he hasn't really had any contract talks with the team as he enters the final year of his current deal. "I feel I have a lot to prove," Peterson said. He also said he would love to stay with one team in his career and praised the organization. The 29-year-old was suspended for the first six games of 2019 and was a bit rusty upon his return. He finished with 53 tackles (46 solo), two interceptions, seven passes defensed and one forced fumble in his 10 games. The Cardinals have potential on defense with some playmakers in the middle of the field, but they'll need Peterson to return to his All-Pro form in order to make some noise in a loaded NFC West division.
The Philadelphia Eagles are interested in both running backs Devonta Freeman and LeSean McCoy, who remain free agents. The Eagles offered a contract to Carlos Hyde before he signed with the Seahawks. Freeman also received an offer, but he's also weighing another offer from the Buccaneers. Philly has yet to make an offer to McCoy. The Eagles would like a veteran presence behind Miles Sanders as he heads into his second NFL season, with Boston Scott as his current backup. Both Freeman and McCoy are past their prime, but they could be effective in spurts while spelling Sanders behind a solid offensive line. Freeman would probably have more fantasy appeal as a handcuff on early downs and in goal-line situations.
Las Vegas Raiders linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski started eight games last season for the Bears before signing a three-year, $21 million deal with the Raiders this offseason to become a full-time starter. A fourth-round pick in 2016, Kwiatkoski played a bit role his first three years, but the 27-year-old showed off his abilities when he was granted more playing time in 2019 due to injuries to the position. He had 76 tackles (eight for loss), three sacks, one forced fumble and an interception while impressing as a blitzer, against the run and in coverage. Kwiatkoski will be asked to be the leader of Las Vegas' linebacking corps in 2020, and it's something he's very comfortable with. The middle of the Raiders defense has been a problem spot for a while, so they're hoping Kwiatkoski's addition will change that.
Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott was accurate on only 60.9 percent of his throws with three receivers running a route in 2019. However, that mark increased to 81.8 percent when he had four pass-catchers available to him and 79.3 percent with five receivers running a route.
Las Vegas Raiders QB Derek Carr was 72.3 percent accurate on his throws in the fourth quarter of games in 2019 - the best such mark of any qualified quarterback last season.
Free-agent defensive end Jadeveon Clowney is in no rush to sign with a team, according to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero. The Browns and Seahawks have made offers to Clowney and the Titans have also been monitoring him, but he's in no hurry to sign with anyone. The former No. 1 overall pick is by far the biggest name still on the free-agent market. His slow market also has to do with teams wanting a physical for the six-year pro after he underwent offseason surgery for a core muscle injury that limited him to 11 starts in 2019 with Seattle. Cleveland apparently has been the most aggressive for Clowney, but it remains to be seen if he'll choose them. Clowney's sack numbers aren't impressive, but he is still plenty disruptive as a pass-rusher when he's healthy.
Houston Texans WR Will Fuller finished with 670 receiving yards in 2019 - the second-highest total for a player who played fewer than 12 games last season - although more than half of that total (357 yards) came in two of his 11 contests.
Baltimore Ravens QB Lamar Jackson finished 19-for-25 and threw for 12 touchdowns against Cover-0 coverage - an all-out blitz with man coverage and no deep safety - in 2019.