Quarterbacks – On top of the running back injuries, we saw Derek Carr and Marcus Mariota both go down this week. Mariota’s injury appears to be a day to day hamstring injury, but even if he plays this week, his upside may be capped if he’s unable to use his legs effectively. Derek Carr on the other hand was most likely drafted to be your starter and the initial reports out of Oakland are that he broke a bone in his back and may miss 2-6 weeks. Carr and Mariota owners, however, aren’t the only people who may be searching for a QB to start this week with Matt Ryan, Trevor Siemian, Kurt Cousins and Drew Brees all on bye, 3 of which are likely fantasy starters in your league. With 5 usual starters out or limited for week 5, we need to dig deep to see who possible replacements could be.
Josh McCown – QB NY Jets – McCown is at Cleveland this week and the Jets host New England in week 6. If you lost Carr and are desperate for a QB, McCown is a decent streaming option for at least the first two weeks. The waiver wire may be barren by now especially with bye weeks starting, making it a little harder to stream, meaning you need to dig just a little bit deeper. For a team who was believed to be tanking 2017, the Jets haven’t looked terrible so far sitting at 2-2.
Sam Bradford – QB Minnesota Vikings – If Bradford can return this week he will do so at Chicago and he will host the Packers the following week. Even if Bradford cannot play, Case Keenum has some fantasy appeal in both of these matchups.
Jacoby Brissett – QB Indianapolis Colts – Brissett and the Colts host the 49ers this week and are at Tennessee week 6. Luck figures to be out at least another 2 weeks and when you couple the matchup with Brissett’s running ability, he may come through for you.
Wide Receivers – The wide receiver position didn’t see too many role changes or injuries this week, however, there are a few situations around the league that warrant your attention.
Donte Moncrief – WR Indianapolis Colts – Moncrief is owned in only 50% of Yahoo leagues because his value is almost nonexistent without Luck. If you need some help at wide receiver, go snag him now, because if you wait until the week that Luck makes his comeback to snag him, it will be too late.
Justin Hardy – WR Atlanta Falcons – Hardy is owned in 0% of Yahoo leagues and if Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu miss any time, Hardy might be Matt Ryan’s #1 target on a temporary basis. Sanu is likely to miss 2-3 weeks while Julio may not miss any time. If you are a Julio owner and don’t have depth at the wide receiver position, you may want to add Hardy as insurance. The Falcons are on bye this week so you shouldn’t have too much competition for Hardy during this waiver run. However, if you wait until next week to add Hardy and reports on Julio aren’t positive, you will be competing with a lot of people for Hardy’s services.
Mike Williams – WR LA Chargers – Owned in only 7% of leagues, he will be making his return soon. If the Chargers continue to struggle they may look to throw Williams into the mix looking for some juice. If your league has an IR spot, pick him up now and stash him until he’s active. If you do pick him up, wait until his snap counts exceed 50% before you consider rolling him out there.
Cole Beasley – WR Dallas Cowboys – Beasley is owned in only 25% of leagues and the Packers are horrible against slot receivers. Look for week 5 to be a Beasley week.
Breshad Perriman – WR Baltimore Ravens – Only owned in 5% of leagues and the Ravens play Oakland in week 5. The Raiders have been horrible against opposing wide receivers and this may be the week that Flacco connects with Perriman on a deep shot. However, Flacco is very shaky right now, so you should only consider picking up Perriman if you have room. Keep in mind, if Flacco is able to pick up his play, Perriman has elite physical talent at the receiver position and could be a stud.
Trent Taylor – WR SF 49ers – Taylor is owned in 0% of leagues and they play the Colts this week. He has seen 14 targets over the last 2 weeks including 10 targets this past week against the Cardinals. Taylor appears to be picking up steam and is a player worth considering if the 49ers face an opponent with a corner capable of shutting down Pierre Garcon.
Running Back – Week 4 was brutal for running backs. The Seahawks backfield finally looked like it had some clarity to it, and then Chris Carson went down with a broken ankle, muddying those waters in the process. Dalvin Cook had exploded onto the fantasy scene weeks 1 through 3 and went down with a torn ACL on Sunday. Ty Montgomery broke some ribs on Thursday night and his status is now up in the air for the immediate future. There is just so much uncertainty floating around at the running back position lately, you really need to stay on top of your roster and turn your bottom bench spots to make sure you have viable options in case you lose a starter no matter how safe you think you are. That being said, there were a few guys who got a little banged up this week on top of the long term injuries and it’s time to monitor their backups now before you lose your stud and get involved in a bidding war for the backup later down the road.
Branden Oliver – RB LA Chargers – Melvin Gordon did not look good this week, so if you are a Gordon owner, go get Oliver now while he’s still available. Austin Ekeler got 3 touches in week 4 and did score, but Oliver is built more like an every down back, and if Gordon were to go down, Oliver would be the primary ball carrier. If you wait until Gordon goes down to try and add Oliver, it will most likely be too late.
Elijah McGuire – RB NY Jets – Last week I was sleeping at the wheel and forgot to mention McGuire in my waiver wire piece. McGuire was a popular add last week, but he’s still only owned in 2% of leagues. Go get him if he’s still out there, because Bilal Powell can’t handle a full workload for long, and if McGuire continues to impress the Jets may roll with him over Forte even when Forte is healthy.
Gio Bernard – RB Cincinnati Bengals – Bernard is only owned in 19% of Yahoo leagues and the fact is he still has a role in the Bengals offense even though Mixon has taken over as the primary ball carrier. Bernard is not going to get a ton of touches every week, but there are worse options out there if you are in a pinch.
Aaron Jones – RB Green Bay Packers – Jones is only owned in 11% of Yahoo leagues and depending on how much time Jamaal Williams and Ty Montgomery miss, Jones may offer some temporary juice to your lineup.
Alvin Kamara – RB New Orleans Saints – The Saints are on bye this week. Monitor the waiver wire for him because you simply never know, somebody might drop him because they are in a bye week pinch, especially in leagues with limited bench spots. Kamara is most likely owned in more savvy leagues, but if he’s still out there, get him now, he may be a league winner if he starts playing more snaps.
Wayne Gallman – RB NY Giants – Gallman is owned in only 2% of leagues and is fresh off a week 4 performance where he touched the ball 13 times. Gallman definitely had more pop to his step than the other Giants backs, so it will be interesting to see if he takes the job and never looks back.
Latavius Murray – RB Minnesota Vikings – Only owned in 15% of Yahoo leagues. Murray isn’t exactly a game breaker and does have durability issues of his own, but McKinnon is hurt and Murray is literally Minnesota’s only option right now. Things seem to change on a week to week basis at the running back position, especially this year, but if you are in need for a running back, you may want to go all in and get Murray. The fact is with Murray, you have an opportunity to pluck a running back off waivers who figures to get most of the work in Minnesota and those opportunities don’t come around every week.
D’Onta Foreman – RB Houston Texans – Foreman is owned in only 28% of leagues and coming off a week where we saw Lamar Miller explode, you need to remember that Foreman still saw 13 touches against the Titans. I believe after week 3, people were wondering if the Texans were starting to move towards Foreman more than Miller. The wind might have blown Miller’s way this week, but don’t punt on Foreman just yet, and if he gets dropped in your league, snag him.
Alfred Morris – RB Dallas Cowboys – Only owned in 6% of Yahoo leagues, Morris needs to be owned in the event Zeke Elliott is suspended.
Marlon Mack – RB Indianapolis Colts – Mack is only owned in 6% of leagues and when Luck gets back the Colts offense will have more juice. You should only consider adding Mack in deeper leagues with a lot of bench spots. Frank Gore is still getting the job done in Indy but he simply isn’t explosive anymore and at some point the Colts may want to see what they have in Mack.
Tight End – The tight end position has really frustrated most fantasy owners in 2017. At this point, you either have one or you don’t and if you don’t you are most likely willing to take a stab at a low owned, high upside guy. Here are two guys that may be able to help you out this week.
Evan Engram – TE NY Giants – Engram is a wide receiver playing the tight end position and saw 11 targets last week. At some point, Engram will break out for a huge fantasy week. He’s still available in 53% of Yahoo leagues so if you’re struggling with the likes of Eric Ebron or Coby Fleener, it may be time to punt on them and snag Engram.
Cameron Brate – TE Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Brate is only owned in 50% of Yahoo leagues and the Bucs play the Patriots this week who have been giving up points to seemingly ever position at an alarming rate this year. Brate is coming fresh off a big game against the Giants where he scored and is a good bet to do so again on Thursday night.
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