Each week, CPGM writer itsharristime will be letting you know who to “buy or bye” for your upcoming fantasy week. These are players that are owned in less than 50% of Yahoo leagues. Scoring is based on full point PPR.
Now that the first Bye-Weeks have came and gone, heading into Week 5 it’s time to look long and hard at your fantasy team. Is your team a contender or a pretender? A talented squad in late August could easily be 1-3 and you’re asking yourself “where did it all go so horribly wrong?”. Don’t worry, I’m here to help.
Help is on the way with this week’s “Buy or Bye” column where we look at sleeper candidates coming off of Week 4 Byes, injury returns, and, those bad boys coming off of suspension. It’s a good time to be alive in fantasy football, and think about this: some smart adds, a trade or two and a healthy player returning to your active roster could help ensure your team wins a couple of games in a row. Just like that, you are back in contention and Thanksgiving is back on for the family. And everyone love’s Thanksgiving, so make sure you are active on the waiver wire this week!
Let’s take a look at who I’m “buying” and saying “bye” to for Week 5.
Buy – Sam Darnold, 13% Owned, New York Jets
The start to the Jets season has gone as predicted with losses to the Bills, Browns and Patriots. What wasn’t expected was 2nd year QB Sam Darnold being diagnosed with mononucleosis after Week 1.
Mono can be contracted two different ways from what I remember from being a athlete for the majority of my life. It is my hope that Darnold was hitting the weight room and training facilities too hard, and being a young guy, picked up the virus from unsanitary conditions. Darnold doesn’t strike me as the kind of guy that would contract the virus from an NYC night club. But, alas, New York City does strange things to normal men.
Darnold’s return to New York football is believed to be as early as Week 5 vs the Philadelphia Eagles. The Jets, post a Week 4 Bye could potentially look like a brand new team, and, this could mark the resurgence of a squad that many believed would challenge for 2nd place in the AFC East.
Why is there such optimism around the Jets post Week 4 Bye?
Let’s look first at the weapons at Darnold’s disposal. LeV’eon Bell has shown no sign of rust after being off last season. His vision, and ability to be an outlet for QB’s and Bell’s usage has been clear through 3 games. Jamison Crowder is the outlet receiver we all wanted him to be in Washington but had been constantly sidelined with injuries. Breakout TE Chris Herndon returns from suspension in Week 6. Robby Anderson has had the toughest corner matchups through 3 Weeks, but remains a deep ball threat with an impressive amount of air yards accumulated with less than stellar QB play. The weapons are there for a healthy Darnold to ascend.
Then let’s look at the Darnold himself. Darnold showed flashes in his rookie season with strong pocket poise and an ability to lock onto WR Robby Anderson and TE Chris Herndon. Returning from a foot sprain in Week 14 saw Darnold lead the Jets to two impressive wins in Week 15-16, and, through the last 3 weeks of the season, he was QB #9 in fantasy points per game. Darnold is a zero in the rushing game, but he gets the job done with his arm and he has additional weapons at his disposal to build off of his rookie campaign.
If you don’t love Darnold the QB, then, there must be something about the Jets schedule going forward. Having already got two tough divisional games out of the way to start the season vs the Patriots and Bills, PFF ranks the Jets schedule as one of the most friendly to QB’s. Here are some of the games coming up that catch my eye: Week 5 vs Eagles, Week 8 vs Jaguars, Week 9 vs Dolphins, Week 10 vs Giants, Week 11 vs Redskins, Week 12 vs Raiders, Week 13 vs Bengals and Week 14 vs Dolphins. This is an incredible slate of games for Darnold, and, if he is healthy and builds off his rookie season, you could be looking at a top 10 QB for 2019.
I’m buying Darnold while there is still speculation about his return, and, the chances of the Jets winning a game in 2019.
Other Quarterbacks I’m Buying on the Waiver Wire –
- Jacoby Brissett, 35% Owned, Indianpolis Colts
- Derek Carr, 25% Owned, Oakland Raiders
- Kyle Allen, 17% Owned, Carolina Panthers
- Andy Dalton, 19% Owned, Cincinnati Bengals
- Gardner Minshew, 14% Owned, Jacksonville Jaguars
Bye – Marcus Mariota, 11% Owned, Tennessee Titans
I get it. The QB position is desperate with key injuries to starters across the NFL.
But folks, we aren’t desperate enough to add Mariota, let alone start him.
Don’t chase last week’s production and breakout performances from Corey Davis and AJ Brown. This production given Mariota’s history is unsustainable. Without unlocking his legs in the running game, Mariota cannot be trusted as a weekly starter, and, there are better bye week fill ins available than Mariota.
With a match-up against one of the toughest secondaries in the league in Buffalo, Mariota is an easy fade this week.
I’m waving bye to Mariota and not buying his QB #7 performance in Week 4.
Buy – Ronald Jones II, 43% Owned, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
It no longer can be avoided: we need to add Ronald Jones to our rosters.
The Buccaneers have been maligned for this pick since Jones was drafted in 2018 at 2.06, the 5th running back off the board. With a largely successful draft class in front of him (Barkley, Michel, Chubb), Jones has not lived up to his 2nd round draft pedigree.
Criticized for his game shape coming into his rookie season, Jones needed to regain the trust of the Buccaneers and this is an ongoing project with new coach Bruce Arians. Arians has yet to give Jones bell-cow usage, even though putting up an impressive YPC through limited usage in 4 games. At 4.35 YPC, and a 100% catch rate in the pass game, the arrow is pointing up for Jones. Through the start of the season, Jones is the top graded RB according to PFF.
Having showed up in shape, and being extremely effective given the opportunities allowed to him in the high octane Tampa offense, Jones is ready to take over this backfield.
I’m buying all the Jones that I can as another strong performance and he will not be available in your leagues. I’d also start floating trade offers to Jones owners who aren’t yet believers.
Other Running Backs I’m Buying on the Waiver Wire –
- Alexander Mattison, 25% Owned, Minnesota Vikings
- Rex Burkhead, 24% Owned, New England Patriots
- Malcolm Brown, 38% Owned, Los Angeles Rams
- Jaylen Samuels, 29% Owned, Pittsburgh Steelers
Bye – Justin Jackson, 19% Owned, Los Angeles Chargers
Even with the news of a Melvin Gordon return, I was hopeful for Jackson to be in a smash spot vs the Dolphins in Week 4.
Sidelined by a calf injury in the week leading up to the Dolphins match has made Jackson a drop across all formats minus dynasty.
Jackson was one of my top drafted RB’s and it hurts to wave good-bye. Barring an injury to Ekeler or Gordon, Jackson should not be owned in 12 team leagues.
Till next time Justin Jackson.
Buy – Jamison Crowder, 45% Owned, New York Jets
This week’s “Buy or Bye” marks the first time tha tthere are two players highlighted from the same team. Post bye and with the return of their starting QB, the Jets are ready for lift off.
Crowder was a favorite add after Week 1 where he saw an incredible 17 targets and put up 24.4 fantasy points.
Crowder when healthy has been a solid fantasy contributor. In PPR, Crowder has a lifetime average of 10.5 fantasy points per game. When healthy, he’s been a bankable asset for fantasy teams at the WR position.
Arguably, Darnold might be the most talented QB Crowder has played with, and, it was clear in Week 1 that there was a clear chemistry with the slot receiver.
I’m confident in Crowder to put up WR2 numbers and to be a reliable outlet weapon for a healthy Sam Darnold going forward.
I’m buying Crowder and the entire New York Jets offense. Wheels up baby!
Other Wide Receivers I’m Buying on the Waiver Wire –
- Golden Tate, 49% Owned, New York Jets
- Deebo Samuel, 26% Owned, San Francisco 49ers
- AJ Brown, 10% Owned, Tennessee Titans
- Keke Coutee, 18% Owned, Houston Texans
Bye – Antonio Brown, F/A
This isn’t a disgruntled Steelers fan trying to rub salt into the current gaping wound that is Antonio Brown’s career. It’s just time to cut your losses and drop AB and use that valuable roster spot on someone who can contribute immediately on your team. Or, someone who can in the near future and help you win a fantasy championship.
The talent of Brown is undeniable. His off the field decision making however is extremely questionable, and “Mr Big Chest” continues to battle with anyone on social media who will engage.
Trust me, you’ll sleep better with Jamison Crowder on your roster than worrying about AB signing with a new team.
Good-bye AB, I wish you all the best in your academic endeavors at Central Michigan. I hope you find what you are looking for!
Buy – Dawson Knox, 14% Owned, Buffalo Bills
Knox was a popular late round pick in many dynasty rookie drafts this spring and early summer. And for good reason: Knox put up an 85 percentile speed score in the 40 yard dash combined with strong workout metrics across the board.
Considered a “raw” talent, Knox put up 13.4 YPR at Ole Miss, and, until Week 3, had not caught a TD since high school.
It has become clear that there is good chemistry with QB Josh Allen, and Knox has shown an ability for a big catch/play in the early going of this season.
What you’ve got to like even more than Knox’s athletic profile is the Bills upcoming schedule where they face the Titans, Dolphins, Eagles, Redskins, Browns, and then the Dolphins again. In that order. Now is the time to buy Knox before he faces a Titans team that has given up the 5th most points to the TE position.
Other Tight Ends I’m Buying on the Waiver Wire:
- Chris Herndon, 16% Owned, New York Jets
- Ricky Seals-Jones, 1% Owned, Cleveland Browns
- Noah Fant, 11% Owned, Denver Broncos
- Ben Watson, 3% Owned, New England Patriots
- Dallas Goedert, 10% Owned, Philadelphia Eagles
Bye – Kyle Rudolph, 40% Owned, Minnesota Vikings
In the off-season, there was some hope that Rudolph would be traded to TE friendly team like the New England Patriots.
That did not happen, instead, the Vikings signed up to a 3-year deal to help mentor and nurture 2nd rounder Irv Smith Jr, who has flashed in limited usage through 4 games.
Overall, the passing game for the Vikings has been lack lustrer captained by Kirk “Just A Guy” Cousins in a run heavy scheme.
If desperate for TE and Rudolph is on your roster, I’d hold onto him for a plus match-up vs. the Giants in Week 5. I’d be cautiously optimistic of a break-out performance and there are just better season-long options at TE than the 40% owned Rudolph.
Watch him in Week 5, and, if another sub-5 point performance ensues, I’m waving bye to Rudolph.
Defensive Buy of the Week
Buy – San Francisco 49ers vs Cleveland Browns
Oh how quickly we forget. The 49ers were one of the top scoring D/ST through 3 games before going on Bye in Week 4.
Richard Sherman seems to be drinking from the fountain of youth, and the pass rush led by rookie Nick Bosa seems to be a force to be reckoned with.
In Week 5 the 49ers are up against the Cleveland Browns who showed marked improvement in Week 4 vs the Ravens. I’m not totally buying the turn around in Ohio, and the 49ers should be well rested to exploit a leaky Cleveland O-Line at home.
The 49ers D/ST also have a strong schedule going forward with match-ups vs the Browns, Rams, Redskins, Panthers, and the Cardinals x2.
Remember, through 3 weeks the 49ers D/ST was averaging 13.67 points a game, trailing only the seemingly unstoppable New England D/ST.
I’m buying all that Golden Gate goodness I can get.
Rainy Day Stash– Dexter Williams, RB, Green Bay Packers
Matt LaFleur hasn’t seemed to learn from his time last year in Tennessee. It took him until Week 14 to understand the talent of RB Derrick Henry, and, the importance of a heavy workload for the talented back.
I’m not sure what LaFleur’s “eureka” moment was in Tennessee that allowed Henry to become a top 5 RB from Weeks 14-17. But it’s clear that his Einstein insight into the importance of giving touches to your talented RB hasn’t translated in Wisconsin.
Through 4 weeks, Aaron Jones was being used in a split backfield with Jamaal Williams. Williams was taken out of Week 4 with a devastating helmet to helmet hit, and, going forward, his availability is in question.
Let’s now welcome rookie Dexter Williams to the LaFleur mix. Williams is undeniably talented, and, produced given opportunity in the pre-season. In his first season as a starter at Notre Dame, Williams put up 14 TDs and rushed for 995 yds in 9 games.
With LaFleur’s insistence on a split backfield, and Dexter Williams being the more talented of the 2 Williams RB’s on Green Bay, I like Williams ability to be a sneaky stash going forward.
I don’t usually buy the hype of anyone on the Green Bay offense, but, the price is right here. Buy all the Dexter Williams you can.
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About the Author- @itsharristime is relatively new to the fantasy football scene having spent most of his life watching and playing hockey like a good Canadian. He’s making up for lost time by playing big on Draft, FanDuel, and is involved in season long and dynasty leagues on FFPC, Yahoo, ESPN and MyFantasyLeague. Steeler football, family, rock n’ roll and keeping things simple.
Seek value and have no player bias=winning formula.