By: Will Harris @itsharristime
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.
Heading into week 3 of the NFL/fantasy football seasons, and the injury bug has reared its ugly head. Key injuries at QB, RB, and WR have left some major uncertainties in our bid to win a fantasy championship this season. The Eagles had two injuries to key veteran WRs in Alshon Jeffrey and DeSean Jackson, and rising star Michael Gallup for the Cowboys will be out 3-4 weeks. Eagles QB Carson Wentz was shaken up by a hit after standing in the pocket too long. For Wentz owners, I’d continue to monitor his exposure in the pocket.
Wentz was able to finish the game, but it was a particularly devastating week for two “rock solid” veteran QBs. Ben Roethlisberger is done for the season with an elbow injury, and Drew Brees is out for 6 weeks with a hand injury. In 12 team leagues, you should still be able to stream off of the waivers/free agency. I’ll take you through a few different options that will offset the loss of these two perennial fantasy producers.
Let’s take a look at some players that can help you not only win next week, but for the rest of the season.
Buy – Josh Allen, 40% Owned, Buffalo Bills
In a tough week for valid “Buy” candidates, I’m going back to the well on Allen, and for good reason: Allen is only owned in 40% of Yahoo leagues. This is even after putting up 22+ FP in week 2.
With another plus match-up versus the Bengals in week 3, it is nearly criminal that Mitch Trubisky has higher ownership. Allen will be unavailable to buy after another strong showing against Cincinnati. Keep in mind this is the Bills first home game where they typically play better supported by the Bills Mafia.
Take a look at Allen’s schedule after two tough match-ups versus the Patriots and Titans: Dolphins, Eagles, Redskins, Browns and to every fantasy owners delight, the Dolphins again.
BUY BUY BUY!
Other Quarterbacks I’m Buying on the Waiver Wire –
- Jimmy Garoppolo, 49% Owned, San Francisco 49ers
- Mason Rudolph, 1% Owned, Pittsburgh Steelers
- Daniel Jones, 3% Owned, New York Giants
- Derek Carr, 34% Owned, Oakland Raiders
- Teddy Bridgewater, 1% Owned, New Orleans Saints
- Andy Dalton, 19% Owned, Cincinnati Bengals
Bye – Ben Roethlisberger, 73% Owned, Pittsburgh Steelers
It was tough to see Big Ben go down during the Steelers home opener vs the Seahawks. Known for his toughness, this injury to his elbow is serious enough to require surgery and shut Big Ben down for the rest of the year. There is no need to keep him on the roster, drop immediately.
With that, it looks like Ben has a capable replacement in Mason Rudolph. Rudolph went for 112 yds, 2 TDs and an interception that was caused by last weeks “Bye” WR, Donte Moncrief. Rudolph had good chemistry with TE Vance MacDonald who received both of Rudolph’s TD passes. The second year QB also connected with JuJu on some deep balls which was encouraging. Rudolph will play quicker than Ben, and I expect more balls out to the TE/RB. This might not be a bad thing as teams adjust to a new Steelers QB. Keep in mind that Rudolph played with Steelers’ WR James Washington at Oklahoma State for 4 seasons and put up impressive numbers. With a game against San Francisco, I like both QBs involved in this showdown.
Buy – Darwin Thompson, 17% Owned, Kansas City Chiefs
It was a tough week for injuries and the high octane Chiefs fell victim to injuries in week 2 to both of their running backs. Damien Williams went down with a knee injury that needs an MRI. LeSean McCoy also did not finish the game with an ankle injury.
Let’s welcome rookie Darwin Thompson into the muddy KC backfield. Thompson finished the game as the lead back after McCoy went down in Oakland. Thompson impressed in the pre-season with a 39 yd TD reception against the Bengals. It’s more about the opportunity in this offense than how much I love Thompson as a prospect. He projects as a satellite back, and, with volume, can be a viable addition to your roster with the uncertainty around McCoy and Damien Williams.
You always want to buy low on RBs in a high octane offense like the Chiefs.
Other Running Backs I’m Buying on the Waiver Wire –
- Raheem Mostert, 16% Owned, San Francisco 49ers
- Frank Gore, 8% Owned, Buffalo Bills
- Jeff Wilson Jr, 0% Owned, San Francisco 49ers
- Jaylen Samuels, 35% Owned, Pittsburgh Steelers
Bye – Tony Pollard, 22% Owned, Dallas Cowboys
During the off-season holdout of Zeke Elliot, the hype around Pollard was real. With Zeke back in the fold and in his regular heavy usage, it’s tough to hold onto Pollard as any more than a handcuff. If you were hoping to get split duties with Zeke, it’s clear that even though the offense is improved under Kellen Moore, this is Zeke’s team.
In season long I’m saying bye to Pollard and getting someone in my lineup that can start contributing next week.
Buy – Deebo Samuel, 14% Owned, San Francisco 49ers
Deebo should have been added in this column last week, and it was an oversight on my part. After publishing, I took a look at his usage during Week 1 when he played 86.4% of snaps and was targeted 3 times for 3 receptions. This was a clear indication that going forward, Samuel would be an integral part of the San Francisco attack. I wrote about Samuel as a prospect in the off-season here.
Given more opportunity in Week 2 vs the Bengals, Deebo proved he was more than a gadget player putting up 87 yds on 5 receptions and 1 TD. Deebo was also used on the ground in the diverse 49ers running attack where he added an additional 7 rushing yards for a healthy 20.40 PPR points in Week 2.
Deebo looks to be the alpha in this Shanahan passing game. I’m confident having him as a weekly start going forward. Put your chips in on Deebo.
Other Wide Receivers I’m Buying on the Waiver Wire –
- Nelson Agholor, 16% Owned, Philadelphia Eagles
- DK Metcalf, 49% Owned, Seattle Seahawks
- Mecole Hardman, 40% Owned, Kansas City Chiefs
- Randall Cobb, 24% Owned, Dallas Cowboys
- DJ Chark Jr, 13% Owned, Jacksonville Jaguars
- Demarcus Robinson, 6% Owned, Kansas City Chiefs
- James Washington, 29% Owned, Pittsburgh Steelers
- Marquise Goodwin, 20% Owned, San Francisco 49’ers
Bye – Dante Pettis, San Francisco 49ers
Who didn’t like Dante Petis at the end of 2019 and coming into his second year under coach Kyle Shanahan? From weeks 12-15 Pettis was a Top 25 receiver, and was extremely efficient throughout the season with the snaps and targets he received. Pettis was the #5 WR in 2018 with an average of 17.3 yards per reception.
Then something went awry during the off-season. Potential injury. Mistrust of the coach? Not ready for WR1 superstardom?
It’s a bit murky what went down, but it’s clear from Weeks 1-2 that Pettis won’t be the feature piece in the 49ers air attack. In Week 1, Pettis was used on only 3.4% of snaps and received 1 target for 1 reception. Week 2 saw him on for 33 snaps for 0 targets. Not pretty for what many of us thought would be a breakout campaign.
With the ascension of Deebo Samuel and the re-emergence of Marquise Goodwin as something other than a track star, I’m waving bye to Pettis for the moment. He’s certainly dialed into my watch-list as the talent is there, but ta-ta Dante.
Buy – Will Dissly, 4% Owned, Seattle Seahawks
One thing I’ve become really good at over my lifetime is admitting when I’m wrong. For the less than 4% of you that had Will Dissly rostered and I told you to drop him last week: I’m sorry. I was wrong.
The injury reports that I read early last week was that the prognosis for his knee was bad and he was unlikely to play.
The good news? He’s still largely unowned, and there is clear chemistry with Russell Wilson serving as Russ’ security blanket in the red zone. Dissly seems to be picking up right where he left off in 2018 where he posted weeks of #3 and #5 TE overall.
One thing to monitor with Dissly looking at the limited metrics available: When targeted and involved in the majority of snaps, especially in red zone situations, he has been productive. In 3 of the 6 games he’s played, he’s posted stat lines of less than 2 fantasy points. Volume is king, buy with caution.
Other Tight Ends I’m Buying on the Waiver Wire:
- Tyler Eifert, 9% Owned, Cincinnati Bengals
- Jason Witten, 15% Owned, Dallas Cowboys
- Noah Fant, 7% Owned, Denver Broncos
Bye – Rob Gronkowski, 20% Owned, New England Patriots
We all love Gronk. We’d all love a come back story.
But, don’t you want to win a fantasy football championship in the mean time?
Shockingly owned in 20% of leagues, there is no need to hold onto Gronk. Unless you have an extremely deep bench, I’d be waving bye to the TE GOAT. It would be a surprise if he joins the Pats who also have Ben Watson coming off suspension for Week 5. And if Gronk was to return, his usage would be more Gronk circa 2018 vs 2014. Add him back if/when he starts working out again to get into game shape. In the meantime, pick up another future Hall of Famer in Jason Witten to fill your gap at TE.
Defensive Buy of the Week
Buy – Tennessee Titans vs Jacksonville Jaguars
Criminally under-owned at only 36%, the Titans could be the surprise team in the AFC South. Week 1 the Titans picked apart the Browns with three interceptions and their pass rush was a headache for Baker Mayfield the entire game. The Titans are currently the third highest scoring defense in fantasy football, and look to have week to week value.
Don’t sleep on the Titans like the rest of the league has. They have a tough defense, and are in a plus match-up vs the Jaguars this week who have failed to establish the run and rookie QB Gardner Minshew under center. The Titans also have upcoming games vs Atlanta, Buffalo, and Tampa Bay. The Titans quite possibly could become your answer for a weekly D/ST.
Rainy Day Stash– Parris Campbell, Indianapolis Colts
We were uncertain about Parris Campbell’s potential usage in an Andrew Luck led offense with the addition of Devin Funchess and an already crowded TE situation.
With Luck’s retirement, an injury to Funchess, and Brissett now manning the helm, Campbell could see a bigger role in the offense. Getting the ball out quickly to Campbell, and allowing him to use his incredible YAC ability could bode well for Indy and Campbell owners.
With a match-up next week against Atlanta, if Parris sees an increase in targets, the results could make him a must have on your roster. Campbell has incredible speed, posting 100th percentile numbers in the 40 yard dash at the combine. Let’s get this man the ball and make some magic Indy!
With only 5% ownership, I’d stash him on your bench and watch him go off against the Falcons for the Colts home opener.
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.