Week 4: Pickups of the Week
Bilal Powell and Jason Snelling had a good weekend. Those that aggressively added James Starks and Eddie Royal likely threw things, be it remotes or tantrums after their new guys did oh so little. Such is the nature of the fantasy free agent pool at this point of the season, especially at running back. Still, owners are always on the lookout for the next helpful option, whether for the long haul or as a quick fix. Therefore, we present our Week 4 Pickups suggestions...
1) Ryan Tannehill
2) Terrelle Pryor
3) Alex Smith
4) Jake Locker
5) Geno Smith
6) E.J. Manuel
7) Nick Foles
Notes...Since Ryan Tannehill is only owned in 55 percent of MyFantasyLeagues.com leagues, he receives a mention. Well, that and because he's morphing into a reliable NFL and fantasy quarterback. ...Alex Smith hemmed and hawed his way into a pedestrian stat line against the Eagles; Another opportunity for strong numbers exists against the Giants. ...My article for this week's USA Today Sports Weekly includes a Jake Locker mention because the dual threat QB put it all together against the Chargers, including the late game poise. The Titans' schedule over the next month precludes realistic hopes he'll start stringing together similar numbers, but it all starts with a first step. ...Props to Brian Hoyer on shocking the NFL world. Until he's the clear long-term starter in Cleveland, we can't recommend adding him especially against a tough Bengals defense.
1) Bilal Powell
2) Jacquizz Rodgers
3) Jason Snelling
4) Isaiah Pead
5) Johnathan Franklin
6) Brandon Bolden
Others: Willis McGahee, Chris Ogbannaya, LeGarrette Blount, Jonathan Dwyer, Bobby Rainey, Mike Goodson.
Notes...Powell should be owned in all formats after rushing for 149 yards against the Bills - and after Chris Ivory suffered a hamstring injury that is expected to keep him out for a bit. ...Personal preference is Jason Snelling, but Jacquizz Rodgers gets the nod based on slightly more touches and snaps. ...Obviously the fumble was a disaster and the Packers have a bye, but don't sleep on Johnathan Franklin. After blowing chances for immediate playing time because of a brutal preseason, Franklin flashed the speed and passing downs skills many coveted when he came out of UCLA. Eddie Lacy is the primary back, but Franklin could take over the third down role going forward and pass James Starks as emergency fill-in. ...The excitement over Cleveland's win and 31-point outburst took attention away from Willis McGahee's nine yards on eight carries debut. Hold on for depth and see if he improves once he rounds backs into NFL shape. ...LeGarrette Blount rarely impressed in Tampa so don't get overly excited because he looked semi decent against his old team. ...Le'Veon Bell is expected back for Week 4, but his owners can hang onto Jonathan Dwyer until we see how this week unfolds.
1) Stephen Hill
2) Ryan Broyles
3) Aaron Dobson
4) Santonio Holmes
5) Rod Streater
6) Denarius Moore
Others: Brandon LaFell, Donnie Avery, Nate Washington, Justin Hunter, Ted Ginn Jr., Terrance Williams, Nate Washington
Notes...As a Week 4 play, Ryan Broyles lags behind the other top-4 options. As a speculative pickup, taking him ahead of Aaron Dobson, who likely loses snaps in the coming weeks, and Santonio Holmes is fine. Even with Geno Smith's rookie inconsistencies, Stephen Hill's status as WR1 trumps Broyles' potential...Starting an Oakland wide out epitomizes risk, but Rod Streater and Denarius Moore have stellar matchups against the Redskins secondary in Week 4. ...Props for the two scores, but get back to us when Brandon LaFell produces in consecutive weeks. ...Speaking of inconsistent, may we present Donnie Avery? Strong matchup against the Giants at home, but note he followed up 100-yard games last season with 28 and 65 yard outings. ...The deeper Kenny Britt goes into the doghouse, the more opportunity exists for the steady Nate Washington and second-round rookie Justin Hunter.Add the former for pure depth, the latter as a lottery ticket ...Even with Miles Austin dealing with an injury, Terrance Williams is more of a watch list candidate than waiver wire pickup. ...
1) Heath Miller
2) Charles Clay
3) Jordan Reed
4) Coby Fleener
Others: Zach Miller, Scott Chandler
Notes...Tweaked order after initial posting. Moved Heath Miller into the No. 1 slot largely because of track record. I'm less caught up on his eight touchdowns last season (only four combined in two years prior), but 71 receptions can't be ignored. Could take him a little while to get moving and historically he's rarely been a TE1,... His worst statistical game of the season, but Charles Clay still caught four passes for 40 yards. Remains a TE2 option heading into the matchup at New Orleans. ...Jordan Reed went 5-50 against the Lions before leaving with a quad contusion. The rookie is unsure if he'll go against the Raiders, but he's the TE to own in Washington. ... With Dwayne Allen out and for good, it would have been nice if Coby Fleener received more than two targets against the 49ers. With an even stronger commitment to the run now that Trent Richardson is on the roster, inconsistent numbers will be the norm, but with top-15 potential.
1) Chiefs (vs., Giants)
2) Colts (at Jaguars)
3) Titans (vs. Jets)
Curb Your Enthusiasm: Feel free to release Josh Freeman, Mark Ingram, Isaac Redman, Brandon Pettigrew, Fred Davis, James Starks (except Eddie Lacy owners)...and if space is needed, Kenny Britt, though his value could soar if the Titans trade him before the deadline.MyFantasyLeague availability: 100%
At this point, the Raiders' passing game consists of two aspects: deep throws and Terrelle Pryor's legs. Normally that's not enough for QB1 consideration, not even a little. For Aaron Rodgers and Cam Newton owners thinking bye week options, for Eli Manning backers taking a step away or for anyone that's watched the Redskins defense through three weeks, it will be. Washington ranks 31st in yards allowed, tied for 30th in touchdown passes. Sure, the inexperienced Pryor isn't game enough to take full advantage of a brutal secondary, but there is enough downfield potential with Rod Streater and Denarius Moore. Factor in his rushing and the home advantage and a healthy Pryor - he was being checked for a concussion late in the loss to Denver - looks poised for a fun fantasy day.MyFantasyLeague availability: 93%
The latest twist with the Pats backfield involved the snap distribution against the Bucs; Brandon Bolden and Stevan Ridley each received 26 snaps, just five more than LeGarrette Blount. Logic and talent dictate Ridley remains the main back while Blount could intrude on his carries, but Bolden's niche as a third down back appears secure. Primarily playing in passing downs, he had five receptions for 49 yards with another 51 coming on three carries. Whether we want to label him the next Shane Vereen or Kevin Faulk, Bolden has the look of a Flex option in PPR formats. If Ridley doesn't get his running numbers going, Bolden's value increases in all formats.
Let's not say Isaiah Pead took full advantage of Daryl Richardson's absence (only two snaps, foot injury) against the Cowboys. We can say the second-year back flashed his pass catching skills (7-43). We can also say that despite Pead only posting 20 yards on six carries, he's in line with Richardson's 3.3 ypc average this season. The Week 4 matchup pits the Rams on a short week against the reeling (but angry) 49ers. St. Louis likely veers into RBBC territory for now, so don't grab Pead for San Francisco unless bye weeks/injuries are at play. Grab Pead because opportunity exists for him to emerge as the primary option at some point. If the Rams fall back quickly against the NFC West rival, that point could be this week.Injury Status: Injured Reserve
Since he's owned in less than half of MyFantasyLeague.com leagues, we thought it wise to remind everyone for the second straight week that Jason Snelling has skills. The power back displayed all facets against the Dolphins, exceeding expectations with 111 total yards, four receptions and a touchdown. Jacquizz Rodgers led the way with 20 touches and there is no reason to think a split backfield will exist against the Patriots. There is reason to think Steven Jackson will miss another two to three weeks. Better options exist for owners seeking RB2 or Flex help, but don't bet against Snelling having another productive game or two before Jackson returns.MyFantasyLeague availability: 98%
This is a late profile addition to the Pickups report following Nate Burleson's broken arm suffered during an overnight car crash. No Burleson, who caught six passes for 116 yards against the Redskins in Week 3, is a true blow to a Lions passing attack that is lacking for consistency outside of Calvin Johnson. The cold reality is that this opens up time for Ryan Broyles, who returned to the field Sunday and caught all three of his targets for 34 yards. Initially down here as a pure sign-and-stash option, now Broyles is a hotter commodity with what should be an increased role as Detroit's slot receiver. He only played 17 snaps against the Redskins in his first game back from last season's ACL tear. Don'r rush to use him in Week 4, but better days are ahead.