John Frascella is a published sports author and fantasy football analyst with over two decades of experience, and will be contributing a weekly fantasy sports column to Aaron Torres Online. Follow him on Twitter @LegendSports7 for all things fantasy football.
Let’s start this week with a little bit of context; here are some of the pickups we’ve discussed this season to date:
Not much going on, there. Point being… don’t rely on these pickups as potential saviors or season-changers. Sure, we’ve had some success with guys like Robby Anderson, Sammy Watkins, Josh Kelley and Mike Davis thus far, but these transactions should be viewed as complementary. Generally, we should be talking about RB3s, WR4s and final Flex spots, here.
I bring this up because, if you’ve been dealing with any of the major injuries – CMC, Saquon, MT, Davante, Julio and now even Godwin – you should be looking to enhance your team long-term. Figure out how to acquire solid, stable assets. Mix-and-match trade deals; try some 2-for-1 or 3-for-2 or even 3-for-1 offers.
Don’t just quit on your season if you lost, say, the RB/WR combo of Saquon and Courtland Sutton. Be creative. Get out there and make some shit happen. Don’t get complacent thinking the waiver wire is going to save you in the long run. Fantasy seasons can get away from us quickly…
Potential Pickups for Week 4
Rex Burkhead, Patriots: I can’t say I’m totally surprised by this one. With veteran James White still grieving over the tragic death of his father, the door has been open for Burkhead to dominate the Pats’ dump-off game. And that he did this week, putting up 30-plus fantasy points in most leagues and formats. Burkhead is always comfortable within Bill Belichick’s and Josh McDaniels’ evolving offensive schemes, and physically he looks bouncy this year. Obviously, the Pats always mix-and-match and are never one-trick ponies, but Burkhead is worth a look nonetheless. There is no timetable for White’s return, Sony Michel has been unimpressive and Damien Harris remains an unknown. Ultimately, Burkhead becomes a hit-or-miss flex play.
Jeff Wilson Jr., 49ers: You may have grabbed him last week (though I see he’s currently available in one of my deep, 14-team leagues). He’s going to be a hot commodity this week, but the circumstances are tricky: Jerick McKinnon says he’s “Gucci” after leaving this week’s game with a hip injury. As we know, when it comes to McKinnon injuries, everyone holds their collective breath (didn’t play at all the past two seasons); but this one appears to be minor. McKinnon was dominating the 49ers’ touches, pre-injury. I’m not too enthralled about Wilson for his expected pricepoint, unless you are banking on McKinnon going down for good (again). I’ll be staying away from Wilson unless the price is right.
Myles Gaskin, Dolphins: If he’s still there, of course. ESPN says he is only 45.9% owned, which I find rather interesting. He was pretty clearly the Dolphins’ RB1 heading into their Week 3 victory over the reeling Jags, and then he proceeded to impress on a national stage. That 45.9% number is probably heading for like 70% after this week of pickups. Personally, I’ve been pleasantly surprised; my only worry is Jordan Howard in the redzone. Near the goal line, head coach Brian Flores has been turning to Howard to seal the deal on his lengthy drives. In between the 20s, Gaskin has been very impressive, looking strong, quick and decisive. If we could get those redzone touches, he’d be a potential top 12-15 back. I don’t think those consistent chances are coming, though.
Anthony McFarland Jr., Steelers: Deep stash, here. James Conner always finds a way to get hurt, and McFarland looked significantly better than Benny Snell this week. Mac, the rookie, clearly has a lot of long-term potential. If you are in a league with deep benches, just grab him on the cheap and let him grow.
Justin Jefferson, Vikings: Obviously the rookie is the big-ticket item, here. He roasted the Titans for 175 yards and a TD, and clearly the Vikings’ inconsistent offense needs him going forward. Stefon Diggs has been sorely missed, and perhaps JJ is ready to step into some semblance of that vacated role now. For Minnesota to have any chance to turn its ugly season around, JJ has to be a major factor. Kirk Cousins cannot be relying solely upon Adam Thielen, who is currently drawing one-too-many double teams. The Vikings’ offense had become too predictable – leading up to this week’s improved performance - and Jefferson can give them some much-needed versatility to assist Dalvin Cook and Thielen in production. You have to take a shot on JJ if you are in need of a WR; pay up.
Tee Higgins, Bengals: Three straight rookies, here. I know A.T. is smiling right now. The Bengals chose not to suit John Ross up this week, and that was a wise decision, as Higgins immediately delivered with two touchdowns. With fellow rookie Joe Burrow under center, Cincy has been tossin’ that rock around. This is an up-and-down offense, but Higgins is still behind the veterans A.J. Green and Tyler Boyd. Tee is clearly worth a look, anyway.
Hunter Renfrow and Nelson Agholor, Raiders: Renfrow is obviously the better and higher-priced play, here. With head coach Jon Gruden saying he’s “concerned” about the injuries to rookies Henry Ruggs and Bryan Edwards, the door is wide open for Renfrow and Agholor now (Tyrell Williams is already out of the picture). Renfrow should be a solid get in full-point PPR leagues, and Agholor could be a free pickup depending on the depth and knowledge of your league. Monster TE Darren Waller draws an awful lot of defensive attention, so that could potentially open things up for both Renfrow and Agholor.
Greg Ward, Eagles: One of MY guys. A blue-collar kid. A consummate professional and extremely hard worker. Dallas Goedert and DeSean Jackson both went down, and Ward stepped right up (as per usual). I think he already deserves consistent looks and touches. I don’t think Ward has much name value, so you should be able to get a very fair price on him. Alshon Jeffery remains sidelined, so Ward is undoubtedly worth a cheap look.
Week 4 Daily Fantasy Plays
Safe: Lamar Jackson $8,100 @ WAS – after a dreadful performance vs. the champion Chiefs on Monday night, Lamar will be on an absolute mission this weekend. Fire him up. He will play fast and angry.
Sleeper: Gardner Minshew $5,900 @ CIN (just keep an eye on DJ Chark’s injury status; he will be needed for The Moustache to be a confident play.)
Perfect Storm: Kyler Murray $7,000 @ CAR
Safe: Dalvin Cook $7,600 @ HOU
Sleeper: Hyheim Hines $4,700 @ CHI (just a pure hunch, here.)
Perfect Storm: Nick Chubb $7,000 @ DAL - came into the season far too underrated due to the presence of Kareem Hunt.
Safe: DK Metcalf $6,800 @ MIA: Everyone will be on Lockett after his monster performance.
Sleeper: Anthony Miller $4,900 vs. IND: Maybe Nicky Foles can get him going.
Perfect Storm: Kenny Golladay $6,000 vs. NO
Safe: Mark Andrews $6,000 @ WAS
Sleeper: Mo Alie-Cox $3,900 @ CHI
Perfect Storm: Mike Gesicki $5,100 vs. SEA
Best of luck to all!
John Frascella is a published sports author and fantasy football analyst with over two decades of experience. Follow him on Twitter @LegendSports7 for all things fantasy football.