Welcome everyone to week 4 of the fantasy football season! Unfortunately there is sad news around the sports world, on Sunday morning the Miami Marlins Ace, and one of the exciting young baseball players Jose Fernandez died in a boating accident at the age of 24. Then in the early afternoon former professional golfer Arnold Palmer died at the age of 87. My thoughts and prayers go out to the families and friends to not only these two men, but also all the other guys that were involved in the boating accident.
Now past that sad news, it is time to talk about one of my favorite things! Football, and more specifically the fantasy football waiver wire. There were a couple injuries this week and if you were impacted by them or just need a player to stream keep reading!
Dak Prescott – DAL (owned in 42.7% of ESPN leagues): I told myself at the beginning of the season to hold off on Prescott, I didn’t want to jump on the bandwagon before I saw what he could do, and so far he has been good. Dak has thrown for at least 225 yards a game without throwing an interception. The only downfall to Prescott so far in terms of fantasy is that he only has 3 TDs; however, 2 of those TDs are rushing TDs so he is getting 6 points for them. I am a firm believer in the fact that TDs are streaky and for the most part they will come and go. I like Prescott for this week against the 49ers. The 49ers have given up at least 300 yards to opposing QBs twice already, additionally they have had two games in which they allowed at least 2 TDs through the air. Look for Prescott to take advantage of the 49ers poor defense. However, not to rain on anyone’s parade, but Romo will come back, and will more than likely take back the starting job for at least the rest of this season.
Ryan Tannehill – MIA (owned in 36.8% of ESPN leagues): Ryan Tannehill has been good so far this year, he is the number 8 fantasy QB, and over the past two weeks he has 706 yards passing and 5 TDs. He has scored a TD in every game so far this season, along with scoring at least 14 fantasy points. I would look for this trend to continue on this week as he goes to Cincinnati to play the Bengals. The Bengals have allowed 61 fantasy points to opposing QBs, which is the same number of points the number 5 QB (Cam Newton) has on the season. He is worth a pick up and play if you have Aaron Rodgers and need a replacement.
Jordan Howard – CHI (owned in 15.9% of ESPN leagues): Jordan Howard is a rookie RB for the Bears, and had 3 carries going into last week’s game; so, why should fantasy owners look at him? Jeremy Langford had a severe ankle sprain, and Ka’Deem Carey was out with a hamstring injury and is uncertain for this weekend. That leaves Jordan Howard to get most of the touches at the RB position. Additionally, Jay Cutler is hurt and John Fox is not guaranteeing his spot back when he gets healthy, which could lead to them running the ball a little more than they would before as they are playing with a backup QB.
Kenneth Dixon – BAL (owned in 14% of ESPN leagues): Dixon has been out for the first part of the season and has yet to play in a regular season game due to a sprained MCL. Dixon got a lot of work with the first team in the preseason, and will compete for the starting job. If you look at the Ravens backfield at the moment, there is not a RB that has a lot of carries, the most is Forsett with about 10 carries per game, this leads me to believe that the organization does not believe in Forsett, or West. Dixon is hoping to return this week, but I think week 5 or 6 is a more realistic return date; although when he does come back I think he will have a big impact and everyone will rush to the waiver wire to pick him up, so pick him up this week before your league mates think to pick him up.
Terrelle Pryor – CLE (owned in 28% of ESPN leagues): Terelle Pryor out of preseason was the number 2 WR for the Browns, and what has happened so far this year? Josh Gordon is still suspended, and Corey Coleman broke his hand. So, that means that for at least this week Pryor does not have another talented WR to fight for targets. Additionally the Browns have had injury issues at QB with RG3 done for the season and Josh McCown out for the near future. The Browns showed this past week that they will be creative as to how they use Pryor, as he got 8 receptions, 4 rushes, and 2 passing attempts this week. He and the Browns play the Redskins this week, which might scare some people because they just signed Josh Norman this offseason, but Norman has not really stuck with one WR, additionally since the Browns are using Pryor as a QB and a runner as well he threatens more than just Josh Norman. Look for him to make a difference this week.
Jamison Crowder – WAS (owned in 11.2% of ESPN leagues): Jamison Crowder is currently the number 25 WR in terms of fantasy points, and has had double digit fantasy points in each of the first 3 weeks. Crowder and the Redskins are playing the Browns this week, and just as you could have guessed the Browns are terrible at defending WRs. The Browns are 28th in the league in terms of fewest fantasy points given up to opposing WRs, they give up an average of 43 points per game to opposing WR cores. They have given up 2 TDs per game to opposing WRs, and I think that Crowder will get into the endzone this weekend.
Cameron Brate – TB (owned in 0.9% of ESPN leagues): I feel like the only people who really knew about Brate going into this week were hardcore Bucs fans, but he put himself into the fantasy football spotlight as he hauled in 2 TDs from Jameis. There is one big reason as to why this all occurred and why it happened now as opposed to week one, and that is Austin Seferian-Jenkins. Seferian-Jenkins and Brate were fighting for the starting job through the preseason and Brate narrowly edged out Seferian-Jenkins; however, late last week Seferian-Jenkins got his second DUI and the Bucs thought he was too much of a distraction, so they cut him. Now focusing on Brate, last week he had 5 catches for 46 yards and 2 TDs. He and the Bucs will host Denver this week which most will think is a tough matchup because of the dominance of the Broncos pass defense; although, if there is one way you can attack the Broncos defense in the air it is to the TE. The Broncos have given up 30 points to opposing TEs though Greg Olsen is the only good TE they have played so far. I think Brate would not be a bad play this week, and he is an interesting add for the rest of the season too.
Ravens D/ST (owned in 50.3% of ESPN leagues): Man, I had to call it close enough on the Ravens Defense, I usually try to stick to players owned in under 50% of ESPN leagues, but the Ravens missed that by only .3% so here is what I think. The Ravens defense has scored at least 8 points every week, and they have done it by not allowing opposing teams to score much, opposing teams score an average of 14.66 points per game. Combine that with 5 turnovers forced and 9 sacks in 3 games and you have yourself a pretty good fantasy football defense. The Ravens play the Raiders who have been a tough matchup for opposing defenses, but that Ravens defense looks like the real deal this season.
The scoring that I have used is based off of ESPN’s standard PPR scoring. Good luck on the waiver wire this week and in your upcoming match-ups. Remember to follow me on twitter and the Fantasy Life app @FantasySportGM and tweet me your start/sit or trade questions this week.
Waiver Wire Finds