Although four weeks is no longer the quarter mark of the fantasy football season now that we have one more game to work with, it is enough of a milestone to take a moment to exhale and check in on the state of your roster as we get into the heart of the regular season. Identifying solid streamers under 65%-rostered has been challenging this season, but there is hope!
Typically, not many players in this range receive a significant and/or reliable number of touches. Once they do, they often become hot waiver pick-ups and, unless you have high waiver priority or spend up with FAAB, you will likely miss out on your opportunity to add them. This just means that you need to either get in early before that opportunity spike occurs or be okay with the alternative options available in your league. Whichever type of streamer you need for Week 5, I’ve got you covered below.
* Players marked with an asterisk below can also be found in the priority waiver wire adds article referenced at the end. If anyone featured below is at risk of not playing or is relegated to a bench role late in the week, I will do my best to keep you all updated on Twitter (@BrandonMillerFB). All players below are under 65%-rostered as of 10/06/21.
* Damien Williams (RB, Chicago Bears)
For someone who is expected to get the reps that Williams is for the next month-plus, it is a bit surprising that he is still eligible as a streamer at all (61% ESPN, 72% Yahoo currently). The Bears will likely not put forth the most aesthetically pleasing offense most weeks whether it is Andy Dalton or Justin Fields behind center, but Williams is a veteran who will get what is blocked, catch a few passes, and provide a stable floor as long as he is the top option in the Bears backfield. Until usual starter David Montgomery is able to return from a knee ailment, Williams should be locked in for a mix of carries and targets amounting to around 15+ touches. He is the top RB streamer for now until he hopefully performs his way out of eligibility for this article [for the better].
Kenneth Gainwell (RB, Philadelphia Eagles)
The ascending fifth-round rookie out of Memphis has wasted little time getting acclimated to the Philly offense with a carry and catch in each game so far this season, hauling in a season-high six-of-eight targets for 58 yards last week along with three carries for 31 yards and a score. Although Miles Sanders‘ usage has been a bit confounding this season, the fact remains that Gainwell will have a role to some extent, most expectedly as a receiver. The stand-alone value might not consistently be there just yet, but there is a lot of talent on this offense and the pass-catching work already makes him viable in deeper PPR leagues. Although the Panthers have been one of the best defenses against opposing RBs this season, Gainwell could open things up out of the backfield as a change-of-pace option. I would stick with anyone through AJ Dillon below in front of Gainwell this week, but he is a solid stash and deep league play now.
Other names to consider (in order): Latavius Murray, Michael Carter, Tony Pollard (64% ESPN), Samaje Perine, J.D. McKissic, AJ Dillon, Alex Collins, Ronald Jones II, Mark Ingram, David Johnson, Brandon Bolden, Ty Johnson, Peyton Barber, Giovani Bernard, Malcolm Brown.
Jamison Crowder (WR, New York Jets)
When it comes to streamers, usually you are just happy to get enough points not to tank your week. As a high volume, low ADOT specialist, Crowder has been the poster boy for a boring floor with decent upside on weeks he finds the end zone. No matter which QB he has been paired with throughout his pro career, Crowder always seems to develop a connection right away as a safety blanket on underneath routes, leading to steady production. While Elijah Moore will also challenge for targets once all the Jets pass-catchers are healthy, Crowder should continue to be a reliable option for modest results at worst. For those in PPR leagues, he is a WR3/Flex play for now, as evidenced by his breakout 2021 debut performance in Week 4 (seven catches on nine targets for 61 yards and a TD).
Darnell Mooney (WR, Chicago Bears)
If you play fantasy football and watched the Bears’ ugly Week 3 loss to the Browns, I would not be surprised if you wrote off all Chicago receiving options altogether for this season. However, the best fantasy managers are able to recognize a bad week when they see one and do not allow one week to influence them too greatly one way or another. Outside of that disastrous week for the Bears offense, Mooney has seven-plus targets in every single game this season and may still be available since he has yet to find the end zone this year. His huge Week 4 (five catches, seven targets, 125 yards, one carry for 10 yards) showed the type of big-play ability he possesses, and if Chicago can find some consistency behind center, Mooney could continue to ascend in year two. Scoop him up now if the roster space is there in 12-teamers or deeper.
Other names to consider (in order): Henry Ruggs III (56% Yahoo), Emmanuel Sanders, Christian Kirk, Rondale Moore, Cole Beasley (64% Yahoo), Hunter Renfrow, Tim Patrick, A.J. Green, Josh Gordon, Kadaruius Toney, Amon-Ra St. Brown, Curtis Samuel, Jalen Reagor, Bryan Edwards, Nelson Agholor, Sammy Watkins, Marquez Callaway, Darius Slayton, Zach Pascal, Randall Cobb, Mecole Hardman, Elijah Moore, Terrace Marshall Jr, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, DeVante Parker, Gabriel Davis, Quintez Cephus, DeSean Jackson, K.J. Osborn, Dyami Brown.
* Dalton Schultz (TE, Dallas Cowboys)
To put streaming TEs into perspective, it is basically a “hit” anytime you finish within the top 10-12 at the position as a back-end TE1. Considering how volatile the position has been and continues to be, speculating on who will finish within that range will likely consist of a carousel of names all year. Dawson Knox is the undisputed top add/ streamer if available, but Schultz is making a case for himself for similar reasons. He plays on a productive offense that generates several red zone opportunities per game, has seen his targets increase each of the last two weeks, and has three total TDs in that span. If you are still looking for TE with season-long potential, take a chance on Schultz to test whether this recent success is a legit trend or just a hot streak.
Other names to consider (in order): Dawson Knox (50% ESPN), Jared Cook, Hunter Henry, Tyler Conklin, Austin Hooper, Jonnu Smith (53% Yahoo), Maxx Williams, Gerald Everett, Jack Doyle, Evan Engram, Zach Ertz, Blake Jarwin, Cole Kmet, Adam Trautman, Anthony Firkser, Pat Freiermuth.
Accountability is everything, so here’s a quick look back at last week’s recommendations
Sony Michel (RB, Los Angeles Rams): I put out a word of caution that Michel would likely not be startable with Darrell Henderson Jr active, so hopefully you were able to pivot to another one of last week’s top RB recommendations like Zack Moss, Michael Carter, Latavius Murray, or J.D. McKissic. Michel received just three carries and fumbled, so he may have lost points for fantasy managers who had him in their lineup. He should be far away from your lineup unless Henderson is out.
Ronald Jones II (RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers): While Leonard Fournette led the way with 20 carries for 91 yards, Jones registered the second-most carries with six totes for 25 yards and a score. At this point, it seems apparent that Jones has a secondary rushing role with no receiving work, so he will be difficult to trust most weeks. However, he is still a young, talented player who has had success in this offense in the past, so I would not just outright drop him unless there is an intriguing option available on the waiver wire.
Tim Patrick (WR, Denver Broncos): The Denver passing attack was dampened by a solid Ravens secondary and a mid-game QB change (Teddy Bridgewater concussion) on Sunday, so the conditions for Patrick to reach his ceiling did not quite fall into place. He did still come in third in targets (six), catching three for 39 yards, so it was not a total blank. Moving forward, he is a WR4/ bench stash/ bye-week fill-in most weeks, though he will be better once Bridgewater is able to pass through concussion protocol to play again.
Hunter Renfrow (WR, Las Vegas Raiders): Renfrow provided pretty much everything you could ask for from a streamer on the national stage of Monday Night Football, no less. He tied his season-high for receptions (six) on eight targets for 45 yards and his second score in as many weeks. At this point, he can be added in leagues of 12-teams or deeper as a fringe WR3/WR4 with more utility in PPR leagues. With more performances like this, I will stop making errors like swapping the spelling of his name with [Boston Red Sox OF] “Hunter Renfroe” last week.
Dawson Knox (TE, Buffalo Bills): Most weeks, you are just happy to get four or five catches for 40-50+ yards from a streaming TE. Sometimes, even that is a challenge. Other times, your streaming TE exceeds all expectations and has an awesome week, which is what happened for Knox on Sunday (five catches on eight targets for 37 yards and two TDs). Although I don’t think you can expect him to get eight targets every week, you have to love that Josh Allen looked to him second-most among pass-catchers and you have to love the offense he plays on. If you are a team scuffling through TE options every week, take a shot on Knox.
Make sure to check out AJ Passman’s priority waiver wire adds article every Tuesday for more insights on who you should be submitting claims for heading into each Wednesday. Good luck in Week 5!
(Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire)