Many aspects of fantasy are “give and take”; adversity is simply part of the game and sometimes your team has no choice but to face the music with unexpected injuries and/or underperformance. To balance out the groans when these unfortunate things happen, the silver lining is that there are always new names to speculate on. Injuries stink, dud performances stink, but if you are able to pick yourself up off the mat and stay active with roster improvements, there is at least more potential for a turn-around compared to doing nothing and expecting better results.
Nobody cares about my fantasy leagues (I know), but I am here to stand in solidarity with anyone else fighting (and currently losing) the weekly battle of Process vs Results. It can be painfully frustrating when your process and the “expert projections” do not yield fantasy results, but there is still time to move up the standings by continuing to strengthen and tweak your lineup. Forget about the past; Week 5 is a fresh start, so let’s go get a W!
Article Overview/ How to Use:
- Analysis: Highlight a variety of RBs, WRs, and TEs (< 65% rostered on ESPN and/or Yahoo) who I feel could produce fantasy value, either that specific week as a replacement in your lineup or as a bench/ stash option.
- Ranking RBs, WRs, and TEs (< 65% rostered) in order. Please note that the players who are highlighted in the article are not always my top-ranked streamers. These rankings & notes could be useful for teams in deeper leagues or as a means to fill out your “Watch List”.
- List of Impact Backups or players who would gain significant fantasy value if the starter was inactive. These names would make excellent stash candidates, but likely not worthwhile streamers due to lack of usage as the backup.
- Although base rankings tend to skew toward 12-team, half-PPR leagues, I will provide clarifications if a player is best used in a specific scenario or league type.
- Recap the performances of the previous week’s highlighted players.
* 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 10/05/22.
Tyler Allgeier (RB, Atlanta Falcons)
Allgeier’s newfound situation in Atlanta is exactly what I was thinking of when typing the first sentence of this article about the “give and take” nature of fantasy. The stocky 5’11”, 220lb fifth-rounder out of BYU will have an opportunity to further showcase his abilities and build on a strong start, albeit in limited action, that has seen him average 5.3 yards per carry so far (8th-best YPC in the league, 26 rushes for 139 yards). With Cordarrelle Patterson (knee) on IR for at least four weeks, Allgeier is expected to head up a committee alongside Caleb Huntley on a run-heavy Falcons offense averaging 168 rushing yards (4th) and 32.75 rushing attempts per game (5th).
It remains to be seen how things shake out once Patterson and Damien Williams return from injury absences. Worst case scenario: Allgeier fails to make an impact over the next 2-3 weeks and you cut him loose once those guys return. In the end, I think there is enough smoke here to chase a potential hot streak as a short-term RB3/ Flex.
Dontrell Hilliard (RB, Tennessee Titans)
I always aim to keep this article fresh by discussing different names throughout the season. Since several of this week’s top RB streamers have already been featured this year (Hines, Allgeier – above, Mostert, and McKissic among others), it is time to look at an under-the-radar impact backup whose role could be growing. Tennessee is already short-handed on playmakers in the passing game and just lost first-round rookie Treylon Burks, so there will be targets available. Although Derrick Henry has been more involved as a receiver out of the backfield this year, Hilliard is a significantly more natural pass-catcher and has an efficient eight catches on nine targets for 109 yards and two touchdowns as a receiver. He is not a fantasy starter right now but is climbing my “impact backups” list due to the increase in standalone value.
RB Streamers (ranked): Nyheim Hines (61% ESPN, 68% Yahoo), Tyler Allgeier, Raheem Mostert (62% ESPN, 65% Yahoo), J.D. McKissic, Darrell Henderson (61% ESPN, 75% Yahoo), Rachaad White, Craig Reynolds, Dontrell Hilliard, Rex Burkhead, Mike Boone, Eno Benjamin, Deon Jackson (potential Colts “1B” without Taylor), Alexander Mattison (45% ESPN, 71% Yahoo), Isiah Pacheco, Caleb Huntley, Jerick McKinnon, Ken Walker, Kenneth Gainwell, Latavius Murray, Zack Moss, Sony Michel, Samaje Perine, Mark Ingram, Joshua Kelley, Brandon Bolden, Jaylen Warren, Matt Breida, James Cook, Brian Robinson (IR stash), Gus Edwards (inj-stash).
George Pickens (WR, Pittsburgh Steelers)
Making the QB swap from Mitchell Trubisky to rookie Kenny Pickett might not earn the Steelers many more wins, but I am hopeful that their offense will at least be more fun to watch now. While Pickett’s first impression was not great in terms of the interceptions, it was certainly encouraging for Pickens’ involvement. The 6″3″ rookie snagged six-of-eight targets for 102 yards last week (17 yards/catch) and has shown continued flashes of being an impact fantasy receiver. Pickens needs to be picked up, but the Week 5 matchup in Buffalo makes him more of WR4/ bench stash than someone you should start right away.
Devin Duvernay (WR, Baltimore Ravens)
Pickens is my preferred WR rest of season, but Duvernay is the guy I am targeting for Week 5. Rashod Bateman (foot) has yet to practice as of Wednesday, so keep an eye on Baltimore’s practice reports heading into the weekend as his status will undoubtedly affect the target distribution on Sunday. Even if Bateman plays, Duvernay has already displayed big-play ability and has shown a nose for the end zone with four total touchdowns (three receiving, one kick return). Duvernay is the fastest registered ball carrier so far this season and has four receptions of 20+ yards despite just 12 total receptions (13 targets). I am really interested to see what he can do with more targets and view him as a WR3/ Flex if Bateman is inactive.
WR Streamers (ranked): Romeo Doubs (55% ESPN, 71% Yahoo, priority add WR3/Flex), Robert Woods (68% ESPN, 68% Yahoo), Devin Duvernay, Josh Reynolds, Corey Davis, George Pickens, Mack Hollins, Noah Brown, Darnell Mooney (55% Yahoo, 72% ESPN), Michael Gallup, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Nelson Agholor, Nico Collins, Alec Pierce, Richie James, Tyler Boyd, Joshua Palmer, Marquez Callaway, Robbie Anderson, Khalil Shakir (monitor Isaiah McKenzie status), Kendrick Bourne, K.J. Osborn, Jarvis Landry, Jamal Agnew (monitor Zay Jones status), Rondale Moore, Isaiah McKenzie (inj-stash), Jahan Dotson (inj-stash), Kadarius Toney (inj-stash), Wan’Dale Robinson (inj-stash).
Logan Thomas (TE, Washington Commanders)
Remember how we just talked about Duvernay racking up big gains and sprinting past would-be tacklers? Well, Logan Thomas is probably not going to do any of that. What he does offer is a solid floor with what I expect to be an uptick in targets and red zone looks. Thomas is working his way back from a 2021 mid-season ACL tear and played his most snaps of the season in Week 4, so I feel that things will continue to ramp up in terms of efficiency and involvement. Combine that with the short-term loss of Jahan Dotson in the passing game and I think you have a back-end TE1 for Week 5.
TE Streamers (ranked): Gerald Everett (63% ESPN, 81% Yahoo), David Njoku (65% ESPN, 76% Yahoo), Tyler Conklin, Logan Thomas, Taysom Hill, Robert Tonyan, Hayden Hurst, Evan Engram, Irv Smith Jr., Hunter Henry, Will Dissly, Juwan Johnson, Mo Alie-Cox, Cole Kmet, Mike Gesicki.
Impact Backups/ Injury Stashes
This is a new section I am trying out so do not be surprised if there are tweaks throughout the season (constructive suggestions in the Comments are always welcome and very much appreciated as well!). Although this article’s primary focus is to rank and discuss RB/WR/TEs who are fantasy-relevant and 65%-rostered or less, I also believe it is extremely important to plan ahead by setting your roster up with contingency options if disaster strikes. Not many things in the fantasy sports universe are worse than having a successful regular season undone by gut-wrenching injury luck. That said, here is my first-ever(!) list of Top Impact Backups and Injury Stashes, in order, regardless of position:
Top Impact Backups: Nyheim Hines (starting this week!), Rachaad White, Darrell Henderson (61% ESPN, 75% Yahoo), Samaje Perine, Jaylen Warren, Dontrell Hilliard, Matt Breida, Eno Benjamin, Jordan Mason, Isiah Pacheco/ Jerick McKinnon, James Cook, Ken Walker, Gus Edwards, Kenneth Gainwell, Caleb Huntley.
Graduated (add if available): Jamaal Williams, Khalil Herbert, Darrell Henderson (61% ESPN, 75% Yahoo), Michael Carter (77% ESPN, 75% Yahoo), Alexander Mattison (45% ESPN, 71% Yahoo).
Top Injury Stashes: Brian Robinson (could take over early-down and goal-line work once activated if Antonio Gibson does not improve), Kadarius Toney/ Wan’Dale Robinson (the Giants WR1 can’t be Richie James all season, right?), Jameson Williams (talented rookie but also will need to climb depth chart past other Detroit WRs), Gus Edwards (Ravens have shown tendency to utilize two backs when Edwards and Dobbins are healthy), Jahan Dotson (not a long-term absence; TD-machine so far)
Accountability is everything, so here is a quick look back at last week’s recommendations
Jerick McKinnon (RB, Kansas City Chiefs): McKinnon failed to do much of anything with his three total touches while Isiah Pacheco rushed 11 times for 63 yards. Pacheco is the backup to stash for the Chiefs.
Samaje Perine (RB, Cincinnati Bengals): Joe Mixon proved healthy last Thursday and dominated touches out of the backfield, confirming Perine’s status as strictly an impact stash with little standalone value.
Romeo Doubs (WR, Green Bay Packers): Doubs received eight targets for the second-straight week, hauling in five catches for 47 yards and a score. Right now he is the most reliable WR for Aaron Rodgers; add as a weekly WR3/ Flex until further notice.
Noah Brown/ Michael Gallup (WR, Dallas Cowboys): Both players turned in decent fantasy performances in Week 4. Brown had three catches (six targets) for 61 yards while Gallup snagged two-of-three targets for 24 yards and a touchdown. This was Gallup’s first game action since recovering from ACL surgery, so look for things to begin tilting in his favor as he rounds back into form.
Tyler Conklin (TE, New York Jets): Conklin did not see the lofty target counts that he has in past weeks (something to monitor now that Zach Wilson is at QB), but he was still the Jets’ third-leading receiver with three catches (five targets) for 52 yards. He remains a fringe TE1/TE2.
Make sure to check out our weekly priority waiver wire adds article and waiver wire podcast for more insights on who you should be submitting claims for heading into each Wednesday; it is a great way to get a head start on acquiring players often discussed in this article. Good luck in Week 5!
(Photo by Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire)