Four weeks of the fantasy season is long enough to provide a pretty decent idea of where you stand in your league. It’s enough of a sample to assess where your strengths and weaknesses are and plan for the adjustments you’ll need to make to win in Week 5. For those with an unfortunate 1-3 or 0-4 mark, the good news is there’s still time to get things turned around. Here are a few players I feel can help you notch a crucial win as we surpass the quarter mark of the season.
Jaylen Samuels (RB, Pittsburgh Steelers)
Samuels took on a super-utility role for the Steelers on Monday night with 10 carries for 26 yards (one touchdown), eight catches for 57 yards, and three pass completions for 31 yards as signal-caller in Pittsburgh’s Wildcat formation. If the Steelers continue protecting Mason Rudolph with short throws to the running backs, Samuels should have a nice weekly floor as a FLEX in PPR leagues. James Conner (ankle) came out of Week 4 a little banged up and any limited role for him would lift up Samuels even more against the Ravens (27th vs RBs).
Nyheim Hines (RB, Indianapolis Colts)
This one is more of the deep-league or PPR variety, but Hines could be primed for a nice fantasy output in Week 5. Marlon Mack (quad) is a shaky-at-best questionable and I expect Indy to be playing from behind on Sunday night in Kansas City. As the Colts tried to overcome last week’s deficit against the Raiders, Hines had six catches for 39 yards and three carries for six yards. That type of production doesn’t scream breakout, but Hines should benefit from increased opportunities with the negative game script and Mack’s potential absence. Jordan Wilkins would be a low-level FLEX play in standard leagues if Mack is out.
Geronimo Allison (WR, Green Bay Packers)
After compiling a total of five catches and 24 yards through the first three weeks of the season, fantasy owners were justified in dropping Allison from their rosters. It looked like he would be third in line at receiver and it didn’t help that the Packers opened the year with three tough secondaries that stifled their passing attack overall. Then the schedule opened up in Week 4 against a beatable Eagles defense, Davante Adams left the game with turf toe, and suddenly Allison was back to catching passes from Aaron Rodgers. Allison now has two touchdowns over the past three weeks and will assume a larger role in the passing game as long as Adams is out.
Auden Tate (WR, Cincinnati Bengals)
No, it’s not Golden Tate, Office Linebacker Terry Tate, or even former Bengal Brandon Tate. One player you will find available on your waiver wire, however, is Auden Tate. It’s easy to let the Bengals’ 0-4 record distract you from the fact that they are actually fourth in pass attempts per game (13th in passing yards per game with 257). The offensive line doesn’t appear to be improving enough to support a steady run game so I expect Dalton to throw in Tate’s direction frequently for the next few weeks as long as John Ross III and A.J. Green remain out with injuries. Tate has led the Bengals in receiving each of the past two weeks and has a good chance at doing so again vs the Cardinals this weekend.
Gerald Everett (TE, Los Angeles Rams)
I wasn’t planning on writing about Everett this week but his red zone receiving numbers caught my eye when browsing the leaderboard. He is currently third in the league in red zone catches (five catches on five targets, one TD) and plays in an offense that generates the third-most red zone scoring attempts per game (4.2). Opportunities and targets near the end zone are what you’re looking for in a streaming tight end and Everett should have both this week.
Tyler Eifert (TE, Cincinnati Bengals)
Eifert has yet to surpass 27 yards in any of the Bengals’ first four games but Week 5’s contest against the Cardinals (last vs TEs) has him lined up as a nice matchup play. I mentioned earlier how much the Bengals pass so there should be enough targets to go around for Eifert near the goal line. He dropped a touchdown last week and has a good shot to make up for it this time around.
Accountability is everything so here’s a quick look back at last week’s recommendations
Wayne Gallman (RB, New York Giants): Gallman came through in a big way in Week 4, stuffing the stat sheet on the ground (18 carries / 63 yards / one TD) and through the air (six catches / seven targets / 55 yards / one TD). His next two matchups won’t be as favorable with upcoming contests against Minnesota and New England, but I still think he’s a safe weekly FLEX with RB2 upside as long as Barkley is sidelined given his versatile usage.
Rex Burkhead (RB, New England Patriots): Burkhead was in on just 12 of 65 snaps for the Patriots offense as he entered the game listed as questionable (foot). The abbreviated snap count yielded just one catch for seven yards on the day. I still feel Burkhead has the potential to help fantasy owners in deeper leagues this season but his injury history and volatile weekly usage make him difficult to trust consistently.
Justin Jackson (RB, Los Angeles Chargers): The stage was set for Jackson to get double-digit touches against an exploitable Dolphins defense when he suffered a strained calf in practice last Thursday. With an injury that will keep him out for multiple weeks and Melvin Gordon’s impending return, Jackson can safely be dropped from teams that don’t have an IR slot.
Phillip Dorsett (WR, New England Patriots): Dorsett was targeted a season-high nine times but hauled in an inefficient two catches for 10 yards and one rush for nine yards. The Bills defense looks legit this season and I’m willing to give Dorsett a pass on a week the entire Patriots offense couldn’t get much going. Dorsett offers weekly FLEX value as part of an offense that won’t be as bogged down against the Redskins in Week 5.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling (WR, Green Bay Packers): MVS had an okay fantasy performance with three catches for 47 yards on seven targets. He will get a boost in value if Davante Adams (turf toe) is forced to miss time but will retain FLEX status most weeks regardless of Adams’ health.
Golden Tate (WR, New York Giants): Tate’s four game suspension has ended and he will join the Giants lineup for the first time in Week 5. If he somehow slipped through waivers, add him to your roster.
Eric Ebron (TE, Indianapolis Colts): Ebron appeared to be on his way to a dud after registering three drops in Week 4 but came through late to save fantasy owners with a 48-yard garbage time touchdown. It wasn’t pretty, but it got the job done if you decided to plug him into your lineups last week. Ebron is not a must-hold but is worth a roll of the dice most weeks if you need a fill-in at tight end.
Make sure to check out Matt Dean’s priority waiver wire adds article and/or podcast every Tuesday for more insight on who you should be submitting claims for heading into each Wednesday. Happy streaming and good luck in Week 5!
(Photo by Shelley Lipton/Icon Sportswire)