The Must Stash: Week 11

Every Friday I will list 5 players who I think, if things go their way, will wind up in those waiver articles the following Tuesday. You don’t have to stash all of them – it depends on who you have on your roster, the depth of your benches, the scoring system of your league, etc. But these are guys that should at least be on your radar. 

Stashing players is only something that can occur in deeper leagues with large benches, so to make this information worthwhile, I will only be recommending guys that are under 20% owned on both Yahoo and ESPN, and in many cases, you’ll see percentages in the single digits. If you’re in a league where guys like Brian Hill (69% on Yahoo, 59% on ESPN) or Darius Slayton (25% Yahoo, 21% on ESPN) are on the waiver wire, you’re either in a league too shallow for stashing, or you should go pick those guys up right away.

Week 10 is in the books, and it appears I/we have struck gold on a few of the deep sleepers from last week. First and foremost, Devonta Freeman injured his foot and is expected to miss at least two weeks, opening the door for last week’s stash, Brian Hill, to be the #1 running back in Atlanta. If you (or somebody else) didn’t stash Hill last week, you likely saw the #1 waiver claim or a 50% FAAB used to add him. I think that’s warranted. Hill is a serviceable running back capable of being a fulltime player. He’s big enough to play in short-yardage and good enough in the passing games to play on 3rd down. The Falcons don’t have much talent behind him, so it seems reasonable to expect that he steps directly into Freeman’s role. Hill has looked more explosive than Freeman all year, so I think he can outproduce Freeman’s numbers from weeks 1 through 10.

We may also get to see J.D. McKissic as the lead back for the Lions, at least for one week. Ty Johnson suffered a concussion in last week’s game and has yet to pass the requisite tests to be cleared to play. McKissic is a sneaky RB2 until Johnson gets cleared, and possibly even after Johnson gets back. McKissic is too undersized to be a workhorse, but he could be a poor man’s version of what Phillip Lindsay is in Denver – the more explosive and productive player in a 50/50 split.

And then there’s Jacob Hollister, who tied D.K. Metcalf for the most targets among Seahawk receivers on Monday night. Eight of Hollister’s ten targets came in the second half and three came in overtime after Tyler Lockett was forced out of the game with a leg injury. Lockett’s status is unclear going forward – early reports made it sound like Lockett was in danger of having his leg amputated, but now Seattle is optimistic that Lockett will be able to return after their week 11 bye.  If Lockett is out, those targets need to go somewhere and a few likely get distributed to Hollister. If Lockett is in, it takes some of the pressure off Hollister and likely makes it easier for him to get open. Either scenario is good for Hollister and makes him a TE1 going forward.

On to week 11. Hopefully I can strike gold a few more times here, and hopefully it doesn’t take as many injuries this time around.

 

Chase Edmonds, RB, Arizona Cardinals (15% on Yahoo, 15% on ESPN)

 

I’m seeing Chase Edmonds get dropped in some leagues because of the combination of his hamstring injury, the return of David Johnson, and the Cardinals’ acquisition of Kenyan Drake. It makes sense to cut ties with Edmonds in shallower leagues, but in deep leagues, I think there are a few reasons to hold onto Edmonds for the fantasy playoffs.

First of all, if it weren’t for the injuries to Edmonds and Johnson, I don’t think the Cardinals would have bothered to trade for Kenyan Drake. Drake is not part of their future and he’s not an upgrade over Edmonds. They didn’t give up much to acquire Drake – just a conditional 6th round pick. It’s basically a free rental because if Drake signs a large enough deal with another team in the offseason, Arizona could end up with a compensatory pick as good or better than the one they gave up to acquire Drake. They’re betting that their offense can make Drake productive for whatever amount of time he needs to play.

When that time is up I think the Cardinals will return to using Edmonds as their main running back, which leads me to my next point:

There is something wrong with David Johnson.

This is not the man that singlehandedly won fantasy leagues in 2016. He looks slow, tentative, and scared of contact. It’s been this way for a few weeks now. I think his back injury is far more serious than he and the Cardinals have made it out to be. One more performance like the 5-carry-for-2-yards-and-a-lost-fumble dud that he delivered last weekend and I think we might see DJ shut down for the year. If and when that happens, I expect we see a split between Edmonds and Drake, with Edmonds taking a larger chunk of the work.

 

Raheem Mostert, RB, San Franciso 49ers (10% on Yahoo, 9% on ESPN)

 

Matt Breida suffered another ankle sprain during Monday night’s loss to the Seahawks and could miss a week or more. Lucky for the 49ers, they already have a poor man’s Matt Breida on their roster in the form of Raheem Mostert. Mostert had some fantasy relevancy during Tevin Coleman’s injury in the first few weeks of the season but faded back into obscurity when Coleman returned.

Mostert would have value if Breida misses time because Kyle Shanahan is in love with the idea of using his running backs in tandem. In 8 of 9 games this year, the 49ers have had two or more running backs exceed 10 touches. The lone exception is week 6, the game against Washington that was played in a monsoon (Breida still received 9 carries). I expect Mostert to step into Breida’s role as long as he’s needed, and that would make him a borderline RB2 given the 49ers upcoming schedule – this week against the Cardinals and the following week against the Packers.

 

Andy Isabella, WR, Arizona Cardinals (1% on Yahoo, 1% on ESPN)

 

I was hoping we’d see more of a breakout from Andy Isabella against a weak Tampa Bay pass defense, but for whatever reason Kliff Kingsbury insists on coddling him. Still, there are positive signs with the Cardinals’ rookie. Isabella logged his highest snap count of the year (26) and his highest target total (3) of the year against the Bucs. He also managed to deliver another big play, a 55-yard catch on run on a simple crossing pattern.

I don’t know how much longer Kingsbury can delay this. Pharoah Cooper and Keesean Johnson are just warm bodies. Isabella simply makes this offense better. The future of this team is Kyler Murray throwing to Isabella and Christian Kirk. The beauty of Isabella, for this year and the future, is that it doesn’t take much for him to deliver big plays. All he needs is 6 or 7 targets and a jet sweep or two. Kirk can be Kyler’s #1 option and the guy that defenses focus on stopping; Isabella can be the guy that hits home runs when he gets left in single coverage or a safety gets caught out of place. As long as Isabella’s snap counts and targets continue to grow, I’m going to keep him on this list.

 

Hunter Renfrow, WR, Oakland Raiders (13% on Yahoo, 7% on ESPN)

 

Hunter Renfrow is quietly developing a rapport with Derek Carr. 4 targets against the Texans 3 weeks ago, one of them leading to a 65-yard touchdown. Two weeks ago, a career-high 7 targets, which led the team. Then last Thursday against the Chargers, Renfrow finished in a 4-way tie for the target lead again, with five. Five targets may seem like a step backward, but it was a strange game where Philip Rivers threw two early interceptions, one leading to a defensive touchdown. The early turnovers by Rivers led the Raiders to possess the ball for less than 25 minutes and allowed them to lean on their run game. When the Raiders needed to throw, Renfrow was among the primary options.

Maybe its Renfrow’s receding hairline, or maybe its the fact that he was quasi-household name as a college player at Clemson, but it’s easy to forget that he’s a rookie. When Renfrow didn’t contribute much in the early part of the season, I assumed it was because he was too small and unathletic to contribute in the pros, but maybe he just needed time to adjust. The Raiders have some nice matchups coming up – at home against the Bengals, at the Jets, and at Kansas City – and are suddenly live to win the AFC West. Renfrow may have some value, especially in PPR leagues, as defenses continue to focus on stopping Darren Waller and Tyrell Williams in the passing game.

 

Ross Dwelley, TE, San Franciso 49ers (5% on Yahoo, 5% on ESPN)

 

I’m not sure how much I really believe in this last guy, but if you own George Kittle and missed out on better options like Jacob Hollister and Dallas Goedert, you could do worse than Ross Dwelley. If you’ve watched the 49ers this year, you may have noticed a 2nd tight end in the game that looks like a slower clone of Kittle. That’s Dwelley – George Kittle with undrafted-free-agent athleticism.

If you own Kittle, the fact that Dwelley is Kittle’s backup simplifies things for you. You won’t need to worry about Kittle being a game-time decision in an afternoon or night game. You’ll have the 49ers starting tight end, whoever that ends up being. And the 49ers seem content to use Dwelley in the “Kittle role” for the time being. I thought they might have Dwelley split the tight end duties with veteran Levine Toilolo, but Dwelley got 91% of the snaps and 7 targets last Monday against the Seahawks. Dwelley only converted those 7 targets into 3 catches for 24 yards, but I’m willing to give him a pass in his first NFL start. Go ahead and roll the dice with this guy if you’re desperate.

That’s it for week 11. Feel free to comment if you think there are any stashes I missed.

 

Featured Image by Justin Paradis (@freshmeatcomm on Twitter)

Tom (@QBLTom)

Tom lives in an alternate universe where the Bostick onside kick never happened and Nick Foles still plays for the Eagles. There is mounting evidence that Brady is a system QB. #GPG

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