The Must Stash: Week 4

Deep sleepers to stash before Week 4's games.

Every Friday I will list some 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 James Robinson (88% on Yahoo, 94.7% on ESPN), Joshua Kelley (61% on Yahoo, 64.9% on ESPN), or Laviska Shenault (27% on Yahoo, 33.6% on ESPN) are on the waiver wire, you’re either in a league too shallow for stashing, or you should go pick them up right away.

In addition, for those of you in really deep leagues (16+ teams), we will also include some deep cut players that are rostered in less than 3% of leagues on both Yahoo and ESPN in a section at the end to try and give you the best chance of winning your fantasy league.

Week 1 was a success where we advised you to pick up Joshua Kelley, Laviska Shenault, and Jerick McKinnon. Week 2 wasn’t quite as successful in finding huge steals, but still pretty good as Corey Davis, Myles Gaskin, Logan Thomas, and Tre’Quan Smith showed that they are rosterable. Week 3, we hit on Mo Alie-Cox and Jeff Wilson, who have both seen the number of leagues they are rostered in grow since last week. Who made the list(s) this week? Let’s dive in!

 

The Must Stash

 

Hunter Renfrow, WR, Las Vegas Raiders (19% on Yahoo, 13% on ESPN)

 

Hunter Renfrow played well last week, catching six of nine targets for 84 yards and a touchdown against the New England Patriots. The Raiders wide receiving corps is banged up. Rookie receiver Henry Ruggs III is a longshot to play this week with a hamstring injury. His teammate, wide receiver Bryan Edwards, injured his ankle against the Patriots and has already been declared out for week 4, and could be out longer. The Raiders will be relying on Hunter Renfrow, Nelson Agholor, and Zay Jones to carry the load this week.

 

Player Receptions Targets Receiving Yards Receiving TDs
Hunter Renfrow 11 14 142 1
Nelson Agholor 4 5 74 1
Zay Jones 4 4 47 1

 

Of those three Renfrow has developed the best chemistry with quarterback Derek Carr, and it makes him the best player to add in this situation. He’ll have a great opportunity to produce the next few weeks.

 

Anthony McFarland Jr., RB, Pittsburgh Steelers (2% on Yahoo, 2% on ESPN)

 

While I am a little more hesitant to include Anthony McFarland on ‘The Must Stash’ this week after the Pittsburgh Steelers-Tennessee Titans week 4 game was postponed, he’s a player I would rather be too early on including in this list than too late. Anthony McFarland looked great in his first NFL action last week, taking six carries for 42 rushing yards and catching one pass for seven yards. McFarland’s performance combined with Benny Snell‘s poor performance (seven carries for 11 rushing yards) improved his odds of taking over as the primary change-of-pace running back and #2 back in the Steelers offense behind James Conner.

After Sunday’s game Steelers head coach talked about McFarland saying, “He has merited more playing time,” said Tomlin. “He has had some really good practices. This is a difficult environment for young guys to establish themselves and get the type of feel that you are willing to play him and play him a lot. Without preseason games the process might be a little bit more cumbersome for him. He has continually worked hard and earned the opportunity that he got. I am sure we’re going to continue down that road with he and others.”

In addition, given James Conner’s extensive injury history, there’s a very real possibility that McFarland could potentially see lead back carries at some point this year. He’s one of the best boom/bust lottery tickets that you can still find available on a majority of waiver wires.

 

Brian Hill, RB, Atlanta Falcons (9% on Yahoo, 7% on ESPN)

 

Last week against the Chicago Bears, Brian Hill ran for 58 yards and a touchdown on nine carries, and caught one pass for 22 receiving yards. Hill’s fantasy production was nearly identical to starting running back Todd Gurley despite getting less work overall, which raises the question: Is it possible for Brian Hill to take the starting job at some point this year?

While I’m not sure he will ever outright take the role from Gurley, there is potential for Hill to turn this into a full-blown 50/50 committee backfield between the two players. Let’s take a look at the snap counts over the first 3 weeks of the NFL season for both Gurley and Hill.

 

Player Week Offensive Snap Count Offensive Snap Count %
Todd Gurley 1 36/79 45.6%
Todd Gurley 2 48/75 64.0%
Todd Gurley 3 35/68 51.5%

 

Now a look at how Brian Hill’s snap counts have looked each week so far.

 

Player Week  Offensive Snap Count Offensive Snap Count %
Brian Hill 1 21/79 26.6%
Brian Hill 2 15/75 20.0%
Brian Hill 3 23/68 33.8%

 

Brian Hill has commanded 59 of 222 offensive snaps (26.6%) on the year and had his highest snap count to date in week 3. It makes sense that Brian Hill saw his snap count increase given how efficient he’s been so far this season. Why don’t we take a look at how his stats compare to starting running back Todd Gurley’s stats through the first 3 games.

 

Player Rushing Attempts Rushing Yards Rushing TDs Targets Receptions Receiving Yards Receiving TDs
Todd Gurley 49 197 2 7 3 3 0
Brian Hill 15 84 1 7 5 41 0

 

Looking at Gurley and Hill’s counting stats, we notice a few things:

  1. Gurley has gotten a majority of the carries on the ground (49 carries compared to Hill’s 15)
  2. Brian Hill has been very efficient with the touches he’s gotten, averaging 6.2 yards per touch (10th best among running backs)
  3. Passing work has been pretty split between the two running backs, but Hill has been more efficient with it

Based on all of this information, Hill is one of the most interesting ‘handcuffs’ in fantasy football right now. Todd Gurley is still going to be the most valuable player in this backfield when healthy, but even if Todd Gurley stays healthy Hill can work his way into being a matchup-based FLEX player.

 

Andy Isabella, WR, Arizona Cardinals (4% on Yahoo, 1.6% on ESPN)

 

Andy Isabella has been making some noise the last couple weeks for the Arizona Cardinals. In week 2 against the Washington Football team, he took two receptions on three targets for 67 receiving yards. In last week’s game against the Detroit Lions he was even more involved, catching four passes for 47 receiving yards and two touchdowns. He’s been seeing his snap count rise each week, and after the performance in his last game the Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury commented, “Game has slowed down for him. (He) really worked hard at his craft and (it’s) good to see him have that success today.”

If the sophomore receiver is actually putting it together this year, he’s got massive upside with his 4.31 speed (forty-yard dash) and being a part of Kliff Kingsbury’s WR friendly offense that has provided 75 targets in 3 games this year (25 per game) and gave its wide receivers 23.69 targets per game last year.

 

Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Chicago Bears (7% on Yahoo, 3% on ESPN)

 

While I’m not overly excited to put Cordarelle Patterson on this list given his extensive past of fantasy irrelevance, there were a few things that happened this week that should at least put him on your radar. The Bears lost running back Tarik Cohen for the season to a torn ACL, and while that will primarily benefit running back David Montgomery it also opens the door for Patterson to see more usage in the gadget plays that Matt Nagy liked to run for Cohen. The Bears also made the decision to end the Mitchell Trubisky era and give Nick Foles the starting quarterback position, which should help provide the Bears offense with more scoring opportunities for the rest of the year.

In addition, for those of you playing on ESPN, Cordarrelle Patterson is eligible at both WR and RB. In a year where games will be postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic on top of dealing with the usual bye weeks and injuries that occur during a fantasy season,  rostering a dual-eligible player can provide your team with a little more roster flexibility if your roster ends up in a bind. Patterson may not be the guy to put you over the top in your fantasy league, but he’s a good depth piece to round out your roster (especially in ESPN leagues).

 


Deep Cuts

 

(Less Than 3% owned in ESPN and Yahoo)

 

JaMycal Hasty, RB, San Francisco 49ers (0% on Yahoo, 0.7% on ESPN): JaMycal Hasty is in a similar situation as Jeff Wilson was last week. There have been a ton of injuries in the 49ers running back room with Raheem Mostert and Tevin Coleman missing last week and Jerick McKinnon getting banged up in a victory against the New York Giants. Hasty made waves during training camp and just barely missed the 53 man roster due to the team’s depth at the position, his pass-blocking ability, and not being great on special teams.  Given his electric playmaking ability, he’s worth a roster spot in deeper leagues.

 

Braxton Berrios, WR, New York Jets (2% on Yahoo, 2.4% on ESPN): In the last two games, Berrios has made 10 receptions on 12 targets for 123 receiving yards and two touchdowns. While Berrios has certainly benefited from Breshad Perriman and Jamison Crowder being out, his performance so far has been impressive enough to put him on the radar of fantasy managers.

 

Rashaad Penny, RB, Seattle Seahawks (3% on Yahoo, 2.2% on ESPN): Rashaad Penny is a player I anticipate that will move up from the ‘Deep Cuts’ list to ‘The Must Stash’ in the future, once he gets closer to returning from the PUP list. He’s currently ahead of schedule in his recovery and should be back around week 8 or so. Given Seahawks starting back Chris Carson is already banged up after a dirty hit by the Cowboys Trysten Hill as well as Penny’s previous effectiveness and first-round pedigree, this is a lottery ticket that could really pay off. If you have an IR spot available, it might be a good idea to stash Penny in there. 

 

Gus Edwards, RB, Baltimore Ravens (2% on Yahoo, 1.3% on ESPN): Gus Edwards has been consistently solid throughout his career, averaging 5.4 YPC over 288 carries in his three-year NFL career. While the backfield situation is crowded between himself, J.K. Dobbins, and Mark Ingram, if either of Ingram or Dobbins misses time Edwards could have some value in Baltimore’s high-scoring offense.

 

Jalen Hurts, QB, Philadelphia Eagles (1% on Yahoo, 1.2% on ESPN): Philadelphia Eagles starting quarterback Carson Wentz has been terrible to start the year, completing just 59.8% of his passes and throwing twice as many interceptions (6) as touchdowns (3) through the first three games. While Doug Pederson has stated that Carson Wentz’s starting job is not in trouble yet, the team did use a second-round pick on Jalen Hurts in the 2020 NFL draft. Given this as well as Jalen Hurts’ strong rushing ability in college producing 10.96 rushing attempts, 58.46 rushing yards, and 0.77 rushing touchdowns, he could be an intriguing fantasy option if Wentz’s struggles continue.

 

Travis Homer, RB, Seattle Seahawks (1% on Yahoo, 1% on ESPN): With the injury to Chris Carson, the Seahawks will lean more heavily on Carlos Hyde, Travis Homer, and DeeJay Dallas to carry the load this week. Homer doesn’t have a whole lot of upside long-term, but for the near future, he could be surprisingly useful.

 

DeeJay Dallas, RB, Seattle Seahawks (0% on Yahoo, 0.4% on ESPN): We are loading up on the Seattle Seahawks running backs for the ‘Deep Cuts’ section this week after Chris Carson‘s injury. While it doesn’t look like he’ll be out long, the 4th round rookie running back should have more opportunities this week and could make a case for himself to be the Seahawks primary pass-catching running back.

 

Trey Burton, TE, Indianapolis Colts (1% on Yahoo, 0.2% on ESPN): As I’ve touched on in the previous weeks of this series, Burton is worth keeping an eye on based on Frank Reich and Philip Rivers‘s past history of utilizing the tight-end position. While he should be healthy and ready to play this week, given how well Mo Alie-Cox has been playing it might be more difficult to earn playing time. The Colts’ main pass-catching TE needs to be rostered in most leagues, but since it’s unlikely that Burton takes over the job this week we will keep him on the ‘Deep Cuts’ list once again.

 

J.J. Taylor, RB, New England Patriots (0% on Yahoo, 0.3% on ESPN): Last week against the Las Vegas Raiders J.J. Taylor took 11 carries for 43 rushing yards. Given the Patriots tendency to be unpredictable at running back each week it’s difficult to tell if Taylor will be utilized much in the future. But he’s worth monitoring at the very least.

 

Darnell Mooney, WR, Chicago Bears (1% on Yahoo, 0.7% on ESPN): The Bears 5th round pick Darnell Mooney has been playing pretty well in his first three NFL games, catching eight passes on 11 targets for 93 yards and a touchdown. The Bears decision to start quarterback Nick Foles could help Mooney take the next step and become an occasional FLEX play/decent bench piece for fantasy players.

 

That’s it for week 3. Feel free to weigh in and mention any players you believe should be on this list.

 

Featured Image by Justin Paradis (@freshmeatcomm on Twitter)

2 responses to “The Must Stash: Week 4”

  1. Z says:

    tee higgins or isabella ?

    • Eli Grabanski says:

      Hi Z!

      I would say Tee Higgins for now (since you are less likely to get him later), but keep a close eye on Isabella

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