Win the Wire
The best players to add to your fantasy rosters (based on Football Outsiders' advanced metrics).

Win the Wire: Week 6

Miami Dolphins RB Myles Gaskin
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

Justin Jefferson's breakout 175-yard performance in Week 3 settled the fact that this rookie class of receivers is one of the best in recent memory. And even before Week 5, Jefferson, CeeDee Lamb, Jerry Jeudy, and Tee Higgins were startable fantasy players, with Brandon Aiyuk and Laviska Shenault not far from that same consideration. Week 5 opened the floodgates, and even with one of the game's premiere handcuff running backs seeing his starter suffer a groin injury, a rookie receiver tops the list of my recommended FAB offers for Week 6.

Roster percentages are for ESPN/Yahoo.

Chase Claypool, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers

9%/16%

It's pretty easy to play the pessimist for Claypool's fantasy-rich performance of 113 yards and four total touchdowns. That argument would start with the scores themselves. He seemed to slip the minds of the Eagles defense on both his first and third receiving touchdowns, a 32-yard catch-and run…

And a 35-yard catch-and-run.

Meanwhile, his 5-yard strike in between was the result of an exceptional play design. Claypool was the trailing receiver in a diamond of four targets, the lead three of which set a screen that made it easy for him to find a crease and subsequently the end zone without being touched.

With the touchdowns being fluky and given that Claypool is the No. 1 touchdown overachiever based on his 1.07 opportunity-adjusted receiving touchdowns in Week 3 and 5 -- creating a surplus of 1.93 touchdowns -- one should temper any expectations that include more multi-score games. And Claypool may not find the field time to support a heavy passing volume when Diontae Johnson (who played just six snaps on Sunday before suffering a back injury) and the Steelers' other receivers are all healthy. Even with Johnson sidelined, Claypool (69%) trailed both JuJu Smith-Schuster (76%) and James Washington (71%) in offensive snaps played.

Still, I think it's entirely appropriate to be optimistic of Claypool's short-term fantasy prospects and spend more on him in FAB than any other player this week. Claypool's 1.07 opportunity-adjusted touchdowns may be fewer than he actually scored, but they are still more than double those of his teammates Washington (0.48), Eric Ebron (0.48), Smith-Schuster (0.47), and James Conner (0.35) over the same period. And Claypool's 6-foot-4, 238-pound frame supports a heavy red zone target share, which may be more than Ebron deserves after he dropped another critical pass in the fourth quarter last week. And, frankly, Claypool likely deserves more target share everywhere on the field. His two most impressive plays on Sunday were on targets that didn't even count. His first was a 33-yard "catch" that showed tremendous body control even if he couldn't tap his second foot before his elbow landed out of bounds.

And a would-be 42-yard touchdown demonstrated the physicality one would expect from such a big-bodied receiver. He didn't even have to push off to send 195-pound cornerback Craig James flying on a stop-and-go, and the play easily could have counted for Claypool's fifth total touchdown on the day.

I think the Steelers tipped their hands of their intentions to increase Claypool's usage with his early-game carries. And now that he's excelled as an every-snap player, I can't imagine the team would want to turn back.

Recommended FAB bid (% of maximum): 51%
Should you use your No. 1 waiver priority on him: Yes

Travis Fulgham, WR, Philadelphia Eagles

0%/3%

In the strangest development of Week 6, I was tempted to put a sixth-round receiver that the Lions released after a rookie season without a catch on three targets at the top of the FAB list over a player who scored four touchdowns on Sunday. And, honestly, the only reason I didn't was because I don't think he would require so heavy a waiver offer to land him. Fulgham's obvious advantage over Claypool and the rest of the waiver options is that the Eagles have an opening for their No. 1 receiver. But with his 10-catch, 152-yard performance on Sunday, Fulgham teased a potential to be much more than simply the team's top target by default. He showed the power of his 6-foot-2, 215-pound frame by bouncing off of hard-hitting safety Minkah Fitzpatrick to gain 18 yards.

He demonstrated excellent route-running, cutting off an out route sharply to find a hole in the Steelers' zone and convert on a third-and-17.

Thereafter, Fulgham became Carson Wentz's go-to option on difficult third downs. And he delivered with a 31-yard catch on a third-and-12 that showed good concentration and body control reaching up over a cornerback in line with he and the pass…

… and by elevating over 5-foot-9 corner Mike Hilton to gain 18 yards on a third-and-8.

Fulgham has barely played two games and already owns four of Wentz's 15 conversions on third-and-4 or longer this season. Meanwhile, he looks more like Justin Jefferson than a Day 3 journeyman, and the Eagles seem to have recognized it by playing him on 78% of their offensive snaps and targeting him 13 times, more than twice as many as anyone else on the team. DeSean Jackson and Alshon Jeffery could both be back next week, but I don't think it matters. Fulgham is the receiver to target on the Eagles and has top-20 fantasy potential at the position.

Recommended FAB bid (% of maximum): 45%
Should you use your No. 1 waiver priority on him: Yes

Alexander Mattison, RB, Minnesota Vikings

42%/40%

Dalvin Cook suffered an apparent groin injury in the Vikings' Sunday night loss to the Seahawks. And while his early-week MRI should confirm his prognosis, the team's proximity to a Week 7 bye makes it likely that Cook will miss at least one game, a time table our injury analyst Andrew Potter indicates is typical for those ailments independent of teams' schedules. Backup Mattison is one of the premiere running back handcuffs in football, something he demonstrated with 136 total yards on 23 touches in relief of Cook on Sunday. He isn't the same versatile back that Cook is, lagging behind with 1.7 versus 2.4 yards after contact per attempt and a 37.9% versus 49.4% success rate since the start of 2019. But Mattison is quick and has nearly matched Cook with 4.7 versus 4.8 yards per attempt over that time. He would be a no-brainer start for the run-heavy Vikings in Week 6 independent of their matchup. But as a bonus that should land him in the top 10 at the position, the team faces the Falcons and their 25th-ranked DVOA defense (7.9%).

Recommended FAB bid (% of maximum): 42%
Should you use your No. 1 waiver priority on him: Yes

Justin Jackson, RB, Los Angeles Chargers

51%/43%

Jackson seemed like a natural skills replacement for Austin Ekeler, out for several weeks with a hamstring injury. As a rookie, Jackson broke a tackle on 30.8% of his 65 touches, a top-five rate at the position that bested even Ekeler's exceptional 26.9%. But it was still nice to see Jackson replace Ekeler's role in full on Monday night. His 15 carries and six targets represented 46.9% and 18.8% respective carry and target shares, nearly identical rates to what Ekeler showed (44.3% and 14.8%) in his healthy three weeks. Don't hesitate to make a substantial FAB offer for Jackson, although take note that the Chargers have their bye in Week 6.

Recommended FAB bid (% of maximum): 35%
Should you use your No. 1 waiver priority on him: Yes

Mike Williams, WR, Los Angeles Chargers

34%/39%

With the timing of the Chargers' Monday night game, we may not gain any clarity on the severity of Keenan Allen's back injury that knocked him out of the second half. But now that Williams has demonstrated his own health, I don't think Allen's presence should be a deterrent to his fantasy value. Williams has struggled with injuries in his career, but when he has played, he's produced. And at 6-foot-4 and 220 pounds and with tremendous athleticism, he is one of the game's preeminent touchdown scorers. He showed that on Monday with two scores, but he is also third among the 78 wide receivers with 100 or more targets since 2018 with 0.084 opportunity-adjusted receiving touchdowns per target. Only David Moore (0.120) and DK Metcalf (0.093) have been more prolific, and they both have the benefit of Russell Wilson at quarterback.

Recommended FAB bid (% of maximum): 21%
Should you use your No. 1 waiver priority on him: No

Myles Gaskin, RB, Miami Dolphins

79%/77%

I hate to see Gaskin plateaued just shy of 80% roster rates in both ESPN and Yahoo! formats -- one, because the rules I set up for this column require me to write about him every week; and two, because he's really good. Just do you and me both a favor and add him in all of your fantasy leagues. His 22nd-ranked 46.4% carry share and fourth-ranked 14.9% target shares this season should on their own have been enough to justify that. But then in Week 5, the Dolphins made Jordan Howard a healthy inactive and transitioned his red zone work to Gaskin. With that further role expansion, Gaskin took three carries inside the 10-yard line and one from the 1-yard line on Sunday, which he converted for a score and, with his other carries, conferred him 0.91 opportunity-adjusted rushing touchdowns, the seventh-most at the position for the week. Now, Gaskin has a flawless workload for a fantasy back and could easily finish in the top 10 in PPR formats. He deserves more than a 20% FAB offer, but I'm guessing he we won't require that in the leagues that have failed to prioritize him over the first quarter of the season.

Recommended FAB bid (% of maximum): 20%
Should you use your No. 1 waiver priority on him: No

Cam Akers, RB, Los Angeles Rams

60%/64%

The second-round rookie Akers has the long-term potential to be an every-down back like Gaskin. But in the short term, he's in what looks like a frustrating time share in Los Angeles. Malcom Brown may have rope-a-doped me again this season with a two-touchdown opener that he has followed with just a 13.3% share of the team's opportunity-adjusted rushing touchdowns since. That rate is below that of quarterback Jared Goff (17.8%) and way below that of lead back Darrell Henderson (56.4%). But Brown is still heavily involved, playing 38% of the team's offensive snaps on Sunday that, along with Henderson's 43%, landed Akers in a distant third place (19%). Maybe the former split will change, but the latter could last a while. Henderson has slumped by his traditional metrics with just 2.6 and 2.5 yards per carry the last two weeks, but those rates came in games with sets of high-difficulty carries. Over that stretch, Henderson has maintained an excellent 60.9% success rate, just shy of his 62.1% rate for the season that is better matched by a 4.5 yards-per-carry average. Akers has missed time, but his 46.2% success rate so far justifies a backup role even if his 4.3 yards per carry would on their own suggest otherwise.

Recommended FAB bid (% of maximum): 18%
Should you use your No. 1 waiver priority on him: No

Henry Ruggs, WR, Las Vegas Raiders

48%/44%

Fellow rookie Ruggs made his own return to the field in Week 5 after missing a few games with a hamstring injury. And while he didn't see a heavy volume of work, he nevertheless excelled with 118 yards and a touchdown on his three targets. The bulk of that production came on one 72-yard touchdown bomb, and that really showed you everything you need to see to want to add him in fantasy.

Derek Carr may have so far only mildly changed his stripes, increasing his average depth of target from 6.8 yards in 2018 and 6.6 in 2019 to 7.0 so far this season. But Carr has showed the capacity to excel on his deep attempts, throwing an accurate pass on 58.7% of his attempts of 16 or more air yards since the start of 2019, third-best of the 37 quarterbacks with 200 or more total attempts in that time. That makes him a surprisingly strong fit with Ruggs' ability to stretch the field and should put Ruggs near the top of the rankings of the rookie receivers in fantasy this season. And unlike Claypool, Ruggs shouldn't see much in the way of competition for targets. He finished second among the team's receivers with a 64% offensive snap share in Week 5, well ahead of slot receiver Hunter Renfrow (34%) in third place. But take note that the Raiders have their bye in Week 6, a fact that motivates my exclusion of Carr as a waiver pick-up despite his production this season.

Recommended FAB bid (% of maximum): 16%
Should you use your No. 1 waiver priority on him: No

Mecole Hardman, WR, Kansas City Chiefs

38%/40%

With Sammy Watkins expected to miss several weeks with a hamstring injury, both Hardman and Demarcus Robinson can make a case for fantasy rosters. They have nearly identical 9.0% and 7.9% respective target shares this season and played nearly identical 69% and 68% snap shares in Week 5. That said, I view Hardman as the clear waiver choice. Last season, he more than doubled his 6.0% target share from the 13 weeks when Watkins was healthy to 12.9% between Weeks 5 and 7 when Watkins was out. I expect a similar bump this season but to a higher ceiling since he's starting from a higher floor. Something in the neighborhood of a 16% target share wouldn't make Hardman stand out compared to other fantasy-relevant receivers, but on the Chiefs with Patrick Mahomes at quarterback, he could turn that into a flex consideration. He has scored a touchdown on eight of his just 58 career targets.

Recommended FAB bid (% of maximum): 16%
Should you use your No. 1 waiver priority on him: No

Brandin Cooks, WR, Houston Texans

62%/43%

Cooks is probably closer to Watkins than Hardman as a fantasy asset because of durability -- just replace soft-tissue concerns with concussion concerns. But Cooks has the look of a better fantasy asset than even a healthy Watkins thanks to the Texans' lack of quality receiver depth following the DeAndre Hopkins trade. Will Fuller has been the team's clear No. 1 option with a 24.2% target share outside of his injury-affected Week 2 shutout, but Cooks is up to a 20.9% share that is 20th at the position following his 12-target Sunday, which he converted into 161 yards and a touchdown. Unlike for Derek Carr, Deshaun Waton's deep-ball accuracy is no surprise. He has thrown an accurate pass on 58.3% of his balls with 16 or more air yards since the start of 2019, fourth-best at the position. And he finally demonstrated his deep-ball chemistry with Cooks on a pair of 36-yard strikes on Sunday.

Watson put the perfect touch on each pass to drop it over cornerback Chris Claybrooks, who wasn't badly beat on either route despite Cooks' top-end speed.

Meanwhile, Cooks has the versatility to make plays on crossing routes that fit well with his yards-after-the-catch ability. It's something he couldn't showcase last season with Jared Goff's accuracy struggles, but he showed it on his 28-yard touchdown that capped off a season-best fantasy day.

I think of Cooks as a boom-or-bust fantasy player, but an improved target share and the Texans' lack of a possession receiver should raise his floor … at least for as long as he can stay on the field.

Recommended FAB bid (% of maximum): 11%
Should you use your No. 1 waiver priority on him: No

Deebo Samuel, WR, San Francisco 49ers

79%/77%

Samuel didn't get a lot out of his full return to the offense (89% snap share) on Sunday, catching just two of his eight targets for 19 yards. But as I saw things, those failures were entirely on the shoulders of quarterbacks Jimmy Garoppolo and C.J. Beathard. This bounce-pass incompletion from Beathard in the third quarter neatly summarizes Samuel's day since all six of his incompletions were on uncatchable passes according to Sportradar charting.

It's not a good thing to have terrible quarterback play, but I don't expect it to continue to the same extreme once Garoppolo is fully healed from his high-ankle sprain (I suspect the team rushed him back because of their lack of faith in Nick Mullens and Beathard) and when Samuel isn't facing cornerbacks Xavien Howard and Byron Jones, healthy and on the field together for the first time as members of the Dolphins on Sunday. Use the lack of production as an opportunity to land the likely rest-of-season WR2 at a nice FAB discount.

Recommended FAB bid (% of maximum): 8%
Should you use your No. 1 waiver priority on him: No

Damien Harris, RB, New England Patriots

42%/54%

With the Patriots-Broncos game pushed to Week 6, I don't have much to add to the case I already made for Harris last week after his 17-carry, 100-yard season debut. Harris has at least three games in the Sony Michel role while Michel is on injured reserve with a quad injury, and I wouldn't be surprised at all if Harris took that job long-term. Michel has underwhelmed with -2.7% and -6.4% rushing DVOA in his first two seasons, and Harris teases a greater receiving upside with his 9.8% receiving ratio at Alabama -- even if he didn't catch a pass in Week 4.

Recommended FAB bid (% of maximum): 8%
Should you use your No. 1 waiver priority on him: No

Justin Herbert, QB, Los Angeles Chargers

35%/51%

Herbert may owe one of the four touchdowns he threw on Monday night to his defense that returned a Drew Brees interception to the 1-yard line. But it's becoming increasingly difficult to be critical of the rookie who impressed in his last-second debut against the Chiefs in Week 2 and has set a new career high in fantasy points in each of his three games since. Herbert is unafraid to throw the ball downfield, whether that be to his injury-elevated receivers like Tyron Johnson and Jalen Guyton in Week 4 or to touchdown savant Mike Williams on Monday.  But that aggressive approach has not taken away from Herbert's accuracy. According to Next Gen Stats, he's completed 5.9% more passes than expected by their depth, a top-five surplus at the position.

Recommended FAB bid (% of maximum): 8%
Should you use your No. 1 waiver priority on him: No

Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB, Miami Dolphins

21%/21%

I've been reluctant to push Fitzpatrick as a fantasy add on the assumption that Tua Tagovailoa would soon join his classmates Joe Burrow and Justin Herbert on the field. But there are rumors that the Dolphins may not be fully trusting of their rookie's hip health, and Fitzpatrick's strong play has the 2-3 team back in playoff contention -- especially hosting the Jets in Week 6 before the team's bye -- and likely unhurried to make a quarterback change. And when Fitzpatrick plays, he's undeniably productive for fantasy. Josh Allen, Russell Wilson, Patrick Mahomes, Dak Prescott, Kyler Murray, Aaron Rodgers, and Cam Newton have been the top tier of fantasy quarterbacks to start the season, averaging between 24.5 and 30.0 fantasy points per game, 3.0 points ahead of the field. But Fitzpatrick has been eighth-best at the position with 21.6 points per game. On Sunday, that success came courtesy of his 350 passing yards and three touchdowns, but Fitzpatrick has also been a sneakily prolific runner. His 129 rushing yards puts him on a full-season pace for 413, the same total that Deshaun Watson had last year that ranked him fourth of all quarterbacks.

Recommended FAB bid (% of maximum): 7%
Should you use your No. 1 waiver priority on him: No

Tee Higgins, WR, Cincinnati Bengals

41%/53%

I don't know whether to read A.J. Green's lone Sunday target as a reflection of the health of his hamstring, his rumored desire to be traded, or something else. But even before Sunday, Green had been hemorrhaging target share in favor of the rookie Higgins. The latter's 22.6% target share since Week 3 is the 16th-highest among all wide receivers, and his 81% snap share easily led the team with slot receiver Tylor Boyd in second at 69% and no one else above 50%. Higgins' actual totals of four catches and 62 yards are way more impressive with the context that Joe Burrow managed just 19 completions and 183 yards against the Ravens. With an 8.3% adjusted sack rate that is near the bottom of the league, the Bengals demand matchup consideration that should have you sit Burrow and Higgins against the defenses with better pass rushes, including the division-rival Ravens and Steelers plus the team's Week 6 opponent, the Colts. But that will still leave plenty of opportunities to use Higgins in a flex or WR3 role, especially in deeper formats and during the bye weeks.

Recommended FAB bid (% of maximum): 7%
Should you use your No. 1 waiver priority on him: No

Laviska Shenault, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars

31%/34%

Presumed No. 1 Jaguars receiver DJ Chark has been in and out of the lineup this season with a chest, a back, and now an ankle injury that limited him to three catches and 16 yards on Sunday. He may not play in a favorable passing matchup against the Lions in Week 6, and that on its own might be reason to plug-and-play Shenault or Keelan Cole in your fantasy lineups. But it's also the case that Shenault has forced his way into the rookie receiver discussion, playing between 54% and 69% of offensive snaps every week and drawing a 16.5% target share since Week 3 that is 45th among all wide receivers. Shenault has not had his "Jerry Jeudy taking a Pierre Desir interception away for a touchdown" or his "Brandon Aiyuk hurdling Marcus Epps for a touchdown" moment. In fact, this simple 10-yard catch with a broken tackle exemplifies the character of his seven-catch, 79-yard day on a team-leading eight targets.

Shenault is fast and avoids tackles and produces yards after contact like a running back. And the Jaguars have done well to give him about two carries per week to take advantage of that strength. But Shenault has also seen his target volume increase from four in Weeks 1 and 2 to six in Weeks 3 and 4 to eight last week. If he can maintain the latter volume, his after-the-catch ability should lend him a similar fantasy relevance to what I've suggested for Aiyuk when Garoppolo is healthy.

Recommended FAB bid (% of maximum): 6%
Should you use your No. 1 waiver priority on him: No

Adrian Peterson, RB, Detroit Lions

46%/55%

Coming out of their bye, Week 6 may be when the Lions increase their rookie runner D'Andre Swift's carry share. But at this point, I'll need to see that to believe it. Last week, offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell announced that Peterson was their lead back, a notion that his 15th-best 54.5% carry share already more than hinted was the case.

Recommended FAB bid (% of maximum): 3%
Should you use your No. 1 waiver priority on him: No

Phillip Lindsay, RB, Denver Broncos

60%/51%

An unplanned Week 5 bye delayed our realization of whether Lindsay would reassert the 50% touch share he showed in the first half of Week 1 before he injured his toe. But the more I've researched this, the more confident I've become that he will have a role. With Lindsay absent, Melvin Gordon has thrived in fantasy with 80 total yards and 1.0 touchdowns per game, but he hasn't been efficient. His 40.0% rushing success rate is 55th of the 64 running backs with 20 or more carries this season, and his 4.1 yards per catch is significantly lower than even Lindsay's paltry 5.6-yard average last season. A third-lowest 3.54 adjusted line yards suggests that that inefficiency isn't entirely Gordon's fault, but that isn't a compelling reason for the team to lower Lindsay's carry share. His outside speed may be their best bet to overcome poor run-blocking.

Recommended FAB bid (% of maximum): 3%
Should you use your No. 1 waiver priority on him: No

Robert Tonyan, TE, Green Bay Packers

48%/70%

Tonyan likely has the Packers' Week 5 bye week to blame for his slow-moving roster percentage after a breakout Monday night performance with 98 yards and three touchdowns in Week 4. I side with the slow-movers, but for a different reason. Tonyan enjoyed that outburst with the team's No. 1 receiver Davante Adams sidelined, and Adams should return to the field in Week 6. Meanwhile, even with Adams' absences this season, Tonyan has just a 10.4% target share, good for 24th among tight ends. Unless that changes, he'll need to score a lot of touchdowns to maintain his fantasy relevance. He could do that the way Aaron Rodgers is playing, but it would likely take a lot of luck, and he may have already used that up. His five touchdowns represent a 3.22-score surplus over his 1.78 opportunity-adjusted receiving touchdowns. That surplus is double that of Tyler Higbee in second place among tight ends.

Recommended FAB bid (% of maximum): 3%
Should you use your No. 1 waiver priority on him: No

Emmanuel Sanders, WR, New Orleans Saints

63%/67%

Sanders seemed like a natural fit as the Saints second receiver, but maybe he really did need a few weeks after the pandemic-altered offseason to develop some chemistry with quarterback Drew Brees. Monday night's 12-catch, 122-yard performance certainly demonstrated that, and now after a slow start to the season with just a 12.7% target share in the first three weeks, Sanders has jumped to a 31.9% share in Weeks 4 and 5 that is fifth highest at the position. That rate won't continue when Michael Thomas returns to the field after the Saints' Week 6 bye, but Sanders seems increasingly likely to maintain fantasy value despite his snap share (59%) lagging behind third-year receiver Tre'Quan Smith (78%).

Recommended FAB bid (% of maximum): 3%
Should you use your No. 1 waiver priority on him: No

Gardner Minshew, QB, Jacksonville Jaguars

56%/51%

I already mentioned his receiver Shenault, but Minshew continues to show that he has fantasy value in his better matchups as well. Overall, his 19.7 average fantasy points per game are 15th at the position, and he has thrown for either two or three touchdowns in four of his five games. He has also thrown for at least 275 yards in four of his five games. The exception to that latter trend was a meager 173-yard performance in Week 1 that likely colored fantasy players' opinions of Minshew's prospects this season, but in retrospect, it shouldn't have. His opponent that week, the Colts, have realized the No. 2 DVOA pass defense of -22.4%. Minshew's own 4.6% passing DVOA this season suggests he's a better passer than his Day 3 draft status suggested, and he adds fantasy value with his legs and with heavy volume offsetting the points his league-worst DVOA defense (16.2%) allows.

Recommended FAB bid (% of maximum): 2%
Should you use your No. 1 waiver priority on him: No

Trey Burton, TE, Indianapolis Colts

0%/1%

While I went back and forth on the prospects of Jack Doyle and Mo Alie-Cox, Trey Burton may have been the Colts' top tight end pass-catcher all along. He has certainly looked like that with five and six targets in his first two games off of injured reserve -- Doyle and Alie-Cox had just two and one, respectively, in Week 5. But similar to how I felt with Alie-Cox's breakout that seemed to come courtesy of the Vikings' inattention to him, I can't say I've been overly impressed with Burton's play so far. Most of his yardage has come on underneath catches with the defense offering plenty of cushion, like on this 10-yard reception on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Burton's 45% offensive snap share tells a much different story than that of his target share. Doyle and Alie-Cox were in similar ranges at 61% and 38%, respectively. I want to invest in some Colts tight end because of Philip Rivers' affinity for the position, especially in the red zone. And that makes Burton a worthwhile stash, at least in deeper formats. But in truth, Burton's arrival may simply sabotage the fantasy prospects of all three tight ends.

Recommended FAB bid (% of maximum): 1%
Should you use your No. 1 waiver priority on him: No

Andy Dalton, QB, Dallas Cowboys

0%/3%

Dak Prescott's incredible pre-injury fantasy value was the result of a combination of his skill, the dome, the talent of his pass-catchers, and unusual game scripts that demanded a heavy volume of passes as the Cowboys tried to overcome deficits late in games. Dalton likely won't have the latter. Even if the team falls behind in future weeks, I expect offensive coordinator Kellen Moore to try to rely more heavily on Ezekiel Elliott and the team's running game as a way to lessen the burden on Dalton's shoulders. But Dalton should have the former three. His outlier 31.7% passing DVOA from 2015 may overstate his talent level, but Dalton produced an upper-half 5.2% DVOA as recently as 2018 when the Bengals could still pass protect -- his sack rate fell from 6.5% that year to 7.7% in 2019 -- and when he had a healthy A.J. Green for most of his 11 starts before suffering a thumb injury. In fact, this may be the best fantasy situation Dalton has ever played in.

Recommended FAB bid (% of maximum): 1%
Should you use your No. 1 waiver priority on him: No

Tyler Johnson, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

0%/0%

Tom Brady had the poor performance one would expect from him in Week 5 playing on limited rest on Thursday on the road against the Bears' No. 5 DVOA pass defense (-7.8%). But easily lost in that modest production was a role change for another rookie wide receiver, Tyler Johnson. Johnson was the early playing time loser of a healthy Bucs roster that had two talented tight ends in Rob Gronkowski and O.J. Howard and a publicly unanticipated breakout third wideout in Scotty Miller. But with Howard now out for the season with an Achilles injury, Johnson saw his snap share spike from 31% and 33% in Weeks 3 and 4 to 79% in Week 5. And that ascension makes perfect sense. The slot receiver Johnson relies on 11 personnel for his opportunities, formations that become much more appealing when Cameron Brate (46% snap share) and Tanner Hudson (23%) are the second tight end options rather than Howard. Johnson may not be able to sustain that playing time when all of the team's receivers are healthy. But with both Chris Godwin and Miller dealing with injuries now, Johnson should at least have a chance to try to play his way into a fantasy-relevant workload.

Recommended FAB bid (% of maximum): 1%
Should you use your No. 1 waiver priority on him: No


Players on More Than 80% of Rosters to Add

Kareem Hunt, RB, Cleveland Browns (97%/98%)
Raheem Mostert, RB, San Francisco 49ers (95%/96%)
James Robinson, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars (95%/92%)
Mike Davis, RB, Carolina Panthers (95%/91%)
Devin Singletary, RB, Buffalo Bills (93%/95%)
Robby Anderson, WR, Carolina Panthers (92%/91%)
Marquise Brown, WR, Baltimore Ravens (91%/93%)
David Montgomery, RB, Chicago Bears (90%/94%)
CeeDee Lamb, WR, Dallas Cowboys (89%/93%)
Antonio Gibson, RB, Washington Football Team (88%/89%)
Le'Veon Bell, RB, New York Jets (88%/89%)
Justin Jefferson, WR, Minnesota Vikings (85%/88%)
Jamison Crowder, WR, New York Jets (83%/81%)


Players on More Than 20% of Rosters You Can Drop

Dak Prescott, QB, Dallas Cowboys (99%/99%)
Jerick McKinnon, RB, San Francisco 49ers (84%/85%)
A.J. Green, WR, Cincinnati Bengals (79%/68%)
Carson Wentz, QB, Philadelphia Eagles (56%/64%)
Malcolm Brown, RB, Los Angeles Rams (51%/39%)
Kerryon Johnson, RB, Detroit Lions (43%/21%)
Saquon Barkley, RB, New York Giants (35%/29%)
DeSean Jackson, WR, Philadelphia Eagles (35%/28%)
Courtland Sutton, WR, Denver Broncos (35%/21%)
Allen Lazard, WR, Green Bay Packers (31%/35%)
Jordan Howard, RB, Miami Dolphins (31%/33%)
Tarik Cohen, RB, Chicago Bears (31%/17%)
Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, San Francisco 49ers (30%/35%)
Matt Breida, RB, Miami Dolphins (28%/25%)
Dallas Goedert, TE, Philadelphia Eagles (27%/44%)
Chris Herndon, TE, New York Jets (19%/24%)
Philip Rivers, QB, Indianapolis Colts (11%/20%)

Comments

3 comments, Last at 13 Oct 2020, 7:37pm

1 Higbee

Why, at this point, should I be holding onto Higbee? It seems to me that when Gerald Everett is healthy he is the "receiving" tight end at worst. At best, for Higbee, the two are splitting a small target share.

 

2 Re: Higbee

In reply to by QuiGonJim

Higbee dropped to 11th in my true-talent rankings for Week 6 (and would be a bit lower if every team were playing), so I think you're ok moving on if you prefer.  I've been optimistic for him because of his target share to close last season and the fact that he's maintained his snap share if not his target share into this season.  From Weeks 1-12 last season, Higbee typically landed between 35% and 65% of snaps played.  For the rest of the season, he jumped to 80%+.  So far this year, he's 80%+ in four of five games.  That's translated to just the 10th most PPR points at the position, and so I guess I get your frustration.  But I have a hard time being enthusiastic for the commonly available replacements like Robert Tonyan and Trey Burton (who are both below Higbee in my true-talent rankings for what that's worth).

3 Thank you!

In reply to by Scott Spratt

Thank you, I see your point. I haven’t been able to pull the trigger on him just yet, but Gerald Everett’s on the wire, and seeing a week like last is not making it any easier...