After injuries ravaged Week 2, COVID hit Week 4. Perhaps not as hard as it could have, but with even one game cancelled and the Patriots offense suffering from the loss of Cam Newton, it was not an ideal week. Some star RBs like Nick Chubb and Austin Ekeler avoided season-ending injuries, but still require replacements. As always, we want to avoid the overhyped players and find those gems. Sometimes, it could even be the obvious adds.
Last week I advised you to avoid Nick Foles (11.9 points), Rex Burkhead (6.0 points), Jimmy Graham (7.3 points), Greg Ward (7.8 points) and Logan Thomas (1.8 points). I also advised you to add Justin Jefferson (14.3 points), Ryan Fitzpatrick (21.3 points), Cole Beasley (12.2 points) and Jordan Akins (7.6 points before getting injured). Who should you add and avoid this week?
D’Ernest Johnson, RB Cleveland Browns
The Browns offense ran all over the Cowboys to the tune of 307 rushing yards. D’Ernest Johnson had almost a third of that, but I don’t trust this. Nick Chubb is on short term IR, which means he is out for at least three weeks. Some sources are saying he could miss as many as six. In his absence, it’s likely that while Kareem Hunt doesn’t get complete control of the backfield, the rest of the backs are going to split. With the Colts and Steelers coming up, I don’t anticipate Johnson to get enough carries to justify being more than a last option.
Justin Jackson, RB Los Angeles Chargers
Joshua Kelley, RB Los Angeles Chargers
Austin Ekeler is expected to miss multiple weeks, but has yet to be placed on the IR. After grabbing at his hamstring after only three touches, Justin Jackson and Joshua Kelley had 8 and 12 touches, respectively. It’s going to be hard to tell who gets the majority of the backfield each week, but Kelley has been getting a much higher share each week. A Week 5 matchup against the Saints doesn’t bode well for either unless someone gets a boost in the receiving game. Kelley should be a star in their following games against the Jets, Dolphins, Jaguars, and Raiders.
Verdict: Stash Kelley for weeks 6-9, put in a claim for Jackson if he’s not on waivers or in case someone else grabs him. Don’t expect anything outside of low-end RB2 value.
Scott Miller, WR Tampa Bay Buccaneers
In Chris Godwin’s absence, Miller finally broke out like we expected two weeks prior. Miller has reached over 11 points in PPR leagues in three of his four weeks, only getting his first touchdown in a win against the Chargers. Although Chicago will be a fierce opponent next week, he could be in the mix for some more work, with TE O.J. Howard out. Rob Gronkowski and Cameron Brate will be the main beneficiaries, but Miller can still be a solid flex play. There are some good offenses awaiting. If you need a consistent bench player in a good offense, Miller’s your guy.
Verdict: Add in 12+ team leagues as a solid bench player that can fill in during bye weeks.
Tim Patrick, WR Denver Broncos
The Broncos have been missing the majority of their veteran weapons, with only tight end Noah Fant and running back Melvin Gordon still standing. Rookies Jerry Jeudy and K.J. Hamler have been slowly producing as well. In their Thursday night game against the Jets, the Broncos barely scraped by the lowly Jets, with Patrick having a breakout game of sorts. He had a respectable Week 3 performance, but had six catches for 113 yards and a touchdown. Now, with extra rest and the Patriots on the horizon, can you trust him? I don’t think so. Despite some good matchups coming up, this QB situation is abysmal until Drew Lock returns. With Fant, Jeudy, Hamler, Gordon, and now Lindsay possibly returning, he won’t provide any consistent value.
Robert Tonyan, TE Green Bay Packers
Well that sure was something. With star receiver Davante Adams out and Allen Lazard on injured reserve, many were scrambling to find someone to start in this game. While most expected Tonyan and WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling to produce, I don’t think anyone expected a three touchdown performance for the tight end. Tonyan now has five touchdowns in three games, and while we can’t expect one every year, his targets and receiving yards have been increasing each week. Davante Adams should return after the bye week, but with Tampa Bay, Houston, and Minnesota coming up, the Packers will still need to throw. After Adams and Aaron Jones, Tonyan should be a great third option.
Verdict: Add as a low-end TE1 with elite potential in this high-powered offense
Others to consider: QB Kirk Cousins, RB Damien Harris, WR Tee Higgins, TE Jordan Akins
Others to fade: QB Philip Rivers, RB J.D. McKissic, WR Christian Kirk, TE Greg Olsen
Why are they still on the waiver wire?: QB Justin Herbert, RB Antonio Gibson, WR Justin Jefferson, TE Dalton Schultz