Adjustment is probably the key to winning any fantasy league out there, whether it is football, basketball, baseball, or even NASCAR. Fantasy owners have to constantly be looking at their rosters and comparing it to what is out there on the waiver wire, and to the other teams in their league so they can see where they stand in terms of strength of their roster. We are now officially one-quarter of the way through the season and it is time teams look over their roster and cruise the waiver wire if they have no done so yet. The truth is you have to constantly look at the wire to see who is there and make sure you are the first one to grab a player when breaking news hits the internet.
From Josh Freeman being benched in Tampa Bay, to Dwight Freeney being placed on Injured Reserve in San Diego, there are ripples both big and small throughout fantasy football in week 4. This week I will talk about news from around the league and how it will affect fantasy football teams around the world.
Rookie QB Mike Glennon took over as the starting QB for the Buccaneers in week 4, and did little to ease the minds of Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams owners. Glennon hooked up with Williams early on for a touchdown, but proceeded to go downhill afterwards and finished the game with 193 yards passing, 1 TD, 2 INTs and a lost fumble. At this point you can downgrade everyone on the Buccs offense, including Doug Martin. The Cardinals stacked the line and stuffed and dared Glennon to pass, which he didn’t do all that well at.
The Chargers placed OLB Freeney and WR Malcom Floyd on I.R., ending both of their seasons. Freeney was on some top 10 lists as a 3-4 outside linebacker, but wasn’t making much of a boxscore impact for fantasy owners. His loss doesn’t truly affect the Chargers defense since they aren’t worth owning anyway. Floyd had a huge second week of the season as he piled up 102 receiving yards, but left the game after hurting his neck. His loss opens the door for Eddie Royal to get a few more targets, but he isn’t someone I would grab as anything more than a WR4.
Jake Locker had a second MRI on Tuesday that revealed “no major damage” to his hip joint, and he’s already begun rehab. Nate Washington and Kendall Wright were both starting ping the fantasy radar before Locker went down, but both players become less than desirable starts with Ryan Fitzpatrick under center. I’d still grab Washington for WR depth, but Wright I’d leave alone until Locker is closer to returning.
The New York Giants waived RB Da’Rel Scott, which can only means that David Wilson is going to see more snaps going forward. I told you last week not to dump Wilson, and this is exactly why. Now the Giants only have Brandon Jacobs and Michael Cox to compete with Wilson for carries. The Giants problem is their O-Line, which is killing fantasy values across the board. This move does give Wilson’s owners peace of mind, but it doesn’t help much in fantasy terms.
New England Patriots WR Danny Amendola could play in week 5, while TE Rob Gronkowski looks to be targeting week 6 for his return. As anyone who owns a Patriots player knows, the team loves to keep people guessing right up to the point where they are forced to declare their active/inactive rosters for the game. If Amendola play this week against the Bengals, he will step right into the WR1 role and be worth playing in all formats. You can downgrade Julian Edelman in standard scoring formats, and continue to play Kenbrell Thompkins as a high risk/high reward flex option.
Brian Hoyer is making his way onto fantasy teams thanks to a solid week 4 showing (269 passing yards and 2 TDs) against their division rivals, the Bengals. Brandon Weeden has been medically cleared to play, but the Browns chose to stick with Hoyer because he has been able to move the ball more consistently than Weeden ever did. In two games this season Hoyer has put up 590 passing yards on 55-of-92 (59.7 percent) throwing, adding 5 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. Hoyer improves the fantasy value of both TE Jordan Cameron and WR Josh Gordon, but one has to wonder how long teams are going to bother defending against the run with Willis McGahee and Chris Ogbonnaya in the backfield.
In short-term waiver wire news, Oakland Raiders RB Darren McFadden tweaked his hamstring and is questionable (at best) for week 5. That leaves Rashad Jennings to carry the load with Marcel Reece out indefinitely, but that doesn’t mean he should be added in all formats and put into fantasy line-ups this week. Jennings is going to be better with the Raiders than he ever was with the Jaguars because there is a difference between the two teams. And, the Chargers sport the 30th ranked defense in the NFL, giving up 432.2 total YPG (120.5 rushing YPG). I wouldn’t put Jennings in as anything more than a hail-marry flex play [with upside] this week.
And last but not least, Justin Blackmon returns from his 4-game suspension for the Jaguars. I won’t beat a dead horse for those who follow me on Twitter and Facebook, but the Jaguars are still running Blaine Gabbert out there at quarterback, which is not a good thing for Cecil Short and Blackmon. That being said, Blackmon is reportedly in tremendous shape and ready to hit the ground running as it were. You can play him as a WR3 if you’ve been holding him all these weeks, but I’d be aware and beware when it comes to playing any Jaguars player this season.
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