The fantasy regular season is over a quarter through. Right now, you should know what you want. Here’s my piece of advice to you this week as you contemplate the waiver wire: Take a hard, honest look at your roster and determine which players you are most interested in.
You can’t guarantee that every week contains a lot of must-haves. There are many weeks where there aren’t. However, now is the time to consider if you may need a bench-wide receiver with a high ceiling. You might be looking for a backup quarterback who matches up with your regular starter. You could consider this insurance for your running back.
Damien Williams (RB, Chicago Bears 10.4%): After David Montgomery’s injury in Week 4, the Bears were left with a huge blow. Williams was able to take over a larger role. Williams carried eight times, had a touchdown, and caught two passes. This is one of his strengths.
Williams sustained a quad injury during the game. However, there aren’t any indications as to the extent of the injury. Williams is an essential addition as the Bears have a very thin running back, particularly until Tarik Cohen comes back. Khalil Herbert, who is the only running back currently on the roster, should also be considered.
Samaje Perine RB, Cincinnati Bengals (1.5%): Adam Schefter has informed Perine that Joe Mixon has sustained a low grade ankle sprain which has left him disabled for several weeks. Perine will be the next in line to replace Mixon in the Bengals’ backfield. Perine will have a better chance of a steady workload, even though rookie Chris Evans may also be in the mix. Perine has served as a fill-in for Mixon at times in the past. Although he’s not as fast or proficient in the passing game, Perine is still useful enough that he should be in every league.
Dalton Schultz TE, Dallas Cowboys (20.9%). The Cowboys have an endless supply pass catchers. Schultz has been blazing over the past two week. He has now accounted for six catches in the last three games. The tight end position is where fantasy fantasy production is most difficult. Schultz, who plays alongside Blake Jarwin, has shown that there is plenty to be gained.
Emmanuel Sanders (WR), Buffalo Bills (44.4%) – Another week, five more catches for Sanders. It’s obvious that Sanders is the Bills number two wide receiver. He also has a steady volume of targets: He’s seen at least six targets each of the four games this year. Sanders’ speed is not diminished, he’s an outstanding route runner and plays with one the best quarterbacks in NFL football. A useful add-and-stash or deep-league flex.
Kenneth Gainwell, running back, Philadelphia Eagles (24.7%) – It’s difficult to assess the Eagles’ backfield at this point. Miles Sanders is still the starter but has only eight carries the past two week due to Philly’s porous defense forcing the offense throw a lot. Gainwell’s value has increased despite having six catches and three catches in Week 4, despite taking a much smaller amount of snaps than Sanders. Because benches are more valuable during bye weeks, Gainwell makes a good addition to the league.
Jamison Crowder WR, New York Jets (14.2%) – Crowder made his season debut during Week 4 and did what he usually does: produced and piled on the targets. The Jets won their first game of the season with a victory by the slot option, which saw him catch seven passes for 63 yards and one touchdown. Crowder, while Elijah Moore will likely become the slot receiver in the future is still a valuable part of the passing game for this season and until Moore recovers (concussion). Crowder is a good add-and-stash option for 12-team leagues or larger.
Sam Darnold (QB, Carolina Panthers): We didn’t think Sam Darnold would be leading the NFL with rushing touchdowns in this season’s NFL. Darnold is unlikely to continue the grueling pace he’s at as a runner. He’s had five touchdowns in just four games. Darnold has been playing very strong football, has a good group of pass-catchers, and there will be opportunities as a runner close to the goal line. So there is a possibility that he’ll get a few more. Darnold is an excellent addition that you can use either now or while your regular starter is still sitting.
Trey Lance (QB, San Francisco 49ers) (19.8%). This exciting rookie will have a chance to play until Jimmy Garoppolo returns. But, a strong audition might lead to an extended stay under center. In Week 4, Lance was on relief duty and accounted for more than 20 fantasy points. More than four of these points came with his legs. Lance is a great thrower and has a lot of upside with his legs. Lance would be a great addition to my fantasy team. I believe he could quickly become a dynamic fantasy player. This is something we have seen in recent years with Jalenhurts.
Darnell Mooney, WR Chicago Bears (41.4%) – The Bears’ offense came to life in Week 4. Justin Fields made his second start and connected with Mooney for five catches. Mooney also caught 125 yards. The flat-out flier has five catches or greater in three of the four games this season. Although he has yet find the end zone, Fields has absorbed a significant target share and shows obvious talent. This bench option is worth considering, especially since Fields’ growth will be rapid. He’s a tremendous thrower of the deep ball.
A.J. Green, WR Arizona Cardinals (27.2%) – The fountain of youth Green has back to back games with at least 5 catches and 13 fantasy points. We’ve previously written about Christian Kirk and Rondale Moore in this space. The logic that we used back then will apply to this: You want as many of the Cardinals offense as possible. Kyler Murray, with the support of Green, is en fuego. Green can be used as a bench stash.
Dawson Knox, TE for the Buffalo Bills (19.3%).: The Bills’ offense seems much more like…the Bills’ offense. In part, Knox’s rise has seen Buffalo rip through defenses these weeks, after a slow start in Week 1. He has scored four touchdowns over his last three games. He is an emerging star. He is likely to be the fourth or fifth option for his team in the passing game but he could still be an add due to the shortage of tight ends.
Hunter Renfrow, WR Las Vegas Raiders (41.9%) – Renfrow has been catching a lot of passes this season. Renfrow is on a small list of players with at most five receptions in the four games so far. Renfrow’s volume in an offense that has a lot of ball passes is noteworthy, even though he doesn’t have many field-stretching throws. He is an add in 12-team leagues, or greater.