Welcome back, everybody! We’ve got NFL Week 4 officially in the books and a lot to recap from ALL the action! Hopefully you’ll liked the new version of the 2023 usage report. While slightly altered from previous installments, I think it packs a punch that is exactly what fantasy managers want and NEED as they make transactions heading into the next week.
Again, we live in the year 2023, where bite-size and easy-to-digest content is the way, the masses consume content. My goal with this weekly piece is to provide you with the KEY ACTION items – waiver wire pickups, trade, add, drop, stash, buy, sell, start, sit, etc. – for your fantasy football team based on what happened the previous week. Let me do the work of scouring through the data, so you can just follow my lead. As my college marketing professor always said, “Keep it simple, stupid.” The KISS mantra is at its finest.
- Waiver Wire Advice
- Weekly Fantasy Football Expert Rankings
- Fantasy Football Start/Sit Advice
- Fantasy Football Trade Tools
As always, I’ll be citing data and what I watched on film from the weekend’s past matchups highlighting what matters most and what’s potentially just noise. I will make a strong effort to feature players who are coming off polarizing performances, as they are sure to be the ones fantasy managers have the most question marks about. And note that If I omit a certain player(s), it’s likely because their role/usage did not change from the week prior. Want to save the valuable space for players whose stock is rising/falling, as this is where we can take advantage as savvy fantasy gamers.
And for those tuning into the usage report for the first time; the idea behind the usage report has always been about identifying which players are running routes, seeing high snap shares, and earning high-value targets as these tend to be precursors for future fantasy production. And sometimes they don’t always show up in the normal box score.
So, without further ado…let’s roll out the red carpet for the 2023 Usage Report for Week 4, to prepare for success in Week 5. The Fantasy Football Week 5 Rankings Forecast featuring Waiver Wire Pickups and Buy Low/Sell High Trade Targets.
Let’s ride. Because the forecast calls for more action in the upcoming Week 5 slate.
For some overarching data points, check out my Twitter/X thread that covers some important nuggets from Week 4’s action…
My NFL Week 3 Fantasy Football…
And Major Takeaways🧵
— Andrew Erickson™ (@AndrewErickson_) October 2, 2023
Along with snap counts…
Week 4 Fantasy Football Snap Counts
To prepare your fantasy team for Week 5…
— Andrew Erickson™ (@AndrewErickson_) October 2, 2023
Note the bye weeks for Week 5:
- Cleveland Browns
- Los Angeles Chargers
- Seattle Seahawks
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers
And stay ahead of the game for Week 6 bye weeks:
- Green Bay Packers
- Pittsburgh Steelers
Fantasy Football Forecast
Add Jameson Williams, Buy Jahmyr Gibbs
David Montgomery returned to the lineup after a Week 3 absence and picked up where he left off as the Lions RB1. He played 71% of the snaps – like his Week 1 79% snap share – bogarting 32 carries for 121 yards and 3 rushing TDs. Added two more catches for 20 yards on 2 targets while leading the backfield with a 52% route participation.
Jahmyr Gibbs managers looks away. The rookie RB’s usage returned to “meh” with him playing just 37% of the snaps. Lowest snap rate since Week 1 (27%). Although the touches remained relatively high at 12. 8 for 40 rushing yards (5.0 yards per carry) and four receptions on five targets.
Montgomery has scored five touchdowns in just three games, and it’s pretty clear that role is not going away. And in positive game scripts versus plus-matchups, Monty will routinely see 20-plus carries. All in all, it is hard to not view him as at least a backend fantasy RB1 for the rest of the season as a grinder on an above-average offense. He has another great matchup on deck versus Carolina in Week 5.
As for Gibbs, I still think there’s enough equity in the offense for him to be a fantasy RB2 for the rest of season, with obvious room to grow if his role increases down the stretch (as it typically does for rookies). He’s flashed efficiency and as a pass-catcher (14% Target share).
However, the chances of him unseating Montgomery is very unlikely without an injury. Say what you like about Montgomery stylistically as a rusher, but the Lions LOVE what he is doing. 9th in success rate even at 3.8 yards per carry. Meanwhile, Gibbs ranks third worst in rushing success rate (36%) despite a superior 4.6 yards per carry.
If I needed wins now, I’d probably trade Gibbs for Monty straight up. In a vacuum I’d still like to buy low on Gibbs – as a bet on talent for a rookie RB that is still offering some value in PPR formats even as the RB2 on his own team. His role is somewhat similar to James Cook‘s – although Gibbs’ rush share is vastly inferior.
As for the receivers, there is nothing new to report. Amon-Ra St. Brown and Sam LaPorta remain weekly starts. The rookie tight end owns a 21% Target share through four games. 4 for 56 on 5 targets last Thursday night.
But this week, second-year and former first-round WR Jameson Williams will return from his suspension after it was reduced from six to four games. Add him off waivers. Will be interested to see how much he plays from the get-go based on how well Josh Reynolds. Be wary that the Lions have shown us through their backfield that they will not prioritize young high-draft picks over productive veterans. Josh Reynolds has been steady as they come for the Lions with three games of 66 receiving yards and two touchdowns over the first quarter of the season.
I’d presume at worst that Jamo immediately takes over the WR4 role for Marvin Jones Jr. who has been a ghost since Week 1.
Green Bay Packers
Buy Aaron Jones, Romeo Doubs, Hold/Sell Christian Watson
The Packers fell behind at home for the second straight week but were unable to complete the comeback like in Week 3. The additional firepower of Aaron Jones and Christian Watson did not offer the boom to the offense that many had hoped.
Jones only played 38% of the snaps off the hamstring injury to A.J. Dillon‘s 67% snap share. Jones finished with five carries for 18 yards while Dillon went 5 for 11 (woof). Jones caught one of his two targets for -4 yards.
It was a disappointment for managers that threw Jones back in their starting lineups, but the game script made it easy for the Packers to limit his touches. Also reported he was on a snap count. Would fully expect Jones to get back up to speed with no relapses and 10 days to rest before they play the Raiders in Week 5. Schedule is REAL good between the Raiders, Bye Week, Broncos, Vikings, Rams and Steelers.
Buy low on Jones. Because through three weeks, Dillon has shown no reason to have a larger role in the Packers offense. Makes sense now why the Packers were rumored to be in the Jonathan Taylor market during the offseason.
As for the receivers, not much changed with Watson back in the lineup. Romeo Doubs remained the target leader, snatching 9 balls for 95 yards on 13 targets (38% Target share). Through 4 games, Doubs has 20 catches for 224 yards and 3 TDs on a 24% Target share.
Jayden Reed caught a long pass, finishing with 55 yards. He caught another ball in the end zone, but was ruled out of bounds. Also caught a 2-point conversion. The Packers love using Reed in the red zone as they do Doubs.
Each has 7 red-zone targets and 4 red-zone catches this season. Doubs has 3 TDs to Reed’s 2.
Luke Musgrave left the game with a concussion – so he will presumably miss Week 5. Although the extra rest may allow him to return quicker than most players. In his place, Josiah Deguara and Tucker Kraft combined for 6 catches for 39 yards on 6 targets. Deguara ran many routes (60%) and played the most TE snaps (63%).
Watson only ran a route on 48% of the dropbacks, as he was on a snap count. However, he was targeted on 20% of his routes (4) and he caught two for 25 yards including a wide-open TD at the goal line. However, this was after Doubs got tackled inside the 5-yard line after A.J. Dillon was stuffed (shocked).
His routes will increase (like Jones) in Week 5, making him somebody who’s value could increase. However, I think I am in a position where I’d like to sell high on Watson after he scored. Because his path to being the No. 1 WR has changed drastically in my opinion. Doubs, Jayden Reed and Musgrave have all shown they can earn targets and be big parts of the Packers offense. If someone is valuing Watson as high as his Round 4 draft capital was during draft season, I’d capitalize.
And although I have been low on Doubs, I might be changing my tune slightly after another strong outing. It’s clear that he and Jordan Love have a connection, and that didn’t change in Week 4 with Watson back in the starting lineup. Doubs was viewed as a candidate who could lead the Packers in catches this season, and so far, he is coming through on the lofty expectations. In PPR leagues, I think he’s another player to seek in trade with his trade value likely not matching his production thus far. Watson’s return might make him expendable despite how productive he has been. The guy has 12-plus targets in back-to-back games. 26.5% target rate per route run.
Buy Bijan Robinson, Sell Drake London, Drop Kyle Pitts
Desmond Ridder was Desmond Midder. He led the Falcons’ offense with 191 passing yards, completing 19 of his 31 attempts. He threw one touchdown pass along with two horrible interceptions.
Bijan Robinson was the standout running back for Atlanta, rushing for 105 yards on 14 carries. He consistently moved the chains and helped in the receiving game. 5 catches for 32 yards on 5 targets. 76% snap share was very strong. Leads the team in targets through four games (21% Target share).
He continues to be a strong buy-low target. Meanwhile, Tyler Allgeier‘s snaps continue to decrease (26%).
Texans and Commanders are the next two matchups. Falcons tend to play much better at home than on the road.
In the passing game, Jonnu Smith was Ridder’s top target…. receiving 6 passes for 95 yards (6 targets). Wish I could say this was a fluke, but he’s been involved in the offense for the last three games (20% Target share) Woof.
Kyle Pitts…2 for 21. And it’s not a usage issue because Pitts is still running a full allotment of routes as a receiver. The only “change” is improved QB play, which doesn’t seem likely to be coming anytime soon. Pitts must hit on a deep ball (39% team-leading air yards share this season) to actually pay off.
At this point, I am cool dropping him. Let somebody else roster this potential land mine.
Drake London caught a touchdown (came close to another) providing the Falcons with a much-needed scoring play. Led team with 7 targets, catching three for 28 yards (23% Target share, 91 air yards). Would try and sell high after he scored. Tied for third on the team with 11 catches this season with just an 18% Target share. Getting by on TD/red-zone production. 6 red-zone targets lead the team.
Ask yourself this when it comes to Falcons players. Do you think any of them can post back-to-back weeks of production? If the answer is no (yes, the correct answer) you have to move on. If you want to wait another week (better projection playing at home in Week 5) then you might get more on your return.
Buy Travis Etienne Jr., Calvin Ridley, Sell Christian Kirk
Trevor Lawrence had an okay day, amassing 207 passing yards on 23 completions. He threw one touchdown pass to Calvin Ridley. Ridley only caught two passes including the 30-yard touchdown (7% Target share). The fact that he has been this little involved and disappointing the last three weeks (w/o Zay Jones last two weeks) makes Week 1 look like a mirage. He just hasn’t looked anything like that. With Jones coming back it adds another layer of complexion to the target pecking order.
Evan Engram also contributed significantly with 7 receptions for 59 yards (8 targets), providing Lawrence with a reliable short-to-intermediate target. Engram has really been the one constant in the Jags offense through all four games.
|Player||Receptions||Targets||Receiving Yards||Target Share||Air Yards Share||Weighted Opportunity|
Last week, I recommended that you sell high on Kirk and buy low on Ridley. Both guys were productive in Week 4. So I think I am going to continue my stance of buying low on Ridley. Not because I think he is a locked-and-loaded WR1 rest of the season, but because I think he’s a “safer” option to chase with Jones returning. Kirk has undoubtedly benefitted the most from Jones’ absence in the last two and a half weeks. And when Jones returns, it could spell trouble for Kirk. Sell high especially ahead of a matchup versus the Bills who have been tough on slot WRs this season. They just held Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle in check in Week 4. Meanwhile, Ridley should see more favorable looks on the outside as the Bills’ defense just lost cornerback, Tre’Davious White, with a season-ending torn ACL injury.
The Jaguars’ running game, led by Travis Etienne, aimed to control the clock. Despite gaining only 55 yards on 20 carries, the ground attack helped sustain drives and control field position. No big runs (long of 7). Also tallied three catches. 23 touches. 85% snap share. Continues to be a bellcow.
Still think ETN’s usage is not reflecting his final box scores. The Jags offense is still finding their footing, as they have had to shuffle the OL. They get back starting tackle Cam Robinson back soon from suspension.
The offense will need to be up to the tall order with the Bills storming the castle in their second London game in a row in Week 5.
Buy Ja’Marr Chase, Joe Mixon, Add Tyler Boyd
Another tough day at the office for the Bengals offense. Joe Burrow was held under 170 passing yards. Joe Mixon rushed for 67 yards on 14 carries (1 target) but maintained his alpha usage. 79% snap share. Remains a trade-for target as one of the few three-down RBs remaining in fantasy football. Attainable with the negative stigma surrounding Cincy.
Ja’Marr Chase finished with 7 for 73 on a team-high 9 targets (33% Target share). Tee Higgins left the game with an injury that was later reported as rib fracture. Tyler Boyd was second with 7 targets (4 for 26). But he also led the team in air yards (56%, 71).
Trenton Irwin picked up the majority of snaps and routes in Higgins’ absence.
If they can’t get going versus the Cardinals and Seahawks in the next two weeks, it might be over the Bengals.
I still think Chase is worth buying because he can be a true league-winner if things do improve for Cincy down the stretch. Higgins looks like he is going to miss time, which could potentially put Chase through the roof production-wise. Already this season, Chase owns a 29% Target share.
Boyd is a decent fill-in-off waivers if Higgins is out (expected to miss a few weeks). Super concentrated Target share expected between Boyd/Chase.
Larger note on Cincy. On the first drive, the offense looked fine. Burrow scrambled early on, the run game was effective versus arguably the best defensive line in the league. Then the Titans absolutely BLASTED Burrow, as their pass rush started to heat up. The Bengals couldn’t generate any explosive plays, that the Titans were able to do on their side of the ball. Game. Set. Match.
Sell Derrick Henry, DeAndre Hopkins, Drop Treylon Burks
Nobody is hotter or colder than the Titans. One week they can’t do anything, the next they just dominate. Derrick Henry got rolling with 122 yards on 22 carries with 1 long rushing TD (1 target, 59% snap share). Also threw a TD at the goal line. Tyjae Spears carried the ball 5 times for 40 yards while adding three catches on 4 targets – but he also still played 53% of the snaps. Spears also ran more routes per usual.
N Westbrook-Ikhine (WR)| 55 | 83%
C Moore (WR) | 52 | 79%
C Okonkwo (TE) | 43 | 65%
D Henry (RB) | 39 | 59%
T Spears (RB) | 35 | 53%
D Hopkins (WR) | 35 | 53%
T Wesco (TE) | 26 | 39%
J Whyle (TE)| 19 | 29%
C Dowell (WR) | 15 | 23%
— Andrew Erickson™ (@AndrewErickson_) October 2, 2023
This one is too easy. Sell high on Henry. Again, as I mentioned at the top. This team is super hot/cold. Sell high while the getting is good. Be afraid of a fierce Colts defensive line in Week 5 on the road. Don’t get things confused. The Titans offensive line is still bad. Bad Ols don’t travel.
And note that Henry’s usage is still nowhere near where it was last season with Spears threatening his total workload. Spears is part of the offensive game plan every week.
DeAndre Hopkins led with 6 and 63 yards, second was Nick Westbrook-Ikhine with 5 for 51 on 6 targets (23% Target share). Hopkins is not playing a full allotment of snaps (52% snap share) which could be connected to his missed practice time throughout the week. He finished third in routes run (69%) behind Westbrook and Chris Moore. WR2/3 with no upside due to his lack of juice after the catch. Literally goes down after catching the ball.
Keep this in mind. Hopkins has an elite Target share at 28% this season. Averaging 4.5 catches for 54 yards and zero TDs. Floor PPR player every week. Good matchups the next few weeks, but his long-term upside is super capped. The Colts and Ravens are up next.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Buy Chris Godwin, Sell Mike Evans, Hold Rachaad White
The Buccaneers’ offensive attack primarily revolved around quarterback Baker Mayfield, who was efficient with 25 completions out of 32 attempts for 246 yards and three touchdowns. Mayfield spread the ball effectively among his targets, with Chris Godwin being his favorite, securing 8 receptions for 114 yards. Deven Thompkins and Mike Evans also contributed significantly with 4 catches for 45 yards and 3 catches for 40 yards, respectively. Evans left early with a hamstring injury. Thompkins did not play the most snaps after the Evans injury. Trey Palmer (75% snap share) ran a route on nearly 80% of the dropbacks. Thompkins was around 61%.
Godwin blew up with Evans out, and Mayfield has shown he can support at least one fantasy WR every single week. Buy Godwin now, with the TD regression calling his name. Only receiver this year with 7-plus red-zone targets and zero TDs.
Cade Otton (100% snap share) added another touchdown reception to his name. 3 for 13 on 4 targets.
On the ground, the Buccaneers deployed a committee of running backs more than we have seen in previous weeks. Rachaad White led the rushing attack with 15 carries for 56 yards (70% snap share), while Ke’Shawn Vaughn saw some action going 9 for 16 (1 target). 5 carries in the 4th quarter. White still was the preferred pass-catcher with 3 catches for 22 yards (3 targets), while running a route on 79% of dropbacks.
White remains a hold due to his consistent workload and the fact that nobody else behind him on the depth chart is any good. He also just got really unlucky in terms of TDs in Week 4, going 0-for-6 on his red-zone attempts. A total of seven red-zone touches altogether.
Bye Week in Week 5, then the Lions’ newly found tough run defense and Falcons up next Weeks 6-7.
Note that the buy week gives Evans a better chance of returning, but don’t be overly optimistic. Older player + hamstring injury usually doesn’t end well.
New Orleans Saints
Sell Alvin Kamara, Buy Chris Olave
The New Orleans Saints took a different approach with their backfield than Tampa Bay, relying heavily on Alvin Kamara in both the running and passing game in his first game back from the suspension. Kamara had a whopping 14 targets, leading to an impressive 13 receptions albeit for 33 yards, showcasing his versatility as a dual threat running back. 70% route participation. 75% snap share. 37% Target share.
However, the fact that the Saints offense struggled mightily does not suggest to me that this exact usage is what we will see every week from New Orleans’ offense. This offense isn’t good right now, and Kamara said as much after the game. “It’s been two years since we had that offense that was rolling.” Woof.
Quarterback Derek Carr had a less productive day, completing 23 out of 37 passes for 127 yards but failing to secure a touchdown pass. Carr spread the ball among his receiving options, with Michael Thomas being his top target, securing 4 catches for 53 yards (16% Target share).
Carr constantly kept missing Chris Olave, limiting him to one catch for 4 yards on 6 targets. 146 air yards converted into nothing. Woof. Are we sure that Carr is a good match for Olave a month in?
This was a concern I had entering the year. However, for the short-term would view Olave as a buy-low, as he checks off the boxes of a buy-low air yards WR. One of just 6 WRs with 500-plus air yards this season.
Olave ($6,900 on DraftKings) and Shaheed ($3,800) are intriguing buy-low DFS options as well for the upcoming Week 5 slate.
Patriots and Texans up next, both who are extremely thin at cornerback. New England also just loss stud pass rusher, Matt Judon.
Sell George Pickens
The Pittsburgh Steelers featured a balanced offensive attack in their game against the Houston Texans. Rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett led the charge, completing 15 out of 23 passes for 114 yards, though he failed to find the end zone. Pickett spread the ball among his receiving options, with Jaylen Warren being his favorite target, tallying 6 receptions for 26 yards (6 targets). Warren played 49% of the snaps – a season high.
When a RB leads the team in targets, chances are the offense won’t be great…
G Pickens (WR)| 58 | 98%
C Austin (WR) | 53 | 90%
A Robinson (WR) | 50 | 85%
K Pickett (QB) | 49 | 83%
P Freiermuth (TE) | 30 | 51%
J Warren (RB) | 29 | 49%
N Harris (RB) | 29 | 49% 😢
D Washington (TE) | 25| 42%
C Heyward (TE) | 15 | 25%
— Andrew Erickson™ (@AndrewErickson_) October 2, 2023
Pickett left the game with a knee injury and is expected to miss time. Not good.
On the ground, Najee Harris led the rushing attack with 14 carries for 71 yards (49% snap share). Warren recorded 8 carries for 29 yards (all in the second half). Harris also led the Steelers in receiving yards with one 32-yard catch (2 targets). Harris is starting to heat up, with his rushing yardage increasing in four consecutive weeks. Still failed to convert either of his red-zone carries into TDs.
But it’s still not enough to warrant buying low with such a low floor in this anemic offense, not to mention the poor receiving role.
George Pickens led the team with 7 targets (two from Trubisky) but caught just 3 for 25. Pat Freiermuth also left with a hamstring injury. The three backups at tight end all split routes and snaps behind him.
This offense is in rough shape. They have the Ravens and their bye week up for the next two weeks.
Pickens is the only guy anybody can start just based on volume, but that could go away with the return of Diontae Johnson in a few weeks. And until this team fires Matt Canada, this offense is sunk. Have to imagine it might be the final showing we get of him till the bye week.
Last year with Mitchell Trubisky, Pickens faced the Ravens at home, catching three balls for 78 yards on three targets. Pittsburgh lost that game outright 16-14 with the Ravens starting Tyler Huntley.
Buy Tank Dell, Dameon Pierce, Nico Collins, Avoid Dalton Schultz
CJ Stroud, with ANOTHER impressive outing. Stroud completed 16 out of 30 passes for an impressive 306 yards and two touchdowns. His primary target was Nico Collins, who had a standout performance with 7 receptions for 168 yards and two touchdowns (9 targets, 33% Target share).
After it was Tank Dell WR1 szn all week, Collins reclaimed the throne.
Through four weeks, Collins ranks third in receiving EPA and 1st in yards after the catch.
All in all, you should WANT and LIKE both guys. Stroud is good enough to support multiple fantasy weapons. Dell’s probably a nice buy low after a dud (one catch for 16 yards, 3 targets). The rookie also ran the most routes (tied with Robert Woods, who also drew 6 targets) as he has done the past three weeks.
With Collins likely catching tight coverage from A.J. Terrell and Marshon Lattimore over the next two weeks – they also rank second in fewest yards after the catch allowed – we could easily see things shift back toward Dell. Just $4,800 on DraftKings this week.
Dalton Schultz also contributed with 3 receptions for 42 yards and a touchdown. Do not fall for this. 40% route participation.
In the rushing department, Dameon Pierce led the way with 24 carries for 81 yards, showcasing his ability to grind out tough yardage. 2 targets and one catch for 27 yards. Played a season-high 59% of the snaps. Although the route participation stayed the same (36%).
Devin Singletary added 7 carries for 25 yards and threw a TD to Schultz. Five carries came in the 4th quarter. As this team gets healthier, specifically the OL, this offense can get even better. That makes all offensive pieces “buys” on this roster.
Buy Zay Flowers, Gus Edwards
The Ravens offense was all about quarterback Lamar Jackson. Jackson had an efficient game, completing 15 out of 19 passes for 186 yards and two touchdowns, earning a remarkable passer rating of 142.5. Added two rushing two touchdowns.
Zay Flowers was quiet in a bad matchup – 3 for 56 on 4 targets. Not worried. Buy low opportunity. Played 98% of the snaps. 100% route participation. Saw nearly half the team’s air yards (47%) and a solid 22% Target share with the Ravens not forced to push the game script against a rookie QB.
Easy game. 30% Target share through the first month of the season. $5.5K on DraftKings in Week 5. The wheels are up.
In the rushing department, the Ravens utilized a committee of running backs. Gus Edwards led the way with 15 carries for 48 yards (69% snap share). Justice Hill went 3 for 33 (12% snap share), and Melvin Gordon went 3 for 21 (19% snap share). Gus Bus also earned 3 targets with a shockingly high route participation (65%). All aboard the Gus Bus.
He’s the only Ravens RB you can rely on. Got the reeling Steelers defense up next, then a juggernaut in the Tennessee Titans.
Amid all the WR injuries, Nelson Agholor also played a full-time role. 74% snap rate.
Buy Amari Cooper, Sell Jerome Ford, Drop David Njoku
David Njoku was his primary target, securing 6 receptions for 46 yards (7 targets, 21% Target share). Considering it was a new QB – not any usage change – that influenced Njoku’s best game to date, best not to read too much into it. Leave him on waivers or drop him.
On the year, Cooper ranks 6th in air yards share.
Pierre Strong was the standout performer with 5 carries for 49 yards, averaging an impressive 9.8 yards per carry. Although it came all in garbage time for a second straight game. Jerome Ford started but was underwhelming with 9 for 26, but he caught 5 passes on 6 targets. Kareem Hunt also tallied 5 carries but was not targeted.
Bye week, and then the 49ers up next in Week 6. Not great for Ford. Sell high. Ranks second to last in the NFL in rushing success rate (34%) and total rushing EPA this season. So, although I’ll acknowledge his snaps and receiving usage is encouraging the schedule and Hunt’s potential to take a larger chunk concerns me long term. Note that in the first half, it was just 6 to 4 carries between Ford and Hunt.
Sell/Hold DJ Moore, Khalil Herbert
Quarterback Justin Fields was a force to be reckoned with. Fields completed 28 of his 35 pass attempts for an impressive 335 yards and four touchdown passes, earning a passer rating of 132.7. Fields distributed the ball effectively, targeting a variety of receivers. Chase Claypool was holding them back. Clearly.
DJ Moore had a standout game for the Bears, hauling in all 8 of his 9 targets (28% Target share) for 131 yards and a touchdown, showcasing his big-play ability. Cole Kmet also played a significant role in the passing game, securing 7 receptions for 85 yards and two touchdowns (9 targets).
In the rushing department, Khalil Herbert led the Bears’ ground attack with 18 carries for 103 yards and a touchdown. 78% snap share. YLTSI.
Roschon Johnson‘s time will have to wait seems like. 5 carries for 13 yards. 1 target. Herbert had 5 targets, catching four for 19 yards. Just a 22% snap share.
And of course, they finally use Herbert the week I boldly predict that RJ takes a bigger role. That’s fantasy football for you.
But despite an awesome effort from the Bears’ offense, they still lost. Woof. The fumble six was a killer. Chicago plays the Commanders on Thursday night, then the Vikings. If the Bears start 0-5, might be the door for their head coach.
We saw last year that once this offense got going, they gained momentum. Use that as your selling point.
So, for now, I am mostly holding my Bears skill players or selling for maximum ROI. Again, the Broncos are probably the worst defense in the NFL. We have seen teams come crashing back to Earth the following week after beating up on Denver’s defense. Although in an interesting scheduling quirk, the first three teams to face Denver played the Bills the week after, going 0-3 versus the spread (2-1 toward the over) with an average margin of loss by 31 points.
Will the Commanders do that to the Bears on Thursday night? Likely not. But they will be a tougher challenge after forcing the Eagles into overtime in Week 4.
And the schedule improves after Thursday night against the Vikings, Raiders, Chargers, Saints and Panthers.
So again, if you can get a lot for Bears players, I’d cash out. But if you must hold, I don’t think it’s horrible to hang on if you can’t get any worthwhile offers.
Add Jaleel McLaughlin, Buy Jerry Jeudy, Sell Courtland Sutton, Samaje Perine
Russell Wilson completed 21 of his 28 pass attempts for 223 yards and three touchdown passes, earning a passer rating of 133.5.
On the Broncos’ side, Javonte Williams left with a hip injury. Jaleel McLaughlin and Samaje Perine split carries, but Williams was the superior rusher. 7 for 72 with a 31-yard-long rush. He also caught 3 of 3 targets for 32 yards and 1 TD. McLaughlin is the most logical candidate to take on Williams’ role should he miss any more time. Add him off waivers. He only played 33% of the snaps (16) but touched the ball on 63% of his snaps played. Perine played 46% of the snaps – rushing 6 for 12 yards – along with 2 targets and 23 yards.
Wilson spread the love as no receiver saw more than 5 targets (19% Target share). Jerry Jeudy led with 52 yards on 3 catches. Seems to be trending in the right direction from a health standpoint. Saw 53% of the team’s air yards.
Sutton scored on 1 of his 3 catches. Marvin Mims (2 for 47). Can’t wait to rewatch his 10 routes (or so I think). Correction 12 routes upon the data being finalized on Monday. Doesn’t make it hurt less. But I am not dropping him because he’s too good.
A Trautman (TE) | 42 | 88%
C Sutton (WR) | 40 | 83%
J Jeudy (WR) | 30 | 62%
S Perine (RB) | 22 | 46%
C Manhertz (TE) | 21 | 44%
M Mims (WR) | 17 | 35% 🙃
B Johnson (WR) | 17 | 35%
J McLaughlin (RB)| 16 | 33%
L Humphrey (WR) | 10 | 21%
J Williams (RB) | 8 | 17% 🤕
— Andrew Erickson™ (@AndrewErickson_) October 2, 2023
Note that Mims’ usage is highly dependent on whether the Broncos can run the ball effectively per Football Guys’ and Denver insider Cecil Lammey. The Jets rank fifth in rushing yards allowed per game (148).
Overall this might be a prime sell-high opportunity for any of these Broncos players. Next two weeks…Jets and Chiefs. Two tougher defenses that could thwart a surprisingly effective offense through one month. Sutton has three TDs in four games. Not sustainable in tougher matchups.
I think Perine might be a smart sell-high to those who think he will benefit from the Williams injury the most when McLaughlin seems to be one of Sean Payton’s guys. Note that the DraftKings’ salaries agree with me having McLaughlin listed at a higher price than Perine.
Sell Alexander Mattison, Buy Jordan Addison, Cam Akers
Alexander Mattison was the workhorse in the Vikings’ backfield, amassing 95 rushing yards on 17 carries. Cam Akers‘ debut did little to impact him on the surface, as the former Ram carried the ball just 5 times…but 40 yards. 8 yards per carry. Oh. That’s new. And it was TRUE 8 yards per carry. Rushes of 6, 8, 9, 7 and 10.
And Akers – who has been a total zero in the passing game throughout his career – sees two targets to Mattison’s one in his first game as a Viking. Saw 7 routes to Mattison’s 10.
Sell high. Akers’ 7 touches and 29% snap share were already higher than any snap rate or workload Ty Chandler had through three games. Mattison’s 69% snap share was a season-low.
Kirk Cousins had an efficient game, completing 12 of his 19 pass attempts for 139 yards and two touchdown passes. His primary target was the explosive Justin Jefferson, who recorded 6 receptions for 85 yards and an impressive two touchdowns on 9 targets.
Addison still ran a route on 73% of the dropbacks, despite dropping the goose egg on 1 target. Buy low.
The Chiefs and the Bears are up next. I’m sure he will see plenty of usage.
Sell Miles Sanders, Sell/Hold Adam Thielen, Add Chuba Hubbard, Drop Hayden Hurst, Avoid No. 2 Carolina WRs
On the Panthers’ side, quarterback Bryce Young led the charge, trying to keep pace with the Vikings’ offense. Young completed 25 of 32 pass attempts for 204 yards, displaying accuracy and composure in the pocket. However, he did not manage to throw any touchdown passes in this matchup. Adam Thielen also had a productive outing, hauling in 7 receptions for 76 yards (8 targets, 26% Target share).
Still want to sell “high” on Thielen as an older WR, but chances are you can’t get much for him. Would hold at this point.
Terrace Marshall Jr. emerged as Young’s primary target, recording 9 receptions for 56 yards (10 targets, 26% Target share). Marshall showcased his ability to make tough catches and move the chains effectively. Don’t anticipate this to continue should rookie Jonathan Mingo return after his concussion. And again, for a second straight week, the Marshall targets were mostly all in the second half. In the first half, just 3 catches for 9 yards on 4 targets.
Still, it is notable that he has 8-plus targets in back-to-back weeks with 14 catches for 91 yards.
D.J. Chark also had a notable poor performance, contributing 28 receiving yards on 2 receptions (3 targets). He played the most snaps (92%) but did nothing. Young missed him deep and in the red zone.
It’s tough because we could see one of the Panthers WRs not named Thielen pop versus the Lions and/or Dolphins…but it’s tough to parse through. Routes suggest Chark (as does the revenge game narrative) so I think he might be the target off waivers. But it’s risky no matter which Carolina WR you go to. Mingo’s return further complicates the target pecking order behind Thielen as he will see starter snaps as a second-round pick.
In the running game, Chuba Hubbard and Miles Sanders split carries. Hubbard carried the ball 14 times for 41 yards, while Sanders contributed 19 yards on 13 carries. Sanders was questionable entering the game, so I’d have to imagine why there was such a stark split versus the first three weeks. 1st half Sanders had 7 carries for 9 yards.
But Hubbard was very much involved. 2 targets to Sanders’ 3 targets while also running more routes. Also earned 5 red zone carries to Sanders’ 2.
Hubbard also out-snapped Sanders 54% to 43%. Can’t really do much with Sanders given his injury and bad game to try and move him (do it if you can), aside from trying to target Hubbard either off waivers or through trade. Sanders’ receiving usage has been buoying his production which could go away in favor of Hubbard. That’s a problem for Sanders, who ranks dead last in rushing success rate this season (31.5%).
The Lions and Dolphins are up next for Carolina.
Buy Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle
Speaking of Dolphins…
De’Von Achane was a force to be reckoned with on the ground, accumulating 101 rushing yards on just 8 carries, including two impressive touchdowns. Achane’s explosive runs were a highlight of the Dolphins’ offense. 6 of his touches came in the red zone. Raheem Mostert carried the ball 7 times for 9 yards.
Both RBs saw five targets, and each caught 3 passes. I ranked Achane above Mostert this week, which was against the ECR rankings. I’m sure consensus will have Achane ranked above Mostert for Week 5 and beyond.
Achane finished with a 60% snap share to Mostert’s 43%. Mostert also lost a fumble. It’s the rookie’s job after he also led the backfield in routes run (69%). Told you to sell high last week, but that ship may have sailed. Long-term injury downside and Jeff Wilson‘s return are going to hurt Mostert.
Jaylen Waddle recorded 4 receptions for 46 yards on 5 targets. Durham Smythe resumed TE1 duties – 4 for 41 yards on 4 targets – while Tyreek Hill was erased by the Bills defense. 3 for 58 yards on 5 targets but with a 29% air yard share.
Not many defenses have the personnel to limit the Dolphins offense, so you must buy low on some of these poor performances.
The Giants (off a short week at home), Panthers and Eagles are the next three matchups. Look for the Dolphins offense to get right back on track.
Hill and Achane are probably untouchable to acquire, so Waddle remains the priority target. Even after a slow start to the year, he still ranks 15th in yards per route run.
Buy James Cook, Add Dalton Kincaid, Sell Gabe Davis
Josh Allen had a sensational outing, completing 21 of his 25 pass attempts (wow) for an impressive 320 yards and four touchdown passes. Also scored a rushing TD.
Stefon Diggs was Allen’s primary target, receiving 7 targets and making 6 receptions for an impressive 120 yards and three touchdowns.
Gabriel Davis also had a standout performance, recording 3 receptions for 61 yards, including a touchdown catch. 3 targets (12%). As is always the case with Davis. You sell high after his strong games for more consistent assets. Just a 14% Target share with 3 TD grabs in as many weeks.
Dawson Knox was not involved after running a route on just 48% of routes. Noteworthy that the Bills rookie tight end got a major boost.
Running back James Cook was inefficient – 12 for 29 – but he scored a red zone TD! It was a bizzarro turn of events as a long Latavius Murray rush (29 yards) put Cook in command near the end zone. Don’t anticipate him having the red zone role every week, but the limited red-zone looks he is getting the last two weeks is encouraging none of the less. And the fact that he converted matters. Coaches see it.
Only played 40% of the snaps, but he only had three carries in the second half.
Cook also caught a wheel route for a massive 48-yard gain. Not sure how high the market is fully on Cook, but I love targeting him in trades attached to this offense.
Los Angeles Rams
Matthew Stafford had a solid performance, completing 27 of 40 pass attempts for 319 yards and one game-winning touchdown strike.
Kyren Williams was the standout in the Rams’ ground game, amassing 103 rushing yards on 25 carries and finding the end zone twice. Ronnie Rivers was more involved – 9 carries for 47 yards, 2 targets, 28% Target share – but he’s not taking the job. Sean McVay spoke how he wanted to get more RBs snaps, and not have Williams see a 100% snap share every single week. Kyren finished with a 72% snap share and still played 61 snaps. That was more snaps than he played in Weeks 1 and 3.
P Nacua (WR) | 78 | 95%
T Higbee (TE) | 77 | 94%
V Jefferson (WR) | 71 | 87%
T Atwell (WR) | 64 | 78%
K Williams (RB) | 59 | 72%
R Rivers (RB) | 23 | 28%
B Skowronek (WR) | 22 | 27%
B Hopkins (TE) | 8 | 10%
— Andrew Erickson™ (@AndrewErickson_) October 2, 2023
Still, Rivers’ usage is a strong indicator he is the next man up in case of a Williams injury. Needs to be added everywhere. The Rams RB1 role is too valuable.
Rookie Puka Nacua emerged as Stafford’s favorite target, receiving 10 targets and making 9 receptions for an impressive 163 yards and a touchdown.
The rookie has been a MONSTER this year. 32% Target share (5th). 52 targets (1st). 2nd in receiving yards (501). 1st in catches (39).
Tyler Higbee (10 targets, team-high 28% Target share, 85 air yards) and Tutu Atwell (9 targets, 23% Target share) also played pivotal roles in the passing game. Both caught 5 passes. However, my best guess is that these two take the biggest hits when Cooper Kupp returns.
However, in the case of Higbee, the Week 5 matchup versus the Eagles calls for his services. They rank dead last versus tight ends, allowing the most fantasy points to TEs this season. Higbee ran a route on 89% of dropbacks in Week 4…right in line with his 90% rate from Week 3.
Buy Michael Pittman Jr., Buy/Hold Zack Moss, Josh Downs
Rookie QB Anthony Richardson displayed a stellar performance, completing 11 of 25 pass attempts for 200 yards and two touchdown passes. Rushed for 56 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries. Zero hesitation to run coming back from the concussion.
Tight end Andrew Ogletree was Richardson’s top target, receiving 4 targets and making 3 receptions for 48 yards and a touchdown. Josh Downs and Michael Pittman Jr., combined for three catches. Richardson only completed 11 passes.
Pittman still led the team in targets (21% Target share), so I’d be buying low. I fully expect the Colts to go super pass-heavy versus the Titans’ pass-funnel defense in Week 5. They have allowed the fifth-highest completion percentage this season.
I also wouldn’t drop Josh Downs. Again, he still posted an 87% route participation, slightly higher than Week 3. Pierce is not commanding any type of consistent targets, confirming Downs as the No. 2 in the offense. Cheap in DFS as well at just $3,700.
In the rushing game, Zack Moss led the way with 70 rushing yards on 18 carries. Expect him to remain RB1 until JT returns. 83% snap share to Trey Sermon‘s 16% in Week 4. Just be wary that Moss doesn’t have much of a receiving ceiling even as every snap player. Although the TD upside is still there as he earned two red-zone carries in Week 4.
All in all, I’ll do what I recommended last week with Moss. If Jonathan Taylor still gets traded…that would set up Moss to be a workhorse for the long haul. The worst-case scenario is he gives you usable weeks before JT reclaims RB1 duties for the Colts. Trade a bench WR for Moss.
Buy Brian Robinson, Add Logan Thomas
Sam Howell displayed his passing skills, completing 29 of 41 pass attempts for 290 yards and one touchdown. He efficiently distributed the ball to various targets.
Brian Robinson was the key contributor in the rushing game, gaining 45 yards on 14 carries and finding the end zone once. He should have scored twice but fumbled into the end zone (recovered by Terry McLaurin). Totaled four red-zone targets. Played 55% of the snaps and ran just one fewer route than Gibson. That’s huge.
Antonio Gibson took a backseat in the receiving game to BRob, who saw 2 targets for Gibby’s one. A positive development for Robinson, who the team just seems to love. If we get him in a full three-down role, he will be a fringe fantasy RB1. Buy high. Could be in for a monster game versus Chicago. He’s currently tied for 3rd in the NFL in rushing yards (pending MNF).
Curtis Samuel and Jahan Dotson also played significant roles in the passing attack, with Samuel making 7 receptions (8 targets) and Dotson adding 4 receptions and a touchdown (9 targets, 23% Target share). Dotson saw a whopping four red-zone targets catching two including the TD.
Through four weeks – McLaurin/Dotson are tied with a 19% team Target share. For that reason, I view TMC as a sell high. Again, like DJ Moore, McLaurin will finish the year as a fantasy WR2. He does every year. So, if you can get a bit more after a strong game, I’d cash out.
Dotson is tricky because his role is maxed out and I don’t envision his targets increasing too drastically. Had it not been for the TD score, he’d hardly be on the radar aside from the 9 targets. He has just been super inefficient ranking 7th-worst in yards per route this season. Think regression will work in his favor, but probably not enough to move the needle outside being just a bye-week fill-in.
Logan Thomas – back from the concussion – went just 3 for 3 for 41 yards. Ran a full route tree. 78%. No restrictions. Can be a tight end fill-in for teams hurting. The Bears have allowed the 3rd-most catches to TEs this season.
Bears on TNF this week, then the Falcons for Washington.
Buy DeVonta Smith, Hold Dallas Goedert, Hold/Sell D’Andre Swift
Jalen Hurts had an impressive performance, completing 25 of 37 pass attempts for 319 yards and two touchdown passes.
A.J. Brown was the star of the Eagles’ receiving corps, receiving 13 targets and making 9 receptions for 175 yards and two touchdowns. Over 200 air yards. AJB WR1 SZN. WITH PINK CLEATS. Through a month he owns a 35% Target share (2nd overall) and 46% air yards share (5th overall). 3rd overall in weighted opportunity. AJB WR1 szn has arrived as the Eagles’ defense has regressed from last season.
Through four games Smith/Brown have combined for 59% Target share. With the shine on AJB, scoop up Smith on a discount.
Dallas Goedert is at just 17%. Not great for a full-time player. But his usage is unmatched from a routes run rate (95%). Keep rolling him out there.
In the running game, D’Andre Swift led the way with 56 rushing yards and a touchdown (two red-zone carries) showcasing his versatility as both a runner and receiver with four targets and four catches in a game where Philly didn’t have the luxury of just sitting on the running game late. Kenneth Gainwell had two targets and four carries for 14 yards. Swift 3x’d Gainwell’s touches in Week 4. Gainwell didn’t record a touch till the end of the second quarter. The first carry came in the 3rd quarter.
D Goedert (TE) | 71 | 100%
D Smith (WR) | 70 | 99%
A Brown (WR) | 68 | 96%
O Zaccheaus (WR)| 61 | 86%
D Swift (RB) | 45 | 63%
K Gainwell (RB) | 27 | 38%
— Andrew Erickson™ (@AndrewErickson_) October 2, 2023
Swift’s the No. 1 in the backfield, and I think fantasy managers will gladly take that for top-15 production. Although the duo split routes, Swift’s four targets are encouraging. The way he is constantly being used in different ways by the offense bodes well for his long-term outlook. Still think he’s a sell-high rather than a buy-high, just based on the injury track record and the haul you can get in return. But fine holding because he’s already returning much more than his draft-day price.
New England Patriots
Buy Rhamondre Stevenson, Hold Hunter Henry
Not like it mattered much in a total blow-out performance. But hey, at least the under cashed!
Stevenson led the way with 14 carries for 30 yards while chipping in 2 catches for 10 yards (3 targets). Stevenson’s had all the volume he can handle – 18-plus touches in all four games – and we know he can be efficient. Just hasn’t been the case so far this year. Still a buy-low target. Elliott’s so-called “starter snaps” translated into 2 catches and 6 carries for 16 yards. Sick.
Hunter Henry was Mac Jones‘ favorite target, amassing 51 yards on 4 receptions (5 targets), while Demario Douglas had a significant impact with 45 receiving yards. Henry ran a route on 79% of dropbacks.
Henry and Stevenson are the only options for fantasy football. Nobody else.
They face the Saints and Raiders over the next two weeks. Hurts even more that the Patriots’ defense lost CB Christian Gonzalez with an injury in this game. Matt Judon is also slated to miss time. A banged-up defense should create more passing attempts and should lead to more targets for both Stevenson/Henry.
Buy Tony Pollard, Hold Jake Ferguson, Add Rico Dowdle/Deuce Vaughn, Sell CeeDee Lamb
Dak Prescott showcased his skills, throwing for 261 yards on 28 completions and one touchdown.
Tight end Jake Ferguson was Prescott’s primary target, catching all 7 passes thrown his way for 77 yards. The way he is hyper-targeted by Dak, along with awesome red-zone usage, makes Fergy a reliable weekly TE start. Leads NFL in red-zone targets (dropped a TD versus the Patriots) and ranks second on the team with 25 targets through four games.
As for CeeDee Lamb, I think he’s a sell-high after he scored. As the No. 1 WR for the Cowboys, Lamb has hardly been a true difference maker that was selected at the Round 1 turn. Just a 22% Target share for the year. Outside the top 35. And only one game with more than four catches.
B Cooks (WR) | 49 | 70%
C Lamb (WR) | 44 | 63%
L Schoonmaker (TE) | 39 | 56%
J Ferguson (TE) | 39| 56%
M Gallup (WR) | 37 | 53%
T Pollard (RB) | 37 | 53%
J Tolbert (WR) | 24 | 34%
D Vaughn (RB) | 22 | 31%
K Turpin (WR) | 21 | 30%
R Dowdle (RB) | 6 | 9%
— Andrew Erickson™ (@AndrewErickson_) October 2, 2023
In the running game, Tony Pollard provided a spark with 47 rushing yards on just 11 carries, while adding three targets. He still hasn’t scored – amid the Dallas offense red-zone struggles – but eventually, he’ll hit paydirt. He has 31 red zone touches in four games. Hasn’t scored since Week 1.
Also, ignore the final snap count for Pollard. The blow-out win had just five touches in the 2nd half.
If somebody is getting frustrated with Pollard, you gladly take him off their hands with a trade.
Dallas faces SF next week.
Sell James Conner, Add Michael Wilson, Add (Tentatively) Zach Ertz
James Conner rushed for 52 yards on 11 carries, although he couldn’t find the end zone. Also somewhat underwhelmed as a receiver seeing fewer targets than Emari Demercado – who was RB2 with Keontay Ingram out. Conner saw his snaps dip slightly in negative game script (62%) as Demercado was used more in the receiving game. Sell high on Conner before the wheels fall off, and if he loses out on pass game work.
Quarterback Josh Dobbs orchestrated the passing game efficiently, completing 28 of 41 passes for 265 yards, two touchdowns, and no interceptions. Added 12 carries for 48 yards. Love that rushing upside.
Marquise Brown (10 targets) and rookie Michael Wilson (7) were Dobbs’ favorite targets, with Brown amassing 96 receiving yards and Wilson securing 76 yards along with two touchdowns. If you need WR, Wilson might be the guy to go after. Full-time role, and downfield weapon.
A favorable schedule is upcoming featuring the Bengals, Rams and Seahawks.
Zach Ertz came back to life…6 catches for 53 yards on 10 targets. Because of course, he did. If you need a tight end, he’s back on the streaming radar. 3 games with 8-plus targets this season. Routes increased from his rolling average in Weeks 1-3.
But just be aware that Ertz had one catch on three targets before the 4th quarter when the team was down by two scores. All that glitters may not be Arizona gold. Garbage time production is at its finest.
San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers relied heavily on their star running back Christian McCaffrey, who had an explosive day on the ground and through the air.
McCaffrey showcased his versatility by rushing for 106 yards on 20 carries and scoring three rushing touchdowns. In the passing game, he added 71 receiving yards and a touchdown on 8 targets.
CMC did it ALL.
G Kittle (TE) | 53 | 96%
D Samuel (WR) | 48 | 87%
C McCaffrey (RB) | 47 | 85%
B Aiyuk (WR) | 42 | 76%
K Juszczyk (FB) | 36 | 65%
R McCloud (WR) | 13 | 24%
R Bell (WR) | 9 | 16%
J Mason (RB) | 8 | 15%
C Woerner (TE) | 7 | 13%
W Snead (WR) | 7 | 13%
— Andrew Erickson™ (@AndrewErickson_) October 2, 2023
Quarterback Brock Purdy had a fantastic outing, completing 20 of 21 passes for 283 yards, one touchdown, and no interceptions. His favorite target was Brandon Aiyuk, who recorded an impressive 148 receiving yards on 6 targets. 129 air yards (79%).
Aiyuk might be my favorite 49ers to be invested in for the rest of the season. Over his three healthy games he owns a 27% Target share and league-high 52% air yards share. Whenever San Fran is going downfield, it’s going to Aiyuk.
Deebo Samuel…no catches or targets. Came into the game banged up. And when one 49ers is hurt/limited all the others FEAST. Well, in this case, just two. George Kittle. 1 for 9 despite running a route on all but one of Purdy’s dropbacks.
Woof. Just no need for Samuel/Kittle. Buy low targets.
They will be needed next week versus Dallas. Samuel still played 87% of the snaps with an elite 87% routes run rate.
Los Angeles Chargers
Drop Gerald Everett, Hold Quentin Johnston, Buy Keenan Allen
Justin Herbert threw for 167 yards and a touchdown, including an explosive 51-yard pass to Josh Palmer to seal the deal in the fourth quarter. That was despite Herbert dealing with a hand injury. Baller.
In the rushing department, Herbert showcased his tactical dual-threat ability with 2 rushing touchdowns on 12 carries for 27 yards.
Keenan Allen was Herbert’s top target, hauling in 3 receptions for 32 yards and a touchdown. Although Palmer led the team with 8 targets, finishing with 3 for 77 yards. Again, the final stat line is majorly boosted by the last-minute catch, so Palmer busted for essentially 59 minutes. Keep that in mind…
Palmer led the WRs in snaps (86%) and tied with Allen in routes run (97%). If someone is sour on Allen after a low game, he would be a target on a bye week, especially given the injury surrounding Herbert’s finger injury on his non-throwing hand.
The overall lack of passing was not expected, as Joshua Kelley rushed 17 times for 65 yards. Isaiah Spiller rushed 5 for 12 yards. The Chargers are on bye next week, so we can just Austin Ekeler back in the fold. Much needed time to get healthy.
DAL, KC and CHI Weeks 6-8.
Las Vegas Raiders
Buy Jakobi Meyers, Josh Jacobs
The Raiders brought their ground game to the forefront, led by Josh Jacobs and the rushing attack. On the ground, Josh Jacobs was the workhorse (70% snap share), carrying the ball 17 times for 58 yards and finding the end zone once.
Rookie Aidan O’Connell managed the game, throwing for 238 yards but no touchdowns. He relied heavily on his running back, Jacobs, in the passing game. Jacobs was targeted 11 times, catching 8 for 81. The buy-low window has closed…
Overall, the Chargers’ defense was relentless, recording 7 sacks and causing disruption in the Raiders’ passing game.
Davante Adams was O’Connell’s top target, securing 8 receptions for 75 yards on 13 targets despite getting treated for a shoulder injury early on. Jakobi Meyers laid a dud – 2 for 33 on 4 targets. Although he did have a great deep catch called back due to PI. Probably a buy-low with Jimmy Garoppolo back next week. He played 96% of the snaps, running a route on all but two dropbacks.
25% Target share in three games this season.
Packers, Patriots, and Bears over the next three games…
Jacobs is going to eat. Still a player I would buy high on.
New York Jets
Buy Breece Hall, Garrett Wilson, Avoid Tyler Conklin
The plucky Jets gave the Chiefs quite the scare on Sunday night, but they came up just short of a massive upset.
Hall also added three catches for 13 yards on four targets wrapping his night up with 44% snap share (26 snaps). Cook settled at just 25%.
The time is now to buy Hall. He is slowing edging out Cook while flashing the explosive upside we saw pre-torn ACL last season. With the Jets showing some signs of life vs KC, there’s a chance that Hall can still be a league-winner in the second half of the season.
The Broncos are the league’s worst defense, where we could finally see Hall go NUCLEAR and remind us all why he was drafted so highly. Just $5.4K on DK.
Nothing would make me happier than for Breece Hall to return to Denver
And finish the job he started last year before he tore his knee.
4 carries for 72 yards and 1 TD last season.
150 and 2 TDs🔒LFG
— Andrew Erickson™ (@AndrewErickson_) October 2, 2023
Garrett Wilson got there on volume – as he must do – with 9 catches for 60 yards on 14 targets (36% Target share). He’s a fantasy WR3 with limited upside unless he scores. It’s a testament to Wilson’s abilities as a player that he has yet to bust in any game yet this year despite atrocious QB play.
Helps that he owns a top-5 Target share (32%) and a top-10 air yard share (41%). In PPR formats, Wilson has scored a similar number of points to Christian Kirk, Ja’Marr Chase, Chris Olave, Gabe Davis and Amari Cooper. Considering he is 100% viewed “worse” than almost all those players, might be worth sniffing around for acquiring him at a “narrative” discount.
The Jets schedule gets much easier after their Week 7 bye week.
Kansas City Chiefs
Buy Rashee Rice, Isiah Pacheco, Drop Skyy Moore
I felt like I was on an island last week backing my stance for Isiah Pacheco last week, and he came through BIG. 20 carries for 115 yards and 1 TD on SNF. Caught three balls for 43 on 3 targets. 4 red-zone carries including the score.
Other Chiefs RBs combined for just 5 carries, 19 rushing yards and 2 targets. Dare I say, Pacheco is a bell cow with a 60% snap share. Career. High. Buy high.
As for the KC WRs…more nonsense and rotating. However, once again, Rashee Rice stood out above the rest. 17% Target share (5 targets) led all non-Travis Kelce receivers. 3 targets in the red zone where he has been targeted frequently all season. 6 red-zone targets lead all Chiefs this season.
And although his routes are not where we want them to be, he is getting targets when he plays. 32% target rate per route run is the epitome of the flame emoji. More likely his role will increase as the season progresses.
Rice is second on the team with a 14% Target share through four games. 2nd in catches (13).
After Week 1, I thought I was being too reactive thinking of Rice over Skyy Moore rest of the season. Now, it’s obvious that Moore is not going to hit. 14% target rate per route run. Ran fewer routes than both Justin Watson and Marquez Valdes-Scantling in Week 4.
It’s over (for now).
Hold Kenneth Walker, Add Zach Charbonnet, Sell Tyler Lockett, Buy Jaxon Smith-Njigba
Seattle’s offense wasn’t asked to do too much given the lack of offense generated by the Giants. Geno Smith left briefly with a leg injury but returned in the second half. Kenneth Walker maintained his high-end usage, playing 71% of the snaps to go along with 79 rushing yards and 1 TD. KW3 was bottled up in the first half – 9 for 19 – but ripped off two 15-plus yard rushes in the second half.
The one bad thing about his usage – zero targets despite running a route on 50% of the dropbacks. Meanwhile, Zach Charbonnet was targeted on three of his 5 routes run. The rookie played 24% of the snaps. He’s starting to eat more into Walker’s receiving role, but it’s not impacting the starter’s production. Walker is still getting all the TD equity. He remains a hold through the bye week with Cincy and Arizona shortly after.
Suggested selling Tyler Lockett last week and that looks like a sharp move.
One would figure we get an expanded role for Jaxon Smith-Njigba post the bye week. Because through four weeks, Lockett has done pretty much nothing outside of two TDs in Week 2. JSN’s routes increased in Week 4 (75% route participation) versus Weeks 1-3 (63%). He also tied Lockett for the team-lead Iin targets (6).
Look for JSN to hit waivers after a slow start to his rookie year with Seattle on bye. Take advantage and stash him. Could easily be a league-winner down the stretch.
New York Giants
Add Wan’Dale Robinson, Buy Darren Waller
This offense cannot get out of its own way. Slow starts and bad offensive line play have really set their team back. 10 sacks were taken by Daniel Jones on Monday night. Makes most of the players tough to trust for fantasy football.
But we will start with the lone bright spot, second-year WR Wan’Dale Robinson. He ran a route on 63% of the dropbacks (2nd) and played 64% of the snaps. Both are big boosts from Week 3. He’s the slot starter in this offense and continues to vacuum up targets when he’s on the field.
41 routes run with 11 targets (27% target rate per route run) this season Add him off waivers. He’s got targets coming his way with Miami and Buffalo up next.
Rookie WR Jalin Hyatt also saw his snaps increase (60%) at the expense of Isaiah Hodgins. After Hodgins and Parris Campbell opened the year as starters in three WR sets, they have lost their jobs to younger WRs on the Giants offense.
Darren Waller was disappointing again, as he has been in all but one game this season. I think his lack of production is tied more to the offensive struggles overall, rather than him individually. He caught all 3 of his targets for 21 yards while tying Darius Slayton for the team lead in routes run (86%). Still a buy-low target solely based on his usage and status as the No. 1 receiver in his offense.