It’s that time of year again where bye weeks and injuries affect your fantasy teams – two of the biggest things that can and will slow down your winning season. Injuries are a little harder to predict than bye weeks of course, but both are fixable. I hope you capitalized on last week’s Waiver Wire article by @SconnieJosh, as his trifecta selection of Geronimo Allison, Tyler Boyd, and Ricky Seals-Jones combined for 19 receptions for 232 yards, a healthy 42.2 PPR points if you started them all.
Here are some top free agents to add and some players on your team to drop as we head into week 5 of the NFL season.
QB –Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens (ESPN 16.5% owned)
Yes, Joe Flacco; the same Joe Flacco who no one ever wants. Well, this year and this week just may be a different story. If there was ever a comeback story, Flacco would be nominated to win the award. Backup quarterback Lamar Jackson must be lighting a fire under Flacco’s butt because he has never played this good in his career. This week he takes on the Cleveland Browns, who are coming off a tough loss to the Oakland Raiders. If you need a bye week filler this week, Flacco will be your man. With a receiving corp that is clicking on all cylinders, Flacco is putting up great numbers. So far in four games has 1,252 yards, 8 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions. Pick him up now!
FAAB Budget: 2-5%
RB – Ito Smith, Atlanta Falcons (ESPN 2.1% owned)
Don’t be worried about Devonta Freeman’s return. The Falcons backfield is usually hurt and will need that third running back by the end of the season. With 7 rushes, 35 yards, and one touchdown, Smith is rapidly gaining the trust from Head Coach Pat Quinn to give him the ball more. You may not play him this week against the Pittsburgh Steelers, but you will be ahead of the curve and ready for Freeman or Tevin Coleman to inevitably go down. Ito Smith is a player I’m okay with sitting on my bench for a four to five weeks.
FAAB Budget: 3-7%
WR – Keke Coutee, Houston Texans (ESPN 0.4% owned)–
With wide receiver Will Fuller leaving the game early in week four with an ongoing hamstring problem, Coutee stepped in and took control in his first game this year. He ended the game against the Colts with 15 targets, 11 catches, and 109 yards.#
Even if Fuller does come back from his injury, don’t sleep on Coutee as there are more bye weeks coming and hamstrings aren’t that easy to get over.
FAAB Budget: 20-30%
TE – C.J. Uzomah, Cincinnati Bengals (ESPN 0.1% owned)
Tyler Eifert, the starting tight end when down with a horrific looking ankle injury Sunday afternoon and will likely be out for the rest of the season. Uzomah will step in getting a fair share of the tight end targets as this season he has found himself more in favor with quarterback Andy Dalton than fellow tight end Tyler Kroft. Uzomah had a touchdown in week three against the Carolina Panthers and if you need a bye week filler or an injury plug, consider Uzomah as he a great matchup against the Miami Dolphins this week.
FAAB Budget: 4-10%
QB – Eli Manning, New York Giants
If you were chasing points from week 3 (297 yards, 2 TDs, 19.7 fantasy points) and were hoping to get the same from Eli this week – well you were disappointed. He only had 255 yards and 1 touchdown. Playing the Carolina Panthers this week will not be an easy task for Eli. Carolina is one of the better defenses in the league this year and I wouldn’t even waste a bench spot for him. Go ahead and drop him and don’t pick him back up.
WR – Cordarelle Patterson, New England Patriots
Patterson did raise eyebrows this off-season and did have a small hype train – well, let’s call it a land train, or a tram. But, it hasn’t panned out and his time is over as a fantasy relevant player. The Patriots signed wide receiver Josh Gordon and Julian Edelman is back from his suspension this week meaning there are too many mouths to feed now in Foxborough. So go ahead and cut the dead weight off your roster.
TE – Austin Hooper, Atlanta Falcons
Yes, you drafted him thinking it was a great sleeper pick. Well, you were right, a sleeper pick it was. But Hooper only has 12 catches, 125 yards, and 1 touchdown so far this season.
Yeah, I would say he is sleeping. It’s tough to be him sitting behind wide receivers Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley, and pass-catching running back Tevin Coleman. We thought the red-zone work might come in the shape of the Falcons no.1 tight end, but it would, in fact, seem that rookie Calvin Ridley has made that spot his own. Hooper has a lot of hype this offseason for the work he did last year, but if you still have him after four weeks go ahead and drop him, he’s not going to be consistently good for you.
by Tyler Belawske – @TylerBelawkse