Week 4 of the NFL season was nerve racking. Uncertainty regarding games being played, star players getting hurt, star players who seemed like they’d play but announced they wouldn’t only hours before kickoff, and the Cleveland Browns being 3-1?! What is going on here? You know it’s 2020 when the Browns look like a competent football team. Here are some players to target on waivers this week!
D’Ernest Johnson – CLE – 2.3ppg – 0%
The Browns ran wild on Sunday, putting up 300+ yards rushing. I know they did this against a defense that looks like they should be playing division 5 junior varsity, but still, those numbers are impressive. Perhaps the most impressive part of such big numbers is that it was mostly done without the Browns All-Pro RB, Nick Chubb. Chubb went down early in the game, leaving room for Kareem Hunt, D’Ernest Johnson, and Dontrell Hillard to handle the rock. What was interesting to see was how Hunt wasn’t catapulted into the main back when Chubb went down, 1st year coach Kevin Stefanski went with a “committee” approach. Johnson looked impressive as he racked up 95 yards on 13 carries. Going forward I would expect Kareem Hunt to get a bulk of the work, but with the opportunities for running backs in this offense, adding Johnson is a must.
Chase Edmonds – ARI – 6.9ppg – 33.6%
Edmonds received an uptick in workload this past Sunday against the Panthers when Kenyan Drake went out with a chest injury. Edmonds put up 40 yards on 9 touches (5 receptions) and found the end zone as well. Drake was cleared from his injury and is not expected to miss any time, but he has yet to find the rhythm he had at the end of last season where he looked like a top 5 RB. Edmonds is the clear handcuff, but he also has some flex value if you are in a pickle like you might’ve been this week with games being rescheduled.
Tim Patrick – DEN – 9.8ppg – 1%
Patrick has flown under the radar this season, but with injuries to Courtland Sutton and focus on Jerry Jeudy, Patrick has been stepping up and delivering. Patrick is second only to Jeudy in targets for the Broncos (21). Say it with me now, targets = opportunities, opportunities = points, points = happy. In Thursday’s game against the Jets, Patrick put up 6 receptions for 113 yards and a score, making it his second consecutive game where he’s found the end zone. Patrick is a low end WR2 and mid-level flex play if he can continue with his target share.
Damiere Bird – NE – 6ppg – 2.9%
Bird has been the lone bright spot of the Patriots receivers with Julian Edelman struggling to adjust to a new QB and N’Keal Harry not yet looking like a 1st round pick. Bird is third on the team in targets behind Edelman and Harry, averaging over 7 in his last three games. With uncertainty around Cam Newton’s status for the next couple weeks, look for the Patriots to air it out a little more instead of their steady diet of the run game, which only further benefits Bird.
Mo Alie-Cox – IND – 9.1 – 31%
I feel like a couple things happened in fantasy football when a veteran player moves teams. 1) People expect them not to be able to produce, 2) people forget that player's tendencies and track record. Philip Rivers made a HOF career for himself and Antonio Gates in his tenure with the Chargers. Now I’m not saying Alie-Cox is going to be an all-time great like Gates, but the similarities are striking. Both undrafted, both played division 1 college basketball before starting a career in the NFL, and both catch touchdowns from Philip Rivers. Cox has had limited targets so far this season, but he’s absolutely made the most of them, posting a touchdown in his last two games and averaging 9.5ppg in his last three. In such a limited position, grabbing Alie-Cox is an absolute must!
Robert Tonyan – GB – 13.1ppg – 13.3%
Ok, so I know Tonyan just put up 3 touchdowns in Monday’s game against the Falcons but coming into the night he had scored in his last two straight and is currently the 2nd ranked TE this season (1/2 PPR). The Packers do have a bye this week, so you might be able to grab Tonyan under the radar or for a cheaper price in FAAB. Anyone catching passes from Aaron Rodgers, who’s playing as good as anybody this season, is worth rostering.
What rules is your league putting in place due to COVID? Let me know!
You can follow Michael on twitter at https://twitter.com/mik3szn