Week 4 saw roughly every tight end in the National Football League injured. Excluding the tight ends that were already injured that is. The week four injury purge is reflected in the Top My Fantasy League adds this week. Five of the top 10 adds were at the tight end position.
Every week I like to take a look at the top Waiver Wire adds on MFL. I’ll do my best to determine what utility these players hold in redraft and in dynasty leagues. For fans of useless trivia, this article has now had five different variations of the same title.
C.J. Uzomah and Tyler Kroft were popular adds this week after Tyler Eifert’s horrific ankle injury Sunday. Kroft has filled in as the starting TE in the past when Eifert missed time. Last season in Eifert’s absence he finished as the TE16 scoring 8.3 points per game. Based on beat reporter Katherine Terrell’s tweet Kroft might not be the TE to own in Cincy though. (And apparently, the Bengals have a Shrek on their roster, so that’s fun.)
They'll utilize both of them but I think Uzomah has moved ahead of Kroft. And I assume Schreck will be active now. https://t.co/FbuCPaBsDc
— Katherine Terrell (@Kat_Terrell) October 5, 2018
If you can avoid playing either, I’d suggest you wait one week to see how the target/snap shares breakdown this week. If you’re forced to play one, I’m leaning towards the more athletic Uzomah. Uzomah has out-snapped Kroft (60.6% to 30.3%) and out-targeted (8 to 5) so far this season.
Taylor Gabriel and Keke Coutee both made their way into “The Waiver Wire” article on Monday.
Many in the Dynasty community had high hopes for Anthony Miller coming into the year. But after a slow start to the season, 8 receptions on 11 targets, Miller suffered a separated shoulder in week 3 against the Cardinals. Miller will need surgery at some point to properly correct the injury, but he could decide to play through it while wearing a brace or a harness, which is less than ideal for a wide receiver.
Taylor Gabriel should have no real threat to his role as the second target in the Bears offense with the absence of Miller. Gabriel has had at least 4 receptions and 5 targets every game this season. In week 4 Gabriel exploded for 104 yards and two touchdowns on 7 targets. While games like this past Sundays aren’t the norm, they are in the range of outcomes for a player as explosive as Gabriel when given enough touches.
Keke Coutee holds more value in Dynasty than Gabriel. I hope you dropped a ton of FAAB on him this week. Last week Coutee balled out in his debut. Coutee set a new Texans record for receptions by a player making their NFL debut with 11. Lest you be concerned that Coutee saw the 15 targets he did due to Will Fuller’s injury, you should know Coutee was targeted 5 times in the first half and had 2 rushing attempts with Fuller on the field. Coutee also ran 56.48% of his routes from the slot on Sunday. Fuller has run 22.5% routes out of the slot this season, so it’s not as if their skill sets cancel each other out.
It’s doubtful that when Fuller can play a full four quarters that Coutee will see a 35% target share as he did Sunday. But he is talented enough to eclipse the 11.3% target share that Bruce Ellington garnered the first three weeks of the season. Instead of continuing to target the perpetual hurting and inefficient Lamar Miller, whose yards per reception has dropped 2.3 yards from last season, some of those targets could find there way into Coutee’s hands, as well.
Averaging 37 pass attempts per game the Texans certainly pass enough to support the use of a 3rd wide receiver. Even with Hopkins and Fuller drawing the roughly 20 targets per game they collectively average, Coutee can remain fantasy relevant. The Texans do not use the TE position in the passing game (7% target share) and as already noted Miller has been ineffective this season. Coutee is a player you can slide into your last flex spot when will Fuller is active. When Fuller is out with some variation of his ongoing soft-tissue injuries move Coutee up to your WR3 slot.
If you have any idea if you can trust Pete Carroll to use Mike Davis than you are much wiser than I am. If Davis is named the starter and Chris Carson is unable to go then fire up all of your Mike Davis. In four career games with at least 15 rushing attempts Davis has scored 14.15 fantasy points per game. In the 16 games where Davis failed to meet that threshold, he has been utterly unusable.
The only thing I’m sure of is that unless Carson, Davis and C.J. Prosise retire today, Rashaad Penny is not going to touch the ball.
T.J. Yeldon is a player that can help you today and in the future. Yeldon is a weekly starter who will give you low-end RB1 to RB2 production every time he gets the start. Leonard Fournette continues his injury-prone ways, and this Sunday will be the 6th game he’s missed out of a possible 21 career games. Expect Yeldon to get several more starts before this season is over.
Yeldon is a free agent after this season and is a much better player than often given credit for. After a productive rookie season, he had a disappointing sophomore campaign. Replaced by Leonard Fournette last season as the starter Yeldon was left for dead in fantasy. Yeldon carved out a fantasy-relevant role as the receiving back last season and as the spot starter in Fournette’s three missed games.
Still, Yeldon was available on many Dynasty waiver wires in the offseason. The fact that Yeldon is the 9th most added player in week 5 also indicates he was still widely available on redraft waivers in a large number of leagues. Yeldon will never be the 20 carry a week prototypical running back. What he will be able to give you is 11-15 carries a week and added work in the receiving game. Yeldon averages 3.17 receptions per game in his career which gives him an excellent PPR floor. In Dynasty leagues I’m willing to part with a 2019 rookie 1st to acquire Yeldon. If he’s available in your redraft leagues, you need to pick him up today.
Coming full circle and finishing with tight ends, Vance McDonald looks to be finally healthy and he if remains so he’ll continue to be a TE1. Geoff Swaim has 12 targets over the last two weeks and has converted 8 of them into 86 yards and a touchdown. The tight end position being the black hole that it is Swaim was the TE15 and TE7 the last two weeks. Pick him up and start him.
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