Tue Nov 5 8:55am ET
By JEFF PAUR
Sr Fantasy Writer
McKissic is getting receptions
I probably sound like a broken record, but it really does get harder the later into the season to find quality options on the waiver wire. This week is no exception. The waiver wire options aren’t the most exciting in the world. There are a few players that could hit but for the most part, these are guys that might be worth a spot play in the right matchup. So good luck in finding option for injuries or bye weeks.
Ryan Tannehill, Titans. Tannehill keeps getting it done as the starter for the Titans. He had multiple touchdowns for the third straight game as starter for the Titans. He also hit the 300-yard mark for the second time in three games. He is producing and a legit streaming options for fantasy teams, especially in favorable matchups. The numbers don’t lie.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, Dolphins. Fitzpatrick led the Dolphins to their first win of the season last week, throwing three touchdown passes. He has multiple touchdowns three straight games and 280-plus yards two of those games. He is always capable of the huge games because he likes to take chances, so don’t discount Fitzpatrick if you need a starter in a pinch. He can produce the big game in this pass-first offense.
Brandon Allen, Broncos. Allen got his first start of the season last week and played pretty well in that role. He was 12-of-20 for 193 yards and two touchdowns without a turnover. He is a wild card but has some potential as a starter for the Broncos. This first start was encouraging.
Trey Edmunds, Steelers. Edmunds was a big surprise last week, leading the team in rushing. He had 12 carries for 73 yards. His role could increase going forward, especially if James Conner remains out. Edmunds could be the between the tackles runner for the Steelers, making him worth a speculative add.
J.D. McKissic, Lions. McKissic has emerged as the pass-catching back for the Lions since the injury to Kerryon Johnson. He had three receptions for 40 yards and a touchdown last week. He also has three receptions each of the last three games. He has value in PPR formats, especially in this pass-first Lions offense.
A.J. Brown, Titans. Brown had four receptions for 81 yards on seven targets last week. He has 60-plus yards three of his last six games. He can be up and down in this offense, but his recent production is encouraging for more consistency from Brown. He is available in 46 percent of leagues and could be getting a bigger role in this offense going forward, especially since the quarterback spot is producing better than earlier this season.
Zach Pascal, Colts. Pascal played well once again in an expanded role for the Colts. T.Y. Hilton was out of the lineup, leading to Pascal getting more playing time. He had five receptions for 76 yards. Pascal has 70-plus yards three of five games and scores two of three. As long as Hilton is out, which could be a few more weeks, Pascal has some fantasy potential.
Devante Parker, Dolphins. Parker just keeps finding the end zone for the Dolphins. He has scores four of five games. His yardage numbers aren’t great, but as long as he is scoring and getting some catches, he has some value in fantasy lineups. Parker also has at least four receptions three straight games. Plus, the injury to Preston Williams opens the door for more targets for Parker going forward.
Noah Fant, Broncos. Fant finally flashed his big-time potential last week, catching three passes for 115 yards and a touchdown. It was his first 100-yard game as a pro. Fant has eight receptions his last two games and seems to be getting more and more looks in the offense. He could be a good spot starter the rest of the way.
Mike Gesicki, Dolphins. Gesicki is yet another Dolphin to make this list. He had six receptions for 95 yards last week. He has at least three receptions and eight fantasy points three of four games. The Dolphins passing attack is looking better these days with Fitzpatrick at the helm, making Gesicki a player that could help fantasy teams going forward.
Jeff Paur is a two-time finalist for FSWA Fantasy Football Writer of the Year and won the FSWA award for Best Fantasy Football Article on the Web in 2011. He also was the most accurate expert in 2012, winning the FSTA Fantasy Football Accuracy Award. If you have any questions for Jeff, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Jeff on Twitter @jeffpaur.
Free-agent defensive end Jadeveon Clowney has dropped his asking price at least $2 million off the more than $20 million per season that he had been looking for, according to sources. Clowney is now seeking around $17-18 million per year, and the Seattle Seahawks and Tennessee Titans remain "interested" in signing the three-time Pro Bowl pass-rusher. He was traded from the Texans to the Seahawks before last season and had three sacks in 13 regular season games. Despite the lack of sacks, the 27-year-old was constantly disrupting the opponent's backfield and had two defensive touchdowns. He also dealt with a core muscle injury that required surgery, causing him to miss two games. Clowney is an injury risk but is effective when on the field. He'll be a boom/bust IDP commodity.
Los Angeles Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn said he doesn't think that center Mike Pouncey (neck) has "been medically cleared to play football." Pouncey, a four-time Pro Bowler, suffered a serious neck injury in 2019 and needed season-ending surgery. He started just five games in his second season with the Bolts as a result. There's no guarantee that he can stay healthy for an entire season entering his age-31 campaign, but LA's offensive line would receive a huge boost with a healthy Pouncey joining new acquisitions Bryan Bulaga and Trai Turner. Often a weak spot, the Chargers offensive line will be counted on even more with Philip Rivers now in Indy.
Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (hip) said on Wednesday that his surgically repaired hip is fully healed and that he could play in a game at full strength right now. "I feel 100 percent," Tagovailoa said in an exclusive interview with NFL Network. "I feel like if there was a game today, I'd be able to go out and perform the same way I was able to perform in previous years. I feel as mobile as possible. I feel 100 percent." His agent, Chris Cabott, said that Tagovailoa's doctors have cleared him without restrictions. Tagovailoa is expected to be one of the top picks in this year's draft and the second QB selected after LSU's Joe Burrow, who is expected to go first overall. Tua hasn't said which teams he's met with virtually. The left-handed thrower has some injury risks, but he's extremely accurate and athletic and could be starting games in 2020 for whichever team selects him.
Los Angeles Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn said that quarterback Tyrod Taylor is "in the driver's seat" for the starting QB gig in 2020, "but nothing is finalized." The Chargers apparently aren't interested in signing Cam Newton, so Taylor should get the nod over Easton Stick, even if the Bolts take a quarterback with the sixth overall pick in this month's draft. Taylor made the Pro Bowl with the Bills in 2015 and has experience with Lynn coaching the offense in Buffalo. LA should be expected to become more of a run-first team if Taylor is running the show, but he could surprise given all the talent around him on offense. He'll have some low-end QB2 appeal in deeper leagues if he's starting the season under center in the post-Philip Rivers era.
The New England Patriots are releasing quarterback Cody Kessler on Wednesday, according to a source. The move leaves just Jarrett Stidham and Brian Hoyer on the team's quarterback depth chart. Kessler didn't see any game action last season with the Pats, and he has played in only 17 games (12 starts) since being taken in the third round in 2016 by the Browns. The 26-year-old (27 in May) made eight starts in his rookie season with Cleveland and went 0-8 with six touchdowns and two interceptions. In New England, it will be Stidham's job to lose over the veteran Hoyer in training camp now that Tom Brady is in Tampa Bay. It remains to be seen if the Patriots look at either Cam Newton or Andy Dalton or take a QB in this month's draft.
New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton said that the uniqueness of quarterback Taysom Hill's role requires the team to have a third quarterback active on game days, and that won't change in 2020 with Teddy Bridgewater now in Carolina. The Saints are likely to look for the best quarterback (rookie or a veteran) that is available to be the No. 3 behind Drew Brees and Hill. New Orleans thinks highly of Hill as the heir apparent to Brees, but he's attempted just 13 passes the last two seasons, including just six attempts despite Brees missing extended time in 2019 with a finger injury. The 29-year-old gadget player won't have any lasting fantasy significance in redraft leagues unless Brees gets injured again or retires.
The New Orleans Saints, Green Bay Packers, Los Angeles Chargers, Las Vegas Raiders, Miami Dolphins and Indianapolis Colts have been in contact with Utah State quarterback Jordan Love via FaceTime and other virtual methods, according to a source informed of the meetings. Love is projected to go anywhere from the top 10 picks to the back half of the first round in this month's draft. He has a big arm and plenty of athletic ability, but he was inconsistent in his final year in college in 2019. The Saints and Packers pick near the end of the first round and could select Love as the heir apparent to Drew Brees or Aaron Rodgers, respectively, if he falls that far. Some scouts think Love would benefit from sitting a year and learning behind a veteran QB.
Tennessee Titans general manager Jon Robinson said that the team has been in contact with free-agent cornerback Logan Ryan and defensive end Jadeveon Clowney. Ryan spent the last three seasons with the Titans, but they are interested in bringing him back after he totaled a career-high 113 tackles (73) solo, eight QB hits, four interceptions, 18 passes defensed and four forced fumbles in 2019. He's one of the top IDP cornerbacks in the league. Clowney is holding out for around $20 million per season, but the Titans still have plenty of salary cap space left and are looking for another pass-rusher. He has never had a double-digit sack season and remains a big injury risk, but Clowney is disruptive against the run and the pass when he's on the field.
New England Patriots quarterback Jarrett Stidham appears to have the inside track on the starting job despite the signing of veteran Brian Hoyer. This all comes after Tom Brady chose to leave New England in free agency for Tampa Bay. The Patriots like Stidham, but they know he's an unknown commodity until he sees live action under center. The 23-year-old should compete with Hoyer in training camp, but it'll be Stidham's job to lose this summer. A fourth-round pick last year out of Auburn, he attempted only four passes in parts of three games in his rookie season. The Patriots don't seem interested in Andy Dalton or Cam Newton, so they may choose to sink or swim with Stidham in 2020. He won't be worth drafting except for in dynasty/keeper formats.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Ronald Jones averaged a broken tackle once every 7.5 rushing attempts in 2019 - good for the fourth-best mark among qualified rushers in the league. His 23 total broken tackles ranked 11th among all players.
Cleveland Browns RB Nick Chubb was credited with 32 broken tackles in 2019 - tied with Green Bay Packers RB Aaron Jones for the most in the league.
Green Bay Packers RB Aaron Jones was credited with 32 broken tackles in 2019 - tied with Cleveland Browns RB Nick Chubb for the most in the league.
Kansas City Chiefs RB Damien Williams tied Peyton Barber for the third-lowest average in rushing yards before contact (1.3), but he also finished in a tie for first with Derrick Henry (3.2) for the most rushing yards after contact.
Dallas Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott has led the NFL in rushing first downs in each of the previous two seasons, picking up 84 in 2018 before adding 78 more in 2019.
Baltimore Ravens QB Lamar Jackson kept the ball and ran 92 times on 173 run-pass option (RPO) plays last season - nearly three times as often as the next closest quarterback (Kyler Murray; 33).
New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees threw an on-target pass - defined as a pass that did or would have hit the receiver - on a league-high 84.1 percent of his throws in 2019.
The Minnesota Vikings have been actively discussing a possible long-term contract extension with safety Anthony Harris, according to sources. There has been speculation that the Vikings were looking to trade Harris after putting the franchise tag on him, but they may wind up keeping him after all. There is an increasing belief that the 28-year-old, the NFL's top safety in 2019 per Pro Football Focus, will play for the Vikings in 2020, whether it's on the franchise tag of $11.441 million or on a new long-term deal. Harris' preference is to stay in Minnesota. He wants a deal that would put him among the highest paid safeties in the league, which could be an average of around $14 million per year. The combination of Harris and Harrison Smith give Minnesota one of the best safety combinations in the game. That is, if Harris remains with the Vikes. They'll need a strong safety duo after losing four cornerbacks during free agency.
Denver Broncos general manager John Elway was non-committal on whether the Broncos would entertain signing running back Phillip Lindsay to a long-term contract extension. Lindsay has been playing for a bargain rate the last two seasons after going undrafted, but not the Broncos had Melvin Gordon III in the backfield as well after they landed him in free agency. In comparison, Gordon is the sixth-highest paid running back in the league. Lindsay, 26 in July, came out of nowhere in his rookie season and made the Pro Bowl, and he's rushed for over 1,000 yards in both of his two seasons. But with Gordon now in tow, Lindsay won't see as many touches, especially in the passing game. It's clear the Broncos don't see him as a three-down back in this league, but they could still keep him around long-term if they can agree on something that compensates him fairly. Fantasy-wise, Lindsay will likely become a low-ceiling RB3/flex in standard-scoring formats while sharing touches with Gordon and Royce Freeman.
Free-agent DL Jack Crawford (Falcons) reportedly agreed to terms on an undisclosed contract with the Tennessee Titans on Tuesday, March 31.
Updating a previous report, free-agent S Tedric Thompson was placed on no-recall waivers by the Seattle Seahawks with a failed physical designation, according to the NFL's Tuesday, March 31, transaction wire. No injury was listed, but Thompson ended the 2019 season on the Reserve/Injured list with a shoulder injury.