Tue Oct 22 8:43am ET
By JEFF PAUR
Sr Fantasy Writer
Chase Edmonds is trending up
Here is a friendly reminder. You can’t expect a backup to perform like a starter, especially when that starter was a star player. There is going to be a drop off nearly every time. And we are saying this because of the injury to some star players this past week. Teams are going to be looking for a replacement, which is going to be hard. The good news is these elite players are mostly at the quarterback position, which is a little easier to replace than a starting running back when it comes to fantasy lineups. Hopefully, you can get by the next few weeks until these guys come back.
Ryan Tannehill, Titans. Tannehill had an impressive first start of the season for the Titans. He hit the 300-yard mark and scored two touchdowns. He missed on just six passes the entire games. He moved the offense and got many player involved in the passing game. He will continue to start for the Titans and has streaming value for fantasy teams. He is capable of the big game as evident by past seasons.
Teddy Bridgewater, Saints. Bridgewater seems to be getting more comfortable in the offense every week. He was very impressive his last time out against a good Bears defense. Bridgewater threw for 281 yards and two touchdowns without an interception in Week 7. Bridgewater has thrown for 240 or more passing yards three straight games and has seven touchdowns during that stretch. Bridgewater might only get one more start before Drew Brees returns to the lineup, but that doesn't mean you should ignore him for this week if you need quarterback help.
Matt Moore, Chiefs. Patrick Mahomes is out the next few weeks, leaving Moore to run the show in this high-powered offense. You can’t expect Moore to produce like Mahomes but he has some potential in this offense. Moore was 10-of-19 for 117 yards and a touchdown in relief of Mahomes last week. We wouldn’t count on Moore to be a top fantasy starter but he can be worth a spot start because of injury or bye weeks.
Chase Edmonds, Cardinals. David Johnson was active last week but Edmonds carried the load at running back because the Cardinals didn’t want to put Johnson at risk in poor field conditions. Edmonds responded with a career game, hitting the 100-yard mark while scoring three touchdowns. Edmonds has touchdowns three straight gams and 60-plus total yards all three games. He is getting a lot more consistent work in the offense even when Johnson is active and playing. His fantasy value is on the rise.
Mark Walton, Dolphins. Walton got most of the work at running back for the Dolphins last week and this could be a trend going forward with the team likely trading Kenyan Drake. Walton ran 14 times for 66 yards and caught a pass. He has 65-plus total yards two straight games. Walton isn’t the most dynamic back but any starter has fantasy value. He will get his touches and has some flex appeal.
Ty Johnson, Lions. Johnson is set to start for the Lions with Kerryon Johnson injured. Johnson hasn’t gotten a whole to of work to date, but has obvious potential in a starting role. He has some upside as a flex option for fantasy teams while starting, making him a top add at the running back spot for this coming week.
Alex Erickson, Bengals. Erickson is starting to get more and more chances in the Bengals offense, serving as the slot receiver for the team. He had his first 100-yard game last week, catching eight passes for 137 yards. He has 12 receptions his last two games and been targeted 20 times in those two games. He has some reception potential in his current role with the team.
Mohamed Sanu, Patriots. Sanu was traded to the Patriots, adding some much needed quality depth to the receiver corps for New England. It isn't certain the role Sanu will play for the Patriots, but he could end up getting a lot of work once he gets up to speed with the offense. Sanu is definitely worth a look for fantasy teams that need receiver help.
Zach Pascal, Colts. Pascal continues to emerge in the Colts offense, having his best game last week. He had six receptions for 106 yards and two touchdowns. Pascal has 50-plus yards three of his past four games. His role should continue to increase in this offense. The Colts really like his size and athletic ability.
Danny Amendola, Lions. Amendola had his second 100-yard game of the season last week, catching eight passes for 105 yards on 11 targets. He is up and down in this offense but is capable of the big game. If you want to take a chance on him in the right matchup, go for it.
Kenny Stills, Texans. Stills returned from his hamstring injury last week and had his best game of the season, catching four passes for 105 yards. This was his first 100-yard game of the year. Stills has 85-plus yards two of five games. Stills could have an even bigger role in the weeks ahead with Will Fuller hurt. Stills is our top receiver waiver wire target for the week.
Preston Williams, Dolphins. Williams had a season high in receptions (six) and yards (82) in Week 7. He has really emerged as a reliable target in the offense, having at least four receptions four of six games. And he looks like a better option with Ryan Fitzpatrick starting for the Dolphins.
Devante Parker, Dolphins. Parker found the end zone again last week, giving him scores in three straight games. He had a season-high 10 targets in Week 7. Parker is looking like a better fantasy option these days, finding the end zone while also getting some catches and yards. He has 50-plus yards three of four games and at least three receptions all of those games.
Eric Ebron, Colts. Ebron scored a touchdown last week and had a season high in yards with 70. He has touchdowns three of his last five games. Enron remains kind of a touchdown dependent player but that doesn't mean you should shy away from him. He has been dropped in some leagues, being available in 31 percent of leagues.
Irv Smith, Vikings. Smith had a career high five receptions last week and tied a high with 60 yards. He had double-digit fantasy points for the first time all season in Week 7. Kyle Rudolph is still around, but it seems a matter of time before Smith emerges as the top pass-catching tight end in this offense. Smith just brings a lot more to the table, making him worth a speculative add for fantasy teams.
Jimmy Graham, Packers. Graham has been a disappointment much of the season, not living up to some preseason hype. He has shown well at times, though. He scored his third touchdown of the season last week and topped 60 yards for the second time this season. Graham can produce the big game in this offense, so he is worth a look if you need tight end help. Graham was dropped in some leagues, being available in 25 percent of leagues.
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 email@example.com. Follow Jeff on Twitter @jeffpaur.
The Chicago Bears agreed to terms on a one-year deal with tight end Demetrius Harris on Wednesday, according to sources. Harris was cut by the Browns recently and spent time with head coach Matt Nagy when they were both with the Chiefs. The 28-year-old caught just 15 passes for 149 yards and three touchdowns in 2019 despite David Njoku missing most of the year with an injury in Cleveland. Chicago was looking to upgrade their tight end room after both Trey Burton and Adam Shaheen missed large chunks of last season due to injuries. Harris will have an opportunity with his new team, but it's still unlikely he has a huge pass-catching role is Burton and Shaheen are on the field.
Washington Redskins tight end Jordan Reed (concussion) has cleared the league's concussion protocol and intends to continue his playing career in 2020, according to sources. Reed suffered a reported seventh concussion of his career in the preseason and didn't play at all in 2019. He expects to be released by the Redskins in the coming days, but he wants to continue playing. Washington would save $8.5 million against the salary cap if they release Reed by June 1, and he would count $10.3 million toward the cap if he stays. Only 29 years old, it remains to be seen if he has anything left if he keeps playing after the 'Skins inevitably release him. It will depend on where he lands, but Reed probably won't even be touched as a TE2 in fall drafts.
Miami Dolphins quarterback Josh Rosen is likely to remain with the team heading into the 2020 season. However, his future in Miami doesn't look bright with Ryan Fitzpatrick coming back for another year and the Dolphins widely expected to take a franchise signal-caller with the fifth overall pick in the first round of the draft. It's clear that the team doesn't view Rosen, 23, as the future under center at this point. The former 2018 first-round pick was acquired from the Cardinals before last season, but he couldn't beat out Fitzpatrick and will have to learn another new offense, one that Fitzpatrick is familiar with. Unless something unexpected happens this summer, Rosen will open up the 2020 season holding a clipboard again.
Seattle Seahawks tight end Will Dissly (Achilles), who is coming off a torn Achilles that ended his 2019 season prematurely, is expected to be ready for Week 1. Dissly was on the fantasy map as a TE1 with 23 catches for 262 yards and four touchdowns in six games before his injury, but he's played in just 10 games in his two seasons with Seattle because of injuries. On top of that, the Seahawks signed veteran Greg Olsen on Wednesday. Olsen and Dissly could form a strong one-two punch at tight end in 2020, but Dissly is unlikely to be a consistent fantasy performer unless Olsen misses time with an injury, which is entirely possible.
The Minnesota Vikings aren't releasing wide receiver Stefon Diggs, although they could get calls from other teams to see if they are interested in trading him. But the odds remain long that Diggs would be traded, as he's under contract through 2023 with reasonable salaries. This comes after Diggs removed Vikings photos from his social media. Minnesota is also in win-now mode, so they'll need Diggs to remain a contender going into the 2020 season and beyond. The 26-year-old can be a bit much at times, but he put up his second straight 1,000-yard season last year and added six touchdowns and a career-high 17.9 yards per catch. He produced for fantasy owners with Adam Thielen (hamstring) nursing an injury last year and should be a solid WR2 target going into fall drafts.
Cleveland Browns offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt said the team will be changing some things in quarterback Baker Mayfield's footwork this offseason "to help him." One specific thing is that they will have Mayfield put his left foot in front instead of his right foot out of the shotgun when he takes the snap. Van Pelt thinks it will help Mayfield be more fluid in his three-stop drop out of the shotgun formation. High expectations were placed on Mayfield and the Browns in his second season, and he failed to live up to them, especially with Odell Beckham Jr. as his No. 1 receiver. There's still time for the 24-year-old to bounce back in a new offensive scheme, but fantasy owners will be drafting him as a QB2 this fall.
The Washington Redskins exercised the 2020 team option on running back Adrian Peterson on Wednesday. Peterson led the team in attempts (211), rushing yards (898) and rushing touchdowns (five) in 2019 and will enter the 2020 season having started in 154 of the 164 games he's appeared in. The veteran is ranked eighth in NFL history in rushing attempts (3,036) and sixth in yards per game (86.7). He needs 1,054 rushing yards to pass Barry Sanders for fourth on the all-time list and needs 13 rushing TDs to pass Marcus Allen for No. 3. Peterson is a seven-time Pro Bowler and four time first-team All-Pro, but he'll take a back seat to Derrius Guice next year if Guice can stay healthy.
The Seattle Seahawks are signing former Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen to a one-year, $7 million deal on Tuesday, according to a source. The deal includes $5.5 million in guarantees. Olsen visited with the Bills and Redskins before making the decision to go to Seattle. Will Dissly ruptured his Achilles in 2019, Ed Dickson is a candidate to be released and Luke Willson (unrestricted) and Jacob Hollister (restricted) are free agents. Olsen, a three-time Pro Bowler in 13 NFL seasons, should be the team's primary pass-catching tight end and will have low-end TE1 value with quarterback Russell Wilson throwing him passes. He was the first tight end in history to have 1,000 yards receiving in three straight seasons from 2014-16, but the 34-year-old (35 in March) has dealt with injuries in recent seasons.
Impending free-agent DE Jadeveon Clowney (Seahawks) once to be one of the highest-paid defensive players - if not the highest-paid - with a contract that will set the market for his position, according to Matt Miller of Bleacher Report.
Impending free-agent TE Jason Witten (Cowboys) made it clear to reporters Tuesday, Feb. 18, that he intends to play next season and hopes to do so with the Dallas Cowboys, although he is not opposed to finishing his career somewhere else. He is hoping to make a more concrete decision about his future following the NFL Scouting Combine next week.
Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten, who will be a free agent next month, wants to play another season and hopes he can remain with the Cowboys. However, Witten understands that he might have to go elsewhere if he wants to play in a 17th NFL season. The veteran tight end has met with new head coach Mike McCarthy and has talked with owners Jerry Jones and executive vice president Stephen Jones. Witten hauled in 63 catches for 529 yards and four touchdowns in 2019 in his return from a one-year absence from the game. He's headed into his age-38 season, and while he can still give something to a team, he won't be anything more than a touchdown-dependent, low-end TE2 if he plays again in 2020 for the Cowboys or another squad.
Impending free-agent LB Shaquil Barrett (Buccaneers) could receive in upwards of $20 million per season on his next contract, according to ESPN's Jeremy Fowler. However, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers may ultimately decide to use the franchise tag on him if the two sides are unable to come to a long-term agreement before the start of free agency.
Denver Broncos QB Joe Flacco (neck) recently got good news after undergoing an MRI. As a result, he is expected to be physically cleared to return to action this season, although there is some question as to whether or not he will be back with Denver, according to ESPN's Jeremy Fowler.
Impending free-agent RB Kareem Hunt 'expects to be in the (Cleveland) Browns' plans next year,' according to ESPN's Jeremy Fowler.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will make an attempt to re-sign linebacker Shaquil Barrett, who led the NFL in 2019 with 19.5 sacks in his first year with the team. Barrett, who is scheduled to be a free agent in March, would be looking at potentially $20 million per season on the open market, so it won't be easy for the Buccaneers to retain him. If they choose to, Tampa could place the franchise tag on Barrett to ensure that he's around for at least one more season. In addition to the 19.5 sacks, the 27-year-old pass rusher had a career-high 58 tackles (45 solo), six forced fumbles and one interception. In his four seasons with Denver prior to 2019, Barrett had a combined 14 sacks.
An MRI exam taken on Denver Broncos quarterback Joe Flacco (back) last week showed encouraging results, but his agent, Joe Linta, is seeking a second opinion from spine specialist Dr. Andrew Dossett. "Joe has every intention to play but not at the risk of his long-term health," Linta said Tuesday. Flacco went on season-ending Injured Reserve with a bulging disc in his neck after the team's eighth game of last season. The veteran QB has two years at $20.25 million and $24.25 million left on his contract, which will be way too high as a backup quarterback. The Broncos could either restructure Flacco's contract, trade him or release him. The 35-year-old would be Drew Lock's backup in Denver if he stays, and he'd be auditioning for a backup job on the open market as well, most likely.
The Atlanta Falcons signed kicker Younghoe Koo and punter Ryan Allen to one-year contract extensions on Tuesday. Koo, 25, played in the team's final eight games in 2019 after the club parted ways with veteran Matt Bryant. He made 23 of his 26 field-goal attempts and made 15 of his 16 extra points. Koo made his only field-goal try from 50-plus yards and was also pretty successful with onside kicks in the second half of the season. In an Atlanta offense that could easily bounce back in 2020, Koo could be a fantasy sleeper at the kicking position heading into drafts.
Cleveland Browns running back Kareem Hunt expects to be in the team's plans for 2020 despite admitting that he would fail a drug test during a routine traffic stop. Hunt is a restricted free agent, so he's hoping Cleveland will place a first-round tender on him or try to sign him to a long-term deal. The 24-year-old was suspended for the first eight games last year for a domestic-violence incident, and he took a back seat to Nick Chubb in the ground game. However, he was used consistently as a passer out of the backfield with 37 catches for 285 yards and a touchdown through the air. If he returns, he'll continue to have RB3/flex appeal in PPR leagues behind Chubb.
Free-agent TE Greg Olsen (Panthers) is signing a one-year, $7 million contract with the Seattle Seahawks, according to a source. The deal includes $5.5 million in guaranteed money.
Fantasy Spin: Olsen turns 35 in March and has a history of injuries in recent seasons, which makes him a risky option in any fantasy setting. The addition helps QB Russell Wilson the most and hurts TE Will Dissly (Achilles), whose outlook already was questionable after consecutive seasons ending due to major injuries. Olsen is a fringe starter in 12-team fantasy leagues but has limited upside, substantial risk, and figures to be inconsistent given all of Seattle's other ways to attack.
The New Orleans Saints seem likely to give quarterback Taysom Hill, who will be a restricted free agent in March, at least a first- or second-round tender offer now that Drew Brees has announced he will return for at least one more season. Teddy Bridgewater is expected to have a big market in free agency and seems destined to leave town now that Brees is returning, so Hill would be in line as the heir apparent if Brees hangs up his cleats after the 2020 season. Hill attempted just six passes last year despite Brees missing time with injury, and it remains to be seen if they really believe he can be a franchise signal-caller in the long-term. He's a great Swiss Army knife for the Saints, but he probably won't have much fantasy appeal in redraft leagues next season unless Bridgewater leaves and Brees misses more games due to injury.