The NFL has had some exciting games today, but we’re going to look a little deeper into some of the more interesting individual players whose performances should move the dial in the fantasy football world.
Chase Claypool, WR, Steelers
The fantasy hype for Diontae Johnson may be warranted if he can stay healthy, but so far that hasn’t happened. Johnson was forced from this week’s game with a back injury and that helped boost the rookie Claypool’s work. That boost led to four touchdowns, three through the air and one on the ground against the Eagles. Johnson’s return to the field is unknown at this time, but Claypool has won himself more snaps and targets moving forward. Is he worth all your FAAB? Nah, but if you need a wide receiver, he’s the No. 1 priority.
Travis Fulgham, WR, Eagles
The Eagles can’t get their wide receivers healthy, but they did get a big boost from Fulgham, who absolutely went off on the Steelers this week. He caught 10-of-13 targets for 152 yards and a touchdown and has secured himself work moving forward. DeSean Jackson can’t stay healthy, Alshon Jeffery isn’t healthy yet, and Zach Ertz isn’t the same player he has been. This receiver group is ripe for a player to step up and Fulgham has done that the last two weeks. He’s worth picking up off waivers this week.
Gerald Everett, TE, Rams
After Tyler Higbee caught three touchdowns in a game against the Eagles in Week 2, he’s totaled seven receptions for 72 yards and no touchdowns through three games. This week Gerald Everett passed Higbee in targets, receptions and yards. These two will likely share work and hurt each other’s fantasy upside, but right now, Everett looks like the guy to keep your eye on.
Jamison Crowder, WR, Jets
When you look at Crowder’s statistics this season you’ll find it hard to believe he plays for the Jets. He’s played in three games and topped seven receptions and 100 yards in each game, while scoring in two. At this point, I can understand wondering if he can keep it up, but you aren’t going to get good value for him in a trade, so I say ride that fantasy cash cow for as long as you can.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB, Chiefs
Edwards-Helaire was set up for a big game against a bad Raiders run defense, but instead, he ran the ball 10 times for 40 yards and caught 3-of-8 targets for 40 yards. The fact that the Raiders had the late lead pushed CEH into receiving mode, but him and Patrick Mahomes just couldn’t get that connection. The lack of goal-line work was a little worrisome, but overall, he was still involved throughout the game, with 18 looks. If you can somehow pry him away from his fantasy manager, do it.
Kenyan Drake, RB, Cardinals
Drake was able to find the end zone this week, but continues to look pedestrian in comparison to his backup Chase Edmonds. He ran the ball 18 times for 60 yards and a touchdown and caught his one target for two yards. Edmonds ran the ball three times for 36 yards and a touchdown and caught 5-of-6 targets for 56 more yards. Drake is still the lead back, but Edmonds continues to prove his worth. He’s not a safe start in fantasy yet, but a changing of the guard is a possibility if Drake can’t get going.
Lamar Jackson, QB, Ravens
Jackson ran the ball just twice for three yards, which has never happened as a starter. Jackson did miss practice last week due to a knee injury, which must have been the reason he had so few runs. Yes, the Ravens routed the Bengals, but they’ve routed a lot of teams and Jackson always gets at least a handful of rushing attempts. Until we know he’s back to running with consistency, he should be downgraded a little in fantasy.
Jerick McKinnon, RB, 49ers
After scoring one or more touchdowns in each game this season, McKinnon had one carry for no yards and caught 2-of-4 passes for five yards. Raheem Mostert returned and played well, but McKinnon’s lack of usage is still concerning, as he has been the main receiving back. It was an awful game for the 49ers as it is, so maybe we can’t take much from this game, but McKinnon doesn’t look like a safe play moving forward.
Dak Prescott, QB, Cowboys
Prescott’s game wasn’t ugly, but his ankle injury sure was. Again, we see why players want to get their money. We just saw Alex Smith return from an injury that could have cost him his leg or possibly his life. These guys aren’t just playing a “game.”
Prescott will miss the rest of the season and Andy Dalton will take over for him. Dalton has shown well when given a good cast of offensive players and there is no doubt he has that in Dallas. Dalton becomes a top waiver wire add with Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb, Michael Gallup, and Ezekiel Elliot to throw to.
A.J. Green, WR, Bengals
Green had to leave this game with a hamstring injury, but only had one target before he left and wasn’t going to do much against the Ravens defense. Green will likely miss time with this injury and it might be a blessing in disguise for the Bengals, who can focus their energy on their younger, healthy players. Tee Higgins tied Tyler Boyd for the target lead this week, and is going to be a start in good matchups while Green is out.
Matt Ryan, QB, Falcons
Maybe getting rid of Dan Quinn will help get this offense going, but that’s asking for a lot. Yes, Julio Jones has been hurt, but Ryan should have had more against the Panthers defense. Ryan finished with 226 yards, no touchdowns and one interception. Until he gets a fully healthy Jones back, he should remain on the bench.
Philip Rivers, QB, Colts
Rivers is washed up. I hate saying it, as I’ve always enjoyed watching him play, but he doesn’t have the arm to back up his football knowledge anymore. He’s not helping the Colts, especially when he’s turning the ball over, which he did twice today, with one being returned for a touchdown. He’s useless in fantasy and he is hurting the Colts’ fantasy assets. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see Jacob Eason or Jacoby Brissett at some point this season.