Week-Ahead Stash Candidates for Week 4
This weekly article series will attempt to help you in two ways. First, we are going to be examining players who may not be the hot waiver pickups of the week. This will save you Free Agent Auction Bucks (FAAB) or waiver priority for when you need it most. Second, we will be diving into stats and trends that point to players improving their fantasy scores next week, not this current week. The goal is to sift through the rough to find those diamonds who emerge every single year, except you won't be sweating over whether or not you claimed them on waivers, because you will already own them. At least that's the goal.
Here's the second transparency report of the season. Before Week 2, I told you to grab these guys for a Week 3 start. Here's how they did:
|Player||Positional Ranking||Half-PPR Points|
I took a few big losses this week. The Jacksonville Jaguars and Tennessee Titans combined for 15 total points, so having two of my five choices from that matchup wasn't ideal. Mike Gillislee was a shot in the dark but ultimately a miss. My two Steelers choices were both top positional picks, so I can feel good about that.
Now, on to next week! Here are some guys who may not be startable for Week 4, but could be valuable next week and beyond. So, if you have space, add them now or hope that they fall through waivers after this week.
Ryan Tannehill, QB, Dolphins
Yahoo Ownership: 9%
Before the season started, you wouldn't have expected this, but we're starting things off this week with two Miami Dolphins players. Ryan Tannehill is first on the Look-Ahead list this week. The signal caller returned from injury and is quietly the QB13 through the first three weeks. In Week 3, he was QB5. Tannehil is also fifth in adjusted completion percentage, at 81.4%, per Pro Football Focus.
This might be one of the few times that I recommend starting a player next week and even this week. In Week 4, Tannehill will face off with Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. The Patriots 'defense has given up 7 receiving touchdowns so far this season and are 10th in points allowed to the quarterback position. Brady will also likely have Josh Gordon back in his arsenal, so the game script could be in favor of the passing game as the Dolphins look to stay in the game with the Pats offense.
But that's not why we're here! Looking on to Week 5, the Dolphins will be playing the Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals are sixth in points given up to quarterbacks, and they have recently suffered some injuries on their defensive line. Additionally, 4 members of the Bengals defense have allowed 13 or more receptions in coverage so far this season. Tannehill will hopefully have a fully functional DeVante Parker back, but he will continue to run smoothly with Danny Amendola, Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson playing very well through the first few weeks. I think Tannehill will surprise some people by the end of this season.
Mike Gesicki, TE, Dolphins
Yahoo Ownership: 6%
In connection to my first choice, Michael Gesicki is a nice stack-attack choice in Week 5. So far in 2018, Gesicki hasn't accrued a massive amount of catches or yards, which is why he's at such a low ownership percentage. But the tight end position is a wasteland, so hopefully we can find good streaming candidates that could turn into long-term starters.
The biggest reason I believe Gesicki will get involved soon is his rising snap count. In Week 1, Gesicki played just 33.9% of snaps. After that, the number rose to 55.0% and 63.6% in Weeks 2 and 3, respectively. Adam Gase clearly was easing Gesicki into the NFL game speed and ensuring that his knowledge of the playbook was solid. This offseason, it was reported that Gesicki was one of Tannehill's favorite targets in camp. First-year tight ends rarely become fantasy relevant in their first season, but with Tannehill starting the season strong and Gesicki being thrust into the starting role, good things will happen soon.
The prime breakout day will be against the Swiss cheese Bengals secondary. Through 3 weeks, they have given up 23 receptions to the tight end position -- that's third-most in the league. The teams that they have faced so far have been the Indianapolis Colts, the Baltimore Ravens and the Carolina Panthers. These teams do not feature elite tier tight ends. Gesicki will look to turn Week 5 into his NFL welcome party, and you're invited.
Paul Richardson, WR, Redskins
Yahoo Ownership: 7%
Many have been wondering which of the Washington Redskins' wide receivers will garner the most targets this year, and thus far, it's been a rather fruitless task. Many looked to former first-round draft pick, Josh Doctson to be the breakout candidate for this team. The only problem is that their new quarterback, Alex Smith isn't meshing very well with Doctson. Through three games, Doctson has an abysmal 38.4% catch rate. Meanwhile, Paul Richardson is proving to be the top deep threat on the team, with Jamison Crowder manning the slot.
Through three weeks, Richardson has caught 9 receptions for 131 yards and a touchdown. However, the most promising thing in Richardson's favor is his air yards output. Currently, he's leading the team with 194, more than 70 yards ahead of Doctson. Richardson provides big-play ability on a team that seems to be lacking it outside of running back Chris Thompson.
The Redskins are currently on their Week 4 bye, but in Week 5 Richardson will be facing the New Orleans Saints -- our 30th ranked pass defense and one that's allowed 10 touchdowns through the air so far. Now that Smith is more comfortable throwing the ball deep in this offense, Richardson could have some sneaky flex appeal.
Aaron Jones, RB, Packers
Yahoo Ownership: 65%
Aaron Jones is a bit higher-owned than my usual choices, but I think that he should be rostered in almost any league. If for some reason he is un-owned in your league, you have to grab him. Week 3 was Jones' first week back from a two-game suspension stemming from an arrest last October. He was limited to just a quarter of the Green Bay Packers' offensive snaps in his debut. Jamaal Williams also had five rushing attempts and three targets against the Redskins.
That being said, Jones easily looked like the most explosive player in that backfield -- he had 6 carries for 42 yards at 7.0 yards per carry. On top of that, his pass blocking was on point when called upon. PFF graded his pass-blocking snaps at 72.7 for Sunday's game. For reference, he ended 2017 with a pass blocking grade of 46.3. I think if Jones keeps up what he's doing, in no time he will start eating away at what's left of Williams' work.
In Week 5, the Green Bay Packers will be up against the Detroit Lions. The Lions have allowed the third-most points to the running back position through Week 3. They have also allowed the most rushing yards to running backs, with 450 yards over 3 weeks. That's 80 yards more than the team in 2nd. The teams that have sliced and diced the Lions' defense have been the New York Jets, the San Francisco 49ers and the New England Patriots. It's not like Ezekiel Elliott or Todd Gurley crushed them -- Bilal Powell, Matt Breida and Sony Michel did. If Jones pushes Williams for the lead back spot, he's in for a big day against the Lions.
Javorius Allen, RB, Ravens
Yahoo Ownership: 28%
For those of you who drafted Alex Collins this season, you will grimace at this last choice. Javorius Allen is currently sitting at 28% owned on Yahoo leagues, and that is way too low. He's averaging 9.7 touches per game, most of which is in the receiving game. But the real thing that is bugging Collins owners is the red zone rushes. Through three weeks, Collins and Allen both have six red zone touches. Allen has now vultured three rushing touchdowns from Collins -- all of which were Allen's bread-and-butter, a halfback dive from the one-yard line.
Kenneth Dixon was recently sent to injured reserve for his umpteenth knee injury. The passing-game role out of the backfield now exclusively belongs to Allen. Not to mention Collins has been somewhat lackluster to open the year, and the coaching staff may siphon touches back to Buck.
Allen looks like a great spot start in Week 5 if you're already starting to bleed out at the running back position. The Ravens will be facing the Browns in Cleveland. With Baker Mayfield now at the helm, there could be some positive game script in Allen's favor. The Browns are already allowing the eighth-most points to the running back position. James Conner and Alvin Kamara both had solid days against the Browns, and Allen could be in line for one, as well.