As the season goes on situations will clear up, and there will be less uncertainty throughout the league. That means there will be less opportunities to get ahead of your league mates. What you can do to stay ahead of them is pickup defenses that were dropped because of a tough matchup, but have a much easier stretch going forward. You can also start paying attention to grabbing a quarterback with an easy matchup in your normal starter’s bye week. As another general note, don’t waste bench spots on guys like Cole Beasley if you aren’t going to be in a position to put them in your lineup. He has very little upside to become a guy you want to start every week, and little to no trade value. Use end of the bench roster spots to prepare for upcoming weeks or to grab a handcuff running back in case the starter gets hurt.
No article in week 4, so we are going to review week 3’s speculative adds.
Week 3 Recap:
Pittsburgh: James Washington / Diontae Johnson
NYJ: Chris Herndon
New England: Benjamin Watson
Detroit: Ty Johnson / Paul Perkins
Honorable Mentions: Darwin Thompson
Donte Moncrief got benched and Mason Rudolph took over at QB for Roethlisberger. I thought Rudolph’s familiarity with James Washington would make him more useful in the short term, but that Diontae Johnson would end up being more valuable by the end of the season. It appears Johnson is the WR2 for Pittsburgh already, he’s gotten 6 targets each of the last two weeks.
Chris Herndon is out until week 6 from a suspension, but he’s not someone you want to risk losing. He’s still available in 88% of ESPN leagues; don’t let yours be one of them.
Ben Watson will play his first game this week against Washington.Both Julian Edelman and Josh Gordon have been limited at practice so far this week and that could open up some more opportunities for Watson in his first game back.
J.D. McKissic saw a bigger bump in workload than Ty Johnson after Detroit released CJ Anderson. No one in the Detroit backfield has standalone value outside of Kerryon Johnson, and it would be smart to expect a committee approach if Kerryon is injured. No need to roster any of the backup Detroit backs.
As mentioned above, Diontae Johnson saw 6 targets each of the last 2 weeks and is the clear WR2 for Pittsburgh. If you need a bye week fill in, or just believe Mason Rudolph is going to improve in the coming weeks Johnson should be on your roster.
Over the first 3 weeks of the season Knox averaged 55% of the snaps, that number jumped to 65% last week against New England. Knox also converted 3 targets into 58 yards on 3 receptions in week 4. That bumps his season receiving total to 144 yards on just 8 receptions. Knox could be in for a big second half of the season. The Bills also get exceptional matchups for their passing game after their week 6 bye, which I’ll elaborate on later.
Look Ahead Defense:
Green Bay Packers DST
The Green Bay defense had 12 sacks and forced 8 turnovers through the first 3 weeks before not recording a sack or turnover in week 4 against Philadelphia. I wouldn’t expect you to play them in week 5 against Dallas, although you could do worse. If you’re happy with your roster and want to stay ahead of your league on defensive pickups I would grab Green Bay and plan to play them in weeks 6 when they play Detroit and then week 7 against Oakland, both in Green Bay.
Josh Allen (QB – Buffalo)
Josh Allen is currently on 54% of ESPN rosters. He’s in danger of missing their game this week and then Buffalo has a bye in week 6. If he is dropped in your league at any time over the next two weeks you should grab him if you’re going to need a quarterback sometime between weeks 7 and 12. His post bye schedule is Miami, Philadelphia, Washington, Cleveland, Miami, and Denver. Miami, Washington and Philly are all in the top 5 of most points allowed to opposing quarterbacks.