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Players to buy
Sean McVay recently announced that rookie running back Cam Akers will be active for Week 5. As we know Akers missed the last two games due to a rib cartilage injury that knocked him out of the game. bout early in week 2. A rib injuries are tricky given that they can be played and are mostly pain tolerance issues. Akers will likely wear extra padding on his chest to minimize impact, but risk of further injury is possible
With Akers back in action, the Rams will hopefully lighten their dark background. As of now, Malcolm Brown has been the frontrunner while Darrell Henderson hangs out with the entire production. Henderson hasn’t played more than 49% of snaps in any game this year while Brown hasn’t played less than 49%. The Rams worry about hurting Henderson again or don’t deem him fit to play the majority of the clichés. Either way, there’s clearly a reason Akers was drafted with the top pick for them in the 2020 draft. They liked him enough to start with the Doors and although his role may be limited. this week, there are plenty of occasions to assume that Brown’s role is reduced. Malcolm Brown has already been targeted more times in four games this year than in any season of his six-year career and in just 33% of Week 1’s shots, Akers saw 15 chances to touch the ball . Akers is the leader the Rams want and his opportunity will be plentiful in a week or two. Buy Akers now while still “cheap”.
Hunter Henry is third in TE yards and fourth in YAC, you wouldn’t know that just coming off some fantastic points where he is TE15 on the season! Sadly, Henry has yet to touch the dirt and is untouched this season. Fortunately, the hits are pretty random and can regress in an instant. Tyler Higbee has three over the season and they all came in the same game. Higbee is also nearly 100 yards shorter on the season, but sits 10 spots higher in the standings.
It’s not anti-Higbee, even more, pro-Henry. He is one of the most talented TEs in the league who has been hampered by injury throughout his career. While the price isn’t too cheap since it hasn’t been unproductive, Henry is worth the long-term investment for potential buyers. TE matches aren’t useful predictors for future performance, but he gets the Saints next Monday and they’ve given up the most points for position in the league. Get Henry ASAP.
Michael Gallup became the third violin in the reception hall of the very talented Cowboys. While most would have expected rookie CeeDee Lamb to take a backseat for the WR’s third year after a 1,000-yard season, the opposite has happened. Lamb looks like a co-alpha with Amari Cooper while Gallup acts more like a field stretcher. While this is true, Gallup is 11th among all WRs in aerial yards and 4th in average distance to target (aDOT) among WRs with at least 20 targets.
Gallup’s time will come and it may be in clusters rather than consistent production. However, these clusters can save you weeks on their own. He’s already had a boom week this year against Seattle where he saw nine targets and produced six receptions, 138 yards and a touchdown. This week’s game against the Giants should be another, assuming the opposition’s only qualified cornerback James Bradberry chooses to primarily cover Cooper or Lamb. Gallup’s production at the end of the year will mirror that of a WR2 and for now it might be priced at a WR3. Acquire it for whatever is within your means and fair, because every week from now on you can throw it in your WR3 or FLEX spot and potentially get a winning boost.
Players for sale
With Sam Darnold on and on with Joe Flacco taking the reins of QB for the Jets, Jamison Crowder’s value takes a hit. Not so much because Flacco is a worse pitcher than Darnold at the moment, but because of the unknown of who Flacco will target. While in Baltimore, Flacco has found a comfort zone with tight ends as a safety valve while Darnold favors the lunge. In Baltimore, the target share for tight ends was over 22% as of 2010, while Darnold has provided just 18% through four games this year.
Crowder may not be the most attractive sale given his lack of name value and limitations, but has had two massive PPR games in his two healthy games this season. Crowder rarely finds the end zone (12 TD in the last 32 games) and relies on significant volume to produce. His target share could also decline due to the return of Breshad Perriman (with whom Flacco played in Baltimore).
Not Andre Swift, not Kerryon Johnson, but Adrian Peterson was the RB in Detroit with the bulk of the fieldwork. It has been one of the strangest developments of our historically ludicrous 2020, but it is not without precedent. Last year we saw veteran Jordan Howard carry the load in Philadelphia while Miles Sanders waited backstage and played a more complementary receiving role out of backfield. Although it took an injury for Howard for the role of Sanders to develop.
While Peterson has played relatively well, we have to consider how long that will last given the possibility that Matt Patricia may be on his way out of midseason. Peterson could see his role diminish in the second half of the season if the Lions continue to lose. They * should * want to see more of what they got with their second-round rookie. Kerryon Johnson is a complete non-factor, so he can be ignored outside of a trade or cut situation. So far, Peterson’s production has been fancy-relevant and given his workload, he could be of value in the leagues with super-fine waiver threads.
In Phillip Lindsay’s absence, Melvin Gordon thrived (especially in week 4). Gordon has shown everything the Broncos paid for throughout the first quarter of the season and his role will remain heavy throughout the year. Lindsay returns to her allegedly complementary niche, but could see less workload if Gordon continues to thrive. Lindsay is a great story to be a hometown kid, but the Broncos have yet to secure it in the long run and they clearly saw enough limits to the point that they signed Gordon during the offseason.
Lindsay is a mediocre receiver and pass blocker (arguably the worst in 2019), therefore, he will be off the field in most passes. Also, touchdowns are hard to get given Lindsay is not a short distance / goal line back. Other than an injury to Gordon, Lindsay won’t see similar volume to last year, especially early in the post-turf toe. He’s basically the opposite of Cam Akers where you want to sell before he hits the pitch rather than the other way around. Lindsay’s name value could be appealing to a league teammate who is fighting for RB’s place and needs a starter for the next few weeks.
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