It’s week four in the NFL and the first bye week has arrived. The Green Bay Packers and Philadelphia Eagles have the week off, and some Fantasy owners need temporary replacements.
As always, The Wire is here to help. By now you should know the drill. I provide 10 trending players owned in 45 percent or less of all leagues (sometimes 46-49 percent) for your consideration.
This week’s wire has three tight ends, two running backs, two wide receivers, one quarterback, a defense, and a kicker.
Trevor Siemian (Denver Broncos QB 19 Percent Owned)
With three starts under his belt now, Siemian has Denver Broncos fans saying “Osweiler-Schmosweiler, Siemian is our guy!”. And after his 312 yard four touchdown passing performance against the Cincinnati Bengals, it might be time for Siemian to be your guy.
Siemian has looked poised in the pocket and typically throws a nice spiral to the likes of Demaryius Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders, Virgil Green, and even running back C.J. Anderson. With these offensive weapons at his disposal, and the peace of mind the Denver Defense provides, Siemian is worth an add in all leagues.
If you have either Aaron Rodgers or Carson Wentz out this week, or need a change of pace at QB, get Siemian while you still can.
Zach Miller (Chicago Bears TE 49 Percent Owned)
Miller bear-ly makes this list at 49 percent owned (ok that was a terrible pun), but if he is still available add him now. The seventh year TE boomed in week three scoring two touchdowns on eight catches for 78 yards against the Dallas Cowboys.
Appearing to be Brian Hoyer’s security blanket, Miller could put up similar numbers against the Detroit Lions. Detroit has given up the most fantasy points to opposing tight ends (an average of 17 fantasy points) so far.
Miller may only be a TE2 moving forward, but this Sunday he’s a promising TE1.
Rishard Matthews (Tennessee Titans WR 26 Percent Owned)
Matthews hasn’t quite clicked with Marcus Mariota yet, and starting him against the Houston Texans defense is risky. In Fantasyland, though, all it takes is a 40 yard touchdown reception and Matthews earns your team a solid 10 points.
With Titans TE Delaine Walker (hamstring) still sidelined, and the Texans J.J. Watt (back) out, Matthews has a chance to put up numbers this Sunday.
Realistically though, Matthews is still rotating with Andre Johnson and Harry Douglas behind Tajae Sharpe. Making Matthews addable only in deeper 12-14 team leagues (both standard and PPR).
Cameron Artis-Payne (Carolina Panthers RB 25 Percent Owned)
Artis-Payne lead the Carolina running back committee with 12 touches, but did little else against a ruthless Minnesota Vikings defense. Jonathan Stewart remains sidelined this week for the Panthers, making CAP an RB3 against a shaky Atlanta Falcons defense this weekend.
CAP could see goal line work and be used in the passing game. Meaning a seven to 10 point performance isn’t out of the realm of possibility.
If you’re in a 12-14 team league and looking to roll the dice with your flex position, pickup CAP this week.
Hunter Henry (San Diego Chargers TE 12 Percent Owned)
The only way you won’t find Henry on the waiver wire this week is if you’re playing in a dynasty league. The rookie TE out of Arkansas caught five passes for 76 yards in week three with the absence of Antonio Gates (hamstring).
Henry, and the rest of the Chargers offense, has a mouth watering matchup against the New Orleans Saints. NOLA has allowed an average of 32 points to be scored against them, meaning Rivers could find Henry for a score or two this Sunday.
Projected to score between seven-10 fantasy points, Henry is a solid streaming option should Gates sit out again.
Cameron Brate (Tampa Bay Buccaneers TE Seven Percent Owned)
So much for a resurgence by Austin Sefarian-Jenkins (recently released by the Bucs). Brate is the TE in Tampa to own for Fantasy, as he put up a two TD catch performance against the Los Angeles Rams this past Sunday.
At 6′-5″-235lbs Brate can continue to be a big red zone target for Jameis Winston. Though the Buccaneers have been boom or bust offensively thus far.
Nevertheless, you could do worse than Brate if you’re streaming at TE this week.
Wendell Smallwood (Philadelphia Eagles RB Six Percent Owned)
I wouldn’t normally suggest adding a player who’s on a bye week. But Smallwood’s 17 carries for 79 yards and a score in week three were hard to ignore.
With Ryan Mathews (ankle) sidelined and the Eagles large lead against the Steelers Smallwood saw more work out of the backfield. And he took full advantage of the opportunity. Philadelphia Eagles first year head coach Doug Pederson gave plenty of praise to the rookie runner:
“He’s the same type of runner that we felt he was coming out of college and what we saw in preseason,” said Doug Pederson. “He’s a big, powerful guy. He’s a downhill guy. He’s a one-cut runner. He did a great job for us.” (Quote per Jimmy Kempski/Philly Voice)
Philadelphia’s backfield situation is worth monitoring. Pederson reportedly plans on using a committee even after Mathews returns. Smallwood could become chairman of said committee. He is worth a roster spot in all formats.
Adam Humphries (Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Four Percent Owned)
Reading this players name you probably asked yourself “who?”. Humphries isn’t a must add fantasy asset, but the second year wide-out is worth a spot on your watch list.
Humphries (18 catches for 201 yards) is currently out-receiving Vincent Jackson (nine catches for 99 yards) and has seen his receptions and yardage go up each week so far. While not a red zone threat, Humphries could provide WR4/WR5 upside in PPR leagues.
Now that you know his name, keep an eye on this one.
Josh Lambo (San Diego Chargers K 11 Percent Owned)
Lambo, like his other Bolts teammates, has a favorable matchup this week. The Saints defense has given up an average of nine fantasy points to opposing kickers. Lambo, who is averaging nine fantasy points per game, is projected to put up nine points (possibly 10-12) this Sunday.
If you’re a Mason Crosby or Caleb Sturgis owner, take Lambo for a spin, you’ll be glad you did.
Detroit Lions D/ST (Opponent Chicago Bears/ Six Percent Owned)
Admittedly the Lions defense hasn’t scored many fantasy points this season. But with a matchup against the Hoyer led Bears, and a banged up backfield, there’s bound to be turnovers and sack opportunities. Not to mention Chicago is only averaging 15 points per game offensively.
Projected to score seven fantasy points, this unit has 9-10pt potential and is worth streaming this week.
Honorable Mention: DeAndre Washington (Oakland Raiders RB), Markus Wheaton (Pittsburgh Steelers WR), Danny Amendola (New England Patriots WR), Jack Doyle (Indianapolis Colts TE), Paul Perkins (New York Giants RB).
(all player profile pictures courtesy of NFL.com)
Week five will be the first major bye week for Fantasy owners. A total of four teams will be out (Jacksonville Jaguars, Kansas City Chiefs, Saints, and Seattle Seahawks). Check back with The Wire again next week for all your roster replacement needs.
Until then, happy adding and best of luck.