Last week was a dynamic week in fantasy football with big “comeback” games, such as Cam Newton’s (Carolina) big day at New England. Newton re-found his groove as the week’s top fantasy quarterback on 360 combined yards with four total touchdowns.
There also were many injuries to key players, most notably Dalvin Cook (ACL), lost for the season. Week 4 also saw numerous players either spike or suddenly appear on the radar – and act fast Cook owners.
We’ll start with highlighting a suddenly deep waiver-wire market:
▪ For the Vikings, Latavius Murray (Minnesota) will get the start with the injury to Dalvin Cook, though he’s a huge drop-down in talent, and Jerick McKinnon (Minnesota) may be the more attractive option in PPR leagues.
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▪ Wayne Gallman (NY Giants) quickly moved up on the radar after a 50-yard game last week with a touchdown. Gallman is on a Giants’ team needing a spark from its running game and this week they face a Chargers’ team allowing the second-most rushing yards.
▪ Thomas Rawls (Seattle) and Eddie Lacy (Seattle) are back on the radar after the season-ending injury to Chris Carson. However, J.D. McKissic (Seattle) may have the most upside and he deserves a priority roster claim after last week’s game.
▪ Alex Collins (Baltimore) seems like a player destined to have a larger role for the Ravens – Collins is averaging a mighty-impressive 8.2 yards per carry on 25 rushing attempts this season.
▪ Aaron Jones (Green Bay) should have an expanded role this week and could start depending on the status of Ty Montgomery (ribs) and Jamaal Williams (knee).
▪ Austin Ekeler (LA Chargers) had the team’s largest run of the season last week (35 yards on one carry), and he is almost certainly in store for more touches as a spark for an 0-4 team, perhaps filling a Danny Woodhead type role for the team.
▪ LeVeon Bell (Pittsburgh) broke out with 186 yards and three touchdowns last week and should be set for another big game. Jacksonville allows the fewest passing yards in the NFL but the most rushing yards.
▪ On the other side of the Steelers/Jaguars’ game, Leonard Fournette (Jacksonville) is locked in as a must-start regardless of opponent – Fournette has scored a touchdown in every game this season.
▪ Frank Gore (Indianapolis) gets perhaps one last chance to play against his former team after having played for the 49ers for 10 seasons. You could imagine Gore playing particularly inspired this week and having a strong game.
▪ Jaron Brown (Arizona) comes into Week 5 off a career-best 105-yard game and he’s quietly been the 23rd-ranked fantasy receiver over the past three games.
▪ Charles Clay (Buffalo) comes into Week 5 off a 100-yard game and has caught six touchdowns in his past eight games (dating back to last year).
▪ Martellus Bennett (Green Bay) is looking for his first touchdown as a Packer, and when that happens he will be the first tight end in NFL history to catch a touchdown with five different teams. This game against his former team could when it happens.
▪ Devin Funchess (Carolina) deserves another start off a career-best two-touchdown game. Especially with Greg Olsen out, Funchess should remain one of the key targets in the Panthers passing game.
▪ Andy Dalton (Cincinnati) comes off a season-best performance including throwing four touchdowns. Things likely won’t be so easy this week against a Buffalo Bills defense that has allowed just one passing touchdown this season.
▪ Amari Cooper (Oakland) is a bench candidate this week having caught just three of 13 targets the past two weeks for 15 total yards. Baltimore allows the fourth-fewest fantasy points to wide receivers.
▪ Sammy Watkins (LA Rams) followed up a big 100-yard, two-touchdown performance with one catch for 17 yards. Keep him parked this week against Seattle defense that ranks fourth against the pass, allowing just 185 yards per game.
Alan Satterlee is in his fourth year of writing about fantasy football for The Charlotte Observer. Find him on Twitter at @Speedkills_DFW.