Dynasty Waiver Wire: Week Five

Addison Hayes

Can we not have nice things? Has 2020 not been bad enough? I am looking at the fun tweets and posts about the “All-IR Team” for this season and it is super depressing, especially at running back. I am almost scared when I get a notification on my phone during games that another one of my players is headed to the locker room and is questionable to return, most likely with a knee or hamstring injury.

2020 has already claimed Saquon Barkley, Christian McCaffrey, Courtland Sutton, Le’Veon Bell, Jalen Reagor, Parris Campbell, Raheem Mostert, Allen Lazard, Chris Godwin a couple of times, not to mention we have yet to see AJ Brown really play, Kenny Golladay missed a couple of weeks, Julio, Adams, Lindsay, Fant, Lock, Garoppolo, AHHH! This week we can tack on Austin Ekeler, probably Nick Chubb as well, almost Chris Carson again, and OJ Howard. WE JUST HIT A QUARTER OF THE SEASON! Please don’t take any more players fantasy gods, signed, everyone. But hey, you aren’t even reading this.

In case you are reading this, there is one bit of information to know before you start reading names. New to this year’s series and the DLF site is player rostership percentages, courtesy of dynasty rosters from SafeLeagues and the great Scott Fish. Using that data, I developed an app to view rostership data from over 400 SafeLeagues dynasty leagues, all using the same format and scoring (2 PPR tight end premium). While this may not be entirely accurate for every individual league, it is very reflective of how managers view who is worthy or not of a roster spot. Now that that is covered, let’s dive into the waiver wire after week four!

Players to double-check availability and immediately add:

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Justin Jackson, RB LAC

The injury bug struck again this week for two big-name running backs, this one being Austin Ekeler. Early reports are potential hyperextended knee and hamstring injuries that are expected to keep him out several weeks. After Ekeler left the game, the Chargers seemed to take an RBBC approach between Joshua Kelley and Justin Jackson, with Kelley ending with 12 touches to Jackson’s eight. You shouldn’t look to Jackson as a starting running back on your roster, but in today’s injury landscape, anyone with a pulse is worth rostering.

D’Ernest Johnson, RB CLE

WHO!? Yeah, I am right there with you. It’s EXTREMELY rare that a potential top dynasty waiver pickup is rostered in essentially 0% of leagues, but here we are with Johnson. A little background: Johnson played college at the University of South Florida, playing three of his four seasons as a backup to Marlon Mack. He went undrafted in the 2018 NFL Draft and signed a UDFA contract with the Saints for the summer before being released. After playing in the former AAF league in 2019, Johnson signed with the Browns in May 2019 and has been primarily a special teamer… until yesterday.

After Nick Chubb left the game with a knee injury, Johnson led the Browns in carries with 13 for 95 yards, playing the Chubb role while Kareem Hunt maintained his. It’s unknown if Chubb tore his ACL or not, but if Johnson is going to step up to double digit touches, he’s very much worth an add. It’s also worth noting that while Johnson (and Hunt as well) failed to record a reception against the Cowboys, he does hold the USF record for receptions and receiving yards by a running back, as well as all-purpose yards.

Tim Patrick, WR DEN

Shoutout to Bronco fan and fellow DLFer John Hogue on this call before the game Thursday night, but Patrick showed out against the Jets as the top receiver on the Broncos. Patrick led all Broncos receivers with six receptions for 113 yards and a score on seven targets. With Courtland Sutton out for the remainder of 2020, Patrick could easily be the main beneficiary of his absence as the team’s primary X receiver. In addition to Sutton’s absence, tight end Noah Fant also suffered an ankle injury that is expected to keep him out of at least one game, which could funnel even more targets to Patrick.

Isaiah Ford, WR MIA

Sunday’s game against the Seahawks was Ford’s second game this season with nine or more targets. While he was not overly efficient with his ten targets this week, finishing with only four receptions for 48 yards, Ford is rising as another option for Ryan Fitzpatrick on this Dolphins team. I do not expect this type of target volume weekly, but the Dolphins are going to have to throw more often than not, which could lead to a couple flex-worthy starts for Ford, especially as bye weeks begin this upcoming week.

David Moore, WR SEA

Moore has been a solid WR3 option on the Seahawks for a couple years now, and its continuing through 2020. Moore finished this game against Miami with three receptions for 95 yards and a touchdown on four targets. As Russell Wilson continues to cook, defenses are going to start trying to take out one of DK Metcalf or Tyler Lockett weekly, which opens the field up to the 4.48 speedster. Moore has a weekly floor of zero points, but has high upside as another vertical threat for Wilson’s efficiency as we saw this week.

Darnell Mooney, WR CHI

It is about time I actually highlighted Mooney, as he has been a name at the bottom of this article every week so far this year. Mooney has quietly been an okay rookie producer for the Chicago Bears, having his best game of the season in terms of targets, receptions, and yards this week, totaling five receptions for 52 yards on nine targets. At the time of writing this I do not have snap count numbers for week four, but Mooney did out-snap Anthony Miller in weeks two and three and played only six fewer snaps than Miller in week one.

Statistically, Mooney has 16 receptions through four games, compared to Miller’s nine. I know Miller was a candidate for a third year breakout as the Bears’ WR2 with no Taylor Gabriel, but Mooney is actually taking over that role. I would not be surprised at all if Mooney starts to pick up more steam as we move through the season and maybe end up as a sneaky top rookie wide receiver from a stud 2020 class.

Jordan Akins, TE HOU

I know he left the game early with a possible concussion after a helmet-to-helmet hit by Harrison Smith that got him ejected, but Akins has been the top tight end for the Texans and a primary read for Deshaun Watson. He was stymied by the Steelers defense in week three, but totaled seven targets in week two and had three receptions for 48 yards in the first half of this week before leaving from injury. We all know how gross the tight end landscape can be for fantasy, and if Akins becomes a consistent target option for Watson post-DeAndre Hopkins, we should pay attention.

Cameron Brate, TE TB

Here is a nice blast from the past. Brate has essentially been a non-factor for fantasy for about three years now, but if 2020 has taught me anything, it is that anything is possible this year. Even though Brate only caught one ball for a three yard touchdown this week against the Chargers, I still want to highlight him as a waiver wire add after the injury to OJ Howard. It is believed that Howard ruptured his Achilles, which is a brutal injury that could affect him all the way into 2021.

Since Rob Gronkowski has apparently been brought in to Tampa as a blocking tight end, it is possible Brate sees more of the receiving work that Howard was getting this year. Brate has also always had a nose for the end zone and with Brady’s history of targeting tight ends, it could happen. I would not go running to waivers to drop a bunch of FAAB on Brate, but he’s worth a mention here and possibly a speculative add.

Other players to keep an eye on:

Deep stashes:

addison hayes