Week 4 Dynasty Targets for Competing and Rebuilding Teams
Welcome back to TDG’s new dynasty adds column, which is now in its second week and on its proper day, Tuesday, so you can actually get those waiver claims in *before* waivers run. What a concept! Anyhow just a quick note before we get started: This is all about value, so when a guy is obviously the most attractive target as a short-term play—like, say, Chuba Hubbard on the Panthers in the wake of Christian McCaffrey’s injury—and is almost certainly already owned, there’s no point in putting him on this list. There will be no buying low on Hubbard this week. There will, however, be buying low on the guys listed below, which is why they are listed below.
TARGETS FOR COMPETING TEAMS
The big one: Stefon Diggs (WR, BUF)
Last year’s WR1 has gotten off to a relatively slow start this year as Buffalo was stuffed in a trash can by the Steelers in Week 1, only to switch places with Pittsburgh thereafter w/r/t said trash can. Now the Steelers can’t do anything right but the Bills sure can, having just demolished the Washington Football Team at home behind a near-perfect Josh Allen performance. Emmanuel Sanders had two TDs in this one and Cole Beasley plagued the Team with an 11-catch, 98-yard performance. Diggs had a relatively pedestrian 6-62 to put him at 191 yards and 1 TD on the year, three yards behind both Sanders and Beasley. All that said, Allen is lighting the world on fire and Diggs still leads the team in targets—the production will come. If you can get Diggs at even 90 percent of his preseason value, it’s probably worth it, because as much as we prefer better percentage value buys, in theory, the key to winning fantasy football is to have the truly elite talents, of whom there just aren’t too many. Diggs qualifies, and if there’s an antsy owner, pants those ants. I don’t know what that means but I think it works.
The surprising one: Josh Jacobs (RB, LV)
Jacobs was a popular fade in the offseason because the a) Raiders signed Kenyon Drake to a weird, largely guaranteed two-year deal and b) Jon Gruden and co. largely phased Jacobs out of the passing game last season. Then in Week 1 Drake barely played and Jacobs, while largely stifled on the ground to the tune of 10 carries for 34 yards, punched in two touchdowns to help the Raiders to their surprising, slapstick upset of the Ravens. Now he’s been out for two weeks with an injury and the workload has gone to Peyton Barber over Drake, and while Barber looked freakin’ great on Sunday, the usage pattern here suggests that when Jacobs is ready to return he’ll be the guy. If Barber somehow keeps the job, Mazel Tov and all, but I wouldn’t bet on it. It seems far more likely Jacobs is going to again be the lead back on a good-to-great offensive team, and the price is probably right to scoop him up before anyone else bothers to realize this.
The long-term play: Raheem Mostert (RB, SF)
This one presumes you’re competing next year and is in tandem with our Waiver Wire add for competitors, but hear me out: It seems increasingly clear that Mostert is the only traditional running back Kyle Shanahan trusts, or has ever trusted, at least in San Francisco. Maybe Eli Mitchell puts a dent in that, but if I was betting on who’s likely to be the Niners’s starting RB come Week 1 next year, my money would be on Mostert, and given that he’d be effectively free to acquire right now, that’s probably a price worth paying, because free is not really a price. Will he get hurt in five minutes next year? Of course. But the process is the process, and the value here could be off the charts if you’re in it for the long haul. If only for five minutes.
Waiver Wire/Free Agent target
The one I like this week: Kyle Juszyzck (RB, SF)
I was careful to call Mostert the only “traditional” running back beloved by Kyle the Brain, but he clearly trusts Juszyzck too, whose name is impressively difficult to spell even if you’ve heard it and seen it a million times. Much respect. Anyhow there’s not much to add after a 5-carry, 14 yard performance that was really a 4-catch, 37-yard-with-a-TD performance except that I wouldn’t be surprise if he touches the ball quite a bit for the next few weeks. He’s available in both my 12- and 16-team leagues, and is probably available in yours, and with bye week season nearly upon us, he could be an effective spot starter.
TARGETS FOR REBUILDING TEAMS
The big one: Zach Wilson (QB, NYF)
Through three weeks, Wilson has been so bad it’s funny, so he fits right in on the Jets. He hasn’t thrown a touchdown since Week 1 and has 6 INTs since then. I don’t know if there were many Wilson True Believers out there as there are for, say, Justin Fields or Trey Lance, because his skill set seems relatively limited compared to theirs and he had one year of elite production against, you know, BYU’s competition. HAVING SAID THAT, the three defenses he’s faced are those of the Panthers, Patriots and Broncos, owners of the No. 1, 3 and 9 defenses by DVOA so far this week, per Football Outsiders. Those are some good defenses! If a Wilson owner is happy to sell at 80 percent of his draft day price, you might as well pull the trigger, because it’s only going to get easier from here, and Wilson, no matter what else you think of him, can make the throws when he’s given the chance. Some day, theoretically at least, he may even get it.
The surprising one: Kadarius Toney (WR, NYG)
Toney was a surprising pick in Round 1 of the NFL Draft for the Giants except in the sense that speedy guys almost always get overdrafted in Round 1 in the NFL Draft, so he fits snugly into that pattern. Through three games, he has 4 catches for 14 yards. He had 16 yards in Sunday’s loss to the Falcons, so you can do the math on his previous two catches. Not great, Bob! So anyway, he missed a huge portion of the preseason and is clearly now just working into shape and he’s a relatively high first-round pick and I bet you could get him for near barrel-scraping prices. Heck, I just stole him off a practice squad in the 16-team league, which was my reward for winning and being great. He might not be great or even good, but we just don’t know anything now except the underlying situational stuff, and it all points to a higher ceiling than you’d normally get for the price. Plus, you can sing his name to “Notorious” and it’s delightful.
The long-term play: K.J. Hamler (WR, DEN)
Well shoot, here’s another guy out for the year. He’s got a very Toney-like profile but on a functioning offense, and doesn’t figure to lose his slot to any of the Broncos’s other receivers, none of whom really duplicate the “screw it, I’m going deep” nature of his game. Anyhow, when a guy is out for the year and has a likely guaranteed role for the following season—one in which the Broncos may or may not have Aaron Rodgers at quarterback—he’s probably worth whatever pocket change you’d have to shell out for him, even if, like me, you detest the Broncos with the fire of 11,000 suns.
Waiver Wire/Free Agent target
The one I like this week: Tyler Johnson (WR, TB)
Johnson has passed Scotty Miller for the fourth wide receiver spot on Tompa Bay (not a typo), and if you rostered Miller last year you know there’s value to be had in that spot. Sometimes, for instance, the third receivers get COVID (like Antonio Brown) or suspended (also AB) or cut out of nowhere (AB again). There’s no harm in loaded up on Tom Brady’s weapons, especially not at the price of “virtually free,” so grab Johnson today and wait for the inevitable injuries and/or absurdities to push him into bye-week relevance.