Week 5 Dynasty Targets for Competing and Rebuilding Teams
Another week in the books means there’s a new chance to make moves in dynasty football. The end of the first month is a sweet spot for trading, because sometimes a month a representative sample and sometimes it isn’t, and if you can tell one from the other you can reap the rewards. It is this task with which I’m here to help you, and no more talk, let’s get to it.
Targets for Competing Teams
The big one: A.J. Green (WR, ARI)
This is something of a shocker to most of us, I think, but there are reasons to think Green could be the real deal. First, you probably want any part of the Cardinals offense as you can get. Second, Green is clearly a vital part of this offense. DeAndre Hopkins: Guy on the left. AJ Green: Guy on the right. Third, he looked great yesterday; as much as it’s a team play, it’s a bet on a historically good player who looks fully back to health. Fourth, if you throw away the 2020 season which saw a still rehabbing Green tied to a rookie QB (who’s good, but the lack of preseason couldn’t have helped) who got hurt fairly quickly, he’s always been good. Fifth, this might seem like a buy-high, but Green’s age and the general skepticism about him after last year means he could be a WR2 level performer at a solid price.
The surprising one: Mike Davis (RB, ATL)
It’s hard not to be happy for Cordarrelle Patterson, whose three touchdowns yesterday boosted him into the RB2 spot on the season. Not *a* RB2, mind you. The RB2. He also played about a third of Atlanta’s snaps while Davis handled the traditional RB’s workload, even notching a late touchdown. All of that said, the bloom is off the rose a little bit, as Davis has been something of a darling in the fantasy community and hasn’t produced as hoped. If a manager wants to sell on the touchdown boost, you’d been wise to put a low offer down, because with bye weeks coming up you want guys who are a lock for 8-10 points with the potential for way more. Davis is that guy.
The long-term play: Gronk (TE, TB)
Gronk is just Gronk, and I will refer to him only as such. Anyhow this is a slam-dunk add, if only as TE insurance, but also maybe more. All he does is catch touchdowns, but he gets hurt a lot and then doesn’t play a lot and then doesn’t catch touchdowns. Now that he’s out for a month or so it’s time to scoop him up, especially because there’s a decent chance that whoever has him has been riding high on his relatively surprising return to form and might be fretting a bit. If all you care about are wins this year, the price on Gronk is probably worth it before you even make the ask, and can only get better if you’ve got your negotiating shoes on.
Waiver Wire/Free Agent targets
The one I like this week: Alex Collins (RB, SEA)
Collins is getting 10 touches a game or so for a team with an established running back and an established tendency to turn to the run with greater and greater frequency as the season progresses. Right now he would be a viable bye week fill-in if the byes had started, which they have not but most assuredly will, and should Chris Carson befall any sort of injury, Collins would be in for some real work, unless Rashaad Penny is ever healthy, which is worth better against when it costs you nothing. And many other instances.
Targets for Rebuilding Teams
The big one: Tee Higgins (WR, CIN)
If the Bengals are going to be a real offense—and it increasingly looks like they will, despite the iffy o-line—then you want in on it, and with Higgins hobbling he might be available at what I’m fairly sure will be his lowest price for the foreseeable future. This has a very Amari Cooper/CeeDee Lamb vibe, in which Higgins is Cooper and Ja’Marr Chase is Lamb, and the point here is not to rank these guys against each other but the fact there’s a potentially credible similarity means you want any part of it you can get, and with Higgins ailing, maybe he’ll be dealt (he just was in my main league, twice in two days). He’s gonna eat and eat and eat.
The unexpected one: Damien Harris (RB, NE)
This one is straightforward contrarianism. He has 10 net rushing yards over the last two games, so it’s safe to say he will get better. On Sunday night, the Pats abandoned the run near entirely, and the week before that they faced the Saints when that defense was Hulkish, not Bruce Bannerish, which suffocated them in what is categorically the most numbing football game I have ever attended. Was fun to scream at least. Anyhow, having a literally experienced half-life of watching Bill Belichick coach the Pats, he loves players who are a) versatile b) reliable, c) cheap and then, oh yeah, d) good as heck. Harris really is good, and his price may have fallen below the standard tax for two terrible weeks and that of the Patriots RB Russian Roulette. Even as a bench running back, he’s probably worth it, because worst case you sell him after a huge game—and there will be a huge game, perhaps as early as this week against the Texans.
The long-term play: Pat Freiermuth (TE, PIT)
I wouldn’t recommend a Steeler unless I really meant it, though I usually find Broncos more unpalatable, but in both cases I am ultimately but a man and tiny and feeble before the god of Value. Rookie tight ends are not supposed to be good and Freiermuth is clearly good, even with Ben Roethlisberger, who stinks, throwing the ball. Next year he will be neither a rookie nor playing with Ben, and if Aaron Rodgers and Mike Tomlin bro down to bring A-Rodg to Pittsburgh Freiermuth could easily take another step forward, but he could also do so with any number of QBs who aren’t Ben. I play in TE-premium leagues, and TE growth takes place over such a long period that if you can identify even a potential star early it’s worth whatever you 20 times over, and if it fails it cost you very little.
Waiver Wire/Free Agent targets
The one I like this week: James Proche (WR, BAL)
He had 5 catches and 74 yards on Sunday and he’s 25. What do you have to lose?