Fantasy Football Roster Additions and Subtractions, Plus Standout NFL Stats
Good morning Lamar Jackson believers, Red Sox bettors and everyone who was in need of a Monday Night Miracle. The streak of entertaining primetime NFL games continued with the Ravens’ epic comeback, and the MLB postseason had its own drama with the Red Sox walking off the Rays to advance to the ALCS.
Navigating the Waiver Wire
Backups and breakouts galore make up this week’s waiver wire pickups. Jennifer Piacenti has recommendations for players to add after injuries to some of fantasy football’s top stars, including quarterback Russell Wilson and running back Saquon Barkley. There are surprisingly a few viable quarterback and tight end options. Giants receiver Kadarius Toney is on the list for the second straight week, though hopefully some of you followed Jen's advice like I did and added him before his 189-yard outburst.
It’s time to jump ship on some players we’ve been holding on to. With bye weeks forcing some of your stars to your bench, you can no longer waste a roster spot on an underperforming player with no path to stardom. Here are some players you can part ways with:
Brandon Aiyuk, WR, 49ers: Another week has passed and Aiyuk hasn’t even shown a shade of his 2020 form. San Francisco has all but phased him out of the offense. He’s fifth on the team in targets behind…fullback Kyle Juszczyk. Aiyuk was simply unstartable for the first few weeks of the season while fantasy managers waited for him to get out of the dog house. He has just 23.8 fantasy points on the year — Deebo Samuel has surpassed that in a single week twice already. Trey Lance being behind center this past Sunday didn’t change Aiyuk’s fortunes. There’s likely more productive waiver options available in your league.
Elijah Moore, WR, Jets: Moore played a season-low 41% of snaps against the Falcons in London and recorded his first game without a catch. New York’s offense isn’t nearly good enough to justify rostering a player who’s—at best—the third option in the receiving game. Moore is third on the team in targets but tied for fifth in receptions and sixth in receiving yards. A popular offseason sleeper pick, Moore hasn’t yet lived up to his second-round draft position or his ADP.
Robert Tonyan, TE, Packers: Tonyan was due for regression after posting ungodly touchdown numbers in 2020. Unsurprisingly, his touchdowns are down—he has one in five games after scoring 11 times last season—and his reception and yardage totals don’t make up for the scoring dip. Tonyan has 17 targets this season (3.4 per game). He’s simply not getting enough opportunities to maintain fantasy relevance. It’s hard to confidently say there are more reliable options than Tonyan, but there are options who have outperformed him this season.
On the bubble: Panthers pass catcher Robby Anderson has been unstartable in all but one game this season. Even that week, he was only viable thanks to a 57-yard touchdown reception, his only catch in Week 1 against the Jets. Anderson has been a disappointment, while DJ Moore has been a revelation. The hope for Anderson to renew a connection with Sam Darnold, who he caught passes from with the Jets, has not materialized. Washington tight end Logan Thomas was placed on injured reserve and is expected to miss the next three games, including this past Sunday’s game against the Saints. Thomas is one of the better options at tight end, but if you don’t have an injured reserve spot on your roster or it’s already filled with the likes of Jerry Jeudy or Michael Gallup, you can cut ties with Thomas.
Shoutout to Justin Herbert and the Chargers, who covered -2.5 in a shootout with the Browns. Our analysts were all over LA—four of five picked the Chargers to cover or win straight-up. Richard Johnson’s composite college football model had Texas A&M covering +18 against Alabama and the Aggies won outright in the biggest upset of the weekend.
MLB Playoff Betting: Postseason baseball is in full swing. Head on over to SI Sportsbook to check the latest lines and make your bets on today’s afternoon ALDS showdown between the Astros and White Sox and the NLDS battles between the Brewers and Braves and the Giants and Dodgers.
Weekend Injury Recap: The Giants were decimated by injuries against the Cowboys when Saquon Barkley and Daniel Jones both exited early. See which other fantasy stars were hurt during Sunday’s games and what the impact of their absences will be.
Say Hello to Byes: The dreaded nine-week stretch of bye weeks begins Thursday. Craig Ellenport breaks down which teams and star players are idle this week and how to make up for their absences.
Standout Stats From the Weekend
James Robinson broke out for a career-best 149 rushing yards in a blowout loss to the Titans. That outing included a touchdown, marking three straight weeks in the end zone for Robinson.
Kadarius Toney broke out against the Cowboys, turning 10 receptions into 189 yards. After a strange start to his career, Toney has arrived.
Sam Darnold doubled his season interception total in a loss to the Eagles with three. He had his worst game as a Panther after a strong start to the year with his new team.
A.J. Brown finished with a season-low 38 yards in his return from injury. Even with Julio Jones sidelined, Brown did not lead the team in receiving and he continued his string of underwhelming, if not disappointing, performances.
Myles Gaskin finished as the overall RB1 this week despite finishing with less than 100 total yards (granted, he had 99). Gaskin caught 10 passes and scored twice through the air. He rewarded fantasy owners who stuck with him and frustrated those who benched him for his early-season struggles.
That’s all I’ve got for today. Thanks for reading and remember to send in your lineup questions to email@example.com! I’ll talk to you on Thursday.