Forgive me for the punny title. I didn’t get a lot of sleep this weekend, and I think I’m still operating on Oakland time.
But that said…don’t you want four time slots of NFL football EVERY Sunday? Personally, I loved being able to go straight into another one after Sunday Night Football wrapped up, even if I did lose a little sleep. Honestly, I’d probably enjoy it if Roger Goodell taped my eyelids open and sat me in front of the TV for 48 full hours of NFL action.
For the receiver needy, your prayers may have been answered this week as a few young options emerged and could be ascending to the top of the ranks.
For those of you in free agent acquisition budget leagues (FAAB), the wealth of talent at receiver might give you a chance to let the market decide who you take. I like Keenan Allen the most, but you may put a low bid out on each of these guys and just take the one that no one chases for big dollars. That might be a cheap strategy, but at this point in the season — and for a guy you might not end up playing more than one or two games this year if you are not receiver needy — it’s one way to conserve your FAAB dollars in case something drops from the heavens during bye weeks.
Now let’s get the pickups before I run out of coffee.
Keenan Allen, WR, San Diego Chargers
In Malcom Floyd’s absence, Allen has risen to the top of the Chargers’ depth chart. He’s a rookie and hard to trust each and every week, but his skills on tape show he’s ready for the big time. I’d consider him at least a WR3 option the rest of the way as long as Philip Rivers keeps the revival tour going strong.
I would suggest spending about 20 percent of your FAAB budget on him, but his value really cannot be capped for those concerned about Julio Jones and in need of a high-upside replacement. You may want to go all-in here with up to 50 percent of your FAAB budget in that case. Just depends on how needy you are.
Justin Blackmon, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars
He’s the obvious name this week after his triumphant return to the field and more than likely has been stashed since drafts, but since he took his first catch of 2013 to the house, he’s worth noting here once again. I like him better with Chad Henne than Blaine Gabbert, but the Jags will always have garbage time. Always.
If you’re on a FAAB system, I’d consider spending 20 percent on Blackmon. Again, you could go higher if you are desperate to prepare your team for the loss of Julio Jones, but I’d be more concerned about going big with Blackmon. It’s not that he’s not talented, but he may be limited by his quarterback if Gabbert returns and gets to start.
Terrance Williams, WR, Dallas Cowboys
Tony Romo won’t throw for 500 yards every week, but he may not need to for Williams to have success. Williams shined on Sunday and made a play to get his touchdown. That won’t be forgotten.
Miles Austin may be healthy and set to return in Week 6, but I don’t think we’ve seen the last of Williams. Romo will still target him, and the Cowboys schedule is pretty appealing over the next few weeks. He’s worth a stash to see what happens.
Unfortunately, his upcoming schedule and generous fantasy league projections will probably prevent you from being able to acquire him at a discount. He’ll probably cost you at least 10-15 percent of your FAAB if not more.
Vincent Brown, WR, San Diego Chargers
I’ve been sitting on Allen’s counterpart for the better part of the season in many leagues having expected him to be Rivers’ primary target this year. He finally showed signs of life in Week 5, but it remains to be seen whether we can trust Rivers to look his way consistently.
Brown’s worth a pickup if only to stash him and see if he can maintain the level of involvement he showed this week. I’d spend no more than 10 percent of my FAAB budget on him because of the risk involved and because of Allen’s rise to No. 1 status for the Chargers.
Reuben Randle, WR, New York Giants
Eli Manning looked Randle’s way in the end zone this week, and considering the terribleness of that Giants’ defense so far this season, he should continue to mix Randle in this year. I don’t love him as much as other options simply because Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz will probably see more targets than Randle the rest of the way. But there’s a theory out there that the Giants could start looking to the future and minimize Nicks’ role in favor of building towards the future with Randle.
All that said, Randle’s at about the same level as Terrance Williams as far as future value. He’s worth stashing for 10 percent of your FAAB. You could go higher if you truly need the help or want to bet on his potential opportunity later this year.
Zac Stacy, RB, St. Louis Rams
And to not focus on just receivers, we have a new running back in St. Louis. Stacy racked up quite a chunk of yardage against the Jags before a rib injury forced him to sit out the remainder of Week 5. Coach Jeff Fisher says Stacy will get another start, which makes him worth acquiring. Daryl Richardson’s involvement limits his value, but any running back that gets the majority of their team’s carries is worth owning.
Stacy is worth 20 percent of your FAAB. I wouldn’t go much higher only because I feel like his ceiling is pretty low.
For more immediate help, consider Marcel Reece as a one-week or more fill the Raiders’ backfield. His potential will depend on whether Rashad Jennings will be ready to play this Sunday.
If you just lost Julio Jones (yet to be confirmed) or Owen Daniels, you might want to read what the experts are recommending at FantasyPros. I’d prefer any of the above to Harry Douglas, but Garrett Graham looks like he could star in Daniels’ absence.
You should also consider using a bench spot to stash Percy Harvin, Mario Manningham, Michael Crabtree, Shane Vereen, Jonathan Stewart, and/or Andre Brown if you’re doing well and have the bench room to spare. Any or all of these guys could be contributors in the fantasy football playoffs.
For defensive streaming advice, read up at The Fake Football. It may be the Jets’ time to shine as a streaming defense against the Steelers this week.