Jacoby Brissett QB, IND
Brissett has been up and down through four starts, but his outing this past Sunday was rather solid. He put up 314 yards through the air on 34 attempts, though, he threw no touchdowns against one interception. He did, however, find the end zone on the ground even though he only racked up 14 rushing yards on eight carries. All in all, Brissett showed that he can move the ball through the air against a middle of the road D to go along with his rushing touchdown potential. This week, he gets to face a Titans defense that has been giving up all kinds of Fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks (save for Jay Cutler last week, who doesn’t count). Due to the matchup, Brissett is one of the top options available on the wire for those looking to replace injured starters like Marcus Mariota and Matthew Stafford, both of whom could miss this upcoming week, or those who will be missing Russell Wilson or Dak Prescott due to byes.
Jerick McKinnon RB, MIN
It appears that last week’s Waiver Wire darling, Latavius Murray, might not be worth a whole lot after all. Murray led the Vikings in snaps early, but as the game wore on they leaned on McKinnon. McKinnon ended up with 22 touches to Murray’s 14, and that was with Murray getting the first nine touches. It’s possible that Murray’s surgically repaired ankle is still limiting him and not allowing him to be the bell cow for a full game. Murray is an Elevated Injury Risk with a Below Average Health Performance Factor (HPF) according to Inside Injuries due to the lingering issues with the ankle. Either way, with McKinnon outplaying Murray on Monday night and Dalvin Cook out for the season, McKinnon looks like a solid running back option, and certainly the best one out of Minnesota.
Matt Breida RB, SF
Whenever Carlos Hyde seems to be becoming a true No. 1 back, something always seems to happen. Hyde has been nursing a hip injury the last couple of weeks, which has allowed the rookie Breida to become a factor in the 49ers’ backfield. Breida played nearly half of the snaps in Week 5, including most of the second half. He posted 10 carries for 49 yards, both career highs. Head coach Kyle Shanahan said that the decision didn’t have anything to do with Hyde being hurt, but to go with the “hot hand.” While that’s surely part of it, Hyde’s injury has to be a factor, as he remains an Elevated injury risk according to Inside Injuries. Due to Hyde’s history of nagging injuries and Shanahan’s willingness to go away from him, Breida needs to be added in all leagues.
Taylor Gabriel WR, ATL
The Falcons are all sorts of banged up at receiver right now, which showed in how their offense struggled in Week 4 against Buffalo. Coming out of the bye week, it is expected that Julio Jones will play, but Mohamed Sanu’s status is much more up in the air due to a hamstring injury. Sanu is an Elevated Injury Risk and has a Below Average HPF according to Inside Injuries. It seems likely that he will miss this week’s game after missing practice on Monday. Assuming Sanu is out, the Falcons will have a vacuum of secondary targets to fill alongside Julio. Gabriel himself hasn’t done a whole lot this season, and was a disappointment in Week 4 when he was held without a catch after both Jones and Sanu sat out. However, with an extra week to prepare for Sanu’s absence, look for the Falcons to get Gabriel more involved. He was a big key for them making plays downfield in their run to the Super Bowl last season. He still isn’t much more than a flier this week, but the receiver spot is rather thin on the wire right now. Austin Hooper should also see more targets at the tight end spot due to Sanu’s absence.
Josh Doctson WR, WAS
Doctson has been incredibly frustrating for the Redskins organization and their fans because of how fragile he’s been since the beginning of his career. He made a big play in Washington’s Week 4 thumping of the Raiders, but followed it up by not pulling in a potential game-winning touchdown in the Redskins last game in Kansas City. However, the flashes that Doctson has shown make him worthy of a swing-for-the-fences stash in deeper leagues. The shoulder strain he suffered on that final play in Kansas City isn’t expected to keep him out moving forward, and the Redskins simply need a shot in the arm in the passing game.
Terrelle Pryor has not been able to get on track yet in Washington and doesn’t look like a natural fit in their offense, while Jamison Crowder has been invisible. Doctson’s upside, which he showed on the big play against Oakland, could give the ‘Skins an added dimension to an offense that needs it. It wouldn’t be the craziest thing if out he becomes much more involved moving forward. He’s merely a stash, but picking him up now could pay big dividends down the line.
Ed Dickson TE, CAR
Greg Olsen’s absence created a hole in Carolina that many didn’t think could be filled. However, Dickson, a ho-hum player for most of his career, has broken out recently in the tight end spot for the Panthers. Due to the way that Carolina likes to run their offense, there will always be an opportunity for a tight end to make some plays, and Dickson has taken advantage. He put up five catches for 175 yards on Sunday against Detroit in a monster performance. He had 62 yards the week before, looking like a legitimate part of a resurgent offense in Carolina. Olsen is out for at least 5 more weeks, so look to Dickson here in the short term if you’re looking to fill a hole at tight end.
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