A look at the players to keep an eye on in deeper leagues, though you don’t have to pick them all up just yet
Welcome back to The Watch List. This week features some potential help at the tight end position and a couple 49ers who could benefit from garbage time. If you read Week Three’s Watch List, hopefully you were able to get an early look at both Geoff Swaim and Christian Kirk, both of whom have been involved in their respective offenses. They look like they are both here to stay and are worth roster spots where needed.
With Jay Ajayi now out for the year after suffering an ACL tear at some point during the Eagles’ loss to the Vikings, someone needs to step up. Corey Clement is dealing with a quad injury, and Darren Sproles has been out with a hamstring injury. If there are any further setbacks for either of those two, do not be surprised if rookie Josh Adams starts seeing more work in the Eagles’ backfield. They pulled him up from the practice squad a few weeks back when Ajayi was down with a back injury. Wendell Smallwood is still going to be a factor in this backfield for the time being, but Adams should be watched closely. He is not worth a roster spot by any means at this point in time, but monitor the Eagles’ backfield situation moving forward.
Though Kyle Juszczyk may only be a short-term rental, he could be a factor in the upcoming weeks with Matt Breida nursing an ankle injury. Juszczyk played a role in the 49ers’ passing game in Week Five, catching six of his seven targets while totaling 87 yards from scrimmage. Alfred Morris will be the lead back in this offense if Breida misses time, but Juszczyk will continue to get work, especially in the passing game. Since the Jimmy Garoppolo injury, the 49ers have been a mess. If they continue to get down early in games and are playing from behind, don’t be shocked to see Juszczyk on the field. He will be more of a factor in PPR leagues, but can be looked at in all formats.
There is some uncertainty surrounding Adrian Peterson’s injury. Inside Injuries has him healthy to return as of this Tuesday from a minor shoulder sprain. Knowing Peterson’s injury history and being a 33-year-old running back, it never hurts to see who’s next in line. As we saw on Monday night, it may just be Kapri Bibbs. Though Chris Thompson is going to have a role regardless, Bibbs should step in as the early down back if anything were to happen to Peterson. Bibbs was inefficient with his four carries, gaining just nine yards, though he did score a touchdown. This situation should only be monitored and may be irrelevant if Peterson continues to suit up.
Another player who will benefit from playing catch-up as part of the 49ers’ offense is wide receiver Trent Taylor. The fifth-rounder out of Louisiana Tech was solid in his limited role during rookie season last year. Taylor had his most productive game as a pro this past Sunday, catching a career-high seven passes on eight targets for 61 yards and a touchdown. He was C.J. Beathard’s second favorite target on Sunday behind just Pierre Garcon. Taylor is a nice safety blanket for Beathard and could be a consistent option in PPR leagues. Taylor is available in just about every Yahoo league and should be looked at in deeper PPR leagues.
The former Redskin, Niles Paul, took over as the Jaguars’ receiving tight end on Sunday. A core muscle injury just put Austin Seferian-Jenkins on the IR and has left the door wide open for Paul. Inside Injuries has Seferian-Jenkins healthy to return on November 13, but he will not be eligible to return for at least eight weeks because he was placed on the IR. Paul stepped up in his place, catching seven of his nine targets for 65 yards. With the tight end position being so weak in fantasy, Paul may bring some value to the table. If you are in desperate need of a tight end where it seems like options are thin, Paul can be an add-now player.
Another tight end who may have some fantasy appeal after his Week 5 performance is Ryan Griffin. Though Griffin has shown us glimpses of this in the past, he has proven that he can be a steady week to week option when healthy. Griffin’s nine targets he saw on Sunday were his most since December of 2016 (10). He is not so much of an add-now player like Niles Paul is, but could become that in the near future. Griffin is an option in any format and should be watched closely in the next couple weeks.
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