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 to another week of The Watch List. The biggest hit from last week’s piece was Bills receiver Zay Jones. We mentioned to keep an eye on his usage, and this week may have been all we needed to see. Jones had 11 targets that he turned into an 8-93-1 line. Let’s take a look at this week’s Watch List:
Jaylen Samuels, Pittsburgh Steelers RB/TE
Though James Conner will return in Week 11, Jaylen Samuels could have some value moving forward. It is now finally confirmed that Le’Veon Bell will not be returning in the 2018 season. Behind Conner, Samuels should be the next man up. What makes him interesting is that he has eligibility as a tight end in Yahoo. In a shortened game for Connor on Thursday night, Samuels caught three of four targets for a touchdown, though he was unproductive with his five carries. Stevan Ridley did have more carries than Samuels, but was also unimpressive. The tight end eligibility makes this a very interesting situation to monitor.
James O’Shaughnessy, Jacksonville Jaguars TE
Alright, let’s try another Jaguars’ tight end. Back in Week Five, we featured Niles Paul, who is still missing time due to a torn MCL. Now it is James O’Shaughnessy producing as the Jaguars’ top receiving tight end. Before missing some time due to a hip injury, O’Shaughnessy had three straight games with at least two receptions. This past week, he tied a career high with five receptions. O’Shaughnessy in not a player that needs to be added anytime soon, but should be a name to keep in mind down the stretch.
Tyler Higbee, Los Angeles Rams TE
Losing Cooper Kupp for the season may force the Rams into utilizing their tight end, Tyler Higbee. On Sunday, Higbee caught all three of his targets while also finding the end zone for the second time this season. There are targets to be had in this Rams’ offense and Higbee could be a sneaky add if he takes full advantage of the opportunity in front of him. Higbee may not become a great fantasy option, but the situation is worth keeping an eye on.
Pharoh Cooper, Los Angeles Rams WR
Sticking with the Rams’ offense, Pharoh Cooper will be making a return this week. After spending some time on the IR this season with an ankle injury, Cooper is expected to at the least be the Rams’ punt returner. Don’t expect Cooper to be used in the offense immediately, but he could eventually work his way into some snaps. Josh Reynolds is expected to be the wide receiver that steps in for Kupp, but Cooper could make a push as well. The former fourth round pick has a chance to make an impact.
Brandon LaFell, Oakland Raiders WR
Since the departure of Amari Cooper, Brandon LaFell has quietly established himself in the Raiders’ offense with three straight games with at least three receptions. On Sunday, LaFell had the most targets amongst wide receivers on the Raiders and was tied for second with the most targets on the team (six) behind just Jared Cook. With lots of inconsistency at receiver for the Raiders, look for LaFell to remain a part of this offense.