Just when we thought a week in the NFL couldn’t get more wild, it did. We saw more big name injuries to stars like Odell Beckham Jr. There were more wild upsets, like Leonard Fournette and the Jacksonville Jaguars running wild against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Finally, there were more breakout performances by players like Marlon Mack. This week will cause a rush to the waiver wires. Most teams will likely go after at least one player. What about next week though? Read on to find out who might be a good fantasy football target to watch going forward.
Week Six NFL Fantasy Football Watch List
A First Round Rookie with Real Potential
This week’s top dog to watch out for is San Dieg—err—Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Mike Williams. He was taken number seven overall in this year’s draft. Williams hasn’t seen the field yet in 2017 due to a back injury suffered in the off-season. However, he will likely make his NFL debut this weekend against the Oakland Raiders.
Williams is big-bodied receiver who has drawn comparisons to guys like Mike Evans and Alshon Jeffery. The Chargers really haven’t had a guy like him since they let Vincent Jackson walk in free agency after the 2011 season. Quarterback Philip Rivers loves to throw the ball deep, which helped undrafted rookie Tyrell Williams top 1,000 yards last season.
The Chargers already have a super-talented wide receiver in Keenan Allen, but his presence more helps Williams than hurts it. Allen is best known for creating early separation and running crisp routes. So far this year, he has played 40% of his snaps from the slot. Williams is an outside guy, and once he’s back, it would not be surprising to see Allen move almost exclusively to the slot. This would keep both Mike Williams, and Tyrell Williams on the outside.
The Mike variety of the two Williams is definitely more talented than the Tyrell version. So, depending on quickly Williams adapts, he could be a late season breakout a la Odell Beckham.
Now a Deep Dive into an Undrafted Rookie
This week’s running back to watch is San Francisco 49ers rookie Matt Breida. Incumbent starter Carlos Hyde has looked every bit the part of their starter when he’s on the field. Despite that, he still cannot gain the full confidence of the coaching staff. It could be due to his injury history, but there were talks that he could be cut before the season started.
If Hyde wears out his welcome, or gets hurt (he’s already been nursing a hip injury for a few weeks), Breida instantly becomes a viable starter. It looks like the 49ers are doing all they can to get Hyde off the field, apparent with Breida’s workload last week against the Indianapolis Colts.
Head coach Kyle Shanahan claims he went with “hot hand at running back.” Breida had ten carries and five receptions, while Hyde only had eight carries and one reception. Breida also outgained Hyde in total yards 71-18, making the most of his opportunities. Shanahan said he plans to stick with his hot hand strategy. This means if Breida keeps up his production, he will see more and more touches.
This week there is likely to be a swarm of waiver claims for running backs. Since Breida has not won the starting job, he isn’t worth the gamble of using a valuable waiver claim yet. His workload is one to keep monitoring in the coming weeks, and if it grows, he will be worth a claim.
Someone to Be Patient With
When Luck is tossing the rock to Moncrief, he is a touchdown machine. Last season Moncrief was limited to nine games due to injury. In those nine games, he scored seven touchdowns. Now touchdowns are always fickle, but Moncrief is a good bet to score because T.Y. Hilton demands so much attention from number one corners, and Moncrief is such a big physical specimen.
Moncrief’s problem though, is his production without Luck. Although Luck started practicing last week, it is still murky on when he will actually return to games. He has already been ruled out for this week’s Monday Night Football game against the Tennessee Titans. Most reports still have him out for at least the rest of the month.
That being said, he will undoubtedly be back at least a few weeks before the fantasy playoffs. Moncrief is a guy who will be available for a while, but as soon as Luck comes back, could be snatched up quick. Don’t be the one to lose out on him.
In the spirit of focusing almost exclusively on wide receivers this week, here is a return to another wideout that we highlighted in week two. This week’s watch list redux is Philadelphia Eagles pass catcher Nelson Agholor.
Agholor was highlighted prior to week two, but still hasn’t been able to consistently put up points to merit him being added. He was able to score a touchdown week two, but it was off his lone reception. Since then, his targets and catches have been slowly rising each game.
This culminated last week with him catching four passes for 93 yards and a touchdown on five targets. The targets are still pretty low, and he has yet to match the eight targets, but he is still trending upwards. If he can continue to take advantage of the opportunities he is given, he will continue to grow chemistry with quarterback Carson Wentz.
As of now, Zach Ertz, the Eagles tight end is their most targeted player. He is actually the seventh most targeted player in the league, ahead of most team’s wide receivers. It shows that so far Wentz doesn’t really have a lot of trust in his receivers. Jeffery just got here in the off-season, and Agholor didn’t really play much last season.
Ertz served as a good security blanket for Wentz during his rookie season last year. This has carried over so far, but it is unlikely to last. As the season progresses, some of those targets are going to move over to his wide receivers, and Agholor, if he stays consistent and keeps growing, will funnel over some of those targets.