Written by: Alexander Amir
*Each of these players are owned in less than 35% of leagues. Their ownership percentage is noted.
Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns (6.8% own)
The entire NFL (except for the Jets) rejoiced as on Thursday as Cleveland got its first win in over 600 days thanks to rookie Baker Mayfield. He played extremely accurate, efficient football. While I don’t think Baker will automatically become a QB1 now that he’s the starter, he’s good enough that he warrants a bench pickup for Jimmy Garoppolo owners or a potential start in 2QB leagues. He won’t put up huge numbers since Carlos Hyde is still a big part of the offense, but his floor is comfortable.
Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills (2.0% own)
On the flipside, Allen will be very volatile but has an immense ceiling, as he showed Sunday against one of the best defenses in the league. He did a lot of damage on the ground, gaining 40 yards and 2 TDs with his legs. Buffalo’s offense is still bad, but that means Allen will have tons of opportunity to put up points. Don’t rely on him as an every week starter (yet), but he’s definitely worth a pick up given his potential.
Chris Ivory, Buffalo Bills (5.3% own)
If Shady McCoy is still injured for next week’s tilt against Green Bay, feel comfortable starting Ivory. He had 20 carries and 3 receptions in an offense that doesn’t really have anyone else, and the Packers just allowed 120 yards and 2 TDs to Adrian Peterson. He will be heavily based on volume, and if McCoy is out he will get it.
Wendell Smallwood, Philadelphia Eagles (4.2% own)
Corey Clement was thought to be the feature back given the injuries to Jay Ajayi and Darren Sproles, but Smallwood got some action with 10 carries and 3 receptions. He also got the call on the 1 yard line and punched it in for a TD, much to the chagrin of Clement owners (like myself). If Ajayi and Sproles are out again, look for Smallwood to be a nice flex option.
Mike Williams, Los Angeles Chargers (33.0% own)
After an injured rookie season, Williams has thus far lived up to the hype. He’s been a big play threat for Philip Rivers and was able to put up 81 yards and 2 TDs against the vaunted Rams defense. He’s a bit boom or bust due to his limited target share, but he still averages about 4 receptions per game and his big play ability is undeniable.
Tyler Boyd, Cincinnati Bengals (23.7%)
12 receptions, 223 yards, and 2 touchdowns in 2 weeks? Sign me up! The Bengals have a much more dynamic offense this season and can clearly support more than one fantasy receiver. Boyd seems to have developed a nice rapport with Andy Dalton. With defenses focused on A.J. Green, Boyd should have lots of 1-on-1 coverage to exploit.
Christian Kirk, Arizona Cardinals (6.2%)
Cards QB Sam Bradford was benched for rookie Josh Rosen after a rough 2nd and 3rd quarter against the Bears. Theoretically, Rosen would open up some more opportunity in the Arizona offense. Kirk has had an increasing amount of receptions each game, and Rosen looked his way a few times when he was put in. He’s a nice upside flier.
Dallas Goedert, Philadelphia Eagles (1.9% own)
The rookie tight end outdid his elder statesman Zach Ertz, as Carson Wentz latched on to him for 7 receptions, 73 yards, and 1 touchdown. He seems to have already built a strong connection with his QB, and given the team’s dearth of receiving options and the continued absence of receiver Alshon Jeffery, Goedert will have plenty of opportunity even with Ertz there.
Rhett Ellison, New York Giants (0.0% own)
Evan Engram is out for a few weeks with a sprained MCL, and Ellison caught 3 balls for 40 yards and a touchdown this week. If you’re desperate in a deep league, Ellison isn’t a bad option.
Detroit Lions (9.2% own)
Matt Patricia’s defense looked extremely strong against a struggling New England offense. The Cowboys are built similarly to the Pats; they have one star offensive player, Ezekiel Elliott, to go along with middling receivers. Detroit completely shut down New England’s receiving corps, and I expect them to do the same against a worse Cowboys offense.
Seattle Seahawks (7.0%)
The Arizona Cardinals are amongst the easiest fantasy matchups for defenses in the league. Seattle generated 5 sacks and 3 turnovers against the Cowboys in week 3, while Arizona allowed 4 sacks and committed 4 turnovers against the Bears. Josh Rosen might give the offense a little spark, but I don’t have enough faith in him yet. This is an appealing streaming option.