Okay, so what’s up with the title? Must-stash? Mustache? Well, it’s a super simple concept. Every single week of the NFL season, it seems there is someone else worth stashing on your roster. Whether it’s due to injury, skill level, opportunity, there is always someone worthy of our fantasy attention.
On the flip side of that, there are always some names that are complete fakes. They’re wearing a really creepy looking mustache trying to look cool, old and mature, or like they’re actually competent at football.
Well, I’m here to help you to sift through the upper lip facial follicles to find someone actually worthy of your roster spot. And to help point out that running back with the creeper stache of course. The mix of players will change from week to week, but most of the time we’ll be looking at running backs and wide receivers. It seems with those positions you never know when someone’s the real Burt Reynolds, or they’re actually a stunning look-alike carnival worker who’s secretly going to kill your team in week 8 with a big fat goose egg.
Anyway, now that you’re thoroughly creeped out, let’s begin.
Jacquizz Rodgers (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) – I never thought I’d utter this guy’s name again entering into the 2016 season, but here we are. In prime time on Monday, the Buccaneers elected to kick off their first drive by giving Jacquizz 11 touches on 14 total plays. He ended with 35 touches on the game. Don’t expect that type of volume every week, but with the decimated Tampa backfield, you can expect a healthy workload moving forward. The mustiest and most definitely stashiest of the must-stash guys this week.
Bilal Powell (New York Yets) – Hey! Surprise! Yet again we have your weekly reminder to pick up Bilal Powell. He is still below 50% ownership in ESPN leagues. Obviously if you’re in a standard league he hasn’t been blowing up the box scores. However, he’s still a must-stash handcuff to Matt Forte if your league offers deep benches. And of course, if you’re in a PPR league, you understand what a safe floor can mean. Week 5 marked the third week in a row that Bilal logged ten touches. He has 18 catches over that span. If he’s still out there, shame on your league.
Cameron Artis-Payne (Carolina Panthers) – I’ll keep this simple. When Jonathan Stewart is active he’s not worth a dime. However, when the famously fragile Jonathan Stewart is injured, he’s clearly the guy they trust. He’s a solid direct handcuff option for the rest of the year. Plus, he’s still available all over the place.
Jalen Richard (Oakland Raiders) – Call me crazy, but this undrafted free agent isn’t going to consistently be a fantasy asset to trust. Yes, he looked good against a putrid San Diego defense while splitting snaps with DeAndre Washington (because Latavius was out). But let’s pump the brakes here. The week before, when Latavius was healthy, Jalen logged just three touches. Once Latavius is back he’ll disappear once again. He isn’t even the direct handcuff either. DeAndre Washington got the start. The team wants DeAndre to succeed. They’ll continue using Jalen in a special teams role for the most part. This dude’s sporting a fantasy mustache for sure.
Bobby Rainey (New York Giants) – This one may seem obvious if you play in a standard league. However, if you watched the game you would have noticed how consistently Bobby Rainey was on the field and receiving short dump passes from Eli Manning. That’s great if you started him in a PPR league this past week. He grabbed six catches. However, as soon as Rashad Jennings is back Rainey’s role will diminish once again. Not only that, but as Paul Perkins becomes more familiar with the offense he will take over the passing down role anyway. Rainey, we hardly knew you. Please go grow an epic hermit mustache in the forest as we leave you on the waiver wire this week.
Cameron Meredith (Chicago Bears) – I’d like to apologize for something. I was very selfish last week omitting this guy from my must-stash category. Too many of my league mates read my stuff. I grabbed Meredith in 9 of 16 leagues last week. If he’s still out there in yours, do yourself a favor and grab this 6’3″ monster that just grabbed 9 passes for 130 yards and a touchdown. With Kevin White out of the picture, Cameron Meredith has the opportunity to continually seize a large portion of the reception pie in Chicago. If you’re in a FAAB league, cough up the cash. If you’re in a standard waiver priority league, I hope you’re first. This must-stash guy is a WR3 option for the remainder of 2016.
Sammie Coates (Pittsburgh Steelers) – It’s appalling how many leagues don’t have Coates already owned. Martavis Bryant’s drug habit left a gaping hole in the Pittsburgh target share heading into this season. It took Coates a few weeks, but he’s clearly earned Big Ben’s trust. He’ll have a few frustrating drops (like the one on the goal line this week), but it’s worth the trouble. There’s been clear development in Sammie’s route running and understanding of the offense. Not only can he bust a long touchdown at any given moment, but with eight and eleven targets in the last two weeks, respectively, you can now trust his floor. Grab this must-stash right now. No, I mean right now. Stop reading this and go add him. But yeah, come back later and finish. That works.
Jeremy Kerley (San Francisco 49ers) – I can’t believe I’m encouraging this. Here goes nothing. Jeremy Kerley has been a career WR3 at best for the most part. I don’t mean that in fantasy football. I mean in real football. Kerley has never in his life been the primary target for anyone in any offense, unless it was due to injury. For the first time in his long career Jeremy Kerley has found a quarterback that appreciates him. Blaine Gabbert loves to take advantage of Kerley’s ability to create plays on short to intermediate passes. Kerley’s not going to jump up and muscle the ball away from anyone, but he can make defenders miss after the catch. In this horrible 49ers offense, Kerley is the only WR worth trusting. In standard he’s still a risky play, yes. But in PPR, he’s a must-stash worth rolling out in your flex with confidence.
Brandon LaFell (Cincinnati Bengals) – Oh, Brandon. What are we going to do with you? You were horrible with the Dolphins. You looked good for a second with the Patriots. Now you’re catching two touchdowns on eight catches with the Bengals? Sorry. We’re still going to let you rot on the waiver wire because we’ve been down this road before. You fool us with fancy mustache of yours for a couple of weeks, then come crashing down to earth with the inevitable two-catch game. Tyler Boyd is going to continue to progress. Tyler Eifert will be back soon as well. Both of those factors will lead to quick irrelevance for this frustrating mustache of a veteran.
Adam Thielen (Minnesota Vikings) – Many NFL teams have worn out the phrase “next man up” at this point. Well this week, Adam Thielen was Minnesota’s next man up as Stefon Diggs was missing on Sunday. Once he returns to the lineup this one hit wonder will return to his usual two to four catches per game. There are several better options out there. Based on his ESPN photo, Thielen can’t really even grow a great mustache, but if he could it would be the kind worth leaving on the waiver wire.
Jesse James (Pittsburgh Steelers) – Okay, so we all miss the classy, trustworthy Heath Miller. The good news is his replacement is not too shabby. Jesse James hasn’t been getting a massive target share from Big Ben, but he’s scored a touchdown in three of the last four weeks. He’s clearly a solid red zone option for the solid Steelers offense. Grab this must-stash tight end ASAP.
Other Tight Ends To Add – Charles Clay, Gary Barnidge (he’s been dropping), Antonio Gates (he’s been dropping)
Crockett Gilmore (Baltimore Ravens) – Crockett Gilmore enjoyed some success last year, and even this past week against Washington’s football franchise. However, the tight end usage in Baltimore doesn’t look like it can be trusted at the moment. Yes, he grabbed the score this week, but there needs to be a more consistent snap count for this guy to be anything more than a mustache.
Other Tight Ends To Avoid – CJ Fiedorowicz, CJ Uzomah, Austin Seferian-Jenkins
If you have any questions, feel free to reach out on Twitter @FF_TravisM. Good luck this week!