Year after year I find myself asking the same question, how are there so many injuries so early in the season? It’s a never-ending battle, of draft a player with high expectations and then having the rug pulled out from under you when you see them go down clutching their knee (back, arm, foot, etc). I never find fault with a player that gets hurt, they can’t help it. They don’t run onto the field thinking, this week I’ll tweak my hamstring just to upset my fantasy owners. It’s our passion for the game we love so much that makes us flip a table when we see our guys go down. But for those who wallow in their “misfortune”, I say get it together. We wait what feels like an eternity for football season to come around every year and we should be enjoying it to the fullest.
So with your team’s injuries, setbacks and shortly bye weeks, take pride in researching for waiver pickups and cornerback matchups. Luckily for you, we have you covered there with Kevin Steele’s weekly Waiver Wire Rankings column & Zack Marmer’s WR & CB Matchup column. Shameless plug? You bet. With that, let me cover my favorite picks for your desperate flex spot needs.
Week 4 Flex Favorites
Seattle’s backfield certainly looks different from last season. The addition of Eddie Lacy has done nothing for them, and Rawls returned to earth showing no promise. It’s been difficult to find any glimmers of hope. The Seahawks rookie appears to be their one bright spot. He had his strongest showing yet this past week. He received 27 of the 32 snaps he played, and with them rushed for 34 yards, had two receptions in the air for 18 yards and a touchdown. While Seattle has struggled to get momentum going on offense, it’s encouraging that their most successful week is when Carson got going and received the majority of shares in the backfield. Matching up with a Colts defense that hasn’t appeared to be up to par, and playing at home with the legion of boom, can’t hurt Carson’s odds either.
Again with this guy? Yes. With Eifert out and rehabbing his unfortunate back issues, target shares are once again up for grabs. With the firing of Bengals Offensive Coordinator last week, we got to see how that would play a role for Mixon in the backfield. Results? Increased play time and targets. Pretty much exactly what you had hoped for. Mixon had 18 attempts for 64 yards and 3 catches for 13 yards. Overall he received 56% of the snaps he saw. Now to be fair the Bengals still suck, but they will need to make progress offensively somewhere. With Mixon’s versatility and dynamic playmaker, you should be able to see an increase in targets, yards and fantasy goodness. The matchup against the Browns also looks to be favorable for Mixon, as they’re currently second in defenses allowing points to backs.
With Rob Kelley inactive, many believed rookies Samaje Perine would be the one to take the workload and star in a breakout week. However, in week 3 it was Chris Thompson that took 8 rushing attempts for 38 yards, and 6 receptions for 150 yards plus a touchdown. You like that. Though I do not believe Thompson’s numbers will hold at this volume all season long, they’re just too bloated to be sustainable. I believe Thompson has a good, flex-worthy showing. Even going up against a team like Kansas City, that has a formidable pass rush, I can see Thompson’s ability to catch out of the backfield, being utilized in this game… Unsustainable numbers, but flex-worthy.
Marquise Lee (PPR)
As a rule of thumb, I typically don’t draft receivers who rely on Blake Bortles to get them the ball. However, this week’s matchup is hard to pass up. In weeks 1-3, receivers and running backs have flourished against this floundering defense. In Week 1, Charles Clay had 4 receptions for 55 yards as well as a touchdown. LeSean McCoy had 22 attempts for 110 yards and 5 receptions for 49 yards. In Week 2 Michael Crabtree feasted on touchdowns (3), and 6 receptions for 80 yards. Marshawn Lynch had 12 attempts for 45 yards, plus a touchdown. Finally, in week 3, Devante Parker, had 8 receptions for 76 yards and a touchdown. With surmounting evidence that offenses matched up against the Jets defense will have big weeks. I’m going to roll Marquise Lee out as my PPR flex. Lee is leading his squad in targets and routes. With Allen Robinson out, Lee will look to secure his role as the leading wideout.
Adam Theilen (PPR)
Theilen’s flex upside has been entirely dependent on Sam Bradford’s return. As we know Bradford was ruled out of this weeks game against the Lions. Despite not having Bradford back, I still think there’s potential for Theilen. He leads receivers in receptions, yards, and is only a single target behind Diggs. Theilen also saw 63 snaps to Digg’s 52 and received 83% of snaps he played. His target volume, plus a Lions defense that allowed 3 touchdowns and 294 yards to Atlanta last week, has me believing Theilen will finally get his first TD of the season.