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Free Agent Focus

Week 4 Free Agent Focus

By DS Staff 9:35am EDT 9/27/22

Jamaal Williams, RB, Lions

Blind-bid recommendation: 40-50%

Williams and the next 2 RBs look very similar as waiver options this week. You could argue that Alexander Mattison and Khalil Herbert present higher ceilings, having already displayed workhorse usage in the absence of their teams' starters. Williams' advantage, however, is that we know D'Andre Swift is about to miss more time -- and it's looking like it'll be at least the next 2 games.

HC Dan Campbell said Monday that the shoulder Swift injured in Sunday's loss to the Vikings would probably be better off if the RB rested it through the Week 6 bye. That would mean Williams leading the backfield against the Seahawks and Patriots the next 2 weeks, in an offense that wants to run the ball. Detroit ranks 3rd in the league in neutral-situation run rate through 3 weeks.

Williams hit Sunday available in more than half of ESPN leagues. He finished the day with his 2nd 2-TD game already this year. Williams rushed for 87 yards on 20 carries and caught 2 balls for 20 yards. Williams has been a particularly large factor near the goal line and will maintain relevance even after Swift returns.

Alexander Mattison, RB, Vikings

Blind-bid recommendation: 40-50%

We all knew Mattison to be among fantasy’s top handcuff options. Yet he was available in more than 60% of ESPN leagues as of Sunday. That should be close to 0% now that Dalvin Cook has dislocated a shoulder. Mattison even stepped in to run for a TD in the comeback win over the Lions.

HC Kevin O'Connell called Cook "day to day" on Monday, indicating the team hopes to have him ready to play Sunday at New Orleans. That won't be a lock by the time waivers run, though. And Cook missed 2+ games in each of his previous 5 seasons.

Khalil Herbert, RB, Bears

Blind-bid recommendation: 35-40%

David Montgomery suffered an injury to his lower right leg early in Sunday’s win over Houston. He never returned to the field. Filling in, Herbert tallied 20 carries for 157 yards and 2 scores. He added a pair of receptions for 12 yards.

The matchup was positive, of course, and we can’t bank on TDs in a Bears offense that remains shaky. But fantasy owners should be looking at a workhorse here whenever Montgomery misses time.

In his post-game presser, HC Matt Eberflus called his starting back “day to day,” although we’d still consider him questionable at best for Week 4. Herbert should be owned in just about every fantasy format regardless.

Zay Jones, WR, Jaguars

Blind-bid recommendation: 10-15%

Jones led Jacksonville in targets (11), receptions (10) and receiving yards (85) in Sunday’s win over the Chargers. He added a 14-yard TD — his first of the 2022 season. And Sunday marked Jones’ 2nd game of 9+ targets through 3 weeks.

Jacksonville looks ready to continue delivering much more offensive value this year than last. Jones certainly thinks so, as he credited HC Doug Pederson following the upset victory.

“Doug’s been phenomenal,” Jones said, per the Florida Times-Union. “A different style of coaching than I was used to, but everyone’s different. Everyone has quirks, per se… I feel like this team has really bought into what he’s selling.”

With a season-long target share of 23%, Jones has no business being available in more than 90% of ESPN leagues.

Romeo Doubs, WR, Packers

Blind-bid recommendation: 10-15%

With WR Sammy Watkins on IR and WR Christian Watson (hamstring) inactive on Sunday, Doubs stepped up to help the Packers secure a 14-12 win.

He led the team with 8 targets, 8 catches and 74 yards – and was on the receiving end of 1 of QB Aaron Rodgers’ 2 TDs. Doubs had a buzzy summer and has flashed early this season. So even if Watson returns over the next couple of weeks, Doubs has a chance to remain close to a full-time player. Note that he played 89% of the snaps vs. Tampa Bay.

That alone makes Doubs an enticing stash/matchup starter alongside Aaron Rodgers.

David Njoku, TE, Browns

Blind-bid recommendation: 10-20%

Njoku racked up 23.9 PPR points in Thursday night’s win over the Steelers – the 2nd most of his career. His 10 targets ranked 2nd on the team, just 1 behind WR Amari Cooper.

That followed 1-7-0 and 3-32-0 lines to open the season. But, even in those, Njoku registered solid 70% and 82% route rates. He checked in at 82% again in Week 3.

A TE getting that type of passing-game usage is bound to have plenty of useful fantasy lines. Just don’t expect weekly consistency with Jacoby Brissett under center. Cleveland at least enters a plus scoring matchup this week at Atlanta.

Robert Tonyan, TE, Packers

Blind-bid recommendation: 5-10%

Tonyan continues to work his way back from last year’s torn ACL. He set season highs in Sunday's win over the Bucs with 7 targets, 6 catches and 37 yards. He played 58% of the snaps and ran a route on 59% of Packers pass plays -- both season highs.

His role should continue to grow for a passing game that needs him more than ever. Next up is a home date with New England.

Tyler Conklin, TE, Jets

Blind-bid recommendation: 5-10%

We’ll give him another shoutout after his 8-84 line in Sunday’s loss to the Bengals. Conklin saw another 8 targets in that one, giving him 24 targets and 18 catches through 3 games.

He also leads the league in TE routes run -- even after C.J. Uzomah returned from a hamstring injury in Week 3. We'll keep an eye on his usage when the Jets get Zach Wilson back, perhaps as soon as Week 4 at Pittsburgh.

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