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Free Agent Focus

Week 5 Free Agent Focus

By DS Staff 9:35pm EDT 10/3/21


Trey Lance, QB, 49ers

Blind-bid recommendation: 5-10%

His 157-2-0 passing line oversells how Lance threw it in relief of QB Jimmy Garoppolo on Sunday. Most of it came on a 76-yard score to WR Deebo Samuel on a blown coverage. But Lance did seem to settle in a bit throughout the 2nd half. And he ran it 7 times for 41 yards. That rushing ability will make Lance an intriguing fantasy option if he gets more starts. We'll see about Garoppolo's return timeline for his calf injury.


Daniel Jones, QB, Giants

Blind-bid recommendation: 2-5%

Jones went into New Orleans on Sunday and chucked it for 402 yards with 2 TDs and 1 INT. He tacked on another 27 yards on the ground, plus a 2-point conversion run. Jones is playing well in real life and producing in fantasy football. His Week 5 matchup at Dallas has plenty of upside.


Trevor Lawrence, QB, Jaguars

Blind-bid recommendation: 1-3%

Lawrence had his best passing performance of his young career on Thursday night, completing 17 of 24 attempts (71%) for 204 yards (8.5 YPA), 0 TDs and 0 INTs. More importantly, Jacksonville unleashed Lawrence as a runner, calling multiple read-option plays. The result was 36 yards and a score on 8 Lawrence carries. If that continues, the rookie should flirt with QB1 production. Lawrence gets a plus Week 5 matchup at home with the Titans.

Latavius Murray, RB, Ravens

Blind-bid recommendation: 20-40%

Baltimore made RB Ty’Son Williams a healthy scratch Sunday and turned to Murray as the leader of the backfield. It wasn’t very pretty, but Murray turned 18 carries into 59 yards and a score. If he continues to get that kind of volume, he’ll be at least a RB3 or flex play in fantasy lineups.


Damien Williams, RB, Bears

Blind-bid recommendation: 10-25%

He’ll take over as Chicago’s lead back if David Montgomery misses time with his knee injury -- and if Williams' quad injury doesn't keep him out. Williams looked good in limited duty before hurting that quad, racking up 55 yards and a score on 8 carries. He’s also a capable pass-catcher. Note that RB Tarik Cohen is eligible to come off the PUP list in Week 7, although it’s unclear if he’ll be ready. Check Shark Bites for updates on Montgomery and Williams.


Samaje Perine, RB, Bengals

Blind-bid recommendation: 5-10%

RB Joe Mixon suffered what’s believed to be a minor ankle injury in Thursday night’s win over the Jaguars. HC Zac Taylor said Friday that Mixon has “a chance” to play Week 5. But Perine is worth stashing as we wait to see if Mixon is ready next week. Perine figures to handle most of the ball-carrying work and a good deal of the passing-down snaps if Mixon is out. Rookie RB Chris Evans would likely serve as the change of pace.


Kenneth Gainwell, RB, Eagles

Blind-bid recommendation: 5-10%

RB Miles Sanders out-carried Gainwell 7 to 3 in Sunday’s loss to the Chiefs. But the rookie ripped off 31 yards and a score on those 3 totes. More importantly, he caught 6 of 8 targets for 58 yards. That was at least partly game-script induced. But Gainwell tallied 10 targets over the first 3 games. His role could continue to grow from here.

A.J. Green, WR, Cardinals

Blind-bid recommendation: 5-10%

Despite totaling 8 catches, 156 yards and a score across Weeks 2 and 3, Green entered Sunday available in about three-quarters of ESPN leagues. He had another productive day in the win over the Rams, catching 5 of 6 targets for 67 yards and a score. Green should at least be owned in all fantasy leagues of 12+ teams.


Van Jefferson, WR, Rams

Blind-bid recommendation: 3-8%

Jefferson led the Rams with 6 catches and 90 yards in the loss to the Cardinals. He scored 1 of the team’s 2 receiving TDs and tied for 2nd on the team with 6 targets. Jefferson has been a full-time player in this offense all season and seems to be challenging Robert Woods for the title of #2 WR.


Curtis Samuel, WR, Washington

Blind-bid recommendation: 2-5%

Samuel debuted in Week 4, snagging 4 of 4 targets for 19 yards. Nothing to write home about. But note that Logan Thomas left Sunday’s game with a hamstring injury. And remember, Washington inked Samuel to a 3-year, $34.5 million deal this offseason, so we know expectations are high. With Taylor Heinicke showing more than enough to keep this offense afloat, Samuel could quickly develop into a spot-start WR3.


Dalton Schultz, TE, Cowboys

Blind-bid recommendation: 5-10%

Schultz delivered again Sunday, catching 6 balls for 58 yards and a score. Most encouragingly, he led the Cowboys with 8 targets. He’s now averaging 5.8 targets per game, with 6+ in 3 of 4 games. Schultz has earned every-week fantasy consideration.

Dawson Knox, TE, Bills

Blind-bid recommendation: 5-10%

Knox has scored 4 times this season, while posting at least 37 yards in all but 1 game. His 8 targets Sunday were 2nd on the team behind only Stefon Diggs’ 10. Knox is becoming a TE1 threat.



Deep-League Options:

Matt Ryan, QB, Falcons

Blind-bid recommendation: 2-5%

With help from 42 attempts, Ryan threw 4 TDs for the first time since Week 6 of 2020. He capitalized on a matchup with Washington’s struggling pass D, but the schedule remains favorable in the short term. Ryan gets the injury-riddled Jets next, followed by a date with the Dolphins.


Taylor Heinicke, QB, Washington

Blind-bid recommendation: 2-5%

After finishing as the QB10 in Week 2 and the QB11 in Week 3, Heinicke went off Sunday against Atlanta’s struggling defense. The fill-in starter tallied 290 yards and 3 scores on 23-of-33 passing. He added 43 yards on the ground. Logan Thomas went down early, but Heinicke repeatedly found success leaning on Terry McLaurin. The Week 5 matchup vs. New Orleans might be a challenge, but that’s followed with games vs. Kansas City and Green Bay. And the Saints are coming off allowing 402 yards to Daniel Jones in OT. So it might not wind up being a challenge.


Alex Collins, RB, Seahawks

Blind-bid recommendation: 5-10%

It was a committee backfield in Seattle on Sunday. RB Chris Carson led the way with 13 carries but mustered just 30 yards. Collins turned his 10 totes into 44 yards and a score. Collins also out-targeted Carson 2 to 1. We’ll see if this is a 1-week blip or the start of a trend, but Collins is worth stashing in deeper leagues.


Rashod Bateman, WR, Ravens

Blind-bid recommendation: 3-10%

Bateman returned to practice this week but wasn’t ready to play vs. the Broncos after mid-August core-muscle surgery. The rookie should be ready soon, though. And he should quickly work his way into a significant role in what’s been a solid passing game so far.


Jamison Crowder, WR, Jets

Blind-bid recommendation: 3-7%

He made his 2021 debut Sunday and led the Jets with 9 targets. Crowder caught 7 for 61 yards and a score. He took over in the slot for Braxton Berrios, who had tallied 21 targets over the season’s first 3 weeks. This looks like a high-volume spot in this Jets offense.


Kadarius Toney, WR, Giants

Blind-bid recommendation: 2-5%

The rookie turned a team-high 9 targets into 6 catches and 78 yards in the win in New Orleans. Toney also took a carry for 1 yard. WR Sterling Shepard didn’t seem particularly close to playing this week, so Toney might get another start in Week 5 at Dallas.


Josh Gordon, WR, Chiefs

Blind-bid recommendation: 2-5%

The talent is always enticing with Gordon. That's why NFL teams and fantasy managers keep perking up every time he's reinstated. But he's 30 now, hasn't played a game since 2019, hasn't averaged more than 3.6 receptions per game in a season since 2014 and joins a Chiefs offense that hasn't been able to support a strong 2nd WR for fantasy. Gordon is worth stashing in deeper leagues, but we wouldn't overpay for the privilege.


Randall Cobb, WR, Packers

Blind-bid recommendation: 2-3%

He took advantage of WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling’s absence to post a 5-69-2 line on 6 targets. MVS is out for at least 2 more weeks with his hamstring injury, making Cobb a potential deep-league PPR option vs. the Bengals and Bears.


Zach Ertz, TE, Eagles

Blind-bid recommendation: 3-6%

Ertz followed up a 7-target Week 3 vs. Dallas with 8 targets in Sunday’s loss to the Chiefs. That tied for 2nd on the team, behind only DeVonta Smith (10) and beat Dallas Goedert by 3. Ertz has beaten Goedert in targets in 2 straight games, and tied him the week before that. He caught 6 balls for 60 yards against K.C. and can be a PPR option in deeper leagues.


C.J. Uzomah, TE, Bengals

Blind-bid recommendation: 1-2%

Uzomah was the surprise star of Thursday night’s win over the Jaguars, hauling in 5 of 6 targets for 95 yards and 2 scores. Note, though, that he totaled just 4 catches on 5 targets over Cincinnati’s first 3 games. And WR Tee Higgins, who missed the Thursday nighter, is expected back for Week 5. Uzomah is only worth stashing in FFPC leagues and standard fantasy leagues of 12+ teams.


Dan Arnold, TE, Jaguars

Blind-bid recommendation: 1-2%

Arnold didn’t stuff the stat sheet on Thursday night, catching his only 2 targets for 29 yards. No surprise, of course, considering he joined the team on Monday. Arnold should quickly emerge as Jacksonville’s lead TE, though. And targets are available with WR D.J. Chark’s likely season-ending ankle injury.

Maxx Williams, TE, Cardinals

Blind-bid recommendation: 1-2%

His 5-66-1 line Sunday gives him 2 nice fantasy outings among the last 3 weeks. There will be more down weeks in a crowded passing game. But there will also be more usable weeks in a high-flying Cardinals offense.


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