Fantasy Football: Week-Ahead Stash Candidates for Week 10
Fantasy football is all about being a step ahead of your competition, and this weekly column aims to help you achieve just that.
The following offers suggestions for players to pick up now (who are currently under 50% rostered) so that that you won’t need to use a high waiver claim or spend a significant amount of free agent acquisition budget (FAB) on them next week.
Dallas Goedert, TE, Philadelphia Eagles
ESPN Roster Percentage: 48.8%
Fantasy managers are scrapping at tight ends this year like lions picking at the scraps of their prey. Travis Kelce, Darren Waller and T.J. Hockenson are the sole tight ends averaging double-digit half-PPR fantasy points per game this season, and only Kelce is averaging more than 11.0 points per game.
Injuries have been a hit to every fantasy position this season, including tight end, as studs like George Kittle and Zach Ertz have missed considerable time. Ertz remains on injured reserve with a high ankle sprain and could return in Week 11 at the earliest. However, Dallas Goedert should be added considering that Ertz may not be ready to play that soon, and Goedert's role could be one of the best among tight ends without Ertz. He ranked top-10 in offensive snaps, routes run and targets while playing with Ertz in Weeks 1 and 2.
Goedert played on 84% of snaps in his return from injury in Week 8 but did see only one target. Considering he isn’t listed on this week’s injury report, though, he should be a full go on Sunday against the New York Giants, a defense that allowed Eagles third-string tight end Richard Rodgers to catch six of eight targets for 85 yards in the first matchup between these two in Week 7.
Meanwhile, the Cleveland Browns -- Philly's Week 11 foe -- have allowed the fifth-most targets per game to opposing tight ends this season. Goedert is a strong play until Ertz returns from injury, especially considering the weakness of the tight end position in fantasy this season.
Nyheim Hines, RB, Indianapolis Colts
ESPN Roster Percentage: 43.2%
The Indianapolis Colts have one of the least clear committee backfields in the league this season. Even after starter Marlon Mack suffered a season-ending Achilles tear in the season opener, no Colts running back has played more than 50% of offensive snaps or received more than 130 touches. Second-round rookie Jonathan Taylor has earned the highest snap share (45.5%) and most touches (126), but for reference, there are 24 running backs who have a higher snap rate and 15 who have more touches than Taylor this season.
Taylor is has control of Indianapolis’ early-down and goal-line work with Jordan Wilkins spelling him occasionally, but Nyheim Hines is the primary receiving back. Hines has more routes run, targets, receptions and receiving yards than Taylor (albeit not by drastic measures). But considering Philip Rivers' checkdown tendencies (Colts running backs are earning the ninth-highest target share in the league this season), Hines’ role is valuable, as he ranks eighth among all running backs in targets this season.
It’s doubtful that any Colts back turns into a league winner this season based on the team’s committee approach, but Hines could be a valuable fill-in option in PPR leagues -- especially in Week 11 against the Green Bay Packers. The Packers are allowing the 15th-most targets to opposing running backs this season but the second-most yards per target, receiving touchdowns and half-PPR points. Fantasy managers in need of a Week 11 running back should consider adding Hines now ahead of his pristine matchup against Green Bay.
ESPN Roster Percentage: 23.5%
Speaking of NFC North teams, the Minnesota D/ST should be a priority add for those looking ahead for fantasy defenses. The Vikings will play the Dallas Cowboys in Week 11. Dallas has allowed 15, 17, 20 and 7 fantasy points to opposing defenses in the four full games since Dak Prescott's season-ending ankle injury.
Whether the Cowboys' starting quarterback is Andy Dalton or Garrett Gilbert shouldn’t make too much of a difference, as they rank 38th and 39th, respectively, among 45 quarterbacks with 40-plus drop backs this season in numberFire’s Passing Net Expected Points (NEP) per drop back. Dalton and Gilbert have combined for five turnovers and nine sacks in the past month, and Dallas’ offense ranks dead last by our metrics in the same time span.
In other words, the Cowboys have been extremely inefficient on offense in Prescott's absence, and while the Vikings' defense is middling this season, it should benefit from the matchup with the 'Boys like each of Dallas’ recent opponents have.
As an added bonus, Minnesota also has a nice matchup this week against the Chicago Bears, a team allowing the 24th-most fantasy points per game to opposing defenses this season. The Bears' offense hasn't scored more than 24 points since Week 3 and currently ranks 30th in offensive efficiency. The Monday Night matchup has the second-lowest total of the week (44.5, per FanDuel Sportsbook), as Minnesota has the highest neutral-situation run rate in the league (per RBSDM.com) and both teams rank bottom-seven in neutral-situation pace of play (per Football Outsiders). The Vikings' defense should help fantasy managers both this week and next.
Jakeem Grant, WR, Miami Dolphins
ESPN Roster Percentage: 1.1%
There are typically plenty of wide receivers available on the waiver wire who are viable plug-and-play options, but for those really struggling with receiver depth, Jakeem Grant is a flier worth taking for the rest of the season. Preston Williams suffered a foot injury last week against Arizona, which cleared the way for Grant to draw the second-most snaps and targets among Miami receivers.
Following Williams' injury and Isaiah Ford's trade to New England, Grant is literally the only wide receiver on the team not named DeVante Parker to see more than a single target this season (Mack Hollins had his first and only catch of the season last Sunday). Miami will certainly make some roster moves to add receiver depth, but Grant “is the most likely candidate to be elevated to the starting lineup in Williams' absence,” according to ESPN Dolphins beat reporter Cameron Wolfe.
Even with the encouraging recent performance of rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, who completed 20 of 28 passes for 248 yards and two touchdowns last week, Grant being thrust into the starting role isn’t enough to make him a trustworthy fantasy start quite yet. But if Grant sees a big role this weekend, he’d be a viable play against the Denver Broncos in Week 11. Denver is allowing the eighth-most touchdowns and fantasy points per game to opposing wide receivers this season.