By: Jay Pounds (@JayPoundsNFL)
Surprisingly after four complete weeks of the NFL season, there are still more than a few players left in the Free Agent Auction who can help your Bench scoring out at minimum. At this point in the year, depth will be extremely crucial as injuries start to rack up and we have bye weeks coming right around the corner. The start of this season has been odd to say the least and I have a great example of why. The team I wrote about in my rebuilding articles series is now 1-3, but has outscored everyone in the league by 40 points. If you have a team in a similar situation, I would love to hear about it.
Enough of the jibber jabber, let’s get into Jay’s Week 4 takeaways. I must start with my Steelers and the fact Big Ben just looks lost on a NFL field. I would not be surprised if we see Dwayne Haskins and Mason Rudolph battle it out over the final half of the season at this point. The Jaguars looked solid Thursday night and seem to be getting better each week, though a Top 5 pick in the 2022 draft seems all but certain. The Bills and Josh Allen seem to have the offense humming after struggling to start the season. The Bears looked somewhat explosive on offense against the Lions and feel Matt Nagy should be fired if he goes back to Andy Dalton when healthy. The Dallas defense had a few rough moments but found ways to stop the Panthers when it mattered most. The Dallas defense may just be here to stay folks. The Miami Dolphins are a stud quarterback and a big time run stopper away from becoming serious Super Bowl contenders. The Browns beat an average Vikings team this week and the performance has me worried about Baker Mayfield. Mark my words if the Browns pay Mayfield $35 million or more per year, they will regret it in similar fashion to the Ravens and Joe Flacco. Mayfield can win games, but he needs a very strong supporting cast to do so. We are now four weeks through the season, and I still have zero idea how to feel about the Saints outside of Alvin Kamara. The Jets found a way to win this week, but it was extremely ugly, and I am nowhere near sold on Zach Wilson. If the Jets don’t start to improve, they will be picking number 1 overall in the next draft. The Kansas City Chiefs (they play in Missouri by the way, hope some get the joke) seem to be struggling on defense to start this season and are now sitting in last place in the AFC West. The hottest team in the NFL beat the second hottest team in the NFL (Rams vs Cardinals) and Kyler Murray is by far the leading candidate for MVP through four weeks of play. Tom Brady set the career passing yards mark Sunday night, but I came away more impressed with the way that Bill Belichick had the great Tom Brady looking confused throughout the contest. Finally, we have the Los Angeles Chargers taking care of business against the Las Vegas Raiders, putting the AFC West in a three-way tie. The way Justin Herbert has played this season has me extremely excited to watch him and Mahomes battle it out in the same division for many years to come. Just like that we are on to Week 5 folks.
Before getting into the free agents, I would like to give everyone a heads up on an article to watch out for later this week or next (depending how the schedule works out). I will be doing a few update articles during the season on the incoming rookie class to help everyone get prepared for the upcoming rookie draft. Alright Dynasty Owners, we are back with another week of trying to find a diamond in the rough with the Free Agent Auction targets. The free agent articles/videos will be dropping every Tuesday afternoon in advance of when bids process on Wednesday at 5 AM and will consist of the week’s Top 5 free agent adds. I will do my best to keep the players listed at an ownership percentage of 65% or less and make sure all players have contracts of $8,000,000 or less, with most players coming in at under $4,000,000. One last note, in Dynasty Owner you will be credited each week with 25% of your entire Bench’s score making these weekly free agent pick-ups extremely important to help boost your total weekly score.
On to the top targets for Week 5:
- Maxx Williams (TE – ARI) – 1 year/$3,500,000 – 31.4% Rostered
I have been a big fan of the player Maxx Williams since he was playing college ball at Minnesota. The Ravens drafted Williams in the 2nd round of the 2015 NFL draft. Williams has always been a very athletic tight end and it is finally starting to show on a NFL field. In 2021, Williams has started the season hot with a total of 15 catches for 179 yards and a touchdown. I know those are not eye-popping numbers by any means, but Kyler Murray seems to trust throwing the ball to Williams and I am only expecting that to grow as the season continues. The tight end position is a wasteland again this season and Williams could easily finish in the Top 12.
- AJ Green (WR – ARI) – 1 year/$6,000,000 – 44.4% Rostered
I honestly can’t believe I am putting AJ Green on this list, but here we are. Green started the season off just as he finished 2020 with the Bengals, horrible. Over the past two weeks, Murray and Green have seemed to find a connection on the field and it has resulted in Green out producing DeAndre Hopkins over the past two games. I am not expecting Green to finish as a Top 25 receiver this season but if Kyler continues to throw his way, he should be a viable option each week with byes approaching quickly.
- Brandon Bolden (RB – NE) – 1 year/$1,850,000 – 14.2% Rostered
I tend to be one to stay away from the Patriots backfield most seasons as they tend to utilize players to their strengths and nothing more. While this is a great way to win football games, run an organization, and keep players fresh, it’s not all that fun as a fantasy manager. When James White went down to injury the overwhelming majority of fantasy managers went out and picked up J.J. Taylor after his stellar pre-season, only for the Hoodie to do a Hoodie thing and play the unexpected Brandon Bolden successfully. If Bolden is going to be the one getting all the James White snaps, he will be more than worth a pickup. In Week 4, Bolden came away with 6 catches for 51 yards (plus 25 return yards), which is good enough for 11.7 Dynasty Owner points. I don’t know about you, but that kind of production would look great on most benches.
- Alex Collins (RB – SEA) – 1 year/$990,000 – 52.7% Rostered
The next to last player on the list is somewhat of a dart throw who will almost certainly get some type of production over the next couple weeks. Alex Collins had three fewer carries than Chris Carson, but was more efficient and found the endzone once against a tough 49ers defense. I read a report that Carson tweaked his hamstring and was set to miss this past week but ultimately played, which means Collins will likely continue to see work over the next few weeks while Carson gets back to 100%. If Carson has a setback or ends up not being able to go for a week, Collins could be a steal for the games his number is called.
- C.J. Uzomah (TE – CIN) – 1 year/$6,100,000 – 0.59% Rostered
Remember last week when I said we may have set the record for the lowest rostered player in the free agent series? Well, it did not last long as C.J. Uzomah shattered it coming in at just 0.59% rostered in all Dynasty Owner leagues. I have to say I was not expecting Uzomah to take back the starting role from Drew Sample, but Uzomah seems to be fully back from last year’s season ending injury. I am not sold that Thursday night wasn’t a fluky one-time performance from Uzomah, but I am willing to take a chance with as rough as the tight end position is at this point. If you are a Logan Thomas owner and he ends up missing a chunk of time, then Maxx Williams, or CJ Uzomah are probably the best backup plans available. If you don’t feel strongly about Uzomah or another one of these players no worries, I added some bonus pickups below.
- Jamison Crowder (WR – NYJ) – 1 year/$9,500,000 – 27.8% Rostered
Crowder missed the first three weeks of the season due to injury and looked as if he never missed a beat when returning. It seems the rookie QB Zach Wilson will be funneling targets Crowder’s way just as we saw Sam Darnold do the past few seasons.
- Josh Gordon (WR – KC) – 1 year/$1,042,500 – 49.7% Rostered
Josh Gordon is a complete dart throw at this point in his career but one I am willing to take with Patrick Mahomes slinging Gordon the rock.
- Randall Cobb (WR – GB) – 2 years/$9,000,000 – 9.5% Rostered
Aaron Rodgers wanted Cobb and we finally figured out why. I would imagine there are better things to do with your cap space, but if you are in a pinch Cobb and Rodgers go way back.
Please do not forget about Steve Van Tassell’s weekly Tuesday recap article and Friday preview article and video, as well as Matt “The Jerk” Morrison’s Wednesday article and video plus his Thursday Night Football preview article. Don’t forget to check out Dynasty Owner on YouTube!
I hope your teams are all undefeated and you have no use for this article! In a perfect world this would be the case, but unfortunately that’s not the world we live in. Remember bye weeks are approaching fast and the depth you have now on your roster will quickly shrink. Grab these free agents before there are none left to grab.
Thank you for reading and as always good luck on your 2021 Chase for the Ring!