Tomorrow’s Newspaper: DuJuan Harris, Brian Quick, and Week 10 Waiver Wire Prescience

by Ray Marzarella ·

Last week, C.J. Prosise drew a Saints defense that PlayerProfiler metrics pegged as being the friendliest towards opposing fantasy RBs.  He took advantage of a 40-percent Opportunity Share, coming away with 14.3 fantasy points without finding the endzone.  In his third game at the NFL level, he began eating into Christine Michael‘s workload.  Michael’s 60-percent Opportunity Share was his lowest since Week 2, when Prosise was out injured and Thomas Rawls was still playing.  And in the span of one game, Michael has gone from being one of the league leaders in the metric to dropping all the way to 16th.  It’s safe to say that Prosise has done and shown enough to earn a spot at the end of fantasy benches, if not in deeper starting lineups.  Even if/when Rawls returns.  And with his MFL ownership breaking 50-percent, the fantasy community is catching on.

As the season goes on and more data is collected to fuel the metrics we’ve all come to know and love, it becomes easier to pinpoint the right time to uncover players like C.J. Prosise.  Post-waiver bench stashes that can help you out of an injury or bye week-induced jam Gruesome Twosome style and/or become season-long stashes.  Or players like Kenny Stills who weren’t able to help you immediately, but whose combination of efficiency metrics and favorable weekly and seasonal schedules make him worth a stash/spot start.  But it’s important to remember that opportunity or volume-driven plays are equally as important as efficiency and schedule-driven plays.  Just ask Adam Humphries, whose unexpected 15.6-point game on Thursday night was fueled by increased opportunity (Snap Share) and volume (Target Share).  He was certainly helped by Mike Evans suffering a concussion that knocked him from the game, but such is the fantasy football life.  With Evans in the league’s concussion protocol, and with the Bucs having the most favorable upcoming fantasy schedule for WRs, Humphries is stashable once again.

This week, the Clevealand QB carousel lands on Cody Kessler (11.19-percent), who will get the Week 9 start against Dallas.  It’s not the most favorable match-up for those looking for a deep league QB2 kind of play, but Kessler hasn’t yet thrown the ball less than 33 times in games he’s started and finished.  And against a Cowboys secondary that’s rapidly losing defenders, we’ll finally be able to see what he can do with Corey Coleman at his disposal.  Continue to stash Jared Goff (30.33-percent) in deeper leagues with Case Keenum likely on a short leash following an abysmal Week 7 perforamnace against the Giants.  While Ladarius Green (36.13-percent) isn’t yet ready to return to action, Austin Seferian-Jenkins (36.90-percent) is finally off the injury report.  Regardless, he can’t be started until we see his offensive involvement increase.  C.J. Fiedorowicz (44.17-percent) is still available in far too many leagues and projects as a Top-10 TE the rest of the way in a tumultuous year for the position.  If he becomes a bye week cut in your league, you know what to do.

All listed players are owned in less than 50-percent of MFL redraft leagues.

Jay Cutler, QB, Bears (45.18-percent owned)

Jay Cutler continues an ongoing series trend of relatively unsexy stash recommendation at the QB position.  While Colin Kaepernick (31.98-percent) or Case Keenum (18.66-percent) are better pickups for those who need streaming options to start this week, Cutler is the best long term play of the bunch.  With Zach Miller quietly enjoying a fantasy TE1 season and Alshon Jeffery finally about to see some favorable match-ups, Cutler’s numbers are sure to benefit.  Even Eddie Royal still has a Top-10 Production Premium and Target Premium, despite not having played since Week 6.  Add in Underworld favorite Cameron Meredith and maybe Cutler doesn’t look as unsexy as first thought.

[Jay Cutler]-Quarterback-Chicago Bears]

Jay Cutler Advanced Metrics Profile

Jay Cutler has a lot of external forces working in his favor as it relates to his receiving core.  As or more importantly, his next match-up comes against a Bucs team that entered Week 9 as the fifth most favorable match-up for opposing fantasy QBs.  This was before they were lit up by Matt Ryan on Thursday night for 344 yards and four TDs.  As usual, the best time to pick up players who are about to experience a windfall of opportunity is when they’re on their bye week.  Not the week they come back when they’ll be on more people’s radars.  Especially ahead of a good match-up.  And the match-up is good enough to recommend stashing Cutler, a proven fantasy producer, on the end of your bench for a potential Week 10 spot start.

DuJuan Harris, RB, 49ers (2.20-percent owned)

With Carlos Hyde trending towards missing his second straight game, DuJuan Harris is a top-30 RB play this week in the Player Profiler Weekly Rankings.  Like C.J. Prosise last week, Harris draws the Saints defense.  But unlike Prosise, he’s in line to start and lead the 49ers RBs in Opportunity Share.  That he did so in Week 7, the first game this year in which he was on the active roster, suggests that he can do it again.  The last time he started an NFL game was Week 17 of last year, where he caught 8 of 12 targets and scored 23.3 fantasy points without scoring a TD.  Granted he saw a 63.6-percent Opportunity Share in that game, compared to 46.4-percent in Week 7, but at least we know he can put up fantasy performances like that when given the opportunity.  Though Mike Davis and Shaun Draughn figure to mix in, Harris should once again see the most opportunity in this backfield.  And while Davis scored on his only red zone look last week, Harris also saw more red zone looks (two) than either Davis or Draughn (one each).

[DuJuan Harris]-Running Back-San Francisco 49ers]

DuJuan Harris Advanced Metrics Profile

Another good game for DuJuan Harris this week may earn him a change of pace role when Carlos Hyde returns.  Harris doesn’t possess great agility, but he has elite athleticism and an above average College Target Share.  Hyde, with his 32nd-percentile College Target Share, has only seen 14 targets this year.  Six of them came in one game.  So athough he has a Top 10 Opportunity Share on the season despite missing a game, there’s room for a player like Harris to work his way into the offense and become a longer term fantasy stash.  And if Hyde continues to struggle with injuries, Harris will benefit from playing on a team currently averaging an NFL-second-best 31.4 run plays per game.  One with a rushing threat at QB in Colin Kaepernick to help open up more running lanes.

Brian Quick, WR, Rams (31.60-percent owned)

While the other three players talked about this week are opportunity and volume-driven plays, Brian Quick represents an ideal efficiency and schedule-driven pickup.  A long-time favorite of the metrics community, Quick has been steadily working his way into weekly flex consideration with four double digit games on the year.  He currently has the eighth best fantasy schedule at the WR position moving forward.  And not only is his Snap Share steadily improving, his efficiency metrics are at the top of the wide receiver position.

[Brian Quick]-Wide Receiver-Los Angeles Rams]

Brian Quick 2016 Efficiency Metrics

The match-up for Case Keenum against Carolina is favorable enough to land all of Brian Quick, Kenny Britt and Tavon Austin in in the Top 35 of the Player Profiler Weekly WR Rankings.  Even with Player Profiler schedule metrics pegging this week’s match-up the 26th-best for the Rams receivers.  But as we learned in this week’s Dreamers and Streamers piece,  the Panthers are ranked 27th against the pass in Football Outsiders DVOA.  So there’s a chance for one or more Rams receivers to put up nice numbers.  And even if Keenum gets pulled for Jared Goff some time in the near future, Quick has been playing well enough to continue to stash in the event of a QB change.

Lance Kendricks, TE, Rams (22.72-percent owned)

If you need waiver wire help at the TE position this week, you’re going to have a bad time.  Outside of Virgil Green  (24.51-percent), who hasn’t played well enough to inspire confidence even in a plus match-up against the Raiders, the only option under 50-percent owned that can be classified as being a good one is Lance Kendricks.  Another player highlighted in this offseason’s Late Round TE Roulette series, Kendricks has been close to an every-down player for this year’s Rams team with Jared Cook gone.  In other words, he’s the kind of player that series was created in order to find.  And with four double digit games and a recent increase in usage, he’s worked his way into the weekly streaming conversation.

[Lance Kendricks]-Tight End-Los Angeles Rams]

Lance Kendricks Advanced Metrics Profile

With the Week 9 match-up against Carolina being a less-than-ideal one for Rams WRs per Player Profiler’s schedule metrics, Lance Kendricks is in a great position to continue his recent run of fantasy success.  The Panthers defense has been the fifth-most generous to QBs and the fourth-most generous to TEs.  With an 84th-percentile College Dominator Rating, 87th-percentile athleticism and a 94th-percentile Agility Score, Kendricks has the kind of profile to be able to come away from a potential QB change without seeing his stock damaged.  He’s another player who makes a great plug-in for the remainder of the bye week season, with the ability to become a more steady contributor to fantasy teams.