The fantasy football community didn’t know what they had in Brian Hoyer before he was gone. A player whose ownership percentage was only a few more solid games from cresting 50-percent in MFL leagues, he was the definition of a low-upside bench stash before starting in Week 3 against Dallas. A player that fantasy owners didn’t want to start, let alone roster, unless they absolutely had to. A player who was obtained for free in virtually every league who went on to help some owners win match-ups. This is the kind of player we hope to unearth every week with these pieces, though the success rate is always going to be low when we’re talking about bottom-of-the-barrel fantasy players. But no matter how low the upside seems to be, players like these are always worth the stash in case of events that lead them to become viable starters for fantasy squads.
The hit rate for the players talked about throughout the year hasn’t been great, but a few of these players are still worth monitoring. After putting up a career-best 21.7 fantasy points in an unfavorable match-up against the Titans last week, Cody Kessler (9.83-percent) looks to have officially supplanted Josh McCown on the Cleveland QB depth chart. He’s streamable in a plus match-up against the Bengals, though his upside is diminished if Terrelle Pryor‘s hamstring keeps him from suiting up. Though his Snap Share went down when Rashad Jennings returned this past week, Bobby Rainey (26.24-percent) is still playing more snaps than Paul Perkins and Orleans Darkwa. Rainey is still worth owning unless he starts losing playing time to someone else and/or Jennings continues to receive more targets than him.
I was burned in a few spots last week by using Chris Conley (25.84-percent) as a high-upside WR3. But the match-up this week against the Saints is good enough for me to consider going back to the well again this week. The obvious risk is that the Chiefs use their run game and defense to dictate the game flow and render Conley useless again, but the team is running enough pass plays for me to feel good keeping him on my rosters for now. The last time we saw Adam Thielen (23.39-percent), he was putting up 25.7 fantasy points against Houston in relief of Stefon Diggs. Minnesota isn’t running a lot of pass plays, but Thielen has been among the league’s most efficient receivers, has a juicy upcoming schedule and needs to be rostered as insurance in case Diggs is still limited by his groin injury. And with pass-catchers dropping like flies in Indianapolis, with Dwayne Allen being among the most recent, Jack Doyle (32.49-percent) becomes something of a must-play with his top-five efficiency and the Colts averaging 43.3 pass plays per game.
All listed players are owned in less than 50-percent of MFL redraft leagues.
Geno Smith, QB, Jets (5.39-percent owned)
This is what we’ve come to. The Geno Smith truthers have a chance to be right, small as it may be perceived. Although the loss of Eric Decker, which helped contribute to the demise of Ryan Fitzpatrick, won’t make it easy for Geno to shock the world. Luckily, we only need him to be passable for fantasy purposes. The easiest path to that destination will be through lots of volume, which Fitzpatrick did have going for him. Though it’s hard to get excited about the prospects of using a QB whose team is last in the NFL in points scored, the weapons he has at his disposal will at least give him a chance to give you numbers that won’t destroy your team if you have to start him. Brandon Marshall is off the injury report for now, pass-catching specialist Bilal Powell has supplanted Matt Forte as the best fantasy option in the backfield, we know all about what Quincy Enunwa brings to the table and the team will eventually get the services of the uber-talented Austin Seferian-Jenkins. The match-up against the Ravens in Week 7 isn’t ideal, which means anyone deploying Jets players will likely have to rely on volume to see positive returns. This line of thinking led us to Brian Hoyer so it could always, believe it or not, be worse.