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Week 5 working the waiver wire: Mr. Jones and me

Photo via: Buccaneers.com

What a strange week that was. If you came away with a victory, consider yourself lucky. If you took an L, don't worry, we'll try to find some upgrades on the waiver wire. Also, don't be afraid to send out some trade offers. This is the time of year when fantasy owners tend to get desperate. Alright, let's see which free agents are still available. Keep in mind the owner % mentioned is for 10-team standard ESPN leagues.

Some of these players below are good for the short-term, while others have more long-term value. You have to make the call on what your team needs. Immediate help to start this week, or a player to stash on your bench and hope he breaks out. Let's get started.

QB

Jameis Winston: I'm surprised he's available in over 55% of ESPN standard 10-team leagues. This is probably your last chance to pick him up if you need a QB. Winston looks like he's getting comfortable in Bruce Arians' system, and he has tons of good options to throw to. Nothing scare about his matchup with the Saints.

Jimmy Garoppolo: Jimmy G is coming off his bye week, so there's a good chance he's out there on the waiver wire. This week he gets the Browns at home for Monday Night Football, and the Browns have several players banged out in the secondary including their 2 starting corners, Denzel Ward and Greedy Williams. Both were inactive against the Ravens. He's available in 66% of ESPN standard leagues.

Jacoby Brissett: I don't love him if T.Y. Hilton is out again this week, but either way he should be chasing points against the Chiefs this week. Plus, he did just have 3 TDs against the Raiders. He's only rostered in 32% of ESPN standard leagues.

Gardner Minshew: A tough matchup this week for Minshew, but he's been getting it done with multiple TD passes in 3 of his 4 games. He's only rostered in 14% of ESPN leagues.

RB

Darrel Williams: If he's still out there, pick him up immediately. He's going to continue to get touches in this high-powered offense until Damien Williams comes back.

Ronald Jones: This offense is starting to come to life and Jones is beginning to figure things out. Jones had more carries than Peyton Barber for 2 straight weeks, so he's worth adding for sure. He's out there in about 60% of 10-team leagues, but this is probably your last chance to add him. He gets the Saints this week.

Frank Gore: If you missed your chance to get him last week, he may still be available. He plays the Titans this week, and we'll see if Devin Singletary is ready to return to action later in the week. But if you need help at RB, Franky Gore's been solid for 3 straight weeks. He's rostered in 57% of leagues.

Jordan Wilkins: Wilkins is a great short-term option if Marlon Mack misses time with his ankle injury. You'll have to keep an eye on the practice reports, but Wilkins should get the goal line work with Mack sidelined. I slightly value him over Nyheim Hines, but in a PPR you could do worse than Hines. All of this depends on Mack's status though. After the Colts play the Chiefs this week, they have a bye before facing Houston. The Colts may very well sit Mack this week, and give him extra time to recover before playing the Texans.

Jaylen Samuels: He does have some independent value for owners that don't have James Conner. If the Steelers continue to limit Mason Rudolph, Samuels will be a nice flex option going forward. He's available in about 80% of ESPN leagues. He faces the Ravens this week, but Nick Chubb shredded them in week 4 with 3 TDs.

WR

Courtland Sutton: Flacco was surprisingly good this week and Sutton certainly has the physical traits teams look for in a WR. He's owned 70% of leagues, so grab him if he's still available.

Golden Tate: He returns from suspension this week, and he's available in 50% of ESPN standard leagues.

Geronimo Allison: Allison should get an uptick in targets with the injury to Devante Adams. Adams hasn't been ruled out yet, but I'm guessing he'll miss a week or two recovering from turf toe. He has a tough matchup against the Cowboys, but he's available in about 70% of leagues if you need him.

Keke Coutee: Kenny Stills looks like he will miss some time with a hamstring injury, so Coutee should step right in and get targets. Coutee gets an incredible matchup against the Falcons' pathetic defense, so start him if you need him. He could be a nice affordable daily option in PPR as well.

Mohamed Sanu: There's nothing exciting about Sanu, but he gets a good matchup against Houston this week. He's not a bad option in PPR if you're desperate.

Deebo Samuel: It's hard to know which 49ers WR to start each week, but I think Samuel has the best chance to breakout. Stash him now and hope he starts producing.

TE

Chris Herndon: You can't use him until week 6, so pick him up now if you need TE help. Adam Gase has a long history of getting his TEs involved in the passing game, so you could do worse. He's widely available.

Jimmy Graham: He's no longer a great player, but he'll be targeted a lot in the red zone especially with Devante Adams set to miss a game or two. He's pretty much TD or bust, but most TEs are this year.

Tyler Eifert: He gets the Cardinals this week who have been dreadful at defending TEs. He's worth a shot this week only because of the matchup.

DEFENSE

With the Dolphins on a bye, you can't start their opponent this week. The Eagles and the Titans have good matchups, so grab them if you need them.

If you have any questions, feel free to hit me up on Twitter or listen to my radio show MoneyLine with Jerry Bo Sundays from 10-noon on ESPN 97.5 FM. We talk all things fantasy football and NFL gambling getting you ready for kickoff every Sunday.

@JoshJordan975@Moneyline975

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Texans training camp observations from 8/10. Still footage by Cody Stoots.

The Houston Texans inched closer to their preseason debut. Here are 11 observations from a hotly contested practice.

1. Derek Stingley did it again. The rookie continues to get more and more work. It had been rare to see Stingley win a big rep against Brandin Cooks, but that changed Wednesday. Cooks planted and turned for a comeback route as Davis Mills was letting the ball go. Stingley planted himself, and I didn’t think he would make it to the ball. Well, not only did he make it, but he also had an interception bounce off his hands. The defense had a little buzz to it after the play from the rookie. It was an example of the eye-popping potential and continued growth for Stingley.

2. A few plays later, Stingley showed his agility and closing speed on a play where he ended up defending Nico Collins. It was a different task for Stingley, but he recognized where the ball was headed and went to close on Collins. Collins dropped the pass, but even had he caught it, Stingley was there to keep it a short gain.

3. Jalen Pitre was named a starter on the team’s unofficial initial depth chart. He’s earned it. Pitre flashes constantly and some of the early hiccups from camp are no longer present. Pitre skied over Brandin Cooks, didn’t interfere, and knocked a ball away. He’s going to be a must-watch in the preseason games.

4. Dameon Pierce has a nice burst and he’s stocky, but on Wednesday I saw some patience and vision from him. The rookie running back darted through a slow-developing hole for a big gain. Pierce catches the ball a fair amount as well, despite the fact his college games didn’t feature that a ton when you watched him play at Florida.

5. I was concerned about Dameon Pierce’s pass blocking, and I still want to see what it looks like at full speed. Wednesday showed he has a decent idea of what to accomplish. Pierce chipped a rusher that was about to beat the offensive tackle, allowing Davis Mills to complete a huge play to Brandin Cooks.

6. Davis Mills and Brandin Cooks finally hooked up on a long pass and made it look easy. It was in stride, on target, and went for a gain of over 30 yards. Mills had to step up a little to make the throw. It was a tight pocket, and he dropped it right into the bread basket of Cooks. It elicited the biggest cheer of the day from the fans in attendance.

7. Towards the end of practice, it was Davis Mills and Brandin Cooks again. The situational football was in full effect as the offense was drilling a 4th and 10 from the 20-yard-line setup. Mills had to buy a little time, and the offensive line held up well, but he saw Cooks coming open and fired to the back corner of the end zone. Two feet for Brandin Cooks and a touchdown. The defense was exasperated. They’d done almost all they could to contain Cooks.

8. It wasn’t the best day overall from the offense. In part, the defense had some nice plays. There was a little sloppiness from the offense overall. Some were almost connections. I will say though, that one bad play doesn’t feel like it dooms the offense anymore. There is hope if there is ever a negative play or an incomplete pass. It didn’t feel that way last season.

9. Maliek Collins might be a problem this year. For opposing teams, I mean, not the Texans. Collins had a couple of bad penalties last year and came up close on a few plays. He again had a nice play that would have resulted in a sack. It’s fun to see his potential show in camp, I am excited to see him and All-Pro guard, Quenton Nelson, in week one of the season.

10. Kevin Pierre-Lewis is healthy and ready to contribute. He was step for step on a Brandin Cooks wheel route that ended up being an incomplete pass. With some injuries in the linebacker group, the veteran has a chance to start or at least play a lot.

11. The preseason game is on Saturday against the Saints. Here are four players on offense and four players on defense I will be watching very closely. On offense guard Max Scharping, running back Dameon Pierce, wide receiver Phillip Dorsett, and wide receiver Chad Beebe is who I will be looking for the most. On defense edge rusher Rasheem Green, defensive tackle Kurt Hinish, linebacker Neville Hewitt, and any rookie who plays.

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