ADD/DROPS

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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Mattress Mack and the Astros host Pearland Little League at Wednesday night's game. Photo by LittleLeague.org

Sure, it’s impressive that the Astros have made four World Series appearances in recent years, but they’re not alone. There’s another baseball team around here that’s also headed to its fourth World Series since 2010.

Pearland defeated Oklahoma, 9-4, on Tuesday to win the Southwest Regional and qualify for the Little League World Series starting Aug. 17 in South Williamsport, PA.

Most fans and media say the Little League World Series is held in Williamsport, but it’s South Williamsport, just a 5-minute stroll across a bridge over the Susquehanna River in north central Pennsylvania.

Pearland is on a torrid 13-game winning streak that swept through district, sectional, state and regional tournaments to earn the Little League World Series bid.

Here’s how difficult the road to the Little League World Series is. There are 15 teams in MLB’s American League. If the Astros finish with one of the two best records, they’ll have to win two playoff series to play in the World Series.

Little League is a little bigger than MLB. Little League is the largest youth sports organization in the world, with 2.5 million kids playing for 180,000 teams in more than 100 countries on six continents.

Pearland, representing East Texas, had to defeat All-Star teams from West Texas, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Louisiana, New Mexico, Arkansas and Colorado to win the Southwest Regional. The Little League World Series will host 20 teams - 10 from the U.S. and 10 from international regions.

If you have children that play Little League, or you’re just a fan, attending the Little League World Series should be high on your baseball bucket list.

I covered the Little League World Series in 2010 when Pearland made its first appearance and made it all the way to the U.S. championship game. It may have been my most fun assignment ever.

The Little League World Series is played by 11 and 12-year-olds in Little League’s major division. When ESPN and ABC air these games, they’ll present the players as innocent little kids, like Beaver and Wally or Tom and Huck. They’ll show the kids playing Simon Says with the Little League mascot called Dugout. They’ll ask the kids who’s their favorite big leaguer.

I was a Little League coach. I followed Little League All-Stars across Texas all the way to South Williamsport. These kids are absolute baseball maniacs with $400 gloves, $500 bats and Oakley sunglasses. I thought the Astros might call and ask where they got their super neat equipment.

Especially in Texas, these kids are built tough with long ball power and play year-round travel baseball with high-priced private coaches. This isn’t a choose-up game in the park where kids play in their school clothes, one kid brings a baseball and the players share bats. I looked at some of the Little Leaguers and wondered if they drove to the stadium.

I half-expected, when ABC asked who their baseball idol was, they’d answer “me!”

Here’s how seriously good these kids can play the game. Justin Verlander throws a 97-mph fastball. That’s pretty fast. It’s not rare anymore for a Little League pitcher to reach 70-mph on a fastball. The Little League mound is 46 feet from home plate. A 70-mph pitch in Little League gets to home plate in the same time as a 91-mph pitch from 60 feet 6 inches in MLB.

In 2015, a pitcher named Alex Edmonson fired an 83-mph heater at the Little League World Series. The reaction time a Little League batter had against Alex’s pitch was equal to a Major Leaguer trying to hit a 108-mph fastball. Good luck with that. Alex pitched a no-hitter and struck out 15 batters in six innings at the Little League World Series. Now 20, Alex is a relief pitcher for Clemson.

The Little League World Series is a trip. The easiest way to get there is to fly into Philadelphia and drive to South Williamsport. I sat next to CC Sebathia’s mother on the plane.

Admission to all Little League World Series games is free and snack bar prices are reasonable. A hot dog is $3. Alcohol and smoking are prohibited.

The first Little League World Series was held in 1947. Only 58 players have played in the Little League World Series and later played in MLB. The most famous are Cody Bellinger and Jason Varitek. Only two players from the Houston area made the leap: Brady Rodgers and Randal Grichuk both played on the 2003 team from Richmond, about 30 miles from Houston in Fort Bend County.

While you’re in South Williamsport, you should visit the Little League museum and Hall of Excellence. Among the inductees: Presidents Joe Biden and George W. Bush, Astros manager Dusty Baker, Kevin Costner, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Dick Vitale, Rob Manfred and someone who’d later play stadiums in a different way, Bruce Springsteen.

Speaking of Springsteen, I shattered a record at the 2010 Little League World Series. The record was Springsteen’s Born in the U.S.A. I was talking to a Little League executive while teams were warming up on the field. Born in the U.S.A. came over the stadium loudspeakers.

I told the executive, I’m a big fan but maybe this isn’t the best song you should be playing. The executive asked why not? Well, you might want to listen to the words. Born in the U.S.A. is a depressing song about a U.S. soldier who is sent to Vietnam and can’t find a job when he gets back home. It’s not exactly Yankee Doodle Dandy. You have teams from Asia here (Japan won the tournament that year). The executive said, please tell me you’re kidding. Here’s one verse:

Got in a little hometown jam

So they put a rifle in my hand

Sent me off to a foreign land

To go and kill the (what is considered a slur for Asians).

Later I got an email from the president of Little League International.

“Quite honestly, I've never listened closely to the words of Born in the USA. I see clearly how it is offensive to our Little League friends from Asian nations. I have directed our folks who coordinate the stadium music to discontinue playing it in the future.”

Play Centerfield by John Fogerty instead. The message of that song is, “put me in coach.” Little League couldn’t say it any better.

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