Each week, we highlight six recommended fantasy pickups (plus a team defense) available in over 50 percent of Yahoo leagues. If you have roster needs, we offer a full menu of options.
Top quarterbacks to add
Daniel Jones, QB, New York Giants (16% rostered)
When the Giants selected Jones with the draft's No. 6 overall pick, many of us were scratching our heads and/or mercilessly mocking the team. Today, it's apparent that GM Dave Gettleman might have nailed the pick. Jones was terrific in his first regular season start, passing for 336 yards and two scores (9.3 Y/A), adding 28 yards and two additional TDs on the ground. On the few occasions when he misread coverage, Tampa Bay's defense couldn't take advantage. Jones will finish the week as the No. 2 scorer at his position. If you have a need at QB, make him a priority.
Honestly, it's hard to choose simply one highlight from Jones' day, so here's this gem of a touchdown pass, perfectly placed against double coverage...
— New York Giants (@Giants) September 22, 2019
...and here's his game-winning scoring run, late in the fourth quarter:
— New York Giants (@Giants) September 22, 2019
It was, without question, a stellar debut. He was a capable runner at Duke (17 career rush TDs), so his contributions as a ball-carrier on Sunday weren't fluky.
Remember, Golden Tate is nearing a return from suspension for the Giants, giving Jones yet another notable receiving weapon. Next Sunday, New York will host Washington, a team with a sketchy defense coming off a short week. Jones has the look of a viable fantasy option whenever the matchup is right.
FAAB bid: $11 of $100 budget
Jacoby Brissett, QB, Indianapolis Colts (20%)
With three weeks in the books, the Andrew Luck-less Colts are sitting on a 2-1 record and their quarterback hasn't really been a liability. Brissett has passed for seven touchdowns while throwing just one pick and averaging 215.3 YPG. He just roasted Atlanta's defense for 310 yards (8.4 Y/A) and two scores, proving he can crush a friendly matchup. Brissett's next two games have blow-up potential, as Indy will host Oakland and then travel to KC. The Raiders have allowed 9.2 Y/A so far, ranking No. 30 in the league.
Keep an eye on T.Y. Hilton's practice participation this week, because he's dealing with a quad malfunction. Assuming he's active next Sunday, Brissett has a shot at a Luck-like fantasy line.
FAAB bid: $9
Additional options for those needing QBs: Andy Dalton (averaging 326 pass YPG and A.J. Green is returning soon-ish), Sam Darnold (likely just two weeks away from returning, at which point he'll be past his bye), Teddy Bridgewater (because he's the dude who gets to throw to Thomas and Kamara), Gardner Minshew II (he draws a surprisingly ineffective Denver D in Week 4), Kyle Allen (he feasted in an inviting matchup against Cards, showing us what the Carolina offense is supposed to look like).
Wide receivers worth chasing
Diontae Johnson, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers (4%)
We learned late in the week that Johnson, a third-round rookie receiver from Toledo, had been elevated to starting status in Pittsburgh. He played 42 of 53 snaps, drawing six targets and making one of the biggest plays of the day for the Steelers...
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) September 22, 2019
You won't see many pro DBs beaten as thoroughly as Jason Verrett right there. Yikes.
It's abundantly clear that Pittsburgh's offense won't be as explosive or as interesting compared to prior seasons, not with Mason Rudolph at the controls. But if Johnson is in line for 5-8 targets per week, he's going to produce a few more WR3-ish games. He was a big-play machine as a collegiate player, excelling as a receiver (16.6 career yards per catch) and return specialist. Deep leaguers should be interested.
FAAB bid: $13
Preston Williams, WR, Miami Dolphins (3%)
It should go without saying that you can have a successful, profitable fantasy season without ever allowing a member of the Dolphins to taint your roster. If you're all the way out on Miami, we understand.
However, if you play in a 14 or 16-team league, you probably can't afford to erase any franchises from your fantasy plans. In such formats, Williams is definitely in play. He was targeted a whopping 12 times on Sunday, hauling in four for 68 yards. He also played nearly ever snap (69 of 72). Williams dominated Mountain West competition at Colorado State last season, catching 96 balls for 1345 yards and 14 scores. He has ideal size (6-foot-4) and he was a high-buzz player throughout camp and preseason. If he's seeing double-digit targets and he never leaves the field, he belongs in the fantasy conversation.
FAAB bid: $8
Other notable WR adds: D.J. Chark (he keeps scoring touchdowns and you keep not adding him), Phillip Dorsett II (suddenly the Pats' receiving corps isn't so talent-rich), Golden Tate (eligible to return in Week 5, yet generally un-rostered), Kenny Stills (following his 89-yard effort, he's clearly leapfrogged Coutee in the receiving hierarchy), Nelson Agholor (it's never a clinic with this guy; there's a very good reason "Unlike Agholor" was trending on Monday), Mecole Hardman (still widely available despite our best efforts; each of Mahomes' receivers needs to be rostered), Cole Beasley (a 10-target game makes him an auto-add).
And a few under-appreciated TEs: Will Dissly (his garbage-time TD was an abomination; that makes three spikes in two weeks), Chris Herndon (he was a Darnold favorite in camp, about to return from suspension), Jordan Akins (he's coming off a two-TD performance and his quarterback is a monster).
Priority running back pickups
Wayne Gallman Jr., RB, New York Giants (2%)
Early reports on Saquon Barkley's injured ankle are, um ... not great. He's expected to miss at least four weeks and as many as eight, with the longer return timeline "considered more likely" according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. So that's awful.
For now, Gallman should operate as the Giants' lead runner. He's a quality rotational back who is not, in any way, similar in style or ability to Barkley, a superhero-level player. But hey, we're chasing workload here. Gallman has proven to be an effective receiving option -- he caught 34 passes in his rookie season -- and he was an impressive lead back at Clemson back in the day. If you just lost Barkley, Gallman is your highest priority claim this week.
Recommended FAAB bid: $21
Darrel Williams, RB, Kansas City Chiefs (5%)
Damien Williams (knee) was inactive on Sunday and LeSean McCoy aggravated his ankle issue. The next man up for KC was Darrel Williams, not rookie Darwin Thompson. Williams isn't the game's flashiest runner, but if he's getting touches for a Death Star offense, you want him. He played 37 snaps in the win over Baltimore, which was 11 more than McCoy and 31 more than Thompson. Williams finished with 109 scrimmage yards on 14 touches, plus he hauled in all five of his targets. His workload is very much tied to the health of other backs, so we can't make any promises about his playability just yet. He's obviously worth a waiver flier in any format, considering the team context.
FAAB bid: $12
Various other under-rostered RBs: Rex Burkhead (he has four more rushing yards than Michel on 21 fewer carries), Ronald Jones II (reasserted himself on Sunday, now averaging a respectable 5.3 YPC), Jamaal Williams (out-snapped Jones on Sunday, 35 to 22), Jeff Wilson Jr. (goal-line vulture leads the world in red-zone opportunities), Alexander Mattison (he should be rostered by every Dalvin team, without exception), Brian Hill (Ito is dealing with a concussion, so Hill is next man up for a potentially valuable role).
Pittsburgh Steelers, DEF (17%)
After that total team evisceration in opening week, Pittsburgh has rebounded reasonably well (without actually winning a game). The Steelers D forced five turnovers at San Francisco on Sunday and two against Seattle the week before. Stephon Tuitt has been a mauler (3.5 sacks), one of the notable bright spots for this franchise. With Cincinnati on deck, expect another multi-turnover game from this defense. Andy Dalton has been sacked 11 times and he's thrown three picks.
FAAB bid: $2