|(Photo Credit: Michael Owens/Associated Press)|
Zach Crutcher (@ZackyNFL)
The Lateral Contributor
Whether it is bye week troubles, a late injury, or waiting on a rookie stash to finally get an opportunity, sometimes a warm body in the FLEX spot is all you need. Enter: It's A Match! These waiver recommendations are strictly to be considered plays for this week only. If they work out longer term than that, great. But that is not the expectation.
Also, all players are rostered in 50% or less of ESPN leagues. If there are better players still available in your leagues, go get them instead.
It's A Match! Three Matchups to Exploit in Week 5
New York Jets at Atlanta Falcons *In London* (9:30am Sunday)
Who to add: Jamison Crowder, Wide Receiver (New York Jets) [25% ESPN]
Jamison Crowder made a triumphant return to the New York Jets starting lineup last week in a win against the Tennessee Titans. More importantly, he also played a crucial role in that win, which was the Jets' first win in 2021. Crowder led the Jets in the Week 5 win in both targets (nine) and receptions (seven) while adding 61 receiving yards and a touchdown early in the fourth quarter. Crowder showed promise in developing a solid rapport with rookie quarterback Zach Wilson, and the duo will look to capitalize on that heading into a Week 5 matchup against the Atlanta Falcons. Atlanta's defense is as bad as advertised, if not worse. On average, the Falcons defense allows a league-worst 32 points per game. Atlanta also allowed the most passing yards per game in 2020 with 293.6 passing yards per game. That trend has continued in 2021, with the Falcons currently 21st in the league in passing yards allowed. The Jets will need to attack the Falcons through the air to build on their success in Week 5, and Crowder will be a key factor in that.
Chicago Bears at Las Vegas Raiders (4:05pm Sunday)
Who to add: Darnell Mooney, Wide Receiver (Chicago Bears) [47% ESPN]
While Allen Robinson's lackluster performances so far have received a noticeable amount of attention, fellow Chicago Bears' wide receiver Darnell Mooney has flown under the radar. Mooney has earned at least seven targets in three of Chicago's four games so far this season including a seven target, five reception, 125 receiving yard game against the Detroit Lions in Week 4. Now that Justin Fields is the starting quarterback, he and Mooney have the opportunity to develop their chemistry together. Mooney is an explosive second-year wide receiver who ran a 4.38 forty-yard dash and was highly productive as a collegiate wide receiver at Tulane University. The Bears play the Las Vegas Raiders defense in Week 5, who give up 25 points per game and 229.5 passing yards per game. If Justin Fields adjusts to the NFL and shows the qualities that made him so successful at Ohio State, the Bears offense will take a step forward towards being an (at least) average NFL offense. That transition will mean big things on the horizon for Darnell Mooney.
New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys (4:25pm Sunday)
Who to add: Daniel Jones, Quarterback (New York Giants) [38% ESPN]
On the subject of teams that get shredded through the air, the Dallas Cowboys currently rank 31st in the NFL in passing yards allowed with 315.2 yards per game. Enter The New York Giants, who got their first win of the season in overtime against the New Orleans Saints in Week 4. Saquon Barkley deserves much of the praise. Not only for scoring twice but also for the game-winning touchdown. However, the Giants do not make it to overtime without a very strong display by Daniel Jones. The Giants quarterback threw for over 400 yards last week and has stymied the turnover issues that have plagued his young career so far. Jones has always been an effective runner, something that is incredibly valuable in fantasy football due to the nature of quarterback scoring. However, if Jones can piece together consistent passing performances like he did in Week 4, the sky is the limit. Case in point, Jones is currently the QB6 overall in fantasy football, ahead of names like Josh Allen, Matthew Stafford, Lamar Jackson, Russell Wilson, and Dak Prescott. He is outscoring them because he is averaging nearly 50 rushing yards per game despite having only thrown four passing touchdowns so far. Daniel Jones will continue to get it done on the ground and when he finds success through the air, he will post huge numbers. A matchup against Dallas is a fantastic opportunity for Daniel Jones to showcase exactly that.
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