7 Fantasy Football Stash Candidates Ahead of Week 4
What makes a player stash-worthy? These are guys who may be potential league-winners at some point in the future, whether that’s next week or a handful of weeks down the road.
It can be that the player above them on the depth chart is on shaky ground or might be nursing an injury, or possibly a matchup-based situation in the weeks ahead. Clear out those benches (check out my Dead Weight Report on who to drop) and make room for these up and comers.
Kirk Cousins, QB – Vikings
Kirk Cousins is never a sexy name in fantasy, but he’s having a really nice season through the first three weeks. Averaging 24.1 fantasy points per tilt, the Minnesota QB is QB6 behind only Jalen Hurts, Tom Brady, Kyler Murray, Dak Prescott and Patrick Mahomes.
It also doesn’t hurt that Cousins faces two teams in the next three contests who sit 25th or worse in schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed (aFPA) to opposing QBs thus far in 2021. With all the injuries plaguing signal-callers around the league, it may behoove you to grab Cousins now while he’s still on 28% of waiver wires.
Rashod Bateman, WR – Ravens
The rookie was placed on IR after core-muscle surgery and could return as early as Week 4, but it’s unclear when Rashod Bateman will actually be ready to hit the field. Sammy Watkins and Marquise Brown have been holding down the WR fort, seeing 22 and 23 targets, respectively, but Brown’s multiple drops in Week 3 could be a concern moving forward.
Bateman is worth an add even without Brown’s recent case of the dropsies, so snag him now (14% rostered) before your league mates realize he’s on his way back.
Pat Freiermuth, TE – Steelers
You know it’s bad out there when I recommend stashing a rookie TE because that’s something I’m rarely in favor of, however, TE is feast or famine so far in 2021 and you could do much worse than Pat Freiermuth. He hasn’t lit the field on fire by any means, but the 22-year-old has 10 targets through three games, which he’s turned into an 8-82-1 line.
With both Diontae Johnson and JuJu Smith-Schuster nursing injuries, Freiermuth could see an uptick in usage and could bail out a TE on their bye week, or even sneak into the streaming conversation as the season rolls along.
Ameer Abdullah, RB – Vikings
Who’s ready to ride that Ameer Abdullah train for another go-around? I’m not sure any of us really are, but alas. Dalvin Cook’s availability moving forward is unclear and while Alexander Mattison did a stellar job as the lead back in Week 3, he did receive medical treatment in the fourth quarter, reminding us players are just one injury away from fantast relevancy.
Abdullah rushed the ball just five times for 24 yards against the Seahawks but could be worth a speculative add in the event Cook is sidelined for multiple weeks and they’ll need someone to spell Mattison.
Collin Johnson, WR – Giants
The WR room in New York is pretty battered, with Kenny Golladay, Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton all banged up, along with TE Evan Engram, who isn’t at full health either. Collin Johnson led the team in targets with seven (tied with Saquon Barkley), which he turned into five catches for 51 yards.
The Giants have yet to win a game but Daniel Jones has been playing well from a fantasy perspective, sitting at QB10 in fantasy points per game with 22.5. The schedule is a favorable one for Johnson, as only one of the Giants' next six opponents ranks above 16th in aFPA to WRs this season. He may not remain relevant if any combination of the three wideouts returns to the field soon, but Johnson could be worth a stash in the interim.
Michael Carter, RB – Jets
There are 56% of Yahoo! Drafters who’ve held onto Michael Carter despite New York’s offensive struggles and it may pay off—eventually. The rookie RB leads the Jets’ backfield in touches with 29, averaging 9.7 per contest, with Tevin Coleman currently on the shelf.
The Jets’ offensive line is pretty soft and the team will probably be playing from behind quite a bit, making game script not in Carter’s favor, but someone has to get the carries down the road and Carter could be a decent bye week fill-in at some point.
Nick Westbrook-Ikhine, WR – Titans
Nick Westbrook-Ikhine caught all four of his targets for 53 yards and a touchdown in Week 3 with A.J. Brown sidelined early in the contest. The former UDFA put up the most WR fantasy points against the Colts in Week 3, which isn’t saying much since the Titans faltered on offense.
He’s certainly not a must-add since it is difficult to forecast targets behind A.J. Brown and Julio Jones, but if Brown does miss significant time, the 24-year-old could be worth a bench stash in larger formats.