We are now officially heading into the business end of the fantasy regular season. Most of you will have just two more weeks to solidify your position within your playoffs. So you better make sure you grab those players who will make that happen! Even if you are sitting at 5-6, the season may not be over for you, so buckle up and have a look at some of the options that might be available to you to push you over the finish line.
Tyrod Taylor, Buffalo Bills. 48.4% Owned
One word to describe Taylor’s rookie replacement in Nathan Peterman this week? LOL. But I’m not going to rip the poor lad apart because at the end of the day, he is a rookie who was flung into a difficult position by a poor managment decision within that organisation. Having said that, five INT’s from 14 attempts is not worthy of being in the NFL, so we are assuming Tyrod will be back as the starter from week 12. Fantasy owners were quick to throw Taylor on the waiver wire after last week’s news that he would not be starting, so he may well be available for you to pick up and play immediately. A pitiful Kansas City defense is Tyrod’s opposition next week who are the 11th worst in giving up points to opposing QB’s. Add to that they are 6th worst for quarterback rush yards and immediately T-Mobile is thrown into the ‘streamer’ category. Despite only playing the second half in week 11 against the Chargers, Taylor managed to throw for 158 yards with a single touch and 38 yards from four rushes resulting in an impressive 17 fantasy points.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, Tampa Bay Buccaneers. 30.4% Owned
Ok, so ‘Fitz-magic’ isn’t the most talented QB in the league. But after an impressive 275 yard and two touchdown outing in week 11, he has shown that he can get it done for fantasy owners if the game-script allows him to. The Bucs face two mediocre defences in the next two weeks in the shape of Atlanta and Green Bay, which on paper will likely be close games like they encountered this week in Miami with both teams giving up around 19 points each week to QB’s. If Fitzpatrick can continue to utilize the passing game whilst the running game has stalled, he could bring some decent fantasy value to the table providing Jameis Winston still misses time with his shoulder injury.
Matt Moore, Miami Dolphins. 0.2% owned
Samaje Perine, Washington Redskins. 28.4% Owned
I mentioned Perine as my sleeper pickup last week as he had an opportunity to right his previous wrongs this week. Boy did he do just that with 126 total yards from scrimmage and a touchdown. His fantasy stock is likely going to sky rocket this week not only after that performance but also due to the fact that main competitor Chris Thompson will miss the rest of the season after suffering a horrific fractured leg whilst on pass blocking duty down the field against New Orleans. Perine is going to be the work horse now in that offense and after that big breakout game, confidence will likely shine through in the next few games when he faces a miserable Giants defence next week and a far from impressive run defence against Dallas in week 13. Samaje Perine needs to be your main waiver pickup this week and at this stage of the season, i’d be happy to drop all my remaining FAAB budget on him.
Devontae Booker, Denver Broncos. 9.2% Owned
Denver’s backfield has been far from productive this season with neither C.J Anderson or Jamaal Charles being able to take the job and run with it, excuse the pun. With their season seemingly over now with a measly 3-7 record, head coach Vance Joseph may look to his future players to see what they have in the way of talent. That was already evident this week with Austin Traylor, Cody Latimer and Jordan Taylor all getting work in the passing game. Booker was apart of this group too and was actually the most used rusher in the game with 14 carries. Despite only managing 3.1 YPC, he was used productively in the passing game and managed to garner 98 yards from scrimmage resulting in 14.8 PPR points. It was certainly positive to see the 2016 4th round pick given this opportunity and I assume his role will only get bigger as the end of the season draws to a close. Although he won’t be worthy of a start on your fantasy teams just yet, if he manages to find the endzone and continue seeing work in the passing game, he could develop into being a flex play during the playoffs.
Austin Ekeler, Los Angeles Chargers. 20.5% owned
Damien Williams, Miami Dolphins. 29.7% owned
Rex Burkhead, New England Patriots. 43.1% owned
Kenny Stills, Miami Dolphins. 27.3% Owned
How many more weeks of good production will it take before we all realise Kenny Stills is actually a productive fantasy receiver? In case you still don’t believe he is, how about I tell you that he has only scored less than 10 PPR points once since week 6. That’s what we in the fantasy industry call a safe floor! He also has a very good rapport with back-up QB Matt Moore – the two times this season that he has stepped in for Cutler, Stills has a whopping combined 61.5 PPR points! Cutler is in the concussion protocol so may miss next week which means it’s seemingly all systems go for Kenny Stills in week 12. But even if ‘Smoking Jay’ is back, the floor is still there especially with favourable match-ups twice against New England, a porous Denver defence and a mouth-watering encounter against Kansas City in week 16, your fantasy finals! Pick up Stills even if you aren’t convinced, he is only one more good performance away from being an every week start.
Zay Jones, Buffalo Bills. 8.1% Owned
Up until recently, Buffalo’s rookie receiver had a quiet start to the season and wasn’t featured much as Charles Clay and LeSean McCoy hogged the majority of targets in that offence. With the mid-season acquisitions of Jordan Matthews and Kelvin Benjamin, we figured Jones would be a non-factor in regards to fantasy relevance. However, just recently with injuries taking those aforementioned players out of the equation, Jones has been able to establish himself as a potential weapon in the Bill’s passing attack. This week saw the former East Carolina Pirate connect with four targets resulting in 68 yards. If Benjamin and Matthews continue to miss more game time, Jones could be a sneaky flex play, especially in deeper leagues.
Corey Davis, Tennessee Titans. 39.4% owned
Josh Doctson, Washington Redskins 29.4% owned
Corey Coleman, Cleveland Browns 20.4% owned
Julius Thomas, Miami Dolphins. 28.5% Owned
Miami have some really favourable match-ups for fantasy scoring from the tight end position in the next few weeks. In the stretch they will face New England twice, 10th worst against the tight end giving up 13 PPR points per game with Denver splitting those two games who incidentally, are abysmal against the position with 18 PPR points per week on average being given up. In the last three games, Thomas has had 12 receptions for a combined 122 yards and two touchdowns. That’s a pretty safe floor week to week in an unstable and fluctuating tight end market.
O.J Howard, Tampa Bay Buccaneers. 11.2% Owned
The tight end position was a bit of an anomaly in week 11 with big hitters Rob Gronkowski, Zach Ertz and Evan Engram not firing on all cylinders. One player that has had a few boom weeks now including one this weekend, is rookie O.J Howard from Tampa Bay. With Cameron Brate being pretty much irrelevant with Ryan Fitzpatrick under center, Howard could be a beneficiary of some good game-scripts as previously mentioned. Week 11 saw Howard’s third best fantasy performance to date notching 52 yards from three receptions and one touchdown.
Greg Olsen, Carolina Panthers. 60.5% owned
Marcedes Lewis, Jacksonville Jaguars. 3.6% owned
Tyler Kroft, Cincinnati Bengals. 44.6% owned
Los Angeles Chargers. 52.5% Owned
Coming off a monster 26 point week in week 11, the Chargers have good match-ups against Dallas and Cleveland coming up. Currently ranked 13 over the season, they have only scored less than 10 points once since week 5.
New England Patriots. 42.5% Owned
The Pats defense struggled in the first half of the season, that is no secret. But things have seemingly turned for the reigning champs, especially from a fantasy stand point with at least one interception in the last three games whilst scoring 11, 13, 10 in those games. Yeah, it’s not flashy, but it’s a decent floor.
by Rob Grimwood @FFBritBaller
All ownership % taken from ESPN Fantasy