One more week folks! That is what the majority of you will have left of your regular seasons, so after week 13, the laughing and joking stop as you try to take home that all important fantasy title! Of course I am joking, fantasy football should always be fun whether your winning or losing. Having said that, if you are reading this then it is likely you are in a position to solidify your rosters for that final playoff push, or to consolidate your already strong team if you are in the fortunate position of already making your playoffs. So let’s get into it, here are some key pickups to consider this week.
Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars. 19.3% Owned
The majority of you have got a starting quarterback which makes this the hardest postion to pick and write about. However, it is still worth mentioning why Bortles is an excellent pickup if you are streaming QB’s. We saw this week what he is capable in doing with his legs. One of the leagues most under appreciated mobile quarterbacks, Bortles ran in two rushing TD’s versus Arizona in week 12. Since Fournette went down with an injury after week 6, he’s not really been able to pick up where he left off netting over 35 rushing yards just once in the week 11 game against the lowly Browns. Despite this, Fournette’s presence in the offense is still enough to draw opposition’s attention and leaves exploitable holes for Bortles to make the most of as a rusher. Week 12 was only one of two weeks throughout the whole season where the Jag’s signal caller hasn’t thrown a touchdown. With a glorious fantasy playoff schedule against Indianapolis (week 13), Houston (week 15) and San Francisco (week 16) coming up, i can see Bortles being a top 10 fantasy quarterback from now until the end of the regular season.
Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals. 42.7% Owned
Case Keenum, Minnesota Vikings. 36.9% Owned
Josh McCown, New York Jets. 32.6% Owned
Kenyan Drake, Miami Dolphins. 59.5% Owned
Kenyan Drake has been hard to call since Jay Ajayi’s trade deadline move to Philadelphia. It seemed as if he had cemented the RB1 role in South Florida after impressive performances in weeks 9 and 10 where he accumulated a total of 32 PPR points. But Damien Williams had a mini breakout game against Tampa in week 11 and since then that backfield has become a somewhat sloppy RBBC kind of deal which wasn’t really worth trying to figure out for fantasy purposes. However, the aforementioned Williams sustained a shoulder injury this passed week and will likely miss a couple of weeks meaning Drake will solely benefit from the majority of rushing plays in Miami over that period. Next week may prove to be a stern test versus a very good rush defense in the way of the Denver Broncos, but weeks 14 and 15 could be productive for Drake when Miami go up against New England and Buffalo, both rank in the bottom 12 versus opposing running backs. Drake will definitely be a wise pickup for owners looking for depth in the fantasy playoffs
Jacquizz Rodgers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers. 6.1% Owned
Another beneficiary from an injury to a starting player is Tampa Bay’s Jacquizz Rodgers. Starter Doug Martin went down with a concussion in the week 12 tilt with Atlanta and Rodgers came in as the clear replacement and received the majority of the rushing workload. Despite Peyton Barber getting both rushing touchdowns in goal-line formations, he only managed seven yards off five carries which was far from impressive. Barber was merely the beneficiary of being in the right place at the right time. If under performing Martin misses time, ‘Quizz will likely be the man who takes the starting role. In the three games the ‘Douggernout’ missed through suspension at the beginning of the season, it was Rodgers who saw the bulk of carries and produced a 55 yard per game average and bagged one TD in the process.
Austin Ekeler, Los Angeles Chargers. 24.5% Owned
Marlon Mack, Indianapolis Colts. 23.1% Owned
Rex Burkhead, New England Patriots. 43.7% Owned
Josh Doctson, Washington Redskins. 48% Owned
Doctson has emerged as Kirk Cousins’ go-to man over the last few weeks. The only thing lacking was the touchdowns despite having plenty of targets in the redzone. This week he broke the three game duct and scored however he only caught two targets, his least since week 8. I expect everything to start coming together though over the next few games, especially with great receiver match-ups over the next few weeks as they face Dallas (week 13) and Arizona (week 15) who are currently ranked in the bottom 10 for fantasy points given up to wide receivers.
Josh Reynolds, Los Angeles Rams. 0.3% Owned
A none factor so far this season, with only five receptions to his name. However, with breakout star Robert Woods missing time with a shoulder injury, Reynolds was able to pounce on the targets up for grabs to the tune of four receptions for 37 yards and one touchdown in week 12. With Woods likely out for at least another week and fellow receivers Sammy Watkins and rookie Cooper Kupp drawing the main coverage, Reynolds could once again reap the benefits. Especially in week 13 when the Rams travel to a struggling Arizona team who are currently giving up 34 fantasy points per game to wide outs.
Jermaine Kearse, New York Jets. 35.5% Owned
Zay Jones, Buffalo Bills. 10.5% Owned
Corey Coleman, Cleveland Browns. 33% Owned
Ricky Seals-Jones, Arizona Cardinals. 1.5% Owned
I didn’t write about the new rookie sensation from Arizona last week as I genuinely thought the 20.4 PPR points day in week 11 was a one week wonder kind of deal. As did 98.5% of fantasy players by the look of things! Well it appears that’s not the case as 17.2 PPR points later after week 12 and it would seem we have a legitimate weapon at the fluctuating tight end position. Clearly a favourite target of backup QB Blaine Gabbert, it’s safe to say whilst Gabbert is under centre, Seals-Jones is a must start! Week 13 will be a test of this theory though as the Cardinals host a sturdy Rams defense who have been stingy giving up points to tight ends and find themselves sixth best in giving up fantasy points to the position. However, providing Gabbert is the starter for the rest of the season, games against the Redskins and Giants see out the remainder of the fantasy fixtures in weeks 15 and 16 respectively and Seals-Jones just might well be a key piece in winning fantasy championships
Julius Thomas, Miami Dolphins. 26.2% Owned
People need to stop sleeping on Julius Thomas. For the fourth week straight now he hasn’t scored less than seven fantasy points in PPR formats. That’s a very safe floor for that hit or miss position within your rosters. The best news is, next week he faces the fouth worst defense against tight ends and a revenge game against Denver with the week after providing the repeat fixture to what he had this week against New England where he notched 52 yards off five receptions.
David N’Joku, Cleveland Browns. 8.5% Owned
O.J Howard, Tampa Bay Buccaneers. 11.8% owned
Eric Ebron, Detroit Lions. 23.9% owned
Well I might as well basically copy and paste last week’s choices
Los Angeles Chargers. 42.4% Owned
Coming off a monster 26 point week in week 11, the Chargers delivered again this week with an 18 point game against Dallas on Thanksgiving. Another good match-up against Cleveland coming up this week too could solidify your playoff chances if you’re still fighting. Currently ranked 9th over the season, they have only scored less than 10 points once since week 5.
New England Patriots. 59.8% 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 four games whilst scoring 11, 13, 10 and 20 in those games. A decent floor with high upside in the right matchup, favourable games against Buffalo and Miami are upcoming in the next two weeks.
by Rob Grimwood @FFBritBaller
All ownership % taken from ESPN Fantasy