It’s judgment week folks! I’m willing to bet that at least half of you reading this have a team teetering on the edge of your playoffs and need that big W from week 13. I know I have three teams in that precise scenario, a couple are mine to lose, but the other is going to require pulling out all the stops.
As this week is so pivotal for a lot of you, some of these pickups will be start-worthy for the upcoming week rather than players you can add in case of breakouts deeper into the fantasy playoffs – but, make sure you check back later in the week where @TylerBelawske will be recommending who to start and sit in order to win your week.
QB – Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys – (ESPN 43.5% owned)
I mentioned Dak in my article last week ’10 players who will win you fantasy titles’ as the rest of season schedule is in his favor – this week being the first of a good stretch for those that have the brains/guts to play him.
Prescott impressed on Thanksgiving against a tough Redskins defense and I can only see him repeating that kind of performance this week at home to the Saints. I forget how many times I’ve mentioned the Saints and ‘shootout’ in the same sentence this year, but that stands to good reason!
If you own a QB currently outside the top 5 (a Carson Wentz, Russell Wilson, Aaron Rodgers type); pick Dak up this week and trust him to be your starter. The new partnership with Amari Cooper is legit and the Saints give up the 4th most fantasy points to QB’s and the most PPR points to receivers.
-Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens (49.1% owned),
-Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns (42.8% owned)
RB – Austin Ekeler, Los Angeles Chargers – (ESPN 54.7% owned)
The starting running back for the Chargers over the next couple of weeks at least will be Austin Ekeler. Melvin Gordon will miss at least week 13, but more likely week 14 and 15 too due to an MCL sprain he suffered on Sunday in the blowout against the hapless Arizona Cardinals.
Ekeler has proved his worth as a fantasy producer over the last 2 seasons, despite rarely having the featured role. In PPR formats this season, as Gordon’s understudy, Ekeler has had six games over 10 points with two of those being over 23 points. Not bad for a backup.
Ekeler, like Dak – is a plug and play this week, despite facing a stingy Steelers rush defense. The sheer volume will shine through and Ekeler will be a hot commodity for you throughout the fantasy playoffs providing Gordon misses substantial time – don’t be afraid to stick ALL of your remaining FAAB on him or burn a high waiver priority.
-Gus Edwards, Baltimore Ravens (53.8% owned)
-Doug Martin, Oakland Raiders (52.7% owned)
-Carlos Hyde, Jacksonville Jaguars (38.8% owned) *IF Fournette misses time
WR – D.J Moore, Carolina Panthers – (ESPN 59.1% owned)
Another one of my candidates for players who can win you titles is rookie breakout D.J Moore. Over the second half of the season, Moore has integrated himself into the Panthers’ passing attack and has more importantly gained the trust of quarterback Cam Newton.
7 for 157 and a touchdown in week 11 followed by 8 for 91 last week against a sturdy Seattle defense proves that Moore is now the WR1 in Carolina. The situation for the remainder of the season couldn’t be better either. Tampa Bay, Cleveland, New Orleans, and Atlanta are the matchups for Moore in the fantasy stretch means he has the best strength of schedule in the entire league according to fantasypros. He will be a valuable piece on your roster and will be better than most FLX options that you have at your disposal- pick him up with confidence.
-Christian Kirk, Arizona Cardinals (32.4% owned)
-Josh Reynolds, Los Angeles Rams (33.8% owned)
-Equanimeous St. Brown, Green Bay Packers (0.6% owned)
TE – Gerald Everett, Los Angeles Rams – (ESPN 6% owned)
Urgh, what a crappy season it’s been for tight ends, am I right? Unless you’ve had a slice of Travis Kelce, Zach Ertz, Eric Ebron or George Kittle, you probably haven’t enjoyed your selection process every Sunday morning for the tight end position.
In this situation, you’re just as likely to hit with a dart throw or play the matchups and score just as well. Everett is the epitome of just that, and actually, he’s coming off the week 12 bye with three touchdowns in his last 2 games under his belt.
It seems with the loss of Cooper Kupp, the high powered, well oiled Sean McVay offense needed to find a redzone replacement -with Everett seemingly the answer.
-Cameron Brate, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (53.6% owned)
-Ben Watson, New Orleans Saints (40.8% owned)
-Chris Herndon, New York Jets (9.9% owned)
by Rob Grimwood– @FFBritBaller