Another week of fantasy football is in the books as the regular season winds down. Like the NFL, your league is filled with tight playoff races as you make your last ditch effort at a playoff spot. Here I’ll help to give you an upper hand a your playoff push.
It was all WRs in week 12. Some finally produced after weeks of being ghost, whereas others came out of nowhere and bursted onto the fantasy scene. QBs suffered this week as some continued to regress. Is Todd Gurley still a fantasy stud? It’s not looking that way, for now.
RB, Spencer Ware, Kansas City Chiefs
Ever since the season-ending injury to Jamaal Charles, the Chiefs have been playing next man up in the backfield. Now with Charcandrick West out, Spencer Ware was next in line. The former LSU Tiger broke 100 yards in his first career start and added 96 more last week along with 2 TDs. He certainly has made the most of his opportunities.
Even if West returns next week, Ware is worth adding to your fantasy team. His powerful running style provides a great compliment to West’s skillset. Ware would also cash in from goal line opportunities.
WR, DeSean Jackson, Washington Redskins
He’s baaack. After a sluggish start to the season derailed by injuries and lack of production, Jackson has flashed his playmaking ability with long TDs the past two weeks. Even though he only caught two passes against the Giants, it’s refreshing to see he can still make big plays.
With the ascending Redskins pass offense led by Kirk Cousins, Jackson is finally back in fantasy football. He’s a touchdown threat every time he touches the ball which inserts him back into your starting lineup.
WR, Seth Roberts, Oakland Raiders
Where did this guy come from? Seth Roberts is bound to be the hottest waiver wire pickup of the week after a breakout performance against the Titans. He went for over 200 receiving yards which makes up more than half his total on the year. He also chipped in with 2 TDs on 6 catches.
Led by Derek Carr, the Raiders passing game has tremendous upside each week. Even though he’s behind Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree on the depth chart, you can’t ignore Roberts’ huge week 12 performance. Pick him up and see what he does from here on out.
WR, Sammy Watkins, Buffalo Bills
Like DeSean, Sammy Watkins has been another disappointing WR this season. He finally turned in a breakout performance against Kansas City this past week where he went for over 150 receiving yards and 2 TDs. Even though it’s an abysmal Chiefs secondary, it’s still good to see glimpses of what he’s capable of.
Tyrod Taylor’s style hasn’t complimented Watkins all that well this season, but the Bills have made a valiant effort to get him more integrated into the offense. After a week like this, he deserves to be plugged back into your FLEX.
WR, Markus Wheaton, Pittsburgh Steelers
Yet another WR finds himself on this week’s ‘Risers’ list. Markus Wheaton was the top receiver as Ben Roethlisberger torched Seattle’s defense for nearly 500 yards through the air. If Wheaton can do this against the Seahawks, I really like him from here on out – as long as Big Ben stays healthy. Wheaton caught 9 of his 10 targets and went for over 200 yards with a TD. He’s a perfect fit in the slot there in Pittsburgh.
Even though he’s stashed behind Antonio Brown and Martavis Bryant, the 2nd year WR out of Oregon State is well worth a roster spot at the very least following his huge performance. Like the receivers ahead of him, he has tremendous big play ability. Wheaton will be a big waiver wire target this week due to his upside in Pittsburgh’s offense. A solid FLEX play to close the season.
QB, Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
Other than his 7 TD performance earlier in the season against the Giants, it hasn’t been pretty for Drew Brees. The once fantasy stud at QB is a shell of his former self. Things just aren’t the same in New Orleans, as his play would indicate. In the past two weeks he has more interceptions than TD passes and has failed to eclipse 250 passing yards in that span.
We have to remember that Brees is now 36 years old, he’s not the player he once was. At this stage of his career, he’s just too inconsistent to be an every week start. He’ll go off, or go ghost – there really is no in-between with him as he’s proven all season long. Also, QBs at this age tend to breakdown as the season goes on.
QB, Teddy Bridgewater, Minnesota Vikings
First let me say that I absolutely love Teddy Bridgewater, he’s a promising young QB who will have a great career. However, he just isn’t a viable fantasy option, just yet. The Vikings don’t give him enough volume of plays to score big in fantasy. After his 296 yard, TD performance in week 11 against Green Bay, you may have had your eye on him – but probably not anymore.
Bridgewater averages less than a TD pass per game; he has four games this season where he’s been blanked and he has only passed for multiple TDs in one game all season long. As far as yardage, he has failed to eclipse 200 passing yards in more than half the games so far this season. He has tons of potential, but he’s not a fantasy QB.
QB, Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons
I don’t know what’s going on with Matt Ryan this season, there’s no excuse why he hasn’t lived up to his top 10 fantasy QB expectations – especially with a weapon like Julio Jones. While Ryan hasn’t met expectations by any means, he still puts up volume production, although he makes some mistakes in the process. In the past two weeks he has 5 interceptions, more than he has TD passes.
Even with his disappointing season, Ryan remains a starting tier fantasy QB due to his upside and volume each week. However, I can’t help but put him on the ‘Fallers’ list after a poor 2 INT, 230 yard performance against Minnesota.
RB, Todd Gurley, St. Louis Rams
I know what you’re thinking, “there’s no way Todd Gurley is a ‘Faller’, how?” As much as I love Gurley from not only a fantasy standpoint, but from an NFL standpoint as well, he just hasn’t fed off his early dominance. Since his four week stretch of consecutive 100+ rushing yard game, he has failed to eclipse 100 yards in the next four games. He is coming off an abysmal 19 yard performance against Cincinnati which made it two consecutive weeks where he averaged less than 2 yards per carry and the first time in five games where he didn’t score a TD.
Like an Adrian Peterson, Todd Gurley is a volume performer who scores a touchdown nearly every week. However, it looks like defenses have at least figured out how to contain him as his numbers will indicate. Still, I love Gurley and he is a must start each week. His production has slipped, however, which has raised some red flags. I still look at him as the #1 pick in most fantasy drafts next year, especially with a strong finish.
RB, Lamar Miller, Miami Dolphins
When Dan Campbell took over as interim head coach in Miami, things were looking up for Lamar Miller and the Dolphins’ offense after he started with consecutive 100+, TD performances. Since then, Miller has failed to eclipse 50 yards in the next five games. He hasn’t scored a touchdown in the past three weeks and he was held to just 2 rushing yards against the Jets; yes, 2 rushing yards.
Campbell and the Dolphins simply aren’t giving Miller the volume of carries that we had anticipated once the new regime took over. He has less than 10 carries in the past two weeks and his production doesn’t show any signs of picking up. Perhaps the firing of Bill Lazor will help his cause, but I wouldn’t plan on it.