Must-Add Running Backs
With Damien Williams sidelined for Week 13 and possibly more with a shoulder injury, Kenyan Drake should absorb all of his touches and playing time. Drake is talented and could put together a solid fantasy day without Williams in the lineup, especially in PPR. I’m not excited about this offense, especially against Denver this upcoming week, but since Drake is capable in both the run and pass game, he’ll be on the field for most of the game, which is what we want for fantasy production. I would expect Drake to see 15+ touches as long as Williams is out, and that’s his floor. Update: The word is that Damien Williams suffered a shoulder dislocation, and that should keep him out multiple weeks and possibly the rest of the season. I’ll be trying my best to pick Drake up this week.
Guys, we can’t keep leaving this guy on the waiver wire every single week. He’s been in this article since Week 11. I know, it’s hard to trust Patriots RBs, but if you play in a PPR league he needs to be owned. He even has value in standard leagues because of possible scoring opportunities on a great offense. My nickname for him this year is Flexy Rexy because that’s where he belongs.. in your flex. Him and Dion Lewis both played on 28 snaps this past week, while Rex is being used in the red zone and goal line as well. His versatility makes him able to line up as a WR as well. The Patriots like these kind of players, and will continue to utilize them. Burkhead’s receiving ability makes him a flex worthy start every week in PPR.
More Running Back Pickups
Before Davis got hurt in his game against the Falcons in Week 11, he was pretty involved in the offense and looked good with his touches. He’s more of a stash for the playoffs; I don’t want anything to do with him the next two weeks against the Eagles or Jaguars. The Seahawks have been searching for a RB all year, and they activated Davis off of their practice squad for a shot at proving himself as the starter. He’s going to get the opportunity, and it can work out for him because of his running style.
Woodhead played on 22 snaps this week, compared to 13 last week. He caught 4 passes in this game and totaled 8 touches. Alex Collins is their workhorse, and we saw that Buck Allen was still somewhat involved as he was in on 15 snaps. I would expect Woodhead to become more involved as he gets healthier, but we all thought it wouldn’t take this long. He’s still an add in PPR if you’re sitting pretty in the standings as a high floor option once he starts playing on more snaps.
It’s still not clear if Booker is the preferred option in the backfield for the Broncos, but we do know that he brings a lot of value in the passing game. I wouldn’t pick him up in standard leagues, but in PPR he can provide a solid floor most weeks. With Trevor Siemian back under center, the offense is arguably better (?) than it was under Brock Osweiler and Paxton Lynch. I don’t feel comfortable starting Booker right now, but he’s an add in case his role grows; new OC Bill Musgrave did say that Booker deserves more touches, so we’ll see how it works out while he’s on our benches.
The Bucs backfield will likely be a timeshare between a few backs if Doug Martin can’t go this week because of his concussion. Rodgers led the Bucs backfield in carries after Martin went down, but it was Peyton Barber vulturing a couple of goal line TDs. Rodgers would be a desperation play at RB this week, but he can see 15+ carries against the Packers, which makes him start-worthy. I’m personally trying to stay away from this backfield if Martin is out.
Clement is a desperation play at RB, but a good one. He is the RB who is in for the Eagles on most red zone trips. He’s versatile and looks good whenever he touches the ball. He’s playing less snaps than Blount and Ajayi, but he can see the ball when it matters. In a deep standard league, he’s a guy you can put in your flex and pray for a TD if you’re desperately looking for a win this week and don’t have other options.
Rod Smith has led the Cowboys backfield in snaps every single week since Zeke has been out. Snap counts compared to Alfred Morris since Zeke was out: 34-20 this past week, 31-24 in Week 11, and 38-22 in Week 10. Smith and Alfred Morris each had 9 carries last week, but Smith is capable in the pass game and even saw a goal line carry for a TD. With Smith running the ball fairly well, his versatility might help him gain more of an edge over Morris in the coming weeks. He’s a prospective add this week in case that happens. The reason why Smith isn’t a priority add is because his offense has been looking terrible lately, but let’s hope for a bit of a turnaround.
He’s probably the best handcuff to own that’s still available on the wire. He does have some standalone value in PPR since he keeps making plays, but his value will skyrocket if Melvin Gordon were to get hurt. If you own Gordon, you need to own Ekeler as well.
Must-Add Wide Receivers
Kupp delivered as expected with Robert Woods sidelined; he caught 8 of 11 targets for 116 yards this past week, and gets an Arizona team this week who has struggled against slot receivers. Sammy Watkins will be busy with Patrick Peterson as well, so Kupp could see even more looks. Kupp should continue to be the #1 target for Jared Goff while Woods is out, so if you’re in need of a WR this week or even an upgrade, he should produce. It’s possible Kupp is viable going into the fantasy playoffs is Woods remains out.
Josh Gordon is expected to make his return to football this week, so keep that in mind. However, Coleman saw 8 targets and 11 targets the last 2 weeks, and can continue to be the #1 in this offense. We have to temper our expectations on Josh Gordon as being a featured piece in the offense this year, so Coleman can still have value as someone who has rapport with Deshone Kizer. Don’t let the distraction of Gordon keep you off of Coleman in case Coleman continues to play well. We would be loving Coleman a lot more this week if he didn’t drop a TD pass this past week.
More Wide Receiver Pickups
He’s in a good spot this Thursday against the Cowboys, but he follows that up with dates with Casey Hayward and Patrick Peterson. He’s a one week rental if you need one this week. I can’t say his volume will be there, but he makes big plays and has a nose for the end zone.
Goodwin is the #1 WR for the 49ers, and needs to be owned. He caught 4 of his 6 targets for 78 yards, and continues to make big plays. He’s a favorite of CJ Beathard, but we’ll see how he’s used by Jimmy Garropolo if he ends up behind center. Either way, there isn’t much confusion about who the #1 guy is, so Goodwin should maintain a big role in the offense. He can change your week on one play, so he’s a decent boom/bust option who should provide solid yardage days more often than not. He has an advantage in his schedule for the next three weeks against Chicago, Houston, and Tennessee.
Inman continues to lead the Bears’ WRs in catches and targets. He saw 9 targets against the Eagles, and provides decent PPR value. With the Bears likely in negative game scripts most of the year, expect Inman to continue getting volume. He goes up against the 49ers this week, so he has a chance to put a good game together, and is even viable in standard leagues.
Jones has picked up his play after a very slow and disappointing start to his career. He’s a talented possession receiver who has had a nose for the end zone lately. He’s put together a couple of good games now, and with Kelvin Benjamin hobbled with his torn meniscus, Jones can see some volume with opportunity to score. Charles Clay hasn’t assumed his role as Tyrod’s favorite target since he came back from injury, so Jones has an opportunity to become the guy. I don’t feel so confident in starting Jones, but he’s a flex who can find the end zone against the Patriots at home, where Tyrod usually plays a lot better.
With Robert Woods sidelined, Reynolds was able to step in and put in a solid day. He caught 4 of his 6 targets with a touchdown, and can put up another solid day against the Cardinals while Patrick Peterson is busy following Sammy Watkins around. He’s a desperate play this week, but a viable one in a good matchup.
Golladay is a straight stash. He’s doing a ton on limited volume, which means if Marvin Jones or Golden Tate were to miss any time, Golladay can step in to make some big plays. He’s caught 2 passes in each of the last 3 weeks, but has at least 50 yards in each game. That’s some efficiency right there. If you’re sitting pretty in the standings, I would hold Golladay on my bench as a handcuff to Lions’ WRs.
Seth Roberts/Cordarrelle Patterson
Michael Crabtree will be suspended for this game against the Giants, and Amari Cooper might not play either because of the concussion he suffered this past week. Both Seth Roberts and Cordarrelle Patterson become long shot, but viable plays against a Giants team who will be without Janoris Jenkins. The Giants have already been bad this season, so Patterson could find some success on the outside. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie can either see Seth Roberts or try to take away Jared Cook like he did against Vernon Davis. Derek Carr will need to throw the ball somewhere, so both would be fliers this week. If you’re looking for the upside play, it would be Patterson for me, taking advantage of the outside CBs.
Josh Gordon is a freak, and I have my doubts that he will contribute right away, but he’s definitely worth a pickup at this point since he’s coming back this week. I rather have him on my bench than him blow up on someone else’s or on the waiver wire. It’ll be worth monitoring how many snaps he plays, but pick him up now while he’s still available.
QB Streaming Options
The Patriots are definitely playing much better on defense, and isn’t quite the defense we’re looking to target anymore, but Taylor is going to need to throw the ball a ton in this game. The Patriots should go up, and Taylor will need to come back. His rushing floor remains something that keeps him in streaming consideration in any matchup, and since Tyrod isn’t more than 50% owned in Yahoo, he can be picked up in a lot of leagues and plugged right in.
Keenum is playing very well, and is playing for his job every single week. Since Mike Zimmer isn’t committing to Keenum as their QB the rest of the way, Keenum has been slinging it and winning games for the Vikings. He played very well last week in Detroit, and has been spreading it around to his plethora of weapons. He’s thrown for 300 yards or close to it for 4 straight games and is averaging more than 2 TDs in that time span. I’m good starting Keenum this week in Atlanta in the dome.
McCown has been great this season, there’s just no other way to say it. He threw for 300 yards and 3 TDs with no interceptions against the Panthers, and could find success again this week against Kansas City, whose secondary has been struggling so bad that they signed Darrelle Revis this week. With Robby Anderson balling out and moving all around the formation, I’m starting McCown this week.
Rashaan Melvin, top corner for the Colts, should be out this week with a “significant” hand injury, and doesn’t leave much else in that secondary. The Jaguars don’t want to pass the ball, so while Bortles might not need to throw the ball for 300 yards, he can have a multi-TD game against this secondary.
TE Streaming Options
Thomas goes up against Denver this week at home, and they’ve given up 7 TDs to tight ends this year. In a world of grasping at straws at tight end, Thomas is actually a pretty good streamer since he’s involved in the offense regardless.
Clay hasn’t regained the role as Tyrod’s #1 option yet, but the talent is still there and it can be any game now where Clay goes off as he gets healthier. Clay can possibly be your streamer this week and also jump back into an every week TE. The Bills should be passing a ton to catch up with the Patriots this week, so Clay can see a healthy number of targets.
Ebron has been solid since his Week 7 bye with not a lot of upside, but he’s someone who should be available in your league if you’re in need of a TE. The Ravens have a tough secondary but are in the middle of the pack against tight ends. The Lions are going to pass the ball anyway, so Ebron can find some holes in the defense.
This could be a trap because of how few snaps RSJ plays (yes, he has a nickname already), but we can’t deny his production in limited opportunity. Blaine Gabbert likes going in his direction when he’s on the field, but the Rams have been quite stout against tight ends. Not the best play, but he’s a long shot with upside.
DEF Streaming Options
Chargers vs Browns
Pick up the Chargers whether you need a defense or not. Their pass rush is for real and they are playing the Browns this week, who’ve been giving up the most fantasy points to opposing defenses. They have some decent matchups coming up later in the year, so they might be someone worth holding onto.
Bears vs 49ers
The Bears should be able to take advantage of this matchup at home against a bad offense. Not the best matchup in the world, but it will do this week. Chicago is actually #2 in pass rush DVOA according to Football Outsiders, while the 49ers are 25th in pass protection. Sneaky streaming option in DFS.