Tue Oct 20 10:27am ET
By JEFF PAUR
Sr Fantasy Writer
Patrick is emerging for Broncos
The season sure is flying by. It seemed like it might never happen, but now we are in Week 7, which is the halfway point in many fantasy leagues. Hopefully, you are in good standing in all your leagues. But if not, the waiver wire might be a good spot to help turn your fortunes around. There aren’a lot of top options out here but you never know. One of the guys on this list could end up being a huge factor down the stretch. It has happened in past years.
Tua Tagovailoa, Dolphins. Tagovailoa was named the starter for the Dolphins going forward. The team has a bye this week, making his first start in Week 8 against the Rams. Tagovailoa must be ready for the job because Ryan Fitzpatrick was playing pretty well in a staring role. Either way, Tagovailoa will have some fantasy value because he is a bit of a dual threat and gets a chance to air it out in an offense that likes to throw the ball. He is worth a speculative add for fantasy teams.
Philip Rivers, Colts. Rivers might not be playing the best for the Colts, but he produced big last week. He had his best fantasy game of the season last week, scoring nearly 30 fantasy points. He can still get it done in the right matchup, including one his next game against the Lions in Week 8.
Boston Scott, Eagles. Scott has done about nothing all season but could be setup for more work going forward with Miles Sanders hurt. Scott might the starter for the Eagles, a role he showed some potential in late last year. Scott is no sure thing by any means but any starter at this stage of the game has value to fantasy teams. He could get it done with more touches.
J.D. McKissic, Washington. McKissic reached double-digit fantasy points for the third straight game last week. He also tied a season high in rush attempts, running eight times for 41 yards. McKissic has been a big part of the passing game in recent weeks, catching at least six passes three straight games. He has value as a flex play and is available in 56 percent of leagues.
Travis Fulgham, Eagles. Fulgham got nabbed in most leagues last week but not all. He is still available in 32 percent of leagues. He now has touchdowns three straight games, having at least 13 fantasy points all three games. Fulgham has double-digit targets two consecutive games, getting tons of looks. This seems to be a trend rather than a fluke. Fulgham should be owned in all formats.
Keelan Cole, Jaguars. Cole enjoyed his best game of the season last week, catching six passes for 143 yards. He has at least four receptions all but one game this year. He has been a consistent factor in an offense that likes to throw a lot. Cole has value as a No. 3 fantasy receiver. He is available in 45 percent of leagues.
Marcus Johnson, Colts. Johnson is gaining value in the Colts offense. He had the best game of his season in Week 6, hitting the 100-yard mark. He had five receptions for 108 yards. Johnson has 50-plus yards two straight. He has some fantasy value as long as Michael Pittman is out of the lineup.
Tim Patrick, Broncos. Patrick ha his second straight 100-yard game. He had four receptions for 101 yards on eight targets. He has at least 14 fantasy points three straight games. He is producing consistent numbers in a starting role for the Broncos. Patrick has a knack for making the big play. He is available in 42 percent of leagues.
Breshad Perriman, Jets. Perriman returned from his ankle injury last week and led the Jets in receiving yards. He had four receptions for 62 yards on eight targets. Perriman has a shot to lead the Jets in receiving going forward. He was dropped in many formats after his injury, making him available in 90 percent of leagues.
Demarcus Robinson, Chiefs. Robinson had his best showing of the season last week, getting a chance for a bigger role in the offense with Sammy Watkins out. Robinson had five receptions for 69 yards in a rainy game Monday afternoon. He should continue to get more weekly chances while Watkins is out, giving him some value as a spot play for fantasy teams.
Anthony Firkser, Titans. Firkser had a game that came out of nowhere last week, catching eight passes for 113 yards. He has been getting a few more looks the last couple games, though, having 14 targets his last two. He is going to be a boom or bust play but this game showed his potential for the big game. He might be worth adding in deeper formats if you need the tight end help.
Rob Gronkowski, Bucs. It took some time but Gronkowski is making a bigger impact in the Bucs offense. He had his best game last week, catching five passes for 78 yards and his first touchdown of the season. Gronkowski has at least three receptions three of four games. He is available in 30 percent of leagues.
Dallas Goedert, Eagles. Goedert has not played since Week 3 but is due back soon from his ankle injury. And when he returns, he will return to the starting lineup with Zach Ertz out the next several weeks. Goedert has huge upside when on the field and starting. Remember, he had a 100-yard showing in Week 1, scoring 24 fantasy points. He was dropped in many formats because of the injury, so he is available in 48 percent of leagues.
Jeff Paur is a two-time finalist for FSWA Fantasy Football Writer of the Year and won the FSWA award for Best Fantasy Football Article on the Web in 2011. He also was the most accurate expert in 2012, winning the FSTA Fantasy Football Accuracy Award. If you have any questions for Jeff, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Jeff on Twitter @jeffpaur.
Five Hot Plays: Week 12
San Francisco 49ers running back Jerick McKinnon has seen 30 carries over his last two games, but his workload is probably about to diminish significantly this week. The 49ers appear likely to have both Raheem Mostert (knee) and Tevin Coleman (knee) back in Week 12 as they face the Los Angeles Rams. Mostert figures to handle a sturdy workload while Coleman may be the secondary rusher behind him. McKinnon, meanwhile, will likely be relegated to just a few carries and around four or five targets in the passing game. He's tough to trust as a starting option in Week 12, but he's worth holding onto in deep leagues in case he continues to have a prominent role going forward.
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel (hamstring) appears to be trending towards making a return to action in Week 12 against the Los Angeles Rams. His presence would be much-needed for the 49ers who will be without Brandon Aiyuk (COVID) in the game. Samuel has only played in four games this year. He earned at least five targets in each of the three games he played in which he wasn't on a pitch count. The Rams are a tough matchup, allowing just 200.6 passing yards per game this year. However, Samuel should lead the 49ers in targets in the game, giving him a good chance to make some plays. Start him as a WR3 in Week 12.
San Francisco 49ers running back Tevin Coleman (knee) appears to be trending towards making his return to action in Week 12 against the Los Angeles Rams. His timing is somewhat unfortunate as fellow running back Raheem Mostert (knee) appears on track to make his return this week as well. If both players are active for the game, Mostert will be the team's primary rusher while Coleman and Jerick McKinnon play secondary roles. Coleman is a worthwhile deep league stash as he could have value down the stretch this year, but for now, he shouldn't be trusted as a starting option.
The Houston Texans are releasing wide receiver Kenny Stills on Friday to give him a chance to latch on with a contender. Stills will go on waivers. The Texans were open to dealing the 28-year-old at the trade deadline, but nothing ever came of it. He was inactive on Thursday for the team's Thanksgiving win over the Lions with a quadriceps injury and has just 11 receptions (19 targets) for 144 yards and a touchdown in 10 games this year for Houston. His departure could mean more work for Keke Coutee down the stretch, but it should remain Will Fuller V, Brandin Cooks and Randall Cobb (when healthy) in three-receiver sets. Stills remains on the waiver wire in the majority of leagues, but he could be worth a deep-league flier if he lands in the right situation.
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Nick Mullens is in a tough position going into Week 12. First off, he's facing a Los Angeles Rams Defense that has been one of the league's best against the pass. They've allowed just 200.6 passing yards per game this year, which ranks second in the league. Second, Mullens is going to be working with a depleted set of receivers in the game. While Deebo Samuel (hamstring) might be able to return for the game, the team will be without Brandon Aiyuk (COVID), who has been the team's most consistent receiving threat this year. The team also may not have Jordan Reed (illness) for the game. Mullens is a low-end QB2 option in two-quarterback leagues, but you might be better off looking for other alternatives.
Chicago Bears quarterback Nick Foles (hip) is listed as doubtful to face the division-rival Packers in Week 12. It means that Mitchell Trubisky (shoulder), who has practiced in full this week, will return to the starting gig under center after being benched for Foles in Week 3. Neither Foles nor Trubisky have been the answer for the Bears offense in 2020, but at least Trubisky offers fantasy managers in superflex leagues a bit more upside because of his rushing ability. No. 1 receiver Allen Robinson II should also benefit, as he showed some nice chemistry with Trubisky in 2019. Trubisky's fantasy stock is back on the rise as a low-end QB2, but he'll also be facing a Packers Defense that has allowed the fifth-fewest fantasy points per game to signal-callers this season.
Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr may be in the QB1 conversation this week against a bad Falcons Defense that ranks 29th against opposing quarterbacks. The Falcons defense has allowed the second-most passing yards, tied for the second-most passing touchdowns, and a passer rating of 105.9, which is the worst in the NFL. They have also allowed the most passing plays over 20 yards. Carr has been a very good road quarterback this season, completing about 68 percent of his passes, with nine touchdowns and just one interception. Carr has not put up the volume numbers this season to regularly be a QB1 but is worthy of consideration this week due to a favorable matchup.
It appears likely that San Francisco 49ers running back Raheem Mostert (knee) will make his return to action in Week 12 against the Los Angeles Rams. Mostert suffered a knee injury in Week 6 and was placed on Injured Reserve shortly after. While he's been out, the team has struggled to find consistent production in their running game. If Mostert is indeed activated prior to this week's game, he should see a heavy workload right out of the gate. The Rams have a tough defense, allowing just 91.3 rushing yards per game, but 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan should be able to put together a game plan that will allow Mostert to have success regardless. Start Mostert as a high-end RB2 this week.
The Cardinals Defense has a favorable matchup in Week 12. They face a New England Patriots team that's averaged just 20.9 points per game this year. The Cardinals have allowed at least 28 points in four straight games, but they've faced far more productive offenses over that stretch. Against weak offenses, the Cardinals Defense has shown some value. They held the New York Jets and Dallas Cowboys to 10 points each in back-to-back weeks. If you're in a bind, you could do worse than starting the Cardinals Defense in Week 12, but there's certainly a risk that the Patriots find a way to score 25 or more points in a game that could be more high-scoring than they're accustomed to.
The Los Angeles Chargers have ruled out cornerback Casey Hayward (groin) and defensive end Melvin Ingram (knee) for Week 12 against the Bills. Ingram has already spent time on Injured Reserve for a knee injury, so this is more bad news for the 31-year-old pass-rusher from South Carolina. He's totaled just 10 tackles, four QB hits and one interception in his seven games played this season. The Chargers secondary will be extra vulnerable without Hayward out there on Sunday, giving more upside to both Bills QB Josh Allen and top wide receiver Stefon Diggs. The Los Angeles defense should be faded this week in DFS and season-long leagues with both Ingram and Hayward out.
If you're in a tight spot going into Week 12, Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Andy Isabella could be a decent dart throw option for you. Isabella has been extremely quiet ever since his two-touchdown performance in Week 3 against the Detroit Lions. However, this week the Cardinals will be without Larry Fitzgerald (COVID) for the first time this year, which should open up extra opportunities for Isabella. The Cardinals will face the New England Patriots in Week 12. The Patriots Defense is known for focusing attention on No. 1 targets, which could mean DeAndre Hopkins will struggle in the game. Isabella is an extremely risky start, but he could see around five targets, which gives him a solid chance to make a few big plays and deliver a solid flex performance for deep league owners.
The Colts Defense has a tough test this week against a good Titans offense. The Titans offense is led by Derrick Henry who rushed for over 100 yards on 5.4 yards per carry against the Colts defense in Week 10. Henry has at least 100 yards in six of 10 games and is averaging 4.8 yards per carry on the season. They struggled in stopping the run in Week 10 but were good against the pass. They held Ryan Tannehill to just 147 passing yards and a passer rating of 83.4. They ended up holding the Titans offense to just 17 points in their first meeting and will look for a similar performance this week. It will be a tall task, but the Colts defense should have starting consideration based on how well they have played for most of the season.
Los Angeles Chargers running back Kalen Ballage (ankle, calf) is listed as questionable for Week 12 against the Bills. Ballage was limited in practice this week, so he should be able to play, barring a last-minute setback. But we also don't know for sure yet if Austin Ekeler (hamstring) will return yet after being designated to return from Injured Reserve this week. But if Ekeler sits out another game, which is expected, Ballage should continue to be the leader of this backfield while fending off rookie Joshua Kelley and Troymaine Pope. The Bills Defense has allowed the 11th-most fantasy points per game to running backs, too, so Ballage will be in the RB2 conversation if he's active and Ekeler remains sidelined.
Indianapolis Colts tight end Trey Burton enters the week as the No. 2 tight end on the Colts depth chart behind Jack Doyle. Burton played just 29 percent of the team's snaps last week while Jack Doyle played in 54 percent. Mo Alie-Cox is still in the mix as well, and he played 51 percent of the team's snaps. Despite Doyle and Alie-Cox seeing more snaps, Burton is still the most expensive DFS option this week between the three. The formula for Burton's production is fairly simple. He does not catch a lot of passes, so he relies on touchdowns for decent fantasy days. This makes him difficult to trust from week to week, but he is the only tight end on the team that should be given starting consideration being that Doyle and Alie-Cox hardly ever produce.
Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins has a bit of a challenge ahead against the New England Patriots in Week 12. Patriots head coach Bill Belichick is widely known for his efforts to take team's No. 1 options away in games. This week, that will certainly mean Hopkins. Hopkins is coming off a disappointing showing where he caught just five of eight targets for 51 yards. He's followed up every disappointing game with a big one this year, so he's likely going to make it hard on Belichick and the Patriots contain him. Start him with confidence as a WR1 this week, but don't be surprised if it's a bit of a bumpy ride.
Miami Dolphins rookie running back Salvon Ahmed (shoulder) has been ruled out for Week 12 against the Jets. On top of it, the Dolphins are non-committal on whether Myles Gaskin (knee) will play after being designated to return from Injured Reserve this week. If Gaskin is available to play, he should be at least eased in as the featured back in a great matchup against the winless Jets. However, if Gaskin misses another game, we should see some sort of timeshare between Matt Breida, Patrick Laird and DeAndre Washington. The matchup is obviously a tasty one, but good luck to any fantasy managers trying to navigate those choppy backfield waters if both Gaskin and Ahmed aren't available.
The Cleveland Browns will travel to Florida to take on the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 12. Jacksonville has benched rookie quarterback Jake Luton and will turn to journeyman QB Mike Glennon against Cleveland in the contest. Glennon has not been particularly impressive in his career, having thrown 20 interceptions in 29 games. The last time Glennon started for a team, he threw five picks in four starts for the Chicago Bears back in 2017. Cleveland's defense has been at or near the league leaders in takeaways this season and should be able to add to that total against a struggling Jacksonville offense that will be without top wideout D.J. Chark in Week 12. Start the Browns as a top-six fantasy defense this weekend.
Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Christian Kirk has had two straight rough outings. He's caught just eight passes for 77 yards over the past two weeks. However, things look favorable for him going into Week 12 against the New England Patriots. The team will be without Larry Fitzgerald (COVID-19) for the game, which should mean more targets will be headed his way. Plus, the Patriots are known for focusing in on No. 1 offensive options, which means that the Patriots Defense may be flooding on DeAndre Hopkins, allowing for more open space for Kirk. Start Kirk as a WR2 in all formats. Look for him to see at least eight targets in the game, giving him a good chance to flirt with 100 yards and find the endzone.
Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores said the team will watch film on quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (thumb) and running back Myles Gaskin (knee) before deciding if they will play in Week 12 against the Jets. Tagovailoa's thumb injury wasn't deemed serious this week, so it's curious that they are considering sitting him out against the winless Jets in a matchup that he should bounce back in after being benched late in the Week 11 loss to Denver. With the injury and now the chance that he won't play at all, the rookie QB is a shaky low-end QB2 this weekend. Gaskin was designated to return from Injured Reserve this week and could make his return in an excellent matchup with the Jets. With rookie Salvon Ahmed (shoulder) ruled out, Gaskin could have some nice RB2 upside if he returns on Sunday. Check to make sure he's not available on your league's waiver wire.
Arizona Cardinals running back Kenyan Drake had an interesting performance last week against the Seattle Seahawks. He carried the ball 11 times for 29 yards and a touchdown while adding four catches for 31 yards on five targets. His 2.6 yards per carry were disappointing, but the touchdown helped save his day. Meanwhile, his work in the passing game was a nice surprise. It was his first time this year with more than two targets in a game and also his first time with over 10 receiving yards in a game. This week, against the New England Patriots, it's unclear whether Drake will still be used heavily in the passing game, but he should get plenty of work regardless. Look for him to see around 15 touches in the game, making him a solid RB2 in Week 12.