Wed Nov 27 1:07pm ET
By JEFF PAUR
Sr Fantasy Writer
Rodgers can get it going again
This is my favorite Lineup Prep to write for the season. This addition features all things I’m thankful for when it comes to fantasy football. I do a Thanksgiving theme every year. So without further ado, here is my list for 2019. . . .
First off, I am truly thankful for all of you - my readers. Without you, I’m not doing this. I really believe I have the best audience out there on a weekly basis. I always get insightful questions and thoughts from all our users. The RTSports community is the best out there. Thank you for making my job the best it can be.
I am thankful for Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson. These two guys are changing the quarterback position and are just getting started. They have a lot of time left in their careers and will be huge fantasy factors for seasons to come. These guys are as exciting as any talent I have ever seen in the game. I love watching them on a weekly basis.
I only have him in a couple leagues, but I am sure thankful for Christian McCaffrey. This guy is first overall in running back scoring and by a wide margin. He averages more than seven points a game than Dalvin Cook, the second rated back. That is a huge margin and why so many McCaffrey owners are sitting pretty this year. If you own McCaffrey, you should be very thankful for him.
I am thankful for breakout fantasy players. I had Chris Godwin pegged as a breakout and took him on nearly all of my fantasy teams. Well, that is paying off for me. Godwin is second overall in receiver scoring right now and certainly well worth his draft position from this year. He has been a difference maker for me and all his fantasy owners. Guys like Godwin, Lamar Jackson, Darren Waller and Aaron Jones have all taken their games to new levels this year, becoming the top breakout players for 2019.
Like every year, I am thankful the kicker position always has players that emerge out of almost nowhere and serve as top fantasy starters. There is no need to waste a pick early on a kicker. We have relative unknowns every season that become the top players at the position. This year is no different. Right now, Zane Gonzalez, Matt gay and Joey Slye are top-10 fantasy kickers. So please don’t waste early picks on kickers. Be thankful for these guys that emerge every year and serve as dependable fantasy options.
I am thankful for the NFL Network. I can get my football fix all day long with this 24-hour NFL channel. They have some great programming on the NFL Network and this channel gives me my football fix whenever I need it all year long. Great stuff.
I am thankful my son Henry is really into fantasy football. He loves it and I couldn’t be any more proud. He turns 13 this week and has been in a league with his friends the last few years. All of them talk about it nonstop and even have a group text chat they use to propose trades, talk trash and commiserate about the fantasy games. It is great stuff. Henry also is super knowledgeable about fantasy football. He has been on our podcast and does a great job. I have even received a handful of emails from listeners, saying they really enjoy listening to Henry and I on the podcast. Proud dad right here!
I am thankful that the quarterback position is super deep and I don’t have to use an early-round pick on the position. Jameis Winston, Josh Allen and Kirk Cousins are all top-10 fantasy quarterbacks and could be had for a good price come draft day. This should continue to be the case going forward. This position is crazy deep with a lot of great options, making it a good one to platoon on your teams. I can’t see myself using a first or second round pick on Lamar Jackson or Patrick Mahomes next year with so many quality options behind those guys.
I am thankful for innovative coaches in the NFL. The always ever changing league has some great minds calling plays these days, making for some big fantasy performances on a weekly basis. There are new coaches that emerge every season, changing the way the game is played. It is a copycat league, so expect more teams to try to emulate what Lamar Jackson is doing in Baltimore. It will be interesting to see how drafts play out in the coming years as teams try to find the next Lamar Jackson. Either way, I am thankful for all the great offensive minds in the NFL, helping shape the fantasy world in a new way on a yearly basis.
Lastly, I am thankful for this job. I love being able to do this on a weekly basis. I never take this job for granted and will continue to work hard to bring you the best content to help you get ready for your games. This has been a dream for me and I look forward to producing all my content on a weekly basis. Thanks for reading and have a great Thanksgiving!
As always, don’t forget to check out my weekly rankings here: Week 13 rankings.
News and Notes: The Jaguars signed safety Marcus Gilchrist on Tuesday. Gilchrist provides some veteran depth in the secondary for the Jaguars. . . . .The Panthers signed defensive tackle Stacy McGee on Tuesday. McGee has some past success and could get some playing time with Carolina dealing with injuries along the defensive line.
LeVeon Bell, RB, Jets. Bell keeps getting his yards on a weekly basis. HIs rushing numbers are not very good but he gets his catches, which helps make up for that low rushing totals. Bell had 49-rushing and 59-receiving yards last week, giving him 108 total yards in the game. He has at least four receptions three of four games. The Jets passing attack is looking much better these days, which is a plus for Bell. He is getting more goal-line chances with the offense moving better, having scores two of three games. Expect more goal-line work and good yardage numbers in his matchup this week against the lowly Bengals. Cincinnati allows the fifth most fantasy points to running backs and are dead last against the run, allowing 166-rushing yards per game.
Aaron Rodgers, QB, Packers. Normally, Rodgers would never hit this list because he is a must start every week. But that hasn’t been the case this year. Rodgers has been pretty mediocre many weeks, especially lately. He has just two touchdowns his last three games and fewer than 200-passing yard two of those games. This offense hasn’t been nearly as prolific as past seasons, focusing on running the ball a little more while taking fewer chances down the field. But even with that said, Rodgers is capable of the huge game any given week. And we think this week could be one of those big games. He gets the Giants, a team that allows the ninth most fantasy points to quarterbacks and rank 26th against the pass.
Phillip Lindsay, RB, Broncos. Lindsay isn’t having quite the season as his rookie year but been solid in a starting role. And his chances could be increasing going forward with Royce Freeman struggling some. Lindsay has 68 or more total yards four straight games. He also has double-digit carries all but two games. He gets his weekly work and produces for fantasy teams. He had his best game of the season against his opponent this week, the Chargers. He had his only 100-yard game against the Chargers and finished with 147 total yards in the game. Los Angeles allows the seventh most fantasy points to running backs.
DeVante Parker, WR, Dolphins. Parker has been one of the few bright spots for the Dolphins this season, finally playing like a No. 1 receiver. He has double-digit fatness points all but two games. He has at least 55 yards six straight games. Parker also has at least four receptions six straight games. He has been targeted double-digit times three straight. Parker is getting a weekly workout as Ryan Fitzpatrick’s favorite target. Expect more of the same this week against the Eagles, a team that allows the eighth most fantasy points to receivers.
Jarvis Landry, WR, Browns. Landry is red hot right now, having touchdowns four straight games. He had his best game of the season last week, catching 10 passes for 148 yards and two touchdowns on 13 targets. He has double-digit targets four of five games. He plays the Steelers this week, a team he scored a touchdown against just two weeks back. Landry is a must start for fantasy teams at the moment. He is second overall in receiver scoring his last three games.
Chris Carson, RB, Seahawks. Carson had his worst game of the season last week, rushing eight times for just 26 yards. He had just under 10 fantasy points, making it just the second time all year he had fewer than 10 fantasy points. He has been very consistent all year. Rashaad Penny had a great game last week and could be playing his way into a bigger role, meaning a few less touches for Carson. This makes Carson a bit of a scary play this week against the Vikings, a team that struggles against the pass but is solid against the run. Minnesota allows the fourth fewest fantasy points to running backs.
Amari Cooper, WR, Cowboys. Cooper has just 38 yards his last two games. He was even shutout last week against the Patriots. He is battling a knee injury but doesn’t seem too slowed by the injury. Things won’t get any easier for him this week against the Bills and shutdown corner Tre'Davious White. Buffalo allows the eighth fewest fantasy points to receivers and are third overall against the pass. Cooper could have another down showing in Week 13.
Philip Rivers, QB, Chargers. Rivers is finally showing signs of slowing down. He has really struggled in recent weeks, having seven interceptions his last two games. Rivers also has just four touchdowns his last four games. He is doing very little for fantasy teams and should be left on benches, especially this week against the Broncos. Rivers failed to score a touchdown against the Broncos earlier this season. Denver allows the fourth fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks.
Carlos Hyde, RB, Texans. Hyde is having a fine season as the starter for the Texans, but has been just OK as a fantasy player. His big issue is a lack of work in the passing game. He does not have a reception since Week 6 and has just six receptions all season. This lack of work in the passing game makes him a bit of a touchdown dependent player. He needs to score to have that productive fantasy game. And we aren’t sure he scores this week against the Patriots, a team that has allowed just five rushing touchdowns all season and 11 points per game. If you have better options, go with them in Week 13.
Tyrell Williams, WR, Raiders. Williams has really fallen on hard times lately. He has fewer than 50 yards three of four games and hasn’t scored since Week 8. He has not been much of a help to fantasy teams after finding the end zone four straight games to start his season. Some might look at this matchup this week and think it is a good one for Williams, getting the Chiefs. But Kansas City has done a great job of limiting wide receivers this season, allowing the second fewest fantasy points to receivers. Williams could struggle once again in Week 13.
Nick Foles, QB, Jaguars. Foles hasn’t been great since his return to the starting lineup but is showing promise. He has 270-plus passing yards each of his last two games and one multiple touchdown showing. He is getting plenty of chances to air it out having 95 pass attempts in two games. If he gets that many chances this week, expect big things from Foles. He plays the Bucs, a team that allows the second most fantasy points to quarterbacks and 31 points per game. Foles is a legit low-end No. 1 fantasy quarterback in this prime matchup.
Kenyan Drake, RB, Cardinals. David Johnson is around, but Drake is the lead back for the Cardinals right now. Drake has double-digit carries three straight games and at least four receptions all three of those games. He is getting a lot of work in the Cardinals potent offense. He can do some damage with that workload this week against the Rams. Los Angeles is reeling, especially against the run. The Rams allowed 285-rushing yards last week and more than 100-rushing yards two of four games. Drake is setup for more success in Week 13.
Russell Gage, WR, Falcons. Gage has emerged as the No. 3 receiver for the Falcons and done well in that role. He had season highs last week, catching eight passes for 76 yards on 10 targets. He has seen his play pickup in recent weeks, though, having 21 receptions his last four games. The Falcons/Saints game could be a high scoring one this week, making many players enticing fantasy options for Week 13, including Gage. He has some flex appeal in this matchup.
Kyle Rudolph, TE, Vikings. Rudolph has become fantasy relevant once again. He has touchdowns four of five games and at least three receptions six straight games. He did next to nothing his first five games but his workload has really changed in recent weeks, especially in the red zone. Things are looking good for Rudolph to continue his success this week against the Seahawks, a team that struggles to stop the tight end. Seattle allows the fourth most fantasy points to tight ends.
Tarik Cohen, RB, Bears. Cohen has seen his workload in the passing game increase in recent weeks. He had seven receptions last week and has 16 catches his last three games. He still isn’t getting a ton of work in the rushing game, but as long as he keeps getting that much work in the passing game, Cohen has fantasy value. He has 13-plus fantasy points three straight games. Another good showing is likely this week against the Lions, a team that allows the second most fantasy points to running backs.
High/Low Scoring Games
Each week we will take a look at some of the high and low scoring games for the coming week. In high scoring affairs, get your marginal players on those teams in your lineup to take advantage of the possible points barrage. And in the low scoring games, keep those marginal players on the bench and make sure to have your defenses involved in those contests.
High Scoring Games: Saints/Falcons, Bucs/Jaguars, 49ers/Ravens, Rams/Cardinals, Raiders/Chiefs, Vikings/Seahawks.
Low Scoring Games: Bears/Lions, Chargers/Broncos.
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 email@example.com. Follow Jeff on Twitter @jeffpaur.
TFC Draft August 13th
Cleveland Browns wide receiver Jarvis Landry (hip) looked good in Friday's practice, according to head coach Kevin Stefanski. Landry had hip surgery on February 4 but he was able to participate in team drills on Friday and even found the end zone during 11-on-11 drill where he beat safety Andrew Sendejo deep and connected with Baker Mayfield for about a 50-yard score. Stefanski said of Landry, Ive been able to watch him progress here over the last couple of weeks. Hes doing a nice job. Hes not afraid to work. I enjoy watching him out on the practice field. I enjoy having him around the meeting rooms. Hes progressing nicely. All signs point toward Landry being ready for Week 1 when Cleveland faces off against the Baltimore Ravens.
Elite Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey didn't hesitate to say his own name when it came to selecting the first pick in fantasy drafts, per ESPN. The 24-year-old's claim is backed up by an incredible 2019 season which saw him garner 1,387 rush yards, 4.8 rush yards per carry, 15 rush touchdowns, 116 receptions, 1,005 receiving yards, and four receiving touchdowns. The Panther also finished with the second most fantasy football points in the history of the game at 471 points. It should be no shock that the RB would consider himself the top pick for 2020 and with a role as the focal point of the Carolina offense, along with coming off an astounding fantasy season, there is no disputing that.
Washington Football Team running back/wide receiver could fill the role planned for recently-released running back Derrius Guice. Gibson has been practicing as both a running back and a wide receiver, but with Guice no longer in the backfield, Gibson could be the best bet in a still-crowded running back room. Adrian Peterson, Bryce Love, Peyton Barber, and J.D. McKissic will also be battling for playing time. Gibson is a huge upside/gadget player floor choice right now.
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott said that he is "optimistic" about coming to an agreement with the team on a long-term contract extension after this season. It seems the two sides never got too close to a deal in the offseason, as Prescott wanted more money and fewer years than the Cowboys were offering. He'll play under the franchise tag this year and could be tagged again next year if the two sides still can't agree, although next year's tag would cost the team $38 million.
Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield said he's "finding out how to get back to the basics" after a disappointing sophomore campaign in 2019. "I lost myself in that and I wasn't able to be who I am for these guys on the team. I told them that," Mayfield continued. "I told them that if I'm not doing that, hold me accountable." Head coach Kevin Stefanski's zone-run and play-action scheme should fit Mayfield better, but some fantasy owners may still be skeptical. Mayfield was being taken as a top-five fantasy signal-caller in 2019. That won't happen in 2020 drafts, but the 25-year-old from Oklahoma could surprise some as a QB1 with an improved supporting cast.
Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook plans to be a full participant at training camp while he seeks a long-term contract extension. "I'm out there full go, 1,000 percent," Cook said. The RB1 in fantasy should be present for workouts on Monday for the start of camp. The 25-year-old second-rounder was a top-five running back last year despite missing two games due to injury. With the Vikings passing game less of a certainty now that Stefon Diggs is in Buffalo, Minnesota could lean even more on Cook, both on the ground and through the air. Fantasy managers probably won't view the former Florida State running back as elite because of injury concerns, but he's been pretty money in his short career when he's on the field.
Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden said that quarterback Marcus Mariota "really fired me up today" at training camp on Friday. He has turned a corner with his ankle (injury) and he is a dazzling playmaker. He had a very nice day. It might just be coach speak, and we all know that Gruden typically loves almost every player he's laid eyes on in the NFL, but it's worth noting nonetheless. Incumbent Derek Carr could easily be on the hot seat early in 2020 if he doesn't impress the coaching staff with his production, and Mariota, despite his failures in Tennessee, remains athletic and is one of the highest-paid backup QBs in the league. If Mariota winds up making starts this year, he'd be a low-ceiling, low-end QB2.
Free-agent QB Trevor Siemian (Jets) worked out for the Detroit Lions Friday, Aug. 14.
New York Jets RB Kenneth Dixon (hip), DE Bronson Kaufusi (hamstring) and LB Jabari Zuniga (quadriceps) did not participate in practice Friday, Aug. 14.
Chicago Bears wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson has been meeting with the running backs at camp, instead of the wide receivers. This could be an indication that head coach Matt Nagy is planning to use the speedy receiver out of the backfield more this year. This is Patterson's second year with the Bears. Last year, he caught 11 passes for 83 yards while adding 17 rushes for 103 yards. It's certainly an intriguing development, but we'll need to see it play out quite a bit more before we start to get excited about Patterson for fantasy purposes.
Free-agent LB Mychal Kendricks (Seahawks) received interest from the Las Vegas Raiders, but the two sides were not able to reach a contract agreement, according to a source.
Detroit Lions DE Romeo Okwara (undisclosed) was activated from the Active/Non-Football Injury list Friday, Aug. 14. The team also waived S Jeremiah Dinson.
Free-agent S Jahleel Addae (Texans) is scheduled to work out for the Minnesota Vikings, according to a source.
Cleveland Browns center JC Tretter underwent knee surgery on Thursday according to head coach Kevin Stefanski. The veteran lineman reportedly had the surgery to remove loose bodies from the knee. Stefanski would not elaborate on how long Tretter would be out but the NFL Network reported that he will probably only miss a couple weeks. In Tretters absence, rookie center Nick Harris will get a chance to show what he can do. Tretter is a key piece to a revamped Cleveland offensive line this year.
New York Giants DT Leonard Williams (undisclosed) was activated from the Active/Non-Football Injury list Friday, Aug. 14.
New York Jets RB Frank Gore (hamstring) did not participate in practice Friday, Aug. 14, because of a hamstring injury. Head coach Adam Gase said Gore was held out as a precaution.
Fantasy Spin: Gore likely will be the No. 2 running back for the Jets and see a handful of carries each game. He could be a handcuff to Le'Veon Bell in fantasy leagues but probably will not have a big fantasy impact.
New York Jets CB Pierre Desir (hamstring) did not participate in practice Friday, Aug. 14.
Cleveland Browns QB Baker Mayfield said Friday, Aug. 14, he 'lost myself' in 2019 and started doubting himself after a couple of sub-par performances. Mayfield, though, said Friday that's in the past. 'In a much better state, mentally, physically. Just ready to roll,' Mayfield told reporters at training camp. 'Back to where I need to be to be the leader.'
Fantasy Spin: Drafted as a breakout No. 1 QB last season, Mayfield stumbled badly, throwing for five fewer touchdowns and seven more interceptions than he did as a rookie in 2018. He should bounce back the other way some in 2020, but he's still figures to wind up as a QB2 when all's said and done.
Updating previous report, New England Patriots RB Lamar Miller received a one-year, $1.05 million contract that includes $200,000 in guarantees with $1.5 million also available in 'achievable' incentives.
Updating a previous report, San Francisco TE Jordan Reed signed a one-year, $1.05 million contract. The deal also includes up to $750,000 in playing-time incentives.