Tue Dec 10 10:32pm ET
By JEFF PAUR
Sr Fantasy Writer
Perriman moves to starting role
Injuries really took their toll on fantasy teams this past week, especially at the receiver spot. You never want to see a team limp into the playoffs, but that is the case with many because of a host of receivers getting injured this past week. There are some options out there to consider, so take a look at this list for the latest. Hopefully, you can still advance if you need to grab a player off waivers this week.
Ryan Tannehill, Dolphins. Tannehill continues to produce at a very high clip, but still isn’t owned in all leagues. He is available in 27 percent of leagues. Tannehiill has multiple touchdowns eight straight games and topped 21 fantasy points all but one of those games. He is a legit No. 1 fantasy quarterback right now. The numbers don’t lie.
Drew Lock, Broncos. Lock sure looked the part of a franchise quarterback in his second NFL start. He missed on just five passes, going 22-of-27 for 309 yards and three touchdowns with an interception. The rookie is no sure thing going forward but has two favorable matchups, so he is worth some consideration, especially in two-quarterback leagues.
Mitchell Trubisky, Bears. Trubisky has sure turned the corner in recent weeks, having two straight three-touchdown games. He also has multiple scores three straight. Trubisky has 21-plus fantasy points four of five games. He is never a sure thing but his recent play is encouraging. He is playing with more confidence and the offense is being suited to his strengths.
DeAndre Washington, Raiders. Josh Jacobs is hurting, giving Washington the start this past week. He responded with 96 total yards and a touchdown in his starting role. He has some potential as a starter for Oakland, especially if you consider his ability to catch the ball. If Jacobs misses this week, Washington has a prime matchup against a terrible Jaguars rush defense. He would almost be a must start for any team that owns him
Ty Montgomery, Jets. Both LeVeon Bell and Bilal Powell are hurt, meaning Montgomery could get the start this week for the Jets. Bell seems likely to return as he was just battling an illness last week, but Montgomery is good insurance for any Bell owner. You will want to own him to be safe with Bell. It was a surprise he missed last week, so maybe he is battling something a little more serious.
Patrick Laird, Dolphins. Laird started last week and had 86 total yards on 19 touches. He didn’t do much on the ground but his continued work in the passion game gives him some fantasy value. He has four or more receptions three of four games. He isn’t going to produce huge numbers but can get you double-digit fantasy points, making him a decent flex play for fantasy teams.
A.J. Brown, Titans. Brown counties to emerge in the Titans passing game. He has 100-yard games two of three and 80-plus yards three of five. He had his best game as a pro last week, catching five passes for 153 yards and two touchdowns. He gets a terrible Texans secondary this week, so expect more continued success from Brown. He is available in 32 percent of leagues.
Zach Pascal, Colts. Pascal has been the top target in the Colts passing game in recent weeks. He has 12 receptions for 183 yards and a touchdown on 19 targets his last two games. He has some value as a No. 3 fantasy receiver as long as T.Y. Hilton is out of the lineup. He will get his weekly targets.
Allen Hurns, Dolphins. DeVante Parker suffered a concussion last week, putting his status in question for the coming week. If Parker misses, Hurns likely is the top option in the Dolphins passing attack. He had his best game of the season this past week, catching five passes for 68 yards on eight targets. He has four or more receptions three of four games.
Robby Anderson, Jets. Anderson is finally producing more consistently after some really erratic play earlier in the year. He has touchdowns three of four and 100-yard games two straight. He has three 100-yard games for the season. Anderson has double-digit targets two straight games, getting a lot more consistent work. He remains available in 26 percent of leagues.
Breshad Perriman, Bucs. With Mike Evans apparently finished for the season, Perriman gets a chance to move into a starting role in the Bucs pass-first offense. Perriman has 70 or more yards two straight games and is capable of the big game in this offense. He is certainly worth a look for receiver needy teams.
Hayden Hurst, Ravens. Mark Andrews is banged up, which could open the door for Hurst to serve as the top pass catching tight end for the Ravens this week. Hurst had his best game of the season in an expanded role last week, catching three passes for 73 yards and a touchdown. He showed his potential in a bigger role.
Ian Thomas, Panthers. Thomas got a big workload for the Panthers last week, getting a start because of Greg Olsen’s injury. Thomas had five receptions for 57 yards and a touchdown on 10 targets. Olsen is no sure thing to return this season, making Thomas an intriguing add for down the stretch.
Tyler Higbee, Rams. Higbee had another big game in a starting role last week, hitting the 100-yard mark for the second straight week. He has at least five receptions three straight games. Higbee is emerging as a low-end No. 1 tight end as a big part of the Rams passing game.
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.
May 14th: Draft Values
The Las Vegas Raiders re-signed tight end Paul Butler to an undisclosed deal on Thursday. In a corresponding move, tight end Nick O'Leary (undisclosed) was placed on the Reserve/Non-Football Injury list. Butler hasn't appeared in a regular season game in two years in the NFL with the Raiders and Lions. O'Leary was signed as a free agent after catching 13 passes for 109 yards and a touchdown in 12 games (five starts) with the Jaguars and Dolphins in 2019. He was buried on the tight end depth chart to begin with, behind Darren Waller, Jason Witten and Foster Moreau. Las Vegas also has Derek Carrier and rookie Nick Bowers at the position.
Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew II has impressed new offensive coordinator Jay Gruden with his work during the virtual offseason program. Gruden likes how Minshew has taken charge and seems to have a good grasp of the offense. "He has shown a skill set where he can sit in a pocket, step up, make things happen outside the pocket. He's accurate, he's tough and obviously he's a great leader, so he's got the intangibles you want in a quarterback," Gruden said. The sixth-round pick went 6-6 as a starter in his rookie season and had the highest passer rating and fewest interceptions among rookie QBs in 2019. The 24-year-old took the league by storm last year out of nowhere and has the ability to make things happen outside the pocket and with his legs, as he rushed for 344 yards in 2019. All things considered, though, Minshew is a low-end QB2 that will likely see more inconsistency in his second season.
Green Bay Packers head coach Matt LaFleur is looking for his offense to find more explosive plays under quarterback Aaron Rodgers in 2020, the coach admitted on ESPN Wisconsin's Wilde & Tausch. The Packers ranked 19th in explosive-play rate in 2019, according to Sharp Football Stats. However, other than free-agent addition Devin Funchess in the passing game, the Packers didn't really give Rodgers any added help outside of receiver Davante Adams and running back Aaron Jones. It will be on LaFleur to scheme up more explosive situations this year, but it definitely helps to have Rodgers throwing the passes, even if he's getting older. What's certain is that the Packers will need someone besides Adams and Jones to step up for Rodgers to hold off the naysayers.
San Francisco 49ers left tackle Trent Williams agreed to a restructured deal in the final year of his contract in 2020. Williams is due to make $12.5 million this year, but the 49ers agreed to give him some of that up front after he didn't make any money in 2019. The Redskins traded Williams to San Francisco during the draft in April, where he'll immediately become the blind-side protector for quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo after not playing at all last season. Even though Williams will turn 32 years old in July, the seven-time Pro Bowler is an immediate upgrade for the team's offensive line and should continue to be one of the better left tackles in the NFL.
Arizona Cardinals All-Pro linebacker Chandler Jones has more sacks and forced fumbles than any defender since he entered the league in 2012, and his 96 sacks through eight seasons are four more than Bruce Smith, the all-time sacks leader, at the same point in his career. Jones was one of two players in NFL history in 2019 to have 19-plus sacks and eight-plus forced fumbles in a single season. He's been really good, but he wants to work on improving against the run, his eye placement and his hand work. Jones plans to spend more practice time with the defensive line so that he can get more comfortable playing between the tackles. The two-time All-Pro and member of the league's 2010s All-Decade team can certainly get to the QB, but he'll need to improve his tackling numbers in order to justify his high price in IDP leagues.
Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson said he hasn't really had any contract talks with the team as he enters the final year of his current deal. "I feel I have a lot to prove," Peterson said. He also said he would love to stay with one team in his career and praised the organization. The 29-year-old was suspended for the first six games of 2019 and was a bit rusty upon his return. He finished with 53 tackles (46 solo), two interceptions, seven passes defensed and one forced fumble in his 10 games. The Cardinals have potential on defense with some playmakers in the middle of the field, but they'll need Peterson to return to his All-Pro form in order to make some noise in a loaded NFC West division.
The Philadelphia Eagles are interested in both running backs Devonta Freeman and LeSean McCoy, who remain free agents. The Eagles offered a contract to Carlos Hyde before he signed with the Seahawks. Freeman also received an offer, but he's also weighing another offer from the Buccaneers. Philly has yet to make an offer to McCoy. The Eagles would like a veteran presence behind Miles Sanders as he heads into his second NFL season, with Boston Scott as his current backup. Both Freeman and McCoy are past their prime, but they could be effective in spurts while spelling Sanders behind a solid offensive line. Freeman would probably have more fantasy appeal as a handcuff on early downs and in goal-line situations.
Las Vegas Raiders linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski started eight games last season for the Bears before signing a three-year, $21 million deal with the Raiders this offseason to become a full-time starter. A fourth-round pick in 2016, Kwiatkoski played a bit role his first three years, but the 27-year-old showed off his abilities when he was granted more playing time in 2019 due to injuries to the position. He had 76 tackles (eight for loss), three sacks, one forced fumble and an interception while impressing as a blitzer, against the run and in coverage. Kwiatkoski will be asked to be the leader of Las Vegas' linebacking corps in 2020, and it's something he's very comfortable with. The middle of the Raiders defense has been a problem spot for a while, so they're hoping Kwiatkoski's addition will change that.
Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott was accurate on only 60.9 percent of his throws with three receivers running a route in 2019. However, that mark increased to 81.8 percent when he had four pass-catchers available to him and 79.3 percent with five receivers running a route.
Las Vegas Raiders QB Derek Carr was 72.3 percent accurate on his throws in the fourth quarter of games in 2019 - the best such mark of any qualified quarterback last season.
Free-agent defensive end Jadeveon Clowney is in no rush to sign with a team, according to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero. The Browns and Seahawks have made offers to Clowney and the Titans have also been monitoring him, but he's in no hurry to sign with anyone. The former No. 1 overall pick is by far the biggest name still on the free-agent market. His slow market also has to do with teams wanting a physical for the six-year pro after he underwent offseason surgery for a core muscle injury that limited him to 11 starts in 2019 with Seattle. Cleveland apparently has been the most aggressive for Clowney, but it remains to be seen if he'll choose them. Clowney's sack numbers aren't impressive, but he is still plenty disruptive as a pass-rusher when he's healthy.
Houston Texans WR Will Fuller finished with 670 receiving yards in 2019 - the second-highest total for a player who played fewer than 12 games last season - although more than half of that total (357 yards) came in two of his 11 contests.
Baltimore Ravens QB Lamar Jackson finished 19-for-25 and threw for 12 touchdowns against Cover-0 coverage - an all-out blitz with man coverage and no deep safety - in 2019.
New York Giants WR Golden Tate produced 676 receiving yards in 2019 - the highest total for a player who played fewer than 12 games last season.
Free-agent DE Jadeveon Clowney (Seahawks) is in no rush to sign with a team at this point, according to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero.
Washington Redskins RB Adrian Peterson will have a role in the offense this upcoming season, according to offensive coordinator Scott Turner.
Fantasy Spin: Peterson is part of a crowded running back field for the Redskins but should still see some touches each game. Fantasy players should keep an eye on his role during training camp because he could be a depth running back on fantasy roster in 2020.
New York Jets running back Le'Veon Bell said that he "can't wait" to run behind the revamped offensive line. Last season was a struggle for Bell who finished with 789 rushing yards, which is his lowest since the 2015 season. The Jets were a bottom three team in numerous run game metrics last season. The organization has added four new players to their offensive line over the offseason. Fantasy owners who gave up on Bell last season may want to give him another chance to see what he can do with a better offensive line.
Cleveland Browns QB Baker Mayfield said he has been working on a change to his footwork that offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt asked him to try out. He said he is getting more comfortable with the new footwork.
Fantasy Spin: Mayfield is coming off a disappointing 2019 season but will still have a lot of weapons to work with in the passing game. Fantasy players should consider Mayfield a No. 2 quarterback at this point, but he has a chance to be a No. 1 fantasy quarterback if he improves his play.
Coming off a rocky second season in the NFL, Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield is taking a different approach heading into the 2020 season. "It's just time to work, do our thing, instead of talking about it," Mayfield said Wednesday. "This is the first media thing I've done, just because there's no need to be talking about it." Mayfield has been outspoken in his first two years, but he ranked second in the league with 21 interceptions last season. He's trying to let his play do the talking from now on. The signal-caller thinks he can improve in Kevin Stefanski's multiple-tight end, play-action-heavy offense this year. He has plenty of weapons around him to turn it around in 2020, and he'll have QB1 upside at a QB2 price.
Baltimore Ravens QB Lamar Jackson is scheduled to work out with some of his teammates next week, according to WR Miles Boykin.
Fantasy Spin: Jackson had an outstanding season in 2019 and will continue to be a factor with his arm and legs. He probably will be one of the first quarterback taken in drafts and will be a must-start option in all leagues.