Me: “I’m gonna turn on the TV and stress out for a bit.”
Wife: “That’s a weird thing to say…”
Last night was like I was strapped into ‘The Machine’ that Count Rugen devised in The Princess Bride. Minutes seemed like hours: Stefon Diggs dropped passes, Dalvin Cook’s shoulder injury / fumble and DK Metcalf coming up just short of a touchdown had me writhing in my sofa. I was watching my fantasy future crumble before me until a local hero decided to catch a 13 yard screen pass from Russell for six. Rashaad Penny punched my ticket and if you are here, you have an entry to the show as well. Great job getting here, but the work has just begun. The field has been decimated and you are left standing in the rubble. Some insight into the trek…
Handcuffs – You need them. IE. Dalvin Cook from last night. I do not have Alexander Mattison and I am kicking myself as he could just be a league winner if Dalvin misses time. So make sure to lock ’em down.
Schedule – Look at the NFL Schedule to see who has good match-ups. Who is on fast tracks indoors. Who is fighting for their actual NFL Playoff lives. Which players have rough match-ups that you can actually pivot away from. Defense plays can be HUGE in playoffs, know your tilts and what available defenses could lead you to the promised land.
Weather – This is big for me with kickers, also can put a damper on productivity in certain scenarios. Do not use weather as a deterrent from your studs, but more of a deciding point of decision making when setting your locked in in set of dudes ready for battle. Kicker’s indoors in December is my jam.
Know your FAAB cash remaining as well as other owners accounts. Review the remaining rosters in your league and determine what are weaknesses that owners might try to fix through waivers, maybe you can beat them to the punch. Some GMs have spent their surplus to just get to the show and at that same time might have dropped someone decent late last week to roster a competitive team. Scour the waiver wire for these types of dropped players.
Study, study and study some more. Review all of the match-ups for each player on your current roster and see which are the best plays that you will immediately lock in as well as the ones who you have questions about. For the roster spots that worry you, look to see what options are available in Waiverland and dissect their schedules too. Do not get too cute while setting your line up however, trust the guys you typically do week in week out unless your belly leads you elsewhere. This past week I played it safe and decided that I needed to score as many points as possible and went with a lineup that laid an egg. But I accumulated enough points throughout the season to edge out my friend and fellow GM by less than five points… FIVE POINTS! Points are points my friends, let’s get this done. Hope to see you here next week, which would only mean one thing. DOMINATION!
Here are some waiver finds that are owned in less than 40% of leagues that are intriguing. Remember, only start guys you can trust. It is really disappointing to look back at bad roster decisions, so limit your mistakes and make educated starts. Remember though, all of the homework in the world cannot predict when a player will have a dud, it just happens. Be grateful that you get bonus fantasy, the moolah is ripe for the taking.
Ryan Fitzpatrick (MIA)
Ownership: 5% ESPN, 10% Yahoo
Week 13: 27/39 for 365 yards and three touchdowns plus one interception.
FitzMagic’s remaining schedule is nice: @NYJ, @NYG, CIN. He has found a potent working relationship with wide receiver DeVante Parker (who is now a must start). He might just finish as a top 12 QB in Week 14, are you daring enough to slap him in your lineup?
Gardner Minshew (JAC)
Ownership: 10% ESPN, 9% Yahoo
Week 13: 16/27 for 147 yards and connected for one touchdown and one interception. Rushed twice for eight yards.
He would not be a guy I would want to pick-up and play against the Chargers Week 14. The Bolts allow a paltry 15.1 to opposing quarterbacks. But in Week 15 and 16 the Jaguars travel to Oakland and Atlanta. If Gardner and his pizzaz can last as the starter, those are two good match-ups to lead you to glory. I for one would greatly wish I had other options, but when you are in desperate…
Benny Snell Jr. (PIT)
Ownership: 17% ESPN, 34% Yahoo
Week 13 Snap Percentage: 37%
Week 13: 16 rushes for 63 yards and a touchdown. Caught his lone target for four yards.
Snell was productive in Week 13 but he saw eleven less snaps than Jaylen Samuels, 23 total which is not much. 16 plus touches over the past two weeks while filling in for Conner. I sat him this past Sunday as I couldn’t trust him, does that change now with a visit to Arizona to take on the Cardinals? I think so if Conner sits, chase volume.
Alexander Mattison (MIN)
Ownership: 18% ESPN, 31% Yahoo
Week 13 Snap Percentage: (will update when available)
Week 13: Four rushes for 22 yards. Caught four of five targets for 51 yards.
The handcuff Cook’s owners have been stashing has popped his head. If Dalvin misses, Mattison is a must start. Week 14 is against the Lions at home and the Vikings NEED a win. Top add of the week.
Raheem Mostert (SF)
Ownership: 14% ESPN, 14% Yahoo
Week 13 Snap Percentage: 74%
Week 13: 19 rushes for 146 yards and a touchdown. Caught both targets for eight yards.
If Breida is out Week 14, is he a “Mostert”? Raheem saw 42 snaps to Tevin Coleman’s ten, that notes a changing of guard. San Francisco has expressed that they want Breida back at full strength before getting him back in there. Why rush him when you have a very suitable running back to fill in? Week 14 is at New Orleans and they can stop the run, but he gashed the Ravens in Week 13… they were known to be able to do the same. Flex only if Breida is back, if he misses however, I would run Raheem out there.
Darwin Thompson (KC)
Ownership: 5% ESPN, 5% Yahoo
Week 13 Snap Percentage: 36%
Week 13: 11 rushes for 44 yards and a touchdown.
Damien Williams missed Week 13 and Darrel Williams stepped in. Darrel was injured on a non-contact play and Darwin picked up the slack. We do not know the availability of Damien or Darrel at this time. Darrel should miss time, Damien could be back. LeSean McCoy played the same amount of snaps on Sunday as Darwin. So many mouths to feed in KC, can you pick the right guy? I am staying away from this situation, but if you are a Kenny Rogers, have at it!
Peyton Barber (TB)
Ownership: 36% ESPN, 21% Yahoo
Week 13 Snap Percentage: 39%
Week 13: 17 rushes for 44 yards and two touchdowns.
He was not targeted in the passing game which lowers his floor. How could you have known that it would be Barber and not Ronald Jones who would be the guy this past Sunday. No way I could trust Peyton moving into Week 14. Even if he shined this week, would you be confident he would get the majority in Week 15. Too much instability with Arians to trust for me.
James Washington (PIT)
Ownership: 23% ESPN, 23% Yahoo
Week 13 Snap Percentage: 71%
Week 13: Hauled in all four targets for 111 yards and a touchdown.
James has hit pay dirt in three of the last four games. In those games he scored touchdowns, he hasn’t finished less than WR15 (W10 – WR12, W12 – WR15, W13 – WR11). If JuJu is out again, Washington will eat his way through the Cardinals secondary. If JuJu is back, I would fade.
Anthony Miller (CHI)
Ownership: 10% ESPN, 14% Yahoo
Week 13 Snap Percentage: 86%
Week 13: Snagged nine of thirteen targets for 140 yards receiving.
That is now 33 targets in last three games alone. Miller has caught at least six balls and has eclipsed 50 yards in each game. If Taylor Gabriel is out again, I would say he gets another 10 targets. If Gabriel is back, it is a dart throw.
Cole Beasley (BUF)
Ownership: 24% ESPN, 32% Yahoo
Week 13 Snap Percentage: 88%
Week 13: Caught six of seven targets for 110 yards and a touchdown.
Bumble Beas has been stellar and I have been shouting this for weeks. The next three match-ups however are rough. BAL, @PIT, @NE. I think the time has past to feel comfortable with him in your lineup, but the volume is undeniable. I would rather roll out Beasley than many other guys when in a pinch.
Chris Conley (JAC)
Ownership: 18% ESPN, 24% Yahoo
Week 13 Snap Percentage: 75%
Week 13: Caught four of five targets for 57 yards.
Over his last six games played, he has averaged over seven targets in each. Week 14 Jacksonville welcomes the Chargers which might be tough sledding, but in Week 15 they travel to Oakland and then Atlanta in Week 16. PPR Flex this week.
Tyler Higbee (LAR)
Ownership: 1% ESPN, 11% Yahoo
Week 13 Snap Percentage: 91%
Week 13: Caught seven of eight targets for 101 yards and a touchdown.
The Cardinals did it again, let a waiver dude go nuts against them. For those who had the stones to play him, Kudos to you. In Week 14 The Seahawks come to Los Angeles. Goff has been relying on his tight ends more as of late but I think this was more of the AZ match-up gold than anything… Eight targets however. Hail Mary play if you have no choice. If Everett is back, avoid.
Mike Gesicki (MIA)
Ownership: 10% ESPN, 19% Yahoo
Week 13 Snap Percentage: 74%
Week 13: Hauled in five of seven targets for 79 yards and a touchdown.
Over the last five games, Gesicki has seen at least six targets. FitzMagic and him have a thing going as they have connected for touchdowns in each of the last two. I would feel comfortable running out Mike against his next three opponents @NYJ, @NYG, CIN. Tight end has been hard to predict the weekly studs, knowing that the usage is there make the floor elevated. Could he make it three in a row?
I feel like aged over this past weekend’s slate of games and the fantasy hysteria that has ensued. I was lucky enough to have two teams make the contest. One backed it’s way in and the other was top points. The battle continues on and I hope each and everyone of you get to encounter the ‘Six-Finger Man’ and choose the right goblet of wine. Weekly consensus ranks will be out on Thursday. For you to not put in extra homework now that you are one of the few is “inconceivable”. Listen to podcasts, watch all of the fantasy shows you can, stay on top of injury news… fight, fight fight!
Todd D Clark – Fantasy Bro
Follow me on Twitter @Lunchmade