Magical Week 13
If you have ventured this far to read this article, then you have thoughts of the fantasy playoffs forthcoming. When we started this journey in early September, the goal was to do enough homework to allow the opportunity to advance for a shot at the main prize, The Fantasy Championship. Bye weeks are in our past and now your fate is starting to be realized. You are either scrambling for The Golden Ticket into The Chocolate Factory or you are already shining up Wonkatania gazing into the horizon of match-ups that are about to unfold which guard your way to becoming the ruler of the Oompa Loompas. The Fantasy Kingdom I dream about always seems to resemble the Chocolate Room which is opened by the magical lock of Gene Wilder’s unique flute whistle. So come with me and you’ll be, in a world or pure infatuation… with all things fantasy.
I have three main leagues, one just rode off into the sunset. The second, I am clinging onto my lifeline and need a win to give myself a shot to make the contest. My final team has already locked up an entry, now I am vying for the number one spot. So I am experiencing all of the emotions at once. Your bench should now consist of parts that solidify your roster. Make sure your studs are handcuffed and it is a good idea to have a backup QB that is serviceable. Study future schedules and decide what available defenses have easy match-ups from Week 14 through 16. I tend to keep 2-3 defenses on my rosters once I know the Golden Ticket is collected.
Your FAAB cash is there to make you better, so use it up and keep some for the playoffs. Remember, if you don’t make it in, how is that FAAB going to help you? Here are some guys I might spend on. Remember I only include guys under the 40% owned threshold. So if Jonathan Williams, Bo Scarbrough or Robby Anderson are available, go eat them up.
Sam Darnold (NYJ)
Ownership: 18% ESPN, 39% Yahoo
Week 12: 20/29 for 315 yards and two touchdowns. Four rushes for 16 yards and another touchdown.
Sam has finished as a top seven quarterback in each of the last three weeks (W10 QB7, W11 QB7, W12 QB3). He has two rushing touchdowns in that span slicing like a Katana through opposing defenses. The Jets travel to Cincinnati to take on the 0-11 Bungles with Andy Dalton back under center. In Week 14 Darnold gets Miami at home. Now that we are through bye weeks, do you feel comfortable starting him in your most desperate time of need? The SAMurai helped me solidify a spot to the playoffs, and will win some people a championship. Beware of the Ravens lurking in Week 15, best have another option then.
Ryan Tannehill (TEN)
Ownership: 15% ESPN, 26% Yahoo
Week 12: 14/18 for 259 yards and two touchdowns. Seven rushes for 40 yards and touchdown. Lost a fumble.
Over the last five games, Tannehill has been efficient to deliver owners top ten finishes in all but one. (W7 QB14, W8 QB10, W9 QB7, W10 QB10, W12 QB2). The Titans are 4-1 during that stretch and average 23.4 points per game. They travel to Lucas Oil Stadium to take on the Colts and both 6-5 teams will be playing for to keep up with Houston in the AFC South. The following weeks, Tannehill is licking his chops as he gets two teams who are having a hard time stopping team’s air attack, Raiders and Texans.
Benny Snell Jr. (PIT)
Ownership: 4% ESPN, 6% Yahoo
Week 12 Snap Percentage: 49%
Week 12: 21 rushes for 98 yards. Caught lone target for five yards.
After missing three games while recovering from meniscus surgery, Benny led the way for the Steelers backfield. James Conner already has declared he will not return Week 13 which makes Snell my top waiver pick up over Penny. Duck Hodges is now the starter at quarterback for Pittsburgh which means more drafted runs to ease his load. Steelers take on the Browns this week, then are at Arizona and back home against Buffalo. I believe Benny will become a waiver sloth and help many teams into the playoffs and beyond.
Rashaad Penny (SEA)
Ownership: 29% ESPN, 18% Yahoo
Week 12 Snap Percentage: 46%
Week 12: 14 rushes for 129 yards and a touchdown.
Penny received just five less snaps than Chris Carson and went off with the opportunity. Carson was in the doghouse after fumbling twice. However one of the fumbles was miscommunication between Wilson and him. Carson has been the running back all year to help the Seahawks achieve their 9-2 record averaging 4.2 yards per carry and eighth overall in the NFL on the ground (879 yards, three ahead of Lamar Jackson!). I do believe we see more of a timeshare in Seattle from what Penny possesses, but Carson is still the guy, unless he fumbles again (leads NFL with seven). If Penny were to get the lead, he will win you a championship. Close second this week behind Snell.
Cole Beasley (BUF)
Ownership: 23% ESPN, 29% Yahoo
Week 12 Snap Percentage: 81%
Week 12:Caught six of nine targets for 76 yards and a touchdown.
The Bumble Beasley has been as consistent as you can get. He has his double digit points in all but four games this year, averaging over 11.5 points per game in PPR format. Cole also averages over 6.5 targets a game. The relentless involvement with the offense confuses me of why he is still so low owned. Look, he isn’t gonna make weekly highlight reels, but carries almost no risk with a comfortable floor. Next three games: @DAL, BAL, @PIT. Points are points while competing for playoffs or the big trophy, I would want Beas on my bench just so someone else couldn’t use him against me, that would sting.
Randall Cobb (DAL)
Ownership: 42% ESPN, 30% Yahoo
Week 12 Snap Percentage: 45%
Week 12: Caught four of seven targets for 86 yards.
Over the past four weeks, Randall has received at least seven targets per game. In that span, three game totals were at least double digits and two hit the twenty point mark. Week 13 is a tough match-up against the Buffalo Bills. The volume is what you are chasing here but remember he is still the 4th option on offense for the Cowboys. W14 @CHI, W15 LAR, W16 @PHI.
Mecole Hardman (KC)
Ownership: 17% ESPN, 27% Yahoo
Week 12 Snap Percentage: 76%
Week 12 was on a bye
Tyreek Hill left in Week 11 and Mecole was the beneficiary. He would be a must start if the Cheetah was forced to sit tilt out against the Raiders. Even if Hill plays, Hardman should find the flex spot in many lineups. All five of Mecole’s touchdowns have been 20+ yard receptions. He separates himself quickly from defenders and can score at any time. Reid needs to get him the ball more in space.
Anthony Miller (CHI)
Ownership: 10% ESPN, 12% Yahoo
Week 12 Snap Percentage: 55%
Week 12: Caught six of nine targets for 77 yards.
Miller has seen 20 targets in the past two games. Detroit is up next on Thanksgiving and if Trubisky can stay somewhat serviceable, Anthony might just gobble up his first touchdown of the year. Volume is the highlight, but his quarterback is too shady to trust in crunch time. W14 DAL, W15 @GB, W16 KC
AJ Brown (TEN)
Ownership: 15% ESPN, 16% Yahoo
Week 12 Snap Percentage: 70%
Week 12: Snagged four of five targets for 135 yards and a touchdown.
AJ finished as WR7 in Week 12. He is the epitome of a boom or bust type player but has averaged just over five targets per game with Tannehill under center. He does have potential to be a top ten receiver, but keep in mind: #1 Only second time passing 20 points this year, #2 Has scored less than 5.5 points five times, #3 Only has been two games where Brown has seen over five targets. I would have a hard time trusting him with my life on the line.
David Njoku (CLE)
Ownership: 20% ESPN, 30% Yahoo
Week 12 on IR
Designated to return from injured reserve and join the red hot Browns. Baker Mayfield’s offense has been clicking on all cylinders as of late and the addition of Njoku could be another nice piece. This week it would be very hard to start him not knowing the usage and that he would be up against the Steelers. But in Week 14 would get the Bungles at home and in Week 15 would travel to the land where tight ends roam, Arizona. With so much uncertainty at the tight end position, if I had bench room, he would be riding pine this week with potential to claim the prize.
Ryan Griffin (NYJ)
Ownership: 26% ESPN, 44% Yahoo
Week 12 Snap Percentage: 87%
Week 12: Caught all three targets for 13 yards and a touchdown.
Not lots of use, but quality touches. Over the last five games has only missed snagging two of his 21 targets. Week 11 caught five balls for 109 yards and a touchdown. Next two games are complete pancakes @CIN, MIA. Darnold seems to be looking his way as he has received a red zone target in each of the past two games.
It has been fun having you along for the ride and I hope we are not done yet. Study as much as possible and dissect every match-up to expose weaknesses on your roster as well as your opponents. I often like to employ the waiver add just to block my opponent. Every small aspect can help your ascent in the glass Wonkavator, but know that if you don’t get enough speed, you will never make it through. Try to push the right buttons and I will meet you here on Thanksgiving Day to share our ranks. Good luck preparing for the feast!
Todd D Clark – Fantasy Bro
Follow me on Twitter @Lunchmade