There weren’t many terrible injuries to skill position players over the weekend other than Doug Martin (concussion) and Amari Cooper (concussion and ankle) so roles haven’t really been shaken up since last week. I think the biggest debate to be had this week is whether the Blaine Gabbert to Ricky Seals-Jones connection is a two week aberration or the real deal. If you go all in on Seals-Jones and he hits for the rest of the season, then he may be a league winner for you. I don’t really feel confident in the player at this time, but he and Gabbert appear to have a connection, and other than Larry Fitzgerald, the Cardinals don’t really have another viable receiving option. If you have been relying on Doug Martin or Amari Cooper as every week starters for you, some viable replacements are discussed below should either player miss their week 13 game. As far as the QB position is concerned, Brett Hundley is still low owned and came through this week with 22.40 fantasy points, but I just can’t get behind him, rolling with Hundley is simply too risky for me. Case Keenum is also low owned, but with rumors swirling about the return of Teddy B, I don’t want to go all in on Keenum on the chance that week 13 is his last start. To put it simply, Mike Zimmer’s 1 week endorsements of Keenum have me scared to roll with him. However, if I were picking up Keenum as my backup QB, I would take a chance on him and stream depending on the matchup.
Blaine Gabbert – QB Arizona Cardinals – Gabbert is fresh off a performance where he dropped 241 yards and 2 TD’s on a Jaguars defense that has been allowing the fewest fantasy points to the QB position on the season. Gabbert has a more favorable schedule moving forward and although he hasn’t really displayed it, he does have the ability to get it done with his legs as well. If you are ready to cut bait with Dak Prescott, Gabbert may be a viable option for you. Gabbert is owned in 3% of Yahoo leagues.
Josh McCown – QB NY Jets – McCown came up small in week 10 against the Bucs and had a bye in week 11, so many fantasy owners cut McCown with a week 12 matchup with Carolina looming, who had given up the 4th fewest fantasy points to the QB position. McCown proceeded to hang 304 passing yards and 3 TD’s on that solid Panthers defense, connecting with Robbie Anderson on a few chunk plays leading to his big day. The Jets running game hasn’t been looking great lately, so the Jets offense should continue to roll through McCown for the remainder of the year. McCown is owned in 31% of Yahoo leagues.
Devontae Booker – RB Denver Broncos – In week 12 against the Raiders Booker had 8 total touches, CJ Anderson had 5 and Jamaal Charles only had 3 total touches. Booker is the youngest running back on the Broncos roster and has the most juice out of all of them. Although there is somewhat of a 3 way split in Denver, the trend is leaning towards Booker leading the way here, and he may be a viable option down the stretch. Booker remains owned in only 34% of Yahoo leagues.
Peyton Barber – RB Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Peyton Barber is owned in 1% of Yahoo leagues and is likely to be one of the hottest names on waiver wires this week. Although Barber came through with 12.70 fantasy points last week, he was extremely touchdown dependent, rushing 5 times for 7 yards and 2 TD’s. Barber will be a viable option if Doug Martin misses time with his concussion but temper expectations, because the Bucs running game isn’t really hitting on all cylinders.
Rod Smith – RB Dallas Cowboys – Rod Smith had 9 carries this week and actually got some goal line work, scoring a touchdown. Alfred Morris is a one trick pony and brings almost nothing to the table in the passing game, and with the Cowboys struggling the run the ball, they will likely lean on Rod Smith more and more through week 15 while the Cowboys are missing Zeke Elliott. Smith is only owned in 14% of Yahoo leagues so there’s a good chance he’s still out there for you if you need help.
Marlon Mack – RB Indianapolis Colts – Marlon Mack is owned in 27% of Yahoo leagues and didn’t do much last week, only logging 6 total touches. Mack is a stash and hope player at this point. If you own him or grab him off the wire this week, you just need to hope that the Colts go into full on evaluation mode and go with Mack over Gore.
Elijah McGuire – RB NY Jets – McGuire is owned in only 6% of Yahoo leagues but I want to own him down the stretch. In week 12, Bilal Powell had 10 touches, Matt Forte had 10 touches and Elijah McGuire only had 6 touches. Although McGuire appears to be bringing up the rear in the Jets backfield now, he is the most likely to ascend down the stretch as both Forte and Powell have documented injury history and are aging.
Terron Ward – RB Atlanta Falcons – Ward is only owned in 1% of leagues and if you are a Devonta Freeman or Tevin Coleman owner, you need to have Ward because he is next in line if both were to go down. If you are not a Freeman or Coleman owner, Ward is nothing more than a stash and hope guy.
Cordarrelle Patterson – WR Oakland Raiders – Patterson is 6’2″ weighs 220 and can fly. Although Patterson is widely regarded as an NFL bust, he has shown to be capable of getting it done in small doses. Amari Cooper went down this past week with a concussion and a sprained ankle, and Michael Crabtree was tossed because he went at it with Aqib Talib for getting his gold chain ripped off, so both might miss week 13. Out of necessity, Patterson, Johnny Holton and Seth Roberts all saw extended time. Holton saw 2 targets, Roberts saw 3 targets and Patterson saw 4 targets against the Broncos. The sample doesn’t really indicate who will be the Raiders #1 if Crabtree and/or Cooper miss the Raiders week 13 game, but if I am desperate and need to pick one of these guys, I am going to bet on the talent and pick up Cordarrelle Patterson. All it takes is one big play for Patterson to come through and he’s definitely capable.
Josh Reynolds – WR LA Rams – Josh Reynolds took Robert Woods’ spot in the offense this week, but he didn’t full assume his role, receiving the 3rd most targets out of all Rams wide receivers against the Saints. Sammy Watkins was targeted 9 times on Sunday while Cooper Kupp was targeted 11 times. Josh Reynolds saw 6 targets, hauled in 4 of them for 37 yards and 1 TD. Reynolds is owned in only 1% of Yahoo leagues and as long as Robert Woods is out, he will be a somewhat viable WR option. However, his value is limited because once Woods returns, Reynolds will return to the bench. In addition, Reynolds’ role will fluctuate week to week because the Rams distribute the ball to the open receiver, they don’t force feed any individual players.
Zay Jones – WR Buffalo Bills – With Kelvin Benjamin out, Zay Jones was targeted 10 times, catching only 3 of them for 33 yards and a TD. Jones is only owned in 14% of Yahoo leagues and his catch rate is really concerning, but the fact remains that the Bills don’t have any other viable pass catching options outside of Jones.
Corey Coleman – WR Cleveland Browns – Coleman had a tough matchup against a Bengals defense who had given up the 5th fewest fantasy points to wide receivers on the season. Coleman had 3 catches off 8 targets and 64 yards. Coleman looks good out there and was able to get open a lot against the Bengals, but Kizer missed him a few times. The schedule gets a lot easier for Coleman down the stretch so he will be extremely viable down the stretch. Coleman is only owned in 40% of Yahoo leagues so there’s a chance he’s still out there in your league. The return of Josh Gordon doesn’t worry me, we don’t know how many snaps he is fit to play, so if anything he might take some attention away from Coleman and make it easier for him.
Dontrelle Inman – WR Chicago Bears – Dontrelle Inman has been heavily targeted by Mitch Trubisky since being traded from the Chargers and remains owned in only 9% of Yahoo leagues. The Bears offense isn’t the most exciting offense to get involved in this year, but the volume is there.
David Njoku – TE Cleveland Browns – Njoku looked like a grown man running around out there against the Bengals on Sunday. Earlier in the season, the Browns were only using Njoku in the red zone but lately they’ve been getting him involved between the 20’s, so it’s only a matter of time before Njoku goes off. He caught all 4 of his targets for 47 yards against the Bengals and is a viable option moving forward especially given the current landscape of the tight end position this year. Njoku remains owned in only 5% of Yahoo leagues, so if you were burned by Greg Olsen this week and want to give it another week before trusting him, Njoku may be a viable stop-gap until Olsen is ready.
OJ Howard – TE Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Ryan Fitzpatrick hasn’t really look towards the tight ends lately, but OJ Howard has been getting more targets than Cameron Brate as of late. Howard is a freak and is capable of taking the ball to the house from anywhere on the field. Howard is only owned in 26% of Yahoo leagues and is a high upside option.
Jake Butt – TE Denver Broncos – This is pure speculation. Butt’s rookie year has more or less been a red shirt season, but you cannot deny the talent he displayed in college. The Broncos don’t really have a viable option at the tight end position, and when Butt returns, he may provide some instant juice to the Broncos offense. I am not entirely dialed in to this situation, but it’s a name to monitor. Once again, this is pure speculation.
Ricky Seals-Jones – TE Arizona Cardinals – He has 7 catches for 126 yards and 3 TD’s over the last two weeks and remains owned in only 2% of Yahoo leagues. Bruce Arians led offenses don’t usually produce high producing tight ends, but apparently Blaine Gabbert likes throwing it in the direction of Ricky Seals-Jones. I ignored Ricky’s production last week, but I think there might be something here, so he’s worth an add.
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