Was your NFL fantasy game a dogfight last week? Or were you lucky enough to have played the last place guy in your NFL fantasy league?
Either way, it had to be a tough matchup with the playoffs set to start next week. Many of us, including myself, are still fighting for a playoff spot.
I hope you were able to find the pieces you needed to help you win last week. With the recent news about all the players on the injured reserve list, you may be wondering how to replace them. Some of those players were noted on Monday as out for the season. Detriot Lions’ WR Marvin Jones, Cincinnati Bengals’ QB Andy Dalton, and Indianapolis Colts’ TE Jack Doyle were a few to be named. All these players have played a big role in the success of their teams.
Hopefully, they aren’t going to be the reason why you miss the playoffs. If you’re still struggling to find the right pieces to fill your NFL fantasy team, let me help you figure it out. Let’s see who’s available.
- Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys, 56.5 percent availability
- Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns, 56.9 percent availability
- Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 45.1 percent availability
- Marcus Mariota, Tennessee Titans, 83.7 percent availability
- Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens, 50.9 percent availability
Prescott has suddenly become one of the top QBs in NFL fantasy. The addition of WR Amari Cooper has helped the team massively! The Cowboys are currently on a three-game winning streak heading into to biggest game of the season against the New Orleans Saints. The Cowboys have taken over their division and Prescott looks to continue finding his way into the end zone with his feet. This next game against the Saints should be a good enough performance from him and the Cowboys. If you still need a QB because your starter is hurt or playing bad, Prescott will fill in nicely.
Mayfield and the Browns shocked the world in their game against the Bengals! Or did they? Mayfield has been playing great football and has been able to find ways to win games lately. In fact, they are on a two-game winning streak themselves, beating both the Falcons (week 10) and Bengals in that time. With rookie RB Nick Chubb playing well alongside Mayfield, this Browns team could make some noise in the future. We’ll see if they can surprise teams like the Texans and Panthers.
It’s been a rocky season for Winston. Can he continue having success on offense like he had last week? He is looking to finish strong and hopefully secure his job for next year. We’ve seen Winston throw for 300+ yards in three of his five starts. He is playing for his job, so having him as your starter isn’t bad if you have full confidence in him and his play for the rest of the season. We do know he has plenty of weapons to give the ball too, so maybe this isn’t a bad pick.
Mariota had a bad week against the Indianapolis Colts after throwing an interception and being injured, causing him to miss the rest of the game. He was able to return in their game against Houston on Monday night, having another great game. Like I have been saying about Mariota, he and the Titans get hot in the second half of the season. As long as he continues to connect with Corey Davis and Jonnu Smith as the season winds down, Mariota should be a good option. I do continue to see Mariota play at this high of a level as long as he stays healthy. If you need a full-time replacement for guys on the IR like Alex Smith or Andy Dalton, Mariota should be that guy.
This year seems like the year of the rookie quarterbacks. All five first-round rookie QBs have started at least two games this season. We have to see what Mayfield has been able to do lately, and also what Sam Darnold did early. Now we get to watch Lamar Jackson, as he continues to start for the Ravens while starter Joe Flacco deals with an injury. It’s a pretty interesting way as to how the Ravens use Jackson compared to how the offense was running with Flacco as the starter. It could be a good thing for those who are interested in adding Jackson to help them make the playoffs. I mean, it makes sense with the next opponent being the Falcons. They have a weak defense due to the injuries, so let’s add Jackson to our NFL fantasy teams.
- Josh Adams, Philadelphia Eagles, 33.3 percent availability
- Austin Ekeler, Los Angeles Chargers, 45.4 percent availability
- Gus Edwards, Baltimore Ravens, 45.3 percent availability
- T.J. Yeldon, Jacksonville Jaguars, 40.5 percent availability
- Theo Riddick, Detriot Lions, 62.9 percent availability
Adams is clearly the best RB on the Eagles roster right now. He’s actually the only player not named Zach Ertz who is worthy of being on our NFL fantasy rosters. Let’s be honest, the Eagles haven’t looked like the same team they were last year when they won the Super Bowl, but at least Adams has helped give them some faith in the season. Hopefully, last week will help spark the Eagles and they’ll turn themselves around. Maybe Adams will be the difference maker for you in your quest for the playoffs in your NFL fantasy leagues.
Ekeler is now going to be the primary back for at least two weeks, as it was reported that Melvin Gordon will miss the next few games. If you have been following the Chargers, you know Ekeler has always been a big part of the offense. With Gordon out, his workload will increase and his production will too. We got to see a sample of that this past week against the Cardinals, as he and the Chargers took it to Arizona.
Edwards is a rookie RB like Adams, who looks to help the team continue to win. Edwards and Jackson came into the starting spots together. That might have been the best decision for the Ravens. With Alex Collins out and Buck Allen struggling to get anything going as of late, Edwards has taken over the job and doesn’t plan on giving it back.
When you think about what a player has done for you lately, Yeldon isn’t the one you think of, right? I mean, what has he done for us lately? I can answer that with a simple NOTHING! This week he’ll get his chance to prove himself once again! He is probably in the best scenario this week in terms of how much he’ll be used. He might even be the spark the Jaguars need to get off their seven-game losing streak. See, this is an easy decision to make for this week because we know Leonard Fournette will be suspended for their next game.
Riddick didn’t do as well as we all wanted him to do in their Thanksgiving Day game against the Bears. Instead, it was LeGarrette Blount who had the best game of his career as a Lion this season. With Kerryon Johnson still likely to miss time, Riddick and Blount should both continue to be the primary targets from the backfield. Riddick will obviously get the bulk of the receptions between the two backs, but the rushing attack will be Blount. If you’re in the situation where you can’t figure out which one to add, think about adding both of them. That’ll probably be the only offense the Lions have.
- D.J. Moore, Carolina Panthers, 41 percent availability
- Josh Reynolds, Los Angeles Rams, 66.1 percent availability
- Mike Williams, Los Angeles Chargers, 88.7 percent availability
- John Ross, Cincinnati Bengals, 81.5 percent availability
- David Moore, Seattle Seahawks, 93.2 percent availability
It’s been obvious the Panthers’ primary weapon is Christain McCaffery, but QB Cam Newton does like to pass the ball around a lot. The Panthers’ WR core has dealt with a lot of injuries, which means Moore has been given a lot more chances. In the last two weeks, Moore has had 15 catches for 248 yards and one touchdown. With Devin Funchess and Torrey Smith battling through injuries, both Moore and Curtis Samuel have stepped up and helped the Panthers stay in front in the Wild Card race. They could help you sneak your way into the playoffs.
Reynolds has taken over the void left behind when Cooper Kupp went out for the season with an injury. If you haven’t added him yet, then you should consider doing so. The Rams are coming up to the part of their schedule where they’ll need to have an explosive offense to win games. He could also have the opportunity to get a lot of looks with the defense focusing more on Robert Woods and Brandin Cooks.
Williams had a phenomenal game against the Cardinals this past week, but then again, which Chargers player didn’t. I believe the success of Williams for the Chargers will go as the Chargers success goes. Like Ekeler, Williams should be looking for more opportunities with Gordon out. Williams has had a shaky season and is a risky receiver to add. He doesn’t always get the receptions he should with there being too many offensive weapons on the Chargers.
Ross has been a nice addition to everyone’s NFL fantasy rosters as a fill-in for A.J. Green and his injury. Ross has had a touchdown in three consecutive weeks. We should continue to watch Ross remain a key target in the Bengals’ offense, whether or not Green returns. I believe Jeff Driskel and/or Tom Savage will actually be looking forward to having Ross as an option as a receiver.
David Moore has quickly become a top weapon for Russell Wilson, as the Seahawks are looking to keep their playoff hopes alive. Moore is third on the Seahawks in routes run and second in targets since Week Nine. He was having a great few weeks before the bye week, but has since then fallen off. If he plays like he did this past weekend against the Panthers, we should be looking for him to continue playing a great role in the offense.
- David Njoku, Cleveland Browns, 33 percent availability
- Vance McDonald, Pittsburgh Steelers, 41.2 percent availability
- Cameron Brate, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 91 percent availability
- Chris Herndon, New York Jets 93.4 percent availability
- Jonnu Smith, Tennessee Titans, 94.6 percent availability
If you somehow can find Njoku still available in your NFL fantasy league, you might need to grab him. He is a game changer and should be looked to as a TE1 with the way the Browns have been playing lately. He should continue to be a major piece in the offense, as he continues to find the end zone! Although they have a tough schedule for the rest of the season, the Browns have a winning chance if they can get Njoku involved early and often. So make sure to add him in all NFL fantasy leagues!
McDonald continues to be a huge part of the Steelers’ success this season. Though he’s had a lot of on and off games, he should be able to find a way to finish the season strong. His performance on the field will be pivotal to the Steelers’ offense, as they look to continue to hold onto their division and try to get a top spot in the AFC. Can McDonald be the difference maker he’s been all season? I believe the Steelers have a lot of confidence in McDonald, meaning they should get him more targets.
Brate is now the primary tight end on the Buccaneers and will continue to be a big offensive weapon for QB Jameis Winston. Brate has proven time after time that he is worthy of a roster spot. He could be a good replacement for those TEs who have been struggling, like Evan Engram and Kyle Rudolph!
Herndon hasn’t really been all that great or impressive, but who has been on the Jets’ offense? Since RB Bilal Powell and rookie QB Sam Darnold went out with injuries, this team has been all over the place on offense. Herndon has been right in the middle of it. In a PPR league, he’ll be great because he gets targeted so much that he’ll likely get you six to eight points just from catches. He might even get you a touchdown if you’re lucky. He is definitely a primary target for the Jets’ QBs. Whether it’s Darnold or Josh McCown, he should be rostered on all teams lacking tight ends.
Smith has suddenly turned into a big weapon for the Titans. Honestly, he is probably the only weapon aside from WR Corey Davis. That’s a good thing for us, right? Smith has averaged double digit points in NFL fantasy in four straight weeks based on the PPR standard format. He’s also had three touchdowns in four games and looks to continue proving himself worthy of the starting job next year. When Delaine Walker went out earlier in the season, Smith was on everyone’s radar, but didn’t produce the way we expected. However, now is the time where he should be rostered on our teams, so let’s make it happen.
Good luck to everyone still trying to make playoffs. I hope all this week’s additions help you get a big win in Week 13! I would also like to inform you all that I will continue to be with you through it all, regardless of whether or not I win my NFL fantasy league. So make sure to return next week for the waiver wire picks that will give you the win in your playoff matchup!