Workin the Wire for Week 11

13 Nov 2018 - 4:49pm | Roto Coach | Updated: 15 Nov 2018 - 4:57pm | Likes: 36 Like 
Workin the Wire for Week 10

Quarterbacks

Lamar Jackson-Baltimore Ravens: Jackson made an appearance on this list last week as a late season stash, but with Joe Flacco spotted on crutches over the weekend, the timetable for some Lamar Jackson starts in Baltimore could escalate quickly. While the Ravens aren’t the most dynamic offense, Jackson’s rushing ability portends an upside over the final third of the season that no other waiver wire quarterback can provide. Sure, there’s a possibility he faceplants, but those owners still looking to add quarterbacks this late in the season are usually without a week to week answer and playing the streaming game, or are already looking good for the fantasy playoffs and can afford the roster spot for a high upside player like Jackson. In either case, he’s the kind of player that at least has the potential to swing leagues down the stretch.

Case Keenum-Denver Broncos: Keenum seems find his way onto this list as a streaming option every couple weeks or so, and that’s exactly the case here. Denver’s season is all but over, but I don’t expect this team to lay down (a la the Raiders) against the Chargers on the road this week. The Courtland Sutton breakout game is coming, and there are enough other weapons here that Keenum can post a respectable fantasy day trying to hang with Philip Rivers and company.

Marcus Mariota-Tennessee Titans: I wrote extensively about him last week and you can go back and read that here, but the crux of the argument now is that over his past three games he’s averaged 235 yards passing, 30+ yards rushing, and tossed 5 touchdowns passes while running one in. It’s not sexy, but he’s been consistently solid and two of the Titans next three games will feature matchups against the Colts and Jets.

Running Backs

Rashaad Penny-Seattle Seahawks: Those familiar with my take on the Seahawks backfield know that I firmly planted a flag on Chris Carson mid-summer and haven’t looked back. But the fact remains that he just can’t seem to stay healthy, despite being productive when he plays. Mike Davis started in Carson’s sted on Sunday, but that meant the secondary touches went to rookie Rashaad Penny. All he did was turn 12 carries into 108 yards and a score, which led to high praise from Pete Carroll about why they used a first round pick on him. Still, it’s just one game and we assume Carson’s absence is short-term, which means Penny is still part of a crowded backfield. With the Seahawks on the outside looking in at the playoffs and Aaron Rodgers coming to town, there’s a solid chance we see more Penny down the homestretch. Seattle’s schedule does hold some favorable rushing matchups.

Josh Adams-Philadelphia Eagles: This is the third week in a row Adams lands here, and I’m not changing my tune. He’s now looked like the best running back in Philly for weeks, but was a bit game scripted out of Sunday night’s showdown with the Cowboys for an Eagles team that trailed for most of the game. Still, Adams managed 47 yards on just 7 carries, while fellow backfield mates Corey Clement and Wendell Smallwood posted a combined 17 yards on their 7 carries. He’s starting to look like a guy that can slide into Jay Ajayi’s role, and not a moment too soon for Philly.

Spencer Ware-Kansas City Chiefs and Malcolm Brown-Los Angeles Rams: Chances are good that Kareem Hunt, and especially Todd Gurley owners are sitting pretty in their leagues right now. And while the teams will square off Monday night in the most anticipated game of the season, both figure to have playoff berths, and possibly home field advantage locked down by the time we reach the fantasy playoffs. While the Rams are still battling with the 8-1 Saints for tops in the NFC, a Chiefs win on Monday night almost certainly means the road to the AFC Championship runs through Arrowhead. All of this is a long way of saying protect yourself for the fantasy playoffs. There’s a chance we don’t see a lot of work for guys like Hunt and Gurley by Week 16 so be sure to keep an eye on the playoff picture and what coaches are saying as we hit the home stretch for fantasy.  

Wide Receivers

Josh Reynolds-Los Angeles Rams: Reynolds looks to be the next man up with Cooper Kupp sustaining a season-ending ACL tear on Sunday. And in three career starts for the Rams, Reynolds has stat lines of 6 targets, 4 catches for 37 yards and a touchdown as a rookie last season, and a 1 target, 1 catch for 19 yard performance in Week 7 that he followed up with 3 catches on 5 targets for 42 yards and 2 touchdowns in Week 8. Sometimes just slotting the next man up in cases of injury is just lazy fantasy analysis, but here I don’t think that’s the case. I actually think there’s a ton of value in Josh Reynolds, and it’s mostly because I believe in Sean McVay. Reynolds isn’t the route technician that Kupp is, and he doesn’t have the straight line speed of Robert Woods or the quicks in space of Brandin Cooks. But he can slot into this offense as a big time red zone target as a 6’3” 200 lb athletic wideout with ball skills. In fact, playing limited snaps over the past few seasons Reynolds has seen 36 targets from Jared Goff. Of those, 11 have come in the read zone. It’s an important note for those who think the touchdowns have been a fluke for him. McVay knows Reynolds has a unique skill set that he doesn’t have in his other receivers, despite their talent. And with Kupp lost for the season I expect the Rams and McVay to make adjustments to take advantage of it.   

Tre’Quan Smith-New Orleans Saints: Ostensibly, folks feared the arrival of Dez Bryant so Smith is just 32% owned in Yahoo leagues to start the week. Yes, Brandon Marshall signed with New Orleans, but he couldn’t hold off rookie David Moore in Seattle and looks more like depth and a red zone matchup play against smaller corners than anything else. He feels like an insurance policy at best.  

Anthony Miller-Chicago Bears: Allen Robinson returned this week and had a big game against Detroit, but Miller still managed 5 catches for 122 yards and a score. It’s the fourth straight game in which he’s seen at least 6 targets and marked his second touchdown during the span. Chicago’s schedule has been relatively favorable so far, which could be part of the reason for Mitchell Trubisky’s success. That said, save for their Sunday night matchup with the Vikings, there’s not much between here and Week 16 that doesn’t look good for the Bears passing game, with home dates against the Giants and Packers, and road tilts with the Rams and 49ers from Weeks 12 through 16.

Tight End

This is where the barrel scraping happens so I’m not going to waste your time with lengthy diatribes on these guys.

Ricky Seals-Jones: A popular preseason sleeper, Seals-Jones saw 9 targets and secured 5 of them for 51 yards against the Chiefs on Sunday. It may have been opponent dependent, as no team in the NFL has allowed more yards to the tight end position than Kansas City. That said, the Raiders also surrender a ton of fantasy production to the position as well and are up next for Arizona.

Chris Herndon-New York Jets: New York is on a bye this week, but Herndon led the Jets in receiving again in Week 10. Granted, it was 3 catches for 34 yards, but with a steady role he needs to be owned in deeper leagues.

Jeff Heuerman-Denver Broncos: In Denver’s first game without Demaryius Thomas, Keenum targeted Heuerman 11 times, and he reeled in 10 of those for 83 yards and a score. Maybe Keenum thought he was Kyle Rudolph. Who knows. Coming off a bye the Broncos face a Chargers team that has defended the position well, but from Week 12 on the Broncos face four teams in five games that presently rank 25th or worse in fantasy points allowed to the tight end position. It might be worth seeing if there’s anything to Heuerman’s breakout.

Nick Vannett-Seattle Seahawks: The Seattle receivers continue to disappoint, and Vannett now has touchdowns in back to back games.

Jonnu Smith-Tennessee Titans: The target volume isn’t there, but Smith has benefitted from Mariota’s improvement in recent weeks and now has touchdowns in back to back games. He also has some tight end friendly matchups over the next few weeks as well and the Titans offense appears to be clicking.  

As always, this list is made up of players that are 30% owned or less in Yahoo leagues, and if you happen to be looking at a guy that falls above that threshold or can’t figure out why I left a player off the list, feel free to ping me on Twitter @rotocoach with any questions.

 
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