Week 12 RB/TE Start ’em Sit ’em

Here we are in week 12. Some of our leagues have this week and next week before the playoffs. Some of us might get a bonus week of the regular season. Either way, week 12 is already underway! If you are a faithful and friendly reader,

I sincerely hope you are either facing the Kamara owner OR are lucky enough to have Zeke OR brave enough to have started Dak, Amari Cooper seems to be making quite the impact.

Let’s move on to why you’re here!

Running Back: Start ’em

MATT BREIDA (SAN FRANCISCO 49ers)

Matt Breida put our fears to rest in week 10 when he rushed for 101 yards and a touchdown and also added 4 catches for 31 yards and another touchdown through the air. In half point leagues, that amounted to almost 28 points. Week 11 was a bye week for the 49ers. Even if that week 10 performance didn’t completely calm your worries, the week of rest will.

The 49ers return from their bye week to face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Bucs are the 6th worst defense against the run. They have allowed 17 total touchdowns to the Running Back position. That’s the most in the NFL. They have allowed 1286 rushing yards. That’s the most in the NFL. Running Backs succeed when they face Tampa Bay.

You might be concerned that the matchup is an “away” game for the 49ers or that the team just isn’t that good due to the injury plague which is attacking their team. Please do not be concerned. The Bucs defense couldn’t stop a 2 year old in a power wheels car. Even if the 49ers lose the game Breida will score a touchdown.

MARLON MACK (INDIANAPOLIS COLTS)

Mark this day in history. I’ve never suggested a Colts Running Back in this section until today. This was a matchup that I simply couldn’t pass up.

Marlon Mack impressed in week 11 with 17 touches for 69 yards and a touchdown. It might not have lit the world on fire, but it was a sturdy RB2 week for the young Running Back. He is the lead back in Indianapolis gathering 61% of the offensive snaps in week 11. Jordan Wilkins has largely been relegated to Special Teams while Nyheim Hines still has his passing down niche.

As if the position clarity wasn’t enough, the Colts are at home against the Miami Dolphins. Much like the Bucs above, the Dolphins can’t stop the run. They have allowed the most rushing yards per game and are 4th worst against the position. When you combine Mack’s lead role with the opposing defense, you have a recipe for success.

Running Back: Sit ’em

LAMAR MILLER (HOUSTON TEXANS)

I made this decision before hearing the sad news about the passing of the beloved Texans owner, Robert McNair. Teams do strange things after terrible events like that. If you are going to go for the glory play by starting Lamar Miller, proceed with caution.

I know what you’re thinking and can hear the questioning of this decision: “Why is Lamar Miller here in the “sit ’em” list? He is the clear lead back on a winning team! They’re playing at home in week 12. The offense is still clicking even with the loss of the touchdown king, Will Fuller.” Lamar Miller is in this list because they are playing the Tennessee Titans. Sure, the Titans are nothing special as a whole. But their defense is still the 3rd best against Running Backs. Only the Baltimore Ravens have allowed less points to opposing teams over the entire season. Finally, Las Vegas has the over/under for this game at a paltry 41.5. There is only 1 game on the schedule with a lower over/under (I’m looking at you, snoozer Jags vs Bills game). There will not be a cornucopia of points in this game.

Since Miller is the clear lead back and they’re playing at home, we could see a touchdown from him and my sit recommendation is lost. Keep in mind that this is still a divisional matchup and the Titans are easily in the mix for a playoff spot in the relatively weak AFC. At the very least, you’ll need to temper your expectations for Lamar Miller.

RAIDERS BACKFIELD (OAKLAND RAIDERS)

Is Doug Martin healthy? Can Derek Carr back up his claim that he wants to ruin the Oakland Raiders draft position? In week 12, you don’t even have to think about it because………

The Raiders travel to Baltimore to face the Ravens. That alone should scare you away. Why are you still curious? Fine, I’ll explain.

The Ravens have the best defense against the Running Back position. Only the Saints have allowed fewer yards to the position and it’s not by much. To make up for their lack of effort (that’s sarcasm, folks), the Ravens have allowed 2 less touchdowns over the season compared to the Saints.  These stats include passing down work, so you can forget about Jalen Richard having a decent week, too.

This game is going to be a massacre of epic proportions. The Raiders don’t stand a chance. If they rush for more than 50 yards, I’ll eat a Brussel sprout, I won’t fry it either.

Tight End: Start ’em

VANCE MCDONALD (PITTSBURGH STEELERS)

Vance McDonald is a clear red zone threat, lately. And he’s a clutch player; He has caught 75% of his targets in the red zone. He has scored a touchdown in each of his last two games. Meanwhile, the Steelers travel to Denver to play the Broncos. These are the same Broncos that let Antonio Gates be the overall TE1 in week 11. Antonio Gates, readers. Look at your calendars, it’s not 2014 or before. Start Vance McDonald with confidence.

DAVID NJOKU (CLEVELAND BROWNS)

Yes, he’s questionable with a knee injury. If he doesn’t play, I would not recommend starting him in your fantasy league.

But, if he plays, he gets a juicy matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals who have been particularly giving on defense, lately. In particular, they enjoy allowing Tight Ends to get touchdowns from red zone targets (Mark Andrews, Logan Paulsen, Demetrius Harris). It’s easy to forget because the Browns have been somewhat forgettable this season, but David Njoku is 6’4″ tall. His height alone screams “THROW ME THE BALL AND THROW IT HIGH!”

Tight End: Sit ’em

ANTONIO GATES (LOS ANGELES CHARGERS)

(I still almost typed San Diego up there. Habits, am I right?)

Don’t chase the week 11 performance. This game will be the Melvin Gordon/Austin Ekeler show. The Chargers travel to Arizona to face the Cardinals who actually aren’t that bad against the pass. It’s possible that they appear good against the pass because their opponents don’t have to try to pass the ball. They can just plow through the Cardinals using the running game. When you have one of the best Running Backs in the league (Melvin Gordon), you use him.

EVAN ENGRAM (NEW YORK GIANTS)

Against my better judgement, I am including a second “sit” recommendation. This one leaped out at me, though. The Giants travel to Philly. The Eagles are pretty darn good against the Tight End position, allowing only 2 touchdowns to the Tight End position over the ENTIRE season.

In addition, Engram has been largely disappointing this season. The Giants need blockers up front and Engram doesn’t do that. I hope you have another option.

Good luck to each of you in week 12! Unless you’re facing me. In that case, I hope you are still suffering from Turkey and festivity hangover and your lineup still has the Rams and Chiefs players from last week!

Streaming Quarterbacks: Week 12 Edition

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Last Week’s Results: My choice of Dak Prescott was overall a disappointment,scoring 14.82 fantasy points. He did rush for a TD which is one of the things that gives him fantasy upside, but overall the Cowboy defense was able to keep Atlanta from turning it into a high scoring game and Zeke dominated the game on the other end. Those factors combined to limit the need for Dak to do as much and capped his potential fantasy production. This week brings the weekly average for my main streaming options to 23.4 fantasy points per game, which is a higher point per game total than Kirk Cousins, Deshaun Watson and Tom Brady.

This week there are only 2 bye weeks, but both are big names for fantasy QBs with Patrick Mahomes and Jared Goff not available they are currently the number 1 and 2 QBs in fantasy. Mitchell Trubisky is also expected to miss action this week so that is 3 relevant QBs unavailable this week, so here are some streaming options I like to fill in for them.

Main Streaming Option: Jameis Winston

Tampa Bay continues to play musical chairs with the QB position and this week it is Winston’s turn again. He has the chance to blow up and get benched, but the situation is a great one. The game has the 2nd highest over/under of the week at 54.5 and Tampa Bay is favored by 3.5 points, which means it is expected that they will score in this game.

They are playing at home against a team that has to come across the country as well. The Buccaneers have enough options in the passing game for Winston to put up a big fantasy day. He is likely to turn the ball over, because that is the player he is at this point, but I expect the good to out weight the bad against a favorable match up.

Tampa Bay will being doing everything they can to win this game as their coach tries to keep his job and their defense is known to give up a lot of points so they should come out attacking in on Sunday.

Alternate 1: Lamar Jackson

There is not much evidence yet that Jackson can throw the ball at the NFL level. He is someone I like as a high floor option due to his rushing. He carried the ball 27 times in his first start, with a combination of some designed runs as well as him looking to take off. He only threw 19 passes in his start and at times when he dropped back it didn’t look like he ever intended to throw the ball. I expect him to run often again this week, if he gets into the end zone on the ground he will have a very good fantasy day.

Baltimore is a heavy favorite in this game and they will likely play it safe on offense, keeping the ball on the ground a lot. Jackson also has the potential to be valuable down the stretch if he keeps the job, his rushing could potentially make a big difference in deciding fantasy leagues this year.

Alternate 2: Nick Mullens

After his initial breakout Mullens came back to earth in his 2nd game. Last week they were on a bye and it is time to see what Mullens can do after having very different games in his 2 starts. He is playing against my main streaming option in a game where there is expected to be a lot of points.

Tampa Bay is the worst in the league at giving up fantasy points to the QB and what I really like is that Tampa Bay is 2nd worst at giving up fantasy points to the TE. George Kittle has been great this season and I expect the 49ers to exploit that match up and heavily feature him in the game plan. We do not know if Mullens is any good at this point, other than safely being able to say he is better than Nathan Peterman it is hard to judge exactly what he is. I

f he is unable to exploit this match up then he is likely unplayable the rest of the season, but I am with Vegas expecting this to be a higher scoring game and there will be a lot of fantasy points scored.

This is the last of the bye weeks, but there are always options out there for streaming. Check back next week for more streaming options.

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WEEK 12 DRAFTKINGS/FANDUEL SELECTIONS

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QUARTERBACK

Cam Newton: vs SEA (DK 6200; FD 8600)

When a team faces the quality of quarterbacks that the Seahawks did in the first six weeks, it would be shocking if they didn’t allow the third-fewest FPA to the position.  Their last four games may be more an indication that the legion of boom no longer exists as they’ve surrendered multiple passing touchdowns in four straight games along with 300+ passing yards in three of the last four.  Cam has been lights out, throwing for multiple passing touchdowns in nine straight and while the rushing hasn’t been there the last two weeks, his legs are always in play and can alter the outcome of any game.  Against a Seattle team that is flying cross-country on Thanksgiving weekend, expect Cam to continue his incredible 2018 campaign in a game that the Panthers must have to end a two-game losing skid.

Lamar Jackson: vs OAK (DK 5700; FD 7400)

Oakland has more than had its struggles against running backs as that defense has allowed the most rushing yards to the position and now faces a quarterback that scrambled 27 times for 117 yards.  Lamar Jackson posted 16.7 fantasy points without contributing a touchdown against the Bengals in week 11 and should find success against an equally bad Oakland defense.  He nearly returned value with just his legs at $4700 last week and at his affordable week 12 salary, Jackson should run the ball at will again and hopefully throw or scramble for a score or two.

Andy Dalton: vs CLE (DK 5300; FD 7500)

Some of Andy Dalton’s best games have come against Cleveland at Paul Brown Stadium, throwing for multiple touchdown passes in five of seven career home games against his divisional rival.  The Browns have given up 300+ passing yards and multiple touchdown passes in three of the last four games and Dalton has a good shot at making it four of the last five.  Returning value shouldn’t be an issue here as a 20+ fantasy point performance is certainly in play against this Browns defense that started 2018 strong but has reverted back to their old ways.  Not to mention A.J. Green returning to the offense provides Dalton with his favorite receiver once again.

RUNNING BACK

Melvin Gordon: vs ARI (DK 8600; FD 8900)

A trio of Oakland running backs found success against an Arizona defense that has allowed 100+ rushing yards in 7 of 10 games.  Melvin Gordon should be in for a big day as the Cardinals have struggled to contain backs on the ground; performances from Adrian Peterson and Todd Gurley come to mind.  His work out of the backfield is a valuable asset as he hasn’t seen fewer than four targets in any game this season and he should heavily relied upon as the Chargers are 12-point favorites heading into Sunday.  

Joe Mixon: vs CLE (DK 6800; FD 7300)

He averages 20.25 carries in games that the Bengals win compared to 11.75 in games that they lose and if you believe the Bengals will win this game, Joe Mixon will certainly play a major role.  The Browns are giving up the second-most touchdowns on the ground and have surrendered multiple rushing touchdowns in half of their games played.  Cleveland hasn’t won a road game since 2015 and it further reiterates the point above that if the Bengals win this game, it will involve Mixon touching the ball at least 20 times.  Start him with confidence.

Matt Breida: at TB (DK 5700; FD 6400)

Saquon Barkley single-handedly demolished the Buccaneers to the tune of 152 scrimmage yards and three touchdowns.  Matt Breida now faces this Tampa Bay defense that has squandered the most touchdowns to running backs and with Raheem Mostert on IR, he is the best running back option that the 49ers possess.  Alfred Morris was highly inefficient against the Giants, averaging 2.11 yards per carry compared to Breida’s 5.94 and won’t see the touches out of the backfield that Breida does.  The Bucs have been attacked by both running backs on the ground and through the air and Breida can certainly cause some damage in this game at an affordable salary on both sites. 

Marlon Mack: vs MIA (DK 5500; FD 7000)

He’s $500 cheaper this week on DraftKings in a matchup against a Miami defense that continues to hemorrhage yards on the ground to running backs, allowing at least 100 rushing yards and a touchdown in 7 of 10 games.  Aaron Jones shredded the Dolphins prior to Miami’s bye week and the Colts should continue to exploit this weakness and utilize Marlon Mack early and often.  He’s been boom or bust thus far but has been electric in games against Oakland and Buffalo when he’s really gone off.  His salary on both sites is affordable and should see ownership across the board in this amazing spot.

WIDE RECEIVER

Odell Beckham Jr: at PHI (DK 8800; FD 8500)

Some of the names that were part of the Eagles secondary that Drew Brees torched included Chandon Sullivan, De’Vante Bausby, and Cre’Von LeBlanc.  Odell Beckham Jr should have a field day against this depleted unit that allowed 373 passing yards in a blowout loss to New Orleans.  He has enjoyed playing at Lincoln Financial Field, scoring 24.66 FPPG in his last three in South Philadelphia and Eli should look to him for double-digit targets in this juicy matchup.  OBJ is the highest-priced receiver on the week 12 main slate on both sites but is worth the price of admission as targeting the Philadelphia secondary will be a part of lineup construction for the remainder of the season.

Julian Edelman: at NYJ (DK 7000; FD 7400)

He’s averaging 9.33 targets per game and has seen double-digit targets in three straight as the Patriots come off the bye to square off against a Jets defense that is giving up the 4th most FPA to slot receivers.  Julian Edelman has been one of Tom Brady’s favorite weapons for years and he should be targeted often while lining up opposite Buster Skrine, a slot corner that has been anything but impressive in 2018.  A touchdown from Edelman would be incredible as he’s crossed the pylons just five times in his last 22 regular season games.  However, he has a solid floor of 12.7 fantasy points through six games and if he continues to see the volume that he had prior to the bye, he should post solid numbers in this divisional tilt.

Jarvis Landry: at CIN (DK 5900; FD 6100)

His salary certainly stands out as it’s the cheapest it has been since the opener.  Jarvis Landry was seeing double-digit targets in six straight games before the last two in which Baker Mayfield has thrown his way just 12 times.  Perhaps a meeting with Cleveland’s cross-state rival will get Landry on the right track as Cincinnati is providing the 8th most FPA to slot receivers.  He has always been a target hog from his days as a Dolphin and it’s hard to envision him going three straight games without double-digit tosses in his direction.

Emmanuel Sanders: vs PIT (DK 5500; FD 6900)

He’s currently the top receiver on the Denver roster with the departure of Demaryius Thomas and is now the cheapest he has been on DraftKings since week 1.  Emmanuel Sanders has been contained over the last three games but still possesses a solid floor of 9.1 fantasy points considering he can be absolutely lethal one week and totally quiet the next.  He will spend a good amount of time running routes against Mike Hilton and a Pittsburgh defense that surrenders the 2nd most FPA to slot receivers.  The revenge narrative played a role in two meetings between Sanders and his former squad as he posted a 15/266/1 clip in 2015.  If you believe that he will have extra motivation again on Sunday, then it sets up well for a strong performance in the Mile High City.

TIGHT END

George Kittle: at TB (DK 6200; FD 7500)

One could argue that George Kittle is filling the void that Gronk left behind in being one of the top three tight ends in football to this point.  This week presents Kittle with another opportunity to build on a strong 2018 season against a Buccaneers defense that has allowed at least 50 yards in all but one game to opposing tight ends and the 3rd most FPA to the position.  Nick Mullens has shown a preference to him as he’s been the leading receiver in both games since filling in for C.J. Beathard and given the Bucs allow points on the scoreboard in chunks, Kittle should be able to find the end zone at least once this week.

David Njoku: at CIN (DK 3800; FD 5100)

This is the cheapest he has been on DraftKings since week 6 as he’s averaged a disappointing 1.66 catches for 23.66 yards in his last three games.  David Njoku draws a Bengals team that hasn’t fared well against tight ends, giving up the 4th most FPA to the position.  The Cincinnati defense is on pace to be one of the worst in NFL history and allows 7.6 targets per game to tight ends.  Njoku should find more involvement in week 12 compared to his last three games, seeing just a minuscule six targets in that timeframe.  

Cameron Brate: vs SF (DK 3600; FD 4400)

O.J. Howard being moved to IR opens up the door for Cameron Brate to rediscover the chemistry he and Jameis Winston once had.  The two of them had connected for 14 touchdowns from 2016 to 2017 prior to Howard seeing the most tight end snaps in 2018.  The Tampa Bay offense prioritizes the tight end position as Howard and Brate have combined for eight touchdowns through 10 games and with the news about Howard occurring after the week 12 salaries released, Brate is available at a discount this week.  Expect high ownership at this inexpensive salary against a 49ers defense that hasn’t faced a tough tight end schedule to this point but has been shredded by Travis Kelce and Jimmy Graham earlier in the year.

DEFENSE

Baltimore: vs OAK (DK 3300; FD 5000)

The Raiders have allowed 16 sacks in their last three games, plenty of opportunity for a strip sack for a defensive score.  They’ve also scored less than two touchdowns in half of their games in 2018 which is at least four fantasy points on DraftKings and FanDuel.  A Lamar Jackson-Baltimore stack can prove viable against this depleted Oakland offense that is missing components that played in week 1 against the Rams.

Indianapolis: vs MIA (DK 2900; FD 4400)

In what has been a resurgence for Andrew Luck and the Colts offense, the defense has quietly put together a better season than the prior year, forcing at least one turnover in every game this year.  They face a Miami offense that is giving up double-digit sacks in six of its last seven games and allowed four of five fantasy defenses to post double-digit performances away from Hard Rock Stadium.

Buffalo: vs JAX (DK 2700; FD 4000)

The Bills come off their bye against a Jaguars team that comes limping into this matchup as losers of six straight games.  Jacksonville has scored over 20 points just once on this skid and have turned the ball over in every game in 2018.  Not to mention the Bills owe the Jags for knocking them out of the playoffs last year.

PRICE SHOPPING

Each week, I will identify what players are bargains based on the salary cap percentage difference they represent on the respective site.  Here are the notable week 12 bargains from both sites:

NOTABLE DRAFTKINGS BARGAINS

QB Philip Rivers: 2.23

QB Cam Newton: 1.93

RB Frank Gore: 2.13

NOTABLE FANDUEL BARGAINS

RB James Conner: 2.44

WR Odell Beckham Jr: 3.44

Redraft Waiver Wire Targets: Week 12

We’re almost out of the woods in terms of bye weeks, but this one probably hurts the most. Week 12’s bye causes us to lose two premier super powered offenses and these guys are probably on the teams who have the better records in your league, take advantage.

QB-Mahomes/Goff

WR-Watkins, Hill, Conley/Woods, Cooks, Reynolds

RB-Hunt/Gurley

TE-Kelce/Higbee, Everett

PK-Butker/Zuerlein (Legatron)

Due to our scheduled releases, this will be completed before the Monday night games as well as before I’ve had time to digest every game in depth. So with that being said,  stay tuned to my tweets for more gems later on in the week and Follow THE Fantasy Vigilante HERE!

C.J. Uzomah

ESPN Own %: 22.7

Yahoo Own%: 20

Let’s be real, the TE landscape has been a little hard to stomach this year. Even still, you have to play the position in your lineups, so why not go out and get one to help with the loss of Kelce or Graham (he wont be worth much with an injury to his hand). Uzomah gets an opponent in Cleveland that has allowed 12.2 yards per catch and about a touchdown over the last month. With Uzomah right at about 11 per catch, that makes this a matchup he should succeed in.

Chris Herndon

ESPN Own %: 6.6

Yahoo Own%: 7

Again, in need of a TE? Chris should suffice as he’s been a little bit of a go to for the Jets with all their receiving options banged up. New England has allowed 65 yards and about a TD over the last month and whomever the QB is, they should be able to get him the ball where he can contribute as such. If he gets a 3 reception, 65 yard day, that’s serviceable enough to be a placeholder or replacement.

Devante Parker

ESPN Own %: 24.1 

Yahoo Own%: 14

He’s a twitter darling when it comes to potential and just waiting to breakout. Well, I’m not saying he’s going to breakout, but Jakeem Grant has gone to IR and another good potential guy, Leonte Caroo has replaced him. This should open up some extra looks for Parker at the very least. Keep a eye out for Caroo as well, a lot of my colleagues speak highly of him and he could just steal the chance.

Dontrelle Inman

ESPN Own %: 0.2

Yahoo Own%: 0

I told you lot about him last week and I will again. Inman has very, very quietly become Lucks #2 target overall. Since he’s joined the team he’s had fringe WR3 games in every outing and he’s catching 86% of those targets he’s getting. The opportunity share is there, the efficiency is there and he’s got a great QB firing the ball towards him, please roster him.

Tre’Quan Smith

ESPN Own %: 13.3

Yahoo Own%: 26

One of this articles’ darlings, Tre’Quan is an awesome dynasty asset, but even more importantly  he is another under-owned weapon. Yes, he’s very boom-bust but he’s worth it and he showed it Sunday. The Saints get a juicy matchup against Atlanta who has been playing a little better, but not enough to where Brees wont have a field day against their secondary. However, keep an eye out for the injury report on him especially with a short week following a big game.

Theo Riddick

ESPN Own %: 33 

Yahoo Own%: 32

It doesn’t matter if you’re the Kerryon Johnson shareholder or not, Theo Riddick should have a sizeable opportunity against the Bears. The reason is that if Kerryon misses, Theo will get a bigger workload. Not only that, he has been running the slot since Tate’s departure and he had 6/60 (12 ppr pts) against the Bears with Kerryon playing.

Tyrell Williams

ESPN Own %: 41.7

Yahoo Own%: 52

Still relatively open for ESPN players, Tyrell gets a great matchup against the Cards where Patrick Peterson will have his hands full with Keenan Allen. Arizona isn’t currently shutting much down at the moment, so this should be a fine play.

Josh Adams

ESPN Own %: 27.9

Yahoo Own%: 32

He’s getting more time on the field and producing with limited touches. His next game is against the Giants who have literally not been stopping anyone in the last 4 weeks (3 rushers over 100 yds). Do yourself a favor and pick him up.

Nick Mullens

ESPN Own %: 6

Yahoo Own%: 7

After mulling this one over (that was for you Matt), I decided to present you with, what should be a decent streamer this week. Mullens is still going to be the starter this week against Tampa who can’t really stop anybody. It’s a good spot to maximize his chances at hitting his ceiling. At least for this week, you can fill the “void” left by Mr. Dink and Dunk himself, Alex Smith.

Lamar Jackson

ESPN Own %: 22.4

Yahoo Own%: 19

As anyone in their right mind would tell you, Lamar is a great pickup this week. If he continues to start, OAK is a good team to do it against. Oakland is is disarray right now and is one of those teams who aren’t really doing anything great. Keep an eye on the injury report and have a contingency plan in place in case BAL names Flacco the starter. Hopefully this is the game where Lamar took his spot and the rest is history.

As always, I beg of you, make sure you keep your eyes peeled for add/drop transactions. Someone always drops valuable players during the waivers. Bye weeks are actively wrecking some teams that have multiple players on the same bye, valuable players will become available in the coming weeks. You set yourself up in the draft, you win through waivers! Go get your #waiverxmas on and come home with a #Top2TypeVictory!

 

Dynasty Trash Pile: Week 12 Edition

I’ll be digging through the trash for your next waiver stash. These 3 guys are barely owned. This week, I’m trying something different. These guys might actually contribute to your squad in the coming weeks. I have provided 2 rookies and one veteran that pretty much everyone knows. Here goes:

1. Gus Edwards, RB, Baltimore Ravens
(0.2% owned in FFPC leagues)
Vs Oakland, @ Atlanta, @ Kansas City

If you are an Alex Collins owner, you are certainly frustrated by Gus Edwards. The big bodied running back (6’1” 238lbs) spent his first 3 college seasons with Miami University before transferring to Rutgers to finish out his collegiate career. Going undrafted, the Ravens scooped Edwards up and signed him as a free agent. In the preseason, he led the Ravens in rushing with 53 rushes for 174 yards. After the preseason finale, Edwards was cut and then signed to the practice squad.

When Kenneth Dixon went down with an injury in week 5, the Ravens activated Edwards in week 6. Since being activated, Edwards has been a bruiser when given the ball. In his first regular season action against Tennessee, he rushed 10 times for 42 yards and had a nice 11 yard run up the gut breaking a few tackles in the process. He hasn’t received more than 10 carries again until this past week against Cincinnati. Edwards out carried Alex Collins 17 to 7 in this contest and he gashed the Bengals defense in between the tackles 17 times for 115 yards (6.8 YPC) and a score. On his touchdown run, Edwards took the handoff and ran up the middle, broke one tackle when the defender fell to the ground and scored from12 yards out. He even scored a two point conversion to tie the game in the 4th quarter.

If you own Alex Collins, you might want to take a look at Edwards. I’m not so sure John Harbaugh has faith in Collins due to his usage as of late. You may need to spend that FAAB you have been saving for Gus Edwards. It seems as though the tide is turning in the Baltimore backfield, and Harbaugh may be leaning on the rookie runner more and more.

2. Marcell Ateman, WR, Oakland Raiders
(0.7% owned in FFPC leagues)
@ Baltimore, Vs Kansas City, Vs Pittsburgh

Marcell Ateman was selected in the 2018 NFL Draft in the 7th round (pick 228) by the Oakland Raiders out of Oklahoma State. In his senior year at OSU, he caught 59 passes for 1,156 yards and 8 touchdowns. He slipped in the draft due to the lack of speed, his limited route tree and his injury history (he missed his junior year due to a foot injury).

What Ateman lacks in speed, he makes up for with his size and catch radius. Ateman is a big body (6’5” 219lbs) that will create a mismatch with most corners and safeties. In the preseason, Ateman displayed these traits which made him a reliable target. In all 4 preseason games Ateman was targeted 17 times and caught 12 passes (71% catch rate) for 139 yards. In the 2nd week of the preseason against the Los Angeles Rams, Ateman also displayed some quickness on a 9 yard out route that he gained an extra 16 yards after the catch for 25 yards.

The most impressive stat that the box score won’t show is that Ateman did not record a single drop in the preseason. Even though Ateman had been impressive, he did not make the 53 man roster and was signed to the Raiders practice squad. Once Amari Cooper was dealt to the Dallas Cowboys, the Raiders promoted Ateman to the active roster. In the first 3 weeks he was active, however, he did not see the field. Heading into the week 11 matchup against Arizona, wide receiver Jordy Nelson was ruled out, which meant Ateman would see an uptick in snaps. He would go on to produce by catching 4 passes for 50 yards (which led the Raiders in receiving). With the game near the end in the 4th quarter, Derek Carr showed his faith in Ateman and threw a sideline dart to him for 32 yards. Ateman quickly got out of bounds once he corralled the pass and this completion would help set up the game winning field goal by Daniel Carlson. Ateman is definitely someone you should look at.

With his huge frame, he’s an instant red zone threat. The only thing holding him back is the Raiders offense. If you like gambles, Ateman could definitely be a boom-bust gamble for your roster.

3. Colt McCoy, QB, Washington Redskins
(0.4% owned in FFPC leagues)
@ Dallas, @ Philadelphia, Vs New York Giants

Normally on the Trash Pile, I would recommend someone to stash on your Dynasty team that’s a little younger. With playoffs in the near future, and a gruesome injury to starting quarterback Alex Smith that will have him miss the rest of the season, I am recommending a familiar name in Colt McCoy. He was a fantastic college quarterback while at Texas and was even the runner-up for the Heisman Trophy back in 2008.

Since being drafted in the league in 2010 (3rd round, 85th overall), he has played for Cleveland and San Francisco until settling with Washington since the 2014 season. McCoy has had his ups and downs since being in the league, but is definitely serviceable. His career stats before being put to work this past week were 508 completions out of 842 attempts for 5,586 yards with 26 touchdowns and 23 INT’s. This past week, McCoy didn’t look too out of place and almost gave Washington a chance to win in Smith’s absence. A missed 63 yard field goal left them just short of the “W”. McCoy’s final stat line was 6/12 for 54 yards and a touchdown pass to tight end Jordan Reed in the left corner of the end zone. McCoy even ran 5 times for 35 yards.

He lands on this list because Alex Smith’s ownership in FFPC is at 86.7%. A lot of those teams might need to scramble to find a useable quarterback and McCoy could possibly be just that. I’m not saying he’s going to win anybody their leagues, but with FFPC’s trade deadline (and many other sites trading deadlines) going by the wayside this past weekend, you are basically relegated to free agents. If you didn’t already snag a backup quarterback, you are basically looking at such names as: Eli Manning, Brock Osweiler or C.J. Beathard (those were the top 3 in my league – just as an example). I know McCoy isn’t a sexy name whatsoever, but sometimes you have to scrape by in fantasy football. Don’t go crazy with your FAAB if you need to add him. Hell, you may even be able to get him for $1. Would you pay $1 to keep your season going? I sure would.