The Wire - Week 15
By Levi Ellis
If you’re reading this article then congratulations! You made it to the playoffs and regardless of your record or what seed you are, everyone is 0-0. All you have to do is win to stay in. Fortunately bye weeks are finally over but make sure your team is loaded with depth because we have seen all year that anyone can get placed on the Covid list and be ruled out at the last minute. Also it’s the time of year for you to play chess and not checkers. What I mean by that is look at your opponents roster and see what they need. If you can make the roster space work, pick up the players you think they need most to prevent them from rolling out the best lineup possible. Strategy this time of year wins fantasy championships.
All players are listed in priority order based on position.
(2 QB Leagues Only)
Taysom Hill - 15/21 175 yards, 11 carries, 73 yards, 2tds - The passing game hasn’t been great but Hill continues to get it done with his legs but he does have a difficult matchup this week against the Bucs.
Tyler Huntley - 27/38 270 yards, 1td, 6 carries, 45 yards - Keep a close eye on Lamar’s ankle injury and if he misses time consider Huntley in deep leagues. He got it done last week and almost brought Baltimore back from the dead to give them a chance to win the game. The Packers are coming to town though so it will be a difficult matchup.
Davis Mills - 33/49 331 yards, 1td, 2 carries, 8 yards - Mills has not looked good this season but he was named the season long starter last week and produced with over 300 yards passing. To make things even more interesting, the Texans play the Jaguars this week.
Mitchell Trubisky - Only if Josh Allen misses time and don’t be afraid to pick him up if there isn’t clarity by the time waivers run.
Kyle Allen - 4/9 53 yards, 2 carries, 11 yards - If Heinicke misses times Allen would get the nod. But even if that does happen, only start Allen if you have no other choice. The Washington passing game did not look good last week and the stout Eagles pass defense is on tap.
Rashaad Penny - 16 carries, 137 yards, 2tds, 1 target, 1 catch, 1 yard - When Penny was drafted in 2018 this is exactly the kind of performance we thought we would see on a consistent basis. Fast forward three years and all we have seen is Penny on the injury report. Is this a sign that things are changing, I don’t know. But what I do know is you want to ride a hot hand just keep in mind that Penny is as risky as they come. He could turn in back to back 100 yard games but he’s just as likely to get hurt on the first touch this week.
Devonta Freeman - 13 carries, 64 yards, 5 targets, 5 catches, 8 yards - Freeman has been steady the last several weeks. He won’t win you any weeks but he certainly won’t lose them for you either. If you appreciate an easy 10-15 points each week this is your guy.
D'onta Foreman - 13 carries, 47 yards, 1td, 2 targets, 2 catches, 15 yards - Foreman has been carrying the load and we know that Henry won’t likely be back during the fantasy football playoffs. If Foreman is available he’s a must add.
Jeff Wilson - 13 carries, 56 yards - As long as Elijah Mitchell is out Wilson will be the guy. While I would like to have seen more last week it was enough to know that the running game goes through him for the time being.
Devin Singletary - 4 carries, 52 yards, 7 targets, 6 catches, 37 yards - The Buffalo run game, outside of Allen, has been a roller coaster ride this year. Singletary offers great talent but his production has been up and down. If you can stomach the ride he’s worth a look but keep in mind he could get you a zero on the week.
Darrell Williams - 2 carries, 8 yards, 3 targets, 3 catches, 31 yards, 1td - I might be in the minority here but Williams has looked like the better back this year over CEH and I think Kansas City may believe that too which is why they continue to find ways to get him involved. I don’t expect Williams to be the better player long term but he may be a great pickup for the fantasy playoffs. Just keep in mind his touches will most likely be limited.
Royce Freeman - 11 carries, 15 yards, 8 targets, 6 catches, 51 yards - Freeman may be the last man standing in Houston with Burkhead getting hurt last week. The Texans run game has been terrible this year but what I like is the pass catching upside that Freeman offers. Keep an eye to see if David Johnson returns from Covid or if Burkhead is healthy. If either or both miss then Freeman may be worth a shot.
Mike Davis - 11 carries, 44 yards, 6 targets, 5 catches, 42 yards - I had written this guy off weeks ago but he had a nice game last week with five catches. He’s not a guy I trust starting but if you’re desperate he may be your guy.
Ty Johnson - 6 carries, 17 yards, 7 targets, 4 catches, 40 yards - I thought Johnson would get more opportunities the last few weeks then he has but it just hasn’t happened. At this point with Carter and Coleman both likely back soon he’s most likely not a guy to trust for you fantasy playoffs but if one or both guys miss you may consider him. He did receive seven targets last week.
Ameer Abdullah - 4 carries, 16 yards, 4 targets, 2 catches, 17 yards - Last week wasn’t anything to brag about but I think Abdullah will get more opportunities over the next few weeks but it’s hard to trust that for the playoffs.
Craig Reynolds - 11 carries, 83 yards, 2 targets, 2 catches, 16 yards - News broke last week that Swift may hit the IR and if that happens Reynolds could have value moving forward regardless of Williams health. The Lions like to utilize two backs so keep an eye on this situation.
Hunter Renfrow - 14 targets, 13 catches, 117 yards, 1d - If he’s available in your league then shame on you! He should have been picked up weeks ago.
Brandon Aiyuk - 11 targets, 6 catches, 62 yards, 1td, 1 carry, 4 yards - We may finally be seeing the Aiyuk that was drafted in the first round. He had eleven targets last week but more importantly the game winning touchdown.
KJ Osborn - 9 targets, 3 catches, 83 yards, 1td - As long as Thielen misses time Osborn is a must own and must start. Get this guy in your lineup.
Russell Gage - 6 targets, 4 catches, 64 yards - For weeks now Gage has been a ppr machine. I don’t expect that to change now.
Amon-Ra St. Brown - 12 targets, 8 catches, 73 yards - Two weeks in a row St. Brown has been the man. It will be hard to improve on this success with the Cardinals up next but they have to throw the ball to someone and St. Brown has proven he can deliver. If Hockenson misses another week I believe St. Brown will continue to deliver.
Jalen Guyton - 3 targets, 3 catches, 87 yards, 1td - Guyton is a big play waiting to happen and that’s exactly what happened last week. I’m not sure if he can replicate that success but when you play with a big armed QB like Herbert he has to be considered. The Chargers play Thursday night this week and it could be a shootout with the Chiefs which is why I like Guyton this week.
Marvin Jones - 7 targets, 6 catches, 70 yards - Jones has been MIA for the last several weeks but he showed up big last week. I’m not sure if this is a sign that he’s back but the Jags are almost assured to be playing from behind and Jones has big play potential. You can certainly do worse.
Laquon Treadwell - 6 targets, 4 catches, 68 yards - Three weeks in a row and Treadwell has looked good and been consistent to get you around 10 points. There’s no reason to think that will stop this week against the Texans.
Allen Lazard - 7 targets, 6 catches, 75 yards, 1td, 1 carry, 14 yards - Randall Cobb is out for the foreseeable future and Lazard stepped up big Sunday night. Adams will always be the number one WR in this offense but Lazard made his case to be the number two.
Rashod Bateman - 8 targets, 7 catches, 103 yards - Last week was a big week for Bateman but can we see it again? I don’t like the matchup and it worries me with Lamar’s injury but I do expect the game to be a shootout with the Packers.
Cole Beasley - 11 targets, 9 catches, 64 yards - Beasley has not had a good year but he tore up the Bucs last week with nine catches. Keep in mind the Bucs don’t do well against slot WRs but Beasley has proven in the past that he has to be accounted for. He’s risky but he can really produce in ppr leagues.
Jamison Crowder - 6 targets, 3 catches, 19 yards - With Elijah Moore hitting the IR I thought for sure we would see the Jamison Crowder show again. Well that isn’t what happened last week but I still believe that should be the case at some point. Hopefully that happens this week.
Braxton Berrios - 10 targets, 6 catches, 52 yards - Berrios is a much better player than he gets credit for and last week may be a sign of that with him leading the team in targets. I’m not sure if we will see that consistently but in deep leagues he’s worth consideration.
Cam Sims - 4 targets, 3 catches, 69 yards, 1td - If McLaurin misses this week Sims will be heavily involved. He makes this list for that reason and he showed last week when given the opportunity he can come up big.
Donovan Peoples-Jones - 7 targets, 5 catches, 90 yards - Peoples-Jones is as boom or bust as it gets. If you need to shoot for the moon then he’s one of the best guys to consider.
Nico Collins - 10 targets, 5 catches, 69 yards - I love the ten targets last week and that he’s a rookie with big potential. Those are the only reasons why he makes this list.
Josh Reynolds - 5 targets, 3 catches, 52 yards - Reynolds is a guy that can probably give you 8-10 points and if that is what you’re looking for then he should be safe for a guy this deep.
Gabriel Davis - 8 targets, 5 catches, 43 yards, 1td - If Emmanuel Sanders misses this week then consider Davis but if Sanders is healthy Davis is just too far down the depth chart.
Breshad Perriman - 2 targets, 1 catch, 58 yards, 1td - Does anyone remember a few years ago when Perriman went parabolic for the fantasy playoffs? Well I do because he helped lead my team to a fantasy championship. With Antonio Brown still on suspension I think there’s a possibility that Perriman’s target volume goes up. Crazier things have happened.
Zay Jones - 7 targets, 5 catches, 25 yards - If Waller misses another game and only then should you consider Jones. I love the seven targets last week.
Josh Palmer - 7 targets, 5 catches, 66 yards, 1td - If Keenan Allen is back then forget you saw Palmer on this list. If Allen misses Thursday night then Palmer is worth consideration.
Dawson Knox - 9 targets, 7 catches, 60 yards, 1td - He should be owned in all leagues but if he’s there consider it a gift from the fantasy Gods and pick him up!
Pat Friermuth - 3 targets, 2 catches, 32 yards, 1td - Read above!
Josiah Deguara - 3 targets, 3 catches, 44 yards - All that really needs to be said is his QB is Aaron Rodgers and they don’t have a better TE on the roster.
James O’Shaughnessy - 6 targets, 4 catches, 21 yards - This is where the list gets nasty. The production hasn’t been good but three weeks in a row he has had good target volume. Only start him if you’re desperate.
Foster Moreau - 6 targets, 3 catches, 13 yards - I thought for sure he would have been solid in the last two games with Waller out but it hasn’t happened yet. If Waller misses another game at least consider Moreau but he’s risky.
Albert Okwuegbunam - 5 targets, 5 catches, 41 yards, 1td - If Noah Fant misses time then fire up Albert O with confidence.
CJ Uzomah - 6 targets, 4 catches, 56 yards - He’s boom or bust and mostly more bust but if you need the boom then he’s worth considering.
Brevin Jordan - 7 targets, 4 catches, 26 yards, 1td - Love the seven targets and he scored a touchdown but he’s as risky as it gets.
Nick Vannett - 6 targets, 3 catches, 44 yards - I don’t recommend it but if you’re reading this far down the list then you must be desperate.
Dead to Me (redraft leagues only)
Trevor Lawrence - This team is a mess
James Robinson - Not sure if it’s his health or his coach but I don’t like it
Alexander Mattison - Cook is back and does anyone else wonder if this guy isn’t human
Zack Moss - What has he done to make the coaching staff hate him
Alex Collins - Penny blew up (keep in mind Penny has never stayed healthy)
Giants WRs - This passing offense is a mess and injuries have been a major contributor
Courtland Sutton - He’s the forgotten man in Denver
Sammy Watkins - Has to be one of the more disappointing careers in recent memory
Allen Robinson - Not his year
Cole Kmet - This passing offense is too up and down right now
On Life Support
Darnell Mooney - Last two weeks have been disappointing
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