It’s hard to believe that this time 10 years ago, my Texas high school football playoff run as a writer for the Houston Chronicle allowed me to see Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, Jacquizz Rodgers, Fozzy Whittaker, Christine Michael and Russell Shepard over a six-week span. Amazing times.
This season has offered amazing times, with Week 13 shaping up to be just as amazing, as most leagues are in their final regular season games. Buckle up if your team is in a do-or-die scenario. Here’s hoping this can help.
We Need to Talk about Josh….
While I must admit my college dorm room wasn’t as active as Josh Gordon’s, I am intrigued about his return. Rightfully, the Browns are going to throw the ball to him as much as possible against a Chargers team ranked 13th in Fantasy points allowed to opposing receivers, yet I feel he’s grossly underrated this week. Most pundits see him as a WR4/Flex option, but I’m willing to go further and suggest he’s worth a WR2/WR3 option. Why? His 17.1 yards per catch in his brief and checkered career is indication Gordon won’t need too many targets to make an impact. Fantasy owners who either stashed him off or went all-in with FAAB should also keep in mind Gordon also averages 17.6 yards per carry. If I’m the Browns and I’m trying to avoid a winless season, I’m making Gordon a big part of my offense. Play him if you have him. Why did you grab him if the purpose was to keep him on the bench?
Yes, No, Maybe (Subtitle: I Haven’t Talked to Any Russians Since I Moved Back From Portland)
Yes: The Broncos are playing out the string and with Devontae Booker slowly snatching touches from C.J. Anderson, I like him as a sneaky good RB2/Flex option against a Dolphins team ranked 26th in Fantasy points allowed to opposing running backs.
No: Lamar Miller scored 24 Fantasy points in a Week 4 rout of the Titans. He — nor the Texans — won’t get anywhere near those numbers on the road against a rugged Tennessee D that is sixth in fewest Fantasy points allowed to opposing running backs. He might have some value in PPR formats, but if you have a better option, I’d stay away. I get a sense this will be a blowout that ends Houston’s fading playoff hopes.
Maybe: With Michael Crabtree suspended and Amari Cooper (concussion) also sidelined, the opportunity is there for Raiders receiver Cordarralle Patterson to see his share of targets against a Giants team ranked 11th in most points allowed to opposing pass catchers. Patterson has just 27 targets this season and is more dangerous than his 8.9 yards per catch indicates. He’s worth a look in deeper leagues and a low-risk gamble in DFS.
Come On, Come On, Come On and Touch (and Target) Me, Baby
Robby Anderson, WR, Jets: Uh, yes, please and thank you. Anderson has four straight games of double-digit production, including last week’s 26-point outburst against the Panthers, and now gets a Chiefs defense that has allowed the most points per game to opposing wideouts. One of this year’s Fantasy breakout stars should find the end zone for a sixth straight game on Sunday.
Hunter Henry, TE, Chargers: Double H has some work to do before being in the conversation of adding a third H. He can make progress toward that when he faces a Browns team that is 30th in Fantasy points allowed per game to opposing TEs. Henry has consecutive games of five targets and his 13.5 yards per catch is a precursor toward a big afternoon if the Chargers get him involved early.
Keelan Cole, WR, Jaguars: Sending love to the deep league crowd. However, he merits a look if you still have a waiver move before Sunday’s kickoffs. Cole has 26 targets in the last four weeks and should be due for a possible breakout effort against a Colts defense that’s ninth in most Fantasy points per game allowed to opposing wideouts. I’ll raise you one better: he’ll score his first NFL TD on Sunday. Grab him and be a part of the moment.
Jamaal Williams, RB, Packers: He accounted for 135 yards and two touchdowns from scrimmage last week and with Aaron Jones and Ty Montgomery still banged up, Williams is a middle-tiered RB2 who can do some damage, especially in PPR formats. The Buccaneers allow the 10th-most Fantasy points per game to opposing running backs, yet Jones could spoil the fun for us all since he’s now a game time decision. Watch this space.
Ricky Seals-Jones, TE, Cardinals: The former wide receiver has become an important part of the Arizona passing game at tight end. While the Rams have given up the sixth-fewest points to opposing TEs, RSJ should continue showing signs toward a potential 2018 breakout.
Gimme a Sleeper!
This one’s deep: Take a look at Johnny Holton. With Crabtree out, the Raiders will take a shot or two downfield with Holton, who is averaging a video game-like 40.3 yards per catch on his four receptions. Two of them have been for touchdowns, so if you’re feeling the gamble, roll the dice on Holton.