Welcome back to the Rookie Report! This week’s report will be a little bit different. For the most part, season-long leagues have already come to a close…at least if they have a reasonable commissioner. Week 17 is a nightmare to try to predict. It’s like trying to guess what will happen in the lesser bowl games in college. It’s all about which team is motivated to win, which team is motivated to play their starters, and which team is motivated to just get the year over with. Because of this, it’s nearly impossible to accurately predict what will happen in a lot of the games. The wackiness of week 17 will cause me to change things up just a little bit this week and put more of a focus on daily fantasy games. There won’t be a ‘Deep League Sleepers’ section or a ‘Rookies to Sit’ section this week. For those of you still in season-long leagues, I’ll still list which rookies I’d feel good about starting this week and which ones are borderline options, but I’m also going to list a few DFS punt play options at the end. These are low-priced options that not a lot of people are likely to own that can be difference makers in guaranteed prize pool tournaments if they happen to have a big game.
Before we dive in, here are some rookies that won’t come up in the sections below: QB Marcus Mariota (out with injury), RB TJ Yeldon (Likely out with injury), RB Ameer Abdullah (Not getting goal-line work and not trustworthy), RB Duke Johnson (hasn’t produced 15 PPR points since week 7), RB Jay Ajayi (llimited role and tough matchup), WR Devin Funchess (8 catches in his past 5 games), WR Nelson Agholor (hasn’t produced all year), WR Phillip Dorsett (might have liked him as a punt play, but will have either Ryan Lindley or Josh Freeman throwing him the ball), and TE Maxx Williams (brutal matchup).
Alright, let’s dive in to week 17…
Rookies to Start:
RB Todd Gurley, STL (Wk. 17: @SF): Gurley has the best combination of role and matchup of any rookie this week. In the 6 games since their bye week, the 49ers have allowed 132.5 rushing yards and 24.3 fantasy points (all point totals are in ESPN standard scoring) per game to opposing RBs, as well as 10 total TDs to the position as well. Gurley put up 146 scrimmage yards and a TD in the first meeting with San Francisco, and it’s one of the few opponents he could face where game script is virtually guaranteed to be neutral or positive for him. He’s a locked in RB1 this week, and would be a chalk play in DFS.
RB David Johnson, ARI (Wk. 17: vs. Sea.): The Seahawks allow the fewest RB fantasy points in the league, so Johnson isn’t a great DFS target except as a contrarian play in tournaments, but his role has been too big to sit him in season-long leagues. If Arizona wins and Carolina loses, the Cardinals will secure homefield throughout the playoffs, and the games will occur simultaneously, so the Cards won’t know the Panthers’ outcome beforehand. That should keep them from resting starters. Johnson’s passing game usage gives him a floor that will keep him in the RB2 mix even in brutal matchups. He’s averaged just under 150 scrimmage yards with 5 TDs in his 4 starts, and hasn’t had fewer than 120 yards in any of them. Don’t shy away in championship week just because he faces Seattle.
WR Amari Cooper, OAK (Wk. 17: @KC): Cooper has been far more boom-or-bust than I expected this year, and he likely killed you last week if you played him with his 2-10 line. One thing that he has done consistently this year is bounce back from his worst outings. Cooper has scored 5 points or fewer 6 times this year including last weekend. In all 5 of the previous instances, he topped 10 points the following week, averaging a line of 6.4-113-1 in those 5 contests. It also doesn’t hurt that the Chiefs are 24th in Football Outsiders’ Pass DVOA (measures defensive efficiency) on throws to #1 WRs. Kansas City allows 98 yards per game to the opposing #1 wideout, and Cooper put up 4-69 in the first meeting. I like his chances to bounce back this week, and he would make a decent play in DFS and as a WR2 in season-long leagues.
RB Karlos Williams, BUF (Wk. 17: vs. NYJ): Karlos turned in a solid effort last week starting in place of injured LeSean McCoy, picking up 97 scrimmage yards and a TD, but there are a couple of concerns this week. First of all, the Jets are a brutal matchup. They allow the 3rd-fewest fantasy RB points in the league. Second, the recent success of Mike Gillislee as a runner could cause him to cut into Karlos’s workload a bit. Gillislee has gained 239 yards on 23 carries over the past 4 weeks (10.4 ypc), and has scored a TD in each of the past 3. With that said, Gillislee is more effective as a change of pace back and Karlos should continue to run as the lead back. He did manage 10 points against the Jets in a week 10 start, and the Bills still boast the best running game in the league (#1 in rush yards and yards per carry). Karlos might be a little lighter than you’d like on yards this week, but I’d still put him at better than a 50-50 bet to score a TD.
RB Javorius Allen, BAL (Wk. 17: @Cin.): Allen was surprisingly impressive against a stingy Steelers RB defense last Sunday. This week he gets to face a Bengals team that has allowed over 6 catches and about 50 receiving yards per game to opposing running backs this year, and also 17 or more fantasy points to the position in each of their past 3 games. Allen should be a solid PPR flex play this week, assuming he doesn’t fumble and get benched again.
RB Cameron Artis-Payne, CAR (Wk. 17: vs. TB): At this point, it appears that Jonathan Stewart is likely to miss the week 17 game with Tampa and Fozzy Whitaker has already been ruled out. That would leave just Cam Artis-Payne and Mike Tolbert as healthy RBs for the Panthers. Artis-Payne will likely cede goal line carries to Cam Newton and Tolbert, but he put up 49 yards on just 5 carries last week , and the volume should be much better in this one. Tampa has allowed at least one rushing TD to a running back in each of the past 3 weeks, and the backs have totaled at least 26 carries in each of those 3 games against them. I’d expect Artis-Payne to be in the 15 carry range, which puts him in the Flex discussion despite his lack of red zone opportunities.
RB Jeremy Langford, CHI (Wk. 17: vs. Det,): I would probably avoid playing Langford this week if possible, but when the Lions & Bears get together, you can usually throw out the season numbers. Matt Forte was hampered by a back injury last week, and the Bears seem to be grooming Langford to be the lead back next year. Expect him to see the bulk of the RB volume this week. The Lions have been a tough matchup lately (11.8 RB points per game allowed since week 9 bye, 20.6 per game before the bye), and Ka’Deem Carey has been vulturing some goal-line work lately (2 short scores last week vs. Tampa), but Langford should be on the flex radar on volume alone with so few elite RB options right now.
WR Tyler Lockett, SEA (Wk. 17: @Ari.): Lockett was a little bit of a disappointment in week 16, but his volume remained constant. He’s had exactly 7 targets in each of the 4 games since Jimmy Graham went down, and last week was the only game in that stretch where he had fewer than 5 catches and 9 fantasy points. The volume should be there again this week. The Cardinals are a tough matchup as they boast a versatile secondary, but the injury to Tyrann Mathieu improves the pass game outlook for Seattle. Lockett should be a high-risk/high-reward WR3 option this week.
WR DeVante Parker, MIA (Wk. 17: vs. NE): The matchup isn’t great this week for Parker, but it isn’t terrible either. The Patriots are middle of the pack in limiting WR fantasy points (allow 15th-most in the league), but their defensive focus is always on taking away the offense’s favorite options. The Pats should make it their goal to take away Jarvis Landry, which should help DeVante find some room to operate. Miami should also be playing from behind, which will keep them throwing, and Parker has 87 or more yards and/or a TD in 4 of the last 5 games. There’s risk that the ‘Fins phone it in with the season essentially over, but I like Parker’s chances at another solid day.
TE Will Tye, NYG (Wk. 17: vs. Phi.): I was surprised Tye didn’t do more with Odell suspended a week ago, but Beckham’s return should open things up for the whole offense. Tye scored 7 or more fantasy points in each of the 4 games leading up to last week’s game without Odell, and the Eagles have allowed double-digit fantasy points to opposing tight ends in 3 of their past 6 games, including 24 to Jordan Reed last Saturday. Tye should find himself in the lower half of the TE1 ranks once again.
DFS Punt Play Options:
QB Jameis Winston, TB (Wk. 17: @Car.): You might call Winston more of a contrarian play than a punt play, but his price tag is just $300 more than the minimum for a QB on DraftKings, and with a matchup against the Panthers (allow the 4th-fewest QB points in the league), virtually no one will be using him. While the matchup isn’t good, the game script figures to keep Tampa throwing and the Panthers have been vulnerable to the pass over the past month. Carolina has allowed 22 points to Drew Brees, 23 points to Eli Manning, and 306 yards to Matt Ryan all within the last 4 weeks. Jameis is yet to tally fewer than 12 fantasy points in a game all year, and there is more ceiling in this matchup than you might think. He also remains a floor play QB2 in season-long leagues.
RB Matt Jones, WAS (Wk. 17: @Dal.): This all depends on how healthy Jones is. Washington seems content to rest the majority of their starters this weekend to get ready for the playoffs, but someone has to carry the load at running back. They may look to use Jones more as he shakes off the rust of missing last week with a hip injury. This is a great matchup for the Washington backs, as Dallas ranks 27th in run DVOA on the season, and has allowed 29.3 running back fantasy points per game over the past 3 games. If the team rests Alf Morris and gives Jones enough work to get rolling, he could have really nice upside at a price tag of just $3,900 on DraftKings. Obviously this game is a bit of a wild card, with Washington having little to play for, but the situation is positive if Jones gets enough action to take advantage of it.
WR Stefon Diggs, MIN (Wk. 17: @GB): While Diggs hasn’t done a whole lot since his 4-game breakout earlier in the season to convince you he’s a good fantasy option, Green Bay should force Minnesota to throw more than they like to. The Packers rank 26th in pass DVOA against #1 WRs, and Diggs went 6-66 against Green Bay in the first meeting between the teams in week 11. While Diggs is a little more expensive than I would have expected ($4,600 in DraftKings), the price isn’t ridiculous and no one will be on him after his 4-19 showing last week. I wouldn’t be stunned if he ends up in the 20-point range.
WR Dorial Green-Beckham, TEN (Wk. 17: @Ind.): With Zach Mettenberger at QB, trusting Dorial even in a reasonably good matchup is tough to do after last week’s goose egg. However, we’ve seen DGB’s ceiling, and it’s impressive. He’s topped 110 yards twice in the past 4 games, and he does have an exploitable matchup if he isn’t locked up with Vontae Davis all game. Indy has allowed the 3rd-most WR points on the year and Green-Beckham will cost just $3,800 in DraftKings.
That’s all I’ve got for this season. Hopefully it helps you set your championship and DFS lineups for this week. I’ll be back within the next couple of weeks with a 2015 rookie recap and will project the 2015 class to next year. If you have any specific questions or complaints, feel free to hit me up on twitter (@shawn_foss) and let me know. As always…good luck, trust your gut, and have fun. It’s just a game.
Welcome back to the Rookie Report! It's finally here...championship week. Hopefully all of the weeks of waiver wire moves, bold lineup decisions, and Sunday and Monday nail biting have paid off, and you still are left standing with a chance to bring home the title. This week should be all about making the lineup decisions that you can live with even if you happen to lose...does that mean playing it safe and rolling with your stars (even if they haven't necessarily been that this year), or does that mean rolling the dice with a guy you feel good about this week? That's up to you. I'm here to give you a better feel of what to expect from your rookies this week, but it's up to you to pull the trigger and start them. Let's dive in...
Rookies to Start:
RB David Johnson, ARI (Wk. 16: vs. GB): The matchup isn't ideal, but you aren't sitting him after he dropped 40 points on the Eagles last Sunday (all points listed are in ESPN standard scoring). Johnson has averaged 157 yards from scrimmage and scored 4 TDs in his 3 starts since CJ2K went down, and this week faces a Packers team that ranks 18th in Football Outsiders' run defense DVOA (measures defensive efficiency). Johnson has RB1 upside again this week (although I doubt he beats the rest of the RB field by 10 points again).
WR Amari Cooper, OAK (Wk. 16: vs. SD): The matchup is tough this week, as Cooper is likely to draw Jason Verrett and the Chargers allow the 4th fewest WR points in the league, but if you take away the goose egg Amari put up against Denver, he's put up lines of 7-115, 4-69, and 6-120-2 in the past 4 weeks with at least 8 targets in each game. He'll continue to see lots of volume, and the upside is just too high for you to leave Cooper on the bench despite some shaky weeks this season. He's a rock solid WR3 this week.
QB Jameis Winston, TB (Wk. 16: vs. Chi.): Jameis gets an interesting matchup this week. The Bucs' offensive game plan is typically run-heavy and limits Jameis's passing volume, but the Bears have allowed some solid passing days on limited attempts this year. They've allowed over 20 QB points on fewer than 25 passing attempts 3 times this season, including 32 to Teddy Bridgewater on 20 attempts last Sunday, and have also allowed at least 21 QB points in each of the past 3 contests. I expect the game script to at least be neutral, and the Bucs pass volume to be limited again, but Jameis has shown a safe QB2 floor, and there is upside for a top-10 QB day.
RB Karlos Williams, BUF (Wk. 16: vs. Dal.): There is a fear that Karlos will split touches with Mike Gillislee after Gillislee ran so well over the past few weeks, but Williams is the one who is built to be an every down back and I'd expect him to lead the committee. The Cowboys rank 27th in run DVOA, and Karlos averaged about 10 yards per carry in his return from a two-week injury absence. If Karlos is able to take the lead, I like his chances to return RB2 value and get back into the end zone for the first time since week 10.
RB Todd Gurley, STL (Wk. 16: @Sea.): The matchup is brutal and we've seen a low floor for Gurley, but his talent and volume give him some flex appeal. The Rams do have some history of being able to run on the Seahawks under Jeff Fisher, getting stat lines of 18-85-1 from Tre Mason and 26-134 out of Zac Stacy against them in the last two seasons, but those games were in St. Louis. This one is in Seattle. I'd lean towards sitting Gurley if you have better options.
RB Ameer Abdullah, DET (Wk. 16: vs. SF): Abdullah is coming off his best game of the year, and the 49ers run defense has been abysmal on the road. San Francisco allows 28.7 points per game to opposing RBs on the road (at least 22 in all 7 road games). They also rank 24th in run DVOA for the year. Abdullah was the overall RB14 in a plus matchup on Monday. He looked explosive, and more importantly, Jim Caldwell went back to him after he lost a fumble in the 2nd half. Betting on the Lions' run game is always a risky proposition, but Abdullah could have week-winning upside if you're willing to trust him with the title on the line.
RB Cameron Artis-Payne, CAR (Wk. 16: @Atl.): Although Mike Tolbert and Cam Newton are likely to vulture any short TDs, Artis-Payne should lead the backfield in touches yet again. He out-touched Tolbert and Fozzy Whitaker 16-9 a week ago, and this week faces the Falcons who allow the 4th-most RB fantasy points and rank 21st in run DVOA. Artis-Payne's expected volume should make him a low-end RB2 with the upside for more.
RB TJ Yeldon, JAX (Wk. 16: @NO): Yeldon is very iffy for this week, and would likely split touches with Denard Robinson if he's able to give it a go Sunday, but boy does he get a juicy matchup. The Saints have only held 2 teams in their past 10 games under 19 RB points, and they rank 29th in run DVOA and 31st in pass DVOA on throws to running backs. Keep an eye on the injury report and be ready to roll out Yeldon if he seems to be close to 100%.
WR Tyler Lockett, SEA (Wk. 16: vs. StL.): Regardless of matchup, Lockett should remain a borderline WR3 in most formats. He's seen 7 targets in each game since Jimmy Graham went down for the year, and in those games he's been the overall WR28, WR4 and WR21. The Rams have allowed the 5th-fewest WR points per game for the full season, but have allowed 26.5 per game over the past 4, which would be the-4th most. Don't invent reasons not to play Lockett just becuase it's the title week.
WR Dorial Green-Beckham, TEN (Wk. 16: vs. Hou.): Week 15 was just a taste of what DGB is capable of. He's now put up 14-285-1 over the past 3 games on 22 targets. With Mariota out due to a knee injury, you'd expect Green-Beckham's value to take a minor hit this week, but that might not be the case. Zach Mettenberger did target Dorial 7 times after taking over last Sunday, connecting with him 5 times. Dorial actually has a higher catch rate on throws from Mett than he has on throws from Mariota. His talent and role will keep him firmly on the WR3 radar this week.
WR DeVante Parker, MIA (Wk. 16: vs. Ind.): If Rishard Matthews is able to come back from his rib injury this week, this is a situation best avoided for fantasy. If Matthews is out again however, Parker remains in play as a WR3 option. He's topped 80 yards and/or scored a touchdown in 3 of the last 4 games, and the Colts allow the 5th-most WR points in the league. I'd feel more comfortable starting him as a 4th WR in leagues where that's possible, but he has upside once again.
TE Will Tye, NYG (Wk. 16: @Min.): I'm almost inclined to list Tye as a 'Rookie to Start' this week, but I can't advocate starting him over proven studs like Barnidge, Olsen, Antonio Gates, Jordan Reed, etc. Tye has been no lower than the overall TE8 in the past 3 weeks, and he should see an uptick in volume this week with Odell Beckham suspended (I expect the suspension to be upheld). Tye should carry a low TE1 floor this week, regardless of the matchup. Every defense that Tye has started against so far has ranked in the top half of the league in limiting TE fantasy points (4th, 8th, 12th, and 15th). The VIkings rank 12th(tie) vs TEs in terms of points allowed, but also are 26th in pass DVOA on throws to tight ends. Tye should be safe to fire up again.
TE Clive Walford, OAK (Wk. 16: vs. SD): Walford has seen target totals of 5, 7 and 7 over the past 3 games, and the Chargers rank 31st in pass DVOA against tight ends. His point totals haven't been overwhelming (10 total points in those 3 games), so he's more of a desperation streamer, but there is legitimate upside here.
Rookies to Sit:
RB Jeremy Langford, CHI (Wk. 16: @TB): Despite double-digit carries in games vs. the 24th, 23rd and 20th ranked run defenses in terms of DVOA, Langford has been held to 5 points in each of the past 3 weeks. Meanwhile, Matt Forte has tallied 17, 10 and 15 in those games. This week, they face the Bucs, who rank 4th in run DVOA. Langford is a desperation flex-play at best.
RB Matt Jones, WAS (Wk. 16: @Phi.): Jones gets a plus matchup this week, but he has proven to be unreliable over and over again. Every time we're convinced he's taken over as the lead back, Alfred Morris rears his ugly head again. This past weekend it was due to a Jones hip injury, and the rookie is day-to-day as a result of it for this week. That should allow Alfred to continue to mix in prominently in week 16. We've seen the big play ability of Jones a few times this year, and he has higher upside than Jeremy Langford this week due to the matchup, but like Langford, Jones is just a desperation flex option.
RB Javorius Allen, BAL (Wk. 16: vs. Pit.): Allen has totaled just 2 fantasy points total in the past two games and was out-carried by Terrance West last week after fumbling for the 2nd straight game. John Harbaugh claims Allen won't be banished to the doghouse this week, but West isn't going to go away and the Steelers allow the 2nd fewest RB fantasy points in the league. Pittsburgh also ranks 7th in run DVOA and 5th in pass DVOA on throws to running backs. Buck isn't worth a starting spot this week.
RB Duke Johnson, CLE (Wk. 16: @KC): Even with an impressive performance last week in a tough matchup with Seattle, Johnson was still just the overall RB27 for the week. I don't expect him to be even that good this week against a Chiefs defense that is in the top-5 in the league at limiting RB fantasy points and also allows the fewest RB receiving yards.
WR Devin Funchess, CAR (Wk. 16: @Atl.): Funchess managed to cash in for those owners who rolled the dice on him finding a touchdown last weekend, but do you really want to make it double-or-nothing against the #2 defense in the league in terms of wide receiver fantasy points allowed? Funchess is once again a low-volume TD dart throw this week, but not one I'd want to roll out there.
WR Nelson Agholor, PHI (Wk. 16: vs. Was.): I'm pretty much listing him for comic relief at this point. Agholor followed a 3-62-1 line in week 14 with a goose egg in week 15. There's no chance you're playing him despite a decent matchup.
Deep League Sleepers and Cheap DFS Options:
RB Jay Ajayi, MIA (Wk. 16: vs. Ind.): Ajayi is a DFS punt option again this week. His role is too undefined to trust him in your fantasy title game. Miami's season is limping to the finish, and Ajayi saw some work with the game last week getting out of hand early. This week things may stay a bit closer, but the Colts have allowed 132.5 RB rushing yards per game in the past 4 weeks, and the Dolphins have consistently under-utilized Lamar Miller. Miller is averaging under 12 carries per game. There is a decent chance that Ajayi gets a bigger share of the load than expected once again this week.
WR Stefon Diggs, MIN (Wk. 16: vs. NYG): Most people would probably still shy away from using Diggs despite his 2 TDs last week. The volume just hasn't been there. He's tallied just 11 catches and 120 yards in the past 4 games. With that said, I have a hunch the Minnesota pass volume is a little higher than we're used to this week. The Giants invite shootouts, and with AP nicked up, the Vikings might be inclined to oblige them. New York has faced 35 or more pass attempts in 12 of their 14 games this year, and 40+ in 9 of them. They've also allowed 28.5 WR fantasy points per game over the last 4 weeks, which would be the worst in the league as a season average. No one is questioning Diggs's talent. The increase in volume should make him an upside WR3 option.
WR Quincy Enunwa, NYJ (Wk. 16: vs. NE): Quincy is running as the full time #3 WR for the Jets with Devin Smith on IR, and the Pats' defense focuses on taking out the top options of the opposing pass attack. New England is 5th in pass DVOA against number 1 WRs, 14th in pass DVOA against number 2's, and 27th vs. all other WRs. While I'm hard pressed to mention formats where Enunwa is a viable option, he should be a decent bet to set career bests in catches and yards (currently 5 and 50).
TE Maxx Williams, BAL (Wk. 16: vs. Pit.): Williams put up a 5-31 line against the best fantasy TE defense in the league last week with Crockett Gillmore now done for the year. This week he gets a Pittsburgh defense that has been good against tight ends, but they have given up 75+ yards to the position 6 times in 14 games. Williams is nothing more than a DFS punt play, but 5 catches and 50+ yards wouldn't be surprising.
TE Blake Bell, SF (Wk. 16: @Det.): The Belldozer has 40+ yards in 3 of the past 4 games, and is fresh off receiving 8 targets last week despite Vance McDonald being active. The Lions have allowed 11 TDs to tight ends in 14 games, and rank 30th in pass DVOA against the position. If last week's volume repeats itself, Bell should at least threaten to crack the top-12 tight ends for the week.
That's all I've got this week. Hopefully it helps you to the league title. For those of you with a week 17 championship game or avid DFS players, I will do a quick column for week 17 as well. If you have any specific questions or want to yell at me about anything written above, feel free to hit me up on twitter (@shawn_foss). As always...good luck, trust your gut, and have fun. It's just a game.
Welcome back to the Rookie Report! We're just a week away from Championship Week in most leagues, so hopefully your team is still standing (both literally and figuratively). Week 14 was a brutal one for injuries. I was bounced from 3 different league playoffs with teams that each started one of Andy Dalton or Thomas Rawls, and one of them also had Tyler Eifert. It didn't help that I got horrible efforts from Calvin Johnson, Travis Kelce, Mike Evans, Jeremy Maclin, Larry Fitzgerald and Brian Hoyer (2 separate 2-QB leagues), but that's neither here nor there. TJ Yeldon also went down in last week's carnage. After last week, the running back position is getting mighty thin, so expect a lot of RB insight in this week's write-up. There is only one rookie that I feel confident in telling you is a must-start this week, but plenty more who could and should make an impact. Let's dive in....
Rookies to Start:
RB David Johnson, ARI (Wk. 15: @Phi.): Yes, David Johnson is the only rookie that I can say with total confidence that you should be starting this week. He's thrived in the starter's role the past two weeks, putting up 120+ scrimmage yards in in each contest and scoring a TD in one. The Eagles rank 21st in Football Outsiders' run defense DVOA (measures defensive efficiency), and they've allowed 100 RB rushing yards and or a running back TD in 5 of the 6 games played since their bye. Arizona should control the game, which should keep Johnson running all day. He has an RB2 floor and RB1 ceiling.
RB Todd Gurley, STL (Wk. 15: vs. TB): Gurley had a monster bounce-back game last week, but that doesn't mean he's out of the woods just yet. He's still a boom-or-bust option, albeit one with overall RB1 upside when he booms. The key last week was that the Rams were able to play from ahead, keeping the run game in play long enough for Gurley to wear down the defensive front and start ripping off chunk plays in the 2nd half. That's been his MO all season, and keeping this game close will be critical to him having another big day. Tampa does rank 5th in run DVOA, and the Rams have almost no passing game to speak of, but I like the chances that the St. Louis defense keeps this game close and allows Gurley to return at least RB2 value. My only hesitation is the low floor we've seen if the Rams fall behind.
RB Matt Jones, WAS (Wk. 15: vs. Buf.): Jones has finally appeared to emerge as the lead back in Washington, out-touching Alfred Morris 39-17 over the past 2 weeks. Buffalo ranks 28th in run DVOA, and every team that has had 17 RB carries against Buffalo has picked up at least 85 rushing yards on them. Jones has 18 carries on his own in each of the past two games. The Bills have also allowed 7 RB rushing scores in their past 8 games. Despite Jones's inefficiency, with RB so thin this week he's a decent flex play and boasts high RB2 upside.
RB Ameer Abdullah, DET (Wk. 15: @NO): Ameer had his worst game in 3 weeks last Sunday, and still managed 44 scrimmage yards against a defense that ranks 12th in run DVOA. The Saints rank 27th. The Saints have been giving points to RBs almost as freely as they do to QBs, allowing the 2nd most RB points in the league. I expect Abdullah to get back to double-digit carries this week, and in this matchup that could make him an upside flex in leagues with 12 teams or more.
WR Amari Cooper, OAK (Wk. 15: vs. GB): Cooper will be happy to be rid of Aqib Talib this week after Talib held him catchless on 8 targets, but the Packers are no cakewalk either. They've allowed just one WR to reach 70 yards in the past 5 games (Alshon Jeffery), and they've allowed just 4 top-20 weekly WR finishes all year. The Raiders should funnel Cooper targets early to get him back on track, but he's definitely more of a WR3 option than locked in WR2. I'd feel much more comfortable starting him if Green Bay's top corner Sam Shields misses this game with the concussion he suffered last week.
WR Tyler Lockett, SEA (Wk. 15: vs. Cle.): The bump in volume for Tyler Lockett in week 13 proved to not be a fluke. After seeing a season-high 7 targets in the first game after Jimmy Graham went down, he saw another 7 this past Sunday. With those 14 targets, he pulled in 13 of them for 194 yards and 2 TDs. He now boasts a ridiculous 41 catches on 47 targets for the year (87.2% catch rate, best of any WR targeted at least 10 times). As long as that volume holds up, and I expect it to, Lockett should remain a decent WR3 option.
WR Dorial Green-Beckham, TEN (Wk. 15: @NE): Dorial has flashed great potential at times this season, especially over the past 2 weeks, but he was back to being inconsistent last Sunday following his breakout game vs. Jacksonville. The good news...he was targeted 7 times and got open consistently. He'll remain a volitile weekly option, but his talent and role give him WR2 upside, even versus the emerging New England secondary.
TE Clive Walford, OAK (Wk. 15: vs. GB): Walford has finally started to see substantial volume over the past 2 weeks. He's got 8 catches for 100 yards on 12 targets over the past two games. The Packers are in the bottom-10 in fantasy points allowed to TEs (all point numbers based on ESPN standard scoring) and have allowed a tight end touchdown in 5 of their past 6 games. Despite the presence of Mychal Rivera to steal some TE snaps, Walford is a solid streaming option this week.
TE Will Tye, NYG (Wk. 15: vs. Car.): The matchup is really imposing for Tye, but he's scored at least 5 fantasy points in each of his past 4 games and 7 in each of his past 3. With Josh Norman likely to match up with Odell Beckham a bunch (not sure if Norman will follow Odell to the slot), look for Tye to remain a key piece of the offense in situations where Norman is on Beckham. There isn't a huge ceiling here, but Tye should be a safe bet for 40-50 yards, which is better than taking a shot on someone who may goose egg if you're streaming at tight end. Tye has been returning borderline TE1 production over the past month.
Rookies to Sit:
QB Marcus Mariota, TEN (Wk. 15: @NE): Mariota has been playing excellent football lately, scoring 17+ points in every game except versus Carolina since he returned from injury in week 9. He's found a variety of ways to get to the end zone, even catching a 41-yard TD on trick play last week. He gets a real test this week though. The Patriots do a great job of erasing the opposition's top targets, so look for them to focus primarily on Delanie Walker, and secondarily on Dorial Green-Beckham. The Patriots' secondary has been really coming together of late, seeing standout play from both Logan Ryan and Malcolm Butler. New England has allowed 12 points or fewer to opposing QBs in 6 of their last 7 (Eli is the exception). I wouldn't be willing to try Mariota as anything more than a low level QB2 this week.
QB Jameis Winston, TB (Wk. 15: @StL): Jameis was a huge letdown last week in an excellent spot, and he gets much stiffer opposition this week. The Rams have allowed a QB to reach 20 fantasy points just twice all year, and the Bucs will be without Vincent Jackson. Mike Evans should spend most of his day squaring off with Trumaine Johnson, who just held Megatron to 1 catch for 16 yards on Sunday. Jameis has proven to have a usable floor in 2-QB leagues, scoring at least 12 points in every game this season, but he's not on the QB1 radar this week.
RB TJ Yeldon, JAX (Wk. 15: vs. Atl.): As of now, Yeldon appears to be a longshot to play with a sprained knee. The Jaguars signed Jonas Gray, and head coach Gus Bradley didn't update the media on Yeldon's status on Tuesday. Typically coaches are eager to share good news on the injury front. Even if Yeldon is able to go, I'd expect him to see a limited workload and split touches with Denard Robinson. Given that he's gotten by all year on volume, a split workload would make him a dicey flex play even in this plus matchup.
RB Javorius Allen, BAL (Wk. 15: vs. KC): Allen showed what his floor looks like last week w/o Matt Schaub in a tough matchup with the Seahawks, and it wasn't god awful (56 scoreless yards on 13 touches). That's not what you're hoping to get out of a starter though. This week he faces a Chiefs' defense that is arguably just as stingy as the Seahawks, and they also boast the best pass DVOA in the league on passes to running backs. If you're okay with about 5 points in standard scoring or 10 in PPR leagues, go ahead and play Allen. There isn't much more ceiling than that this week.
RB Jeremy Langford, CHI (Wk. 15: @Min.): Since Matt Forte returned from injury, Langford has averaged just 14 touches and 57 scrimmage yards/game, and he's been held under 70 yards and without a TD in each of the last 2. Both were plus matchups (home against San Francisco and Washington). This week he faces a Vikings team that has allowed just 2 RB scores in 9 games since their bye, and over 16 RB points just once in that span. Given the time share with Forte, I doubt Langford gets enough volume to make a fantasy impact. He's best left on the pine.
RB Duke Johnson, CLE (Wk. 15: @Sea.): Don't expect a repeat of last week's rushing output for Duke. He still gets by on his passing game work, and he just doesn't get as much of it with Johnny Manziel starting. In the 5 games where Manziel has started or seen extended playing time, Duke has just 7 total catches. Even if you throw out the first 2 games of the year, which were before Johnson had established his passing game role, he's still averaged just 2.3 catches per game in the other 3. Facing an imposing matchup this week, Duke will be hard pressed to return RB3 value in any format.
WR Stefon Diggs, MIN (Wk. 15: vs. Chi.): The passing volume was finally there last week for Minnesota, with Teddy Bridgewater throwing for nearly 340 yards on 25 completions, but just 11 of them were to wide receivers and only 2 were to Diggs. He still sees a healthy percenage of the Minnesota passing targets, but I don't expect that big volume again this week. Teddy B has thrown for under 200 yards in 5 of the past 7 games, and Minny should lean on AP this week facing a Bears' defense that ranks dead last in run DVOA. I'd be at least a little surprised if there's enough work for Diggs to top 50 yards.
WR Devin Funchess, CAR (Wk. 15: @NYG): With the season on the line, now is not the time to play a low-floor touchdown dart throw wide receiver. In his best game without a TD, Funchess tallied just 4 points. Yikes.
WR DeVante Parker, MIA (Wk. 15: @SD): I can't trust Parker this week after his 2-16 line on Monday Night Football. He may bounce back this week, but I expect him to see quite a bit of Jason Verrett, who has been an elite cover corner. Verrett rarely ventures into the slot, so he likely won't shadow Jarvis Landry, and Parker struggled versus Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie last week. This week shapes up for a heavy dose of Landry.
WR Nelson Agholor, PHI (Wk. 15: vs. Ari.): Don't chase last week's points. Agholor has done next to nothing all year, and outside of a 53-yard TD catch last week, he caught just 2-of-5 targets for 9 yards. You can't start him this week.
WR Jamison Crowder, WAS (Wk. 15: vs. Buf): Crowder has shown over the past few weeks that he should only be under consideration if DeSean Jackson misses this game. Even if Jackson is out, Crowder's ceiling has settled in around 5 catches for 50 yards. You should be aiming higher with the season at stake.
Deep League Sleepers and Cheap DFS Options:
RB Melvin Gordon, SD (Wk. 15: vs. Mia.): Gordon continued his disappointing rookie campaign last week, adding a 13th straight game without a touchdown, but his role has been constant and even increasing down the stretch of the season. With this year a lost cause, the Chargers have started to lean on Gordon in situations where they used to go to Danny Woodhead. Gordon has had at least 13 touches in each of his past 6 games, and at least 49 scrimmage yards in each (over 60 in 4 of them). Of the 6 opponents he faced in that stretch, 5 were in the top-11 in run DVOA. Miami ranks 23rd. If he sees 15+ touches, Gordon is a decent bet to top 75 yards and just might find his way to his first TD of the year.
RB Jay Ajayi, MIA (Wk. 15: @SD): On the other side of the Miami-San Diego game, Jay Ajayi isn't a consideration for the fantasy playoffs, but he could be an intriguing punt play in DFS tournaments. The Dolphins are now mathematically out of the playoff race, and Ajayi could see an expanded role down the stretch. San Diego is 31st in run DVOA and has allowed 100+ RB rushing yards in 10 of 13 games this year. There is really nice upside if Ajayi can find his way to double-digit touches.
WR Adam Humphries, TB (Wk. 15: @StL): Admittedly, Humphries would be a hard sell to play in just about any but the most insanely deep fantasy games, but I like this spot for him. He did only haul in one catch last week for a 6-yard touchdown, but with V-Jax out and Evans facing a tough matchup with Trumaine Johnson, the ball has to go somewhere. I still expect 7-10 targets to go to Evans, but Humphries should see a handful as well, and he's topped 50 yards twice this season. I like his chances to put up a career-high yardage day.
TE Tyler Kroft, CIN (Wk. 15: @SF): Ok, you can't trust a guy with just 4 catches on the season in your fantasy playoffs...I get it. But, there is some DFS punt play appeal. 2nd-string QBs tend to have a rapport with 2nd-string pass catchers, and Eifert's status is likely in doubt this week as he suffered a concussion in the week he returned from a neck stinger. Kroft pulled in 2 catches for 31 yards in relief of Eifert on Sunday, and he could see a bigger role in a game the Bengals should win easily. The 49ers rank 23rd in pass DVOA on throws to tight ends.
TE Blake Bell, SF (Wk. 15: vs. Cin.): The Belldozer has put up stat lines of 3-68 and 3-49 in two of his past 3 games, and is in line to start at TE again if Vance McDonald is out once more. Bell actually led the team in receiving last week against the Browns. He's a streaming option in super deep leagues as the starting tight end on a team that likes to utilize the position.
That's all I've got for this week. Hopefully it helps you advance to the title game (or to the semis if your league goes through week 17. If you have any specific questions or want to yell at me about something I wrote, feel free to hit me up on twitter (@shawn_foss). As always: Good luck, trust your gut, and have fun. It's just a game.
Welcome back to the Rookie Report! The fantasy playoffs are upon us. Hopefully you've managed to survive this long and are ready to roll your way to another victory. The rookies are taking over lately. Jameis and Mariota look like legitimate future stars, and week 13's top 7 RBs included 4 rookie backs. If you want to work your way to the title, the rookies should play a big role. Let's take a look at what the rooks have on tap this week...
TJ Yeldon has actually been getting carries in the red zone!Rookies to Start:
QB Jameis Winston, TB (Wk. 14: vs. NO): Jameis put on a show in leading the Bucs to victory over the Falcons last week, particularly on a long 3rd down conversion run where he 'truck-sticked' several Atlanta defenders. What does he win for his efforts? A showdown with the worst pass defense in the league. The Saints have allowed 23 or more points (all point totals in ESPN standard scoring) to opposing QBs in 5 of their past 6 games and 4+ passing TDs in 4 of their last 5. On the season, the Saints have allowed 7 more TD passes than any other team in the league (only the Eagles are closer than 10 behind). The only thing to fear here is the Bucs' run-happy offense if the Saints don't score enough to force a shootout. Jameis should be a top-10 QB this week.
RB Thomas Rawls, SEA (Wk. 14: @Bal.): Three straight starts, three straight games of at least 14 fantasy points and a touchdown. The Ravens are 14th in Football Outsiders' run DVOA stat (measures defensive efficiency), and in the two starts he's had vs. teams with a better ranking (Pittsburgh & Cincy), Rawls has tallied 230 yards and 2 TDs. You have to start him again this week, regardless of matchup. In his past 4 starts, he hasn't ranked lower than the RB8 in any week.
RB TJ Yeldon, JAX (Wk. 14: vs. Ind.): Jacksonville finally started using Yeldon in the red zone last week, and it paid dividends for his owners as TJ found the end zone and finished as the RB2 overall for the week. He has a flex-worthy weekly floor based on volume alone, and there is still an outside shot that the Colts start Charlie Whitehurst this week at QB, which should give Yeldon a very positive game script to work with. Even if Hasselbeck is able to start, the Colts have allowed over 250 RB rush yards in the past two weeks and Yeldon should provide RB2 value against them.
RB David Johnson, ARI (Wk. 14: vs. Min.): Johnson didn't disappoint in his first start, finishing right behind Yeldon as the RB3 for the week, and he faces a Vikings defense that ranks 25th in run DVOA and 27th in pass DVOA on throws to RBs. Minnesota is also struggling with injuries, as starting nose tackle Linval Joseph, starting linebacker Anthony Barr, and starting safety Harrison Smith will all miss this game. Johnson shouldn't struggle to finish as a top-20 RB this week.
QB Marcus Mariota, TEN (Wk. 14: @NYJ): Don't be afraid of the Jets' defense this week. On the year New York ranks 8th in pass defense DVOA and allows the 11th fewest QB points in the league, but Darrelle Revis might be out again and the Jets have allowed 330+ yards and 20+ points to QBs in 4 of their past 7 games. They've allowed those days to New England, Oakland, Jacksonville and Miami, not exactly all elite offenses. Mariota is really putting the pieces together lately, and the emergence of Dorial Green-Beckham will only help going forward. Don't expect another 87-yard TD run, but Mariota will be a solid QB2 this week and is a top-15 overall option at the position.
RB Javorius Allen, BAL (Wk. 14: vs. Sea.): The Seahawks are one of the toughest draws in the league for opposing RBs, allowing a league-low 10.8 fantasy points per game to them. With the way the Seahawks are scoring lately, this sets up as a game where the Ravens will be playing from behind, and Allen showed his pass game chops with 12 catches in week 13. The Seahawks allow 5.3 RB catches per game, and Allen should continue to see the heavy workload he's seen of late. That should be enough to get him into the lineup in leagues that have a flex spot rather than just 2 RBs, especially PPR leagues. In 2-RB leagues w/o a flex spot, you might have two safer options, but Allen should be in or near the top-20 PPR backs this week.
Matt Jones, WAS (Wk. 14: @Chi.): I'm not going to pretend to know what to expect from Jones this week. Every time it seems like either Jones or Morris has taken a stranglehold of the early down role, the team seems to totally go the other direction the next week. It's about as frustrating as the Patriots' running backs from last season. This is a plus matchup, with the Bears ranking dead last in run DVOA and allowing at least 11 RB fantasy points in every single game this season, and Alfred Morris didn't play a snap for the last 3 quarters on Monday night. That points to Jones being a strong flex play this week, but there is always the risk that Morris gets right back in his way. Head coach Jay Gruden said Morris's disappearance was due to game-flow, and I doubt Jones sees 18 carries again, but he certainly has upside.
RB Todd Gurley, STL (Wk. 14: vs. Det.): It's getting tough to trust Gurley as the offense crumbles around him. The Rams will go back to Case Keenum at QB this week, a move that brings with it the risk that the offense will implode once again. The Lions seem like an unimposing matchup on paper, ranking in the middle of the pack in both fantasy points allowed to RBs (15th most) and run DVOA (rank 13th), but over their past 4 games they've allowed just 48 RB rush yards per game. Gurley is probably best left on the bench this week despite the massive upside his talent brings with it. If you own him in dynasty, you should still be excited for the future.
RB Ameer Abdullah, DET (Wk. 14: @StL): This is an interesting spot for Ameer. The Rams' run defense has been collapsing as his play has improved and his role has grown. Abdullah set a career-high in single-game rushing yards in each of the past 2 games, and the Rams have allowed at least 96 RB rush yards in each of the past 5 games, and 22 fantasy points per game in that stretch (they averaged allowing 14.6 prior to those games). The only concern here is that the Lions have a tendency to abandon the run even when the game script is positive and they are running well. They did it last week against GB, and hopefully they learned from that mistake. Abdullah is a flex option with solid upside this week.
WR Dorial Green-Beckham, TEN (Wk. 14: @NYJ): With Revis questionable for this week, Dorial has a chance to build on his breakout game from week 13. What was especially promising was that Green-Beckham bounced back beautifully after making an early mistake that resulted in an interception. He showed all of the skills that make him such a tantalizing talent in piling up 119 yards and a TD on 5 catches. The Jets' pass defense has been gashed for 28+ points by opposing WRs in 5 of their past 6 games (35+ in 4 of them). It's hard to rely on DGB just because he showed us what he was capable of for one game when he's regularly disappointed this season, but the ceiling this week is huge, especially if Revis sits again.
WR DeVante Parker, MIA (Wk. 14: vs. NYG): Parker put up his second consecutive strong performance in place of the injured Rishard Matthews last week, and Matthews will be out again this week. The new offensive coordinator relied heavily on Lamar Miller and the run game against Baltimore, as Tannehill threw just 19 times, but 5 of them went in Parker's direction. That passing volume is scary low as a team, and you'd hope it comes up this week, but the matchup is a positive one. The G-Men have allowed the 2nd most WR yards in the league, and have given up 200+ yards to them in 4 of their past 5 games. There is a somewhat scary floor based on the pass game volume, but I think Parker is a strong bet to top 50 yards again and he should have WR2 upside this week.
TE Will Tye, NYG (Wk. 14: @Mia.): Tye has been extremely steady over the past 3 weeks with Larry Donnell out, averaging 67 yards on just under 5 catches per game in that stretch, and there is a good chance he posts a similar line again this week. He's a reasonable low-end TE1 this week and a name to know in case Eifert is out again or you have a starter you don't trust.
Bears' rookie Jeremy Langford is a sit for us this weekRookies to Sit:
RB Jeremy Langford, CHI (Wk. 14: vs. Was.): Langford was finally kept out of the end zone in week 13 after scoring in 4 straight games prior to that. What’s more concerning is that Langford was out-touched 26-14 by Matt Forte and even ceded some of the backup work to Ka’Deem Carey, who scored a 4th quarter TD. He managed just 5 fantasy points in a very good matchup on 14 touches and this week gets to face a Washington defense that has allowed 97 RB rushing yards total in the last 2 weeks. The uncertain volume and tougher matchup make Langford a tough guy to trust in playoff matchups this week.
RB Melvin Gordon, SD (Wk. 14: @KC): Gordon was benched after fumbling yet again last week, and he's still failed to score a touchdown or put up double-digit fantasy points in any game this year. The Chiefs rank 7th in run DVOA and have allowed the 7th fewest RB fantasy points on the year. This isn't the week that Gordon breaks the 10-point barrier.
RB Duke Johnson, CLE (Wk. 14: vs. SF): Johnson has a great matchup this week with the 49ers, who have allowed the 2nd most receptions to opposing RBs in the league, and have been awful vs. RBs on the road (Allow 28.3 RB points per game on the road, 7.5 more than any other team averages for the season). The problem is that the quarterback merry-go-round in Cleveland is making the entire offense a wild card. Manziel gets the nod this week, and despite the great matchup there's a real chance that Duke doesn't hit 5 points. He's just too hard to trust for my liking in the playoffs.
RB David Cobb, TEN (Wk. 14: @NYJ): Cobb worked his way into a bigger role last week, garnering double-digit touches for the first time in his career, but he still averaged under 4 yards per carry and gets the best defense in the league in terms of run DVOA this week. Cobb is at best a TD dart throw this week.
RB Tevin Coleman, ATL (Wk. 14: @Car.): Not much explanation necessary here. Coleman went right back to being a backup to Devonta Freeman last week. Feel free to avoid him again. He only really has value if something happens to Freeman.
RB Jay Ajayi, MIA (Wk. 14: vs. NYG): With the new offensive coordinator in Miami, the team seems to have recommitted to Lamar Miller as the feature back. Ajayi played just 8 snaps last week, and while that number may go up this week, there's no reason to be confident it will. Ajayi is a Miller handcuff for now.
RB John Crockett, GB (Wk. 14: vs. Dal.): Crockett led the Packers in rushing yards last week. It won't happen again. Eddie Lacy was benched due to issues off the field, but coach Mike McCarthy has talked up Lacy as looking 'rejuvenated' in practice this week. Expect a bounce back from Lacy and a return to obscurity for Crockett.
WR Amari Cooper, OAK (Wk. 14: @Den.): Sitting Cooper might sound like a terrible idea if you've been starting him every week, but this really could be a rough week for him. The Broncos have held 4 of the last 6 opponents they've played to 3 or fewer points from their entire WR groups. Cooper has failed to find the end zone in the past 4 games, and Denver has allowed just 1 WR TD all season long. There is a much lower floor than we typically see from Cooper. When he lines up outside he should see a lot of Aqub Talib. If they move him into the slot he gets Chris Harris. Either way he's facing one of the league's elite cover corners. If he tops 50 yards it would be a win for him this week.
WR Stefon Diggs, MIN (Wk. 14: @Ari.): Things aren't promising for Diggs right now. Even in a 31-point drubbing last week, the Vikings attempted just 28 passes. Meanwhile, Adrian Peterson complained about not getting enough carries. I'd expect the Vikings to be committed to the run early, and the pass volume to be low again, even if they're playing from behind. Diggs has come up short of 50 receiving yards in 4 of his last 5 outings, and the Cardinals rank 3rd in the league in pass DVOA. It's hard to bet on Diggs to top that 50-yard mark this week.
WR Devin Funchess, CAR (Wk. 14: vs. Atl.): I was surprised to see Funchess pushed back to the bench with the return of Corey Brown. He failed to come up big in a game with a lot of passing volume for Carolina (despite a TD), so I'd be hard pressed to trust him in a game that sets up to have a lot less of it. Funchess would need to find the end zone to be productive this week, and the Falcons have allowed just 4 WR touchdowns in 12 games. Betting that Funchess scores one this week isn't something I'm prepared to do.
WR Jamison Crowder, WAS (Wk. 14: @Chi.): Crowder made a few grabs and did a few positive things in an ugly Monday night loss for Washington, but 4-for-40 is pretty much his ceiling at this point with the Washington WRs all healthy. The Bears' real issue will be containing DeSean Jackson, not Crowder.
WRs Devin Smith & Quincy Enunwa, NYJ (Wk. 14: vs. Ten.): The Titans have been shredded for 7 WR TDs in the past two games, and the Jets' pass attack is humming right now. There is sneaky shootout potential in this game, and there should be enough passing action to go around for more than just Marshall and Decker. That means there is a chance for Smith or Enunwa to have a nice game, but good luck guessing which one it'll be. Smith has the better shot at a TD, but Enunwa's volume is slightly more consistent. Your best bet is to avoid both.
TE Clive Walford, OAK (Wk. 14: @Den.): Walford set his career bests in catches and yards in week 13, but I wouldn't bank on a repeat this week. The Broncos have struggled to contain TEs the past two weeks, but they faced Gronk and Antonio Gates. Prior to those two games, no team had put up more than 6 TE catches against Denver. Walford is best left on the bench this week.
Deep League Sleepers and Cheap DFS Options:
RB Karlos Williams, BUF (Wk. 14: @Phi.): There is a ton of volatility to Williams. I wouldn't trust him in the fantasy playoffs, but he has some DFS upside as a punt play this week. The Eagles stunned the Pats last week, but they'd been collapsing for weeks prior to that, and this is a good spot for a letdown game. Philly has been forking over 27.5 RB points per game over the past 4 games, and while this has been talked up as LeSean McCoy's revenge game, if the Bills get way up Williams could get some garbage time carries against a collapsing defense. He still has scored TDs in 6 of the 8 games he's played. Keep an eye on the injury report and make sure Williams is active before taking a shot on him, but there should be some opportunity for him and no one else is likely to be on him this week.
WR Tyler Lockett, SEA (Wk. 14: @Bal.): Lockett could wind up on the PPR WR3 radar this week. His role seemed to increase last week with Jimmy Graham out for the season, and the Ravens rank 26th in pass DVOA. His efficiency has been insane this year. He's hauled in 35 catches on just 40 targets, including 7-of-7 in week 13. If he continues to see 6-8 targets, he should return borderline WR3 value in PPR leagues the rest of the way.
WR JJ Nelson, ARI (Wk. 14: vs. Min.): As mentioned earlier, the Vikings' defense will likely struggle while missing an impact player at every level of the defense. The lack of Harrison Smith should make them more vulnerable to the deep ball than usual, and Arizona has been taking a couple deep shots to Nelson each week, even with the top 3 WRs healthy. Nelson has had at least 5 fantasy points in each of the past 4 games, and he could make an intriguing DFS punt play yet again this week.
That's all I've got for this week. Hopefully it helps you make some tough lineup decisions and advance in your playoffs. If you have any specific start/sit questions or feedback, or just want to yell at me about my opinions, feel free to hit me up on twitter (@shawn_foss). As always, good luck, trust your gut, and have fun. It's just a game.