With just three weeks left in the regular season for most fantasy teams, you pretty much know where you stand in your league’s playoff picture. For those fortunate enough to be in the driver’s seat for a postseason spot, now is the time to back up/ handcuff your priority starters so that one injury does not wipe out your championship hopes. If your trade deadline has not passed yet, it would also be a wise move to examine Week 15-17 schedules and target players with juicy matchups to end the year; ideally, you could swap players with short-term viability for those who could really “boom” down the stretch. For now, we will take it week-by-week in the streamer world, where teams in “win now” mode will live for the rest of the season.
* Players marked with an asterisk below can also be found in the priority waiver wire adds article referenced at the end. If anyone featured below is at risk of not playing or is relegated to a bench role late in the week, I will do my best to keep you all updated on Twitter (@BrandonMillerFB). All players below are under 65%-rostered as of 11/24/21.
Devin Singletary (RB, Buffalo Bills)
This is not as much a ringing endorsement of Singletary as it is speculation that the Bills will begin to afford him more week on the heels of several ineffective performances from Zack Moss (3.5 yards/ carry compared to Singletary’s 5.0). While Matt Breida has also shown well in limited opportunities lately, I feel Singletary is Buffalo’s best RB overall due to his rushing efficiency and receiving skills. It is very possible that the Bills are hesitant to give him a high-volume role due to his slight stature (listed at 5’7″, 203lbs), but they cannot afford to keep him in bubble wrap in a very tight AFC playoff race where Buffalo has now slipped out of first in their division. While it could be tough sledding on the ground vs a stout Saints run defense, I feel he is a solid season-long add that will pay off down the stretch. I would consider him a borderline RB3/RB4 for Week 12.
* Ty Johnson (RB, New York Jets)
If you are in a season-long survivor pool or enjoy spending your free time as a social media troll, sure, I will not argue that the Jets have been an easy target. For fantasy purposes, however, they have been a sneaky-good source of production. In the end, all fantasy points count the same, and any team that has a steady weekly formula of bad defense + point deficit to make up + talented offensive weapons will make you a lover of garbage time. With playmaking rookie RB Michael Carter now likely out for multiple weeks due to an ankle injury, the NYJ backfield will be left to Ty Johnson and Tevin Coleman.
Of the two, I feel that Johnson brings a more rounded game to the table with his pass-catching skills, though Coleman could still steal some early-down and goal-line work, particularly this week against the equally struggling Texans. I would bet on Johnson having more overall touches and thus a more secure floor most weeks while Carter is out, making him a low-end Flex/RB3 in Week 12.
RB Streamers (ranked): Rhamondre Stevenson, Devonta Freeman (52% ESPN), Tony Pollard (59% ESPN, RB3/ priority handcuff), Ty Johnson, Alex Collins, Jeff Wilson Jr, J.D. McKissic, Boston Scott, Tevin Coleman, D’Onta Foreman, Devin Singletary (58% ESPN), Kenyan Drake, David Johnson, Nyheim Hines, Rex Burkhead, Latavius Murray, Jamaal Williams, Matt Breida, Mike Davis, D’Ernest Johnson, Brandon Bolden, Jeremy McNichols, Samaje Perine, Devontae Booker, DeeJay Dallas, Ronald Jones II, Alexander Mattison (priority handcuff), Tony Jones Jr, Qadree Ollison, Giovani Bernard, Carlos Hyde, Dontrell Hilliard, Khalil Herbert, Patrick Taylor Jr, Jaret Patterson, Sony Michel (handcuff/ stash), Chuba Hubbard, Trey Sermon, Larry Rountree III, Kenneth Gainwell, Wayne Gallman.
Tyler Boyd (WR, Cincinnati Bengals)
Sitting just outside of the 65%-rostered threshold at 66% in Yahoo leagues and 68% in ESPN, Boyd is a season-long target that can realistically provide Flex numbers on any given week with low-WR2 upside when he finds the endzone. He is currently behind only rookie sensation Ja’Marr Chase on the team for targets and receiving yards and plays for a Cincinncati offense that is capable of moving the ball on anyone with their variety of weapons. As long as Boyd is active this week (left late in the Bengals’ Week 11 game due to cramping), he figures to assume a solid volume-based role that lends itself well to PPR formats. He already has five games under his belt with seven-plus targets this year and will look to benefit from Pittsburgh’s defense focusing on Chase in the passing game. Start him as a WR3/ Flex this week.
Kendrick Bourne (WR, New England Patriots)
A very basic breakdown of the New England passing game thus far would be that Jakobi Meyers gets peppered with targets between the 20s (leads team with 82), Hunter Henry gets the red-zone work (leads team in receiving TDs with seven), and Kendrick Bourne is a low-volume hybrid version of both. Despite checking in at third in targets for the Patriots (47), Bourne leads the team in receiving yards (562) and has the fourth-best catch percentage in the NFL (78.72%), so he is able to make the most of limited opportunities when they do come his way. Titans HC and respected former Patriot LB Mike Vrabel is a defensive-minded coach who will likely key in on New England’s run game in Week 12, which has been a strength for them in recent weeks with their talented backfield. I see Bourne finishing the day in the neighborhood of six-plus combined touches with WR3/ low-end Flex numbers this week.
WR Streamers (ranked): Elijah Moore (58% ESPN), Darnell Mooney (59% ESPN), Rashod Bateman, Corey Davis (69% Yahoo), Marvin Jones Jr (65% Yahoo), Jakobi Meyers (67% ESPN), Van Jefferson, Kadarius Toney, Tyler Boyd (68% ESPN/Yahoo), Kendrick Bourne, Cole Beasley (69% Yahoo), Jamison Crowder, Tim Patrick, Cedrick Wilson, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Laviska Shenault Jr., Kenny Golladay, Tre’Quan Smith, Marquez Callaway, T.Y. Hilton, Nelson Agholor, Russell Gage, Robby Anderson, Bryan Edwards, Nick Westbrook-Ikhine, Deonte Harris, Gabriel Davis, DeAndre Carter, Amon-Ra St. Brown, Marquise Goodwin, Sammy Watkins, Randall Cobb, James Washington, K.J. Osborn, Olamide Zaccheaus, Rashard Higgins, Zach Pascal, Quez Watkins, Kalif Raymond.
Evan Engram (TE, New York Giants)
If you forced yourself to watch the Giants’ offense underwhelm once again in Week 11, feel free to take a moment to scrunch your nose, shake your head, and let out your most emphatic “Psh!” Feel better? Me too. As for why I am higher than usual on Engram this week, it somewhat ties into NYG hitting a low point and a general sense of “it can only get better from here.” They just let go of offensive coordinator Jason Garrett and will now take on an Eagles defense allowing the most fantasy points per game to opposing TEs. Engram brings run-after-catch ability (big for an offense that does not generate many scoring opportunities), has seen five-plus targets in five-of-eight weeks he has played this season, and has found the end zone in two of the last three games. While he is not my top streamer this week < 65% rostered (see rankings below), I feel you could do a lot worse if you need some juice at TE this week.
TE Streamers (ranked): Pat Freiermuth, Hunter Henry (59% ESPN), Dan Arnold, Tyler Conklin, Evan Engram, Austin Hooper, Cole Kmet, Jared Cook, C.J. Uzomah, Gerald Everett, Logan Thomas (check status), David Njoku, Mo Alie-Cox, Anthony Firkser, Jack Doyle, Ryan Griffin, Donald Parham Jr., Albert Okwuegbunam, Kyle Rudolph, Cameron Brate, Jonnu Smith, Brevin Jordan, Juwan Johnson, Josiah Deguara, Tommy Tremble, Geoff Swaim, O.J. Howard, Zach Ertz (61% ESPN, bye – stash).
Accountability is everything, so here’s a quick look back at last week’s recommendations
D’Onta Foreman (RB, Tennessee Titans): Although Foreman was expected to see an increased workload with Jeremy McNichols (concussion) out for Week 11, the Titans shockingly fell behind the Texans and it was Dontrell Hilliard who came out nowhere to lead the backfield in touches. Foreman finished with seven carries for 25 rushing yards and one catch for 15 yards, making him an easy drop as you scan the wire for alternative RB options.
Rhamondre Stevenson (RB, New England Patriots): Many were curious to see how Stevenson’s role would change with Damien Harris back in the lineup and he showed that both backs can be viable on a weekly basis, finishing with 12 carries for 69 yards and one catch for six yards. Stevenson ultimately led the team in carries in a game that the Patriots comfortably led throughout and would have had an even more impressive stat line if a long run was not called back. He is a “hold” for now and a potential league-winner if Harris misses time down the stretch.
Michael Gallup (WR, Dallas Cowboys): Any hopes of a Cowboys-Chiefs shootout were put to rest after Amari Cooper (COVID) was ruled out and CeeDee Lamb left early with a concussion. In theory, that would make Gallup the de facto WR1, but the Kansas City defense shut down Dallas (who was also without top LT Tyron Smith) in an ugly game. Encouragingly, Gallup did see 10 targets (caught five for 44 yards), so there is hope he can produce in an easier Thanksgiving matchup with both top WRs likely out for at least another week. Keep him in your lineups as a high-end Flex.
Elijah Moore (WR, New York Jets): I liked Moore as a second-half breakout candidate, but cannot say I could have seen this one coming as he finished with eight catches on 11 targets for 141 yards and a score along with one carry for 15 yards. Even with a carousel of QBs in recent weeks, Moore has flashed his ability to make plays in a variety of ways and should be rostered in all leagues. Slot him in as a high-end Flex/ borderline WR2 until further notice.
Tyler Conklin (TE, Minnesota Vikings): In a game that turned out to be a shootout, Conklin finished with a modest three catches for 35 yards. He has a bit of “touchdown-or-bust” in his game like most TE streamers, so he is not a must-hold by any means if there are more exciting options out there (Pat Freirmuth or Dan Arnold come to mind despite Arnold’s Week 11 goose-egg). Still, he is not the worst TE play if you are really struggling at the position.
Make sure to check out AJ Passman’s priority waiver wire adds article every Tuesday for more insights on who you should be submitting claims for heading into each Wednesday. Good luck in Week 12!
(Photo by Brooks Von Arx/Zuma Press/Icon Sportswire)