The Must Stash: Week 13

Every Friday I will list 5 players who I think, if things go their way, will wind up in those waiver articles the following Tuesday. You don’t have to stash all of them – it depends on who you have on your roster, the depth of your benches, the scoring system of your league, etc. But these are guys that should at least be on your radar. 

Stashing players is only something that can occur in deeper leagues with large benches, so to make this information worthwhile, I will only be recommending guys that are under 20% owned on both Yahoo and ESPN, and in many cases, you’ll see percentages in the single digits. If you’re in a league where guys like Jonathan Williams (78% on Yahoo, 59% on ESPN) or A.J. Brown (24% Yahoo, 21% on ESPN) are on the waiver wire, you’re either in a league too shallow for stashing, or you should go pick those guys up right away.

Week 12 is in the books, another week where not much changed in the fantasy landscape. Rashaad Penny may have taken the starting spot from Chris Carson, as Carson continues to have issues with fumbles. But Carson has looked done before, and the Seahawks always seem to go back to him the following week. Benny Snell has apparently surpassed Jaylen Samuels in the Steelers depth chart, but his value evaporates as soon as James Conner is ready to play. Snell also isn’t that good – any running back receiving 21 carries against the terrible Cincinnati Bengals defense should deliver something better than 98 yards and no touchdowns.

On to week 13, where again I’m mostly looking for running backs that have a shot to become fantasy-relevant in the final weeks. I’m abbreviating the list to only 3 players this week because it’s a holiday weekend and, by the time this posts, 6 teams will have already played. Besides the guys listed below, be sure you’re stashing the relevant backup to any stud running backs on your roster. Wayne Gallman, Ryquell Armstead, Reggie Bonnafon, and Alexander Mattison all need to be owned if you’re relying on the guy in front of them.

 

Darrel Williams, RB, Kansas City Chiefs (11% on Yahoo, 5% on ESPN)

 

The Chiefs backfield has been a confusing mess all year and hasn’t delivered much value for anyone who invested in Damien Williams and LeSean McCoy. We’re likely to see that pattern continue, but if I had to pick one guy to emerge and take the lead role, I think it might be Darrel Williams.
Damien Williams has had plenty of chances to take the lead in this backfield but he’s been mostly ineffective. His 3.7 yards per carry is already unimpressive, but it’s being inflated by a 91-yard touchdown run against the Vikings. Take away that one play and his average drops to 2.7. Williams is now dealing with a rib injury that knocked him out of the Chiefs’ last game and may keep him out of this weekend’s game against the Raiders.
Then there’s McCoy, who has put up decent numbers in a limited role this year but clearly doesn’t have the trust of his head coach. McCoy has fumbled three times this year, which earned him a few brief stints in Andy Reid’s doghouse. He was also a healthy scratch in Patrick Mahomes’s first game back from his knee injury, presumably because of his poor pass blocking.
That leaves Darrel Williams, who out-snapped McCoy in last Monday’s game, just like he did in weeks three and four when Damien Williams was out with a knee injury. The appeal of Williams is that he’s already shown that he can be effective in the passing game and handle goal-line carries, which is where the bulk of the fantasy points are generated in the Chiefs offense. If Damien Williams is out for any significant amount of time or if the rib injury limits his effectiveness, I think it will be Darrel Williams, not McCoy, who takes the bulk of the touches.

Gus Edwards, RB, Baltimore Ravens (13% on Yahoo, 5% on ESPN)

 

Coming into the year, most analysts expected Justice Hill to occupy the #2 spot in the Ravens’ backfield behind Mark Ingram. Instead, it’s been the undrafted Gus Edwards in the backup role with Hill being sprinkled in for just a handful of snaps each week. I still think Hill will be fantasy-relevant eventually, but probably not until 2020.

The Ravens’ backup running back is important because, in case you haven’t noticed, their offense is unstoppable. They’re averaging 43 points per game since their bye and it looks like they could be averaging 60 if they wanted. If you’ve been relying on Ingram up to this point, you need to stash Edwards in case of an injury. We’d see a lot more of Justice Hill with Ingram out of the picture, but I think Edwards would have at least a 50% snap share, which is more than enough to return some fantasy value.

Even with Ingram healthy, Edwards is a viable option for the running back desperate. When Baltimore gets up big in games, they tend to rest Ingram and let Edwards handle mop-up duty. Edwards didn’t do much on his 14 carries last week, but he ran for 112 yards and a touchdown on his 8 carries the week before that. It’s not ideal, but you could do worse than a guy getting 8-10 touches per game on the best offense in the league.

 

Chase Edmonds, RB, Arizona Cardinals (12% on Yahoo, 13% on ESPN)

 

Chase Edmonds logged a full practice on Thursday, his first since suffering a hamstring injury in week 8. I’m putting him back on the list this week to remind you that we really don’t know how the Cardinals are going to handle their backfield for the rest of the year. The conventional wisdom right now is that Kenyan Drake has taken the starting spot for the Cardinals, but in fantasy football (and in life) the conventional wisdom is often wrong. Would anyone be surprised to see Edmonds get 15 carries in his first game back from injury? I certainly wouldn’t be. David Johnson looms as well, but he might be on injured reserve by the time you read this and doesn’t seem capable of outplaying both Drake and Edmonds at this point.

I’m interested in the Cardinals running back situation because their offense is really starting to click. After some bumps in the road in the first half of the year, they’ve scored 25 or more points in 3 straight games, including two matchups against the 49ers. Did you see the 49ers shut down the Packers last Sunday? They have a top 5 defense and the Cardinals have the ball on them better than anyone this year. Their remaining schedule isn’t easy, but it’s manageable, and I expect their #1 running back to put up fantasy points the rest of the way. I still maintain that Kenyan Drake is a half-year rental and will likely be playing elsewhere next season. And given the recent benching of David Johnson, my money would be on Edmonds to be the Cardinals starting running back in 2020. It may take a week or two, but I think we might see Edmonds take over the lead role before the season ends.

That’s it for week 13. Feel free to weigh in and tell me who I missed.

 

Featured Image by Justin Paradis (@freshmeatcomm on Twitter)

Tom (@QBLTom)

Tom lives in an alternate universe where the Bostick onside kick never happened and Nick Foles still plays for the Eagles. There is mounting evidence that Brady is a system QB. #GPG

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