Fantasy football has hit it’s home stretch and the playoffs begin in just four weeks! Owners are starting to scramble to set their lineup in stone, so now is the time to sit down and make sure you clear your dead weight. Prepare your roster not just to get you into the playoffs, but to have you ready for the title fight.
I’ll be going over this week’s waiver wire and players you may want to trade for based on their long-term potential. I’ll also suggest players who you may want to drop as an injury-heavy season depletes potential candidates as we approach the post-season. Follow @TotalSportsPub on Twitter for up-to-date fantasy advice and news.
Jamaal Williams, Green Bay Packers RB (6% owned)
Williams is one of the rarest finds you can get at this point after both Aaron Jones and Ty Montgomery exited Week 10 with pretty serious injuries (knee / ribs). He ended the game with only 67 yards on 20 carries and a catch for seven yards, but he is going to jump right into the role of the starting back for an offense that has to rely on the run game.
Coach McCarthy has a history of making the most of any running back he gets, making Williams a must-have pickup. Not only is he going to get at least 20 carries a game, but unless he completely falls on his face he will be a consistent centerpiece for the Packers’ offense. He is facing the fifth-worst rushing defense in the NFL (Baltimore) next week, meaning he not only has upside down the road but can also make an immediate impact this week.
Case Keenum, Minnesota Vikings QB (17% owned)
It is the fifth week in a row that Keenum has been under center for the Vikings, replacing Sam Bradford in week 5. He has thrown an interception in every single game since then, but also put up 7 touchdowns and averaged 254 yards per game down that stretch.
While those aren’t the most impressive numbers, he finally clicking with the stud receivers in Minnesota and is a strong option if you’re finding yourself in need of a play-caller. He is facing the Rams this weekend, but his upside, low ownership rate, and excellent receiving corp push him head and shoulders above the other choices.
Austin Ekeler, San Diego Chargers RB (0.2% owned)
Ekeler isn’t the biggest name on the table but he has been making waves despite his typecast as Melvin Gordon’s backup. Even with that defined role, he had one of the best games of his career and managed 119 yards and two receiving touchdowns in week 10 compared to Gordon’s 42 total yards (16 carries for 27, 5 receptions for 15).
Although I wouldn’t advise valuing Ekeler above Gordon, he could play a huge role for a fantasy team that needs a replacement in one of the closing weeks. This is especially true because of Gordon’s injury concerns, and the possibility Ekeler could take over starting back duties in the next few weeks.
Dede Westbrook, Jacksonville Jaguars WR (0.6% owned)
Marqise Lee has cemented himself as the Jags top receiver, but an ankle injury to Allen Hurns pushes Westbrook into the fold. He was a hot pickup in the past few weeks as he was supposed to return in Week 9 and 10, but after still sitting has been overlooked by many. He is definitely going to get some play time now that Hurns is out and has a good chance to pick up production as the Jags fight for their playoff credentials, so I would call him an easy and safe bet for the waiver this week.
I'm back like I forgot something!
— Dede Westbrook (@DedeTHEGreat11) November 14, 2017
LeSean McCoy, Buffalo Bills RB (100% owned)
McCoy started off the season slow but consistent, and after the week 6 bye he was able to rack up three touchdowns and over 300 total yards in two games. He quickly regressed with only 25 yards against the Jets and 49 against New Orleans, but it doesn’t mean he is done for the season. He was actually the most effective player for the Bills in their 47-10 loss against the Saints, with Tyrod Taylor not being in tune with the receiving corps.
Buffalo’s out of sync passing game means that McCoy will likely be a bigger component in their offense as they try to get back to basics against a Charger’s team which allows the second-most rushing yards in the NFL.
Lots of people will see his lack of points the past few weeks and think he’s done, so I would take advantage and clear some dead weight in a trade to get him. Although the Bills are going downhill and may have to pass the ball more to come back in games, I believe McCoy will have a role in the receiving department as well and has lasting fantasy value for the rest of the season.
Corey Coleman, Cleveland Browns WR (39% owned)
Fantasy experts have been putting a lot of faith in Coleman as he returns from a broken hand which has sidelined him since Week 2. Although he had 62 yards and a touchdown in the seven quarters he played before that, I don’t believe those numbers give me enough faith he will be productive upon returning. It’s also not like he is returning from a back injury, the guy broke his hand, the most important thing a wide receiver has.
Not only that, but his first matchup is against the Jaguars, the best team in passing defense. The negatives just don’t end, he’s on the freaking Browns, too! Coleman may put some production up a week or two this season, but I don’t see the consistency or enough upside to give him a spot on your end-of-the-season roster.
Bengals D/ST (11.2% owned)
I picked up the Bengals two weeks ago, and I’ll be honest, they screwed me. -1 and 3 points in the past two weeks, but that doesn’t change the fact they are one of the best streaming options this week. The Broncos have allowed 28 sacks thanks to a lackluster line and a goon under center known as Brock Osweiler. Seahawks are looking risky due to Richard Sherman, Kam Chancellor, and Earl Thomas all injured and the Colts, Panthers, Jets, and 49ers have byes. All these factors make the Bengals a great option for this week, but make sure to switch them out going forward.
Tyrod Taylor, Buffalo Bills QB (91% owned)
Tyrod has been one of the most in demand quarterbacks week after week, and I have seen some lopsided trades just because people have put so much faith in him. While this may have been a good option at the time, the Bills have managed to start their self-destruction sequence and it doesn’t look like they will bounce back as the season ends.
He finished last week with only 56 passing yards (27 rushing) and an interception against the Saints. That sounds so pitiful there must be no way he will flounder like that again, but it is the third time in five weeks that he has had less than 170 total yards. The consistency isn’t there, which means the Bills probably won’t make the playoffs and Taylor won’t cut it as a fantasy option heading into the post-season.