Week 12 is now nearing its completion, and fantasy football playoffs are suddenly right around the corner. Injuries are still taking a toll in the NFL. This week saw Jimmy Graham and Tony Romo become the latest fantasy fatalities of the season. Below are five players I would consider adding to your team this coming week.
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, New York Jets
Fitzpatrick continued his great season this Sunday, leading the 6-5 Jets to a lopsided victory against the Dolphins. As the Jets continue to fight for a playoff spot, there’s no reason to think that Fitzpatrick will not continue his success. He’s got two great weapons to throw to at the wide receiver position in both Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker. The Jets also have a stellar defense, which creates many opportunities for the Jets to move the ball and make an impact on offense. The Jets also have very favorable matchups over the next three weeks, as they play the Giants, Titans, and Cowboys. On the season, Fitzpatrick has thrown for 16 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He threw for 277 yards on Sunday, the second most passing yards he has thrown for all season. He threw for four touchdowns and no interceptions in the game. I would not be afraid to start Fitzpatrick on any of my teams over the next few weeks.
RB Jay Ajayi, Miami Dolphins
Ajayi, the Dolphins’ fifth round pick out of Boise State in this past year’s draft, may see his fantasy stock increase over the coming weeks due to the struggles of Lamar Miller. The Dolphins rushed for a meager 12 yards in this Sunday’s loss to the Jets, and with the Dolphins nearly out of contention, they may decide to increase Ajayi’s work load over the coming weeks to see what they’ve got in him. While he rushed for only six yards on three carries in this week’s game, he still managed to catch four passes for 52 yards. If Miller continues to struggle and the Dolphins continue to lose, I expect Ajayi to get double-digit carries and plenty of pass-catching opportunities in the near future. The Dolphins will need to start running the ball soon. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill threw the football 58 times today, and the Dolphins still only scored 20 points. The running game must make an impact sooner than later.
RB David Johnson, Arizona Cardinals
Johnson, the Cardinals’ third round pick out of Northern Iowa in this past year’s draft, is part of a crowded Arizona backfield that also includes Andre Ellington and former Titans’ star Chris Johnson. But, David Johnson is really starting to make an impact on the Cardinals, both as a back and as a dynamic kick returner. He has scored eight touchdowns this season—four rushing, three receiving, and one on a kickoff return. He is a versatile back, as he poses as a scoring threat as a receiver, and as a goal-line back. As a result, he could continue to accumulate touchdowns throughout the remainder of the season, which will really attract fantasy owners. In Sunday’s 19-13 victory over the 49ers, Johnson rushed for 21 yards and a touchdown, in addition to catching two passes for eight yards.
WR Doug Baldwin, Seattle Seahawks
Baldwin and the Seattle offense had a break-out game on Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers, winning by a final score of 39-30. Baldwin had a monster game, catching six passes for 145 yards and three touchdowns. The Seahawks are not really known as a pass-heavy team, but with Marshawn Lynch out for the near future with a hernia injury, and tight end Jimmy Graham out for the season now with a knee injury, the Seahawks may start revolving their offense around their receivers. The Seahawks have far from a star-studded receiving corps, but Baldwin poses as perhaps the most reliable of the receivers. He puts up inconsistent numbers, but is a constant deep ball threat and a favorite of Russell Wilson’s. This was his second 100+ yard receiving game in the past three weeks. Over these past three weeks, he has also seen 24 targets. Baldwin will continue to get plenty of looks on Seattle’s offense over the weeks to come.
WR Markus Wheaton, Pittsburgh Steelers
Wheaton finally put together the game that fantasy owners expected him to perform earlier this season. In Sunday’s loss to the Seahawks, he caught nine passes for 201 yards and a touchdown. Wheaton was a fantasy favorite in drafts this year due to Martavis Bryant’s suspension at the beginning of the season. However, he didn’t perform up to expectations and seemingly was viewed as a fantasy bust and a droppable player several weeks ago. However, Wheaton tied Bryant for 13 targets in Sunday’s game and should continue getting several looks over the coming weeks. Big Ben threw the ball 56 times on Sunday, and should continue with this trend in the weeks to come. Teams are starting to focus most of their attention on Bryant and Antonio Brown, so Wheaton may start seeing more targets as a constant deep threat. If he receives double-digit targets in the fantasy playoffs, he will be extremely productive.