Well, folks, here we are again. There are only a few weeks left in the regular season. Odds are, your league’s regular season goes until Week 13 or 14 in order to keep the championship from happening on Week 17 (a cardinal sin in the world of fantasy football). That means you only have two or three more chances to make a playoff push or solidify your seed in the bracket. Let’s get to it!
Alex Collins – Baltimore Ravens – 24.9% Owned (NFL.com Leagues)
In his last six games, Alex Collins has averaged just under 15 carries per game to go along with 61 yards per game. The issue concerning fantasy owners is his inability to score touchdowns, with only one coming in the last six games. However, his use in the Baltimore offense is crucial. His use in the passing game this last Sunday (four receptions off seven targets for 22 yards) is a bit of an anomaly. I would expect the receiving role out of the backfield to go to fellow running back Danny Woodhead, who returned from Injured Reserve. However, Collins owners shouldn’t be concerned by Woodhead’s presence, as Collins got 20 carries and seven targets in Sunday’s game with Woodhead active. Alex Collins should be owned and started in all formats.
Schedule Rest of Season: vs HOU, vs DET, @ PIT, @ CLE, vs IND
Alfred Morris – Dallas Cowboys – 46.4% Owned
Alfred Morris carried the ball 11 times for 53 yards Sunday night against a stout Eagles defense, averaging an impressive 4.8 yards per carry. Darren McFadden was a healthy scratch for the game, leading us to believe that Morris is the workhorse moving forward. Even with a key injury to the Dallas offensive line, they provide enough push and opportunity for Alfred Morris to succeed. He didn’t get as many opportunities as he should have on Sunday night, but the Cowboys were playing from behind most of the game and needed points fast. He is worth picking up and starting most weeks.
Schedule ROS: vs LAC, vs WAS, @ NYG, @ OAK, vs SEA
Samaje Perine – Washington Redskins – 57.4% Owned
We’re double-dipping with this pick, but he’s worth talking about again as starting running back Chris Thompson is out for the season with a fibula injury. Samaje Perine rushed 23 times for 117 yards and one touchdown in addition to one reception on two targets for nine yards. Perine balled out after Thompson left the game, and he’s finally proving why he deserves more volume in this offense. He has a juicy matchup on Thanksgiving against a weak Giants defense, and owners should feel safe starting him for the rest of the season.
Schedule ROS: vs NYG, @ DAL, @ LAC, vs ARI, vs DEN
Corey Coleman – Cleveland Browns – 40.1% Owned
Corey Coleman has only participated in four games this season, and last Sunday was his best, with six receptions off of a team-high eleven targets for 80 yards. The appealing factors for Coleman are his developing chemistry with quarterback DeShone Kizer and the fact that the Browns are almost always playing from behind and need to pass the ball. The Browns have a decent schedule as far as passing defenses moving forward, and Coleman could prove a decent option depending on matchup and format.
Schedule ROS: @ CIN, @ LAC, vs GB, vs BAL, @ CHI
Bruce Ellington – Houston Texans – 0.5% Owned
With fellow wide receiver Will Fuller dealing with cracked ribs, Bruce Ellington gets a bump in Houston’s depth chart. Fuller’s injury could keep him out for a while, especially if the Texans continue to fall in the division. In his last three games, Ellington has averaged eight targets and 42 yards per game in addition to one touchdown. Ellington’s ability is being recognized by the offense, and he could provide some depth for fantasy owners. Giving his upcoming matchups, I would say Ellington is a decent FLEX option in PPR formats.
Schedule ROS: @ BAL, @ TEN, vs SF, @ JAX, vs PIT
Mike Wallace – Baltimore Ravens – 42.0% Owned
In Sunday’s game against the Packers, Wallace caught all four of his targets for 56 yards and a touchdown. Wallace is seemingly beginning to mesh with this Ravens offense, having five or more targets in four of his nine games. Packers fans were forced to witness his talent, as he made an incredible one-handed catch over his shoulder for a score. The Ravens have a great schedule for wide receivers to close out the season, giving Mike Wallace weekly WR2 potential.
Schedule ROS: vs HOU, vs DET, @ PIT, @ CLE, vs IND
Greg Olsen – Carolina Panthers – 61.0% Owned
Greg Olsen has not played since Week 2 against the Buffalo Bills. He was placed on Injured Reserve after suffering a foot injury and is now coming off his bye week. Therefore, Greg Olsen is likely available on your waiver wires. Olsen practiced on Monday, which bodes well for his return in the Panthers’ game against a weak Jets defense.
Schedule ROS: @ NYJ, @ NO, vs MIN, vs GB, vs TB
O.J. Howard – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 9.5% Owned
O.J. Howard is a boom-or-bust type of player. Given the right matchup, he can explode and win fantasy games. It also helps that starting quarterback Jameis Winston has been ruled out for Tampa Bay’s Week 12 game against the Falcons. Howard could serve as a reliable target for quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick and a reliable option for fantasy owners.
Schedule ROS: @ ATL, @ GB, vs DET, vs ATL, @ CAR
Julius Thomas – Miami Dolphins – 8.4% Owned
In Thomas’ last three games, he has averaged four targets and 41 yards per game. He also has two touchdowns in his last three games. The Dolphins play the New England Patriots, a defense that is highly vulnerable to the pass, twice in the next three weeks. Given his ability to score touchdowns, Thomas could provide fantasy owners with a quick fix at the tight end position.
Schedule ROS: @ NE, vs DEN, vs NE, @ BUF, @ KC
Don’t become too attached to your players, and forget the name!
The year was 2016. I had finished the regular season as an impressive 10-3 and had a first-round bye in the playoffs. I had a terrible draft, including picking Todd Gurley, DeAndre Hopkins, and Eddie Lacy with my first three picks (for those who don’t know, they were awful in fantasy last season).
Todd Gurley was the only one of those three to make it to my playoff team. I spent the third overall pick on him, so of course I wasn’t going to let him go. My mistake was starting him in the playoffs after he had a garbage year. I became too attached to the name and draft value that I was blind to his low-scoring games and weak offensive line. I paid the price by losing in the semi-finals, a game in which I would have won if I had benched Todd Gurley and played a different running back.
The moral of the story is: names have value, for better or worse. Don’t let the high-value name of a player keep you from a championship!