Well, folks, it is already Week 13. Time flies when you’re having fun, right? Odds are, your league’s trade deadline has passed, which means a couple of things. For those who are new to fantasy football, trade deadlines are often put in place to avoid collusion among owners.
For example: John from Accounting has clinched a playoff spot but his players are injured. He is good friends with Sarah the Secretary, who missed the playoffs and is raging pretty hard. Because there is no trade deadline, Sarah ships off all her good players to John, who dominates in the playoffs and wins the championship. Pretty sketchy, right? Trade deadlines keep owners who are abandoning ship from messing up the playoffs for those who worked to get there.
What it also means is that your only source of new players is the, hopefully, bountiful waiver wire. We’re gonna try something new this week. Every week I try to find three new players for each position, except quarterback. Of course, there are a few duplicates due to new changes or increased value. That being said, it has been rather difficult to find three different tight ends each week that have decent fantasy value. Therefore, I will be finding a mix of three quarterbacks or tight ends. I feel that this will also help owners because of some of the poor performances from quarterbacks in the NFL right now (why did you have to go and hurt me, Dak?). The analysis won’t be as long as other skill positions, but the research is there and worth talking about.
Corey Clement – Philadelphia Eagles – 5.4% Owned (NFL.com Leagues)
I’ve been resisting writing about former Badger Corey Clement for a few weeks now. The reason was that running back Jay Ajayi was traded to Philadelphia, and I thought it would desolate any value Corey Clement had. After some time to evaluate the backfield in Philly, it seems that Ajayi doesn’t have as big a role as some, myself included, thought he would. Corey Clement doesn’t get too many touches (35 in his last four games), but his talent and athleticism yield a good production. Over the last four games, Clement has averaged just under 5.7 yards per carry and has found the end zone four times. He could be a good start in deeper leagues.
Schedule Rest of Season: @ SEA, @ LAR, @ NYG, vs OAK
Rex Burkhead – New England Patriots – 12.7% Owned
After what looked to be an ugly four-headed monster, the Patriots backfield has smoothed out and seems to feature two backs: Dion Lewis and Rex Burkhead. In the last three games, Rex Burkhead has rushed 28 times for 102 yards and one touchdown. His upside comes from his role in the passing game, where, in his last four games, he has caught 16 passes off 18 targets for 119 yards (7.4 yards per reception) and two touchdowns. He is getting the work and has a nose for the end zone. He is worth picking up and starting in most formats.
Schedule ROS: @ BUF, @ MIA, @ PIT, vs BUF
Jacquizz Rodgers – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 10.5% Owned
Doug Martin, Tampa Bay’s starting running back, suffered a concussion in Sunday’s game against the Falcons and could miss some time. In that time, Jacquizz Rodgers stands to take over the lead role in that backfield. He’s worth picking up solely for the volume he looks to have. As far as past experience goes, Rodgers was the starting running back earlier this season while Martin served a suspension. In those three games, Rodgers rushed 40 times for 165 yards (4.1 yards per carry) and one touchdown. He also caught two passes on three targets for 25 yards.
Schedule ROS: @ GB, vs DET, vs ATL, @ CAR
Seth Roberts – Oakland Raiders – 0.3% Owned
Seth Roberts could look to be the #1 receiver in Oakland on Sunday against the New York Giants. This is because fellow wide receiver Amari Cooper could be sidelined with a concussion, while Michael Crabtree could be facing a suspension for his fight with Broncos defensive back Aqib Talib. Seth Roberts would be next man up against a weak Giants secondary that’s only getting weaker with cornerback Janoris Jenkins dealing with injury. Last season, Roberts was a key role in the Raiders’ offense. His workload alone makes him worth picking up and starting.
Schedule ROS: vs NYG, @ KC, vs DAL, @ PHI
Cooper Kupp – Los Angeles Rams – 19.4% Owned
Cooper Kupp is another one of those players that I’ve been wanting to write about. This week, his role will likely be increased with fellow wide receiver Robert Woods dealing with injury. Last Sunday, against a rather stout Saints defense, Kupp caught eight passes off 11 targets for 116 yards. With him likely being the #2 receiver for the Rams this Sunday, he will not be shadowed by Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson, who will instead be covering Sammy Watkins. When the Rams played the Cardinals earlier this season, Cooper Kupp caught four passes off 10 targets for 51 yards and a touchdown.
Schedule ROS: @ ARI, vs PHI, @ SEA, @ TEN
Jamison Crowder – Washington Redskins – 69.1% Owned
Jamison Crowder is likely owned in your league, but he needs to be owned if he’s out on your waiver wire. In his last four games, Crowder has caught 27 passes off 42 targets for 412 yards (15.3 yards per catch) and one touchdown. That means he’s averaging 10.5 targets and 103 yards per game. He has been on fire and gets a good matchup against the Cowboys on a short week. He needs to be owned and started.
Schedule ROS: @ DAL, @ LAC, vs ARI, vs DEN
Ricky Seals-Jones – Tight End – Arizona Cardinals – 0.7 Owned
Ricky Seals-Jones has only played in five games this season, and saw action in only two of those games. In those two games, Seals-Jones caught seven passes off 11 targets for 126 yards (63 yards per game) and three touchdowns. He has chemistry with Cardinals quarterback Blaine Gabbert and, more importantly, is a key red zone weapon. He’s worth picking up and starting in all formats.
Schedule ROS: vs LAR, vs TEN, @ WAS, vs NYG
Case Keenum – Quarterback – Minnesota Vikings – 13.0% Owned
In his last four games, Case Keenum has thrown for 1,154 yards and nine touchdowns. In those games, he has scored 17.52, 24.06, 17.20 and 27.28 points, respectively, in standard scoring. He and his receivers have great chemistry, and he is a much better replacement for owners with quarterback problems.
Schedule ROS: @ ATL, @ CAR, vs CIN, @ GB
Brett Hundley – Quarterback – Green Bay Packers – 1.7% Owned
Yup, I’m a Packers homer. I loved what I saw from Hundley and the Packers offense on Sunday night. He threw for 245 yards and three touchdowns, and it seems like the team finally found a groove that Hundley is comfortable with. His next two matchups are some of the juiciest around in Tampa Bay and Cleveland, both teams with horrid defenses. Of course, he may only be startable for those two weeks, with Aaron Rodgers eligible to come back Week 15 against the Panthers.
Schedule ROS: vs TB, @ CLE, @ CAR, @ MIN
Keep a watchful eye for shenanigans.
Remember John and Sally from the office league? If everyone else in the league keeps an eye on the events in the league, even after being knocked out of the playoffs, the league’s integrity can be preserved and improved upon for the next season.
Let’s say you are in that league with John and Sally, and have just witnessed the smackdown John’s dream-team put on someone in the playoffs. Let your commissioner know that there have been shenanigans, and the commissioner can fix the problem for next year. Whether it be introducing or enforcing a trade deadline or just straight up kicking John and Sally out of the league, you and your league-mates can guarantee less funny business for the next season.