Tyreek Hill - WR - Kansas City Chiefs
Thanksgiving is essentially an American holiday that is devoted towards: over-eating, drinking, football and enjoying family & friends. Now that also sounds eerily similar to most of my weekends during the fall, but that's beside the point.
Anyways, fantasy owners sat back stuffed watching the games over the long holiday weekend hoping that our teams would also cook us up something nice. Unfortunately we all weren't so fortunate. Brandin Cooks, Rob Gronkowski, Antonio Gates and Eric Ebron all put up zeros. Not the donuts we were hoping for on Sunday. Julio Jones, Allen Robinson, Sterling Shepard, Steve Smith, Thomas Rawls, Martellus Bennett, Robert Kelley and Amari Cooper are also some culprits who took metaphorical dumps in fantasy lineups during the most important week of the season to date.
A guy who put on a show this past week, scoring three TD's on Sunday night, would be Tyreek "TyFreak" Hill. In the Week 9 Waiver Wire article I highlighted Hill as a Sleeper Wide Receiver. This is what I had to say about him at the time:
I should have put that last sentence in bold because boy is he ever, with that 4.29 40 and 40.5" vertical jump. Now for those who didn't catch the Sunday night game, Hill found three different ways to score: rushing, receiving and punt return.
Through the first half of the season Hill was seeing around 15 snaps per game on offense while being the special teams ace he still currently is. Hill role in the Chiefs offense has taken off in recent weeks due to injuries. Since Jeremy Maclin went down in Week 9, Hill has been the second most targeted Chief in the passing game (33) behind Travis Kelce (37). At over 8 targets and at least a rushing attempt per game Hill is now a focal point of the Chiefs offense. In recent weeks Hill has been used in the short passing game but earlier this year he showed the ability to fool defenders and get deep with his blazing speed.
Here are a couple plays from his time at Oklahoma State in 2014 to point that he's not just your typically uber athlete that is a gadget player. He has the tools to become a heck of a wide receiver. He makes these over the shoulder catches look easy. Hill has the mighty mouse gene that Steve Smith has. He's small (5'8" at his pro day) but doesn't play like it.
The Chiefs offense is starving for playmakers and even when Jeremy Maclin returns from his groin issue I don't see the Chiefs putting the genie back in the bottle.
The remaining schedule is pretty favorable for Hill. Kansas City is at Atlanta this week before a stretch of three straight home games vs Oakland, Tennessee and Denver.
In PPR leagues Hill is a guy who you're trying your best to fit in your lineup on a weekly basis now. In standard leagues or half point PPR I see Hill in the same vein as Tevin Coleman. These guys are flex worthy options who can win you weeks if everything goes well like it did this past week for Hill. Given the Chiefs favorable schedule the next month I wouldn't be surprised if we saw a couple more 20 point performances by years end.
Week 13 BYE: Tennessee & Cleveland
Week 12 Thoughts: The biggest surprise at the QB position this year has to be Dak Prescott. He's been exceptional and is QB5 at this point in the season but I'd err on the side of benching him this week vs Minnesota. For instance I own Prescott in one league and am playing Tyrod Taylor over him...Jared Goff looked good last week vs New Orleans throwing for 3 TD's in the first half...Just when we hop aboard the Russell Wilson express again he puts up 151 passing yards, 0 TD and 2 INT against a mediocre at best Tampa defense. His 80 rushing yard bailed him out.
Colin Kaepernick - San Francisco 49ers
Kaepernick is still on the majority of waiver wires despite being QB6 overall since becoming the starter, ahead of: Tom Brady, Matt Ryan, Cam Newton, Russell Wilson, Derek Carr etc. Since he took over the starting job in Week 6 he is also 16th in the NFL in rushing yards. This is consistently giving him the high floor I've talked about in recent weeks despite not having really any legit weapon to target through the air. This week he plays a Bears defense that's been decimated by injuries the past month. We're going to be riding Kaepernick until we can't any longer.
Week 12 Thoughts: It appears that Kenneth Dixon might have finally taken a stranglehold on the Ravens backfield. He out-snapped Terrance West 31 to 25 and out-touched him 17 to 16. While that sounds promising we do need to hold our horses because West has seen literally all the red zone touches since Dixon has returned from injury in Week 5. 18 touches to 0....This hasn't been the dream season fantasy owners were hoping for from Mark Ingram but he's surprisingly on pace for his first 1,000 yard season. In the 4 games since his Week 8 benching Ingram has averaged 8.1 YPC. When you stack that up against Tim Hightower's 3.9 YPC mark you wonder why the Saints are still giving him the bigger workload. Hightower's averaged 4 more touches per game over their past 4 (17.75 to 13.75)....David Johnson's stats through his first 16 regular season starts: 300 Car, 1,363 Yards, 14 TD, 72 Rec, 829 Yards, 4 TD. The only player to put up those numbers in a single season is Marshall Faulk in 2000. David Johnson has been one-of-a-kind since taking over as the starter late last season...Also another reminder to stock up your bench with upside. That means dropping a guy like Jerick McKinnon for a DeAngelo Williams, Alfred Morris, Bilal Powell and Andre Ellington if they are out there. The logic here is that, yes McKinnon is an RB3/4 just based off volume but he's never going to see your starting lineup. If you own one of those handcuffs that I just mentioned well then you have a legit RB1 if the starter goes down. A guy who can swing a match-up. That's never going to be Jerick McKinnon behind his disaster offensive line...Circling back to my Paul Perkins piece a few weeks ago. Perkins snap count has increased but it's Rashad Jennings who is still seeing the majority of the touches. The process of targeting a Giants RB due to their schedule was correct, Jennings had back-to-back 100+ total yard games in Weeks 11 and 12 but the player was wrong. Jennings is the clear back to own now. Perkins works as a fine handcuff and bench stash as he's still seeing around 10 touches per game.
Charles Sims - Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Charles Sims is already back practicing and should be good to come off the PUP list in Week 14 when he is eligible. He's a sneaky add right now if he's still on your waiver wire because we know he has a role in the offense when healthy and has favorable match-ups in the fantasy playoffs (vs New Orleans in Week 14 & 16). The sample size is small but in 3 games vs New Orleans in his career he's averaged over 13 touches per game. Also with the receiving corps weak outside of Mike Evans he might be called upon more as a receiver.
Jalen Richard - Oakland Raiders
Richard is another guy who I touched on earlier this year (Week 6). Seeing as fellow rookie DeAndre Washington was a healthy inactive last week it appears that Richard is the handcuff to own in Oakland. Richard is averaging an impressive 5.8 YPC this year and has proven to be a valuable asset as a receiver as well. In Week 11, Richard toasted LB Bernardrick McKinney on a slant route before barreling through a pair of defenders near the goal line for a TD. Were Latavius Murray to go down, Richard would turn into a nice RB2 option. I'd be remiss if I didn't mention FB Jamize Olawale when discussing the Raiders backfield because he's been known to vulture TD's.
Sleeper Running Back
Denard Robinson - Jacksonville Jaguars
The third stringer was thrust into action last week when Chris Ivory (hamstring) and TJ Yeldon (ankle) both left the game due to injuries. Robinson produced a modest 39 yards on 13 carries but could be in for an increased workload this week vs Denver if Ivory and Yeldon can't go. As I write this Wednesday, it does appear that both Ivory and Yeldon both missed practice. The Jaguars are averaging close 8 more rushing attempts per game (29 compared to 21) since the offensive coordinator change.
Week 12 Thoughts: Saints Michael Thomas is pace for 95 Rec, 1,148 Yard and 10 TDs. The only other play to reach those benchmarks as a rookie is Odell Beckham Jr...The results were not impressive but Tyler Boyd and Brandon LaFell both saw 9 targets a piece last week in AJ Green's absence. Like I said last week, Boyd is the higher floor player with LaFell having a little more upside to his targets deeper down the field...the Falcons are using Taylor Gabriel perfectly but just know that his 5 TD's on 16 touches the past 4 weeks are unsustainable. On a side note Kyle Shanahan has done an incredible job at attacking opposing defenses where their week. While some teams just run their offense it's refreshing to see another team target a specific defender or position and just pick on them...DeVante Parker looks to be finishing strong for the 2nd straight season. He's averaged 5 catches and 82 yards over his past 3 games....Bradin Cooks complained about his role in the Saints offense earlier this week. Not that he wouldn't have already been a must start vs the Lions but now you can surely expect him to be fed. I'd be surprised if he has less than 7 receptions...Brandon Marshall hasn't had over 70 yards receiving in a game since Week 5. Although I haven't heard too much bitching and moaning about Marshall this year he's definitely in the same company at DeAndre Hopkins and Allen Robinson. They kind of are what they are at this point. QB play has taken a major tool on all three of these studs...Kelvin Benjamin had his first TD since Week 4. Benjamin's been fairly consistent with yardage totals but he hasn't been the WR1 we were hoping for after his early season success
Marquess Wilson - Chicago Bears
The 4th-year wideout out of Washington State had his best game as a pro last week racking up 8 receptions, 125 yards and a TD. This week the Bears face a 49ers secondary that has given up the most fantasy points to wide receivers this year. It's a bit hard to tell who Matt Barkley's favorite target is in this Bears offense since 4 players received 9 targets last week but Wilson is the best dice role since he lead Chicago with 11 targets.
Ted Ginn - Carolina Panthers
I've harped on this point when talking about Will Fuller and Sammie Coates earlier this year but having a vertical deep threat can change an offense. It appears that Carolina finally remembered that it has Ted Ginn. Ginn broke the century mark in yards for the first time this year but has had over 40 yards the past 6 games. Ginn's speed paired with Newton's arm is one of the most deadly combo's in the game, when Ginn actually catches the ball. Either way having Ginn on the field is big for the Carolina offense because they have to account for him on every play. Seattle is a tough match-up this week but San Diego, Washington and Atlanta are all flawed secondaries that Newton and Ginn can easily take advantage of.
Sleeper Wide Receiver
Malcolm Mitchell - New England Patriots
Rob Gronkowski's and Martellus Bennett's lingering injuries certainly free up more targets for Patriots wide receives. Mitchell has been the one to step up the last two weeks scoring 3 times on 9 receptions for 140 yards. Mitchell's snap percentage the past two weeks went from 85% to 47%. Chris Hogan's return from injury is likely the reason for that drop so Mitchell seems a bit touchdown dependent at the moment but we know Brady has trust in Mitchell
Week 12 Thoughts: Jordan Reed has a Grade 3 AC sprain in his shoulder. Even though he was unstoppable when he returned to action on Thanksgiving it's unclear if he'll be able to go on Sunday. This type of injury typically takes a month or so to recover from but expect Reed to play through it. In the meantime Vernon Davis should be a hot add this week. He's put up over 50 yards receiving in 5 of his last 6 games...On Thanksgiving night we also saw Ladarius Green get open downfield twice vs the Colts. His production has been modest since returning but he has as high of a ceiling as any TE. I'm not comfortable putting him in my starting lineup at the moment but if another playoff team in your league is weak at TE I'm not against playing keep away and stashing him on my bench...Rob Gronkowski's status is still up in the air this week. Martellus Bennett keep playing through and aggravating his high ankle sprain injury each week...It took a couple weeks but Cameron Brate has solidified himself as the 2nd option in the passing game lately.
Vance McDonald - San Francisco 49ers
Guys, Vance "Let's Dance" McDonald has been TE4 the past 4 weeks catching at least 3 balls in each game. McDonald has more big play ability than we're used to seeing out of Tight Ends and is facing a Chicago D that has give up TD's the past 3 weeks to tight ends. Chicago will also be without their coverage LB's Danny Trevathan (Knee) and Jerrell Freeman (Suspension).
Sleeper Tight End
Josh Hill - New Orleans Saints
Hill was catch-less the prior two weeks before breaking out for 6 rec for 74 yards on Sunday. Hill has been on the field more than Coby Fleener in recent weeks and is playing against one of the worst defenses vs TE's this week in Detroit. Coby Fleener is still catching a few balls each week but it's not like Josh Hill doesn't have the ability to be a dependable option in the passing game. He flashed a few seasons ago when he had 5 TD's.