It’s crazy to think but for many, the fantasy playoffs start this week, which sadly means the end of fantasy football is near. That’s tough to hear if I’m being honest. Not really sure what I’m going to do with myself once fantasy football is over. I guess watch football just for the sake of watching football? I don’t know, feels weird.
But there’s no reason to look ahead when the most important weeks of your life are ahead. Whether you’re battling for the trophy, battling for draft position or just battling to not have to spend the night in a Walmart, you need to be smart on the waiver wire now more than ever. You need to be strategic, crafty, intelligent, cunning. You need to be cold, calculated, callus and another word that starts with C.
You need to be all these things and more to take home the championship. So, here are the guys you should be instantly trying to add to your fantasy team (percent owned in Yahoo leagues).
QB Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco 49ers (9 percent owned)
THE REVOLUTION IN SAN FRAN IS HAPPENING! Slash, it already happened but this week it’s happening for good. While we still don’t know the extent of C.J. Beathard’s injury, it’s likely Jimmy G will at least start Week 13 against the Bears. Let’s not ignore the fact that he came into the game and immediately led the Niners down the field and threw a dart of a touchdown. Yea, the Jimmy Revolution is here for good people. Jump onboard before his handsomeness ends up on another team.
RB Rex Burkhead, New England Patriots (51 percent owned)
Despite having four running backs on roster—all of whom could have real fantasy value—it’s becoming very clear that the Patriots are really only using two backs with regularity. Dion Lewis has been the team’s starting running back for over a month now and should be owned in every league. It seems the other guy in New England is Sexy Rexy. Burkhead shook off his fumble last week to score two touchdowns Sunday against the Dolphins, one through the air and one on the ground. Time to get Rex in your Flex (see what I did there?)
RB Austin Ekeler, Los Angeles Chargers (34 percent owned)
Instead of just ho-humming about if Ekeler is for real or if he’s here to stay or if he’s really worth a roster spot, just accept it and snag him before someone else does. He’s played 39 percent of snaps over the last three weeks (Melvin Gordon’s played 60) and has scored three touchdowns in that time as well. The Chargers are showing life right now and a lot of that has to do with Ekeler’s emergence. Trust your eyes and add him.
RB J.D. McKissic, Seattle Seahawks (31 percent owned)
Hmm, I’m gonna be honest, I kinda expected more out of McKissic last week. He only had four carries but did turn those into 22 yards (5.5 yards per carry). What was encouraging to see was his seven targets in the passing game, which he turned into four catches 24 yards. Sure Eddie Lacy had 17 carries but he only mustered 2.7 yards per carry on all those touches. McKissic is still worthwhile in deeper leagues.
RB Jacquizz Rodgers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7 percent owned)
Here’s your “the starter got injured” of the week. Doug Martin left Sunday’s game with a concussion and Rodgers came in with eight carries for 31 yards. Don’t forget, Rodgers was the lead back in Tampa to start the season when Martin was serving his suspension and played pretty well.
RB James Conner, Pittsburgh Steelers (4 percent owned)
And here’s your handcuff of the week. We’re late into the season and so you want to make sure you have some bases covered in case the worst happens. Well, the worst has happened in the past as Le’Veon Bell has a propensity to get injured during the playoff stretch and the Steelers certainly aren’t limiting his touches in anticipation. If Bell were to miss time soon, Conner would be taking over the starting spot in an explosive offense. The fact that he’s currently owned in four percent of leagues should tell you all you need to know.
This isn’t a player entry, just my weekly time to tell you that Cooper Kupp is still owned in only 59 percent of Yahoo! leagues. Sooooo add him. Ok, now onto the wide receivers:
WR Josh Doctson, Washington (43 percent owned)
It’s Josh Doctson time in Washington and don’t you dare miss out. Also if Jamison Crowder is available in your league (highly doubtful) add him. But really go add Josh Doctson. Seriously guys. I’m super serial.
WR Marquise Goodwin, San Francisco 49ers (15 percent owned)
Goodwin had six targets, four catches for 78 yards Sunday and has been showing up more and more in the Niners offense. With Jimmy G at the helm (swoon) and two very easy matchups ahead of him—Week 14 against the Texans and Week 15 against the Titans—Goodwin could be a very nice WR3/Flex option moving forward.
WR Zay Jones, Buffalo Bills (14 percent owned)
I originally had Dede Westbrook on this list instead of Jones but I switched for two reasons: 1) Westbrook is owned in more leagues (25%) and 2) I feel like Jones needs my praise more than Westbrook. Westbrook has played in two games and people still have him on their roster. Meanwhile, Jones has been averaging six targets a game, eight over the last three games. Jones needs to do a better job of turning those targets into points but he did that Sunday, catching three balls for 33 yards and a touchdown. There’s still hope for the rookie.
TE Ricky Seals-Jones, Arizona Cardinals (2 percent owned)
The created Madden player is back. If you thought his two touchdowns last week was a fluke, think again. This week he had four catches for 72 yards and another touchdown. Now, it’s almost 100% likely that once everyone adds him he’ll put up a stinker this week but can we risk that? Can you risk not picking up the hottest tight end in the game right now? Didn’t think so.