by Will Overton
We’re at a point in the season where you not only have to look at things from a long term perspective, but also in a one week vacuum. Playoff spots are going to be decided over the next couple of weeks and it’s important that you are putting the best team possible on the “fantasy field.” With that in mind let’s look at some of the targets on the waiver wire and decide who can make your team better both this week and the rest of the season:
Rex Burkhead – RB, New England Patriots
The New England Patriots running game is such a guessing game it can be very frustrating to use any of them on your fantasy team. That said we’ve seen Burkhead get more and more involved the last couple weeks, and he currently seems to be just a notch below Dion Lewis on the totem pole.
Burkhead has been active in both the run and pass game and that gives him a nice boost. The Patriots offense is rolling right now and any piece of it getting regular touches deserves some fantasy attention. This wouldn’t be a bad week to use him either with the Raiders on tap.
Verdict: Buy him as a flex play this week and upside for the rest of season
Jermaine Gresham – TE, Arizona Cardinals
For the second week in a row the Cardinals veteran tight end found the end zone, and anytime you see TDs being strung together by a TE you pay attention. Gresham has been pretty far under the radar most of the season but he seems to be getting looks from Drew Stanton, which makes sense since we know mediocre QBs love to throw to the tight end. Even with this in mind the upside is limited and he’s very TD dependent, so unless you’re in a deep league there is probably a TE with higher upside available.
Verdict: You should be able to find better options
Brandon LaFell – WR, Cincinnati Bengals
The Cincinnati Bengals passing game got things going this last week against the Titans and LaFell was a big part of it with 10 targets leading to 6 catches for 95 yards and a TD. He has been pretty underwhelming so far this year, but has started to get more looks lately. The concerns is that the Bengals face Top 10 pass defenses in three of the next four games. This week they get the Broncos who are trending the wrong direction so he may be passable in a pinch this week, but you can’t really get too excited about his prospects coming up.
Verdict: Serviceable but still underwhelming; pass unless you’re desperate
Dontrelle Inman – WR, Chicago Bears
The wide receiver carousel in Chicago continues, and the next man up is the newly added Dontrelle Inman. Mitch Trubisky targeted Inman eight times against the Packers on Sunday and he hauled in six of those for 88 yards. Inman flashed potential in San Diego at times with a combination of size and speed, but could never workout consistent playing time. Things can change quickly, but it seems as though Trubisky and Inman have a good connection right off the bat. The Bears also have a very nice schedule for WRs coming up with the Lions, Eagles and 49ers all on tap, and all three in the bottom third in passing defense.
Verdict: Buy ‘em as a potential second half breakout candidate
Jay Cutler – QB, Miami Dolphins
There is no other position where you take things one game at a time as much as you do with quarterback this late in the season. If you need a QB still then you are probably best off just streaming week to week. This week’s favorite stream for me is Cutler. The Dolphins QB is gathering a bit of momentum lately with 7 TDs and 2 INTs in his three games prior to Monday Night against the Panthers. The Dolphins also throw the ball more now that Jay Ajayi is gone. Most importantly the Dolphins play Tampa Bay this week, which while they managed to tame Josh McCown have not been great against the pass this season as a whole. I like Cutler for 250 and a couple TDs this week.
Verdicrt: Solid streaming option for week 11
Jamaal Williams – RB, Green Bay Packers
The injuries just keep on piling up in Green Bay. Aaron Jones went down this last Sunday with an MCL injury that is expected to keep him out for 3–6 weeks. Ty Montgomery also left the game with a rib injury, leading to the emergence of Jamaal Williams. The Packers rookie running back ran the ball 20 times for 67 yards in the contest. Montgomery may very well play this week, but I fully expect Williams to be involved as well as the Packers seem to be leaning towards a carry share with Montgomery to keep him healthy and to complement him. The Ravens run defense is susceptible, so if Montgomery ends up out Williams makes a nice flex play or even an RB2. Even if Montgomery plays Williams is worth adding to see how this unfolds.
Verdict: Add Williams to see what happens; play him if Montgomery is out
Chester Rogers – WR, Indianapolis Colts
This is a tricky one to deal with. Rogers, a second year receiver, got his first extended look at playing time and made the most of it catching six passes for 104 yards and a 61 yard TD. On a team going nowhere like the Colts it’s tempting to grab a young guy like Rogers to see what kind of look he gets going down the stretch. However, he’s on bye this week which makes it a little tougher. Rogers is a wild card who may have some upside, but you can really only take a chance on him if you have room to spare.
Verdict: Take a flier if you are set for week 11
Austin Ekeler – RB, San Diego Chargers
Sunday saw the emergence of Austin Ekeler in San Diego. While Melvin Gordon could get nothing going against the Jaguars, Ekeler ran the ball 10 times for 42 yards and caught five passes for 77 yards and a pair of TDs. It’s the kind of game that forces you to take notice. I don’t think Ekeler is taking Gordon’s job anytime this season, especially after fumbling in a big spot in the 4th quarter. I do think he is a solid change of pace back who may continue to see extra carries on top of his pass catching.
Verdict: Must add in PPR; speculative add in all other formats
Chris Godwin – WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
There was a lot of talk about Chris Godwin having a breakout game this past Sunday and he did pretty well, targeted 10 times and catching five balls for 68 yards. Now this was with Mike Evans on suspension, and he’ll be back this week. However it also happened with Ryan Fitzpatrick under center, who is comfortable with working with Godwin in practices and Fitzpatrick continues to be the starting QB this week. Godwin may not get 10 targets again, but he’s shown he has some upside and the woeful Bucs would be wise to explore that further.
Verdict: Add in keeper/dynasty leagues; flier in all standard formats
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Make sure to check out all of our Week 11 rankings: