Tue Oct 16 8:04 am
By JEFF PAUR
Sr Fantasy Writer
Goodwin finally has big game
This week has a couple players that many wrote off after poor starts to the season. It happens, though. Sometimes a fantasy owner can take advantage of another owner dropping a player. Some players on this list were expected for breakout years but got sidetracked for whatever reason. The potential remains for these guys to get going again, so keep an eye on them going forward.
Jameis Winston, Bucs. Winston returned to the starting lineup last week and threw for 395 yards and four touchdowns. He proved he has a good chance to post big numbers in this explosive Bucs offense. Winston isn't available in a ton of leagues but still out there in 21 percent of leagues. He is worth owning in all formats. The potential is there for huge things.
Sam Darnold, Jets. Darnold is starting to emerge in the Jets offense. He missed on just six passes last week, going 24-of-30 for 280 yards and two touchdowns. He has multiple touchdown games two straight and seems to be getting more comfortable in the offense every week. Darnold is worth using as a spot starter in the right matchup.
Dak Prescott, Cowboys. Prescott was dropped by many owners the last few weeks because of his mediocre play to start the year. He plays arguably the best defense in football last week and produces his best game. Prescott scored three total touchdowns and ran for a season-high 82 yards. Prescott showed he might still be able to help fantasy teams, producing like he has in past years. Prescott is available in 58 percent of leagues.
Jalen Richard, Raiders. Richard might have just 11 carries for 32 yards this season, but all his work in the passing game makes him a legit target in PPR formats. He has at least six receptions three of the last four game sand 31 total catches on the season. He has flex value in his role as a pass-catching back.
Raheem Mostert, 49ers. Surprisingly, Alfred Morris didn't get a carry last week for the 49ers. It was Matt Breida and Mostert that split the carries at running back for the 49ers. Mostert had a solid game, rushing 12 times for 87 yards. He averaged an impressive 7.3 yards per carry and could continue to split work going forward.
Frank Gore, Dolphins. Gore had his first 100-yard game of the season last week and has double-digit rush attempts three straight games. He gets the early down work with Kenyan Drake serving as the pass-catching back. Gore isn't a top fantasy play by any means but can add depth to fantasy benches. He can help in a pine. Gore remains available in 68 percent of leagues.
Marlon Mack, Colts. Mack finally returned to the lineup last week and led the team in rushing, running 12 times for 89 yards. He is the starter for the Colts as long as he is healthy. His injury led many fantasy teams to drop him, so Mack is available in 41 percent of leagues.
Nick Chubb, Browns. Chubb continues to get little work, rushing three times for 25 yard last week. He has not had more than three rush attempts in any game. But despite that, Chubb has run 16 times for 173 yards. Meanwhile, starter Carlos Hyde has averaged fewer than three yards per carry three of six games and just 3.4 yards per carry for the season. Chubb deserves more chances to jumpstart the running game, making him a good speculative add for fantasy teams.
Albert Wilson, Dolphins. Wilson is becoming the top target in the Dolphins passing attack. He had his first 100-yard game of the season last week and has 11 receptions his last two games. He also has at least four receptions three straight. He is getting his weekly chances and is available in 78 percent of leagues.
Marquise Goodwin, 49ers. Goodwin was a bust until his last game, showing why so many people thought he was going to have a breakout season. He hit the 100-yard mark for the first time this year and scored two touchdowns. He displayed his great speed and big-play potential against the Packers. Maybe this game will get him going. Goodwin is available in 48 percent of leagues.
Chester Rogers, Colts. Rogers has at least four receptions three straight games and 22 total catches during that stretch. He has become a reliable target in the Colts pass-first offense, especially with T.Y. Hilton out of the lineup. His reception totals give him real value to fantasy teams right now.
Tyrell Williams, Chargers. Williams had just three catches last week but finished with 118 yards and two scores. He made the most of his chances. Williams has three receptions three straight games and at least 66 yards two straight. He is getting some weekly chances to stretch the field and make the big play. Williams is a boom or bust play but the potential is always there for him to have the big game.
Taylor Gabriel, Bears. It is time to start believing in Gabriel. He has two straight 100-yard games and at least four receptions every game. He has been a consistent fantasy producer in a much better Bears offense. He can help as a low-end No. 3 or 4 receiver. Gabriel remains available in 43 percent of leagues.
Cole Beasley, Cowboys. Beasley found the end zone last week for the first time this season. He also hit the 100-yard mark for the first time, catching nine passes for 101 yards and two scores. He is the best fantasy receiver in this offense. Beasley can help fantasy teams in the right matchup. He'll get his catches.
Christian Kirk, Cardinals. Kirk led the Cardinals in receiving once again last week, catching six passes for 77 yards. He has at least 77 yards three of four games. Kirk has become a reliable No. 3 fantasy receiver as the top target for the Cardinals passing game. He remains available in 58 percent of leagues.
Ricky Seals-Jones, Cardinals. Seals-Jones isn't having quite the breakout season as expected, but showing some signs of life. He had five receptions for 69 yards last week. He has 50-plus yards two of three games. He also has been targeted six times four of six games. His stock is rising.
Vance McDonald, Steelers. It is a little hard to believe but McDonald remains available in 27 percent of leagues. He had a season-high seven receptions last week. McDonald has 60-plus yards three of four games. He gets his weekly chances in this pass-first offense.
Jeff Paur is a two-time finalist for FSWA Fantasy Football Writer of the Year and won the FSWA award for Best Fantasy Football Article on the Web in 2011. He also was the most accurate expert in 2012, winning the FSTA Fantasy Football Accuracy Award. If you have any questions for Jeff, email him at email@example.com. Follow Jeff on Twitter @jeffpaur.
Miami Dolphins wide receiver Albert Wilson (hip) has progressed in his rehab without setbacks since suffering a hip injury in October, according to a league source. Doctors have ruled out surgery once and for all for Wilson and has raised hope that he will be able to get back on the field this spring. The belief is that Wilson will be ready for the start of the offseason program in April. Wilson ranked third on the team in touchdowns (four receiving and one passing) despite missing nine games, and his yards-per-catch average (15.0) led the team. Although Miami's quarterback situation is up in the air, Wilson should have a prominent place in the team's offense next year regardless.
The New York Jets officially hired Dowell Loggains as their next offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach on Wednesday. Loggains has worked under head coach Adam Gase in both Chicago and Miami. With Gase likely running the show on offense, Loggains' main task will be to continue the development of quarterback Sam Darnold, who was very up and down in his rookie season. The Jets ranked 29th in yards per game (299.2), 25th in passing yards (197.8), 26th in rushing yards (101.4) and 23rd in the league in points per game (20.8) in 2018.
The Arizona Cardinals signed veteran wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald to a one-year deal on Wednesday so that he can return for a 16th season. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed. Fitzgerald will turn 36 at the end of August but will remain the No. 1 wideout on the team because of his experience. His numbers took a hit in one of the worst offenses in the NFL in 2018, but he still led the team in receptions (69), receiving yards (734) and touchdowns (six). While Fitz can still make an impact on the field, he'll be returning to his third head coach in three years, but the addition of Kliff Kingsbury could improve the offense moving forward. We won't say for sure that Fitzgerald will return to the 1,000-yard mark, but he should be a serviceable WR3 at the very least.
Former Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano is expected to land with the New England Patriots in a top defensive role when linebackers coach Brian Flores heading to the Miami Dolphins.
Former New York Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo has emerged as the favorite to be hired as Kansas City Chiefs defensive coordinator, according to sources.
Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald announced Wednesday, Jan. 23, that he'll return for the 2019 season.
Fantasy Spin: Fitz had a 69-734-6 season, which was well below the 100-catch, 1,000-yard seasons the three years previously. The rookie quarterback was part of the problem, but he doesn't have much more upside next season. He's still a PPR asset, but he'll be a mid-round option as a WR3.
Updating an earlier report, Arizona Cardinals impending free-agent WR Larry Fitzgerald re-signed with the Cardinals on a one-year deal. Financial terms weren't disclosed.
Miami Dolphins WR Albert Wilson (hip) is on schedule with his recovery from an October hip injury that landed him on IR and could be at full speed when the team's offseason workout program begins in April.
Fantasy Spin: After four largely nondescript seasons in Kansas City, Wilson flashed some playmaking ability before getting injured against the Lions. There are far too many variables in Miami for an accurate read on Wilson's fantasy prospects for 2019, but he did enough last year to warrant your attention.
Philadelphia Eagles QB Nick Foles would be eligible to be franchise or transition tagged and then traded if the team decides not to pick up his option, which ESPN's Chris Mortensen believes is a possibility as doing so would allow the Eagles to influence Foles' destination.
Fantasy Spin: Mortensen indicates such a move would prevent Foles from going to a division rival, but it's all speculation at this point. While it's far from a sure thing, Foles could have some fantasy value in the right situation.
Oakland Raiders CB Daryl Worley (shoulder) had successful surgery on his ailing shoulder last week, according to head coach Jon Gruden.
Baltimore Ravens WR Michael Crabtree is likely to be released in the offseason, according to The Athletic's Jeff Zrebiec.
Dallas Cowboys impending free-agent WR Cole Beasley claimed Tuesday, Jan. 22, that the Dallas front office encourages the coaching staff to get the football to certain players. 'I haven't been a huge priority in that regard. Maybe that will change but I'm not sure,' Beasley said.
Fantasy Spin: Beasley's frustrations are evident and understandable, although Amari Cooper, Ezekiel Elliott and Michael Gallup are all bigger, more talented threats with the ball. Beasley does have a role to play and put together his second best season from a statistical standpoint. That being said, he's only a mid- to late-round PPR flier if he stays in Dallas.
Washington Redskins general manager Bruce Allen said the team is "optimistic" that quarterback Alex Smith (leg) will be ready for the start of the 2019 season, but he also said "we'll see." In his first year with Washington, Smith was a disappointment, throwing for 2,108 yards, 10 touchdowns and five interceptions with an 85.7 QB rating in 10 games before his gruesome leg injury. He'll be heading into his age-35 season and is unlikely to be ready for training camp or the regular season, so he's one to avoid for fantasy purposes. The 'Skins are in dire need of a long-term quarterback.
The Kansas City Chiefs relieved defensive coordinator Bob Sutton of his duties on Tuesday. Sutton was head coach Andy Reid's defensive coordinator for all six of his years in KC, but the Chiefs defense continued to trend downward in 2018 and was their Achilles heel in the AFC Championship loss to the Patriots last weekend. Defensive end Chris Jones -- third in the NFL with 15.5 sacks in 2018 -- and linebacker Dee Ford are the linchpins of this defense, but they must improve their talent in the secondary. The Chiefs ranked 31st in yards allowed per game (405.5), 31st in passing yards allowed (273.4), 27th in rushing yards allowed (132.1), 24th in points allowed (26.3) and tied for eighth in takeaways (27) in 2018.
Oakland Raiders impending free-agent TE Jared Cook will be re-signed if head coach Jon Gruden has his way, but Gruden admitted that Cook will be a popular name on the free-agent market.
Fantasy Spin: Cook was one of the few bright spots for the Raiders this season, and maybe the lone bright spot. He's a top-five fantasy tight end candidate now after finishing 2018 as the TE5.
Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones led all receivers with 24 receptions for first downs on 30 third-down targets this past season.
Fantasy Spin: Despite a slow start in the TD department (none in his first seven games) Jones also wound up leading the league in receiving yards (1,677) for the second time in the last four seasons. And even with Jones turning 30 this offseason (on Super Bowl Sunday), he remains an elite WR1 in all fantasy formats.
Oakland Raiders head coach Jon Gruden said the team is unsure if impending free-agent running back Marshawn Lynch plans to play in 2019. Gruden said "we'd love to have him back" if he decides to play another season. Beast Mode will turn 33 in April and is coming off a season in which he played in just six games due to injury. Lynch ran 90 times for 376 yards (4.2 yards per carry) and three scores. Even if Lynch returns, he'd be more of a low-upside, injury-risk RB2 for Oakland that is more attractive in standard-scoring leagues.
Oakland Raiders head coach Jon Gruden said the team would like to re-sign impending free-agent tight end Jared Cook, but he knows the market for his services will be competitive. He'll be in high demand after he set career highs across the board in catches (68), targets (101), yards (896) and touchdowns (six) for the Raiders. Given the sad state of the tight end position in fantasy, Cook was a strong TE1 this year and will likely be drafted as one again this year, depending on where he lands. Staying in Oakland might be the best for his value.
The Cincinnati Bengals are hiring former Oakland Raiders quarterbacks coach Brian Callahan as their next offensive coordinator. Callahan has never been an offensive coordinator in the NFL but has been a QBs coach since 2015. He'll oversee an offense that could easily bounce back after serious injuries to quarterback Andy Dalton and wide receiver A.J. Green derailed them in 2018. Cincinnati finished 26th in yards per game (310.8), 24th in passing yards per game (205.6), 21st in rushing yards per game (105.1) and 17th in points per game (23.0) in 2018.
Oakland Raiders RB Marshawn Lynch, an impending free agent this offseason, hasn't announced whether he plans on playing in 2019, but if he does, Raiders head coach Jon Gruden said Tuesday, Jan. 22, that 'we'd love to have him back.'
Fantasy Spin: Lynch will be 33 by the time next season rolls around, but he'd still be a fantasy RB2 consideration if were to be projected to be the primary RB in Oakland.