This is the last goodbye, so when we live a week ahead, everything will again plunge into fantasy. It’s a good news. However, six teams will be eliminated in Week 14, which means there’s a good chance you’ll have to work hard to get reinforcements with playoff spots and lane seeding. We are, as always, here to help. Each player described below is available in most Sportzshala leagues and approved for use.
Running spins on a wire
James Cook, Buffalo Bills (24% of participants)
After Buffalo was traded for Nyheim Hines by the deadline, many of us had abandoned Cook’s plans for the rest of the season. Hines proved to be an ideal candidate for the role of protector originally intended for Dalvin’s brother.
As it turns out, the newcomer is just a supporting player in the Bills’ offense, and Cook is turning into a popular weapon. The rookie had 20 touches against New England on Thursday night, catching six passes and 105 yards. Fry the snaps evenly with Devin Singleteryahead of the veteran starter, 20:13. Singletary scored a 1-yard touchdown to maintain his fantasy value, but Cooke’s appearance is clearly a significant event.
James doesn’t have the bulk of Dalwyn or the vision and elusiveness of his brother, so let’s not assume he’s going to be a breakout runner anytime soon. But he’s an effective all-around defender attached to the Death Star’s offense, which means he deserves a place on anyone’s list in almost every league. Don’t be surprised if Cook plays in a fantasy playoff; he has a real chance of some fun in Week 16 when the Bills travel to Chicago to face an under-talented Bears defense.
Suggested offer for a $100 budget: $21.
Cam Akers, Los Angeles Rams (45%)
Akers simply dominated the Rams’ backfield on Sunday with 17 runs for 60 yards and two goals. Kyren Williams was relegated to a supporting role (3 out of 9). It wouldn’t be entirely accurate to say that Akers was extraordinarily resourceful or explosive against Seattle, but he was quite effective at the goal line:
If you can talk yourself into investing in the Rams’ offense, you’re in for a string of unbeatable defenses, starting with Las Vegas on Thursday night and then with the Packers in Week 15. Akers also has a date with the generous Chargers, who won a D in Week 17, when fantasy championships are decided. We clearly can’t rule out the possibility of Williams reappearing, but for now, Akers appears to be at the top of the depth chart.
Chuba Hubbard, Carolina Panthers (20%)
Hubbard played 17 carries for the Panthers in a victory over Denver on the eve of last week’s goodbye, playing 42 percent of offensive snaps for his team. D’Onta Foreman sure, he kept the lead in the Carolina backfield (and was clearly the more impressive runner), but Hubbard’s use was certainly notable. If he’s going to see double-digit touches every week, he’s going to be a flexible deep league option. The Panthers will face two of the league’s most generous quarterbacks in the next three games as they travel to Seattle on Sunday before hosting Detroit in Week 16.
Other RB additions: Zovan Knight (He solidified Sunday with 118 yards and dominated the Jets’ backfield) Jordan Mason (he was a clean second quarterback for the Niners in their victory over Miami, throwing eight times for 51 yards) Travis Homer as well as DJ Dallas (if Kenneth WalkerAn ankle injury keeps him from meeting Carolina this week, Homer and Dallas – neither of whom are currently healthy – could be next).
Wide receivers and narrow ends for prioritization
Nico Collins, Houston Texans (29%)
Another week, another huge goal for Collins. On Sunday, he saw 10 chances against the Browns, catching three for 35 yards and scoring one goal. (Come on, you can’t expect efficiency when Kyle Allen your QB. Let’s just try and focus on the 25.6 percent target.) Collins has the perfect size (6-foot-4, 215) as well as speed and jumping ability. He has made 36 pass attempts in the last four games, which has become his team’s primary receiving option. At some point, the Texans will take advantage of his ability to throw the ball. Collins gets a couple of quality matches in weeks 16 and 17 (in week 10, Jake), so there’s a good chance he’ll make some noise when fantasy managers need it most.
Daniel Bellinger, New York Giants (2%)
Bellinger was out for five weeks with a broken face and an eye injury, but returned to play against Washington on Sunday afternoon to catch all five of his goals. The fourth-round rookie before the injury turned into a tight end for the Giants almost every snap, and now he seems to have regained his role. He made a couple of house calls early in the season and it is likely that he will reach the end zone again in the coming weeks. The NYC Foster Corps is a little short on talent at the moment, so Bellinger shouldn’t be short on opportunities.
Additional Stash Receivers: Corey Davis (he shows 85 yards on 10 targets, although the upcoming match with Buffalo is not perfect), Isaiah Mackenzie (he caught all five of his targets Thursday night and feasted the week before) Jahan Dotson (headed to say goodbye so he can’t help much this week, but he finally made it back to the end zone in week 13 having drawn nine targets) Alec Pierce (another funny rookie leaves for a very late farewell week with an impressive primetime performance)
Various tight ends available: Greg Dulcic (he went back to the fantastic 85 yard talk on Sunday) Evan Engram (he found the end zone against Detroit and got a vulnerable Tennessee pass defense this week) Noah Fant (if you enjoy chasing TDs in this position, Fant is here to help) Cade Otton (he did late house call on monday evening and saw a surge in usage as a result Cameron Brightabsence).
Quarterbacks on target
Jared Goff, Detroit Lions (50%)
Goff split Jacksonville’s defense on Sunday, throwing for 340 yards and two goals, the sixth time this season he’s had multiple TD passes. The Lions weren’t in much of a rush to get weapons at the start of the year, and they just added newbies. Jameson Williams to the mixture. Detroit is currently preparing to host a Viking defense that entered Week 13 and finished last against a pass, allowing 8.3 yards per try. If you are looking for a placeholder for one week, Goff can certainly help.
Tyler Huntley, Baltimore Ravens (1%)
Huntley led the Ravens to a tight win over Denver by replacing the quarterback on Sunday after Lamar Jackson died due to a knee injury. He completed 27 of 32 throws for 187 yards and ran for 41 more yards 10 times to win the game:
Jackson is injured does not count as the end of the seasonwhich of course is great news. Huntley established himself last season as a capable QB replacement and dangerous threat; he started four games for Baltimore and rushed for at least 40 yards in all. As long as Jackson has been on the sidelines (if at all), Huntley can certainly help. At the end of the fantasy season, the Ravens have a number of friendlies: Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Atlanta, then Pittsburgh.
Other approved QBs: Mike White (You can’t mess with him this week against the Bills, but he’ll get Detroit, Jacksonville and Seattle in weeks 15-17).
If you are broadcasting D/ST
Las Vegas Raiders (11%)
The Raiders are on a three-game winning streak these days and will face the smoldering ruins of a Rams offense on Thursday night. Vegas has made 11 sacks and three takeouts in the team’s last three games, so this group has been productive for fantasy purposes. Expect more from the same vs. John Woolford & Which.
Additional recommendations for ditching wires