Week 11 was highlighted by nothing more than injuries. A.J. Green, LeSean McCoy, Giovani Bernard, C.J. Prosise, Jay Cutler all suffered big injuries that will at least cost fantasy owners their services for the next few weeks, if not the whole season. Or, in the case of that final name that I will not write again, the rest of fantasy football ever. See ya later Cutler! For real, though, these big injuries open up some big windows for new players to step in. However, when examining the positional situation behind the injured stars there’s not a lot available. That is, unless your name is Tyler Boyd.
The rookie was a dark horse, late-round flier in draft season, primed to take the reins as the second option opposite of A.J. Well, that didn’t exactly pan out, and Boyd’s ownership is now under 1%. As of Tuesday morning. I’d imagine 24 hours from now his number jumps significantly after Green’s injury took him out for most of the game and Boyd responded with a 6/54/1 on 8 targets. You can go for Brandon LaFell all you want, but if I’m targeting some Bengals receivers I’d target the two Tylers the most: Eifert and Boyd.
So, it’s those two (Eifert as a trade option, obviously), and here are the other top targets to, well…target heading into Week 12!
- Colin Kaepernick, QB – SF (ESPN 17.0%, Yahoo 18%) – Yep. Two in a row. I’m not gonna highlight him again (click that little hyperlink below to see what I said on him last week), but I’ll point out that Kaep’s floor is what makes him so attractive. He’s a top 10 QB option ROS. On a horrible week when the team was crushed and he didn’t play particularly well he still put up 19.44 points in RCL leagues. You dreamed that Tyrod Taylor could do that. Still worth the burn.
- Pierre Garcon, WR – WAS (ESPN 29.9%, Yahoo 23%) – I TOLD YOU SO! I mean, I couldn’t have called it any better for Garcon heading into Week 11, and now you’ll really have to pay to get him. The Redskins blitzed the Packers secondary, and Garcon led the way with a 6/116/1 effort. He found the freaking end zone! Now, granted, the Washington offense was about as efficient as possible Sunday night, but I’d rely upon them airing it out more consistently than running with Fat Rob. Even though that dude’s a dope pickup.
- Tyler Boyd, WR – CIN (ESPN 0.7%, Yahoo 6%) – Nope, not worth the burn, but definitely worth bidding for and racing to add as a high end flier to finish out your bench. As I mentioned above, he was viewed with a lot of potential heading into the year, he just took the normal rookie WR path, as opposed to the 2014 route. 5+ targets should be an essential lock moving forward, and even more if Jeremy Hill and the running game can’t establish itself early.
- Malcolm Mitchell, WR – NE (ESPN 0.7%, Yahoo 1%) – Go Dawgs! Haha, sorry…I’ve been waiting and wanting to say that at least once this year as a UGA grad, but it hasn’t been the kindest year of football fandom for a UGA grad. Mitchell emerged in a big way Sunday night, though. At UGA he was the most consistent option in the offense, and was a 5 Star WR/CB coming out of high school. His talent’s immense, and he plays with the greatest QB of all time. His 4/98/1 line was padded by his 56 yard TD catch in the second half, but he was on the field for 66 snaps and Brady’s talked very highly of him. Rob Gronkowski’s return will likely decrease his opportunities, but he could easily be the second WR option in this offense moving forward. He’s worth the flier. And in case you didn’t know…his story is one of the best in the past few years. He’s going to be a mainstay in New England, even if right now’s a tad early.
- Tajae Sharpe, WR – TEN (ESPN 14.8%, Yahoo 12%) – Marcus Mariota forgot that he wasn’t supposed to ascend quite yet and is now currently running around the NFL doing whatever he wants like Frank The Tank running through the Quad. Naked. Rishard Mathews has emerged as a great option for Mariota, but Sharpe has the potential to become the most reliable weapon in the Tennessee offense. He’s averaging over 6 targets per game in the past three, and has tallied 68 yards and a touchdown in two straight weeks. The ceiling isn’t massive, but the potential, in an offense that’s rolling, is worth the deep flier. He’ll be a great option to snag in the 8-10 round range in 2017.
- Marqise Lee, WR – JAX (ESPN 4.4%, Yahoo 6%) – I’m just beating a dead horse now. I get it, too. You’re not going to start Lee over bigger names, but at this point it may be your fault if you don’t. Take away his dud in Week 8 @ TEN and he’s averaging 11.24 ppg. That’s more than restorable, and borderline startable. Every week. The Jags have been a massive disappointment, but Lee’s emerged from the abyss of disappointment and ascended to the levels his talent would designate. That owned number probably won’t jump into double digits, but after a 4/52/1 effort, it should. I’ll probably just have him in this dang thing the rest of the year…
- Wendell Smallwood, RB – PHI (ESPN 2.4%, Yahoo 5%) – The production’s not necessarily there yet, but the volume is. And with RB that’s the big thing to find. 13 carries in his second straight game, and yet another Ryan Mathews injury, may have cemented Smallwood as a weapon in the Philly offense. He’s not really there yet, but he’s the type of young player that could explode in the playoffs and take you deeper than you expected. Keep an eye on him if nothing else, but I’d rather have Smallwood than options like T.J. Yeldon, Shaun Draughn, or Jeremy Langford sitting on my bench.
- Taylor Gabriel, WR – ATL (ESPN 2.9%, Yahoo 3%) – I’m leaving Gabriel and Inman on the list for this week because they were highlighted leading into a BYE week. Nothing’s changed. They’re both still great speculative adds for the playoff run.
- Dontrelle Inman, WR – SD (ESPN 7.8%, Yahoo 4%) – Same. As. Above. Well, and last week.
Now…DROP THOSE COMMENTS! Good luck in Week 12! It’s the home stretch towards the playoffs, and these pickups just may be what the doctor ordered for your mediocre team. Or, if you’r like, you’re incredible team that still somehow manages to go 6-5 despite having the first or second most points in the league. Aaah, the luck of fantasy football.
Oh, and I’m aware that RotoLance just highlighted Tyler Boyd, too. EVEN MORE REASON TO GET HIM!