Overall, it was a disastrous week in Fantasy Football, let’s face it. We saw injuries galore, some upsets, and some uninspiring performances from fantasy stars. We saw some major injuries, potentially major injuries, and that is what will be dissected in this post, to make sure you guys are making all the right moves as we move that more closely to Fantasy Football playoffs. If you’ve been following and reading my Benchwarmer’s series, you probably are first in your league anyway, but for those just joining us for this special Waiver Wire edition, let’s get to it!
We surprisingly saw Marshawn Lynch sit out Week 12 against the 49ers, and in his place, Thomas Rawls (my man) decided to mess around and rush for over 200 yards. He actually finished with over 250 yards from scrimmage on Sunday, including one touchdown of the receiving kind, and one of the rushing kind as well. He had 33 touches and completely stole the show in a game where Seattle had to win to stay in playoff contention. Marshawn Lynch, as of this writing, is going to see a groin specialist for his abdominal injury (sports hernia), which is never good news. Thomas Rawls is a must-add in all leagues and is easily a top-20 running back on any given week in which Lynch doesn’t play, which could be a few more.
Charcandrick West went down on Sunday with a hamstring “strain” as described by his head coach and could potentially be looking at a multi-week injury. If that is the case, no problem. Spencer Ware filled in for 101 yards combined on 12 touches and a touchdown in only one half of football. Ware would be the next man up in Kansas City and certainly looked good on Sunday. Forget Knile Davis, let’s talk about Ware. He ran for 96 yards and a touchdown on only 11 carries with less than a half of football basically (West left early in the 3rd quarter). Ware would be facing a Buffalo defense that has shown to be exposed in the past weeks, and considering how Kansas City running backs have been doing lately, Ware is a must-own in all leagues and could be a must-start if West were forced to miss anytime.
Ahmad Bradshaw, a player signed back to the Colts earlier this season, was forced into a bigger role as Frank Gore dealt with a quad injury on Sunday and looked rather hobbled by the injury. Considering Gore’s age, injury history, and how he looked, he could be sitting for a week or two potentially. Bradshaw finished out the game as the feature back in a close win, and also accounted for both receiving touchdowns in the game, picking up right where he left off as a receiving threat. Hasselback looked at Bradshaw in the redzone a decent amount and Bradshaw also had a decent day running (nine attempts for 32 yards). Bradshaw would be a strong PPR play if Gore missed anytime and could be ranked as high as a RB2 in standard leagues as well. He needs to be owned, regardless of Gore’s status, in PPR leagues to say the least as his role is expected to increase potentially as the season progresses.
Justin Forsett suffered a broken arm on Sunday and has been ruled out for the rest of the season, making him safe to drop in all re-draft leagues. In his place. Javorius “Buck” Allen had a decent day considering he was going against a tough run defense in St. Louis. He ran for 67 yards on 22 attempts and had 48 yards on five receptions as he was the feature back upon Forsett’s departure. Considering that Raheem Morsert is the now de facto #2 running back and Lorenzo Taliaferro is on the IR, Allen has some serious appeal for the rest of the season and should be picked up in all leagues as Joe Flacco (droppable in re-draft) tore his ACL and MCL and is now out for the season. That means Matt Schaub (yikes) is the new #1 quarterback and he can be expected to have a lot of check-downs, focusing on Allen a lot.
Devin Funchess is finally turning into the player that we had hoped for him to be following Kelvin Benjamin’s pre-season injury. He has reeled in at least 40 yards receiving over the past three games and has two touchdowns on that span as well. He had eight targets on Sunday and was a favorite target of Cam Newton (still not MVP). Corey Brown was inactive for this game, but considering the Panthers play again on Thursday for Thanksgiving, Brown may be out again. Funchess would the #1 wide receiver over Ted Ginn and Jerricho Cotchery once again. And considering the matchup against Dallas with a lack of a solid secondary, Funchess could have another solid game. He is picking up steam late in the season and deserves a look in most leagues as a high-upside WR3.
Shaun Draughn continued to own the backfield in San Francisco with 20 touches in a loss to Seattle. He only ran for 37 yards on 12 attempts, but had eight receptions on 11 targets for 40 yards. Considering the tough matchup that Gabbert had, all of his targets in Boldin, Smith, and McDonald healthy, it is a good sign for Draughn as Carlos Hyde continues to be out with a foot injury. Draughn isn’t necessarily an every week starter in fantasy, but in PPR leagues, he definitely is worthy of a bench spot and even in standard leagues as well with the amount of touches he is receiving as Hyde does not look ready to come back just yet.
Over the past four weeks, Crockett Gilmore has had either a touchdown or at least 50 yards receiving and had a great game on Sunday, reaching 101 yards on five receptions. Now granted, Joe Flacco is out for the rest of the season, but Matt Schaub is expected to be targeting his tight end along with Buck Allen a lot going forward. Gilmore has proven to be a solid receiving tight end and considering all of the injuries to the skill players on the Ravens, Gilmore now steps in at perhaps the #3 target at worst. He will likely see a healthy number of looks moving forward as a safety valve for Matt Schaub. If he is still available, grab him as a weekly low-end TE1 that could have top-eight weeks ahead of him.
Brent Celek must think this is 2011 or something, as he is all of sudden providing solid stats at the tight end position over the past two weeks. He has caught 11 passes for 213 yards over the past two weeks and could be in line for a bigger role come Thanksgiving morning. Zach Ertz suffered a concussion on Sunday, and we have seen concussions not be cleared in a less-than five day period, leaving Celek as the possible starter again on Thursday. No matter who it is throwing the ball to him, Celek has done over the past two weeks and considering he has a good matchup against the Lions, we could see another good game out of Celek. Treat him as a mid-tier TE1 if Ertz is out, but still as a high-upside TE2 when Ertz even is active.
Lastly, Jameis Winston had a strong game on Sunday against a depressing Eagles defense, throwing for nearly 250 yards and five touchdowns as well. He threw no interceptions and was only sacked once as he decimated the Philly defense now that he had Vincent Jackson back with Mike Evans and a strong running performance by Doug Martin. Winston does have another solid matchup against the Colts indoors next Sunday and could possibly even have his full arsenal back as Austin Seferian-Jenkins could possibly be back for that game. Winston is a low-end QB1 based on upside but is also a strong #2 quarterback on any fantasy team.
That’ll do it for me this week, be sure to eat a whole bunch of turkey and win a whole bunch of fantasy matchups thanks to my advice!
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