So you’ve made it to the penultimate checkpoint before glory. Set up camp, rest your joints and have a good night’s sleep. Things only get more difficult from here. The rations are all used up, we’re all running on pocket lint and snow, and no one feels bad for your FLEX options. It’s the playoffs, kill or be killed, there is no tomorrow, survive and advance and all that. 

Week 14 saw many players succumb to injury but there still aren’t many obvious options to replace the dearly departed. There are a few species of freshicus legstronimus available for consumption. The most exciting find may be AJ Brown who is available in 70% of ESPN leagues and could carry some of us into the promised land. 

Priority will be classified in 4 ways:

HIGH – immediate starter on most teams and trade bait at worst; be aggressive!

MEDIUM – probable FLEX-level starter right now; add if you have need at the position.

LOW – still a lottery ticket, but showing signs of growth; add if you have bench room.

FREE – likely can add post-waivers without using FAAB or priority if your league allows.

Players with “PPR+” designation mean they will be extra useful in formats that reward receptions.

First Aid Kit

Players set to inherit a bigger role due to injury

Bilal Powell, RB, NYJ (priority HIGH pending Le’Veon Bell’s status) – With Bell being a late scratch on Saturday, Powell slid right in and saw 21 touches for 88 yards in week 14. A long tenured member of the Jets, he’s always been the bridesmaid never the bride but when called upon, has produced reasonably well. He’s a plus in the passing game, which is always nice.

We shall see what exactly is up with Bell as the Jets’ season winds down. I wouldn’t be shocked if he picked up a few mystery ailments to avoid the Sunday punishment in weeks 15-17. If not rostered, at least keep Powell on speed dial. UPDATE – Bell has said he’s “close to 100%” heading into Thursday. At least we’ll know early. 

DeAndre Washington, RB, OAK (priority HIGH pending Josh Jacobs’ status) – A report came out on Sunday morning that Jacobs was a true game time decision, making DWash a late add for some savvy managers. He cashed those tickets, racking up 96 yards and a score including 6 receptions. I have always been intrigued by Washington, although Raiders’ brass hasn’t shared my feelings. 

With Oakland pretty much out of realistic playoff contention, there’s a chance Jacobs doesn’t see the field again. If you did add him prior to the game, hold on to him. If you didn’t and could use a boost in your FLEX, seek him out. 

Chris Conley, WR, JAX (priority MEDIUM pending DJ Chark’s status) – Breakout WR Chark left Sunday’s game with an ankle injury and the imploding Jags probably won’t try to rush him back. Chris Conley has yet to make a real impact but for one game against the pathetic Raiders secondary, he could be in line for a big game. 

While he isn’t a fantasy star by any means, Conley does have two 20 point games this year so he wouldn’t be a complete out-of-the-blue performance. While the Jags seem to have given up (especially on defense), Gardner Minshew continues to audition to be the starter going forward. I would feel comfortable firing up Conley as a WR3/FLEX in week 15 if Chark misses. 

Justin Watson, WR, TB (priority MEDIUM/LOW pending Mike Evans’ status) – Watson might be the best rookie you’ve never heard of. Drafted in the 5th round out of Penn, Watson boasts some really impressive numbers. He was a target monster in college registering a 98th percentile dominator ranking, he had a teenage breakout and also possesses legitimate NFL athleticism with a 91st percentile SPARQ-x score. 

With Evans leaving with a hammy, Watson saw plenty of run in the Buccaneers comeback effort. He got 8 targets which he converted to 5-59-1. If Evans remains out I would throw Watson in the mix as a what-the-heck flex against both Detroit and Houston. In dynasty leagues, I’d also be interested in scooping him up to see what transpires. UPDATE – Evans is doubtful for week 15 and may not see the field for the rest of the season. 

Keke Coutee, WR, HOU (priority LOW pending Will Fuller’s status) – We’ve been teased by Coutee too many times for me to get very excited about this pickup. Coutee saw 8 targets, catching 5 balls for 68 yards against the Broncos. The Texans got down 31-3 at halftime and so Watson threw the ball 50 times. Coutee naturally saw a nice supply of targets in comeback mode but I don’t think this is very actionable. I would rather see DeAndre Hopkins or Kenny Stills in my lineup while Fuller is out. 

Isaiah Ford, WR, MIA (priority LOW pending DaVante Parker’s status) – This guy is a stretch for even some deep leaguers out there. The 2018 7th round pick jumped in when DaVante Parker left the game and was running as the number one option for QB Ryan Fitzpatrick. Completely out of the blue he put up 6-92 on 9 targets. 

In a nutshell, Ford was a late round prospect with a sub-par athletic profile out of Virginia Tech. However, he does have one box checked in dramatic fashion which is a breakout age of 18 years old, good for the 97th percentile. He put up a 1000 yard-11 TD season as a true sophomore but never made it high on any prospect lists. I wouldn’t want to count on Ford to win a championship but in deep leagues where you may start 4-5 WRs and have no waiver priority, he’s an option. It doesn’t hurt that Miami plays New York (Giants) and Cincinnati to close out. 

Powerbars

High calorie options to grab for a boost

Raheem Mostert, RB, SF (priority MEDIUM) – The 27 year old seems to have finally taken command of a backfield in his 5th season. A slight build and injury history has always been his downfall but there’s no question he has top tier NFL speed and athleticism. Kyle Shanahan likes to use a committee but Mostert is the lead for now. He had 12 touches this week with a fully healthy backfield, and that’s probably what you can expect going forward.

However, with his explosiveness and the San Francisco run game scheme, Mostert can make few touches count. It’s always scary relying on low volume, but he could be a FLEX against the Falcons in week 15. 

Patrick Laird, RB, MIA (priority MEDIUM, PPR+) – In a PPR league I would probably put Laird over Mostert. Laird is a less impressive specimen based on athletic measurables, but Sunday showed us he is definitely the lead back in the Dolphins offense. If you haven’t been following his rise to cult fame in the fantasy community, just google “Laird DFS” and I think you’ll have a good laugh.

He saw 19 touches for 86 scoreless yards in a competitive game, but 4 of those touches were receptions. The key here is the Dolphins remaining schedule against the Giants and Bengals to close out the fantasy season. With the ‘Fins in full tank mode, there really isn’t a reason they don’t see what they have in Laird. He’s unlikely to become even a RB2 for dynasty, but could he be the Dolphins Danny Woodhead in 2020? It’s not impossible. 

AJ Brown, WR, TEN (priority HIGH) – If you need a plug and play WR for the last 2 weeks, AJB should be your #1 priority. He’s shockingly only rostered in 30% of ESPN leagues, but most everyone should be familiar with his name. The Titans’ 2nd round pick has been a manimal and recently taken over as the primary option in the passing game.

Yes, in the Titans offense there is always a risk for the 1-17-0 showing he gave us in week 11. But the payoff is so huge with this guy. He is an absolute monster and even in redraft I’m comfortable saying he’s a WR3 if you made it past round 1. The Titans’ schedule is ripe in the last 2 weeks as well, at home against the Texans and Saints. Both contests have shootout potential. 

Stragglers

Leave these guys behind, it’s time to move on

Honestly, ya’ll can figure this out. If you wouldn’t start them in week 15 they’re droppable for someone you would start. 

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  1. Drekkan says:
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    So I’m onto round two of the playoffs but it’s somewhat bittersweet as three guys I have leaned on this year all got dinged up to various degrees: Lamar Jackson, Mark Andrews (both slightly) and Mike Evans (who looks like he’s done for the year).

    Currently I have no backup at either QB or TE spot but think I’m relatively stable at WR: Sutton, Golladay, McLaurin, Cooks.

    At runningback/flex I’m starting McCaffrey, Gordon, and Mixon – with James White and Ronald Jones II as backups.

    I’m currently sitting at the second waiver priority of the remaining playoff teams. I’m wondering if I should use that position to try and grab a WR first to counter the loss of Evans, or try and shore up depth at TE/QB in case injuries to the ravens studs are serious.

    Current targets that are available on our wire:

    WR – Tyler Lockett, Marquise Brown, Conley & Watson
    QB – the standard waiver crowd of the like of RIvers/Minshew/Brissett
    TE – Gesicki, Jonnu Smith, Jimmy Graham

    • al_FF_red

      al_FF_red says:
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      I think Lockett might be preferablever McLaurin so it’s probably worth a try… I’d say Conley next just based on matchup

      I don’t think you need to blow the priority on a QB/TE because unfortunately all of them are similar and you’re just going to have to play a good matchup and cross your fingers. If Fant is around grab him

      • Eli Man Penguin Boy says:
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        even with my possible watson hedging below i’d still go watson over conley, i’d think a much worse floor on conley.

  2. sportivetricks says:
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    Yooooooo. I have the top waiver claim remaining in my league, and now is the time to use it. Been rocked with injuries lately and I have to decide between AJ Brown and D. Washington with this pick. Pending definite news on Josh Jacobs . . . I should rank them in that order, right?

    Also, what do you think about a sneaky stash of Kerryon Johnson for the final week?

    Thankya, Thankya!!!

    • al_FF_red

      al_FF_red says:
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      I wouldnt touch Kerryon with the claim but maybe you can grab him post waivers if others are sleeping

      AJB vs. DWash is tough I guess go for the position you feel less comfrtable with your current guys. If both are flex options either way… I lean AJB because you know he’s playable while DWash you won’t know about JJ until later

      • al_FF_red

        al_FF_red says:
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        Plus you really can’t get much better than a HOU matchup (unless its TB)

        • SportiveTricka says:
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          Thank you, sir! Either guy would be @ flex, but I think AJB is the way to go. And yes, I was asking about trying to grab Kerryon first thing in the morning after waivers process.

          Thanks again!!!

  3. Wacha Wacha says:
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    How would you rank these potential ww adds in non ppr redraft? I just need one of these guys as an emergency wr on the bench in case of an unforseen late scratch. AJ Brown, Mclaurin, A Jeffrey, D Slayton.

    Thanks!

    • al_FF_red

      al_FF_red says:
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      Slayton (surest volume, matchup, etc)
      AJB (elite matchup, little more risky volume)
      McL (matchup great just tough to rely on Haskins)

      Jeffery is dust for 2019 I think (and maybe beyond)

  4. Eli Man Penguin Boy says:
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    why watson over perriman. also DT and bdon went over watson some time ago in one of their first podcasts here (albeit it was an early deep draft prospects one obviously). perriman has been used well before week 14 in this offense.

    • al_FF_red

      al_FF_red says:
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      someone brought this up on Twitter as well.. I think Perriman just stinks. Also Watson saw 8 targets (granted, on fewer snaps) compared to Perriman’s 5. I think Watson is more exciting… also with Bucs in eval mode seems worthwhile to see what they have in the rookie.

      Could make a case for both given the wnderful matchup with DET. I guess target volume and shiny new toy effect are why I’d prefer Watson.

      • al_FF_red

        al_FF_red says:
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        Watson’s prospect numbers are truly outstanding. Granted it was at Penn against Ivy League comp.

        Perriman is a limited player, a low volume deep threat who can’t catch very well. I think his role would stay the the same, Watson has a chance to fill the Evans role which is exciting.

        • al_FF_red

          al_FF_red says:
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          Perriman saw 8 targets in a game once all year… Watson saw 8 targets thrown into a game when Evans went out…

          If Perriman is “the guy” why did Watson out-target him? This is all conjecture but thats my rationale

          • Eli Man Penguin Boy says:
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            good answer, and i remember DT and Bdon liking watson coming out in his draft class. seems silly they’d have waited this long BUT addendum this IS the team that wasted a 1st rounder on a MF’ing kicker not long ago. it wasn’t me on twatter for sure.

            • Eli Man Penguin Boy says:
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              i just saw the 91st % SPARQ on watson too after posting originally. that’s nice.

  5. Maybe I’m behind the trend here, but is it crazy to consider benching OBJ at FLEX for Laird, Washington, Pascal, or Deebo?

    • Eli Man Penguin Boy says:
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      i wouldn’t do it for laird, but if JJSS isn’t back (sounds like he will be though), hilton isn’t back (this sounds very likely) the other 3 might be doable, now that we actually know WHY he’s been shitty most of season (outside of just being connected to mayfield, but we also could notice that landry hasn’t been shitty most of year with him too)

    • al_FF_red

      al_FF_red says:
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      This is a doozy

      OBJ vs Zona is he practices fully all week might be the best play. If you go down at least you went down swinging with the talent against the stone nuts matchup

      DWash if JJ is out probably the safest play

      Deebo certainly is defensible in a great matchup

      Pascal probably gets a tough individual pull against Lattimore from NO don’t think I could start him over OBJ

      Laird is a fun story but not an option here imo

      • al_FF_red

        al_FF_red says:
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        If it was me unless we get extra news about OBJ not practicing or “will be limited” I would start OBJ simply because my grandma could get over on the Cardinals

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