It’s the semifinal round in most leagues and it’s time to make that late pickup that can put you over the top. Arizona running back Kerwynn Williams leads the list this week. Williams took advantage of the opportunity he was given, and ran the ball 19 times for 100 yards in Arizona’s win over Kansas City. It’s a bit of a suprise seeing how Stepfan Taylor and Marion Grice were projected to get more of the carries. Instead, Williams had 19 and everyone else combined for 12. He’s got a nice burst to him and is not afraid to run between the tackles to pick up tough yardage. Let’s find those late-season gems that can help you get the most-important two-game winning streak of the season…
Andre Ellington is done for the season with a sports hernia, and the Cardinals have a short week with a road game at St. Louis Thursday night. Pick up Williams and get a leg up on the competition in the semifinals. Williams makes a good FLEX play this week.
Harry Douglas of the Falcons can also get you over the hump after last night’s situation on Monday Night Football. Julio Jones was just being himself and posted another obscene line of 11-259-1 against Green Bay before he hurt his hip. Jones appeared to be in a good amount of pain and is questionable for Week 16. See what happens with Julio this week, but Douglas is going to be the next man up if Julio can’t go. Atlanta hosts Pittsburgh this week in what could be a wide-open game.
Latavius Murray of the Raiders is still unowned in 82 percent of NFL.com leagues, which is shocking. Last week he got 25 touches in the Raiders win over San Francisco. This week, he gets another chance at the Chiefs defense that he was destroying before suffering a concussion. It’s worth a shot to see if he’s out there because he could repeat his performance against the Chiefs in the rematch.
If you want an odd option, try Johnathan Stewart of the Panthers. DeAngelo Williams is out with a broken hand, and the backfield is Stewart’s for the taking. He tore off 155 yards and a touchdown last week as the Panthers looked like, well, a football team. Williams also has a pair of plush matchups with Tampa and Cleveland in the next two weeks, so the opportunity is there for Stewart to excel and steal a win.
Now, for three players you shouldn’t add…
Don’t pick up Johnny Manziel of the Browns. The Cleveland offense sputtered against the Colts in a 25-24 loss as the defense scored twice. He looked okay in his limited action, but it’s not encouraging to see Cleveland potentially change to him this week. The Browns are in the thick of the AFC playoff race and going to a new quarterback with three games left is a bad move in real-life and it’s even worse in fantasy. Cleveland takes on Cincinnati this week.
Martavis Bryant of the Steelers is too risky as a boom-or-bust option. Last week, Bryant had 109 yards and a touchdown for Pittsburgh for 16.9 points in standard leagues. Of those points, 15.4 of them came on one play. It was his first touchdown since the game against the Jets when he went 8-143-1 with an 80-yard touchdown catch. The two games in between were clunkers; 2-11 against the Titans and 1-23 against the Saints. His value isn’t really there in PPR leagues either as he has failed to catch more than five passes in any game this season.
Charles Johnson of Minnesota is the third player to avoid. Yes, he put up 103 yards and a touchdown last week but his upcoming matchup with Detroit can be tough. The Lions gave up three touchdown passes last week but look for them to bounce back and shut down the Vikings aerial attack with the playoffs on the line in real life.
Jared Cook of the Rams is a good option if you need help at tight end. The last time Cook took on the Cardinals in St. Louis he went 7-141-2 on them. It’s a short week for Arizona and the Cardinals secondary gave up 110 yards to Travis Kelce of the Chiefs.
Two defenses to go after: St. Louis and Baltimore. The Rams have posted back to back shutouts and should tee off on Arizona’s wobbly offensive line. The Ravens take on Jacksonville in our Pick-On-Blake-Bortles special.
Marquess Wilson of Chicago is the Bears new compliment to Alshon Jeffrey with Brandon Marshall out for the season. The Bears-Saints game could be a high-scroing affair with both teams having leaky defenses.