“As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground.”
-1 Samuel 17:1-25:7
Don’t fret, you are still at the DLF website. The story of David and Goliath is oft quoted to describe any underdog situation. As a society, we are enamored with cheering for people to not only defy the odds, but doing so in simplistic yet spectacular fashion. Hollywood has capitalized on this desire as movies like the Mighty Ducks or the Karate Kid (the 80s version, not the nonsense remake with Jayden Smith) highlight a person or team defying all odds to bring home the trophy.
David’s slingshot, the Flying V of the Ducks, or Danielson’s Crane Kick all highlight an important idea – sometimes it only takes a simple action to bring down a giant. Enter the below list of players. Now let me be perfectly clear about one thing, I am NOT advocating starting anyone mentioned in this article over any reliable, consistent fantasy contributor or a stud player who has had a few down weeks. Please read my article from a few weeks ago if you’re considering this at ANY point during this stretch run.
These players are designed for those dynasty degenerates who may be facing long odds in their weekly matchup and/or are searching for that last starter in a Flex spot in leagues with no kickers or defenses (the preferable way to operate a dynasty league).
This week 13 is a defacto playoff game for many of us. Winning means securing a spot in the playoffs or the coveted first round bye and losing… is unacceptable!
Case Keenum, QB DEN
QB Fantasy Points v. Cincy D the last 6 games (4 pt pass TDs):
Big Ben: 21.5
L Jackson: 16.9
— Josh Brickner (@joshbrickner) November 27, 2018
[am4show have=’g1;’ guest_error=’sub_message’ user_error=’sub_message’ ]
The surprising news… the last two games could have turned out much worse for this pass-funnel defense. Considering Lamar Jackson was making his first career NFL start with a limited playbook while the Browns played Tressel-ball after going up 35-7 late in the third quarter. Baker Mayfield only attempted three more passes the entire game as he might have dropped 40 points had the game been competitive.
Offensive Coordinator Bill Musgrave knows how to take advantage of plus matchups as Keenum threw for 322 yards and two touchdowns (20.4 fantasy points) against the Rams weak secondary in week six. This Cincinnati team is circling the drain fast losing five of their last six contests after a 4-1 start. Their dead-last overall team defense is to blame for this collapse and it looks to be getting worse before it gets better. Exploit the Bengals’ defensive collapse and stream Case Keenum this week if you’re in a bind at the quarterback position. I would start the Bronco signal caller over Matthew Stafford and the Lions faltering offense as well as greenhorn Lamar Jackson.
Nyheim Hines, RB IND
This recommendation is entirely predicated on Marlon Mack not clearing concussion protocol in time for the game on Sunday. Should Mack be absent from Sunday’s game, the stars will be aligned for Nyheim Hines and not Jordan Wilkins. How do I know? There’s four weeks worth of data helping me arrive at this conclusion.
When Mack missed weeks one, three, four, and five, Hines not only played 63.4% of the offensive snaps and rushed for 92 yards, but did the majority of his damage through the air converting 34 targets into 28 receptions, 166 yards, and two touchdowns. Conversely, Wilkins commanded only 35.5% of the backfield snaps producing both a scoreless 114 rushing yards and 31 through the air.
The Jaguars defense is fourth in terms of limiting fantasy points to opposing running backs. However, these aren’t the Jaguars of yesteryear (last season) as the entire franchise is in disarray mired in a seven game losing streak and having just fired their offensive coordinator Monday. Plus, this same unit allowed 99 rushing yards and a score to Josh Allen this past Sunday.
Hines would be a solid flex play with RB2 upside if Mack cannot clear the dreaded concussion protocol by kickoff on Sunday.
Adam Humphries, WR TB
Chris Godwin v. Adam Humphries Last 5 Games (Targets/Recs/Yds/TDs):
Godwin: 24/18/267/0; 55.1% snaps; 2 RZ targets/0 TDs
— Josh Brickner (@joshbrickner) November 27, 2018
While the dynasty community continues to salivate over Chris Godwin’s potential, Adam Humphries has been bringing his lunch pail to work on Sundays and getting stuff done. Let the rebuilding teams concern themselves with potential, you are trying to bring home the hardware. Mike Evans is the unquestioned leader of the Bucs wide receiving corps, but there’s still room for Humphries to be a solid fantasy contributor. In the last four contests, the Clemson product leads the team in both receptions (19) and touchdown catches (four) while only behind Evans in receiving yards (249).
This week’s matchup could not be better for the slot receiver as Carolina has not only given up the second most fantasy points to enemy wideouts the last four games, but they were just torched by both Tyler Lockett (5/107/1) and David Moore (4/103/1) in week twelve at home. Humphries is a high floor/low ceiling flex play for those in do-or-die matchups to punch their ticket to the dance.
Curtis Samuel, WR CAR
It is far from a lock that Devin Funchess plays on Sunday and should he sit out, fire up Curtis Samuel. The Ohio State product has caught a touchdown on all three of his red zone targets the last four games while adding a score on the ground. While scoring four touchdowns in four games is impressive in its own right, I can’t in good faith recommend starting Samuel if Funchess is active. In the three games before week 12, the former Buckeye only played on 29.4% of the offensive snaps. That number skyrocketed to 91.5% last Sunday sans Funchess. The Panthers have a plum matchup against a Tampa Bay defense that has hemorrhaged fantasy points (fifth most allowed) to opposing fantasy wide receivers on the season.
In fact, in the week nine meeting between the two divisional rivals, Samuel scored both via the ground and passing game despite playing only 17 (27.4%) offensive snaps. With a greater opportunity share against this porous defense, the second year wideout could be a matchup winning play in this crucial, must-win week for many of us.
Chris Herndon, TE NYJ
If Chris Herndon is looking for a nickname, I suggest Rodney Dangerfield as the Jets rookie is not getting near the respect he deserves from the fantasy community. All he’s done the last four weeks is lead the team in both receptions (14) and receiving yards (153) simultaneously outscoring dynasty darlings David Njoku and Trey Burton.
In looking back even further to the past six games, Herndon has turned 27 targets into 21 receptions, 267 receiving yards, and three touchdowns averaging 10.9 PPR points per game. Despite all of this fantasy handiwork, the University of Miami product is still just 11% owned (!) in Yahoo leagues.
Given the absolute dumpster fire known as the tight end position in fantasy football, Herndon is a low-end TE1 streamer until further notice.
Eric Ebron: I was wrong!
I'm right there with you, Sam. Time to admit I was wrong on Ebron. https://t.co/XajZjRo72X
— Josh Brickner (@joshbrickner) November 26, 2018
If you’ve read any of my articles here at DLF this season, you can guess I am no fan of one Mr. Eric Ebron. I’ve referred to him as the “king of mediocrity,” and predicted he would return to being a touchdown dependent TE2 as soon as Jack Doyle returned from injury. As a huge proponent of accountability, it’s time to practice what I preach. I was dead wrong on Ebron and he has an amazing opportunity in front of him these last four weeks with Jack Doyle being placed on IR.
If you ignored my advice to sell the North Carolina product, congratulations! You are the proud owner of the TE3 in fantasy football and this top three upside should be present for the remainder of the season. If you listened to me, I sincerely apologize and guarantee you Ebron is on zero of my teams in either dynasty or redraft leagues. It is imperative to admit your mistakes in analyzing fantasy football and move forward in your championship quest. Those who will “die on a hill,” in their feelings on a certain player are doing a disservice to themselves and their fake football aspirations.
Do you disagree with any of my assessments? Have a tough lineup decision? Want to take a victory lap at my expense on Eric Ebron? Reach out on Twitter or in the below comments.