“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 Dynasty League Football. 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 Vof 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 playoff 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).
It’s playoff time! Are you ready?
The playoffs can be a stressful time for all of us as each decision is magnified and one wrong move can end your season. Dynasty owners of James Conner (hand raised), Kareem Hunt (grrr, check), Melvin Gordon, Odell Beckham, Jr. and Emmanuel Sanders might feel like Jesse Spano coming down from a caffeine pill high (not sure if that’s actually a thing) as you are without one or more of your most important fantasy contributors at the most crucial time of the year. Below, I’ll give you some players who have the ability to help fill the void left in your roster by those players who are MIA this week.
Week 13 Slingshot Plays
Case Keenum, QB DEN: 12/21 151 yards, TD- Miss
Nyheim Hines, RB IND: 9 Targets, 9 Recs, 50 Receiving Yards; 4 Rushes/5 Yards- Hit
Adam Humphries, TB WR: 9 Targets, 7 Recs, 61 Yards, TD- Hit
Curtis Samuel, WR CAR: 11 Targets, 6 Recs, 88 Yards: 1 Carry, 8 Yards- Hit
Chris Herndon, TE NYJ: 6 Targets, 2 Recs, 31 Yards- Miss
Humphries has caught a touchdown in four of his last five games and is a weekly WR3 with WR2 upside until further notice. If you’re in a bind with your final flex spot, you can play either Curtis Samuel or Nyheim Hines. Yet, buyer beware they are likely to see a much lower target volume this week as Devin Funchess and Marlon Mack return to full health. Samuel has the much higher ceiling as he’s given touches around the red zone more frequently. Herndon continues to see a respectable number of targets, but it’s tough to trust anyone in the Jets offense right now. Case Keenum is officially off the fantasy radar for the remainder of 2018 with the loss of Emmanuel Sanders.
Week 14 Slingshot Plays
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Josh Allen, QB BUF
I’m not going to lie to you, leading up to this year’s NFL Draft, I was no fan of one Mr. Joshua Allen. In fact, if the Browns took him first overall, I had promised to drive to Berea and picket the facility. Well, the joke’s on me as Allen has shown flashes of his immense upside this season, despite missing five games due to injury. The Wyoming product has even put up QB1 numbers the last two games aided by his legs (22 Att/234 Yards/TD) to make up for pedestrian passing numbers (391 Yards, 3 TDs, 2 INTs).
Let me be clear, this is the ultimate slingshot play for those who find themselves as huge underdogs in their opening round playoff matchup. Allen’s ceiling has been on full display the last two weeks in rewarding those brave souls who started him with 26.3 and 30.7 points respectively. Conversely, prior to his injury, the Bills’ rookie signal caller demonstrated his basement dwelling floor scoring 3.9, 10.1, and 5.8 fantasy points in weeks four through six.
It will take a big set of brass cojones to roll out Allen as the matchup is mediocre. The Jets rank in the middle of the pack (17th) in terms of allowing fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks, but just allowed 22.5 to the mobile Marcus Mariota on Sunday.
Jeff Wilson Jr, RB SF
Matt Breida has already been ruled out for Week 14 and Jeff Wilson Jr. will serve as the lead back on Sunday against Denver. The 49er running back dropped 19.4 FP in relief against the Seahawks on Sunday. Breida was averaging just over 13 touches per game (while nursing various injuries) meaning Wilson should get more of a workload and have ample opportunity to rack up garbage time points in a home tilt with Denver. Your goal right now is to survive and advance into the next round of the playoffs and the North Texas product should be a high-end RB2 option on volume alone.
James Conner has already been ruled out for week 14 so those of us who have been rolling him out as their weekly RB1 (heavy sigh) need to find a replacement ASAP. If you drafted Samuels in the latter rounds of your rookie draft and/or made a trade to grab Conner’s handcuff, he is your chief in-house replacement option. The NC State product has only 19 touches (12 rushes, 7 receptions), 85 yards, and a pair of scores on the season in limited relief of Conner (including a ten yard touchdown reception in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s loss). Samuels is a low-end RB2 with upside against a leaky Raiders defense that has allowed the sixth most fantasy points to the running back position on the season.
While Jaylen Samuels has been getting all of the buzz in the fantasy community this week, don’t forget about Stevan Ridley. Ridley served as the lead back in last year’s season finale converting 17 carries into 80 yards, a touchdown, and helped keep my Browns winless (I hate you, Hue Jackson!). In the Carolina blowout in week nine (where James Conner rested a good portion of the game), the eight year veteran got the lion’s share of the backfield carries (8/26) over Samuels (5/7). Though the rookie (3/22/1) dominated in the passing game.
Mike Tomlin has said this week would be more of a backfield committee, yet this is the same man who said James Conner’s injury wasn’t that serious. Samuels himself said the two running backs will split series, officially making this situation a mess. I can envision a scenario where the rookie fumbles and/or whiffs on a blitz pickup and Tomlin turns to the sturdy veteran. If you’re desperate, take a chance on Ridley as a flex option.
Chris Godwin, WR TB
Last week, I spoke about how the dynasty community has been salivating over Chris Godwin’s potentialfor a year and a half with below average production. On Sunday, aided by the absence of speedster DeSean Jackson, the former Nittany Lion rewarded the believers catching five of six targets for 101 yards and a score. Godwin should continue to see ample opportunity moving forward as the Bucs may hold out DJax for the rest of the season.
In 2017, when Jackson missed the last two games of the season the Penn State product was targeted 18 times resulting in 10 receptions for 209 yards and a touchdown. The Saints have allowed the most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers on the season. Godwin should draw a favorable matchup against corner Eli Apple while Mike Evans will be covered by the 2017 Defensive Rookie of the Year Marshon Lattimore.
Ian Thomas, TE Car
The tight end position in fantasy football has graduated from a simple dumpster fire to a burning trash receptacle full of human excrement of the number two variety. The feces continued to combust last Sunday as Greg Olsen re-injured his foot and is done for the season. Enter Ian Thomas. The Indiana product flopped earlier this season with Olsen sidelined producing only 68 scoreless yards in three games. Thomas acquitted himself much better on Sunday catching all five of his targets for 46 yards.
Olsen had been given a red zone target in five of his last six games prior to Sunday resulting in four touchdowns and, in this tight end landscape, that’s a win. The matchup isn’t bad as the Browns have been generous to tight ends this season (tenth in fantasy points allowed). I’ll be starting the Panthers’ rookie tight end in a playoff matchup this week in my most important redraft league because, like many of you, I don’t have any better options.
Do you disagree with any of my assessments? Have a tough lineup decision? Reach out onTwitter or in the below comments.
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