We’re done with bye weeks,
Each week, we highlight six recommended fantasy pickups plus a team defense available in over 50 percent of Yahoo leagues. If you have roster needs, we’ve got fixes.
Rashaad Penny, Seattle Seahawks (18%)
Early in the fourth quarter at Philadelphia on Sunday, Rashaad Penny took a first-down handoff and shamed the Eagles defense…
That touchdown run accounted for 58 of his game-high 129 rushing yards. Two minutes later, Chris Carson attempted to take a handoff from Russell Wilson, but he dropped it like a burning coal. Carson had put the ball on the ground on his previous carry, too, recovering it himself. He’s officially fumbled seven times this season, which of course is seven times too many. Thus, it’s no great surprise to see that Penny out-touched Carson in the win at Philly, 14 to 12.
We’ve been mentioning Penny regularly in this feature as a premium handcuff, just in case Carson suffered a late-season injury. It now seems likely that Carson’s ball security failings will lead to additional opportunities for his understudy. Penny hadn’t seen more than 32 percent of the offensive snaps in any game entering Week 12, but that’s presumably about to change. Bid aggressively.
FAAB bid: A lot. This is Week 13, people. You can’t save it for next year. Let’s say $25 of a $100 budget
Bo Scarbrough, Detroit Lions (44%)
Last week’s priority add came through with 18 carries for 98 yards (and a near-decapitation of a safety), dominating the backfield work for Detroit. He’s the clear and unrivaled lead back for the Lions, for what it’s worth. Somehow, the fantasy community left him on the wire in tens of thousands of leagues last week, because he remains unattached in a majority of Yahoo pools. This will serve as your last call on Scarbrough. He’ll face the Bears on Thanksgiving, and Chicago’s defense has been vulnerable on the ground since Akiem Hicks hit IR. It’s reasonable to expect 60-plus yards and a score from Scarbrough.
FAAB bid: $20
Benny Snell Jr., Pittsburgh Steelers (4%)
James Conner was inactive in Week 12, dealing with a shoulder malfunction, and Pittsburgh’s coaching staff is apparently unimpressed by all those 2-yard runs from Jaylen Samuels. As a result, Snell found himself in a featured role against Cincinnati, gaining 103 scoreless yards on 22 touches. We don’t yet know if Conner will be available for next week’s matchup against Cleveland, but we can safely say that Snell is Plan B. He was a massively productive collegiate runner, just in case you somehow missed his SEC days. The Browns have allowed 4.8 YPC to opposing rushers, so the upcoming matchup is plenty friendly. Add as needed.
FAAB bid: $6
Additional RBs worth adding: Darrel Williams (because we don’t yet know Damien Williams’ status for the week ahead, but we know he’s hurting), Alexander Mattison (another of those premium handcuffs worth rostering before you need to break the bank), Gus Edwards (a necessary insurance policy for those who have Mark Ingram on a roster), Tony Pollard (the appropriate ‘cuff for Zeke), Raheem Mostert (while Matt Breida is out, he’s running as the Niners’ No. 2), Qadree Ollison (he’s vulturing TDs in Atlanta).
Sam Darnold, New York Jets (39%)
Darnold has delivered nine total touchdowns over his last three games (seven passing, two rush), taking full advantage of an exceedingly friendly schedule. Sunday’s 20-for-29, 315-yard passing effort against Oakland was the high point for Darnold so far this season. He threw a few darts against the Raiders…
on his way to a top-five positional finish in Week 12. He’s connected on touchdown passes with both Robby Anderson and Ryan Griffin in back-to-back games. Darnold gets yet another excellent matchup next Sunday when the Jets travel to Cincinnati to face a defense allowing a league-worst 9.0 yards per pass attempt. And then you might as well keep him on the roster through Week 14, when New York hosts Miami.
FAAB bid: $9
Other approved QBs: Ryan Tannehill (excessively promoted around here, Tanny is coming off a 4-TD performance and his next three matchups are appealing: at Ind, at Oak, Hou), Ryan Fitzpatrick (it’s rarely a clinic and Fitz’s numbers may not arrive until garbage time, but he’s gonna keep slinging), Kyle Allen (because he’s the guy who gets to throw to CMC and D.J. Moore, with Washington is on deck), Devlin Hodges (for the super-flex crowd only; he faces Cleveland and Arizona in the weeks ahead).
Wide receivers and tight ends
Randall Cobb, Dallas Cowboys (30%)
Cobb delivered four catches for 86 yards in a monsoon at Foxborough on Sunday, which qualifies as a heroic effort considering the quality of the opponent. Over Cobb’s last four games, he’s caught 20 balls for 342 yards and two scores on 30 targets. Following Dallas’ bye week, he’s emerged a bankable high-volume fantasy asset. It helps that he’s tied to a passing offense which currently ranks No. 1 in the league, averaging 303.5 yards per game. Dallas has a matchup ahead against Buffalo, a stingy pass defense overall, but a group that’s allowed a few big performances to slot receivers (notably Crowder and Landry). At this point, Cobb needs to be rostered in any sort of PPR format.
FAAB bid: $7
Mecole Hardman, Kansas City Chiefs (27%)
We don’t yet know if Tyreek Hill will be available for the Oakland matchup in Week 13, but early reports suggested his hamstring injury was relatively minor. So that’s a relief. Hardman is of course likely to benefit if Hill is limited. The rookie played 51 of 67 snaps last Monday against the Chargers, drawing four targets (and catching only two). He’s a burner, perhaps only a tick slower than Hill, and his big-play potential is already well established…
It’s clear that he’s a boom-or-bust fantasy asset, but he’s attached to an offense that’s been known to boom. Hardman is capable of turning any touch into a long TD, which obviously gives him relevance in deeper fantasy formats.
FAAB bid: $6
Various other WR/TE options: Russell Gage (coming off an 8-catch, 10-target game, serving as a respectable Sanu replacement), N’Keal Harry (the rookie caught a TD pass in brutal conditions on Sunday, featuring a nifty toe-drag) Jakobi Meyers (delivered a 4-74 line against Dallas), Cole Beasley (he has at least four receptions in seven games this season and spiked again in Week 12), A.J. Brown (the rookie just delivered his second 100-yard game and scored his fourth touchdown), Ryan Griffin (he’s made house calls in back-to-back games, clearly clicking with Darnold), Kyle Rudolph (the yardage totals are nothing special, but he has five TDs in his last five games), Jack Doyle (it appears Ebron’s season is over, clearing a path to increased targets for Doyle).
Philadelphia Eagles (38%)
Defense wasn’t really the problem in Philly’s loss to Seattle on Sunday, as the Eagles sacked Russell Wilson six times, picked him off once and allowed only 17 points. This team’s upcoming schedule is a gift: at Miami, vs. NY Giants, at Washington. It’s hard to believe we won’t get, say, a half-dozen takeaways during that stretch. There’s a decent chance this D can take you to Championship Week.
FAAB bid: $2
Other streamable D/STs: New York Jets (this is a competent D preparing to face Cincinnati and Miami in the weeks ahead), Carolina Panthers (hosting Washington and its rookie QB in Week 13).