Thursday - Jan 21, 2021

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FANTASY FLEX: Week 13

Week 12 is in the rear-view mirror now and fantasy playoffs are approaching. Trade deadlines have passed in all major league sites so we are all stuck with our rosters. Some leagues even have the waiver wire locked. With the available player pool pretty dry now, some of us have to prioritize who to start on our teams. This week I will go over the fringe starters who may or may not deserve a spot in your lineup. The only waiver adds at this point are quarterbacks. Ryan Fitzpatrick, Derek Carr and Kirk Cousins are really the only ones worth stashing at this point. All points and rankings will be in 1/2-point per reception (PPR) league points.

Do Not Panic!

Alvin Kamara/Michael Thomas

OK, you can panic a little on this one but he is not quite worth benching unless you have two other Top 20 running backs. Taysom Hill is stealing a lot of the touchdown production so far which is a major concern. We can throw out Week 12 at Denver because it was not a real game and New Orleans had no incentive to use their star players. The game was so out of hand it did not matter to play either. The Atlanta game at home the week before was similar. New Orleans was winning so easily that Kamara did not need to see significant use. Latavius Murray had most of the touches and catches actually during this time compared to Kamara. Michael Thomas will go back to normal next game. Kamara is not a great play against Atlanta but he can be started with lower expectations. Atlanta is a rough matchup for pass-catching running backs so I would not blame anyone for benching Kamara depending on the roster.

Kareem Hunt

Although he is not seeing as many carries or targets, he still can be used for the upcoming week. Hunt has scored 8.6 and 6.2 points in the last two weeks. We know from experience that he is most involved in neutral or negative game scripts. The Philadelphia and Jacksonville offenses hardly present a real threat so Hunt only was used for 13 and 10 carries, respectively. Having one catch in the last two weeks is a little concerning but the matchups against Tennessee and Baltimore should fix that.

Kyler Murray

This was the first week he had under 20 fantasy points this season. It is worth noting that the previous week was his first game under 30 points since Week 6 where he did not need to pass much due to the game script. The only problem is that 20-point game was against Seattle last week which is the worst pass defense. His passing touchdowns and yards were within line as usual but the rushing attempts have gone way down since Kenyan Drake returned to form. Murray has had just five rushing attempts each of the last two games. Week 3 against Detroit was the only other time he had five rushing attempts or less. He had double-digit rushing attempts the previous four weeks with five touchdowns to go with it.

It is important to note he has had all of his 30-point games at home. There is also a concern with many quarterbacks about hand size and cold weather. This has actually been a somewhat valid argument throughout all draft prospects. Even Drew Brees and Russell Wilson have 10.25-inch hands despite being smaller. If you look at Baker Mayfields (9 inches) stats last year, he fell off after the cold weather hit. Luckily he has opportune matchups in terms of weather soon.

Read on for players to Panic! over..

About Justin Weigal

Medical professional turned fantasy football pro... I hope. Love best ball and the Packers.