This week’s opening thought is simply this as I write on Veteran’s Day: thank you. Thank you to the brave men and women in all of our military branches. Thank you for your service and the sacrifice you and your families make for the rest of us.
Moving to the football side of things, what a strange year this has been. Take the quarterback position, where there have not been that many injuries this year, but it seems every week a team is “moving on” and will start rookies for the rest of the way. Washington is the latest, handing things over to Dwayne Haskins. There also always seems to be a team that needs a spot start, with Detroit losing Matthew Stafford for the week, granting Jeff Driskel a start this week against Chicago. For the fantasy owner, this means that it might not be necessary to carry three quarterbacks as in a desperate time as if both go down, it is likely that someone can be plucked off waivers and started in a pinch. But with that said, CHECK YOUR WAIVER RULES. Many leagues shut things down for the season around this time. If yours stay open, great, just ride with two. Otherwise, now is the time to saddle up with a third (or a backup to your starter).
Things are happening in Arizona that warrant a paragraph of discussion. David Johnson looks, well, pedestrian. Kenyan Drake looked terrible in Miami, yet he is the best option for Arizona right now. And yet after lighting things up for 160-plus yards in his opening game, he was not able to get across the 50-yard plateau this week. And what of Christian Kirk, barely heard from all season and lighting the lamp for three touchdowns this past week? Trustworthy? Hmm. We talk about it all the time that consistency is so valuable, and the Cardinals are up and down. Good luck to the owner who can nail this down and start an Arizona player when they are up.
Let’s get to this week’s wonders, a good list of players that includes many that can have an immediate fantasy impact.
RB Brian Hill, Atlanta
At last report, Devonta Freeman was to have an MRI to determine the extent of his foot injury. In the meantime, Hill will be the player of choice in the Atlanta backfield, a player the coaching staff can trust to be a three down back. He ran for 61 yards on 20 carries this past week. Look for that type of workload going forward, a rare running back on waivers at this time of year who will be a top fantasy performer.
WR Darius Slayton, New York Giants
We have listed Slayton in this space twice this year (in Weeks 6 and 9), and once again he has performed well enough to get a mention in the weekly story even with the Giants on a bye next week. For the second time in the last three games, Slayton found the end zone twice as he caught 10 passes good for 121 yards against the New York Jets. With the other wideouts fighting injury, Slayton has done enough to warrant more playing time even when (if?) the starters come back. This will probably be the last time he is available on waivers, so grab him while you can.
RB Kareem Hunt, Cleveland
Back from suspension, Cleveland put Hunt right to work as a pass catching option out of the backfield. Working with Nick Chubb as the rusher, Hunt hauled in seven passes this past week against Buffalo. He will continue to be the featured pass catcher, making him a desirable pickup this week, especially those in points per reception (PPR) leagues.