And down the stretch they come! No, were not talking horse racing this week, we are talking about Week 12, and the last two weeks of your fantasy season.
Not only do most of us only have two weeks left in the regular season, we once again have all our players in the games. That’s right, with Week 12 comes no more bye weeks.
It is time to get to work. Hopefully your team is built the way you need it to be for the playoffs. Maybe you just need to use the waivers to bolster your bench. Maybe you are one of us who is scrambling to get into the playoffs and you need some help from the waivers to get there. Either way we need to talk about the waiver wire so let’s get to it, and as always, let’s start with Quarterbacks.
The Vikings have been riding the hot hand of Case Keenum lately. Keenum gave us another nice game with 280-yards and one touchdown in Sundays 24-7 win over the Rams. Keenum is available in 65% of leagues so most would agree that it makes sense to get to the waivers and pick him up. On second thought, I believe you should cool down on Keenum despite how much love he’s getting in Minnesota these days.
Teddy Bridgewater is ready to return and all indications point to the fact that the team would like to see him in there. The problem is that Keenum is on a 6-game win streak and as an athlete you just don’t mess with that.
So for the time being Keenum is going to start but he is on a very short leash. With the kind of pressure that short leash brings and the fact that they play Detroit, the last team to beat them, in the Motor City this weekend, it seems that the deck is stacked against Keenum. Keenum’s time is near and you don’t want to be on this train when it derails, not when there are other options out there such as Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Fitzpatrick is available in 70% of leagues and had a great outing in the Bucs 30-20 win over Miami. He threw for 275 yards and two touchdowns.
The best news for Fitzpatrick owners is he gets another week in Week 12 as it has already been declared that Jameis Winston will be out this week.
The math is simple, Fitzpatrick is in charge of a talented offensive unit and they have a 2-game win streak underway. This week’s match-up features an Atlanta Falcons team who have been known to allow points to opposing quarterbacks.
You can trust Fitzpatrick for one more week, but if he is not an option maybe you should head out west?
Blaine Gabbert is heading up the charge for the Arizona Cardinals in place of the injured Carson Palmer and Drew Stanton. Gabbert is still available in 96% of leagues and did a nice job filling in this past week for Stanton. He threw for 257 yards and three touchdowns and seems to have a good grasp already with the starting squad. However, Gabbert will be going up against the molten hot Jags this next weekend.
So if you do take a chance on Gabbert, prepare yourself mentally, as there will be interceptions. Most likely, the Cards will be playing from behind all game, so Gabbert will be asked to put the ball up a lot. This could mean lots of fantasy points. Take a gamble on Gabbert, and it just might pay off.
Switching gears to running backs leads me to mention Damien Williams. One half the tandem in Miami that replaced Jay Ajayi’s vacancy rushed for 78 yards on just ten carries on Sunday. He also had a reception for 24 yards.
He’s played very well since Ajayi went to the Eagles, however I must caution you against Williams. On second thought, you just might want to look elsewhere.
Williams is still splitting the touches with Kenyan Drake. That is why he only received ten touches on Sunday. He is playing well, but it is truly a tandem back field right now which means in consistent fantasy numbers. This is not the right time in the season to add inconsistency to your line-up.
However, Samaje Perine might be the White Knight you are looking for to finish out your season. Perine is still available in 72% of leagues and that is a good thing for you. Perine rushed for 117 and a touchdown on Sunday’s 31-34 loss to the Saints. He has been looking great since getting the lion’s share of touches following the injury to Robert Kelly. As an added bonus, Chris Thompson is out for the season. A fractured fibula will allow Perine even more touches than he has already been receiving.
Recent years have shown us that in fantasy, a Washington running back will go crazy at the end of the season and put up huge numbers. It usually makes us all go crazy the next season and draft him way too high. We will toil in disappointment and anger all season as he will do virtually nothing. He will eventually be replaced by the next big running back who starts to figure it out. In mid-season the newbie will finish strong to excite us all for the next season, and the cycle continues.
This year that guy is Perine. So, let’s outsmart the weird running back Mojo in Washington and grab Perine and use him to win you a championship. Remember though, do not, I repeat, do not draft him next year thinking he’ll amount to anything.
You will look brilliant and someone else will be the sucker, just the way it should be.
Corey Clement is also an interesting running back to look at if you need help. He is available in 95% of leagues and for good reason. He is behind a couple of very capable running backs in Jay Ajayi and LeGarrette Blount.
The good news for Clement is that the Eagles are very good this year. Often, they get ahead and when this happens, Clement gets some great garbage time. In fact, Sunday’s 37 – 9 drubbing of the Cowboys led to Clement getting 50-yards rushing and one touchdown. This is not a fluke either, just the week before he had 51 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. He also had a receiving touchdown to boot.
Clement and the Eagles have been hot lately. If you have the room and/or need the help, it would not hurt to pick this kid up and ride the hot wave.