We have gotten through another week of football and have suffered yet another week of devastating injuries. Dalvin Cook is now slated to miss the next 2 weeks, which could be crucial for many fantasy owners trying to make the playoffs. And yet again, Christian McCaffrey has been ruled out for the season with an ankle injury. This is the second year in a row that McCaffrey has gone first overall in fantasy drafts only to struggle with injuries all year before eventually being put on IR. If your first-round pick is still healthy and giving you any kind of production, you should consider yourself lucky.
Last Week Recap
After two really tough weeks of recaps, we finally have some correct predictions to report. Last week I advised fantasy owners to buy into the Darnell Mooney and DeAndre Carter hype. On Thanksgiving, Mooney was able to make 5 catches for 123 yards. Mooney is clearly the top receiver in Chicago and he is consistently able to get open downfield. He is definitely capable of having explosive games and could be the key to winning an important fantasy matchup.
Carter had a pretty average game, he finished with 4 receptions for 42 yards. It was good to see Taylor Heinicke looking his way a fair number of times. If he had seen more action in the red zone like he did the past few weeks, he would have been able to put up very good numbers. Washington is on a roll and I’m sure Carter will continue to be a big part of their offense moving forward.
The player whose hype I advised to not buy into was Laviska Shenault. He finished with 5 receptions for 33 yards. This may seem like a decent performance until you realize that he was the only healthy starting receiver besides Marvin Jones Jr. and the Jags were playing against one of the worst defenses in the league (Atlanta) at home. This was the perfect situation for Shenault to have a breakout game. If it wasn’t going to happen last week, it’s never going to happen. Shenault will not be a startable fantasy option at any point this season.
Buy Into The Hype
The Patriots offense has been one of the biggest surprises of the season. When you look at their roster on paper, it seems as if they might have a Top 15 offense if they are lucky. However, in recent weeks the Patriots look like they are Top 5 in the NFL, and a big reason for that is Kendrick Bourne. Over the season, Bourne has slowly turned into Mac Jones’ favorite receiving option. In his past three games, Bourne has 13 receptions for 201 yards and 3 touchdowns. While Bourne doesn’t put up WR1 numbers quite yet, with the number of injuries there are in the NFL, he is definitely worth picking up and starting as a low-end WR2. He should be available on most waiver wires. The Patriots do have a tough schedule ahead of them, but this means they will most likely be in a competitive game and looking to throw the ball more than they have been. Bourne is definitely worth acquiring for a late fantasy run.
Don’t Buy Into The Hype
After a very promising start with Cam Newton, the Panthers now look like they are one of the worst teams in the NFL. With McCaffrey being ruled out for the season, rookie Chuba Hubbard will once again step in and take his starting spot. Hubbard started some games earlier this season when Sam Darnold was at quarterback. He was able to put up some decent fantasy numbers with underwhelming efficiency. However, the Panthers offense is in a completely different place than it was 7 weeks ago. It doesn’t seem like they have been able to move the ball downfield and I don’t think Hubbard will be able to change that. If McCaffrey had been putting up disappointing numbers on this current Panthers offense, it seems like Hubbard won’t have much luck either. I wouldn’t target Hubbard unless you are in a situation where you absolutely need a running back. I don’t see him putting up big numbers in what will be some very important games for fantasy owners.
Buy Into The Hype
Taysom Hill is finally healthy and will start in Week 13 over Trevor Siemian. Hill is every fantasy owner’s dream. He could throw for 75 yards and 1 touchdown and still finish with 20+ fantasy points because of the rushing yards he is able to put up. Not only is Hill able to get fantasy points in pretty much every way imaginable, but he is also really fun to watch. The Saints have struggled to find their QB ever since Drew Brees retired. They have had many injury problems, so it’s great to see Hill finally get the chance to start. The Saints play the Cowboys, Jets, Buccaneers, and Dolphins in their next 4 games. There should be plenty of opportunities for Hill to show what he can do with the football in his hands.
We are now two-thirds of the way done with what has been the hardest fantasy season to manage in recent history. It seems every week we have to turn to the waiver wire to get our next replacement player. There are only a couple of weeks left to try to squeeze your way into the fantasy playoffs. Make sure you stay active on the waivers and think hard about who you want to start. Any decision could be the one that wins your league. Or loses it. Good Luck!