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Waiver Wizard 2019 Week 11
By Evan Tarracciano
Nevertheless, they persistedTen weeks are now officially behind us in the record books, meaning that we are entering the "home stretch" of the 2019-20 Fantasy Football season. With the playoff picture starting to shift into focus, teams that have less than three losses are sure to clinch a spot, while those with six or more defeats are likely on the outside looking in.
Owners who are comfortably assured of a playoff spot can start their preparations at this point, taking a look at matchups during Weeks 13-17 (depending on your league settings), and start to acquire players that perhaps have easier matchups than others. After examining the Weeks 14-16 calendar specifically, here is a quick cheat-sheet of teams that I'd try to take further stock in if at all possible, broken down by position. Again, this assumes that owners are in need of further assistance at the given position, or are streaming. Don't feel pressured to add these players if you already have better options - trust your instincts and what led to success in the first place! For those with a record of 6-4 or 5-5, every point matters. Every minute advantage, every small gain and every possible additional snap means the difference between fighting another day and being kicked to the curb. If a bench slot is available for you to consider stashing one of these options, feel free - but prioritize on the short-term!
Quarterback Playoff Targets -Jameis Winston - (IND, @DET, HOU) Can Winston really be trusted at this point is the major concern for owners who are looking to pick him up. He's long been discussed as an interesting add in this scenario, but his propensity of throwing picks and coming up short is concerning. Still, all three of these defenses rank in the bottom half in terms of points allowed to signal callers, and Tampa Bay boasts plenty of firepower for him to utilize. Perhaps he can throw it to the right team for once.
Daniel Jones - (@PHI, MIA, @WAS) Yes, the unabashed New York Giants home in me has reared its ugly head yet again. Similar to Winston above, Jones commits turnovers at a rather alarming rate, and should really only be "trusted" if no better options remain. That said, Jones has nine passing touchdowns over the past three weeks, has attempted over 40 passes each week, and also is starting to have a clear-cut chemistry with receiver Darius Slayton. This team has little to play for at this point and their sieve defense will lead to the team constantly playing from behind. Upside is here.
Nick Foles - (LAC, @OAK, @ATL) Originally this spot was reserved for the mustachio Minshew, but with the team's prudent decision to switch back to the cagy veteran, Foles is here instead. It may seem like an eternity ago, but Foles was terrific during the preseason, and showed a nice ability to get the ball into the hands of Dede Westbrook and Chris Conley - both receivers benefit greatly from this switch. The Chargers defense is the toughest of the three matchups, with Oakland and Atlanta ranking in the top five of points allowed to quarterbacks. Even with the Jacksonville Jaguars being a run-first team, there is a lot to like here.
Running Back Playoff Targets -David Montgomery - (DAL, @GB, KC) The best part about attempting to add Montgomery is that he should come extremely cheap, given what a massive bust he has been in 2019 and his owners frustration. Montgomery has seen a massive increase in touches following the Chicago Bears blowout at the hands of the New Orleans Saints in Week 7, and with Mike Davis now out of the picture and Tarik Cohen on the backburner, the vast majority of all backfield touches are his. Green Bay and Kansas City especially are weak against the run - providing that Montgomery can be added, I'd acquire him on the cheap.
Philip Lindsay/Royce Freeman - (@HOU, @KC, DET) I've listed both options here since either one makes for a viable FLEX start during the playoff stretch, given the opponents that they face. This is another situation where the players are owned in more than 75 percent of leagues, meaning that you will need to make a trade for them rather than snatching them off the waiver wire. On the season Lindsay has more overall touches than Freeman, yet surprisingly Freeman has more receptions and targets in the passing game. Both the Chiefs and Lions are incredibly weak against the run, and Denver will need to ground-and-pound to have a chance in these contests.
David Johnson/Kenyan Drake - (PIT, CLE, @SEA) Another hydra-esque situation with multiple heads, the Arizona Cardinals backfield is a messy situation that will become further muddled upon the return of Chase Edmonds from his hamstring injury. With that said, Drake and Johnson both carry FLEX appeal even if this is a split backfield, as both are adept pass catchers who are capable of breaking big plays. Johnson hasn't seemed quite like his old-self of late, and his feet act like they are constructed of cinderblocks. If the Cardinals rest Johnson or Drake takes the lead, enjoy feasting against the Browns and Seahawks.
Wide Receiver Playoff Targets -Zach Pascal - (@TB, @NO, CAR) I would have mentioned T.Y. Hilton in addition to Pascal, but it is unlikely that his owners would be willing to part with the top-15 talent unless mathematically eliminated from contention. This recommendation hinges upon the health status of Jacoby Brissett, as Brian Hoyer appeared utterly lost when trying to run the offense in Week 10. Should Brissett recover in time, the Bucaneers allow the most points in the league to wideouts, with the Saints and Panthers not much further behind. Pascal can likely be acquired on the cheap after his quiet stat line and makes for a fantastic buy-low option.
DeDe Westbrook/Chris Conley - (LAC, @OAK, @ATL) As mentioned above with the comments regarding Nick Foles, the Jacksonville Jaguars really have a terrific playoff schedule. D.J. Chark is owned in over 90 percent of leagues at this point, but Westbrook and Conley fall below the 50 percent mark, meaning that they are perhaps available in some leagues. Westbrook hasn't been on the field since injuring his neck/shoulder in Week 8. Coming off plenty of rest and a late bye week, he will look to replicate the chemistry showed during the preseason with Foles. Westbrook has WR2 upside during this group of games, with Conley being a FLEX start.
Corey Davis/A.J. Brown/Adam Humphries - (@TB, @NO, CAR) With the Tennessee Titans on a bye during Week 11, savvy owners who are in no risk of missing the playoffs could attempt to steal away one of these options in the hopes that their owner needs immediate assistance. Since Ryan Tannehill has taken over the offense has predictably turned around, and the team has the easiest grouping of games for wideouts during Weeks 14-16. Davis has been dealing with a hip issues that forced him to miss Week 10, but was close enough to starting that the additional rest and no further setbacks will place him in a good spot. Brown is difficult to trust when Davis is healthy, making him more of an upside-stash than plug-and-play start. Humphries is a nice pickup for PPR formats, as he has more receptions than either of the two outside receivers.
Tight End Playoff Targets -Noah Fant - (@HOU, KC, DET) It is very difficult to get behind anyone not named Travis Kelce, Hunter Henry or George Kittle as a must-start option, given how volatile this position has been. Fant's future is further complicated by the quarterback situation, as the Denver Broncos are starting to explore the possibility of starting rookie Drew Lock upon his activation from IR. Those thoughts aside, Fant had a breakout game during Week 9 against Cleveland, and his upcoming schedule features three teams that rank in the bottom ten in terms of points allowed at the position. Rookie quarterbacks often look to tight ends as a safety valve, meaning that Fant could be in for some immediate value.
Greg Olsen - (@ATL, SEA, @IND) Yes, Olsen is another player that owners will need to trade for, but this is a rare circumstance that upgrading at the position this late in the season will pay dividends. Those wondering what sort of season Olsen would have without Cam Newton under center have been answered at this point - still serviceable! During Week 10 Olsen drew double-digit targets for the first time all year, and he will look to capitalize against three defenses that largely ignore tight ends. I'm in.
As mentioned before in other articles in this series, remember to be active! Take NOTHING for granted, continue to pursue trades and waiver wire additions and stay in contention. Best of luck to everyone in Week 11 !