Here we are! There is only one, maybe two, weeks left before the fantasy football playoffs. When looking to the waivers, teams need to look at not just how the player is going to do for the current week, but what their schedule looks like for the remainder of the fantasy season. They also need to be smart with their waiver claim, because it might be their last chance to have a good position and nab the player they want. Our weekly watch list will ensure those who read pull the trigger on the right player!
Week 13 NFL Fantasy Football Watch List
New Quarterback, New Opportunities
We begin this week’s watch list by traveling to the Arizona desert with Arizona Cardinals rookie tight end Ricky Seals-Jones. Seals-Jones has been invisible all year while Carson Palmer and Drew Stanton have been quarterback, but now that Blaine Gabbert has made two starts, Seals-Jones has followed him into relevance.
With Gabbert in the lineup, Seals-Jones has seven catches for 134 yards and three touchdowns. It shouldn’t be surprising that these two already have some good chemistry. It is likely that they have practiced together all season. They probably already know each other’s timing and tendencies. Since Gabbert was the third string quarterback not too long ago, he probably doesn’t have a lot of trust in anyone else yet.
Even still, aside from Larry Fitzgerald, the Cardinals wideouts have been pretty forgettable this year. Fitzgerald has been his usual ageless self, but he can’t catch every pass. Jaron Brown, Arizona’s next leading wide receiver, only has 25 catches on the entire season. There is definitely room for Seals-Jones to get some volume moving forward.
Seals-Jones is a rookie who is going to play hard for as much playing time as possible. He should be watched during this week’s games, and if he keeps up his pace, he could be a value add for the fantasy playoffs.
A Familiar Pedestrian
Moving on to wide receivers, we have Jermaine Kearse of the New York Jets for our final newcomer to the watch list this week. Kearse was traded to the Jets by the Seattle Seahawks earlier in the season. He’s started every game since the trade, but he was obviously still learning the offense.
For most of the season, he was seeing pretty low volume in terms of targets. However, in the last few weeks, he’s been seeing more than usual. During last five weeks, his targets have risen in every single game, culminating in seven receptions for 105 yards and a touchdown.
His target increase is because he is gaining chemistry with quarterback Josh McCown, but there is also probably another reason. Robby Anderson, virtually unknown at the start of the season, is beginning to garner attention from opposing teams. This is freeing Kearse up a bit more, and is a trend that is likely to continue.
Now, Kearse had his first big game of the season last week, and that very well could be an anomaly. On the other hand, if his trend of increasing targets continues, he could be a player that breaks out at just the right time.
It’s Been a Hard Fall from Grace
Next up to keep an eye on is Miami Dolphins tight end, Julius Thomas. It seems like an eternity ago that Thomas was posterizing opposing teams with Peyton Manning on the Denver Broncos. Then he decided he wanted to take the big payday and went to the Jacksonville Jaguars where he and the rest of the world realized he is not as good as he thought.
These days he plays a rather insignificant role on the Dolphins. Recently however, he and his team realized that he does have a least a little something left in the tank, and his role has been increasing in the offense. In three of the last four games, he has at least five targets. He also scored his first two touchdowns of the season during that span.
What we really want to see however, is how he will do the rest of the season. Well, his next four games to close out the fantasy season are against the Buffalo Bills, Kansas City Chiefs, Denver Broncos, and New England Patriots. None of these teams are good against tight ends. Just last week against the Patriots, Thomas put up a decent five catch, 52 yard statline. If he replicates this, and makes at least one of those catches in the end zone, it would be a fantasy success.
For teams whose tight ends are not giving them the points they need to take home a championship, Thomas is worth a dice roll in some of these juicy matchups.
Another Rookie Redux
In his first start he converted six targets into three catches. Signal caller Blake Bortles force fed him even more last week, seeing a whopping ten targets. Westbrook was only able to turn them into six catches for 41 yards, but that is not bad for rookie making his second start.
Another thing Westbrook has going for him is a favorable schedule. His next four games put him against the listless Indianapolis Colts, Legion of Boom-less Seattle Seahawks, Houston Texans, and trashy San Francisco 49ers. This puts Westbrook in prime position to put up some great games to finish his rookie season strong.
Team owners should give Westbrook one more game to make a decision on whether or not he is worth an add to their squad for the fantasy playoffs.