Is anyone else feeling a bit anxious? Time is running out for fantasy football team owners to cement their championship caliber squad. These next few weeks are where the few who got lucky and drafted well, or happened to stumble into a good free agent pickup are exposed as the rookies they really are. Football players are feeling the fatigue of a long season and might see their statlines suffer. Some who know their teams are not going to make the postseason are giving up. But some are taking this opportunity to show the league who they are, and get more playing time. Find out who they are here.
Week 12 NFL Fantasy Football Watch List
A Rookie Finally Debuts
First on our list of players of to watch, is a rookie wide receiver for the Jacksonville Jaguars, Dede Westbrook. Star wide receiver Allen Robinson went down as soon as the season started, and no one has really jumped off the page to claim the job. Marqise Lee has attempted to lock the job down. He has been solid, but nothing to write home about. Now that Westbrook is back, he will get his chance to shine.
Westbrook was a fourth round pick by the Jaguars in this year’s draft. His draft profile noted him being precisely fast and explosive out of cuts. Scouts also praised his hands, noting he only dropped four out of 84 catchable throws. He is a great route runner, and shines from the slot. His only real question is his size, because he is only six foot and under 180 lbs.
He left his first game of his NFL career with only modest stats. He caught three passes for 35 yards. For now, these are not numbers that are going to warrant a fantasy add. But, if he can build on this game, he might be able to increase his snaps and targets. One thing that is certain is that the Jaguars are deep in the hunt for a playoff spot, and they are going to need someone to step up in their passing game.
Westbrook just might be that guy.
Another Player Returning from Injury
Sticking in the vein of wideouts who are rejoining their teams, we have Corey Coleman of the Cleveland Browns. Coleman has been on fantasy analyst’s radar since he came into the league a year ago, but injuries have kept him off the field. Now is his chance to shine.
When Coleman plays, he is very involved in the offense. Week one, he had five catches for 53 yards and a touchdown. Then, he broke his hand week two and went to injured reserve. In his return to the field last week, he picked up where he left off, reeling in six catches for 80 yards. The Browns offense, and the entire organization may be a perpetual dumpster fire, but Coleman has been really consistent in his limited time on the field.
The problem with Coleman is that next week he goes up against the Jaguars and their lockdown corners. This will actually be a good test for the young pass catcher. If he can put up even a respectable statline against them, he will be a must add next week. Don’t forget, that the Browns also might get another receiver back who will demand attention from defenses: Josh Gordon.
Coleman’s situation needs to be closely monitored so that he can be pounced on immediately should the stars align for him.
Changes in the Rocky Mountains
Moving away from wide receivers, if only temporarily, our final newcomer to this week’s walk list is Denver Broncos running back Devontae Booker. Some analysts have Booker as an add this week, but it is best to play the waiting game on him at least for a week. That being said, he is still a must add – to team’s watch lists.
Booker outsnapped and outgained incumbent starter C.J. Anderson last game. He got 14 carries and turned them into 44 yards versus Anderson’s 13, where he only managed 37 yards. While this is still pretty close, Booker really shined getting yardage through the air. Anderson was not very involved, catching two passes for 19 yards. Booker on the other hand, was tied for the team league in catches and racked up 54 yards.
The one thing going against Booker is uncertainty. Denver fired offensive coordinator Mike McCoy and promoted quarterbacks coach Bill Musgrave. This might actually be a good thing for the entire Broncos backfield. In nine season as an offensive coordinator, Musgrave have boasted top ten rushing yards per game averages in five of those seasons.
To add to that, second year quarterback Paxton Lynch is set to make his first start of the year this week. There is almost no doubt that the Broncos lean on the run more than ever in the coming weeks. Booker is someone to monitor very closely in a new-look Broncos offense.
Redux for the Mafia
The Buffalo Bills Mafia should be happy about this week’s redux, Zay Jones. It may be quickly going downhill in Buffalo, but rookie wideout Jones is still out to prove he is the right receiver for whatever direction the Bills decide to go for their future.
The last two weeks have not been good for Buffalo, but Jones has been one of the lone bright spots. Jones has seen seven targets the past two games, turning them into ten catches for 121 yards and a touchdown. Tyrod Taylor is back to being the starter, which boosts his outlook a bit as well.
Not only that, but Kelvin Benjamin is hurt, and even though Charles Clay is back, he hasn’t been the same player he was at the start of the season. Plus, Jones has a lot of juicy matchups coming against teams with horrible matchups. The next four weeks they face the Kansas City Chiefs, Miami Dolphins, Indianapolis Colts, and New England Patriots.
If Jones keeps building up his numbers like he has the past month, he could be a great add as early as next week.