The end is near. Or it may have already arrived for some fantasy football teams. With the playoffs only weeks away, the key now is to be adding solid depth in case a catastrophic injury hits during the playoffs. Nyheim Hines, Trey Edmunds, and Ben Watson aren’t going to blow up the scoreboard with stats, but their role on their real-life teams seems to be growing as of late. Monitoring them could end up paying dividends.
Trey Edmunds, Nyheim Hines, and Ben Watson Featured on Week 12’s Fantasy Football Watch List
Pittsburgh Steelers running back Trey Edmunds started the season buried on the depth chart. Unsurprisingly, he didn’t do much of anything for most of the year. In fact, up until Week 9, he had zero fantasy points. He saw his first real game action with James Conner out, taking on number two back duties.
He showed some life, rushing 12 times for 73 yards. Since then, he has been active but hasn’t had much of a role. Edmunds only managed four rushes for a yard Week 10, but then had somewhat of a usage increase last week against the Cleveland Browns. His rushing attempts were still minimal, with three, but he also caught three passes for 27 yards.
With Conner reinjuring his shoulder, the Steelers might decide to hold him out for a more extended period this time. And second-string back Jaylen Samuels hasn’t exactly been healthy all year either. He missed some time earlier this year after getting a knee scope procedure. In addition, wide receiver Juju Smith-Schuster suffered a knee injury in addition to a concussion, putting his availability in question.
Edmunds doesn’t have a lot of production behind him, but he is someone to keep an eye on considering the sheer number of injuries the Steelers are experiencing this season.
The New England Patriots are feeling an obvious void in their first full season without future Hall of Fame tight end Rob Gronkowski. The team signed veteran tight end Ben Watson in the off-season as a potential stopgap at the position for 2019. The 38-year-old is in his 16th season but has still managed to be relatively productive the past few seasons, posting receiving yardage of 400, 522, and 825 respectively.
However, it was a rocky start to the season for him. Watson served a four-game suspension for a PED violation and then was cut by New England as soon as he was eligible to play again. However, after injuries to the position, Watson was given another shot and re-signed with the team.
Since then, he has seen enough targets to warrant consideration as a streaming option. In three of four games he has appeared in, Watson has seen at least four targets. His yardage totals aren’t much to look at but have at least slowly climbed each game. New England is a team that gets hot as they move into December, so keep an eye on Watson’s production, as he could come through in a pinch.
After quarterback Andrew Luck retired during the preseason, many probably thought the Indianapolis Colts season was over. The team was considered a Super Bowl contender at the beginning of the year, mostly due to Luck’s play in his first full season back in over two years. Even without them, the team is right in the thick of things for a playoff spot. Some of it has been the better-than-expected play of Jacoby Brissett, but some of it has also been due to running back Marlon Mack.
But, Mack broke his hand in Week 11’s contest against the Jacksonville Jaguars, and after having surgery, he still doesn’t have a timeline for a return. Jonathan Williams is expected to step into the lead back role. He was probably already claimed on waivers. His teammate, Nyheim Hines on the other hand, is probably still available. Hines has operated as the primary pass-catching back but could see an increase n his role without Mack.
Hines already had his best fantasy game of the year last week, scoring 11 points in half-PPR leagues. He has been decently involved in every game this season, showing that the team trusts him. Keep an eye on him especially this week in a crucial game against the Houston Texans.
Redux: Randall Cobb
Last week Randall Cobb made the fantasy football watch list after his big six catch, 106-yard game where he scored his first touchdown since Week 1. Most probably thought it was a fluke game, and he’d come back down to earth Week 11. Well, he didn’t. He followed it up with another 100+ yard game and scored another touchdown.
Last week’s game also marked three weeks in a row with Cobb seeing at least seven targets, and he looks to be establishing himself as a key part of the Dallas Cowboys suddenly high-flying offense. This week against the New England Patriots will be the true test on if Cobb’s production will continue. Pay more attention to his targets than actual yardage, as the Patriots defense could make things difficult for Dak Prescott.
Lighting sometimes strikes twice, which could have happened with Cobb’s huge consecutive huge games. However, three times the charm, and might mean it is time to add him to fantasy squads everywhere.