The following are players that are owned in less than 50% of Yahoo leagues. The Free Agency Acquisition Budget (FAAB) numbers are based on a $100 season-long FAAB. The FAAB to win is the amount I believe it will take to win the bid in a 12 team standard league; but sometimes people overbid. The Suggested FAAB is what I would recommend to you. You may not win with this figure, but at least you won’t regret overpaying. In the event the suggested bid is higher, it is because I have determined it is worth paying a little extra just to ensure a winning bid. It should also be noted that these figures represent a position of need for the buyer. They should be adjusted according to your own personal circumstances.
Let’s get started…
Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens (FAAB to win: $3, Suggested FAAB: $5) – With streamers, there are a few guys that will always seem to stand out above the rest – sort of a list of usual suspects, if you will. Of this crop in Week 17, only one has a really good matchup, and that is Joe Flacco, who faces off against a Cincinnati Bengals squad that has surrendered the 7th most fantasy points to the QB position this season. Flacco has not failed to have a double-digit scoring effort since his bye in Week 8; and during that time, he’s averaged 16.125 fantasy points per game. He hasn’t been wanting for volume this season either, as his 623 attempts have him tied for the NFL lead along with Drew Brees.
Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs (FAAB to win: $3, Suggested FAAB: $1) – From the usual suspects, Smith doesn’t have as good of a matchup as Flacco, but the Chargers he’ll face are not overly scary either. Smith has also been on a consistent run of double-digit efforts lately, never scoring less than 10 fantasy points in any week since November 13th. With Smith, at least recently, the floor has remained similarly high; but admittedly his ceiling has been capped. Still, if you’ve made your championship week streaming QBs up to this point, you’re probably carrying a lot of good talent elsewhere on your roster, so good floor may be all you’re looking for. Another popular narrative that may ostensibly boost Smith’s value is that his Chiefs, who are still battling the Raiders for AFC West supremacy and a first round bye in the playoffs, still have something significant to play for; although the application of this theory may be a bit overblown.
Despite the Chiefs' success, Alex Smith has recently been the source of a great deal of speculation regarding his future with the team, with some calling for a change at QB.
Matt Barkley, Chicago Bears (FAAB to win: $1, Suggested FAAB: $5) – Since inheriting the Bears' starting job a month ago, Barkley has never really put up the kind of numbers that would make fantasy players get all gooey-eyed, but the prevailing thought among people in the know has been that Barkley at least has not played as bad as his numbers might indicate. Incompletions have been written off as drops and poor route running; and interceptions have been excused as missteps in bad game scripts. But last week Barkley had 3 INTs, and only one could be reasonably excused – a Hail Mary at the end of the 1st half. Then, in Week 16 he added 5 more to his stat line – a bomb to Josh Bellamy into triple coverage to start the 2nd quarter that Beshaud Breeland plucked out of the sky, a terribly-advised floating duck to the middle of the field he threw while being spun to the ground by Redskins LB Preston Smith which landed in the diving clutches of Josh Norman in the 3rd, a deflected present to Breeland that was forced into a tight window guarded by Norman again in the 3rd, a ball so overthrown it looked like the result of miscommunication that safety Will Blackmon fielded like a long punt return early in the 4th, and finally a back foot blunder that was badly misplaced in single coverage in the end zone that Norman scooped up for his 2nd pick of the day. Quite simply, for Barkley, it was just bad. So with a tough matchup against Minnesota upcoming, why would Barkley be on this list? Volume, volume, volume. Since taking over as starter in Chicago in Week 12, Barkley has posted at least 32 attempts in every game except for one. And in all of his games combined, he is averaging 37.4 attempts per game, which would be good for 8th in the NFL this season if stretched over 15 games. Not only so, but he’s got big-bodied TD catchers on his team, and he doesn’t mind throwing downfield. As a result, he’s got almost 2 TDs a game during his time as starter.
Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles (FAAB to win: $0, Suggested FAAB: $0) – A popular view in Week 17 fantasy matchups is that teams that have been eliminated have little to play for; but for the Eagles, who seemed to enjoy holding the Giants’ playoff hopes in their hands this past Thursday night, ending the year with a victory over the hated Cowboys would be a pretty sweet end to a promising, albeit disappointing season. Wentz is mostly right on par with Smith and Flacco for his floor, as he has posted only one single-digit fantasy effort in his last 6 games; and while he may not have the ceiling that Flacco has exhibited, the Eagles will be going into battle without Ryan Mathews or Wendell Smallwood, who are both out for the season. With Darren Sproles and Kenjon Barner as the last two men left, the Eagles may be more inclined to put the ball in the air, although that is certainly speculative. With the return of Lane Johnson from suspension, the Eagles’ offense looked smoother this past week, owners of probably the best duo of offensive tackles in the league. And in a bout of total guesswork, the Cowboys, who have locked up everything there is to lock up, could end up putting some starters on the pine before the Week 17 game is over to ensure no key players get hurt.
DeAngelo Williams, Pittsburgh Steelers (FAAB to win: $50, Suggested FAAB: $(all remaining)) – On Monday, a day after the Steelers clinched their postseason fate, Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette tweeted the following: “Not all, but you can bet Ben, Bell, Harrison won’t play. AB probably will lobby to play. No one slightly hurt.” Since D-Will is thought to be back to full health after dealing with a meniscus tear that’s kept him from playing since November 7th, it would seem likely that he’ll grab the reigns in the backfield for the Steelers; and since Williams has historically been a fantasy monster whenever he’s gotten his shots the past two seasons (last year, in games played without Bell, he easily had the highest fantasy PPG among all RBs, then he went for 66-258-2 in the first 3 games of this season while Bell was serving a suspension), Williams should be the priority add for any league with a Week 17 championship where he is still available. Even if we come to find out the Steelers don’t intend to do as Bouchette has suggested, it is totally worth the gamble; and even if you aren’t going to use Williams, you don’t want your opponent pitting him against you in your crucial championship game.
Alex Collins, Seattle Seahawks (FAAB to win: $10, Suggested FAAB: $20) – After a shoulder injury derailed Thomas Rawls for the entirety of the 2nd half on Saturday, Collins was left to work as a featured back; and he fared admirably, putting up 7 carries for 28 yards and 4 catches resulting in 19. While these numbers don’t appear like much, they gobble up Rawls’s paltry 8 yards on 8 carries on the day. And more importantly, these numbers came against Arizona, who gives up only the 6th least points to fantasy RBs. San Francisco, whom Seattle faces in Week 17, is a totally different piece of meat, as they give up the most points to the position on the season. It is perfectly possible, even as the 4th main ball carrier of the season, and even playing behind a bad offensive line with a version of Russell Wilson that hasn’t been effective running the zone read this year, Collins could conceivably flirt with RB1 numbers if Rawls can’t go because of his injury. There have been rumbles already out of Seattle that Rawls may go, but there is no more optimistic franchise in sports than the Seahawks regarding injuries; and even if Rawls can go, there is little incentive to force him to do too much if Collins is playing well. If nothing else, Rawls owners who are counting on him have to consider Collins a must-get.
While at Arkansas, rookie 5th-rounder Alex Collins was only the 3rd RB in SEC history to rush for 1,000 yards in 3 different season, along with Herschel Walker and Darren McFadden.
Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans (FAAB to win: $10, Suggested FAAB: $20) – Henry still comes in just shy of 50% owned, but he’s a decent play against a Houston team with little reason not to take it easy this upcoming Sunday. Henry has played well independent of DeMarco Murray’s involvement of late, racking up 160 yards and 3 TDs on the ground in the 3 games leading up to Saturday’s loss to Jacksonville. With Tennessee now out of the hunt, with plenty of reason for the coaches to want to see what their future all-purpose back Henry can do with more opportunity, and with Murray still likely a little stung from an injury-laden December, it’s possible the Titans get a longer look at their 2nd Round draft choice. Though injured QB Marcus Mariota may have helped the RBs in ways – the zone read provides a wanted distraction that helps to free a runner like few plays can – his absence also signals a Matt Cassel start. These days, Cassel is not someone a team wants to ride through a game plan; and as such, it seems likely that Tennessee, a run-oriented and run-capable team to begin with, may turn more to their 2 skilled toters to get them through their final game.
Corey Grant, Jacksonville Jaguars (FAAB to win: $3, Suggested FAAB: $8) – Honestly, Grant is a book marker for a potentially juicy situation at Indianapolis in Week 17, a team that has given up the 9th most fantasy points to RBs this year; but there is not really a way to know at this point in time if Grant himself has any fantasy value at all. The one factor that has become clear is the status of T.J. Yeldon, who has an ankle injury that has plagued him since November: he left Saturday’s game after his 2nd carry and is headed to the IR; so he’s out. Then there is Chris Ivory, who topped 100 all-purpose yards and logged a score in Yeldon’s stead on Saturday: he left the game late with a hamstring injury that has plagued him for as long as Yeldon has been hobbled; so his status for Sunday’s game is up in the air. Next, there’s Denard Robinson, who would normally figure to take over in the event that both Jacksonville RBs were to miss time, but he is dealing with an ankle injury of his own – one which had him already missing games, including Week 16’s win over Tennessee. That, at least temporarily, left Grant as the last man standing; then the team signed Pittsburgh castoff Daryl Richardson to add depth, which may be a sign that Ivory and Robinson should be considered unlikely. It’s unclear what Richardson will be able to do for the Jags on short notice, but in most cases such as this, a new back is nothing more than complimentary in the early going. If Grant gets the featured role, he could be worth flex consideration. Of course, if either Ivory or Robinson are back, the work will likely be passed back up the food chain, and you should forget Grant altogether.
DeAndre Washington/Jalen Richard, Oakland Raiders (FAAB to win: $6, Suggested FAAB: $4) – Both Washington and Richard were sensational this weekend against a poor Colts’ defense, combining for 165 yards on 18 carries and 2 TDs (both Washington’s). With Derek Carr going down to a season-ending fibula injury on Saturday, Matt McGloin will take over as the QB, changing the dynamic of the Raiders’ attack from a downfield passing game to Check Down City, as McGloin lacks Carr’s arm strength and tends to play unaggressively. That actually plays into the hands of both backs, as they are smaller, scattier guys that catch passes well. Not only so, but most are predicting that Oakland will turn more to the running game without Carr in general, something that certainly makes sense against a Broncos team that can be run on much easier than it can be passed upon. If the Raiders ramp up their running game, it could mean more of a piece for everyone, but it will remain a messy, unpredictable hot-hand RBBC. Likely Latavius Murray remains the biggest producer with the most opportunity as well as the bulk of the red zone work. But Richard and Washington – either one – could be viable on any given Sunday. Guessing which one to use is a bit like guessing which suit is going to come out of the deck next. At this point in the season, they’ve each had 80 carries apiece, and Richard has just 64 more yards. Richard has more receptions, but their catch rates are almost identical; and Richard has scored 3 total TDs to Washington’s 2. But even with the usage murky, the upside of either player is high enough to garner consideration if you’re in the finals and you’re looking up at a heavily-favored opponent.
Alfred Blue, Houston Texans (FAAB to win: $5, Suggested FAAB: $4) – These are the types of situations where the playoff status of select teams can make a difference in a Week 17 championship game. With the Texans clinched, but with nothing more to play for, Lamar Miller can finally rest the ankle that’s been problematic for him for weeks (he already rested this past weekend, and he admitted on Tuesday that it had helped him to recover). That clears the way for Blue, who is the most likely recipient for the majority of Miller’s massive workload. It isn’t the perfect situation, because Tennessee is the stingiest fantasy defense against the RB this season; so you probably aren’t starting Blue except in the deepest of leagues.
Jacquizz Rodgers, Tampa Buccaneers (FAAB to win: $10, Suggested FAAB: $10) – It’s really hard to know what to make of the Doug Martin situation in Tampa Bay right now. This week, despite being thought to finally be healthy, Martin was a healthy scratch, something coach Dirk Koetter claimed was a decision based on special teams needs. Whether or not that holds water, Martin, who was given a 5-year deal in the offseason to remain with the Bucs, seems to be on the wrong side of a cold war; and right now, it’s looking as if he doesn’t play this weekend either, as Adam Schefter reported he will again be a healthy scratch early Tuesday morning. With Martin out, Rodgers is the person to put your money on, although I’d caution you to do it only while trembling and sweating. This past week, Rodgers out-touched fellow RB Charles Sims 17-6, and he outsnapped him 37-24. Does that mean he will lead the way this week against Carolina, who will be difficult to run on if Kuechly can return to action? Decidedly, no. So, while Rodgers is the best bet to shoulder the load, he’s in no way a banker.
Despite being only 5'6", 190 lbs., Jacquizz Rodgers (#32) was entrusted with 62 touches over a 2-game stretch in October when both Doug Martin and Charles Sims were injured, resulting in 292 yards and a TD.
Shaun Draughn, San Francisco 49ers (FAAB to win: $1, Suggested FAAB: $1) – Draughn is set to likely get the lion’s share of the work against the Seahawks this upcoming week after Carlos Hyde tore his MCL against the Rams on Saturday. The matchup isn’t great, and Draughn is certainly not a one-for-one replacement for the 49ers’ best offensive player; but opportunity might be all you could hope for. Also, for those in PPR leagues, Draughn has shown good pass catching acumen anyway, so with increased opportunity on the ground, he becomes a pretty decent floor play most likely, as whatever he can manufacture in the running game, added to about 3-6 catches, could get you to double digits; and that outcome is certainly on the table. This is probably a deep league flex at best though.
J.J. Nelson, Arizona Cardinals (FAAB to win: $15, Suggested FAAB: $15) – The Cardinals draw a Los Angeles defense that has allowed the 4th most fantasy points to WRs; and J.J. Nelson has scored a TD in 4 straight games, proving to be one of the NFL’s preeminent deep threats. During his last 4, Nelson has averaged 13.75 fantasy PPG; and everything about his circumstances have gotten better and better lately. With Michael Floyd off the team and John Brown in the swirl of a lost season, Nelson is the Cardinals’ top outside receiver. In the past 2 weeks, he’s seen his target share increase as well, with 18 looks to lead the team.
Cameron Meredith, Chicago Bears (FAAB to win: $15, Suggested FAAB: $12) – The Bears are facing the Vikings, and the Vikings have been one of the NFL’s toughest defenses against fantasy WRs this season. That said, the Bears have faced a lot of negative game scripts recently; and the Vikings aren’t much easier to run on than they are to pass on. Additionally, they’ve been carved up in the past 2 weeks (albeit against Aaron Rodgers and Andrew Luck, two of the best QBs in the game), giving up 558 yards and 6 TDs through the air during that time. Their secondary was in shambles on Saturday; and it isn’t clear that their superstar safety Harrison Smith is totally healthy. Meredith has settled in as the most reliable WR on the Bears not named Alshon Jeffery. He has seen 8 or more targets in 4 of his last 5 games, and he’s had 3 straight games with at least 6 catches and 72 yards, scoring 2 times during that span. If the Bears are doomed to pass – and they may be – Meredith has a decent shot at WR3 numbers, and it may not stop there.
Adam Thielen, Minnesota Vikings (FAAB to win: $20, Suggested FAAB: $10) – Maybe you feel like we’re chasing points since Thielen was the Number 1 fantasy receiver in football this week; but the reality is, the dude has been seriously awesome the whole back half of the 2016 season. He left early in Week 15 with a neck injury before he could get going, but in the other 5 games out of the last 6 down the stretch, he’s had no less than 5 targets, 7.2 receptions per game, 101.4 YPG, and 2 scores. He has established himself as the Vikings best receiver, according to Pro Football Focus, who has him as the 16th best WR in the whole league – one spot ahead of teammate Stefon Diggs. Chicago is a tough side against fantasy WRs, but Thielen is just too good to not be used anymore, especially in PPR formats.
Adam Thielen's unlikely 12-202-2 career game against Green Bay could have been even bigger, as he was overthrown in the end zone by QB Sam Bradford on what could have been his 3rd TD.
Pierre Garcon, Washington Redskins (FAAB to win: $5, Suggested FAAB: $5) – While the Giants’ secondary may be more beatable without Janoris Jenkins in the lineup, we’re still talking about a unit that was arguably the best in football up until he hurt his back a little over a week ago now. Eli Apple, Domonique Rodgers-Cromartie, and Trevin Wade all filled in remarkably well against the Eagles Thursday; and in Landon Collins and Andrew Adams, they still boast one of the best tandems of help safeties a team could have. To make matters worse for Washington, who faces the Giants in Week 17, it is not necessarily a foregone conclusion that Jenkins will sit this week (although he most likely will, since the Giants are the 5-seed no matter what happens, and there is no point in risking it); so Washington receivers should certainly be considered a downgrade in general. On the other hand, DeSean Jackson is considered day-to-day with a jaw injury. If he were to sit, Garcon would likely be the best replicator of his skill-set, making him the de facto Number 1 outside receiver on the team. There would still be a lot of mouths to feed, but Garcon’s personal stats would benefit more from Jackson’s absence than any other weapon in the Washington attack. Already heavily involved in the offense as it is, Garcon is not merely a spec add either; he’s got a chance at points regardless of what happens with Jackson.
Brandon LaFell, Cincinnati Bengals (FAAB to win: $5, Suggested FAAB: $5) – In 3 of his last 4 games, LaFell has put up at least 91 yards; and during the same stretch, he’s added 2 TDs. Since A.J. Green tore his hamstring early in the 1st quarter against Buffalo in Week 11, LaFell has averaged 8.33 targets a game and has led his WRs in red zone looks. With Tyler Eifert, the team’s most formidable TD scorer, out for the season with a back injury, LaFell is now presumably the Bengals’s best overall receiver and most imminent red zone threat for a matchup against Baltimore that’s nothing to fear. The Ravens have given up the 10th most points to fantasy WRs this season.
Marqise Lee, Jacksonville Jaguars (FAAB to win: $5, Suggested FAAB: $4) – Allen Robinson woke up in the first game of the post Gus Bradley era on Saturday; but that doesn’t mean that Lee is without value. As the 2nd WR on a team that already throws a ton – a team that may be down to their 4th-string RB – Lee has enjoyed a healthy target share all year. He saved his catchless Week 15 with a special teams TD, then he doubled down by throwing a TD on a trick play this past Saturday. Also adding a TD catch this weekend, he now has 3 receiving TDs in his last 6 games after not having one all season through Week 10. He sees a mid-level Indy defense against WRs in Week 17.
Jermaine Kearse, Seattle Seahawks (FAAB to win: $3, Suggested FAAB: $3) – The Seahawks have not traditionally been a team that can support a lot of different pass catchers; but recently, Tyler Lockett has been singing on the stat sheet. With Lockett suffering a horrible-looking broken fibula, there could be room for a larger target share for Kearse. Such was the case on Sunday, when Kearse drew 9 looks, translating into 4-37-1. But that was a negative game script, and it was a game that saw Jimmy Graham pull down only 2 grabs. The chances aren’t necessarily good for a repeat against San Francisco, who the Seahawks should control all game long, but if you’re in a deep league, maybe he’s the long shot you need.
Jermaine Kearse (left) is most famous for his miracle 4th quarter catch in Super Bowl XLIX to set up Russell Wilson's notorious interception to Malcolm Butler (also pictured) in the end zone.
Phillip Dorsett, Indianapolis Colts (FAAB to win: $1, Suggested FAAB: $1) – Donte Moncrief hurt his shoulder once again, and that means the Colts will once again be using Phillip Dorsett opposite T.Y. Hilton. While this may provide more of a boost for the bigger TE targets such as Doyle (which we’ll get to in a moment), who should have higher TD potential, Dorsett is a former 1st Rounder with blazing speed who is always a threat to score from anywhere on the field. While it is unlikely Dorsett will get huge targets, he could be a poor-man’s J.J. Nelson at this point, breaking a big one any moment, just as he did 2 weeks ago against Minnesota, when he caught just one pass – a 50-yard bomb for a TD.
Kenny Stills, Miami Dolphins (FAAB to win: $1, Suggested FAAB: $1) – Stills keeps doing a lot with a little, and it almost just feels like he’s got a 50/50 shot at a TD anymore. Stills now has 8 TD grabs, good for 6th in the league (tied with 6 others). That said, he is the consummate boom-bust option, as he will be bringing his trifling 2.53 receptions per game into a matchup against a tough New Enlgand defense that still has a lot to play for with home field advantage on the line Sunday. It’s a tough one to trust in your fantasy championship game.
Eli Rogers, Pittsburgh Steelers (FAAB to win: $1, Suggested FAAB: $3) – If Pittsburgh does rest a lot of their players against Cleveland, Antonio Brown is bound to get his workload cut down, even if he starts the game. In such a case, look for Eli Rogers to become Pittsburgh’s most likely Number 1 receiver Sunday. With Ladarius Green on the fritz and doubtful to be rushed back from his concussion this week since Pittsburgh is locked into its playoff slot, and with Le’Veon Bell rumored to be rested; Rogers would take the field alongside a whole lot of lesser known commodities in a juicy matchup that has become juicier by the potential absence of once heralded Joe Haden. The only big issue is that it would be Landry Jones under center, and not Big Ben.
Dontrelle Inman, San Diego Chargers (FAAB to win: $1, Suggested FAAB: $5) – The Chargers draw the Chiefs in their final game; and it is yet another chance for Inman to prove that he is about 80-90% of whatever Tyrell Williams is. In any given week, Inman can suddenly emerge as San Diego’s unheralded hero; and not only so, but before Saturday’s clunker against Cleveland – a game in which he still drew 10 targets – Inman had quietly outproduced his counterpart for the better part of about a month. There’s such a slight difference between the two men that it often seems like each has the same opportunity for success as the other, so Inman has WR2 upside.
Charles Clay, Buffalo Bills (FAAB to win: $10, Suggested FAAB: $12) – Clay’s season is playing out like he was saving up for a rainy day, and now it’s coming down in sheets outside. After having 0 TDs for the first 12 weeks, Clay suddenly has 4 in the past 3. In that same span of time, Clay has been targeted a healthy 23 times; and his workload has steadily increased with each week, climbing to Saturday’s 8-85-2 line on 10 targets. The Jets, whom the Bills will meet in Week 17, have surrendered the 8th most points to fantasy TEs on the season, so the matchup is conducive to Clay’s continued resurgence, although it is probably unlikely that he can continue to climb higher than he did last weekend.
Dennis Pitta, Baltimore Ravens (FAAB to win: $3, Suggested FAAB: $3) – The Ravens head to Cincinnati on Sunday, a team that has been more than generous to the TE position this season, giving up the 4th most points to fantasy TEs. Almost no one in the NFL has been blessed with as much opportunity to succeed from the TE position this season. Pitta has been the 4th most targeted TE on the season, converting for the 3rd most receptions. Though his red zone targets and TDs have been pretty modest, putting a cap on his performance in standard leagues most weeks, he has been downright steady as a PPR option, currently ranking 10th in the NFL in PPR fantasy scoring, ahead of often ballyhooed-about players such as Antonio Gates, Eric Ebron, Zach Ertz, C.J. Fiedorowicz, and Charles Clay. If you’re in a PPR league, you can’t do much better than scooping up a safe-floor TE1 off your waiver wire as a streamer.
Jack Doyle, Indianapolis Colts (FAAB to win: $1, Suggested FAAB: $1) – In weeks 3-7, Donte Moncrief, the talented but oft-injured Colts’ WR, was out with a shoulder injury; and leading into his absence there was much speculation about who would take over as the big-bodied red zone target for the team since their remaining starters at WR were 5’9” and 5’10” respectively. The answer came in the form of 6’5”, 254 lb. Jack Doyle, who forced aside incumbent Dwayne Allen to put up 22-210-2 in the 5-week span while Moncrief was away, dropping 3 TE1 performances during that time, including a Top-3 outing Week 7. This week, the Colts will be without Moncrief once again, and that could once again serve to boost Doyle’s stock. The matchup isn’t great – a Jags’ D that is almost a Top 10 defense against fantasy TEs.
Jack Doyle is 2nd on the Colts in red zone targets behind only T.Y. Hilton, and he is 1st on the team in red zone receptions.
Jesse James, Pittsburgh Steelers (FAAB to win: $0, Suggested FAAB: $1) – The Steelers draw the Browns in Week 17, and Believeland gives up the most fantasy points to TEs in 2016. Somebody has to take advantage of this matchup, but it likely won’t be Ladarius Green, who is coming back from a concussion. “If we’ve got a spot and the [No. 3] clinched up then I think a lot of guys should get healthy,” said Ben Roethlisberger after a breathtaking victory over the Ravens on Sunday, according to an article by Cameron DaSilva. That leaves Jesse James, who contributed 4 catches and 49 yards in Green’s absence on Sunday. Earlier in the season, when Green was on the PUP list and James was serving as the team’s primary TE, he hit paydirt 3 times in a 4 game span from Weeks 2-5. James is a remarkably large man at 6’7”, 254 lbs., and with certain players removed from the equation, he becomes one of the most obvious red zone targets on the team. The downside for James is that Roethlisberger himself would most likely be included in the rest day, so he’d be working with Landry Jones.
Jared Cook, Green Bay Packers (FAAB to win: $0, Suggested FAAB: $1) – Green Bay and Detroit are set to do battle in the most meaningful game of the week – winner take all for the NFC’s final playoff spot – and these are two teams that can score. The over/under is a healthy 46.5 and it will be contested under a roof, which should do nothing but help the offensive players. The Lions struggle against the TE mightily, surrendering the 3rd most points to the position, and Packers’ QB Aaron Rodgers has been locked into one of the most throw-heavy systems in the NFL this season as the Packers have scrambled to find help for converted WR Ty Montgomery in the backfield. Cook is an athletic marvel, but he’s a serious wild-card. His downs have been numerous, and his ups have been super-charged: He has played in 9 games this year, and 7 of them have been totally forgettable, drawing only 2 catches per game for an average of less than 19 yards per game. But the 2 in between were remarkable performances wherein he averaged 6 grabs for 95 yards, as well as scoring his lone TD of the season. It seems like the kind of game where you could get Jekyll out of Cook; so if you’re feeling daring – or if you just have no business being in your final, and you need the highest upside players to come through in a miracle week – Cook is a name you might want to consider.