Matt Forte posted his first 10+ point game (standard) on the season this week rushing for 77 yards and a pair of TDs adding 4 receptions for 17 yards. He also cemented himself as the lead back doubling Bilal Powell’s snap count. As we close in on the playoffs and injuries mount up Running Backs become an even more valuable position. Forte isn’t a league changer, but if someone dropped him after a disappointing start to the season he is a great add as a FLEX play going forward.
The acquisition of Jay Ajayi further muddles the Eagle’s Running Back depth chart. Don't expect Clement to repeat his incredible Week 9 stat line of 66 combined yards and 3 TDs, but he has seemed to pass up LaGarrette Blount on the depth chart almost doubling his snaps in Week 9. He isn't someone you can roll out with confidence yet, but he is worth a stash if you have the available roster space.
The Seahawks backfield is a mess. At one point in this season I am sure every Running Back on the Seahawks has been on this list. With Lacy getting injured Rawls now has the opportunity to take a bulk of the interior carries. It has yet to be seen exactly how much of an impact the acquisition of Pro-Bowl LT Duane Brown will have in the running game, but Week 9 was definitely a step forward after the Running Backs combined for 3 rushing yards in Week 8 against the Texans. Rawls ended Week 9 with 9 carries for 39 yards and 2 catches for 31 yards. Rawls has the upside to be a reliable fantasy player, but the Seahawks offensive line hasn’t helped his chances.
One nice thing about making a speculative add of Thomas Rawls is that he plays on Thursday so if he doesn’t preform you can always drop him and add someone else before the weekend.
The Titans first round pick did not appear limited in his return from injury playing 39 snaps. He only recorded 2 catches for 28 yards, but Davis is a player with the upside to change leagues in the playoffs. I expect him to overtake Rishard Mathews by the end of the season as the Titan’s WR1 and the Titan’s have a pretty favorable schedule down the stretch.
After the surprise trade of Kelvin Benjamin last week Funchess became the de facto WR1 in the Panther’s offense. Although he didn’t have a huge game in Week 8, he demonstrated his high floor snagging 5 catches for 86 yards. If Funchess is still out there on waivers (he’s only owned in 49.3% of NFL Fantasy leagues) he is a must-add. He has the floor to be a reliable starter any given week and the upside to tilt the matchup.
Parker is another player who was returning from injury this week and showed well considering, hauling in 5 catches for 76 yards. He also had an incredible sideline grab reminiscent of Odell Beckham’s famous catch proving why he was taken 14th overall in the 2015 NFL draft. Parker has always had the skill set to be elite, but he has been set back by injuries and lack of opportunities. Now that he is healthy and getting targeted he could be a WR2 or better down the stretch.
Similar to Parker, Doctson was also a first round pick who hasn’t yet had the chance to show his talent after missing most of his 2016 rookie year to injury. Washington’s offseason signing of Terrell Pryor made it hard for Doctson to get opportunities early in the season. Although Washington has been spreading the ball around a lot on offense, Doctson has out targeted Pryor the last 3 weeks. Dotson only had 3 catches for 59 yards in Week 9, but his last catch was a spectacular diving grab down the sideline to set up the game winning score for Washington. I expect him to become a bigger role in the offense going forward and he definitely has the talent to take advantage of the targets if he gets them.
Shepard hauled in 5 catches for 70 yards in Week 9 after missing his last 3 weeks with an ankle injury. It wasn’t an incredible game, but similar to Funchess, Shepard has become the de facto WR1 on his team after season ending injuries to Odell Beckham Jr and Brandon Marshall. I think this stat line is probably pretty close to Shepard’s floor and is a safe start every week going forward with the upside to put up big games.
Evan Engram is probably owned in most competitive leagues, but he is still available in 33% of NFL fantasy leagues. The Giants’ passing offense is going to run through Sterling Shepard and Evan Engram the rest of the season making Engram a must add at Tight End. He is coming off of 3 games in a row with at least 60 receiving yards and a TD and has 29 targets over those 3 games.
Greg Olsen has always been a focal point of the Panthers’ offense. Now that Kelvin Benjamin has been traded this will only increase Greg Olsen’s role in the offense. It sounds like he will be coming back in the next couple weeks and will likely be a top 5-10 Tight End the rest of the season if he stays healthy. He also has an IR designation so if you play in a league with an IR spot you could not even have to use a roster spot on him.
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