RB Damien Williams, Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs are an offense every fantasy player wants a part of. Giving up on athletic backs with workhorse profiles is a destructive process to partake in, especially a 220-pound running back with a 95th percentile speed score and pass catching prowess tied to Patrick Mahomes. Don’t give up on Damien Williams.
Williams has surely been a headache for fantasy owners this year with injuries and touch battles. Teammate LeSean McCoy is 31 years old and has seen his touches diminish from 14 to 13 to four to zero over the past four weeks. Shady was ultimately a healthy scratch in Week 10 leaving workhorse duties to Williams, who has seen his touches increase from 15 to 24 the last two weeks, showing he is slowly starting to earn his bell cow role back from late in 2018. Williams’ 24 touches in Week 10 are one of the highest of his career.
Williams is also an elite receiving threat. Even if the Chiefs employ a committee moving forward, it’s still worth taking a chance on an athletic back who can be an elite receiver out of the backfield, as evidenced by his 17 catches (on 18 targets) in last year’s fantasy playoffs (Weeks 14-16). With three weeks left until the fantasy playoffs, it’s time to get him now before his owner realizes that Williams is dominating the opportunity shares in Kansas City.
WR D.J. Moore, Carolina Panthers
Moore is quietly establishing himself as an elite NFL alpha. Or at the very least, a tier 2 NFL receiver. With only one touchdown on the season, the general public may not realize how great he has been this season. Through nine games, Moore has only gone below 50 yards twice. In seven of his games, he has caught five or more passes. In Weeks 9 and 10, he broke the 100-yard mark. Moore ranks in the top 15 in yards and receptions among NFL receivers and is just starting to heat up. It’s time to get him before he goes nuclear in the final seven games.
Moore has been lighting up several advanced metrics indicating an even bigger breakout is on the horizon. Through ten weeks, he’s top 12 in Yards After Catch, top 20 in Air Yards, top 20 in Weighted Opportunity Rating, and top 12 in Targets. As quarterback Kyle Allen has settled into his starting role, he has been elevating Moore and teammate Curtis Samuel and will only become more comfortable with additional NFL starts. Being in the playoff race will also keep the Panthers competitive where they need to score and win. Also, Moore gets the Redskins, Falcons, and Seahawks in the fantasy playoffs, all of whom have leaky secondaries.
RB Leonard Fournette, Jacksonville Jaguars
Nick Foles is set to return soon. With that comes a potential offensive upgrade and more red zone chances. Fournette has cemented himself as one of the NFL’s true bell cows this season. He possesses the third-highest snap share in the NFL and is #2 in Opportunity Share. He’s averaging almost seven targets per game, to go along with 19.3 carries per game. Fournette might be tough to acquire, but not impossible. His current owner could be getting frustrated that Fournette has only scored one touchdown this season. However, touchdowns are volatile and the 240-pound back with 39 red zone touches (second in the league) is due for some positive touchdown regression. It’s time to acquire one of the league’s few three-down workhorse backs just in time for his fantasy playoff matchups against the Chargers, Raiders, and Falcons. If Fournette sees any positive regression in the touchdown department, his fantasy points per game (17.4) will skyrocket.
WR Dede Westbrook, Jacksonville Jaguars
Foles’ return in Week 11 might be an even bigger deal for Westbrook, who has been average (but not great) this season. After two weeks of being injured and coming off his bye week, there is no better time to buy low on him. And with the D.J. Chark breakout, he has been slightly forgotten about. Recent reports say that Westbrook is ready for Week 11.
Westbrook (and his 83rd-percentile speed score) had big expectations coming into the season. He showed an interesting rapport with Foles in the preseason, catching a touchdown from him and seeing seven targets. Reserve QB Gardner Minshew has proved to be impressive as a rookie, but receiver chemistry can completely change when a new quarterback plays. The return of Foles brings an unknown to the Jags’ offense. This could be a great thing for Westbrook. There is a realistic possibility where Westbrook becomes Foles’ favorite target. This is a chance worth buying low on, given the Jacksonville offense’s great fantasy playoff schedule. Keep in mind that Foles now has a two-year history of outstanding play at the end of the season and if this trend continues, Westbrook could reap the benefits.
WR Odell Beckham Jr., Cleveland Browns
Similarly to Damien Williams, but on a much larger scale, fantasy owners should never give up on talent. Quarterback Baker Mayfield has made statements about giving Beckham more targets and improving their chemistry as the season goes on. OBJ’s 12 targets in Week 10 were a season high, which is encouraging. Fantasy gamers need to put their faith in talent and watch Beckham return to form when his schedule lightens up in the coming weeks. Zooming out, the Browns’ schedule has not been easy this season, as they have faced the league’s top four defenses. Grab Beckham on the low and bank on his fantasy playoff schedule, when he draws the Bengals, Cardinals, and Ravens.
WR T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis Colts
He’s injured. His quarterback is injured. There’s no better time to buy low on Hilton than right now. Hilton has a knack for producing when it counts, exploding for 422 yards on 21 catches in the fantasy playoffs last season. In 2017, he had a 100-yard game in the fantasy championship (Week 16). In 2016, he totaled 265 yards in Weeks 14-16, and 226 in 2015. Yes, that production was with Andrew Luck, but the track record of fantasy playoff success for Hilton is long.
Jacoby Brissett has actually been ample enough this season. His 14-3 touchdown-to-interception ratio is solid and he has won five games so far. Hilton’s five touchdowns this season has him on pace to beat his career high of seven. Hilton and Brissett are both expected to be back in about a week or two, just in time for the fantasy playoffs. In those playoffs, the Colts will need to play well to stay in the race. They will get the chance to do so against the Buccaneers’ poor pass defense, followed by a trip to New Orleans (which keeps the Colts in a dome). Indy is back at home in their own dome against the Panthers in Week 16.
WR Keenan Allen, Los Angeles Chargers
Allen started hot and has now been a headache for fantasy owners. His owner in your league might be ready to give up on him. Allen’s targets are down the past few weeks but he is still second in among NFL receivers in Air Yards and Targets. Allen has been dealing with an injury in recent weeks, likely limiting his production. His team also jumped out to a large lead game against the Green Bay Packers in Week 9, putting more emphasis on the run game.
When Philip Rivers targets him, things have usually gone well for Allen in the past. Fantasy owners now have a window to buy the #1 receiver in fantasy during the first three weeks of this season. Allen is a mainstay, high-end WR2 and bouncing back is definitely in the realm of outcomes because nothing major has changed in the Chargers offense. Allen has produced well in the past with Melvin Gordon and Hunter Henry, who are back from lengthy layoffs and now playing well. With no new major additions to the offense to take away targets, Allen’s production dip could simply be due to many small factors. It’s foolish to look too much into this small sample size dip when Allen has such a long history of production with Rivers. Acquire Allen before the Chargers’ Week 12 bye when he can get 100% healthy and become a WR1 or high-end WR2 once again.
RB Miles Sanders, Philadelphia Eagles
Sanders fans are patiently waiting for the breakout. He has been excellent as a pass-catcher but there hasn’t been much success in his running game. However, it is still worth taking a chance on him coming off a bye week. In Week 8, the prized rookie back broke off a long, 60-yard touchdown against the Buffalo Bills. The only thing lacking is the touches (Sanders has yet to break 15 in a game). Buy the talent and workhorse profile. Sanders has everything needed to become a fantasy RB1 moving forward, including the Eagles’ current situation. There is still plenty of time left for Sanders to overtake the plodding Jordan Howard. Fantasy gamers should keep trying to pry Sanders away from his owners, or even acquire him as a throw-in. If he ever gets the touches, Sanders is going to blow up and be a #1 league-winning player.