The NFL playoffs are starting to come into focus and regardless of any protests, the NFC East will be allowed to advance a team. It’s money time right now in the NFL and in fantasy football. Here are a few thoughts on a Friday.
Jesper Horsted – The Bears are running through tight ends with Trey Burton and Adam Shaheen both on injured reserve, and Ben Braunecker out with a concussion. That gave both Horster and J.P. Holtz a chance to show what they could do. Holtz led the Bears with 56 yards on three catches while Horsted offered four receptions for 36 yards. Horsted caught one pass last week which was an 18-yard touchdown in Detroit. Holtz only had two career catches coming into last night. Both were undrafted players called up from the practice squad. Their success was more of a function of the Cowboys’ poor play worsened when LB Leighton Vander Esch missed the game. That could mean good things for the Rams this week.
Eli Manning – Daniel Jones is out with an ankle injury though some speculate that it is an attempt to allow Manning to have a Goodbye Tour. They probably owe him that. And Week 14 provides a chance to play the Eagles weak secondary that ranks No. 29 versus wideouts. Plus Golden Tate should be cleared from his concussion and Evan Engram is trending towards playing. He’d have a full complement of receivers which Jones has rarely had. If he can hang around until the end, that matches him against the Dolphins and Redskins. For a future HOF’er, that would be a nice way to end. Might even be worth a fantasy start.
Dalvin Cook – He’s had a tremendous third-year and finally remained healthy. Well, until recently. Cook injured his chest back in Week 11 against the Broncos and this was a re-aggravation. He says that he’ll play this week though it could still be painful and could become further aggravated. Fantasy playoffs are on in many leagues and seedings are being finalized in all others. But Cook is going to be risky despite playing against the No. 31 defense versus running backs. Cook already ran for 142 yards and two scores on them in Week 7. Alexander Mattison is too risky to start, but Cook could potentially leave the game early if he hurts or the Vikes have the game in hand. No matter what, Cook has to be healthy for Week 16 versus the Packers.
John Ross – He left after Week 4 with a broken clavicle but he’ll be activated this week and return to face the Browns. He’ll likely be on a pitch count and Week 15 faces the Patriots but at least Week 16 in Miami. Ross started the season with two 100-yard games and three touchdowns in the first two games including 112 yards and a score versus the 49ers in Week 2. He’ll be worth watching since the offense desperately needs help and he’ll dig into Auden Tate’s workload if not replace him again.
Kareem Hunt – Since he returned in Week 10, he’s been the No. 11 running back over the last four weeks. And he’s not even the starter. His role has been fairly consistent with around seven carries and five receptions per game and he averages about 60 total yards per game. His production hasn’t changed Nick Chubb’s workload at all, he’s just given Baker Mayfield an extra pass target. Hunt is a free agent at the end of the year, so this is all just to impress his next employer.
Best Wide Receivers over the last month – There is much movement with wide receivers as the season starts to close and this is worth knowing if only to see who maintains their value and who might have more value next year. These are the PPR fantasy points from Weeks 10 to Week 13.
D.J. Moore, Deebo Samuel, and even Cole Beasley stand out over the past month. It’s also interesting that while Odell Beckham hasn’t gotten on the same page with Baker Mayfield, Jarvis Landry hasn’t had any problem.