Free-agent recommendations refer to 12-team leagues, unless specifically stated otherwise. FAAB $ amounts are based on a $100 budget.
Bye weeks: Carolina Panthers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Fantasy football waiver wire targets
Priority Free Agent
Ryan Fitzpatrick, Miami Dolphins
It is unclear just how long the Dolphins will be without QB Tua Tagovailoa (thumb), so this recommendation could be short-lived in nature. The Dolphins have a fairly good fantasy schedule ahead with three consecutive home games against Cincinnati, Kansas City and New England before a trip to Las Vegas. Fitz was dealing before Tua was inserted into the lineup, and the veteran posted a competent 257-2-0 line in Week 12 with the injured rookie looking on.
1-week plug & Play/Grab & Stash
Myles Gaskin, Miami Dolphins vs. Cincinnati Bengals
It has been since Week 8 that we’ve seen Gaskin on the field after he suffered a sprained knee ligament vs. the Los Angeles Rams. The seemingly never-ending conveyor belt of Dolphins running backs may turn into a carousel with the eligibility of Gaskin’s return. Keep tabs on this status to be safe. There is a clear opening here with DeAndre Washington being anything but inspiring, and RB Salvon Ahmed (shoulder) uncertain for Week 13 and beyond. Gaskin had played quite well leading up to the injury, suggesting this truly could be a case of “players don’t lose their jobs to injuries.” Cincinnati has surrendered neutral work to RBs in 2020, but we’ve seen steady returns in the mid-teens for PPR results. Wayne Gallman and Antonio Gibson each posted matching lines of 94 yards and a score in the past two games. Consider something near 80 yards and a TD to be a flex win.
Devontae Booker, Las Vegas Raiders at New York Jets
Josh Jacobs suffered an ankle injury in Week 12, and his status for the upcoming game is in doubt. In the event he misses, Booker belongs in lineups. The former Bronco wasn’t particularly effective in Week 12, although he has carved out a niche role as a capable spell to Jacobs this season. Furthermore, Booker has quality hands as a receiver, increasing his potential and utility. The Jets have permitted 6.6 receptions per game to the position this year, and 13 backs in 11 contests have generated at least 10 PPR points vs. New York. The matchup isn’t super exciting, but there’s enough to work with for a low-tier RB2 or strong flex, should Jacobs miss time. And if he sits multiple games, Booker has staying power.
Royce Freeman, Denver Broncos
Unless Freeman is called upon to serve as quarterback this week (slightly joking), the upcoming month of action could prove fruitful following the MCL sprain suffered by running back Phillip Lindsay in Week 12. Melvin Gordon remains the primary back, but we’ve seen both he and Lindsay reward gamers at times in 2020. The upcoming slate of games has some exploitable moments (@KC, @CAR, vs. BUF, vs. LV), and any back with the potential for double-digit touches each week deserves attention — especially this close to the playoffs.
Grab & Stash
Brian Hill/Ito Smith, Atlanta Falcons
Hill is the preferred ball carrier, but it actually was Smith who produced more in fantasy with Todd Gurley (knee) out of Week 12 action. The duo of replacements are both worth rostering; however, it would require a dire situation to justify playing them vs. the New Orleans Saints in Week 13. No team has been tougher on RBs both recently and over the course of 2020. Suppose Gurley misses Week 13 and Week 14, then we’re seeing a path to playing time for both backs against the Los Angeles Chargers — one the worst defenses of the position in fantasy by most any angle of inspection. An even longer outlook shows the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 15, and that’s also one of the harshest matchups for running backs. Don’t invest too much in either player, regardless of how long Gurley will miss.
Availability: 39% (Hill); 83% (Smith)
FAAB: $7-8 (Hill); $5-6 (Smith)
1-Week Plug & Play/Grab & Stash
Collin Johnson, Jacksonville Jaguars at Minnesota Vikings
Johnson, a 6-foot-6, 215-pound rookie, has a legit chance to make some noise over the next week or two, depending on what happens with injuries to WRs DJ Chark Jr. and Chris Conley, both of whom sat out Sunday. The Jaguars turned to Mike Glennon at quarterback after Jake Luton was erratic over a few starts. Gardner Minshew (hand) has been questionable the last two weeks, all while speculation has suggested the Jaguars have seen enough from him. Johnson has appeared in two games this year in which he has seen at least four targets. In each contest, he has found the end zone. Week 12’s showing resulted in career highs in targets (8), receptions (4) and yardage (96). Not only does he have a superb matchup ahead with Minnesota, but Tennessee is on the docket for Week 14. With an impending search for a new GM, perhaps there is added interest in seeing of Johnson can team with Chark as a lethal one-two punch.
Breshad Perriman, New York Jets vs. Las Vegas Raiders
In Perriman’s last five games, scattered over seven weeks, thanks to an injury and a bye, the well-traveled veteran has emerged as a steady weapon who is flying under the fantasy radar. In those games, he has generated at least 10.2 PPR points four times. Since Week 9’s breakout game against the Patriots (5-101-2), Perriman has produced in varying ways with both QBs Joe Flacco and Sam Darnold. Not only does Perriman have a quality matchup vs. Las Vegas this week, there’s an even better one against Seattle in Week 14. Following those two fine opportunities, Perriman has uneven matchup ratings with tilts against the Los Angeles Rams and Cleveland Browns.
1-Week Plug & Play
Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
There are a number of factors at play here, but one is the Adam Thielen situation … he missed last week while on the COVID-19 reserve list, and no reports have said whether he definitively contracted the virus after testing both positive and negative. At any rate, there’s one potential element working in Rudolph’s favor for increased targets. The other is Irv Smith Jr. (groin/back) once again is on the shelf. Finally, the matchup is a major plus, too, as the Jags have granted tight ends four touchdowns in the last five games. The volume has been low, which, unlike Week 12 for Rudolph, has been the norm all year. He’s a decent flier for a touchdown.
1-Week Plug & Play
Matt Prater, Detroit Lions at Chicago Bears
Five different kickers have at least 10 fantasy points against the Bears this year, and the position has attempted three or more field goals in seven games. Prater is on that list. Way back in Week 1, he booted three of four attempts and added a pair of extra points. Detroit’s injury-impacted offense is much closer to a three-point powerhouse than a touchdown-scoring juggernaut, but there’s also now a new coach in Darrell Bevell as the interim head man. He tends to play it safer than not, and Prater has a better than average circumstance to kick multiple field goals.
1-week plug & play
Miami Dolphins vs. Cincinnati Bengals
Miami is likely to be owned in more competitive leagues, especially after facing the Jets last week. There is a chance after consecutive games of only four fantasy points apiece, someone in your league had given up. Cincinnati presents a respectable opportunity for the Dolphins to make it back-to-back showings with double-digit results. The Bengals provided the New York Giants with three takeaways and a pair of sacks in Week 12, and regardless of which quarterback is giving an chance in Cincy, the odds are in Miami’s favor.
Green Bay Packers vs. Philadelphia Eagles
In this space last week, Green Bay was listed under the “one-week play/grab and stash” label, because this matchup was ahead … the premise was, if the Packers can exploit the Bears, there’s another strong matchup opportunity in Week 13, warranting retention of the defense. In the four games prior to Week 12 (Philly plays Seattle on MNF), the Eagles had thrown five interceptions, lost three fumbles, and allowed 15 sacks. If Green Bay plays anything like it did vs. Chicago, this will be an awesome outcome for fantasy owners.