Okay, so we just had a Wednesday game but not a Thursday game, which becomes the other Monday game unless we end up back on a Tuesday. Man. What a headache. Hopefully, this won’t get worse because trying to keep everyone on schedule is only tougher.
The next five weeks are interesting for anyone in a dynasty league. And even if you don’t play in keeper leagues, now is the time to start thinking a bit more about 2021 because teams are going to start trying out players so that they can better evaluate their roster in the offseason. There’s bound to be a number of teams entering a rebuilding phase and players are also auditioning for new teams.
Six things I am watching heading into Week 13:
RB J.K. Dobbins (BAL) – The Ravens chose him with their 2.23 pick to be a part of their committee backfield. Through the first 12 weeks, we’ve seen Mark Ingram’s usage shrink as he turns 30 years old. He has one more year on his contract but can be cut. Gus Edwards filled in with some success but has also seen a decline in carries and a lack of effectiveness when he does. He’s an undrafted free agent that costs nothing to cut. But Dobbins had over a dozen carries in three of his last four games and looked sharp in Week 11 running for 70 yards on 15 carries before getting COVID-19. The Ravens have mostly a cakewalk the rest of the year – DAL, @CLE, JAC, NYG, @CIN. I’m watching Dobbins.
RB D’Andre Swift (DET) – I wrote about him here two weeks ago and then he had a concussion in practice and missed playing the Panthers. Adrian Peterson was interviewed and said that Swift “wasn’t himself since suffering the concussion.” That is NOT what you want to hear on any front. The second-pick in the draft has flashed talent but hasn’t often had more than a dozen touches or so in the committee approach from ex-head coach Matt Patricia. The Lions have a very tough remaining schedule and not being 100% will limit him. There is a chance, be still my heart, that the Lions install Swift as a full-time, primary back in whatever new offense there is in 2021. But he has to earn that now and any lingering effects from a concussion will only get in his way.
- WR Isaiah Coulter (HOU) – The Texans used their 5.26 pick on this Rhode Island wideout, and he landed on injured reserve with a neck issue. He came off about a month ago and now should see playing time with Will Fuller suspended and Kenny Stills gone. Keke Coutee moved into the No. 2 role, but history says that probably won’t last or go well. Coulter is 6-2, and runs a 4.45/40-time. If there is any player to believe in on the Texans roster, it is Deshaun Watson and he needs receivers. The next three games are the Colts (twice) and Bears. That will force Watson to look beyond the two starting wideouts for more targets.
WR Collin Johnson (JAC) – The Jaguars are highly likely to lose their head coach Doug Marrone in the offseason, and they too have lost some receivers along the way. The Jags used their 5.20 draft pick to grab the 6-6, 222 pound Texas product to add to their 2.10 pick of Laviska Shenault. Johnson already had seven catches for 69 yards and a score coming into Week 12. With the Jaguars missing both DJ Chark and Chris Conley, Johnson saw a team-high eight targets and caught four for 96 yards, including a 46-yard touchdown. The Jaguars may look very different in 2021, and that could include Johnson in the weekly rotation.
WR Gabriel Davis (BUF) – The Bills tabbed Davis with their 4.22 pick and the UCF product played as the No. 4 wideout since Week 1. He totaled 22 catches for 354 yards and four touchdowns already and had a bump up the depth chart with John Brown on injured reserve. Without Brown in Week 12, Johnson turned in three catches for 79 yards, and a 20-yard touchdown thrown by Cole Beasley. He’ll supply the No. 3 role for now and has a chance to stick next year as well.
Heads up! If you are heading towards your league playoffs, consider cutting some of that roster depth that you never used and tune up your kickers and team defenses. Always carry two into the postseason so that you always have an option. Most of the contests and many of the leagues freeze free agency after this week. This may be your last chance to prevent that feeling when your kicker pulls a hamstring on Friday practice.