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This Preparing for the Playoffs installment is meant to give season long fantasy players an edge on managing their waiver wire as we near the fantasy playoffs.  This column provides a deep look ahead on many offensive players and defenses with difference making upside from Weeks 13 through 16, including several higher owned players such as Tom Brady whose ownership has been trending down.  The table of contents lists all of the categories and fantasy assets discussed in this installment.  Every name or defense mentioned has a write up.  Just like the waiver column, if you have a question or would like to discuss a strategy contact me either on Twitter @RyanReynNJ or via email at [email protected]

Table of Contents

Quarterbacks with Multiple Appealing Matchups

Tom Brady
Carson Wentz
Nick Foles
Baker Mayfield
Sam Darnold
Daniel Jones
Derek Carr
Kyle Allen

Additional Weekly Streaming Options

Week 13: None
Week 14: Jacoby Brissett at Buccaneers
Week 15: Matthew Stafford vs Buccaneers
Week 16: Phillip Rivers vs Raiders

Difference Making Wide Receivers

DeVante Parker
Alshon Jeffery
Will Fuller
Deebo Samuel
A.J. Green

Teams with Appealing Matchups and Multiple Pass Catching Options


Tight Ends

Jacob Hollister
Noah Fant
Dallas Goedert
Gerald Everett
Jimmy Graham
Ryan Griffin
David Njoku
Vance McDonald

 Defenses with Multiple Appealing Matchups


 Defensive Streaming Options

Week 13: Panthers Defense vs Redskins, Chargers Defense at Broncos
Week 14: Browns Defense vs Bengals, Falcons Defense vs Panthers
Week 15: Steelers Defense vs Bills, Chiefs Defense vs Broncos
Week 16: Colts Defense vs Panthers, Chiefs Defense at Bears

 Volatile Wide Receiver Streaming Options

Week 13: None
Week 14: Titans Pass Catchers at Raiders
Week 15: Broncos Pass Catchers at Chiefs
Week 16: Bears Pass Catchers vs Chiefs, Bengals Pass Catchers at Dolphins

Running Back Handcuffs and Stashes

A brief explanation and tiering of most of the league’s backfields.

Quarterbacks with Multiple Appealing Matchups

Tom Brady (Week 13 at Hou, Week 14 vs KC, Week 15 at Cin): The Patriots passing offense is not quite what it used to be, but no one has ever gotten rich betting against Tom Brady and the Patriots have a string of very appealing matchups to start the fantasy playoffs.  In Week 13, the Texans have given up the 4th most passing yards per game on the season (272.4 yards) and Deshaun Watson is capable of pushing any contest beyond its implied game total.  In Week 14, Patrick Mahomes is also capable of pushing any game total towards an over, though the Chiefs have been much better against the pass (12th best) than the run (3rd worst) so far this season.  In both contests, the Patriots are facing defenses that are giving up 23 points a game that both have offenses that are capable of forcing New England to continue being aggressive on offense for most, if not all, of those contests.  In Week 15 the Patriots are almost certain to be double-digit road favorites against the Bengals.  The downside to playing Brady in that spot is that if New England is comfortably in control entering the second half of this matchup, the Patriots running game is likely to take over.

Carson Wentz (Week 13 at Mia, Week 14 vs NYG, Week 15 at Wash, Week 16 vs Dal): Wentz and the Eagles offense has disappointed to this point in the season.  Part of that is built on their recent schedule against some of the best defenses in football, as they played 3 straight road games against the Vikings, Cowboys, and Bills before hosting the Bears and Patriots.  After their Week 12 matchup with Seattle, the Eagles face 3 of the worst teams in football all in a row to start the fantasy playoffs.  While this offense could really use a speed infusion, the Eagles still have a stable offensive line and the matchups at Miami, at home versus the Giants, and at Washington all come with major upside.  I can’t speak for you, but if I’m facing a team in the fantasy playoffs in Week 14 that has Carson Wentz going against the Giants on Monday Night Football, I’m going to be worried about that one.

Nick Foles (Week 13 vs TB, Week 15 at Oak, Week 16 at Atl): Foles’ return to action in Week 11 was marked by a blowout loss in Indianapolis.  However, Foles completed 70.2% of his 47 passes for 296 yards and 2 touchdowns.  As an Eagle, Foles has shown that he is capable of monster fantasy performances down the stretch.  All three of these listed opponents are in the bottom seven in terms of passing yards allowed per game and none of them have an imposing pass rush.  All three of those opponents also have offenses capable of hanging points on a Jaguars defense that has been a middle of the pack unit in 2019.  Those conditions mean that all three of these contests have shootout potential.

Baker Mayfield (Week 14 vs Cin, Week 15 at Arz): The Browns offense has mightily disappointed to this point in the season.  That’s why Week 12’s matchup versus Miami can serve as an excellent barometer for how playable Mayfield will be in both of these potential smash spots.  Cleveland has not yet faced their winless interstate rival this season, but Mayfield torched Cincinnati for a total of 542 yards and 7 touchdowns during their two matchups in 2018.  Arizona is giving up the most passing yards per game (297.5) this season and they have been especially beat up by tight ends this year.  Barring any setbacks, David Njoku should be back before that Week 15 matchup in Arizona.

 Sam Darnold: (Week 13 at Cin, Week 14 vs Mia): The Jets are in the middle of a long stretch through their schedule where they have faced very beatable opponents.  In their last two games against the Giants and the Redskins, the Jets offense has started to pick up steam as Darnold has produced back-to-back fantasy outings with over 20 points.  The Jets host the Raiders in Week 12 in yet another high upside spot for their offense.  Then they start the fantasy playoffs with fantastic matchups against the winless Bengals in Week 13, before hosting the Dolphins in Week 14.  While Adam Gase and the Jets offensive line still represent some downside for Darnold and the Jets offense, the upside in these matchups remains considerable.

Daniel Jones (Week 14 at Phi, Week 15 vs Mia, Week 16 at Wash): Jones’ Week 14 matchup at Philadelphia, on Monday Night Football, is the very definition of a high ceiling, low floor kind of gamble.  Jones has pressure management and fumbling issues, which gives a road game against the Eagles pass rush a disastrous floor.  While that floor also comes with some potential upside as the Eagles secondary has been torched by the likes of Case Keenum this season, it is probably best to not hang your fantasy season on such a volatile matchup if that can be avoided.  In a two-quarterback league though, it’s worth letting it rip with Jones in this spot against the Eagles.  Week 15, at home, versus the Dolphins is a massive ceiling game where Jones biggest path to failure would be Saquon Barkley completing taking over and rushing for 150 yards and 3 touchdowns.  Week 16’s matchup in Washington, who could be a team that has waived the white flag by this point in the season, has a very similar read as the Miami game in terms of Jones ceiling and his path to failure.  Though, the Redskins do have a much better front four than Miami, even if that group hasn’t really shown their ceiling yet this season.

Derek Carr (Week 13 at KC, Week 14 vs Ten, Week 15 vs Jax): Carr heads to the Jets in Week 12, which is an appealing matchup itself.  Week 13 at the Chiefs is a high upside game with heavy implications for the AFC West crown.  Week 14’s contest with the Titans and Week 15’s with the Jaguars are both fair matchups that could still be very usable in 16-team leagues or two-quarterback formats.  With that said, the Raiders are in a playoff push and both of those games come with some greater than originally expected appeal for Carr and the Raiders offense.  But the games against the Jets in Week 12 and Chiefs in Week 13 is easily the most appealing left for Carr.

Kyle Allen (Week 13 vs Wash, Week 14 at Atl, Week 15 vs Sea, Week 16 at Ind): This stretch would have been so good if Cam Newton returned.  With Allen, you probably don’t want to let your fantasy season ride on him, regardless of matchups.  In a two-quarterback format or as a future injury replacement in a deep league, Allen still has usable upside given this stretch of games that runs through the fantasy playoffs.


Additional Weekly Streaming Options

Week 13



Week 14

Jacoby Brissett at Buccaneers: The Buccaneers have been a prime candidate to play streaming options against all season, and Brissett will almost certainly be among the streaming options presented in Week 14.  The Colts also have a fair Week 13 matchup versus the Titans and a more volatile one in Week 16 when they head to New Orleans for Monday Night Football.


Week 15

Matthew Stafford vs Buccaneers: We have to keep an eye on Stafford’s injury status, but if he’s active and ready to go for this contest he’s going to be a top 5 quarterback option in Week 15.  You could legitimately consider playing Stafford over some very high-end options in this indoor matchup.  You may even want to consider grabbing Stafford for this matchup even if you don’t need him.  For instance, I have Lamar Jackson, who hosts the Jets on Thursday Night in Week 15, on a few season long teams.  I will pick up Stafford if he’s dropped in those leagues to ensure that I don’t face him in this matchup.


Week 16

Phillip Rivers vs Raiders: Rivers arm strength is starting to limit his ability to be an effective NFL quarterback, but he’s still a gunslinger in a very appealing matchup during the week most fantasy championships are decided.


Difference Making Wide Receivers

DeVante Parker (Week 13 vs Phi, Week 14 at NYJ, Week 15 at NYG, Week 16 vs Cin): Look at those matchups considering Parker’s target share (20%) air yards (973) and weighted opportunity (.52) on the season.  In the two games since Preston Williams season ending injury, Parker’s target share (26%) air yards (205) and weighted opportunity (.69) are comparable to Julio Jones’ usage over that span.  Parker is in a volatile offense, but his role is elite and he can be a difference maker down the stretch, especially if Ryan Fitzpatrick remains the starting quarterback.  The other benefit of these matchups is that the Eagles, Jets, and Giants all have a legitimate chance to hang 30 or more points on the Dolphins defense, which could create enhanced opportunities for Parker to see big volume in these contests.

Alshon Jeffery (Week 13 at Mia, Week 14 vs NYG, Week 15 at Wash, Week 16 vs Dal): Players in leagues with short benches have been getting frustrated with Jeffery’s current absence and underwhelming production on the season.  Consider taking advantage of that if he lands on your waiver wire, as the Eagles have a stretch of truly appealing matchups coming in the games that really count for fantasy purposes.

Will Fuller (Week 15 at Titans, Week 16 at Buccaneers): If you get to the fantasy championship, would you rather have Fuller as an option on your roster or your opponent’s when the Texans face the Bucs?  That’s among the reasons we want you to grab Fuller if he’s available and keep him if he’s on your roster.  Pass catchers in elite offenses that have paths to 150 yards and multiple scores don’t grow on trees.  Fuller is one of those guys, especially in this potential shootout.

Deebo Samuel (Week 13 at Bal, Week 14 at NO, Week 15 vs Atl, Week 16 vs LAR): These are all sneaky good matchups in games that are likely to have solid game totals, with Week 13’s tilt with the Ravens possibly being the toughest for Deebo.  In Weeks 14 and 16, expect Emmanuel Sanders to be shadowed by Marshon Lattimore (Saints) and Jalen Ramsey (Rams) whenever Sanders travels out of the slot, which could open up opportunities for Samuel.  Week 15 versus the Falcons is a potential shootout where all 49ers pass catchers have a path to upside.

A.J. Green (Week 13 vs NYJ, Week 14 at Cle, Week 16 at Mia): We’ve gotten to the point where there is no guarantee that Green plays a single snap this season.  But if he does, he can be a difference maker in any of these matchups and an absolute slate breaker in Week 16 especially.


Teams with Appealing Matchups and Multiple Pass Catching Options

Giants (Week 14 at Phi, Week 15 vs Mia, Week 16 at Wash): Golden Tate, Evan Engram, Sterling Shepard (if he returns), and Darius Slayton (especially if Shepard does not return) can all be legitimate fantasy assets through this stretch in the fantasy playoffs.  Tate’s role is likely the most secure out of the Giants wide receivers.  Shepard has serious upside if he’s able to return from his second concussion, and Slayton would benefit considerably if Shepard was shut down.  Engram only has a realistic chance to be available in home leagues with short benches, but if he’s there he should be picked up immediately.

Jets (Week 13 at Cin, Week 14 vs Mia): Jamison Crowder, Robby Anderson, and tight end Ryan Griffin all have strong upside through these matchups.  Crowder and Griffin are likely to be more reliable than Anderson, who the Jets still can’t seem to find a proper role for.  With that said, Anderson is a player with a path to 100 yards and at least one score in both of these matchups, which makes him worthy of a roster spot in most situations.

Patriots (Week 13 at Hou (Sunday Night), Week 14 vs KC, Week 15 at Cin): Julian Edelman and even Mohamed Sanu are not going to be available in most leagues.  Phillip Dorsett, who is currently in the concussion protocol, has upside as a superflex option in these matchups.  If any of these three Patriots wide receivers were to go down, rookie first-round pick N’Keal Harry appears to be ahead of preseason standout Jakobi Meyers, which could make Harry worthy of a stash in deeper leagues.

Jaguars (Week 13 vs TB, Week 15 at Oak, Week 16 at Atl): D.J. Chark is not going to be available in the vast majority of leagues, but both Dede Westbrook and Chris Conley have significant roles in the Jaguars passing attack.  Westbrook could be worthy of a roster spot in most leagues, where Conley is a fringe 12-team league add that definitely warrants rostering in all leagues with deep benches.  To phrase this another way, both Westbrook and Conley are likely to warrant DFS tournament consideration in these matchups if they are active and healthy.

Packers (Week 13 at NYG, Week 14 vs Wash): The pecking order behind Davante Adams is not set in stone, but Allen Lazard, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, and tight end Jimmy Graham all have paths to spike games in these matchups while Geronimo Allison still warrants monitoring.  Lazard, in particular, looks like the WR2 in the Green Bay offense as we head into Week 12.


Tight Ends

Jacob Hollister (Week 13 vs Min, Week 14 at LAR, Week 15 at Car, Week 16 vs Arz): While I view Will Dissly as a good football player, I don’t view him as a particularly exceptional pass catching option.  Instead, I believe that Russell Wilson elevates everyone in his offense, which is why Hollister can be a valuable fantasy commodity down the stretch.  Week’s 13 through 15 are all average matchups for Hollister, but the Cardinals have been getting smashed by tight ends for most of the season.  Hollister is potentially usable in Weeks 13 through 15 with major upside in Week 16, which is when most fantasy championships are decided.

Noah Fant (Week 13 vs LAC, Week 14 at Hou, Week 15 at KC, Week 16 vs Det): Since the Emmanuel Sanders trade, Fant’s role has been elite.  While the Broncos volatile quarterback situation is likely to continue causing efficiency issues for Fant and other Broncos pass catchers, no tight ends that are available in the majority of leagues have a greater current role than Fant.  Fant also has high upside matchups in Week 14 and 15 as Denver will likely be trailing, while finishing for fantasy purposes with another solid matchup versus Detroit.

Dallas Goedert (Week 13 at Mia, Week 14 vs NYG, Week 15 at Wash, Week 16 vs Dal): Goedert’s been one of my favorite fantasy assets to breakdown all season because he’s fairly unique.  As of this moment, Goedert has a significant role in an underperforming, but capable offense with a string of great matchups coming throughout the fantasy playoffs.  He’s been productive enough to warrant consideration as a fringe fantasy starter for five weeks.  He also comes with the condition that, if Zach Ertz were to go down with an injury, Goedert would immediately become a plug-and-play option at tight end with top 5 upside at the position.  At this point in the season, there are few players available on the majority of waiver wires that are potential starting option while also having a legitimate path to becoming an elite asset at their respective position.  Goedert meets both of those conditions, especially if Alshon Jeffery continues to miss time.

Gerald Everett (Week 13 at Arz, Week 14 vs Sea, Week 15 at Dal, Week 16 at SF): While all of these matchups come with some appeal, that Week 13 matchup against the Cardinals comes with major upside as Arizona has been destroyed by tight ends most weeks this season.  If considering Everett, keep in mind that he played a limited amount of snaps in Week 11 vs the Bears, so his future status is currently in question.

Jimmy Graham (Week 13 at NYG, Week 14 vs Wash, Week 15 vs Chi, Week 16 at Min): The appeal for Graham is based on Aaron Rodgers willingness to give him contested catch opportunities in the endzone.  While the matchups against the Giants and Redskins certainly have appeal, Graham is capable of hauling in a score or two in any given week, just as he’s capable of a basement level floor.

Ryan Griffin (Week 13 at Cin, Week 14 vs Mia, Week 15 at Bal, Week 16 vs Pit): Griffin has been truly productive in 3 of the last 4 weeks.  Now that Chris Herndon is completely out of the picture, Griffin has a stable role in the Jets offense with two appealing matchups in Week 13 at the Bengals and Week 14 versus the Dolphins.  Not to mention his current matchup against the Raiders in Week 12.

David Njoku (Week 13 at Pit, Week 14 vs Cin, Week 15 at Arz, Week 16 vs Bal): We have to keep an eye on Njoku’s injury status, who has a chance to return to practice ahead of Week 12’s matchup with Miami.  If Njoku is able to return, both Week 14’s contest with the Bengals and especially Week 15’s matchup with the Cardinals are high upside matchups for the athletic tight end.  With that said, keep in mind that Njoku has heavy competition for targets with Odell Beckham Jr., Jarvis Landry, and now Kareem Hunt.

Vance McDonald (Week 13 vs Cle, Week 14 at Arz, Week 15 vs Buf, Week 16 at NYJ): With McDonald, we now have all of Arizona’s matchups listed in this section through the fantasy playoffs.  In some home leagues, you could potentially stream Gerald Everett in Week 13, McDonald in Week 14, David Njoku in Week 15, and Jacob Hollister in Week 16 if you wanted to try and target Arizona every week.  With that aside, the Steelers passing offense is the very definition of underwhelming and volatile with Mason Rudolph under center.  So, while McDonald has good matchups everywhere here aside from Week 15 against Buffalo, his usage has been sporadic since Rudolph took over.



Eagles Defense (Week 13 at Mia, Week 14 vs NYG (Monday Night): Week 15 at Wash): The appeal of the Eagles defense for both fantasy and betting purposes is that their front is capable of derailing games against weak offensive lines.  The Eagles play the first three games of the fantasy playoffs against turnover-prone quarterbacks, that play behind average or worse offensive lines.  While the Eagles defense comes with the risk of getting shredded through the air due to their vulnerable secondary, they also come with considerable upside during money making season in fantasy football.

Packers Defense (Week 13 at NYG, Week 14 vs Wash, Week 15 vs Chi): The improved Packers defense opens the fantasy playoffs with 3 matchups against volatile young quarterbacks, playing behind underperforming offensive lines.  The Green Bay defense could have a significant impact for fantasy and betting purposes in each of these 3 contests.  If you’re looking to stash a streaming defense from Weeks 13 through 15, the Eagles and Green Bay are the best choices that are still available in the majority of fantasy leagues.

Cowboys Defense (Week 13 vs Buf (Thanksgiving), Week 14 at Chi (Thursday) Week 15 vs LAR): The Cowboys defense has underachieved to this point in the season and they would be a full tier below both the Eagles and Packers defenses for fantasy purposes from Weeks 13 through 15.  Their Week 13 Thanksgiving matchup against Josh Allen comes with some upside, though Allen has improved on the ball security front in his second season to this point.  Whether Mitch Trubisky or Chase Daniels is under center, there is definite upside in Week 14’s matchup in Chicago.  Week 15’s matchup with the Rams pits an underachieving Dallas defense against an underachieving Rams offense that has had offensive line struggles all season.  So, while the floor is low for this Dallas defense, each of these matchups also comes with upside.


Defensive Streaming Options

Week 13

Panthers Defense vs Redskins: I still can’t believe the video of Dwayne Haskins trying to ask his offensive line how he can help them during the Jets game in Week 11.  If Haskins remains under center for this game, it would not surprise me if the Panthers defense exceeded 20 Draft Kings points in this contest.

Chargers Defense at Denver: The Chargers have an elite pass rush duo in Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram that will have the opportunity to create havoc against a mediocre Broncos offensive line with either Brandon Allen or Drew Lock under center.  Sacks and turnover opportunities are the name of the game and there is a clear path to both in this matchup.


Week 14

Browns Defense vs Bengals: Myles Garrett’s suspension reduces the enthusiasm for this matchup rather considerably.  Still, if Ryan Finley remains under center Cleveland is still going to be a solid streaming option in Week 14.

Falcons Defense vs Panthers: This is more of a play against Kyle Allen than it is a bet on the recently surging Falcons defense.  In Week 11, the Falcons Defense had 26 Draft Kings in Carolina against Allen.  While Atlanta may not quite reach those lofty heights, it is reasonable to bet against Allen on the road here once again.

Texans Defense vs Broncos: The loss of J.J. Watt has turned Houston into a truly mediocre defense.  That said, playing Houston here represents an opportunity to bet against the Broncos volatile options at quarterback.


Week 15

Steelers Defense vs Bills: The Steelers defense is not available in the majority of leagues anymore.  If they are in yours, Josh Allen has improved this season but he still has his share of volatile moments that the Steelers zone heavy scheme and still underrated pass rush can potentially turn into fantasy points.

Chiefs Defense vs Broncos: The Chiefs pass rush and defense overall is improving, which makes them a solid option against either Brandon Allen or Drew Lock in a scenario where Denver is more than likely playing from behind.


Week 16

Colts Defense vs Panthers: Week 16 looks to be thin on available defensive streaming options at this point, which makes betting against Kyle Allen on the road a reasonable option, especially if the Colts are still in the playoff race by this point.

Chiefs Defense at Bears: Whether it’s Mitch Trubisky or Chase Daniels under center, the Chiefs improving pass rush has the potential to create sack and turnover opportunities in this spot.


Volatile Wide Receiver Streaming Options

Week 13



Week 14

Titans Pass Catchers at Raiders: Outside of Derrick Henry, Titans offensive assets simply cannot be trusted for fantasy purposes.  With that in mind, Corey Davis and A.J. Brown will both be high-ceiling plays in this contest.  Adam Humphries would also be worth consideration in deeper leagues, though his week-to-week usage has been shockingly low considering the hefty contract he was given this offseason.


Week 15

Broncos Pass Catchers at Chiefs: Whether it’s Branden Allen or Drew Lock under center for Denver, if Courtland Sutton is somehow available in your league, he’s useful now and he could pay off big here.  Aside from Sutton, Tim Patrick saw 8 targets in Week 11, which was his first action of the season since Week 1.  Patrick would only warrant consideration in the deepest of leagues, though he took a big leap over the disappointing DaeSean Hamilton during Patrick’s first significant work of the season.


Week 16

Bears Pass Catchers vs Chiefs (Sunday Night): All Bears pass catchers outside of Allen Robinson should be considered volatile.  That said, both Anthony Miller and Taylor Gabriel are worth monitoring as Superflex options with this late season matchup in mind.  Should Tarik Cohen stumble onto your waiver wire, he could be a massive-ceiling play in this Week 16 contest.

Bengals Pass Catchers at Dolphins: We still don’t know if A.J. Green will return this season.  If he did, it would limit the value of Auden Tate, Alex Erickson, or John Ross should the latter return from injury.  With that said, should Green and/ or Tyler Boyd go down with an injury over the next few weeks, those complimentary parts in the Bengals passing game would see another rise in usage during the fantasy championship.  In that scenario, all of the Bengals pass catching assets suffer from Ryan Finley’s mediocre play to this point, but they would also have difference making upside in this battle between two of football’s worst teams.


Running Back Stashes


Jaylen Samuels: James Conner remains injured, which makes Samuels a priority type of add presently that should really be owned and kept in all leagues through the rest of the season.

Tony Pollard: Pollard has shown that he could be a difference making asset in this offense throughout the season.  If Ezekiel Elliot went down with an injury, Pollard would at least border on being a RB1 for fantasy purposes.

Alexander Mattison: Mattison has been excellent in reserve duty behind Dalvin Cook.  Were Cook to go down, Mattison would be another difference making running back that would at least border on being a RB1.

Jamaal Williams: Williams already has a useful role in the Packers offense and his ownership levels are higher than what we’d typically include in the waiver wire column.  With that said, Williams is currently a flex consideration in 12-team leagues that would become a viable RB2 (maybe more) if Aaron Jones were to miss time.

Darrel Williams: Williams has a very reliable skillset and already has a path to becoming relevant for fantasy purposes down the stretch, as Damien Williams currently has a questionable status due to a rib injury.  We’ll know more after the Chiefs Week 12 bye.

Rashaad Penny: Chris Carson is the man in the Seahawks backfield.  But if he were to go down, Penny would, at the very least, have the first crack at taking over in a situation where Carson has had a tremendous workload this season.


Potential Difference Makers

Brian Hill: Devonta Freeman is currently out with injury and Ito Smith is on injured reserve, making Hill the top guy in the Atlanta backfield for now, and maybe even beyond.

Darrell Henderson/ Malcolm Brown: If Todd Gurley were to go down, it looks like Henderson and Brown would function in some form of a timeshare, reducing both of their potential value.

Rex Burkhead: The Patriots Swiss Army Knife could step into either Sony Michel or James White’s role effectively if either running back went down with injury.

Dion Lewis: Lewis has had disappointingly low usage this season, but if Derrick Henry were to go down we are late enough in the year where Dion Lewis would be a max FAAB bid type of player.

Jordan Wilkins/ Nyheim Hines/ Jonathan Williams: While the Colts running back job is a good one, Marlon Mack’s current hand injury has created an uncertain backfield arrangement heading into Week 12’s installment of Thursday Night Football.  The pecking order in Mack’s absence will, hopefully, become clearer after that contest.

Wayne Gallman: Saquon Barkley has not looked right since returning from a high ankle sprain.  Gallman would step in as a primary ball carrier and solid pass catching asset if Barkley were to miss any more time this season.

Ryquell Armstead: Leonard Fournette has seen massive usage this season, as Armstead has served as his primary backup.

Gus Edwards: Edwards would be the next in line if Mark Ingram were to go down, and Edwards has been productive in his reserve role throughout this season.

Raheem Mostert: The 49ers backfield has deployed some variant of a committee in just about every game this season.  Mostert is third in the pecking order behind Tevin Coleman and the currently injured Matt Breida.

Ty Montgomery/ Bilal Powell: Le’Veon Bell saw a reduction in playing time during the Jets blowout victory over the Redskins.  While Montgomery appeared to be the stand alone handcuff for Bell throughout preseason, Powell has seemingly surged ahead of him in recent weeks.

Deandre Washington/ Jalen Richard: Josh Jacobs has been having an exceptional rookie campaign behind a Raiders offensive line that has been a key component in the Raiders surging playoff push.  If Jacobs were to go down, Washington would see the bulk of the carries and Richard would continue to see passing down work, with the potential for a rise in usage if Jacobs were to miss time.


The Hill to Die On

Justice Hill: He’s talented, but he has an increasingly unlikely path to meaningful playing time in 2019.


Ryan Reynolds has privately analyzed football for investing and betting purposes for nearly two decades.  Ryan began forecasting by using sports cards as a method of investing in individual baseball and football players, a practice he still takes part in today.  Ryan plays DFS, high-volume best ball, and season-long fantasy while directly betting on props, totals, and point spreads that meet his conditions.  Ryan has watched every snap, of every NFL game since 2014.