Box scores never tell the whole story, so which fantasy options are rising and falling heading into the fantasy playoffs? If you want to completely dominate your league, consider Fantasy Consigliere for premium analytics and next-level advice for all your leagues, all year long.
Stock up: Philip Rivers, LAC
Philip Rivers appeared here last week, but he still might not be getting enough respect as a solid QB1 down the stretch. Last week, most “experts” had the 36-year-old outside the top-12 at the position, and he ended up finishing as the No. 4 fantasy quarterback with 299 yards, two touchdowns, and a two-point conversion. Overall this season, Rivers has a 28:6 touchdown-interception ratio, and he should add to those numbers to start the fantasy playoffs against Cincinnati and Kansas City on Sunday and then next Thursday.
Stock down: Lamar Jackson, BAL
It feels like we are still waiting for a complete game from Lamar Jackson this season, as he is averaging 17.5 fantasy points per game in three starts with no performances of 21+ points. And despite the promise Baltimore’s first-round pick has shown—and a 3-0 record—we might be waiting until 2019 for him to really emerge if Joe Flacco (hip) returns this week to create a two-quarterback system, which I expect to be the case. Of course, another start for Jackson will keep him in play as a high-upside option in fantasy leagues, but owners should start at least thinking about a backup plan.
Stock up: Jaylen Samuels, PIT
James Conner (ankle) was already ruled out for Week 14, so fantasy owners might be without their star RB1 for at least a couple weeks, or perhaps even the entirety of the fantasy playoffs. If so, Jaylen Samuels could be a difference-maker on championship rosters, and he is the top waiver priority in all formats as a strong RB2 in Pittsburgh’s high-octane attack.
Stock up: Jeff Wilson, SF
An undrafted rookie out of North Texas, Jeff Wilson has emerged over the past two weeks with a combined 31 touches for 175 yards to start his NFL career. The 23-year-old is basically the last-man-standing for San Francisco after Matt Breida (ankle) finally went down with an injury that will keep him out for at least a week, so Wilson is likely a quality FLEX option. That said, fantasy owners should keep in mind that the Niners face a tough Denver defense in Week 14.
Stock up: Doug Martin, OAK
I was definitely worried about Doug Martin having a disappointing game against the Chiefs last week due to the fact that Kansas City can blow a team out in an instant, but Oakland stayed competitive throughout, and Martin handled a season-high 20 touches. The former All-Pro gets a less-than-imposing schedule the rest of the way (v PIT, @ CIN, v DEN, @ KC), and I’m looking at the Cincinnati matchup in particular as a spot to use Martin as a low-end RB2/FLEX option in the fantasy playoffs.
Stock down: Austin Ekeler, LAC
In the first game with Melvin Gordon (knee) out for LA, Austin Ekeler started and handled 18 touches, but it was rookie runner Justin Jackson that impressed, turning nine touches into 82 yards and a score. I wasn’t as high on Ekeler as others last week because I feared he might be a guy that is better in a change-of-pace role, and at least for one game, that looks to be the case; Jackson is probably the preferred play until Gordon returns.
Stock up: Chris Godwin, TB
A thumb injury to DeSean Jackson led to extended playing time for Chris Godwin in Week 13, and he turned in a season-best 5/101/1 line. All the talent is there for Godwin to make a weekly impact, and I hope the Bucs stick with him as an every-down player whether or not Jackson returns. If they do (which makes sense for both the short- and long-term), the former Penn State standout will be worth considering in good matchups during the fantasy playoffs in Week 14 (v NO) and Week 17 (v ATL).
Stock up: Curtis Samuel, CAR
I don’t think there is much of a gap between 2018 first-round pick D.J. Moore and 2017 second-round pick Curtis Samuel, and Carolina is finally starting to feature their sophomore weapon, who has gone for standard fantasy point totals of 11.5, 10.2, and 9.6 over the past three games. No one has cupcake after cupcake on the schedule like the Panthers (@ CLE, v NO, v ATL, @ NO) to finish out the year, so Samuel is a name to keep in mind.
Stock up: James Washington, PIT
Injuries hit Pittsburgh on Sunday night with Justin Hunter (shoulder) and Ryan Switzer (concussion) both joining James Conner (ankle) on the sideline, and that could re-open the door for James Washington to be the team’s No. 3 wideout down the stretch. The prolific college production hasn’t yet carried over for Washington, but don’t be surprised if the rookie breaks out this week against the Raiders.
Stock down: Mike Evans, TB
While I have Chris Godwin’s stock trending up, Mike Evans is going in the opposite direction due to his schedule against No. 1 cornerbacks. This week, he will face Marshon Lattimore—who struggled in the opener but shutdown Evans in 2017—and then has Baltimore (Jimmy Smith) and Dallas (Byron Jones) after that. The 25-year-old is best viewed as a WR2.