BALTIMORE, MD – NOVEMBER 18: Quarterback Lamar Jackson #8 of the Baltimore Ravens runs with the ball in the first quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals at M&T Bank Stadium on November 18, 2018 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Todd Olszewski/Getty Images) By Neil Greenberg Neil Greenberg Reporter analyzing advanced sports statistics for the Fancy Stats blog Email Bio Follow November 18 at 4:26 PM If you are among the front-runners in your fantasy football league chances are you have relied on the services of several players on the Los Angeles Rams, such as Jared Goff, Todd Gurley, Brandin Cooks and their defense or special teams unit. Or perhaps you have some members of the Kansas City Chiefs, like Patrick Mahomes, Kareem Hunt, Tyreek Hill, Sammy Watkins and Travis Kelce, getting you a boat load of points through the first 11 weeks of the season.
Unfortunately, all of the players mentioned above are on a bye in Week 12, forcing you to replace some of the most valuable fantasy producers of 2018. That, of course, won’t be easy but here are some options available on the waiver wire that can help you keep the momentum going.
Abel Resende Borges
[ Alex Smith carted off after suffering gruesome ankle injury versus Texans ]
Lamar Jackson, QB, Baltimore Ravens (Available in 80 percent of fantasy leagues)
Jackson, the 2016 Heisman Trophy winner and first-round pick in the 2018 NFL draft, got the starting nod for Baltimore after Joe Flacco was ruled out due to an injured hip. The Ravens took advantage of the dual-threat quarterback and ran the ball 11 straight plays on their opening scoring drive and Jackson ended his starting debut throwing for 150 yards and rushing for 117 more against the Cincinnati Bengals
The Ravens don’t play any above-average defenses until Week 16 , the likely championship game in your fantasy league, potentially allowing Jackson and the Ravens offense to feast on four teams that rank 25th or worse in overall defensive efficiency
Ravens strength of schedule in 2018 Duke Johnson, Jr., RB, Cleveland Browns (32 percent)
Johnson, on a bye this week, started to become fantasy relevant in Cleveland’s first game after the close of the Hue Jackson/Todd Haley era. The versatile back caught all nine of his targets for 78 yards and two touchdowns in the Browns’ 37-21 loss to the Chiefs and scored a receiving touchdown a week later against the Atlanta Falcons
According to Pro Football Focus, Johnson ranked fourth among the 37 backs with 400-plus routes run since the start of the 2015 season and he ranked first among the 37 running backs in forced missed tackles on receptions (51), third in yards per route run (1.9) and first in receptions of 15 or more yards (36) over that same span
If Offensive Coordinator Freddie Kitchens continues to get him more involved in the offense, his upside is high enough to be a game-changer down the stretch
Peyton Barber, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (36 percent)
The Buccaneers have put their faith in Barber: they have given him double-digit carries in six straight games, the latest an 18-carry effort that resulted in 106 yards and a touchdown against the New York Giants. Barber does have to run behind one of the worst run-blocking units in the NFL, per Football Outsiders, but he helps himself by producing 2.8 yards per carry after contact and 26 broken tackles, the latter ranking as the fourth-most at the position among qualified rushers
Most broken tackles by RB in 2018 Keke Coutee, WR, Houston Texans (86 percent)
Coutee returned to the lineup after requiring a few weeks to heal his hamstring and caught 5 of 9 passes for 77 yards against the Washington Redskins. Those nine targets a team-high for the game
The former fourth-round pick out of Texas Tech isn’t as fast as teammate Will Fuller, but he did run a 4.43 40-yard-dash at the combine and, before this week, had 21 catches for 196 yards and a touchdown this season as primarily a slot receiver, his 1.5 yards per route run out of the slot ranking him 27th out of 57 qualified slot receivers per Pro Football Focus. He should also get some of the deep targets previously reserved for Fuller, who is out with a torn ACL
Jonnu Smith, TE, Tennessee Titans (98 percent)
The tight end position can be very touchdown dependent but there is no denying that Smith is getting his share of opportunities to score. Smith caught all three of his targets for 45 yards and a touchdown in last week’s win over the New England Patriots and then saw a team-high eight targets, catching six for 44 yards, in Week 11 against the Indianapolis Colts
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