By Trevor Smith
Kenyan Drake, RB, Miami Dolphins
The Miami Dolphins traded away lead back Jay Ajayi at the deadline, which has opened the door for Kenyan Drake to be the Dolphins’ premiere back. Drake garnered nine carries for 69 yards as well as six receptions for 35 yards this past week. He hasn’t found the end zone this season, however, with the inevitably of increased touches as the season progresses, Drake will find the end zone sooner rather than later. Drake faces a less than favorable matchup against the Panthers tough run defense on Sunday, but look for him to produce in the passing games as he tries to follow up his 16.4-point fantasy output. Therefore, Drake is a strong FLEX option as well as an RB2 candidate in deeper leagues, so pick him up before he ends up on everyone’s radar.
TJ Jones, WR, Detroit Lions
The Lions’ offense has picked it up the past few weeks, creating opportunities for less known players such as TJ Jones to produce. Jones has had his bright spots this season with his best performance coming in Week 8 against the Steelers, as he hauled in four receptions for 88 yards. He has surpassed 60 receiving yards in three games as well as two games in which he produced 12-plus fantasy points. Detroit has a favorable matchup against the 0-8 Cleveland Browns next week, therefore, Jones will look to garner more targets as quarterback Matthew Stafford carves up the Browns’ weak secondary. Jones isn’t a flashy pickup that will make heads turn but he could be the difference in champion or runner-up.
Benjamin Watson, TE, Baltimore Ravens
Benjamin Watson has stepped into the Ravens starting tight end role, which Dennis Pitta left vacant with an injury in the offseason. Watson has become a go-to target for Joe Flacco these past few weeks, as he led the Ravens with 10 targets in their 23-20 loss against the Titans. He has been an even more consistent fantasy option this year with only two games with fewer than 8.5 fantasy points. The Ravens have a bye next week; however, Watson has a chance to put up monster numbers the following one against an abysmal Packers’ secondary who Stafford carved up for 361 yards and two touchdowns. Go scoop up Watson now as a stash pickup for the start in two weeks against the Packers.
Mark Ingram, RB, New Orleans Saints
Mark Ingram is coming off his first 1,000-plus yard rushing year in the 2016-17 season, however, owners shouldn’t expect him to repeat this season. Ingram, after many years sharing the backfield with Pierre Thomas, finally took sole helm of the Saints’ backfield in the 2015-16 season, but his run as the only back may be done with the emergence of rookie Alvin Kamara. His carries have been decreasing weekly as well as his rushing yards, while Kamara’s role in the offense has been steadily increasing since the Saints’ bye week. Ingram is still a top tier back, but with Kamara’s ability in the passing game, Ingram will continue to see his usage dip. Therefore, sell Ingram high as he continues to produce at a strong rate.
Will Fuller V, WR, Houston Texans
Will Fuller V and the Texans’ offense felt the effects of the loss of quarterback Deshaun Watson, who tore his ACL in practice this past week. The Texans lost to the Indianapolis Colts 20-14, where they scored once on offense, which before the score was utterly useless. In Fuller’s case, he could haul in only two of his eight targets, as his production was nullified because of his inability to make the most of his targets and the Texans’ inability to find the end zone. He will continue to struggle with Tom Savage at the helm as he is now clearly playing second fiddle to DeAndre Hopkins, as Hopkins doubled Fuller’s targets. Sell Fuller high now as he still holds some fantasy value.
Jordy Nelson, WR, Green Bay Packers
Jordy Nelson has been the epitome of consistency, as he has been Aaron Rodgers go-to receiver for the past few years. However, with Rodgers injury, Nelson has seen his targets and production drop drastically. Nelson started the year strong with three 20-plus point fantasy performances in the first four weeks, but he hasn’t surpassed 50 yards or eight points since Rodgers injury in Week 6 against the Vikings. Nelson has also seen his status as the go-to target disappear as fellow receiver Davante Adams has become quarterback Brett Hundley’s clear No. 1 target. Therefore, sell Nelson high while you still have a chance and pick up a wide receiver from a more reliable offense.