Week 13 of the NFL season was a weird one with some offenses that were rolling coming to a stop and several reliable quarterbacks coming up short. While there were some big-name disappointments, there were also some players who stepped up and came up big. Should these new stars be part of your plans moving forward? Check out this week’s Ride or Fade to find out.
RB Tarik Cohen, CHI at NY, $5,600 — 37.64 DKFPThe Human Joystick lived up to his nickname with massive multi-faceted production as the Bears rallied to force overtime against the Giants. Cohen ran for 30 yards on eight carries, caught 12 passes for 156 yards and threw a huge one-yard touchdown as time expired to to tie the game. He finished with a season-high 37.64 DKFP and now has at least 15 DKFP in seven of his past nine games.
Cohen continues to share time in the backfield with Jordan Howard ($4,000), but finds a way to make an impact for the Bears as a receiver out of the backfield. He has averaged seven catches a week over his past four games and will remain creatively involved in Chicago’s offense as they battle for the NFC North. The Bears host the Rams on Sunday Night Football next week and the Packers in Week 15. Both matchups are favorable ones for Cohen, and he should remain a high-upside play each week, especially when the Bears get Mitchell Trubisky back under center.
WR Dante Pettis, SF at SEA, $3,800 — 32.7 DKFPPettis was having a decent day going into the fourth quarter, but he vaulted to the top of the leaderboard with a 75-yard touchdown pass from Nick Mullens ($4,700). Pettis was the top WR on the main slate with eight points more than any other wideout on the board. Pettis led the 49ers’ WR corps with seven targets and caught five passes for 129 yards and a pair of scores.
It was the second straight big week for Pettis, who had four catches, 77 yards, a touchdown and 17.7 DKFP against the Buccaneers. He’s definitely emerging as a threat for the Niners, but he is still big-play dependent. He has flourished while Pierre Garcon (knee) and Marquise Goodwin (personal) have been out, but he could see fewer targets when those veterans return in the near future. Pettis will have a high ceiling in the coming weeks against the Broncos and Seahawks, but he’ll be a boom-or-bust option with Garcon and Goodwin coming back.
RB Phillip Lindsay, DEN at CIN, $5,400 — 31.9 DKFPLike Cohen, Lindsay is also in a timeshare but proving he can be productive in spite of not playing every snap. Lindsay ran wild over the Bengals in the Broncos’ 24-10 win, finishing with 157 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries while also adding a two-yard catch. He broke off a 65-yard scamper in the third quarter that got him 15.5 DKFP on that play alone and iced the game for Denver, helping them stay in the playoff chase.
The Broncos still gave Royce Freeman ($3,600) 12 carries, but Freeman only had 3.8 DKFP with 48 yards and a fumble. Coach Vance Joseph has said he will go with the “hot hand” approach, but Lindsay is showing he’s the hotter hand most weeks and getting most of the playing time as a result. Lindsay and the Broncos have a favorable remaining slate with the 49ers, Browns and Raiders in the next three weeks. The rookie will look to finish his season strong and should continue to be the focus of the Broncos offense
TE Jared Cook, OAK vs. KC, $4,700 — 26.0 DKFPThe Raiders did all they could to rally back against the Chiefs, and Cook was very involved in the passing game, as he usually is. He was targeted on eight of Derek Carr’s ($5,000) 38 pass attempts and caught one of Carr’s three touchdowns to go along with seven catches for exactly 100 yards. Cook’s touchdown gives him six on the season and one in each of his past three games.
Cook has at least 9.0 DKFP in four straight contests and continues to be targeted often by Oakland when they’re trying to rally from behind. Given how bad their offense is, the Raiders are often playing catch-up which results in plenty of looks for Cook. He has four great matchups left in the season with the Steelers, Bengals and Broncos before finishing with a rematch against the same Chiefs he carved up this week.
WR Zay Jones, BUF at MIA, $3,600 — 24.7 DKFPThe Bills fell short in Miami, but Jones had the second-most DKFP of any WR on the slate with four catches and two touchdowns on his nine targets for 67 yards. He also added a successful two-point conversion to get to 24.7 DKFP. Jones has put together a few good games this season and is the Bills’ top receiver working with rookie QB Josh Allen ($5,300).
Last week, Jones was held without a catch against the Jaguars after scoring 23.3 DKFP against the Jets in Week 10. The Bills offense is tricky to predict, making even their top receiver a very risky play. Jones is trending in the right direction, but he’s too risky to trust on your fantasy roster except as a flier punt play for GPPs.
WR Chris Godwin, TB vs. CAR, $3,900 — 24.1 DKFPAfter catching touchdowns in four of the first five weeks of the season, Godwin had a slow stretch in the middle of the season while Tampa Bay’s offense struggled with inconsistent QB play. With Jameis Winston ($6,000) bringing a little bit of consistency, Godwin emerged with a big game on Sunday as the Bucs knocked off the Panthers. He hauled in five of his six targets for a team-high 101 yards and a touchdown, which came on a leaping play in the back of the end zone.
Godwin got an expanded workload with DeSean Jackson (finger) sidelined, but hopefully coach Dirk Koetter will realize his production and keep him ahead of the inconsistent Jackson even when D-Jax is healthy. Next week, the Bucs host the Saints before visiting the Ravens and Cowboys. I’m a big fan of Godwin and have touted him throughout the season, but I don’t think he’s a solid option with those three tough matchups and a questionable target share.
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