No players are above the $10,000 threshold this week, as Aaron Rodgers takes over the top spot after firing 9 TD passes the past 2 weeks. Some notable players being held out of action from Week 11 injuries include Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandin Cooks. Additionally, Adrian Peterson has been suspended by the NFL and Ben Tate has been cut by the Browns. We will take a closer look at some of these implications below.
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Ryan Mallett, CIN @ HOU, $5,400 – Formerly drafted in out of Arkansas in the 3rd round of the 2011 Draft, Mallett won in his NFL debut, knocking the Browns out of their division lead. An understudy to Tom Brady for 3 years, Mallett exhibited poise in the pocket and impressive arm strength in the victory. Although he benefitted from an exceptional rushing attack all day, he was never sacked, and his most notable mistake was a 1st quarter interception. He celebrated his first TD pass in unique fashion connecting with defensive superstar J.J.Watt. Mallett also seemed to be in good rhythm with top WRs Andre Johnson and DeAndre Hopkins, which bodes well for the future. As our 27th ranked QB at just $400 above the position minimum, he’s an attractive option at home against an inconsistent Bengals team.
Cecil Shorts III, JAX @ IND, $5,400 – Before the Jaguars’ Week 11 bye, Shorts enjoyed his best game of the season with 119 receiving yards. The more significant factor in his $1,500 price jump since Week 10 is the loss of rookie WR Allen Robinson for the season. Robinson had emerged as a major piece of the offense, accounting for 48 grabs on 81 targets before fracturing his foot. Perhaps it’s a bit late to consider Shorts a true value here, but he is a lock to inherit a bulk of these targets if he can stay healthy. He should be heavily involved on Sunday in Indianapolis as most would expect the Jaguars to be rallying from behind. Shorts has clear big play potential and his chemistry with Blake Bortles should only improve moving forward. Priced outside the Top 25 WRs, he has some upside as the most experienced receiver in Jacksonville.
Marques Colston, BAL @ NO, $4,200 – Colston has been out-produced by rookie Brandin Cooks in nearly every statistical category aside from YPC and catches of 20-plus yards. This has reduced Colston to the Saints 3rd option behind Cooks and Jimmy Graham, with Kenny Stills even nipping at his heels. With New Orleans losing Cooks to a broken thumb for at least the next few weeks, they will need Colston to step up in order to make a serious playoff run. Although his numbers are down, he still presents a big body over the middle with strong hands, and should inherit extra targets in the coming weeks. A Monday night matchup at the Superdome could prove to be a great showcase for Colston, who is overdue for a big game. Barely in the Top 50, he is priced identically to Stills, and both should be quality options for Drew Brees this week.
Isaiah Crowell/Terrance West, CLE @ ATL, $3,800/$3,400 – The Browns surprising release of Ben Tate Tuesday opens the door for more touches from their rookie RBs. Although Tate was inked to a 2-year deal in the offseason, he was injured early and seemed to grow frustrated with his role upon returning, likely leading to his dismissal. It’s tough to say who will benefit most from his departure, given that the Browns rely heavily on the hot-hand approach. West received 26 carries in Week 10 followed by 5 last week, while Crowell received 12 and 14, respectively. Crowell seems to have more consistency and explosion, but it is anyone’s guess who will step up at this point. Both should find success against Atlanta’s 24th ranked rush defense, yielding over 122 yards per game. With both priced within $800 of the RB minimum, there is plenty of value here.
Delanie Walker, TEN @ PHI, $3,100 – Walker missed Tennessee’s Monday night matchup with the Steelers, still recovering from a concussion he sustained in Week 10. Despite the missed time, Walker still leads the team in reception yards with 512 thus far. With rookie QB Zach Mettenberger at the helm, he provides a safety blanket over the middle that is often utilized. In terms of targets and catches, he is only 2nd on his team to Kendall Wright in both categories. This puts him on pace to break his career-high 60 receptions last year, and he has a nice matchup against the 28th ranked Eagles pass defense. Walker is our 19th ranked TE this week at just $100 over the position minimum.
5 More to Consider
Eli Manning, DAL @ NYG, $5,800
Fred Jackson, NYJ @ BUF, $5,000
Tre Mason, STL @ SD, $4,200
Terrance Williams, DAL @ NYG, $3,800
Zach Ertz, TEN @ PHI, $3,100
5 Deeper Values to Consider
Shaun Hill, STL @ SD, $5,100
Allen Hurns, JAX @ IND, $3,200
Daniel Herron, JAX @ IND, $3,000
Devonta Freeman, CLE @ ATL, $3,000
Kyle Rudolph, GB @ MIN, $3,000
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