Kenny Golladay (WR-NYG) - Maybe the firing of Jason Garrett won’t make a difference. Maybe the Giants really didn’t have a plan or know how to use Golladay even though they liked him enough to sign him to a four-year, $72 million deal. His value has bottomed out in fantasy leagues, but he is just too good to stay down for long. Dynasty teams that have suffered this year because of Golladay’s struggles might be out of contention and looking to sell him in a rebuild.
Courtland Sutton (WR-DEN) - Sutton just got a #1 wide receiver contract even though he has been producing like a player we leave on the waiver wire. It’s clear that Teddy Bridgewater isn’t the quarterback for him, but with Sutton, the newly extended Tim Patrick, Jerry Jeudy, a hopefully healed by next season K.J. Hamler, and Noah Fant, they should be able to attract a quarterback (Aaron Rodgers?) that is more suited to Sutton’s special skillset.
Carson Wentz (QB-IND) - The Colts have the look of Titans north, just letting Jonathan Taylor run over opponents, but that could change with a stout run defense coming to town this week when they face the Bucs. Teams are also going to look to load the box and take away Taylor to keep the ball in Wentz hands to give them the best chance to stop the Indianapolis offense. Wentz gets New England, Arizona, and Las Vegas after the Week 14 bye.
Tee Higgins (WR-CIN) - Higgins, like the rest of the Bengals downfield passing game, fell flat in Las Vegas. His highly anticipated second season has been injury-marred and overshadowed by Ja’Marr Chase. The immense talent he displayed in his rookie year hasn’t evaporated, and as Joe Burrow improves, he’ll be able to unlock more of Higgins abilities. Defenses are starting to take away the downfield shot plays to Chase, so Higgins could also benefit from that development.
Kareem Hunt (RB-CLE) - Hunt is coming back just in time for a Browns offense that is down three of their top four wide receivers after releasing the receiver they expected to be their #1. He should be rested and fresher than the defenses that are chasing him and worn down from tackling Nick Chubb and it’s possible that Hunt becomes the most frequent target in the passing game. Hunt had scored and posted at least 86 total yards in three straight games before he went down in Week 6, averaging over 23 PPR points during that span.
Rashod Bateman (WR-BAL) - Bateman is still gaining momentum as the Ravens hopefully have clarity that he should play ahead of Sammy Watkins with Marquise Brown returning to the field this week. Brown’s thigh injury seems to be minor, but it’s not difficult to imagine him wearing down and leaving Bateman as the #1 in the now potent Ravens passing attack, that should be helped by an improved running game with the return of blocking tight end Nick Boyle.
Tony Pollard (RB-DAL) - It just makes sense for the Cowboys to ease up on Ezekiel Elliott as he is playing through a knee injury, and give the ball more to Pollard, who has looked more dangerous with the ball in his hands than his running mate. The team eventually came around to a more even split late last year, and it is in their interest to try to keep Elliott strong and as healthy as possible for playoff football. Pollard could also play a larger role on national television on Thursday with Elliott’s having only three days of rest between games and a mini-bye coming up to help him recharge. Amari Cooper’s absence along with CeeDee Lamb possibly missing this game could also create a larger passing game role for Pollard, so his stock could be about to rise.
Zach Ertz (TE-ARI) - Ertz was outstanding against the Seahawks, leading the team in catches and yards while scoring twice. He converted on two creative playcalls in the red zone, one on a shovel pass and the other on a playaction pass that worked even though Colt McCoy bobbled the snap. This team had trouble finishing drives in the red zone last year. James Conner has helped, but Ertz is being fully integrated into the passing game after being a mid-season acquisition, and he might end up being a top 5 fantasy tight end from here on out. Dynasty teams with Ertz that are out of contention will give him up for a song, maybe even a commercial jingle.
Cam Newton (QB-CAR) - Newton looked as good as ever as a runner and he was accurate, if conservative as a passer. He is familiar with this team, especially his top two targets Christian McCaffrey and D.J. Moore, and he should only get more comfortable with each passing week. He’ll have a bye next week to get fully up to speed. If you are pushing for a title and don’t like your quarterback options, Newton could be the answer.
Ezekiel Elliott (RB-DAL) - Elliott is coming off of a game that was saved by short receptions in PPR leagues, and he has only scored in one in the last five games, with none of those games going over 69 rushing yards or 17 carries. He’s only had 33 carries in the last three games, another sign that he is slowing down after a hot start. Elliott is going to play through the knee injury he suffered in Week 10, but that should only encourage the team to move to a 50-50 split to gain more from Tony Pollard’s burst and creativity and save Elliott for the playoffs. He is probably past his peak for this year.
Mike Evans (WR-TB) - Evans came out of Week 11 banged up with a back issue, and he still has Tre’Davious White, Marshon Lattimore, and Stephon Gilmore left on the schedule on Weeks 14-16. In three of his last five games, Evans has had four or fewer targets and only two catches, but he scored in two of those games, so the potential for bad results has been masked. With Rob Gronkowski back and Antonio Brown soon to follow, those matchup with #1 corners could start a cold streak for Evans in fantasy leagues.