Last week’s fantasy surprises had a few bright spots as JuJu Smith-Schuster had a nice performance and Duke Johnson was a big contributor in both the run and passing game. We’ve now reached the time of year which is always a fun one for fantasy owners: finding the player who can single handily swing your league. Players like David Johnson have done this in recent years, and whether it’s a running back that is filling in for an injury, or a wideout who suddenly starts seeing more targets they are the players who end up being huge parts of your late season success.
QB: Jay Cutler vs Buccaneers: This game could be tough to watch, but in recent weeks Cutler has been asked to throw often, and the Buccaneers secondary has been reeling in recent weeks. The weapons are there, so for those daily fantasy players Cutler might be a decent tournament option for those in need of a quarterback. Expect around 250 yards and two touchdowns.
RB: Rex Burkhead vs Raiders: The Patriots backfield is a tricky one for fantasy players, but Burkhead is someone who would qualify as a late season performer who helps you win your league. He’s probably the best all-around back the Patriots have to offer, and due to injuries that cost him most of the year, he might be available in your league. This week he gets a Raider defense that is generous to pass catching backs and isn’t exactly a brick wall against the run either. If Burkhead manages to see 15 or so touches, the return would likely be very promising. Expect around 70 total yards and a touchdown.
WR: Sterling Shepard vs Chiefs: Shepard is yet another player who could come through for fantasy owners in this part of the season. Since returning from injury, Shepard has been targeted frequently and is the primary receiver for the Giants at the moment. Other than the corners lined across from Marcus Peters, receivers have had success against the Chiefs. Assuming Shepard is strategically kept away, a big game could be in store. Expect around 80 yards and a touchdown.
TE: Marcedes Lewis vs Browns: Looks in the Jaguar passing game aren’t a certainty but if Lewis gets them, the matchup is there to take advantage of. The Browns have struggled covering the position all season and if you need to pick an option up off waivers, Lewis is one worth a look. Expect around 40 yards and a touchdown.
K: Brandon McManus vs Bengals: The Broncos have had some moments moving the ball with Brock Osweiler at quarterback, but that hasn’t consistently turned into touchdowns. McManus will likely have at least a few field goal chances which all will be coming at the elevated altitude to boot. Expect around three field goals and two extra points.
DEF: Cardinals vs Texans: The Cardinals defense didn’t let me down a few weeks ago here, so I’ll stick with them as they face off against Tom Savage. Heck, with Blaine Gabbert now starting either defense in this one would be a serviceable waiver wire option. Assuming the Cardinals can generate pressure, they figure to deliver. Expect around three sacks, an interception and a fumble recovery.