QB Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns:
Don’t get whiplash from what I’m about to say, but Baker Mayfield is on the rise. Back to back games with two touchdowns, the first time he’s done that all season and now he has nothing but cupcake match-up the next five weeks starting in Week 12 against the Dolphins, another game against the Steelers, then in the fantasy playoffs he takes on the Bengals and Cardinals in Weeks 14 and 15. Baker could be going from a draft bust to a league winner in a matter of a few games.
RB Phillip Lindsay, Denver Broncos
The Denver Broncos have the easiest schedule for running backs in Weeks 14 to 16. That’s great news for anyone with Phillip Lindsay since the Broncos say they are going to start featuring him more than Royce Freeman. It is about time considering Lindsay averages a full yard more than Freeman on a per-carry basis.
WR D.J. Chark, Jacksonville Jaguars
With match-ups against the Buccaneers, Raiders, and Falcons Weeks 13-16, the Jaguars second-year playmaker has an excellent strength of schedule when it matters most, the PLAYOFFS! Chark now sits at No. 14 on the Rest of the Way Rankings over at FFChamps.com, his highest mark of the season. With Nick Foles back under center for the Jags, Chark saw 15 targets, which translated into eight catches for 104 yards and two touchdowns. While I certainly don’t expect that level of production every week, I do think he can be a borderline WR1 or very high-end WR2 going forward.
TE Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles
After putting Ertz on the stock down list in Week 8, he’s come on very strong the last two weeks with back-to-back games of 11 targets and nine catches. Add in 197 yards and a score over his previous two games, and it seems Ertz is taking advantage of the Carson Wentz’s lack of playmakers…about time!!!
QB Tom Brady, New England Patriots
It’s crucial to understand the difference between reality and Fantasy. In reality, Tom Brady is one of, if not the best QB of all time. But in Fantasy, he hasn’t been good for several seasons. Brady hasn’t hit the 300-yard mark since Week 6 and has just four touchdowns in his last five games. With the amount of success the Pats defense is having, it makes sense for the Patriots to use Brady as more of a game-manager, instead of a gunslinger. There’s nothing wrong with the approach when it comes to winning Super Bowls, but for our purpose, it’s terrible.
RB Carlos Hyde, Houston Texans
Hyde being on this list has nothing to do with his performance. He’s been playing well. But the problem is his schedule for the fantasy playoffs is brutal. It’s among the five hardest schedules for any rusher with games against the Patriots, Broncos, Titans, and Bucs upcoming. All those defenses rank in the top 10 vs. the run.
WR Kenny Golladay, Detroit Lions
I loved Kenny Golladay for the first two months of the season, but I’ve fallen out of love faster than a female praying mantis. That’s because Golladay no longer has Matthew Stafford delivering him the rock. Instead, it’s Jeff Driskel, which is abysmal for anyone with Golladay on their squad. The Lions receiver has just four catches since Driskel took over under center.
TE Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys
Perhaps it’s a reflection of the awful state of tight ends in the NFL, but somehow, someway, Jason Witten is owned in 53% of fantasy leagues. He’s a complete waste of a roster spot. The Cowboys veteran hasn’t scored since Week 2, and he’s topped 50 yards just twice in his last six outings. Time for fantasy managers to drop Witten and for Witten to head back to doing something other than football and hopefully something different than going into a broadcast booth.