Each week, we highlight six recommended fantasy pickups plus a team defense available in over 50 percent of Yahoo leagues. If you have roster needs, we've got fixes.
Bo Scarbrough, Detroit Lions (0% rostered)
Welp, everything we thought we knew about Detroit's run game was wrong. Scarbrough was promoted from the Lions' practice squad on Saturday, then he worked ahead of Ty Johnson and J.D. McKissic on Sunday. Can't say we saw that coming. The former Alabama star carried 14 times for 55 yards against Dallas, with a 5-yard score included:
— Detroit Lions (@Lions) November 17, 2019
At 6-foot-1 and 235 pounds, he's a punisher who should continue to have a goal-line role for Detroit. Durability has been an issue for Scarbrough, but he's a powerful runner with excellent top-end speed. He played 32 of the team's 65 offensive snaps on Sunday, well ahead of Johnson (19) and McKissic (15). Scarbrough didn't see a target in the passing game, we should note, so he loses some appeal in PPR formats.
FAAB bid: $22 of a $100 budget
Jonathan Williams, Indianapolis Colts (0%)
Marlon Mack was having himself a quality day against Jacksonville, rushing for 109 yards and one score on 14 carries. But a fractured right hand ended his afternoon and threatens his season (or at least the next few weeks). Playing in relief of Mack, journeyman back Jonathan Williams was an absolute terror. He gained 147 yards on 14 touches, feasting against a user-friendly Jaguars run D.
Here's a sample of Williams' work:
— Indianapolis Colts (@Colts) November 17, 2019
Williams entered the day with 95 career rushing yards and exited with 211. He's a back with full-workload size (6-foot, 217) and he's now running behind a respectable O-line. Williams was a semi-buzzy camp and preseason player a few years ago, in 2017, and he's once again in our fantasy plans. He was also a monster in his collegiate years at Arkansas, averaging 5.7 YPC over three seasons and impressing against the toughest Ds in the SEC.
Jordan Wilkins would have served as Mack's understudy in Week 11, but he was inactive, dealing with an ankle issue. Wilkins returned to a limited practice on Tuesday, so he clearly has a good shot to play against Houston on Thursday night. Still, it's hard to imagine Williams sliding into a cameo role following Sunday's binge. The Texans have allowed the most receptions to opposing running backs so far this season (76), so it’s entirely possible that Nyheim Hines will have the best PPR performance in this backfield.
FAAB bid: $14
Additional RBs worth adding: Jordan Wilkins (if he can make it back for TNF — and there's a good chance it happens — then he'll clearly have a rotational role), Nyheim Hines (again, in PPR, he's arguably the most interesting Colts RB on the wire), Derrius Guice (hey, he played a game without getting re-reinjured, plus he visited the end-zone), Darrel Williams (next man up, along with Shady, after Damien Williams was injured on MNF), Trey Edmunds (because James Conner was reinjured and Jaylen Samuels won’t see every touch), Gus Edwards (shoutout to the dude on Twitter who keeps telling me I only promote Gus after he scores touchdowns; I swear he's in the column every week as a premium handcuff), Rashaad Penny (another backup to target during 'cuffing season), Alexander Mattison (and still another notable handcuff; the Vikes are headed to a bye, so he's likely to be dropped in a few thousand leagues), Tony Pollard (he could be a league-winner if Zeke were to go down), Wayne Gallman (because Saquon did not appear close to 100%, pre-bye).
Nick Foles, Jacksonville Jaguars (30%)
Foles couldn't get the win in his return to action for Jacksonville on Sunday, but the box-score numbers weren't too shabby: 33-for-47 (70.2 cmp%), 296 yards, 2 TDs, INT. If for some reason you were concerned about Foles' chemistry with breakout star D.J. Chark, here's a look at the receiver's second score on Sunday:
— #DUUUVAL (@Jaguars) November 17, 2019
We aren't gonna try to convince you that Foles is some upper-tier passer, but he's proven that he can take advantage of favorable matchups — and wow does Jacksonville's schedule get friendly in the weeks ahead. Here's a look at his next five games, through Week 16, with the opponent's rank in pass defense DVOA:
Week 12 - at Ten (22)
Week 13 - TB (27)
Week 14 - LAC (21)
Week 15 - at Oak (29)
Week 16 - at Atl (31)
You won't find a more appealing set of matchups on the wire. If you have a need at QB, Foles should be a priority.
FAAB bid: $9
Jacoby Brissett, Indianapolis Colts (38%)
Brissett returned from his knee injury to a run-heavy game-plan, but he nonetheless delivered a two-touchdown performance (one rush, one pass) in the win against Jacksonville. T.Y. Hilton should be returning soon from injury, at which point it will be reasonable to expect a few more multi-TD efforts from Indy's QB. The Colts' next three games are plenty friendly for fantasy purposes (at Hou, Ten, at TB), so Brissett definitely has deep-league appeal.
FAAB bid: $7
Other QBs to consider: Ryan Tannehill (back from the bye, with quality matchups ahead: JAC, at Ind, at Oak), Sam Darnold (he just demonstrated that he can deliver in a friendly spot, and his upcoming games are layups: Oak, at Cin, Mia).
Wide receivers and tight ends
Darius Slayton, New York Giants (25%)
The only reason Slayton wasn't mass-added last week is that New York was headed into a bye. We still mentioned him in this space, because he'd just roasted the Jets in a 10-catch, 121-yard-2-TD performance. He demonstrated against Gang Green that he's much more than simply a big-play specialist. Slayton may not see another double-digit target game for the remainder of the season, not if Sterling Shepard and/or Evan Engram return soon. He's earned plenty of playing time, however, emerging as a circle-of-trust receiver for Daniel Jones. Slayton was a prep track star in Georgia back in the day, and his speed has clearly translated to game action.
FAAB bid: $7
Jacob Hollister, Seattle Seahawks (27%)
It's tempting to say that all he does is catch touchdowns...
— Seattle Seahawks (@Seahawks) November 4, 2019
...because he's snagged three in Seattle's last two games. But Hollister has drawn 16 targets from Russell Wilson over his previous two, catching 12 balls for 99 yards. He isn't merely some TD-reliant fantasy asset. Tight end has been a minefield of a position this season, and Hollister is seeing decent target volume from the guy who leads the NFL in TD passes. Consider him a top-8 fantasy TE, rest of season.
FAAB bid: $12
Various other WR/TE options: Randall Cobb (back-to-back 100-yard games, plus he's tied to a QB who's playing at an MVP level), James Washington (the Steelers are running low on healthy receivers and Cincinnati’s defense is on deck), Chris Conley (he saw eight targets on Sunday, hauling in six for 58 yards), Allen Lazard (coming off a bye, appears to have emerged as the No. 2 receiver for Green Bay), Tim Patrick (returned to action, seeing eight targets and catching four for 77 yards), Dallas Goedert (he has three TD receptions in his last four games and Philly is lacking competent receivers), Irv Smith Jr. (he's averaging four catches per game over his last five and just made his first pro house call), Cameron Brate (erupted for 10 receptions on 14 targets on Sunday, while O.J. Howard face-planted), Ryan Griffin (he's up to four TD receptions on the season, with three friendly matchups ahead).
Atlanta Falcons (2%)
Obviously this defense has been dreadful for most of the season. No argument there. But Atlanta's defense has been excellent following the team's Week 9 bye, winning back-to-back divisional road games while producing 11 sacks and four picks. The team has shuffled up some coaching resources, and the results have been promising. This week, Atlanta is hosting Jameis Winston and the Bucs, so takeaways should be plentiful. The Falcons are only $11 in Yahoo’s daily game, so this group is a good bet to return a profit.
FAAB bid: $2
Other streamable D/STs: Philadelphia Eagles (this week's matchup against Seattle is rough, but after that it's Miami, the Giants and Washington), New York Jets (defense hasn't been this team's biggest problem; add 'em ahead of Week 13-14 matchups against Cincinnati and Miami), Denver Broncos (yeah, this D let a game slip away in Week 11, but they managed five sacks and two turnovers — also, Josh Allen awaits).