Josh Brickner helps the Standard League owners with his look at their Consistency and who can save you this week. Follow him on Twitter @joshbrickner.
When in a head-to-head fantasy football league, you want players on your team who are consistent fantasy performers from week to week. Here at Big Guy Fantasy Sports, consistency is our business. If you’re unfamiliar with the Consistency Rankings and Clutch Reports at BGFS, I recommend you take a look. Basically, a player is consistent (earns a Clutch Game) when he meets or exceeds your league’s average for points scored in a given week. A player’s Clutch Rating (CR) is based on the percentage of games he earned a Clutch Game (CG) against the number of games played.
It was African American activist Bertha Calloway who said, “We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails.” I’m not sure there’s a more apropos comparison for the state some fantasy owners find themselves in during this stretch run. While we all dream of a starting lineup consisting of Mahomes, Barkley, Gurley, Davante Adams, Thielen, and Kelce; that’s not quite realistic (if your lineup is close to this please send a screenshot to me on Twitter). It’s much more likely you’re going into this playoff push without a significant contributor to your squad.
If James Conner (check), Kareem Hunt (check again), Melvin Gordon, Odell Beckham Jr., or Emmanuel Sanders helped you reached the playoffs in your standard leagues, then have no fear as I’m here to help.
There’s plenty of fake footballers who are in need of some reinforcements for these crucial last three weeks. Enter the below list of players. Now let me be perfectly clear about one thing, I am NOT advocating starting anyone mentioned in this article over any reliable, consistent fantasy contributor or a stud player who has had a few down weeks. This is a great way to end your season prematurely and be faced with nine months of stinging regret. These players are only to be used in case of emergency as most have more than questionable consistency.
Kenneth Dixon, RB, BAL
Kenneth Dixon is akin to the Bigfoot of the fantasy community. Few claim to have seen his potential to be a starting caliber back, while the rest of us just humor them and snicker behind their backs. (Yes, any television show which devotes it’s entire running time to finding this MYTHICAL [read: NOT. REAL.] creature deserves to be mocked.) Well, Dixon truthers unite! The Sasquatch might finally be emerging from his hiding spot in the deep, dark forest of Injured Reserve.
In his second game back from injury on Sunday, the LA Tech product played 32.4% of the offensive snaps, ran for 59 yards and a score on eight carries, caught his only target for 21 yards, and a Clutch Game. Additionally, rookie running back Gus Edwards has seen both his number of carries (23, 21, 16) and yardage totals (118, 82, 67) decline the past three weeks. Dixon also looks to be the more efficient goalline back as he’s found paydirt on both of his chances inside the ten this season while Edwards was stuffed on three opportunities.
John Harbaugh has said he could see a larger role for his oft-injured back, but I’m not banking my trip to the Finals on frivolous coachspeak. Plus, Ty Montgomery has still received 11 touches the past two games (6 receptions, 5 rushes) making this three-headed monster of a running back committee far from a safe play. Yet, you could do worse for a Flex play than a back likely to see both goalline touches and targets against a Tampa Bay defense that has been generous to opposing fantasy running backs the last four weeks (third most points allowed).
Elijah McGuire, RB NYJ
Isaiah Crowell has already been ruled out for the Jets, meaning Elijah McGuire is in for a hefty workload in a Saturday late afternoon tilt against the Texans. The LA Lafayette alum had a productive day against the Bills once The Crow exited playing 75% of the snaps, receiving 20 touches (17 carries, three receptions), and having 83 (63 rushing, 23 receiving) all-purpose yards. More importantly, McGuire received four touches inside the ten yard line converting one for a touchdown.
This play is not without a degree of danger as the Jets rank 30th in the league in total offense and 21st in rushing yards per game. Yet, not only was McGuire absent for the first eight games of the season, but a starving man/woman can’t complain about the quality of the food. If you are in a tough spot you could do much worse than a running back who will received 15-20 touches.
Darren Sproles, RB PHI
Of all of these life raft plays, Darren Sproles is the most likely to spring a leak and leave you to drown in the middle of the ocean. In simplest terms (like Josh Allen last week), this play will take an owner with a strong constitution and no digestive troubles.
Sproles led all Eagles’ running backs in snaps with 23 (44%) in week 14 against Dallas producing two yards on his only carry while catching all three of his targets for 34 yards scoring the game-tying touchdown. The thirteen year veteran is the team’s obvious choice for a satellite back as he was the only Philly running back to receive a target in the overtime affair. Plus, running back Corey Clement was placed on IR this week, meaning Sproles will likely get more work on the ground as well.
Yes, I understand you are in a non-PPR league and don’t get points for receptions. Yet, the potential for a plethora of receiving yards for the speedster exists. The Eagles are likely to play from behind and/or need to throw early and often to matchup with the Rams’ potent offense in a projected high scoring (O/U: 53.5) Sunday night affair in the City of Angels. Again, counting on garbage time production from a player on a team that shuttles in three running backs per game is as risky as it gets. Unfortunately, in this unforgiving fantasy landscape of injuries and suspensions, beggars can't be choosers.
Robert Foster, BUF WR
In just his last four games, rookie Robert Foster has almost doubled his receiving yards (330-174) and equaled the touchdowns (1) from his senior season at the professional football factory known as the University of Alabama. Foster has played 62.4% of the offensive snaps and is second on the team in targets (18) over the same span. More importantly, he’s hit the Clutch Factor in three of four (75% CR) contests.
In week 14, the Bama product had his most complete game catching seven of eight targets for 104 yards (showing he’s more than just a deep-threat) while participating in nearly all (96%) of the offensive snaps. As with all of these plays, there’s a high degree of danger involved. The Josh Allen bubble could burst at any minute and/or the Bills might stick to the ground game in what projects (O/U: 38) to be a disgusting game for offense. Still, Foster has emerged as a top weapon in the Buffalo passing game and could be a week-winning play should he catch a few deep touchdowns from his big-armed quarterback.
Disagree with any of my assessments? Have a tough lineup decision? Reach out to me on Twitter and we can figure it out together.