Whats up FANation?! Welcome to another edition of the Fantasy Football Stock Watch. Week 12 is in the books and we have had some interesting developments lately to take note of. Feel to shoot me feedback or anything else in the live chats or on Twitter @JustinVreeland. Without further adieu, let’s dive in!
Baker Mayfield , QB CLE – Everyone was done with Mayfield. "He's trash. I am cutting him. Time to replace him with literally anyone." Those are a few statements you have seen. To be fair, the struggle was real, but he has found his groove now and is someone you want to lock into your lineup. He had just one 20 point fantasy performance through Week 10, but he now has back-to-back games in the 20's, including this week's season high total of 24.58 points. A matchup with the Dolphins didn't hurt, but he has good matchups over the next three weeks as well. He will face a Steeler team that he scored nearly 22 fantasy points against and then the Bengals and Cardinals after that. He can be viewed as a top-10 option at the position for that span of games.
Anthony Miller , WR CHI – Miller had exactly zero games with double-digit fantasy points through 10 weeks and he had just one game with over seven targets in that span. Now, in the last two games, he has back-to-back games with at least 11 fantasy points and he has totaled 20 targets in that span (he had 30 targets through ten weeks). He appears to be Trubisky's second option in the offense (behind A-Rob) now, which isn't saying a whole lot in this offense, but it's an improvement. He is still searching for his first touchdown of the season, and fantasy owners would still be taking a risk using him in their seasonal lineups. However, he is showing enough to warrant a spot on your bench and a look in DFS. He has a nice matchup with the Lions on Thanksgiving Day and could be the Bears leading receiver if Allen Robinson has to deal with Slay in coverage all afternoon.
Jonathan Williams , RB IND – I'll admit, I didn't jump on the Williams bandwagon after his strong game in Week 11, but he followed it up with an even bigger game in Week 12 and we have to take it seriously (at least while Mack is out). He finished with 26 carries for 104 yards and a touchdown in the Colts 20-17 loss to the Texans. I am shocked that he racked up that many touches, but it's clear that he is the Mack replacement. The Colts gave Jordan Wilkins zero touches in this game. Williams doesn't do anything overly well and he is far from a super talent, but you can't ignore the volume. He has a matchup with the Titans in Week 13, who just allowed Leonard Fournette to score 36.9 fantasy points against them (Williams isn't on his level, but it's not a bad sign). You can continue to roll Williams out there while Mack remains on the sidelines.
Jared Cook , TE NO – Cook scored a season-high 21.9 fantasy points in the Saints win over the Panthers, hauling in six-of-eight targets for 99 yards and a touchdown. It was his third straight game with at least 11 fantasy points, a total he only reached twice in the first nine weeks of the season. He has really come on strong lately and the Saints needed a second option behind Michael Thomas and it appears that Cook is just that. He has four touchdowns in the last five games and is locked into a major role right now. He has a matchup with the Falcons in Week 13, who he scored 13.4 points against in Week 10, despite the Saints losing 26-9. You can expect New Orleans to put up more than nine points this time around and Cook should be in for another strong game. He can be used with confidence going forward.
Derek Carr , QB OAK – Carr has struggled to take advantage of strong matchups over the past couple games and it has him nearly off the fantasy radar completely. He had zero touchdowns against the Jets in Week 12, and only managed to score 5.18 fantasy points. He did have nearly 21 points against the Bengals in Week 11, but that was after a 13.12 point performance against the Chargers in Week 10. He has a total of two passing touchdowns in the last three games, giving him 15 for the season. The Jets were able to shutdown Josh Jacobs (they've shutdown backs regularly this year), and Carr was unable to step up against their poor pass defense. A Week 13 matchup with the Chiefs may look appealing for fantasy purposes, but it will likely be Jacobs who bounces back and does all the fantasy scoring for the Raiders.
Emmanuel Sanders , WR SF – Sanders had a very nice three game stretch in which he scored 11, 12.5, and 24.2 fantasy points in weeks 7-9, but he has come crashing down since. Over his last three games, he hasn't had a single game with seven fantasy points and has only totalled 13.2 points in that span. In the 49ers 37-8 win over the Packers in Week 12, Sanders finished with just one catch for 15 yards on only one target. That volume is simply not going to get it done. George Kittle 's return this week took away a lot of the volume for Sanders and he was also outplayed and outscored by Deebo Samuel (who looks like the Niners number one receiver at this point) for the third straight game. His next couple matchups do not look great and it would be risky to use him in any format. He can be left on the bench moving forward.
James White , RB NE – White had at least double-digit fantasy points in all eight games he had played in prior to Week 11, but he now has back-to-back games with fewer than 10 points, including this week's dud 0.90 point game. He finished with two carries for five yards and hauled in one-of-three targets for -6 yards. Ah the joy of a full PPR format, where losing six yards is a net gain of 0.4 points (0.5 PPR formats are best!). The one good thing with White was his consistency, as he completely lacks upside having zero games with 20 points and just one game with over 15, but the consistency seems to have now vanished too. Rex Burkhead has taken on some of the passing work out of the backfield and it's hard to trust White right now in any format.
Darren Waller , TE OAK – Waller's cliff dive continued this week as he finished with just 7.1 fantasy points. He hauled in three-of-six targets for 41 yards. It was his fourth straight game without a touchdown, his fifth straight sub-80 yard game, and he is averaging just three receptions per game over his last five games. He has reached double-digit fantasy points just once in the last five games and hasn't topped 13 points in any of them. This just simply isn't getting it done and you can't really look at him as a "lineup lock" anymore. He is still a talented player, but the Raiders passing attack has really struggled lately and will never be explosive. You can still play him on most occasions, but don't be afraid to consider other options.
Stocks to Watch
Kaden Smith, TE NYG – You may be asking yourself "Who?!" Totally understandable. The rookie tight end had zero fantasy points through nine weeks and just 1.1 points heading into Week 12 against the Bears. However, he managed to haul in five-of-six targets for 17 yards and a touchdown in the Giants loss, and that is enough to keep an eye on him given the tight end landscape. No you don't need to add him or use him in your lineups, but just take note of him and see how he does if Engram is forced to miss further action. The sixth round pick had a productive final season at Stanford last year, hauling in 47 passes for 635 yards and a pair of scores. He doesn't really have any standout qualities, but he does have strong hands and is physical.