With the fantasy football season half over, it is time to start looking for players to help you get to and win in the playoffs. Whether it be a handcuff for your stud running back or an available quarterback with a good upcoming schedule, now is the time to get ahead of the field and grab them. With a Week 9 which has six teams on bye, some of these players may be gone if you wait too long. So, get them now.
Mitchell Trubisky- 67% owned: With as good as Trubisky has been playing he needs to be 100% owned. With games left against the Giants and the Bills and a playoff schedule against the Rams, Packers, and 49ers the schedule sets up good for a great second half for the Bears and Trubisky. With a six touchdown and a three-touchdown game in his last three he is ascending with this offense and with Tarik Cohen and Taylor Gabriel coming into their own he is growing with them. If Trey Burton continues on with his monster Week 7 tear and Jordan Howard and Allen Robinson can get going, the Bears could be a playoff team which will mean they will need to play to the end of the season. Unlike the Giants and Raiders who have already phoned it in.
Joe Flacco– 38% owned: When the season started many people felt Lamar Jackson would be taking over the starting quarterback job in Baltimore soon we either than later. While I was not one of these people, even I did not think he would play to the level he has this season. It is good to see him healthy again. The health of him but also his number one receiver John Brown is a huge factor in why he has been able to be so successful. The Receiving group of Brown, as well as Michael Crabtree and Willie Snead, has been surprisingly potent not to mention a weaker than thought division in which Pittsburgh could have one of the worst defenses in the league and the Bengals while leading the division are still the Bengals. The Ravens seem to be the team to beat in the division and Flacco is a big reason for their resurgence in 2018. Although seen as a running team Flacco has thrown for an average of 295 yards per game and while his 11 touchdowns leaves a little to be desired this number should go up in the second half of the season as his tight ends get healthy and other teams continue to try to stop the rushing duo of Buck Allen and Alex Collins.
Raheem Mostert– 42% owned: Even with a huge week against the Rams Mostert is only 42% owned in Yahoo leagues. With Matt Breida seemingly garnering a season ending injury on a weekly basis only to return, his luck is running a little thin. The next man up, thought to be Alfred Morris is seemingly instead Mostert. In Week 7 against the Rams Mostert ran the ball seven times for 59 yards while also catching all four of his targets for 19 receiving yards. These are not great number or ones which will blow you away, but the Rams rank 23rd in the league in gibing up points to opposing running backs. This week the 49ers play the Cardinals who rank first in this area. The cardinals are a bad rush defense which is going to get exploited by the running back in this game. Moving forward, C.J. Bethard will continue to dump down to his running back as well as his tight end meaning many more chances going forward for Mostert. If he blows up this week it will be to late to grab him next week so now is the time to blow your FAAB money or waiver priority and get him.
Jalen Richard– 50% owned: Marshawn Lynch is officially on IR meaning the first time he can come back is Week 16. At that point in time, you will not want to use a 32-year-old running back in his first game back. Jalen is much younger and at this point a better player. He was already the passing down back and he will be splitting time in the run game with Doug Martin. Yes, I like his chances also. In four of six games this season Richard has at least six receptions and with Derek Carr averaging 300 yards a game while being afraid to throw over five yards down field his receptions will only go up as his snap share in the offense goes up.
Not only is Lynch basically lost for the remainder of 2018 but with Amari Cooper being traded to the Cowboys it will give even more opportunities to Richard to be a running back two for your fantasy team. John Gruden wants to go back to 1970’s football where the running back was king and with the moves, he is making this seems to be coming to fruition so get the lead running back in this throw back offense and ride him to the playoffs.
Christian Kirk– 29% owned: Christian Kirk is going to take over for Larry Fitzgerald in the Cardinals offense. Ok, this was not supposed to happen until next season but with rookie Josh Rosen taking over at quarterback and his rapport built with Kirk working together on the second team in preseason it is happening now. Kirk has had six or more receptions in three straight games and with the injury bug slowing Fitzgerald, Kirk is becoming the receiver Rosen goes to for big plays. While this add will be contingent upon how new offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich handles the offense, Kirk has shown enough in recent weeks where he will not completely fall off the map when it comes to fantasy production. Larry Fitzgerald and David Johnson should have much better performances since the firing of Mike McCoy, thank god, but this will only help Christian Kirk. With defenses finally having to look at Fitzgerald and Johnson again the rookie will start getting less coverage rolled to him and this will open up some big plays for Kirk. The Cardinals are going to be trailing a lot going to the end of the season and they will need to rely on big plays to try to catch up. This is not the role of Fitzgerald any more and with the other receivers in Arizona leaving something to be desired, look for Kirk to take over the role.
Rishard Matthews– 7% owned: We don’t have a lot to go on with Richard Matthews this season as he was cut by the Titans early on and is just now finding a team to take him in the New York Jets. Saying this, who else do the Jets have. With Bilal Powell out for the season with a neck injury, Quincy Enunwa out injured and Terrelle Pryor dropped the last men standing are Robbie Anderson and Jermaine Kearse. Sam Darnold needs receivers to be successful and with the addition of Matthews, he instantly becomes the best receiver on the Jets roster. Isaiah Crowell is having a nice season, but he is not a true pass catching back and Robbie Anderson is more of a one trick pony running deep patterns all game. Matthews should there for thrive in the intermediate game in the absence of Enunwa helping bring back some of the offensive production seen early in the Jets season before the injury bug hit.
While it is probably safer in this case to wait a week and see what happens in his first game against the Bears, the monster bye week in Week 9 again make this speculative add one which needs to be made this week and not next week when he may be either gone or more expensive as more people are going for him.