By: Dominick Petrillo
Lou likes to say active teams win leagues. This is never truer than during the playoffs.
Injuries happen all season. We can recover. During playoff time, when it is one and done, it is even more important to get out on waivers and pick the right players to plugin.
With this said, let us look at some players who might help you this week during the most beautiful time of the year. No, not holiday time, playoff time.
Jalen Hurts |QB| Philadelphia Eagles | 17% rostered – Wanting to see what he could do, many people waited to see how he performed against the Saints. The signs were encouraging.
Against a team who had not let a player gain 100 yards on the ground in 54 games, Hurts became the second player in this game to do so behind Miles Sanders. Unlike Sanders, Hurts did not use an 82-yard run to buoy his stats. Instead, he ran the ball 18 times for 106 yards. We expected to see him run a bit, and he did. He out Taysomed Taysom Hill.
In the passing game, it was a bit slower going. He only had 167 yards in the game. He did manage to find Alshon Jeffrey for a TD, though. Which surprised both Alshon Jeffrey and us. Dallas Goedert got fair usage as well, and he was able to connect with Jalen Reagor on two passes of over 20 yards. Something Carson Wentz had been unable to do to this point.
His rush threat really helped keep the Saints from being able to all outrush. The same will be said this week against the Arizona Cardinals. A team that has not been great on defense despite only allowing seven points to the Giants on Sunday.
This will be another game of two exciting quarterbacks. Both can run, and both can throw the ball when called upon to do so. If you were counting on Drew Brees to come back this week, or if you are at all nervous about your QB situation, Hurts will be a good option and needs to be picked up.
Cordarrelle Patterson |RB/WR| Chicago Bears | 11% Rostered – You can tell by the player I choose that there is not many RB available at this point. So why Patterson?
Well, he is on a team still fighting for a playoff spot for one. The most significant factor is his dual ability—both as a pass catcher and runner. If you get points for special teams, he has already taken a punt back this season. So, there is that.
Although he only has two games this season in which he has double-digit touches, he is a dangerous player none the less. He has the speed and skill to take any rush or catch to the house. And if you are this far down in a heap, one play is what you are hoping for.
Although not a confident play by any means, if you are down in your game and need a hail Mary at the flex position, he could get you 20 points. He could also get you zero. This is precisely why he is on waivers in most leagues.
Chad Hansen |WR| Houston Texans | 2% rostered – In the Texans’ first game without Will Fuller, Chad Hansen put up 101 receiving yards against the Indianapolis Colts. Last week, in a tougher matchup, he still got 56 yards on seven receptions. This, even though Houston was blown out by Chicago and only managed to score seven points. With Randall Cobb injured and Will Fuller suspended for the rest of the season, Hansen will be counted on to step up.
Brandin Cooks also missed this past week with neck and leg injuries. If he misses again, Hansen could do even better this time around against the Colts. Keke Coutee had a TD against Chicago, but he is not a number one receiver. With Fuller and Cooks out, Houston does not have a number one to help DeShawn Watson in the passing game. They will be piecing together a lineup for the rest of the season. Hansen will be a huge piece of this puzzle.
At this point, the only thing Houston is playing for is pride. If we know anything about Texas, they like pride. They are not going to roll over for their opponents. They are just that bad in 2020. Playing from behind, they will be forced to chuck the ball up a lot. Hansen has found a connection with Watson, and they will try to exploit it. So, make sure to get him on your roster. Especially if you are counting on a player like Dionte Johnson, who may be benched at any moment.
Cole Kmet |TE| Chicago Bears | 6% Rostered – To be fair, this is the TE position. So do not expect to get massive numbers from the position. If you do, you are extremely lucky. Kmet has taken over as the number one TE in Chicago. Jimmy Graham is washed despite the TD against Houston, and even Matt Nagy finally sees it. After having 14 targets total in the first 11 games of the season, Kmet has had seven in each of the past two weeks.
Two weeks ago, Kmet came down with five catches for 36 yards and one TD. This past week, he had four receptions for 41 yards. These numbers again are not great. No one other than Travis Kelce and Darren Waller have been great this season at the position. So, you need to take what you can get. A divisional matchup this week against Minnesota brings another matchup in which Kmet could perform well.
The Vikings are coming off an ugly loss last week against the Buccaneers, which hindered their playoff chances greatly. One of the teams they are in a dog fight with for that final spot? The Bears. Not only is this a divisional game. It is a game in which both teams will want to win. Expect a lot of running and short passes in this game. When it comes to those short passes, Cole Kmet is going to be targeted heavily. Double-digit targets are ahead for him this week, and this can easily lead to a TD as well. So, if you are struggling with the TE position, make a play for Kmet. He may just get you to the promised land—a top 10 play.