The most important thing we learned in Week 11's slate of games - Redskins running back Robert Kelley is here to help you win your league.
Kelley destroyed the Packers and as well as most fantasy teams he went up against Sunday. Owners can say goodnight Matt Jones, this Tulane rookie is not leaving Washington's starting lineup. While Jones continues to be a healthy lineup scratch, Kelley continues to impress, with Sunday being his third start in a row and third impressive performance.
And as if we needed any more proof that drafts are merely a quarter of what makes a good fantasy team (the other three parts are waivers, waivers, waivers), Kelley joins Jay Ajayi, Davante Adams and a host of other mid- to late season fantasy studs that can swing fantasy fortunes.
Here's the upshot on Kelley and why he will be a strong start no matter who the Redskins are playing - look who he's had good games against already. The Packers defense is a mess and all but gave up late in the fourth quarter, but it is ranked 4th against the run - even after Kelley's 137 yard, three touchdown game. Most impressive, is he totaled 97 last week against a pretty good defense in the Vikings (ranked 13th) and in his first start had 87 yards and a TD against the Bengals.
The rest of the schedule is pretty tough with Dallas (ranked 3rd) and Arizona (10th) the next two weeks, followed by two good playoff matchups Philadelphia (19th) in Week 14 and Chicago (12th) Week 16. The key for owners will be Week 15 against the second-ranked rush defense of the Panthers. It’s hard to use the term matchup-proof but Kelley's pretty close and should be a fixture in every lineup.
Regrets, I've had a few:
In one of the 10-team standard scoring leagues I play in, Kelley is the one that got away. That league allows for one transaction a week and had a fixed position limit of 4. It is also the where I passed up Kelley for Thomas Rawls. And the team that beat me used Kelly. Ouch. And on that same team I lost AJ Green. Open oven, insert head.
Green with(out) envy:
Let's pour one out for AJ Green. Ian Rappaport broke word that Green's hamstring injury is a tear and he'll be out for likely the rest of the season. Although his touchdown total was a bit low with four this year, in yardage he was pulling his weight averaging 107 yards It was a costly loss for the Bengals which also lost Giovanni Bernard as well due to an ACL and pretty much closes the book on the Cincinnati post season hopes. Eifert goes to the top of the list of passing targets, while Brandon LaFell will be tempting, but it’s hard to recommend him as a pickup – I feel like we’ve seen that movie before.
What now: For one, Jeremy Hill owners get to stop looking over their shoulder as his workload will go up (as should his production. But for anyone who owns Green or would like to get a piece of what's left of the Bengals receiving game …
Pick this guy up: Tyler Boyd. He stepped up in Green's absence, catching six passes for 54 yards and a touchdown against the Bills. Remember when the Pittsburgh rookie was everyone's sleeper on draft day? The sad truth was, the targets weren't there for him as Green and Tyler Eifert were the only usable pass catchers for fantasy purposes. Boyd has had moments (including four catches, 79 yards against the Patriots). He tied his season-high with eight targets Sunday and is going to benefit from more passes thrown his way.
Tom Brady: One week after going touchdown pass-less, Brady made up for it with four TDs. Rob Gronkowski was out, but it hardly mattered as the Patriots (sadly) have mastered being a strong offense without him. Brady's passing worked everyone into the mix, even long lost Danny Amendola.
David Johnson: Remember when Terrell Davis took over the reins of the Broncos offense in the late 90s while an aging John Elway faded into sidekick status? Johnson has become the Cardinals offense and Carson Palmer looks more and more like he's along for the ride with a reduced pass attempt offense and the occasional third down scramble/helicopter spin. There is no doubt Johnson is a top-three pick next year.
Thomas Rawls: Just for finishing his first game healthy with 88 total yards as the last healthy Seahawks running back left standing. CJ Prosise was injured after a 72-yard TD run, and Rawls filled the void. He looks to benefit the most from Prosise's shoulder injury with the NFL Network reported might sideline him about eight weeks. Rawls also spoke for fantasy owners everywhere when he told reporters "My leg is fine, don't bring it up."
Russell Wilson and The 'Hawks passing game: The Seahawks offense isn't quite where it should be, but Sunday gave us further evidence it is rounding into shape and none too soon. Wilson had his third productive game in a row and Baldwin's resurgence is a direct beneficiary of that - but seeing a scoring pass thrown in a play from opposite day with the QB catching it, was a nice touch. Strangely, Jimmy Graham has been the one Seahawk whose been productive (even when Wilson was struggling) and has stayed that way.
Dak Prescott: We talk so much about Ezekiel Elliott (and rightfully so) that Prescott has seemed to prove the impossible true - being that you CAN start at QB for the Cowboys and fly under the radar Prescott has been an every week start and showed again why he may as well be considered a vet at this point. He's an every week start and paying big dividends especially to frustrated QB owners of disappointing guys like Palmer, Blake Bortles, etc.
Todd Gurley: Nice to see he's still alive and kicking. It's been a frustrating year for Gurley who has been pulled down by circumstances. Better days are ahead.
Philly ground & pound:
Wendell Smallwood looks like the last survivor of the Eagles backfield - at least for a little while. Both Ryan Mathews and Darren Sproles were injured leaving the West Virginia rookie the No. 1 back. Maybe karmic justice for Doug Pederson and his RB roulette?
Pick this guy up II: Smallwood. Sure there's still Kenjuan Barner lurking, but at least there's only one other object of affection for Pederson to crush on. Watch the injury status of Sproles and Mathews, but in the meantime Smallwood could come in handy.
WATCH: A special edition of The Sports Works Fantasy Lounge is Tuesday Nov. 21 on the FOX 2 Facebook page.
About the Author:
David Komer is a web producer/multimedia journalist for FOX 2. He is a former fantasy sports columnist for SportsIllustrated.com where he wrote for three years and he has won more than 20 Michigan Press Association awards in news and sports coverage in his career.