Each week of the NFL campaign, we will sift through the deeper options at each position with an eye toward identifying streaming fantasy commodities with valuable matchups to consider.
Do you need replacement options for injured players? Or are you merely dealing with depth issues? We have some choice names to consider for those seeking widely available options at each position.
All roster percentages are as of Friday morning.
Even as fantasy managers continue to doubt his ascent, it has been two months now that Tannehill has been largely elite behind center for the Titans. Just consider that his 22 fantasy points per game since Week 7 sits second among signal-callers only behind this Lamar Jackson guy. Consider that Tannehill leads the NFL with an absurd 10.2 yards per attempt, which rates roughly 30% better than league average. The Texans just ceded a huge day to Denver's rookie passer, signaling an intriguing spectrum of potential outcomes for Tannehill.
While the Jaguars' offense has sputtered of late and the team could even be without playmaker DJ Chark Jr., it's more influential to me that only the Miami Dolphins are ceding more points per drive to opponents than Oakland. Minshew has struggled when pressured this season, but that issue is largely alleviated facing an Oakland defense yielding the second-most yards per reception to receivers and the second-most yards per dropback to enemy passers.
Sometimes, it's all about the gig. Which is to say, even if Laird isn't a productive early-down running back, his role as the featured tailback out of the Miami backfield has driven respectable results from scrimmage of late. Laird, after all, was fourth among all NFL backs in Week 14 with a presence on 82% of his team's offensive snaps. With a strong share of Ryan Fitzpatrick's targets on passing downs, Laird should enjoy this matchup with a porous Giants front seven allowing nearly 50 receiving yards per game to backfields.
Even if Josh Jacobs returns this week, Washington could present some value in a flex spot for those in deep leagues or with somewhat desperate backfield scenarios. Jacobs' shoulder injury kept him from action this past week and it was Washington who dominated work out of the backfield. In fact, Washington consumed a higher percentage of carries and targets than Jacobs has in any game this season. The explanation would be that the team hasn't yet placed much trust in Jacobs in the receiving phase, while Washington was quite busy with 18 routes and a season-high seven targets in the loss to the Titans in Week 14. If Jacobs is limited or ruled out, Washington ascends to a flex play in nearly all formats, but even as a change-of-pace option, there is some upside present given that the Jaguars have allowed the most yards per carry to backfields by a sizable margin this season.
Would you be interested in a widely available wideout who has averaged 9.3 targets and 78.3 yards per game during the past month? Miller has become an integral and productive part of the Bears' passing scheme since Week 10 and merits more attention ahead of this meeting with a Packers secondary allowing a whopping 16.3 yards per catch to receivers on the season, the most in the league by a lot and well above the league-average clip of 13.2.
The Colts' receiving corps has sent Chester Rogers and Parris Campbell to injured reserve in recent weeks, and T.Y. Hilton appears unlikely to play again this season. This leaves Zach Pascal and Johnson to consume the majority of routes and targets. While the floor is quite low with Johnson, the counter is an impressive playmaking ceiling. He averaged 35 yards per catch to go with a touchdown in last week's battle with the Bucs. The Saints rank in the bottom seven in fantasy points and yards allowed to receivers on the season, setting up Johnson with some real potential in what could be a high-scoring game in the Superdome on Monday night.
Mike Gesicki, Miami Dolphins (27.3% rostered; at Giants)
The Giants were gashed regularly by the Eagles' tight ends in Week 14, while Gesicki is due for a bounce-back outing after an inefficient game against the Jets. The positive spin on Gesicki's quiet Week 14 would be that he was second on the team in routes and third in targets yet was able to haul in only one of his five looks. With the potential to revive his rapport with Fitzpatrick in a soft matchup, Gesicki enters the week with real promise.
Arizona is where tight ends go to have fun. State Farm Stadium in Glendale is essentially an all-inclusive resort for tight ends, as Arizona has allowed an incredible 19.7 fantasy points per game to the position. For some context, league average allowance is 12.1 fantasy points per game ceded to tight ends. With a game under his belt after coming off injured reserve, Njoku enters Week 15 with major upside given this friendly matchup.
Seattle Seahawks (41.3% rostered; at Panthers)
The Seattle defense struggled to contain the Rams' offense in prime time in Week 14, which could lead to fantasy managers dismissing the upside this D/ST brings to the field in Charlotte this week. Kyle Allen has struggled badly of late, regressing after a hot start to rank 26th in passer rating the past month. The Seahawks' D/ST, meanwhile, has produced at least five fantasy points in four straight while averaging a solid 11 fantasy points during this sample.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (14.1% rostered; at Lions)
This past week's shootout with the Colts left the Bucs' defense with just two fantasy points, but this group had compiled 40 fantasy points in the prior two games. With the league's top rush defense, at least five sacks in two of the past three and facing a green signal-caller for Detroit, the Bucs' D could be in for a strong outing.
Individual defensive players
A quiet Week 14 could see Addison ignored this week by many managers, but it's best to appreciate his ability to produce pressure and big plays, evidenced by three multi-sack games and seven games with at least one sack on the year. The Seahawks, meanwhile, have allowed the second-highest pressure rate in the league.
Already up to a career-best 9.5 sacks as an edge menace for the Steelers opposite T.J. Watt, Dupree has four sacks during his past three outings and two forced fumbles during this stretch. Next up is a Bills offense allowing pressure on 32.9% of Josh Allen's dropbacks, the third-highest rate in the NFL./p>
Sticking with this battle of AFC playoff hopefuls, Hyde has amassed 17 tackles and a turnover the past two weeks and should be busy in the box against a conservative Steelers offense that keeps the ball around the line of scrimmage on both rushing and passing plays.