Jonathan Taylor became the first player of the 2021 NFL season to break 50 fantasy points as he had a monster day against Buffalo. The Indianapolis running back accumulated 204 total yards and 5 total touchdowns on the way to 53.4 full PPR fantasy points. Jonathan Taylor is heavily rewarding owners who took the chance on a running back with a “committee.” Jonathan Tayloe is an early candidate for the top overall pick in fantasy football next year. Taylor is dominating the touches in that backfield as he is averaging 29 fantasy points per game over his last 8 contests. With the playoffs just around the corner, Taylor owners are hoping he keeps this up.
The most entertaining game of the week occurred in Los Angeles as the LA Chargers edged out the Pittsburgh Steelers in a 41-37 effort. The Chargers, near the end of the third quarter, held a 27-10 lead. The Steelers followed that up with a 24-7 scoring run to take a 37-34 lead with 3 and a half minutes left. The Chargers got the ball back and wasted no time tying this game up. 1 minute and 30 seconds into LA’s drive, Mike Williams caught a 55-yard bomb from Justin Herbert. Pittsburgh had 1 minute and 15 seconds to find the end zone, and they did the complete opposite. The Steelers lost 22 yards on their final drive, and they turned it over on downs. Justin Herbert kneeled out the game as the Chargers avoided getting destroyed by social media.
Stud of the week: Jonathan Taylor 53.3 points
Dud of the week: Patrick Mahomes 7.5 points
Notable injuries: Justin Fields (ribs), Jordan Howard (knee), Michael Carter (ankle), CeeDee Lamb (concussion)
1. Devonta Freeman RB BAL 33.8% owned
Running backs are becoming more and more scarce as the season rolls on and Devonta Freeman is someone who needs to be on your roster. The Baltimore running back was heavily leaned on in their close victory over the Bears as 22 opportunities came his way. He made the most of all 22 as he totaled 80 yards, a touchdown, and 20 fantasy points. Latavius Murray is being phased out of this offense in favor of a true workhorse running back. Devonta Freeman needs to be owned in more than 65% of leagues as he provides RB2 upside every week and is worth a start at flex.
2. Elijah Moore WR NYJ 40.8% owned
Elijah Moore has appeared on this list multiple times and for good reason. By the time this article is posted this 40.8% ownership will likely skyrocket into the 60s or 70s. Moore was the obvious favorite of Jets quarterback Joe Flacco as he was thrown the ball 11 times. He turned that into 8 receptions for 141 yards and a touchdown. Elijah Moore could have a Justin-Jefferson-like breakout as he is clearly the best receiver in this offense. His league-winning potential is a reason to roster him in every league in every format. Pick up Elijah Moore and he could start right away for any team looking to make a playoff push.
3. Ty Johnson RB NYJ 18.8% owned
This pick is directly related to the news of Michael Carter being out 2-3 weeks. Ty Johnson has emerged as the RB2 behind Michael Carter and will get the largest workload on this roster. While Tevin Coleman will make this a bit of a timeshare, I don’t see this backfield going any less than 60-40 in Johnson’s direction. Game-script will not matter as an average of 9.2 times per game are thrown to New York running backs. Take advantage of Ty Johnson’s soft schedule against the Texans and Eagles as he has RB2 upside with a flex floor over the next two weeks.
4. Marquez Valdes-Scantling WR GB 3.2% owned
Marquez Valdes-Scantling was the direct benefactor of Allen Lazard’s injury. The Green Bay receiver had 10 targets against the Minnesota Vikings. He was not incredibly efficient as he only caught 4 passes, but he continued to be the deep-ball specialist as he finished with 121 yards and a touchdown. The 10 targets are a fantastic sign as he will continue to get peppered with targets until Allen Lazard comes back. If Allen Lazard is still out this week, MVS is a sneaky flex as the Rams will give a lot of attention to Davante Adams on the other side of the field.
Cedrick Wilson WR DAL 1.6% owned
This is a temporary deep add as both CeeDee Lamb and Amari Cooper likely won’t play on Thursday. Last week in a poor showing from Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott, Cedrick Wilson caught 4 passes for 36 tards on 7 targets. Deep leagues are all about finding value and Wilson’s 98% availability rate combined with his unique situation makes him a sneaky spot start this week. Look for Cedrick Wilson on your waiver wire in deep leagues, as he is a great WR3 or FLEX as he plays a very weak Raiders defense.
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