A look at the players to keep an eye on in deeper leagues, though you don’t have to pick them all up just yet
If you’ve been following The Watch List this season, the name “Gus Edwards” may have rung a bell on Sunday. With just five carries since he was featured on the Week Six Watch List, Edwards may have just taken over the Ravens’ backfield. In a tightly contested game vs Cincinnati, Edwards was the preferred running back in the Ravens’ offense (if we’re still considering Lamar Jackson to be a quarterback). Edwards was the most efficient runner as well, averaging 6.8 YPC on 17 attempts. He is the hottest add of the week and hopefully, you were able to land him.
Tyler Higbee was featured in last week’s piece and had himself another productive game. Monday night’s game script inflated the box score a little bit, but Higbee definitely benefited from Cooper Kupp’s absence. With fantasy playoffs right around the corner, let’s take a look at some names that might be able to bail you out:
DeAndre Washington, Oakland Raiders RB
So it looks like Doug Martin was benched due to an ankle issue in the second half of Sunday’s win in Arizona. Martin looked to be alright on the sidelines but was still held out of the game. Per Michael Gehlken on Twitter, Jon Gruden later admitted that they benched Martin so they could get DeAndre Washington more touches and would like to involve him more moving forward. Washington ended the game with 39 rushing yards with a team-high 12 carries. We can now add the Raiders to the list of backfields with a three-headed monster. This job is open for the taking, so keep an eye on Washington’s usage in the upcoming weeks.
Wayne Gallman, New York Giants RB
Saquon Barkley isn’t going anywhere, but they also cannot give him 30+ carries in every game. The Giants used both Wayne Gallman and Elijhaa Penny on Sunday in very minimal roles. Penny was very ineffective with just four yards on two receptions. Gallman, on the other hand, piled up 35 yards on a total of four touches. In his rookie season last year, Gallman saw more action as the year progressed, averaging 4.3 yards per carry on over 100 rush attempts. Gallman was also involved in the passing game last season with 34 receptions, 19 of which came in a three game stretch. If Barkley’s workload decreases at all near the end of the season, Gallman is the back that will be getting some more reps.
Bruce Ellington, Detroit Lions WR
With Brandon Powell failing to make an impression, newly acquired wide out Bruce Ellington looks to have a role in this Lions’ offense. Marvin Jones being sidelined with a knee injury opened the door for Ellington and he took full advantage of the opportunity. On a short week, it looks like Jones will be unable to go for the second straight game. He did not practice again on Tuesday this week and Inside Injuries has him listed at an elevated injury risk. Ellington’s nine targets were the second-most for the Lions and he turned them into six receptions for over 50 yards. He is a safe plug in this Thursday if Jones cannot go again. Ellington could have more value down the road if Jones’ injury lingers on.
Marcell Ateman, Oakland Raiders WR
The Raiders went into Sunday’s game without Jordy Nelson and Martavis Bryant. Their receiving situation got no better as they went on to lose Brandon LaFell for the year with a torn Achilles. This sets up the Raiders’ seventh-round draft pick, Marcell Ateman. Short-handed at the position, Ateman saw his first action in the NFL, hauling in four of five targets for 50 yards. Though Nelson could return this week, Inside Injuries does not expect Bryant to return until mid-January. Expect Ateman to remain a part of this offense moving forward, especially if injuries continue to plague the Raiders.
Antonio Gates, Los Angeles Chargers TE
With minimal involvement all season, Antonio Gates has still had some role in the Chargers’ offense. This past week, Gates had his best game of the season with five receptions on seven targets for 80 yards and a touchdown. This was Gates’ second touchdown of the season and his first time surpassing 50 receiving yards. Virgil Green has been getting some work as well, but Gates was much more productive with his targets. A 38-year old tight end may not be all that appealing, but Gates is still capable of being fantasy relevant. He has more value in standard leagues, but his usage should be monitored over the next couple weeks.