You’d assume the long line in front of Santa Claus would be filled with kids hoping to make a few last-minute requests, but it’s now riddled with desperate fantasy football managers hoping to get a few extra points for their next playoff game.
Between the eruption of injuries in the NFL and potential weather hazards across the country, finding value could be difficult as those who remain in the playoffs could be in the same boat. When you’re all scrambling for last minute help, you might want to look for budget receivers that might be available.
Let’s start with the Giants. The Vikings’ pass defense ranks 21st in the DVOA, and they’ve given up a tremendous amount of yards and points through the air. In the past three weeks, they’ve allowed 288.7 passing yards per game, and if you go back one more week, that number is well over 300. They’ve also allowed an average of 31.3 points per game in the over their last six.
The Giants might be short on top-end wide receiver talent, but Darius Slayton and Isaiah Hodgins could be in for some big games this week. They’ll see the majority of targets, and the Vikings are giving up the third-most fantasy points per game at the position.
If Slayton and Hodgins are supported, you can turn your attention to the Ravens. Lamar Jackson remains on the sidelines, but we expect to see Tyler Huntley under center, and he’s navigated this attack pretty well in the past.
Few people will be interested in Demarcus Robinson as they expect a significant amount of rushing from Baltimore, but the veteran receiver has averaged just over six targets per game over his last five, and he’s recorded at least five catches per game in his last three. Atlanta’s pass defense ranks 30th overall in DVOA and 21st against the opposition’s No. 1 receiver.
You can also watch Ravens wide receiver James Near. The team just lost Devin Duvernay for the season, and the only ones backing Robinson are DeSean Jackson and Sammy Watkins. Nobody puts their eggs in those baskets, so Close vs. Atlanta, which ranks 23rd in DVOA against the opposing slots receiver, becomes the target.
If you dig deep, be careful what drives you use. Make sure their match is favorable and make sure they have a clear path to the targets. Going on a guy who only catches one pass for a 40-yard touchdown is fine, but if he’s held out of the end zone, you get no value.
Howard Bender is Vice President of Operations and Head of Content at FantasyAlarm.com. Follow him on Twitter @rotobuzzguy and find him on the award-winning “Fantasy Alarm Radio Show” on the SiriusXM fantasy sports channel weekdays from 6-8 p.m. Go to FantasyAlarm.com for all your fantasy sports tips, player screenings, injury updates and more.