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Zay Jones and DeVonta Smith could be valuable down the stretch

Ezekiel Elliott

Ezekiel Elliott

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

As we enter Week 13, it’s pretty weird that we’re still having bye weeks (Cardinals and Panthers) and will get more in Week 14 (ok just the Falcons). With fantasy playoff spots on the line we simply have to deal with it and adjust. If you’re down DeAndre Hopkins, Marquise Brown or DJ Moore this week, I’ve got some players here who could help fill those voids. Nonetheless, if you’re still here and fighting for your playoff lives or trying to secure that first week bye, the goods are here. Tough decisions will be made over these next couple of weeks on the way to fantasy glory, we shall push through. Let’s get to it.

Zay Jones - WR, Jaguars @ Lions

Jones has been on a role the past two weeks to the tune of 24 targets and 19 receptions for 213 yards. He’s truly become the Jags’ solidified WR2 (or WR1-B maybe?) and has a matchup against the Lions which are the fourth-worst against receivers in fantasy this season. The Lions are coming off a game in which they let both Stefon Diggs and Isaiah McKenzie score touchdowns. Furthermore, in that game, the Lions’ defense surrendered 211 yards to Bills’ wide receivers. Jones is coming off of a game where he set career-high marks in receptions (11) and yards (145) against the Ravens. Look for the good times to roll on for Jones and all Jags’ pass catchers in this game as the line is currently set at 51.5 (second highest for Week 14) because the Lions will hold up their end on offense as they lead the NFL in passing touchdowns at home with 15. Jones is coming into his own with a great matchup. Chase the points.

DeVonta Smith - WR, Eagles vs. Titans

The Eagles have the third-best rushing offense in the NFL, but the Titans have the third-best rushing defense, so something has to give right? The last two teams to defeat the Titans (Chiefs and Bengals) figured out that the best way to defeat them was through the air and rightfully so as they are the second-worst against receivers in fantasy this season. Smith has only been WR32 on a points per game basis over the past three weeks, but he’s seen at least eight targets in each of those games. Look for the Eagles to adjust if they can’t get the running game going (with the running backs) against Titans’ top-three unit against backs in fantasy. Although Smith has failed to crack 100 yards since Week 3, his volume should make him a key player in this game.

Donovan Peoples-Jones - WR, Browns @ Texans

We knew the time would come when Peoples-Jones would eventually put up a dud and that came in Week 12. Despite the Browns getting the win over the Bucs, Peoples-Jones only mustered two receptions for 16 yards. We can look past that against a miserable Texans team which lays down for every opponent. Prior to his Week 12 no-show, Peoples-Jones averaged 6.4 receptions for 72.4 yards per game in the SEVEN games before that. Jacoby Brissett has played admirably this season and should be a starting quarterback in the NFL, but the return of Deshaun Watson will give Peoples-Jones and every Browns’ player on the offense a solid bump. Kareem Hunt should also be considered as a solid FLEX play.

Skyy Moore - WR, Chiefs @ Bengals

I’ll be honest here, this one could be tough and comes with a lot of “if’s, and’s or but’s.” The fact of the matter is though, someone in the Chiefs’ offense will have to rise to the occasion and that someone will be Moore. Providing Kadarius Toney misses another game (monitor this), Moore should once again be given opportunities in a game with the highest Over/Under of Week 13 at 52.5. While it hasn’t shown on the stat sheet, Moore has come up big for the Chiefs making timely catches/plays. Over the past two games he’s caught 5-of-6 targets in each game and only had 13 targets coming into Week 11. You’re likely already starting JuJu Smith-Schuster, so he’s not an optimal FLEX play. Of Justin Watson, Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Moore, expect the rookie to have the best upside in your lineups.

DeAndre Carter - WR, Chargers @ Raiders

Carter has filled in nicely and played solid for the Chargers recently. Over his past four games he’s averaging 4.7 receptions for 55.7 yards per game and scoring two touchdowns in the span. Carter’s emergence has been heavily reliant on the absence of Keenan Allen and Mike Williams. Allen has been back for a couple of weeks, but if Williams remains out for Week 13, Carter could be worth a longshot FLEX play. He saw his first double-digit target game (10) of the season in Week 12 and will face a middle-of-the-road Raiders defense in terms of fantasy points given up to receivers. Do you see the theme here? Another high Over/Under game (50.5) should provide Carter and other offensive players in this game to take advantage of the opposing defenses.

Ezekiel Elliott - RB, Cowboys vs. Colts

You want Zeke to go away, but he will not and you will deal with it. Tony Pollard and Elliott will have a chance to feast on a Colts’ defense that just let up 28 carries, 127 yards and two touchdowns to Steelers’ running backs in Week 12. The Colts will have their hands much more full against Elliott who’s coming off a nice 16/92/1 performance. In fact, Elliott has five rushing touchdowns in his last three games played. Despite him missing two games this season, he still leads the Cowboys in rushing attempts. We expect Pollard to be his normal, explosive self, but Elliott will mix in nicely and the two should be able to complement each other nicely. Don’t fade Zeke!