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Zonovan Knight is all of a sudden a player to watch out for late

Alvin Kamara

Alvin Kamara

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

STOCK UP

Zonovan Knight - RB, Jets

Here you have it, your top running back waiver priority for Week 13! Knight aka Bam, was a major factor in the Jets getting back on the winning track. The undrafted rookie received 17 touches and took them for 103 yards. Michael Carter got the start, but left the game early with what turned out to be an ankle sprain. It doesn’t look good for Carter as far as playing in Week 13, but the Jets proved that they have faith in Knight after making James Robinson a healthy scratch. Ty Johnson also figures to get a bump in usage but you shouldn’t go crazy trying to acquire Jets’ running backs who could be in a committee. However, Knight was already getting reps prior to Carter’s injury, playing on 31% of the snaps. He probably won’t get the full workload that you’ll be looking for, but Knight will lead the Jets’ backfield until Carter returns.

Justin Herbert - QB, Chargers

I let it rip on Herbert in a previous version of this column. He wasn’t getting it done, but from a fantasy perspective, he has been the past two weeks. Herbert followed up his Week 11 (QB12) performance with a throttling of the Cardinals defense finishing as QB3 (Monday Night Football pending). The return of Keenan Allen and the emergence of DeAndre Carter has helped Herbert get back to his normal production. Herbert was able to exploit a Cardinals’ defense that was fifth-worst against quarterbacks in fantasy coming into Week 12. His next three matchups are against the Raiders, Dolphins and Titans, all of whom are amongst the seven worst defenses against quarterbacks in fantasy. Herbert should be able to heat up right as you get into your fantasy playoffs.

Van Jefferson - WR, Rams

It’s not pretty, but someone has to be the Rams’ top receiver right? I’m not advocating starting Jefferson going forward, but with Cooper Kupp out indefinitely and Allen Robinson out for the season, Jefferson has an outside shot of being a FLEX. When I say FLEX, I mean a long shot FLEX. In the absence of the Rams’ top two receivers, Jefferson caught 3-of-7 targets for 29 yards and a touchdown. No other Ram saw more than four targets (Ben Skowronek). The concern is how much passing volume will he or any other Rams’ pass catchers be able to get with Matthew Stafford out? Bryce Perkins should be commended on his first NFL start, but I don’t think Sean McVay wants to toss the ball around 40 times. Kyren Williams’ stock is also on the rise after leading all Rams’ players with 14 touches. Cam Akers is a distant memory in the fantasy landscape, but if your (extremely) desperate, Jefferson or Williams might suffice.

STOCK DOWN

Alvin Kamara - RB, Saints

What the hell is going on with Kamara? Besides Andy Dalton being the Saints’ quarterback, I can’t seem to figure it out. Kamara hasn’t rushed for more than 45 yards or scored a touchdown in a game since Week 8! And you may say, “He’s more of a pass catcher.” Ah, that may be true, but in that same span he’s averaging four receptions and 33.7 yards per game. That’s simply not the Kamara way and you may have lost a few matchups because of it. The Saints’ next three matchups are favorable (Buccaneers, Falcons and Browns), but what does it even mean if the offense as a whole just isn’t getting it done? Seeing Kamara as RB39 after Week 12 in PPR formats is an all-time low and you should probably consider moving him out of your RB2 spot (if you can). To take it into perspective, Gary Brightwell, the Giants’ backup running back finisher as RB40. That’s not good.

Dameon Pierce - RB, Texans

Pierce got off to a hot start this season proving to be the Texans best offensive player. The problem seems to be that everyone else figured that out and now the kid can’t get going. He was a ridiculously low RB49 in Week 12, that’s not going to cut it, not after what he showed us earlier this season. What made matters worse was Dare Ogunbowale coming in to vulture the touchdown. The Texans have been the league’s punching bag all season, but at least Pierce was still being productive. After two straight weeks of rushing for only 8 yards, is it fair to wonder if Pierce can help us in the fantasy playoffs? Yes, the answer is yes it’s fair to wonder, because until the Texans have at least decent quarterback play, defenses can key in on Pierce. The good thing is, Pierce was drafted as a luxury, so hopefully you have better options at this point in the season.

Mike Evans - WR, Buccaneers

The targets have been there for Evans, he’s averaged 9.2 over the Bucs’ last four games. The problem is they aren’t turning into yards and touchdowns. Evans hasn’t recorded a 100-yard game since Week 8 and hasn’t scored a touchdown since Week 3 when he had two. To be fair, the Bucs’ offense hasn’t been hitting on all cylinders for the entirety of the season, but in recent weeks Chris Godwin has found his groove. When the receiving yards were low, you could always depend on Evans to bail you out with a goal line touchdown, that is no more. I wouldn’t recommend out-right benching him, but guys like Donovan Peoples-Jones and Parris Campbell have been more consistent.