Jay Ajayi, RB, Philadelphia Eagles
Ajayi led the running backs in backfield snaps with 31 last week against Seattle. He also rushed for 35 yards on a team-high nine carries, which is decent against the Seahawks’ stout defense. This week Ajayi and the Eagles travel to Los Angeles and the Rams have allowed 11 rushing touchdowns to running backs on the season. Of course, Ajayi will be rotated into the game along with Corey Clement and LeGarrette Blount so there’s always the chance one of them could steal a scoring opportunity but I like Ajayi as a low-end RB2 in a plus matchup in Los Angeles.
Cameron Brate, TE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Brate has a phenomenal matchup against Detroit this Sunday. Check out these stat lines from tight ends who have faced the Lions recently: Browns tight end Seth DeValve: four catches, 70 yards. Chicago’s Adam Shaheen: four catches, 41 yards and a touchdown. Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph: four catches, 63 yards, two scores. And finally, Baltimore’s Benjamin Watson had three catches for 24 yards and a score in Week 13. Brate has to love the fact that Jameis Winston is back as quarterback for Tampa Bay. Last week, Brate had two catches on a team-high six targets. He had 39 receiving yards and two touchdowns. Brate should have another great outing against Detroit this Sunday.
Lamar Miller, RB, Houston Texans
I like Miller as a volume play this Sunday against the 49ers. San Francisco has only allowed six touchdowns on the year to opposing running backs but they surrender 123.7 yards per game to the running back position. That’s the fourth-highest average in the league. With backup Alfred Blue out with a concussion, Miller is in a line for a lot of work come Sunday.
Christian McCaffrey, RB, Carolina Panthers
I know, you’re probably not sitting this guy with the run he’s been on of late. McCaffrey has scored in three of his last four contests. But if I’m the Minnesota Vikings, McCaffrey is the weapon I take away from Cam Newton and the Panthers’ offense with Devin Funchess as the top wideout and a banged up Greg Olsen at tight end. According to Football Outsiders, the Vikings are giving up a measly 35.3 receiving yards per game to running backs which greatly limits McCaffrey’s upside, even in a points per reception league.
Russell Wilson, QB, Seattle Seahawks
Another guy fantasy owners may have a hard time sitting this week is Russell Wilson. Wilson has been a beast this season and will likely go down as the top fantasy quarterback of 2017. He’s thrown multiple touchdowns in every game he’s played in since Week 5. This week, Wilson has an unfavorable cross-country matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars, who allow just 167 passing yards a game and ten touchdowns on the season against 16 interceptions. Now this is the playoffs and you’d hate to get cute with your lineup, bench Wilson and then see him put up big numbers despite the matchup, but if you are starting him, you have to adjust your expectations.
Kenny Stills,WR, Miami Dolphins
This should be the part of the column where I talk about DeVante Parker but Stills has been the real No. 2 guy in Miami of late. Stills and the Dolphins host the Patriots this week on Monday Night Football. In their last contest just two weeks ago, Stills caught three passes for 47 yards. I’m expecting more of the same in this contest as he’ll draw coverage from New England cornerback Malcolm Butler who was on him for most of the game last time.