Tomorrow’s Newspaper: Damien Williams and Week 12 Waiver Wire Prescience

by Ray Marzarella ·

In the span of just over a month, C.J. Prosise has ascended from relative fantasy obscurity.  Since being featured in this piece three weeks ago, his ownership has skyrocketed to 87.26-percent across MFL redraft leagues.  He’s jumped into the top 20 of the Player Profiler rest-of-season RB rankings, and has RB1 upside in a cushy matchup against the Eagles this week.  He ranks sixth among qualified RBs with 1.07 Fantasy Points per Opportunity, and that’s without yet finding the end zone.

An Underworld favorite well before the season began, C.J. Prosise has shown great efficiency at the NFL level in his limited chances.  And when these kinds of players are set to see potentially massive opportunity spikes, the fantasy community understandably gets drawn to them.  The Seahawks releasing Christine Michael all but assures Prosise a valuable role in the offense going forward, even with the impending return of Thomas Rawls.  If he could overtake Michael, there’s no reason Prosise can’t keep Rawls from eating too much into his fantasy production.

For every C.J. Prosise we talk about in this series, there’s bound to be one or two Roger Lewis‘ to bring the hit rate down a bit.  But those who were able to grab Prosise before his 14.3-point breakout against the Saints in Week 8 may have stumbled into a starting RB that they can plug into their fantasy lineups for the rest of the season.

It may have been bad timing to start plugging Case Keenum before he eventually got benched.  But I suppose the fact that newly-minted starter Jared Goff (32.93-percent) was also covered here a few weeks back helps make up for it a bit.  Jay Cutler (50.46-percent) surpassed our four-point expectations in a plus match-up against Tampa last week, but not by much.

Opportunity as a starting QB is all that keeps him on the streaming radar.  DuJuan Harris (38.00-percent) saw a season-low 26.3-percent Opportunity Share in Carlos Hyde‘s return, but he may start seeing his playing time increase if Hyde puts up many more stinkers like his 1.4-point outing the last week.  The same number of points that Harris scored, only Hyde’s points came on a 73.7-percent Opportunity Share. Peyton Barber (32.49-percent) may see his usefulness evaporate now that Doug Martin is back and Charles Sims is expected back at some point (remember this for next week’s piece).  But with a sixth-ranked rest-of-season schedule schedule, he remains a hold for now given all the injuries Tampa’s backfield has incurred this year.

While Cameron Meredith stands to be the main fantasy beneficiary of Alshon Jeffery‘s suspension, the fact remains that Eddie Royal (36.47-percent) still ranks as one of the league’s most efficient receivers per PlayerProfiler metrics despite missing two games.  You’re stashing Royal for his efficiency and propensity for big games, and you’re stashing Adam Humphries (22.11-percent) for his ROS schedule and the fact that he’s seen 15 targets in the past two weeks.  Marqise Lee (28.74-percent) also makes for a viable deep-league WR streamer against Detroit.

On the tight end side of things, C.J. Fiedorowicz (47.65-percent) remains in the weekly streaming conversation despite having a TD vultured last week by Ryan Griffin.  A number of the TEs written about throughout the year find themselves as streaming options during the all-important closing stretch of the fantasy season.  These include players who have seen recent increases in usage like Will Tye (31.17-percent) and Vance McDonald (37.35-percent), as well as players who have seen consistently high Snap Shares like Lance Kendricks (32.61-percent).  And we can’t forget about Ladarius Green (49.86-percent), who has the most favorable Week 11 match-up possible against the Browns.

All listed players are owned in less than 50-percent of MFL redraft leagues.

Colin Kaepernick, QB, 49ers (39.06-percent owned)

However you feel about Colin Kaepernick as a person, none of it matters in the context of fantasy football.  And the fact is that ever since Kaepernick entered the 49ers starting lineup in Week 6, he’s averaged more than 20 fantasy points per game.  Ranking first among QBs with eight carries per game has helped account for a lot of his production, as he currently ranks first at the position in rushing yards per game (57) and fourth in total rushing yards (228). And a match-up against the Patriots shouldn’t defer anyone looking to stream the position in Week 11, as New England represents the 11th-most favorable match-up for opposing fantasy QBs per Player Profiler.

[Colin Kaepernick]-Quarterback-San Francisco 49ers]

Colin Kaepernick Advanced Metrics Profile

On top of being a QB who has always been a threat to put up rushing numbers, Colin Kaepernick also has a number of interesting weapons to work with in the passing game.  Even if he’s thrown for 210 yards or less in three of his four starts.  Regardless, Vance McDonald has seen six targets in three straight games and has all of the qualities we look for in our Late Round TE Roulette superstars.  He’s a player who could certainly help buoy Kaepernick’s passing numbers.  As could Jeremy Kerley, whose elite agility is ideal for a slot receiver and has helped him record a number of big fantasy performances.  And if the team starts letting DuJuan Harris see more work, he’s also proven to be a more-than-capable pass catcher at the RB position.  However you want to slice it, you can make a legitimate case for Kaepernick as a starting fantasy QB the rest of the way.

Damien Williams, RB, Dolphins (26.65-percent owned)

The last time the Miami Dolphins had more passing attempts than rushing attempts in a game was in Week 5.  The team’s improving offensive line and defense has prompted the switch to a more run-heavy approach.  This combined with Adam Gase’s decision to scrap his four-RB rotation has made Jay Ajayi a Top-10 fantasy back for the remainder of the year.  Ajayi has displayed both production and efficiency in his time as a starter, and Miami’s shift in offensive philosophy has been part of the reason why.  At this point in the season, where bye weeks are no longer going to be an issue unless you own a lot of Browns or Titans players, you’re going to want to roster the backups to RBs in the kinds of situations that Ajayi currently finds himself in.  Enter Damien Williams.

[Damien Williams]-Running Back-Miami Dolphins]

Damien Williams Advanced Stats & Metrics Profile

Damien Williams has established himself as Jay Ajayi‘s clear backup.  He’s scored four TDs in the four games since Miami’s change to a run-heavy team in Week 6.  He’s seen these scoring chances in spite of Ajayi recording point totals of 33.7, 28.6, 22.0 and 9.0 in that span.  Williams currently ranks first among RBs in Fantasy Points per Opportunity (1.72) and has the position’s top ranked Production Premium (+94.3).  If Williams were to receive an injury-induced opportunity spike for a team with an offensive line and defense that has improved as much as Miami’s has, he would easily be the top waiver target in fantasy football.  Although it’s worth noting that the Dolphins will be without two of their best offensive linemen in Branden Albert and Mike Pouncey against the Rams.  It could make it difficult for either Ajayi or Williams to be as successful this week as we’re hoping for.  But if you have the roster space to allow it, Wiliams is exactly the kind of player you need to be stashing before anything can happen that would make him a priority waiver target.

Eli Rogers, WR, Steelers (46.47-percent owned) 

Partly by process of elimination, and partly by virtue of his own improving play, Eli Rogers has begun to render Pittsburgh’s non-Antonio Brown WRs obsolete for fantasy purposes. Markus Wheaton was made a healthy scratch in Week 9 before being placed on injured reserve. Darrius Heyward-Bey is also sidelined with a foot injury, while Sammie Coates has been dealing with two broken fingers.  It’s gotten to a point where Cobi Hamilton played 68 snaps in Week 10, with only a 39-yard catch to show for it.  Meanwhile, Rogers has turned in two consecutive double digit performances while seeing his Snap Share steadily increase.

[Eli Rogers]-Wide Receiver-Pittsburgh Steelers]

Eli Rogers Advanced Stats & Metrics Profile

With double digit fantasy points in three of his six professional games played, Eli Rogers is proving to be an ideal fit as the slot receiver in the Steelers offense.  Despite being an undrafted rookie with a low College Dominator Rating, he brings 90th-percentile agility to the table.  A player with this kind of agility that’s seeing heavy playing time in an offense as potent as Pittsburgh’s (with a QB the caliber of Ben Roethlisberger at the controls) is bound to be a valuable fantasy asset.  It’s the Doug BaldwinWes Welker corollary.  Having a positive rest-of-season fantasy schedule, which includes a favorable match-up against the Browns this week, also helps his case.

Vernon Davis, TE, Washington (31.37-percent owned)

It’s the year 2016 and we’re plugging both Colin Kaepernick and Vernon Davis in the same fantasy article.  That’s happening.  Davis’ production in particular has come as a surprise considering he’s been sharing playing time with Jordan Reed.  He had a 100-percent Snap Share in the two games that Reed has missed this year, and recorded double digit point totals in each game.  He followed that up with two more double digit games with Reed back in the lineup.  With Washington averaging over 40 pass plays per game, Davis has proven that his fantasy production isn’t just a product of Reed missing time.

[Vernon Davis]-Tight End-Washington]

Vernon Davis 2016 Efficiency Metrics

The other reason that Vernon Davis is an intriguing fantasy stash is because of the tremendous efficiency he’s displayed in his age-32 season.  And it’s not as if his production has come at the expense of the team’s receivers.  Like Davis, Jamison Crowder has also recorded four straight double-digit fantasy outings.  And while DeSean Jackson has had a down year, Pierre Garcon has hit double digits in four of his last five.  The play of Kirk Cousins is the biggest reason why so many of his pass catchers have been able to be fantasy viable.  And as a result, Davis should continue to be usable in the right match-ups.  In a good match-up against the Packers, he and Jordan Reed could feasibly both finish as Top 10 fantasy tight ends.