Written by: Alexander Amir
*Each of these players is owned in less than 52% of leagues. Their ownership percentage is noted.*
Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens (51.5% own)
This late in the season, it’s rare to find a starting QB that isn’t on a roster. But Lamar Jackson is available in half of fantasy leagues, and he’s put up a string of 3 very solid games. While he still isn’t throwing the ball much, he has 54 rushing attempts and 2 rushing TDs in the last 3 games. Jackson has a nice matchup with Kansas City this week, who just got gashed by Derek Carr (I can’t believe I just wrote that). The Ravens will need to put up a bunch of points in order to win this one, so Jackson has a nice blend of upside and stability thanks to his rushing prowess.
Jalen Richard, Oakland Raiders (48.8%)
With Doug Martin in the backfield Richard will never get a ton of carries, but he racked up 95 yards on just 6 carries last week against the Chiefs. While Richard is known as the pass-catching back, he might have earned himself some more rushing opportunities. This only bodes well for his fantasy chances, and if you’re in a pinch you could do much worse than with Richard as your flex.
Jeff Wilson Jr., San Francisco 49ers (0.4%)
Starting running back Matt Breida left last week’s game with an ankle injury and has already been ruled out for this week’s match against the Broncos. While Denver has been strong against the run recently, allowing 0 rushing touchdowns since week 6, Wilson should get a boatload of carries. He should be a flex consideration purely off of volume.
Curtis Samuel, Carolina Panthers (12.5% own)
Samuel has quietly put together double digit fantasy games in 4 of the last 5 contests. He’s clearly building a rapport with Cam Newton, with 6 receptions last week, and 3 touchdowns in the past 5 games. While Browns cornerback Denzel Ward has been outstanding, he will more than likely be matched up against DJ Moore or Devin Funchess. Outside of him, the Browns are susceptible to the pass, ranking 21st in fantasy points allowed to wide receivers.
Bruce Ellington, Detroit Lions (8.8% own)
This is for deep PPR leagues, but Ellington has caught 6+ balls in each of the last 3 games. Kenny Golladay is really the only other person on the team that’s catching passes, and while Ellington isn’t getting much yardage, his reception numbers should keep him in flex consideration in leagues that reward such stats.
Ian Thomas, Carolina Panthers (0.3% own)
Longtime Carolina starter Greg Olsen went down with a foot injury last week and Thomas took over, securing 5 catches for 46 yards. Cam Newton loves his tight ends, and Thomas faces a Browns team this Sunday that is ranked 26th in defending tight ends. He’s a great spot start in a shallow tight end group.
Buffalo Bills (41.3% own)
As bad as Buffalo has been this season, their defense is actually ranked 8th in fantasy points per game. They have had 5+ points in each of the last 5 weeks, and they face the Jets on Sunday, who have allowed double digit fantasy points 6 times this year. Defenses playing the Jets have also scored under 7 points just 3 times this year. Lock the Bills in as one of the best defensive options of the week.