By: Mike Carlson
Week 13 of the all-too-quick fantasy football season, is, for most leagues, the last game before the playoffs begin. This also means that there will be more than a few guys sweating out this Sunday’s action while they compete for one of the coveted final spots in the postseason. For others, this week will be a chance to add some potentially balance-of-power-shifting roster talent for the final stretch of games. And if you’re that guy in last place, this week may even save you from whatever ungodly punishment your league doles to the resident bottomfeeder.
So, with a lot on the line for everyone, now would probably be a great time for a reality check on some of fantasy football’s most divisive stars.
Denver Broncos QB Brock Osweiler: Osweiler is undefeated in his first two starts as the signal caller for the Broncos. A streak headlined by a dramatic overtime win against the Patriots. Not only is the former sun devil out performing Peyton in the win column, but he’s also out performing him on the stat sheet as well. Since replacing the future hall of famer, Osweiler has thrown up point totals Manning could only dream of. What’s better is that Denver offense is running at a seemingly much more efficient clip than it did under Manning which means everyone is in line to benefit from a fantasy perspective. He won’t carry your team, but if you’re in a pinch, Osweiler should be your man. And while you’re at it, maybe add one of his many targets as well because it seems like the offense is starting to catch-up to the defense in Denver.
Washington Redskins QB Kirk Cousins: Of late, Cousins has been playing out of his mind. However, don’t expect his rock solid play to continue. He’s only posted huge numbers against Pop-Warner caliber defenses and, this is an important one to keep in mind, he’s still quarterbacking the Redskins which means Sundays will be entirely feast or famine with nothing inbetween. Not to mention, he’s also a turnover machine with a grand total of 10 interceptions and seven fumbles. It should also be noted that all 10 of his interceptions have come in losing efforts this year. If you’ve been known to gamble now and again, Cousins may be the guy for you. Just don’t come crying to me when you bet the house on him and end up leaving empty-handed.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Doug Martin: Okay, I’ll be the first to admit I botched my initial assumption of Martin. Right off the bat, I had him relegated to flash-in-the-pan status and never even gave a second thought to the possibility of him resurrecting what has been a very up-and-down career. Yet, in the time since I expressed my skepticism of Martin, he’s risen to RB1 status and is running like he did in his breakout rookie season. He was a one touchdown away last week from posting another monster performance and won’t see a formidable defense until the final game of the season. The Bucs offense is making sure he gets a healthy dose of carries game in and game out. So, if you’re looking to give your team a shot in the arm before the playoffs start, Martin should be at the top of your list.
Chicago Bears RB Matt Forte: Before you come for my head on this one, keep in mind the recent news that the Bears organization is ready to move-on from their once offensive workhorse in favor of the newer model in Jeremy Langford. Now this doesn’t necessarily mean that Forte is a bad play every week, rather it means that any owner should proceed with caution if they do decide to slide him into the lineup. He’s almost 30 years old with a ton of mileage on him which means it’s going to take awhile for him to fully recover from his hamstring injury and the Bears are in the hunt for a wildcard spot, so the team may not hesitate to pull him for the instant gratification that is Langford. Don’t be surprised if his decline continues.