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Targeted Opportunities – Week 15

Desperate measures for desperate times, rising from mediocrity, and doubling down, in this edition of Targeted Opportunities.

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Fantasy Football - Amon-ra St. Brown

All roster figures as per NFL.com fantasy leagues.

Darrel Williams, RB Chiefs (67.0% rostered) – It’s that point in the season where finding value at certain positions can be a bit daunting… and RB looks like a bit of a dry well. It’s in this context that I’m giving you Darrel Williams. Williams presents an odd set of target metrics: you might look at his targets in recent weeks and wonder why I’m recommending him; in his last four games, he’s totaled 18 targets, with 16 catches. Hardly earth-shattering, but here’s what caught my eye (in addition to the 89% catch rate): 203 receiving yards (12.7 ypc) and two TDs; in his first nine games Williams collected 22 catches (28 targets, 79%) for 170 yards (7.7 ypc) and no touchdowns. In other words, in his last four games he’s producing 12 PPR pg vs. 4.3 PPR pg over his first nine games.

Yes, there’s a bit of statistical skullduggery that I pulled off here, but I feel my overall point is still valid: Williams is doing more with less, and might be worth a flyer as a desperation RB add.

Amon-Ra St. Brown, WR Lions (14.3% rostered) – In the Lions first 11 games, St. Brown was targeted a total of 52 times (4.7 tpg); in their last two games (during which the team has been ravaged by illness, depleting their roster) St. Brown has been targeted 24 times, or 12 tpg. Regardless of the reasons for the rookie’s increase in looks from QB Jared Goff, St. Brown has responded nicely: 18 receptions (75% reception rate) for 159 yards (8.8 ypr) and one TD. The touchdown was of the walk-off variety, and gave the hapless Lions their first win of the season.

The last two games have done wonders for St. Brown’s stature in the eyes of the Detroit coaching staff and the rest of the league; if you need to fill a spot on your roster with a potentially productive receiver, St. Brown might be a decent way to go, given his near 86% availability.

Rashod Bateman, WR Ravens (9.2% rostered) – I mentioned Bateman as a targeted opportunity a month ago, he was rostered at a 10.7% rate; amazingly, his availability has increased since that time. So I have to once again thump my chest for Bateman, who has settled into the WR2 slot behind Marquise Brown. Bateman had a lull Weeks 12-13, but rebounded with a solid game against the Browns last week. On the season, he’s produced 32 catches (on 47 targets, 68%) for 404 yards (12.6 ypc), or 9.0 PPR points a game. Of course, the elephant in the room is his lack of end zone visits– not entirely unexpected, considering he’s the third red zone option in the Raven’s passing game (behind TE Mark Andrews, and Brown)– which makes him the fifth overall RZ option (behind QB Lamar Jackson and RB Devonta Freeman).

I still like PPR Bateman’s floor going forward this season, and really like his dynasty value in the coming years.

Nerd John is a 25+year veteran of fantasy sports journalism. John’s Fantasy Forecast series has won the prestigious Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) award for Best Series, and he’s been nominated as an FSWA Award finalist on nine occasions.

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