The following players are owned in less than 60% of fantasy football leagues and could present a value to your rosters.
With the second half of the season upon us, and thus the games being more important, I am trying to be a little pickier about which options I give on here.
*Availability (% owned) and statistics based on Yahoo! PPR leagues.
Eli Manning, New York Giants (51%) — Every one of Eli’s remaining matchups are against D/ST’s that are in the bottom half against QB’s. I was far from a believer in him after losing Odell Beckham Jr. and Brandon Marshall, but Manning is making it work with Sterling Shepard and Evan Engram. The Giants had their bye week three weeks ago and in the two games since, Eli is averaging 18.86 FPPG. I’d rather get trapped in The Upside Down than have him as my championship-round QB, but there’s no denying it looks good for him for the rest of the season.
Dion Lewis, New England Patriots (57%) — Lewis is averaging 14.0 touches and 60.8 YPG in the last four games. He and the Patriots have some pretty decent matchups coming up, including two against Buffalo, who just gave up 326 yards and 5 TD’s to the Saints RB’s last week.
Kenyan Drake (57%) and Damien Williams (34%), Miami Dolphins — With Jay Ajayi out of the picture, it’s now a time-share in the Dolphins backfield. Drake and Williams have combined for 48 touches for 296 yards and 2 TD’s since taking over the last two weeks.
Latavius Murray, Minnesota Vikings (44%) — Murray has been a bell cow since Dalvin Cook went down. Although Jerick McKinnon has been the dual-purpose, big-play guy, Murray is averaging 17.0 touches for 61.8 yards in the last five games and has scored twice in the last three weeks.
Theo Riddick, Detroit Lions (42%) — Riddick should be rostered in most PPR formats. He doesn’t provide much on the ground, but he has 32 catches and a couple of scores in the passing game this year.
Danny Woodhead, Baltimore Ravens (35%) — Woodhead is practicing again but has yet to be activated from Injured Reserve. He should be back on the playing field within the next couple of weeks. He is a PPR must-have when he becomes active.
Corey Clement, Philadelphia Eagles (9%) — One thing we know about the Eagles’ backfield is that Ajayi’s role will grow. What happens with everyone else is unknown. However, in Philadelphia’s last game, Clement had 66 yards and 3 TD’s. Guys like that don’t get totally phased out of the gameplan.
Jamaal Williams, Green Bay Packers (7%) — Williams is Green Bay’s lead back now by proxy. Aaron Jones and Ty Montgomery both went down last week, and Jones won’t be back this week. I would encourage picking Williams up in most leagues.
Austin Ekeler, Los Angeles Chargers (4%) — I’m not a huge fan of picking up the backup (Ekeler) to a work horse (Melvin Gordon), but Ekeler had a great game on Sunday against Jacksonville. He had 15 touches for 119 yards and 2 TD’s. His usage and production has been very inconsistent all year, so I wouldn’t recommend starting him yet.
Marqise Lee, Jacksonville Jaguars (59%) — Lee has established legitimate fantasy value, particularly in the last four weeks. In that time, he averaged 5.8 catches (9.8 targets) for 71.3 yards and scored each of the last two weeks. The targets are what I’m paying attention to most here, as he had at least 10 in three of the four weeks.
Randall Cobb, Green Bay Packers (56%) — It’s taking the Packers offense some time to get acclimated to Brett Hundley rather than Aaron Rodgers, but it’s getting there. Hundley finally had a decent game on Sunday, so it gives hope to the fantasy value of Cobb and Davante Adams. Jordy Nelson owners may need to throw in the towel, though. Cobb has gone over 50 yards each of the last two weeks. He’s also carried the ball 5 times (for 9 yards).
Jamison Crowder, Washington Redskins (55%) — We’ve seen life from Crowder in his last two games, catching 13-of-24 targets for 199 yards. He’s also added 3 carries for 17 yards. If he can stay on the field, then he’s a good PPR option — this type of play is what made him so valuable last year.
Cooper Kupp, Los Angeles Rams (54%) — Jared Goff has been spreading the ball around a lot, which gives Robert Woods, Sammy Watkins and Kupp all value. However, Woods and Watkins are both owned in over 60% of leagues. Kupp will give you something every week, as he averages 3.6 catches (6.1 targets) for 46.3 YPG and has scored 3 TD’s.
Corey Davis, Tennessee Titans (48%) — It really looks like Davis is about to emerge as a true fantasy threat. He and Marcus Mariota are ironing out their chemistry (only 40% of targets caught), but Davis has been targeted 15 times since returning from his hamstring injury two weeks ago. Plus, he’s averaging 12.7 YPC. Be patient, but Davis could be a stud for you come fantasy playoff time.
Kenny Golladay, Detroit Lions (7%) — Until Sunday, Golladay hadn’t played since Week 3 due to a hamstring injury. He only caught 2 balls on Sunday, but had 64 yards (one went for 50 yards). He is a big-play threat and is worth holding onto in case his production becomes more consistent.
Greg Olsen, Carolina Panthers (59%) — Olsen will test his foot this week, and if all goes well, he’ll return to practice within the next week or two. The Panthers have a bye week this week, but then you can look for Olsen to return shortly after. When healthy, he is a must-have.
Tyler Kroft, Cincinnati Bengals (53%) — Kroft was flat against the Titans on Sunday, catching just 1 pass. However, he was still targeted 6 times. He’s been a good fantasy option most weeks. He hasn’t scored a TD in the last three weeks, but he has caught at least 4 passes in four-of-seven games since he became Cincinnati’s starting TE.
Charles Clay, Buffalo Bills (43%) — Clay missed a month with a knee issue but has returned. Before being injured, Clay was Tyrod Taylor’s go-to guy, averaging 4.4 catches (6.2 targets) for 54.2 yards and scoring twice. There are more targets to go around now since Buffalo added Kelvin Benjamin and Deonte Thompson, but Clay has always been Taylor’s most-trusted weapon.
Julius Thomas, Miami Dolphins (28%) — If you need a TE in a pinch, Thomas can be your guy. I would only stream him (his production is inconsistent), but he’s put up two solid outings in a row. In the last two weeks, he’s caught 8-of-15 targets for 92 yards and 2 TD’s.