Garoppolo Injects Life Into 49ers
It's been a long season for 49ers fans, with the team sitting at 3-10 and very little to be excited about. The mid-season trade with the Patriots for Jimmy Garoppolo has been the lone bright spot, and it could be the same for fantasy owners bitten by the injury bug. Undoubtedly there are teams out there reeling after the loss of Carson Wentz or Josh McCown, and Garoppolo could be the fill-in they need to continue in the fantasy playoffs. The Eastern Illinois product tore it up in his second full game with San Francisco, lighting up the Texans for 334 yards and a score on 20-of-33 passing. The ceiling is of course limited given that there are limited weapons for Garoppolo to work with, but Marquise Goodwin has emerged as his go-to receiver and Carlos Hyde is ever-dangerous both on the ground and through the air. Fantasy teams in desperation mode should prioritize adding Garoppolo to give themselves a chance to fight another day.
Gallman Running Away with Starting Role
Orleans Darkwa had been the default starting running back for the dysfunctional Giants right up until he fumbled on the Giants' first offensive play on Sunday. From there on out it was the Wayne Gallman show. Gallman did not disappoint, posting 59 yards on 12 carries (4.9 yards per carry). More impressive than that was the fact that he also brought in seven passes on nine targets for an additional 40 yards. Typically Shane Vereen is in on passing downs for the Giants, but interim head coach Steve Spagnuolo and Eli Manning did not hesitate to check down to Gallman or send him out in the flat. This kind of usage is tough to find on the waiver wire this late in the season, and is immediately worthy of a waiver wire add, both to use and to keep opponents from using against you. With Darkwa and Vereen set to be free agents in 2018 it makes perfect sense for the Giants to see what they have in Gallman, and sitting at the bottom of the NFC is the perfect time to do it.
Miller's Miserable Matchup Tough To Ignore
Lamar Miller has underwhelmed all season for one reason or another. In the early stages, the offense ran through DeShaun Watson and Miller was given somewhat of a secondary role in the offense. With Watson out, the offense simply doesn't move well enough for Miller to do much--opposing defenses don't fear the pass as much and can stack the box on Miller. Ultimately these factors have aided in Miller posting the lowest yards per carry of his career (3.6), along with a miserable 58.8 yards per game and just three total touchdowns on the ground (although he does have three receiving scores). In Week 15 he'll draw Jacksonville's second-ranked defense, and with very little reason to fear the passing game with Tom Savage or T.J. Yates under center, the Jags should sell out to stop the run and make sure that Miller can't beat them. If you have options with better matchups on your bench, strongly consider benching Miller in what is a win-or-go-home matchup for most teams.
NFL Pickups of the Week
Nick Foles, QB, Philadelphia Eagles - Foles is certainly no Carson Wentz, but he has plenty of starting experience and still has a full complement of weapons around him. He should make for a serviceable fill-in for those who lost Wentz.
Rod Smith, RB, Dallas Cowboys - Alfred Morris is still getting the touches, but it's Smith who is making an impact. He has four touchdowns over his last three games, and is the more dynamic player of the two. A flex-worthy player in PPR formats.
Dede Westbrook, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars - A week after posting six catches for 78 yards, Westbrook put up a 5-81-1 line on the Seahawks above-average (although injured) secondary. He has earned every-week flex consideration, especially against the beatable Texans.