Our NFL Nation reporters answer fantasy football questions every Tuesday during the NFL season. Here’s what they had to say following Week 12.
How do you think the target distribution between DeAndre Hopkins, Rondale Moore and Marquise Brown looks when all three are active?
If I had to rank them off the bat, it’d go Hopkins, Brown and Moore. It might not look like that in real time because of how defenses tend to roll coverage to Hopkins from the onset, leaving Brown and Moore open earlier. It’s tough to attach a percentage to the three of them, but Hopkins and Brown would have closer percentages than Moore, who plays behind the line of scrimmage more than the other two. Brown is more capable of making bigger plays than the other two, so he might not see as many balls as Hopkins or Moore, but his impact might be greater. And then there’s Hopkins, who’s unquestionably the Cardinals’ go-to WR1. He can carry an offense by himself (which he has) and that can easily lead to 10 or 12 targets (even more at times), especially if the other two get going. — Josh Weinfuss
Something or nothing: Isaiah McKenzie sees twice as many targets as Gabe Davis and leads the team in receiving (96 yards) on Thanksgiving in Detroit.
It’s something, but more for McKenzie than Davis. McKenzie went through a slower stretch, going six straight games without over 50 receiving yards, but his 96 receiving yards on 10 targets and six receptions, in addition to a touchdown, against the Lions was a step in the right direction. Coach Sean McDermott said McKenzie put in two good weeks of practice prior to the game, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if the Bills try to continue to involve him against a Patriots team he had success against last year. Davis has seen consistent targets and will continue to, especially with a number of injuries at the position. — Alaina Getzenberg
Tight end is a tough spot to fill. Are you buying Hayden Hurst (nine targets, tied for the team lead) as a viable option when Ja’Marr Chase returns?
I’m selling. Hurst’s target share has been volatile throughout the season. Over the past six weeks, Hurst has surpassed five targets on just two occasions. With QB Joe Burrow playing better against Cover 2 looks than he was earlier in the season, it’s hard to start Hurst with any production reliability. He is a vertical threat and can make plays in the passing game, though, so anyone in a pinch looking for a TE can find worse options on the waiver wire. — Ben Baby
Michael Gallup saw a season-high eight targets on Thanksgiving. Can he regain something close to his 2019 form that saw him go over 1,100 receiving yards?
After the Thanksgiving win vs. the New York Giants, Gallup said he is past the mental hurdle in his return from a torn anterior cruciate ligament. His play the past two games certainly suggests that. He is making difficult catches when draped by defenders. And Dak Prescott trusts him. He is the Cowboys’ best deep-ball threat with his ability to go up over a defender. It has taken him some time to get back in form, but his timing can’t be better. Whether the Cowboys add Odell Beckham Jr. or not, they need this play from Gallup, especially as CeeDee Lamb, who has two 100-yard games in the past three outings, starts to heat up. — Todd Archer
With 19 catches over the past two games for Zay Jones, is it safe to call him a PPR factor the rest of the way?
Sure, as long as you’re not expecting nine catches every week. Jones has a career-high 58 catches so far this season, but 28 of those catches have come in three games. Still, he has had at least five targets in 10 of the Jaguars’ 11 games and has surpassed Marvin Jones Jr. as the Jaguars’ No. 2 receiver behind Christian Kirk (even though Jones actually has two more catches than Kirk). — Michael DiRocco
If Rhamondre Stevenson has a full season as the lead back, what would you project for carry and catch totals (six-plus catches in four of his past five games)?
Stevenson has played 68.4% of the offensive snaps. Since Week 2, he has played 40 or more snaps in every game but one. So this provides a good foundation to project his numbers over a full season — give him in the range of 240 carries, 1,200 rushing yards and 75-80 receptions. Bill Belichick has gushed about the dramatic rate of growth since he arrived in April 2021. — Mike Reiss
With under 55 rushing yards in three of four and under 15 receiving yards in four straight for Saquon Barkley, do you think the heavy usage early in the season is a concern for the fantasy playoffs?
Not really. Barkley’s recent dip probably has more to do with shuffling on the offensive line than his heavy work rate. If anything, Barkley should have seen a little spike post-bye. Instead, it has been a struggle, but not because he lacks explosion. It’s because he lacks room to run with teams selling out to stop him. — Jordan Raanan
Let’s assume it’s Mike White for the rest of the regular season. Give us a Garrett Wilson projection (catches, yards, TDs) for the final six games.
The Jets’ six remaining opponents rank from 19th to 32nd in pass defense, including three teams in the bottom-8. With that in mind, Wilson should be able to finish with a flurry — let’s say 35 catches for 450 yards and five TDs. — Rich Cimini
Mike Evans has three straight games under 55 receiving yards, and seven straight without a score. Should fantasy managers hesitate before locking Evans into lineups moving forward?
Bucs coach Todd Bowles said Monday, “We’ve got to get them back on the same page. That struggle, it showed up yesterday. I’m not saying it was anybody’s fault, but it did show up yesterday and it showed up a few games before that. We’ve got to get that taken care of. That’s crucial for our success.” It boils down to the other receivers needing to step up — which we have seen from Chris Godwin in recent games, and Julio Jones if he can stay consistently healthy — but also Tom Brady and Mike Evans needed to fine-tune their connection because something’s been off. Whether or not that gets corrected this week will be largely predicated on if Evans has to face Marshon Lattimore, who has missed the last seven games with an abdominal injury. — Jenna Laine
It’s now three straight games with underwhelming efficiency for Derrick Henry (64 carries for 178 yards). Is that cause for concern or just a bump in the road?
Henry had a tough couple of games while center Ben Jones dealt with a concussion over the past two weeks. Without Jones, Henry averaged 0.8 yards per rush before first contact against the Bengals on Sunday, his second-lowest average in the past three seasons. Two weeks ago Henry averaged 0.9 yards per rush before contact last week against the Packers. He finished with only 38 yards on 17 carries against the Bengals. That was the second-lowest total for Henry when he had at least 15 carries in a game. Henry is now averaging a career-low 1.70 yards per rush before contact this season, ranking him 49th out of 53 qualified rushers in average yards before contact this season. — Turron Davenport