Copestick’s Picks- Week 13 Regular Season Finale Edition

Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch (24) runs against the Denver Broncos during the second half of an NFL football game in Oakland, Calif., Sunday, Nov. 26, 2017. The Raiders won 21-14. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)


Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch (24) runs against the Denver Broncos during the second half of an NFL football game in Oakland, Calif., Sunday, Nov. 26, 2017. The Raiders won 21-14. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

Start em’

Case Keenum – Case Keenum? Yes, Case Keenum. Say what you want, but he deserves your respect…and attention. Keenum has been tremendous against the blitz this season, and lucky for him, the Falcons don’t get a lot of pressure or force many turnovers. However, if the play breaks down, Keenum is more than capable of using his speed to keep the play alive. Factor in all of the weapons the Vikings have on offense, including Stefon Diggs, Kyle Rudolph, and Adam Thielen (who’s currently playing at an All-Pro level), Keenum looks destined for another good fantasy day.

Marshawn Lynch, Oakland Raiders – I felt like I was watching the Seahawks version of Marshawn Lynch last week. He was running hard, getting his home crowd involved, and getting a lot of touches. The Raiders turned to Lynch after receivers Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper exited the game due to an ejection and an injury respectively. What’s enticing about Lynch is that he received nearly 30 touches last week, even though he’s never touched the ball more than 20 times this season. Crabtree will miss Sunday’s game do to a suspension, and Cooper will likely be out due to a concussion. Lynch’s opponent, the New York Giants, might be without run stopper Damon Harrison, which would open up running lanes for what should be a busy day for Lynch.

Jamison Crowder, Washington Redskins – Crowder is the Redskins receiver to own as the fantasy season winds down. His breakout performance last week puts him as the Redskins top option on offense, over second year receiver Josh Doctson (seven catches, 141 yards, and a touchdown) . Although on he’s on a short week, Crowder should have his way with a poor Cowboys secondary, that  let Philip Rivers for over 400 yards and three touchdowns.

Sammy Watkins, Los Angeles Rams – Although Cooper Kupp was here last week, Sammy Watkins looks like the guy to own for the Rams in the absence of Robert Woods. Watkins saw nine targets last week, the highest total he had seen all year. Watkins deep threat ability gives Jared Goff a versatile target who can stretch the defense or catch passes over the middle. Although the Cardinals have Patrick Peterson, this is a Rams offense who put up 33 points in their last meeting. They have the tools to do it again, and Watkins will help with that.

Sit em’

Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers – The last time Cam Newton played the Saints, he was dreadful, tossing three interceptions in a 20 point home blowout. The Saints will play virtually the same defense Newton saw in Week 3, but this time, he’ll be without Kelvin Benjamin, who was traded, and tight end Greg Olsen’s status is in the air because of a nagging foot injury. Playing on the road, Newton could struggle just as badly as he did in Week 3.

Frank Gore, Indianapolis Colts – Since the Jaguars traded for disgruntled Bills nose tackle Marcell Dareus, the Jags are allowing just 55 rush yards per game, down from the 138 yards per game they were allowing before he arrived. Holes will be few and far between, as Gore will be stifled all day, as he’s running behind one of the worst offensive lines in football anyway. If the Colts think passing on the Jags is a better idea, the last time they played, Jacksonville registered ten sacks and pitched a shutout against the Colts. Look for rookie Marlon Mack to take the occasional snap away from Gore as well.

Kareem Hunt, Kansas City Chiefs – The days of Kareem Hunt being a quality fantasy starter are over. Hunt exploded for 44 points in the season’s opening game, but since then, has made a sharp decline. Last week, Hunt totaled only 17 yards on 11 carries, and he only produced one catch out of the backfield where he is usually a bigger factor. Not only has Hunt’s meager production burned his fantasy owners, but the Chiefs’ entire offense has stalled, and as a result, the Chiefs have lost three straight games. Hunt is no longer a viable starter and should be kept on your bench, not only this week, but throughout the fantasy football playoffs.

Play of the Week

Dede Westbrook, Jacksonville Jaguars – Marqise Lee has been Blake Bortles’ desired target recently, but former Heisman finalist Dede Westbrook should be someone to keep an eye on. The rookie has demanded attention since his return from a core muscle injury that kept him out for the opening ten weeks of the season. Westbrook should garner more attention this week as his Jags face the Colts, who Blake Bortles torched for over 300 yards in a 27-0 shutout. Westbrook should benefit from an injury to fellow receiver Allen Hurns, who is questionable for Sunday’s game.