Need a fantasy football fill-in for this week?
Who are you kidding? Of course you do. It's Week 11 of the 2019 NFL season, meaning there are 10 weeks of injuries to plan around, plus the Green Bay Packers, Seattle Seahawks, New York Giants and Tennessee Titans all have the week off.
If you aren't covering up one spot this weekend, it's because you're covering multiple ones. (Well, that or you're the world's luckiest person, in which case, why are you reading this and not out buying some lottery tickets?)
Based on matchups, injuries and projections, we've laid out our top fantasy streamer at each of the four marquee offensive positions—available in 50-plus percent of Yahoo leagues, per FantasyPros—and laid out their projected stat lines for the week.
Nick Foles entered the 2019 campaign as one of the most intriguing players at his position after shining in a reserve role with the Philadelphia Eagles (and miraculously earning Super Bowl LII MVP honors), then relocating to the Jacksonville Jaguars over the offseason. But he was knocked out of the Jags' opener with a broken clavicle and hasn't been seen since.
Until now. The 30-year-old will make his long-awaited return to the team this Sunday when the Jags travel to Indianapolis. To say expectations are lofty for the signal-caller would be an understatement.
"If he didn't get hurt, he'd be competing for MVP of the league right now," Jags defensive lineman Calais Campbell said on ESPN's "First Take" (via Big Cat Country's Demetrius Harvey). "I know that's a big statement, but he is an incredible talent."
Maybe that's biased (and hyperbolic), but Foles has the chance to be more than a fantasy streamer. After facing a good-not-great Colts defense, he'll draw the Titans, Buccaneers, Chargers, Raiders and Falcons down the stretch. With weapons all around him, he has the chance to thrive.
Projected stats: 254 passing yards, 2 touchdowns
Brian Hill, RB, Atlanta Falcons (Three Percent Owned)
Injuries might be the worst thing in sports, but they do create opportunities for players who may not otherwise have them.
Brian Hill is the latest beneficiary of that. He subbed in for a hobbled Devonta Freeman on Sunday and promptly delivered 71 scrimmage yards and a score in Atlanta's stunning 26-9 triumph over the New Orleans Saints.
With Freeman potentially shelved the next two weeks by a foot sprain, per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, Hill has a real chance to make some noise.
That starts this Sunday when he gets a crack at a Carolina Panthers defense allowing the fifth-most fantasy points to running backs, per Yahoo Sports. Nine different running backs have rushed for touchdowns against the Panthers; Malcolm Brown (two), Tevin Coleman (three) and Aaron Jones (three) all did it more than once.
Assuming Atlanta keeps this close enough to stick with the running game, Hill, who has found the end zone each of the last two weeks, should have a chance to keep his scoring streak alive.
Projected stats: 72 rushing yards, 18 receiving yards, 1 touchdown
While other waiver-wire shoppers might rush out to get Darius Slayton this week, you might need more assistance than he can provide with the Giants heading into their bye. If that's the case, set your sights on another Big Apple pass-catcher in Demaryius Thomas, who's quietly becoming a focal point of the Jets' passing attack.
Now look, we get it. Being a focal point for Gang Green might have as much fantasy relevance as a No. 3 option in a high-powered offense, but Thomas is getting his chances.
Dating back to his initial appearance with the Jets in Week 5, Thomas has been targeted 39 times in six games. He's starting to maximize those opportunities, too. Over the past three weeks, he's turned 17 targets into 13 receptions for 166 yards.
Granted, those aren't fortune-changing numbers, but hopefully you're not looking to have your fortune changed by a Week 11 waiver-wire addition. Even if his ceiling isn't great—his point totals would be respectable with a touchdown here or there—his floor should be high enough to provide value in a spot start.
Maybe the 1-8 Washington Redskins, Thomas' Week 11 opponent, are just what he needs to elicit an end-zone appearance.
Projected stats: 6 receptions, 74 yards, 1 touchdown
O.J. Howard, TE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (40 Percent Owned)
One game doesn't get a player back into the circle of trust, especially not a player who was as far removed from it as O.J. Howard.
Even his 2019 "breakout" didn't accomplish much. Sure, he scored a touchdown, but it was his first of the season. Plus, almost every tight end that faces the Cardinals finds his way into the end zone. (No really, check it out.)
Normally, we'd hesitate giving this much digital space to someone who counts a four-catch, 47-yard day as his best of the season. But any signs of life at the tight end position must be noted in 2019.
Plus, the positives went beyond the production itself. Howard saw a season-high seven targets in the contest. Perhaps equally important, his biggest threat at the position, Cameron Brate, saw none and only played 15 snaps, per Pro Football Reference.
Even if Howard isn't in our circle of trust, it could be a big development if he's back in Jameis Winston's.
Projected stats: 5 receptions, 53 yards