After thanksgiving dinner is over and the food has been devoured, the food coma sets in. Your stomach is so full it hurts, and the only thing that makes it feel better is by sitting (or lying) on the couch. So you do. But it’s boring to sit on the couch without anything to do, so you turn on the TV to watch the football game. Next thing you know, you’re falling asleep, as the food coma takes over.
In fantasy football, there are some NFL players that seem like they’re in a food coma. They aren’t putting up good numbers, and they aren’t worthy of a start or a roster spot on your team. They’re in a slump, and it’s unclear whether or not they’ll snap out of it.
But there’s hope. Just like when you wake up from that post-thanksgiving dinner nap and feel much better, sometimes players turn it around and up their level of play. They find their groove again.
As we near the fantasy playoffs, those are the players that we want to chase: the ones that snap out of it, find their groove, and keep it.
With that in mind, here are five players that seem to be in a “slump” that could (and should) turn it around in the upcoming weeks.
1. Jamison Crowder
Last year, Crowder was a touchdown machine. Every week you could count on him for a solid 10 points or more. This year, he’s been the opposite. He hasn’t scored a touchdown all year, and has been unstartable and even droppable. In fact, he hasn’t scored a touchdown in 13 consecutive games in which he’s caught a pass. That’s the longest active streak in the league right now.
However, things are changing on the Redskins. Crowder has been getting more targets lately. He’s topped 70 yards in the last three games he’s played: 123 yards, 76 yards, and 72 yards. In PPR leagues, that’s double digit points the past three games.
Let’s compare this to the beginning of the season. His first six games he played, he received 15.6 percent of the Redskins’ targets. The past three weeks, he’s seen 27.6 percent.
Now, with Chris Thompson injured and out for the rest of the season, the Redskins have to change their game plan, and that most likely means more targets for Crowder. This week, the Redskins face the Giants, who just held the Chiefs to only three field goals. However, the Giants defense has shown glaring weaknesses, and Crowder is in a prime spot to finally get that touchdown and break his end-zone-less streak.
2. Mike Evans
Evans hasn’t scored a touchdown since Week 7. Right now on ESPN standard rankings, he’s WR21. As a Evans owner, I drafted him as my WR1, but he’s hardly put up WR1 numbers this year.
Now Evans has Ryan Fitzpatrick throwing to him, as Jameis Winston continues to recover from an injury. Even with Fitzpatrick throwing to him, Evans still had a decent outing last week. He had five catches for 92 yards.
This week, the Buccaneers are up against the Falcons, who’s defense was recently exploited by Russell Wilson and company. Another reason for Evans to have a rebound week: He’s scored four touchdowns combined the last three times he’s played against the Falcons. Let’s hope for a couple more.
3. Dak Prescott
Dak’s two week slump can be easily explained. Cowboys left tackle Tyron Smith has been out the past two weeks with a back/groin injury. Without him, Dak has looked like a shell of himself. These two tweets paint the picture well:
Last week, Dak was responsible for FOUR turnovers, and ended up with negative fantasy points. I know Tyron Smith is an amazing talent, but it’s crazy to me how one player can really make that much of a difference. It’s worth noting here that Smith is questionable for this Thursday’s game. If he plays, Dak looks to get back on track and put behind him those two terrible games.
4. Alex Smith
Goodbye new Alex Smith, hello again old Alex Smith. Last week, Smith looked like his 2016 self. He threw two interceptions and zero touchdowns in a 9-12 overtime loss to the Giants. No one saw this coming.
Is this a sign that the regular Smith is back, or was it an off week? I think it’s an off week, and the Chiefs have the perfect game to get right this week against the hapless Bills. The Bills are falling apart on defense and are allowing all the touchdowns. I expect Smith to find his stride again.
5. Kareem Hunt
After an amazing start to his NFL career, Hunt has crashed back down to earth. He hasn’t scored a touchdown since Week 3, but his volume and yards have been keeping his fantasy value afloat. Now, his volume has been going away.
For some reason, Andy Reid thinks it’s a good idea to not give it to his extremely talented running back. Last week, Hunt only had four carries in the first half, but then had 14 carries in the second half. Two weeks before that, he only had nine carries.
On top of that, Hunt has been taken out of the game when the Chiefs get to the red zone, which makes zero sense. Instead of letting Hunt make people miss and finding his way to a touchdown, they opt for his backup West to get the job done.
However, like Alex Smith, this week’s matchup against the Bills is a juicy one. While the Hunt ride has been a bumpy one, there’s hope on the horizon, starting with this week.
Slumps suck. They’re frustrating and it’s a gamble to predict when they’ll truly snap out of it. But I think the time is coming soon for these five players where they’ll regain their fantasy value and hopefully lead you through the playoffs.
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