Deep Fantasy Football Stashes for Week 13

Keep an eye out for Gardner Minshew

By: Malcolm McMillan

This week the three players are more likely to be relevant. In fact, one player is a potential FLEX option rest-of-season, who is still available in nearly 60% of all Sleeper dynasty fantasy football leagues. That an NFL team’s starting running back is still so widely available is an unexpected surprise this late in the season, but it is also the truth. Read below to see who it is.

Gardner Minshew II: QB, Philadelphia Eagles

Jalen Hurts’ status for Week 13 is currently up in the air, but if the Philadelphia Eagles starting quarterback is out, then Gardner Minshew is the next man up. If Minshew gets the start, he immediately becomes a streaming quarterback option in 1 QB leagues, and a FLEX in Super Flex leagues. Why? Well, because he gets to play the New York Jets, who are awful. So in 1 QB leagues fantasy football managers would be wise to stash him now, and then cut him on Sunday morning if Hurts gets the start. Same with those in redraft Super Flex leagues. Minshew is not worth stashing in those situations due to the Eagles Week 14 bye.

In dynasty Super Flex leagues though, it may be worth it to hold Minshew until next season. The former Jaguars starter was pretty good last year before the Week 8 bye. Through seven weeks in 2020, Minshew was QB12 overall and QB16 in points per game (PPG). In 1 QB dynasty leagues that may not be worth using a roster spot for, but in Super Flex leagues those 19.34 PPG in a FLEX spot matter. The 2022 NFL draft class is not the deepest at quarterback, and an NFL team may want to start Minshew for a year rather than reach for a rookie quarterback if they miss on a big free agent/trade target like Aaron Rodgers. Stash Minshew until the free agency carrousel wraps up in the offseason, and then cut him if he is still a backup.

Kene Nwangwu: RB, Minnesota Vikings

Picking up Kene Nwangwu could ultimately be a total bust for fantasy football managers. However, if he sees time with Dalvin Cook out, the Minnesota Vikings rookie backup running back could return a nice return on investment. Of course, the main hurdle will be getting around Alexander Mattison, who is ahead of Nwangwu on the Vikings depth chart.

The argument for Mattison: Mattison is ahead of Nwangwu on the depth chart (as previously mentioned). He has filled in for Cook on several occasions, mostly doing well with the opportunity. He also has one more year on his contract, so Minnesota may want to see what they have with him in case they need to rely on him in 2022 (due to injuries for Cook or Cook’s potential legal trouble), or even want Mattison to replace Cook in 2023 (the Vikings have a potential out in Cook’s contract in 2023).

The argument for Nwangwu: Mattison’s athletic measurables are nowhere near Nwangwu’s athletic measurables. They are both 23, both former middle round picks (Mattison in the third and Nwangwu in the fourth) but Nwangwu is under contract for two years more than Mattison. Finally, when Nwangwu has touched the ball he has been explosive. He is currently averaging eight rushing yards per attempt, 41.25 yards per kick return and a touchdown every four kick returns. Are those numbers sustainable? Of course not, but they highlight an explosive ability that Minnesota may shift to if Mattison struggles as the fill-in starter these next two weeks. All it would take is one big game from Nwangwu for dynasty fantasy football managers to trade a waiver pickup for draft capital.

Rex Burkhead: RB, Houston Texans

Remember in the introduction when it was mentioned that an NFL starting running back was still available in free agent pools? Well, wait no longer, because that running back is Rex Burkhead, who may shockingly be the Houston Texans starting running back for the rest of the 2021 season. Yes, Burkhead is 31, which is ancient for a running back, let alone in dynasty fantasy football. However, sometimes fantasy football managers need a win now rental, and Burkhead is an excellent candidate for that. The past two weeks he has seen over 15 opportunities per game, and his snap count went from 42% of offensive snaps and 24% of special teams snaps in Week 11 to 61% and 0% respectively in Week 12. Typically, that trend indicates the team needs the player more on offense and does not want them out there to get hurt on special teams.

Again, it is understandable for fantasy football managers not to want Burkhead on their rosters, especially in dynasty leagues. But with his work increasing and an excellent Week 14 matchup coming up, Burkhead is worth stashing on a roster.

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