In a season that has featured little to get excited about for the Eagles, Jalen Hurts provided a bit of a spark Sunday against the Packers as he came in for the benched Carson Wentz. And he has the potential to do the same for Fantasy players with the playoffs looming. The question moving forward is whether he's going to get another chance to lead the Eagles offense, because he could be one of the top targets on waivers in Week 14 if he does.
Hurts came in during the second half Sunday, with Wentz struggling once again. Wentz had completed just 6 of 15 passes for 79 yards, with 18 yards on the ground and four more sacks to that point. The Eagles had scored just three points in the game -- which came on the opening drive, when they needed 15 plays (and a drive-extending defensive holding) to pick up 41 yards. It was Wentz's third game without a passing touchdown this season, though also, amazingly, his first game without either a fumble or an interception. He's been bad this season, there's no way around it.
It's not like things changed dramatically with Hurts in the game, to be clear. The Eagles punted on his first drive and only scored on one of four, but he had 109 yards on 5 of 9 passing -- with at least a 20-plus yard gain dropped by Travis Fulgham -- with a touchdown and an interception. But still, at least it gave the Eagles offense a different look, and that is what coach Doug Pederson told reporters after the game he was looking for.
Because, while Wentz can pick up the occasional first down with his legs, Hurts is a legitimate threat as a runner, and he had five carries for 29 yards Sunday, and that was all while playing in come-from-behind mode with no schemed or designed runs. That's what makes him potentially so interesting for Fantasy purposes, as Hurts ran a 4.59 40-yard dash and had nearly 1,300 rushing yards in 14 games with Oklahoma in 2019. If Hurts gets a chance to start, he could have a Taysom Hill-esque impact for Fantasy, making up for whatever limitations he might have as a passer with rushing ability.
We'll find out soon enough whether Hurts will get the opportunity to start -- Pederson wouldn't name a starter after the game -- and while he wouldn't necessarily be a must-start option in Week 14 against the Saints even if he does, Hurts would be an intriguing waiver-wire target for sure, especially for those of you who have been streaming the QB spot for one reason or another. Hurts' skill set could make him very valuable.
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Elsewhere, the top option on waivers, if he's available in your league, figures to be Rams running back Cam Akers, who finally seems to have emerged as the go-to back for the Rams, leading the team with 72 yards on 21 carries with a touchdown along with a 22-yard catch Sundays. If Akers (74% rostered in CBS Fantasy leagues) isn't out there in your league, here are some other players we'll be looking for heading into the Fantasy playoffs.
Early Waiver Targets
Ty Johnson RB
NYJ N.Y. Jets • #25
Age: 24 • Experience: 2 yrs.
Johnson was thrust into a larger role pretty much immediately after kickoff Sunday when Frank Gore was forced out after just one touch due to a concussion. Johnson made the most of his opportunity, benefiting from a rare Jets lead to rack up 22 carries, a season high for the Jets. He played 37 snaps, while Josh Adams played just 19, and Johnson led the way in both run snaps and pass routes run. It might be tough to go for a repeat in Week 14 against the Seahawks, but Johnson is a potential lead back available in nearly every league, which means he's going to be a hot commodity on waivers this week. The Jets are averaging 23.3 RB touches per game despite their 0-12 record, so there should be an opportunity for Johnson to get close to 15 touches next week, which could put him in the RB2 discussion if he starts.
T.Y. Hilton WR
IND Indianapolis • #13
Age: 31 • Experience: 10 yrs.
There were faint signs of optimism for T.Y. Hilton earlier in the season if you were looking for them, but it's hard to blame anyone if they weren't. Despite his subpar performance overall, he had several situations early on where he was close to putting together a big game -- a dropped pass here, a pass interference there, and his season looks a lot different. If you were looking for reasons to believe he wasn't finished, you could find them, though few kept the faith. Hilton has rewarded those who have over the past two games with 12 catches for 191 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Sure, they've been against easy matchups in the Titans and Texans, but Hilton gets the Raiders in Week 14 and the Texans again in Week 15, so this little run could continue. Even with these two games, Hilton still isn't a must-start WR or anything close, but he's back in the starting discussion.
CLE Cleveland • #82
Age: 26 • Experience: 6 yrs.
Even before Sunday's game, Higgins had been pretty great since Odell Beckham's injury, averaging 13.3 yards per target over his previous five games. The problem is, he had just 19 targets in that span, catching 14 of them for 252 yards. Sunday he saw nine targets and put up 95 yards and a touchdown on six catches, so that's what the upside looks like when the opportunity is there. Jarvis Landry is the No. 1 option in this offense, but with the Browns throwing the ball so rarely to their running backs and tight ends, maybe there is enough room for Higgins to be a boom-or-bust option moving forward -- he is running nearly as many routes as Landry every week. Week 14 against the Ravens might be a "bust" week, but he could boom against the Giants and Jets in Weeks 15 and 16.
Keke Coutee WR
IND Indianapolis • #16
Age: 24 • Experience: 4 yrs.
No Will Fuller, no problem, at least for one week. Coutee was expected to see a bigger role, but this was more than anyone bargained for; his 141 yards Sunday were nearly one-fourth his career total entering the game. And as big a surprise as that was, Chad Hansen's performance -- five catches for 101 yards on seven targets -- might have been even more unexpected because the former fourth-rounder had just nine catches for 94 yards back in 2017 with the Jets in his only previous NFL action. Playing with Deshaun Watson has its benefits, and Coutee figures to be a popular pick up on waivers heading into Week 13 as the apparent Fuller replacement. Hansen also belongs on our radar after this breakout performance, especially since he led the Texans wide receivers in routes run.
NYG N.Y. Giants • #15
Age: 23 • Experience: 2 yrs.
That's two solid performances in a row for Johnson with Mike Glennon starting, and the Jaguars confirmed after Sunday's game that Glennon will remain the starter in Week 14 against the Titans. That's a pretty good matchup, and Johnson's performance Sunday came with D.J. Chark back in the fold after he missed Week 12 with rib injuries. Chark was the No. 1 option, but Johnson was just one target behind him despite running 14 fewer snaps. You know the Jaguars are going to be chasing points most weeks, so maybe he can keep this up down the stretch.