Fantasy Football Mailbag: Tuesday 11/22/16

With Andrew Luck potentially missing time due to a concussion, is it time to bail on T.Y. Hilton in fantasy football? And can Kirk Cousins keep rolling in Week 12?

Fantasy football research never stops, and roles change drastically from one week to the next. That's where our fantasy football mailbag comes into play.

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Now, let's answer some questions.

Email submission from Spencer Muller:

Would you trade TY Hilton for Brandin Cooks at this point? I'm in 2nd place, and if I win this week, that will clinch it for me and a 1st round bye. TY faces the Vikings and Raiders, and Cooks is at the Cardinals and has TB at home (and TB on the road if I miss out on the 2 seed). I'm leaning towards trading for Cooks, but TY has been on fire all season also.

It's officially panic time for those of us who invested in the Indianapolis Colts with Andrew Luck in concussion protocol and missing practice again Tuesday. But even with this concern, we shouldn't be jumping ship on T.Y. Hilton just yet.

The allure of Hilton for fantasy is that dude just swims in targets. He has at least eight targets in every game he has played this year in which he hasn't left due to injury. His target market share is 27.5%, and that would have value even with a less efficient quarterback. Brandin Cooks' target market share is 18.2%, and he has seen more than seven targets in only two of the New Orleans Saints' five games since their bye. From a volume perspective, Hilton runs laps around Cooks.

We don't yet know how much time Luck will miss due to his concussion. It's entirely possible he is able to return in Week 13 after missing just one game. If that winds up being the case, Hilton is absolutely a guy we'll want on our rosters for the stretch run.

Email submission from Keenan Bates:

With all the Thanksgiving games, I'm torn on who to start because that will mean a short turn-around for several of my guys. With that said, who do you think I should roll with for the positions below? QB1: Marcus Marriota, Dak Prescott or Kirk Cousins? RB2: Frank Gore, Spencer Ware or Thomas Rawls? WR3: Allen Robinson, M. Crabtree, M. Thomas, R. Matthews

If we turn to numberFire's Week 12 projections, they'll tell you to start Kirk Cousins, Thomas Rawls, and Allen Robinson. It's hard to disagree with any of those choices.

Over the past four weeks, Cousins has racked up 75.67 Passing Net Expected Points (NEP), our efficiency metric that tracks the expected points a quarterback adds on each drop back. For context, that's more Passing NEP than Marcus Mariota has added the entire season, and he has been absolutely balling out. Cousins is one of the best quarterbacks in football right now, and even as a 7.5-point underdog against the slow-paced Dallas Cowboys, it's hard to put Cousins on the bench.

Rawls is the benefactor of a situation that borders on ideal. Although the Seattle Seahawks are on the road, they are 5.5-point favorites against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. C.J. Prosise is out for the rest of the regular season, leaving Rawls as the lone ranger in the backfield. With how well Russell Wilson has been playing, Rawls is a guy we need to ride from here on out.

With Robinson, you're getting the potential for gobs of volume. The Jacksonville Jaguars are seven-point underdogs against the Buffalo Bills, meaning they're going to have to chuck it quite a bit. Robinson has a 24.7% target market share that jumps to 26.1% over the past four games. If they fall behind early, Robinson could get peppered with targets, helping to compensate for the general inefficiencies of the offense.

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