Week-Ahead Stash Candidates for Week 13

Lamar Jackson has shown flashes, but patience is key with rookie quarterbacks. When should you be looking to add the Ravens' dynamic signal caller?

This weekly article series will attempt to help you in two ways. First, we are going to be examining players who may not be the hot waiver pickups of the week. This will save your Free Agent Acquisition Budget (FAAB) or waiver priority for when you need it most. Second, we will be diving into stats and trends that point to players improving their fantasy scores next week, not this current week. The goal is to sift through the rough to find those diamonds who emerge every single year, except you won't be sweating over whether or not you claimed them on waivers, because you will already own them. At least that's the goal.

Here's the fifth transparency report of the season. Before Week 11, I told you to grab these guys for a Week 12 start. Here's how they did:

PlayerPositional RankingHalf-PPR Points
Baker Mayfield5th25.9
Josh Adams14th16.4
Pierre GarconN/AN/A
John Ross30th10.6
Bills D/ST11th7.0

This week was much better than last week. Pierre Garcon did not suit up for his contest, but hopefully some of you grabbed Dante Pettis -- 15.7 in FanDuel scoring -- instead. Baker Mayfield and Josh Adams could both be every-week starters going forward. If you started him in deep leagues, John Ross bailed you out with a touchdown. And finally, the Buffalo D/ST supplied fantasy players with a serviceable day as well.

Now, on to next week! Here are some guys who may not be startable for Week 13 but could be valuable for the fantasy playoffs! So, if you have space, add them now or hope that they fall through waivers after this week. I will be selecting guys who are more "sure things" than usual going forward, since we are aiming at playoff potential starts in the coming weeks.

Lamar Jackson, QB, Ravens

Yahoo ownership: 44%

The first guy on this week's list is Lamar Jackson. Some of you might be confused because in two weeks incumbent starting quarterback Joe Flacco will likely be practicing and back in action. Well, I think the job will be relinquished to Jackson for the remainder of the season. Prior to Flacco's injury, the Baltimore Ravens were on a three-game losing streak that was snapped once Jackson started in Week 11. In these last two games, the Ravens have totaled over 400 yards of total offense -- a mark they hadn't reached since Week 5. In these two games, Jackson has rushed for a combined 190 yards and a touchdown. On top of that, he's provided some passing yards, too, although it's clear that the Ravens are easing him into the passing game. Ravens' coach John Harbaugh has stated that, "Everything is on the table," as it pertains to which quarterback will take the reigns going forward. To me, it sounds like the job isn't necessarily Flacco's, once healthy.

Many people play in one quarterback leagues, so Jackson's ownership is about where it should be with the associated risk. This provides an opportunity for you to swoop in and grab him for the potential his remaining matchups provide. This week, he draws the Atlanta Falcons, who should be getting star linebacker Deion Jones back in their defense for Week 13. That being said, this could still be a big spot for Jackson and the Ravens to hone in their passing attack against a defense that has given up over 3,100 passing yards and 25 touchdowns to opposing quarterbacks. The reason you really want to stash him, however, is the first two games of his playoff schedule -- at the Kansas City Chiefs and versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. These two defenses have given up a combined 6,727 passing yards and 46 touchdowns to quarterbacks so far this season. With one more game under his belt, Lamar Jackson could hit the upside we've all been looking for.

Tre'Quan Smith, WR, Saints

Yahoo ownership: 49%

Tre'Quan Smith pops up at number two because for some reason his ownership has gone down this past week. I can sort of see it, due to the injuries and the Thursday games, but in my eyes Smith needs to be rostered. We found out why in Week 11, when he trounced the Philadelphia Eagles for 10 receptions, 157 yards and a touchdown on 13 targets. Without Smith in the lineup for Week 12 against the Atlanta Falcons, the Saints honestly struggled to move the football like they had prior to this game. They only had 312 total yards of offense against a defense that has been giving up chunks of yards.

Well, Smith is playing on Thursday Night Football this week, so you might need to weigh your options between him and some other bench stashes. Smith and the Saints will be playing against a Dallas Cowboys defense that has been very good this year. They're only allowing the fourth-fewest fantasy points to wide receivers this year. Instead, I think Smith is a good playoff stash. In Week 13, the Saints will head to Tampa Bay and play the Buccaneers who, as we know, are one of the best defenses to target when playing a skill position player like Tre'Quan Smith. The Bucs are allowing the second=most fantasy points per target, at 1.91, and Drew Brees is on pace for an MVP caliber season.

Chris Godwin, WR, Buccaneers

Yahoo ownership: 44%

Early in the season, Chris Godwin was off to a hot start with four touchdowns in the first five games. Lost somewhere in the Bucs' quarterback shuffle of Ryan Fitzpatrick and Jameis Winston was Godwin's role in the offense. With that being said, I believe there is still a shot for him to contribute down the stretch. In Week 11, DeSean Jackson injured his thumb while playing against the New York Giants. This was apparent in his statline for Week 12, where Jackson only caught 3 of his 8 targets for 19 yards. Because of this, Godwin's snap rate jumped back up to 67.1% -- a number he had not reached since Week 7. Adam Humphries also enjoyed some of the spoils of Jackson's injury while working out of the slot. Godwin is an outside receiver that could step in to Jackson's role now that Winston is back at the helm.

This week, the Bucs will play against the Carolina Panthers in Tampa Bay. This game currently has a point total of 55 and is more than likely going to be a shootout. Godwin represents some upside in this game, but the prime matchup we should all be looking forward to is in Week 14 when the Bucs take on the Saints at home. This game is likely to have an even higher point total, and with Jackson banged up, Godwin has a good chance to step in and catch a long touchdown. The Saints are currently the number one offense in points scored per game, so game script will be heavily in the favor of Winston, Evans, and Godwin trying to play catch-up. And the Saints have allowed over 300 passing yards in two of the past four weeks. This is a great spot for Godwin to solidify his role in the offense for the future.

Justin Jackson, RB, Chargers

Yahoo ownership: 18%

You will likely only be able to have a week or two window to start rookie running back Justin Jackson with Melvin Gordon missing a few weeks with an MCL sprain. That being said, Jackson showed well with his limited touches following the injury during the Week 12 contest against the Arizona Cardinals. In that game, Jackson rushed 7 times for 57 yards -- good for 8.14 yards per carry. He will be splitting work with Austin Ekeler, who is more known for being the team's pass-catching and third-down back but has been impressive on the ground this season as well. In the one game Ekeler has played sans Gordon, he had 12 rushing attempts and 7 targets. That's a good workload, but there's certainly room for another back considering the Los Angeles Chargers offense has been rolling lately.

We shouldn't plug and play Jackson this week against the Pittsburgh Steelers, who have allowed the ninth-fewest fantasy points to running backs this season. Rather in Week 14, Jackson and the Chargers will be playing against the Cincinnati Bengals, who are allowing the second most fantasy points to backs this season. In the last three weeks, the Bengals have given up 595 rushing yards to opposing teams. Jackson will likely be the clock burner while Gordon is on the sideline, and the Chargers will probably dominate the Andy Dalton-less Bengals in this game. As a bonus for Jackson, the following week he draws the Kansas City Chiefs, who are the only team giving up more points to running backs than the Bengals. By then Gordon may be back, but keep Jackson in mind as a sneaky start if he isn't.

Bills D/ST

Yahoo ownership: 37%

The Buffalo D/ST has been very solid this season, despite the Bills suffering massively on offense. This season, the Bills have allowed the second-fewest yards to opposing offenses. Almost no one would have guessed that one without looking. And in the last three weeks, the Bills have gained five defensive turnovers -- all interceptions. They have also had three sacks in each of the last two matchups. Looking forward, the Bills have three good matchups in a row: at the Miami Dolphins, versus the New York Jets, and versus the Detroit Lions. Having two plus matc-ups at home during the fantasy playoffs is gold, but you might want to find a different Week 16 D/ST, since the Bills play a divisional game against the New England Patriots in Gillette Stadium.