Pickups of the Week: Ito Smith, DaeSean Hamilton are flex-worthy in fantasy playoffs

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Ito Smith out-carries, out-gains Tevin Coleman for a second straight week

Smith was likely kicked to the curb in your fantasy league a few weeks back, after his TD binge ended. But he deserves another look, because he looks suspiciously like the head of the backfield committee in Atlanta (or at least the co-chair). Smith has now out-touched and out-gained Tevin Coleman in back-to-back weeks, and the snaps were basically dead-even in the Falcons’ loss at Green Bay (32 vs. 33). Smith carried 11 times for 60 yards on Sunday, adding three catches for 14. We know Atlanta likes him in goal-to-go situations, too.

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And let’s not forget the fact that Smith is responsible for this run-of-the-year nominee, from way back in September…

He’s fun, people. Smith deserves a deep league look, ahead of an exceedingly friendly home matchup with Arizona. The Cardinals defense has allowed the third-most fantasy points to opposing RBs this season.

Schedule, next two weeks: Ari, at Car

FAAB bid: $16 ($100 budget). But really, it’s the playoffs. Do what you gotta do to get your guy.

Ito Smith has returned to fantasy relevance. (AP Photo/Mark Tenally, File)
Ito Smith has returned to fantasy relevance. (AP Photo/Mark Tenally, File)

Damien Williams finds the end-zone twice against Baltimore

Williams, a known vulturer of touchdowns, made a pair of house calls in Sunday’s overtime win against the Ravens. Williams ran behind Spencer Ware and he wasn’t particularly efficient (12 touches, 30 yards), but he’s clearly going to be a factor when the Chiefs are near the goal line. It should go without saying that you want to own red-zone ball-carriers attached to the league’s highest-scoring offense. Thus, Williams belongs on the fantasy radar.

Schedule, next two weeks: LAC, at Sea

FAAB bid: $10

Elijah McGuire, suddenly a featured back

McGuire averaged only 3.5 YPC on Sunday, but his go-ahead 1-yard score inside the final two minutes capped off a fun Jets comeback against the Bills. He handled 20 total touches against Buffalo, gaining 83 total yards. Isaiah Crowell checked out with a foot/toe injury that clearly has the potential to make him unavailable in Week 15. Next weekend’s matchup against Houston’s tough run D isn’t ideal, but if McGuire might just be in line for 18-24 touches. With a workload like that, he belongs in the fantasy conversation.

Schedule, next two weeks: Hou, GB

FAAB bid: $12

Josh Allen has been a carnival ride in fantasy, and he’s surging lately. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)
Josh Allen has been a carnival ride in fantasy, and he’s surging lately. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)

Josh Allen runs wild again

Allen is producing one of the crazier Jekyll/Hyde seasons in recent memory. Here’s a quick look at his per-game fantasy scoring over his eight starts using Yahoo default settings, with his weekly positional rank in parentheses:

Week 2 – 15.00 (27)
Week 3 – 27.74 (5)
Week 4 – 5.94 (30)
Week 5 – 10.18 (29)
Week 6 – 5.36 (30)
Week 12 – 26.34 (4)
Week 13 – 30.74 (2)
Week 14 – 22.34 (6)

That’s nuts, you guys. He’s either been a top-six or bottom-six QB in every game, with nothing in between. Allen has never simply finished a week as a QB2, with a ho-hum 18 points. Weird. Maybe this is the sort of thing that happens when a QB is bad in most of the traditionally important areas, but freakishly skilled in others.

Allen has run for an insane 335 yards and two scores over his last three games, which has obviously made him an extremely useful fantasy starter, despite all the misfires. He’s completing just 52.4 percent of his throws, with more interceptions (9) than TD passes (5). It’s never a quarterbacking clinic with Allen.

Still, we need to appreciate his big-play ability and his talent as a runner. Allen is about to face a user-friendly Detroit defense, so this could be another of those top-six-ish weeks. Add as needed.

Schedule, next two weeks: Det, at NE

FAAB bid: $8

Ian Thomas, target magnet

Thomas has hauled in 14 balls for 123 yards on 16 targets over the past two weeks for Carolina, and he played 61 of 74 snaps on Sunday. He’s pretty much seeing the full Greg Olsen workload. Tight end has been a nightmare position in fantasy this year (unless you invested in Kelce, Ertz or Kittle), which makes Thomas a pickup of interest. He’s also a first-year pro who only caught 28 passes in his collegiate career at Indiana, so there are going to be a few growing pains. But any tight end who draws 6-10 targets per game deserves our attention.

Schedule, next two weeks: NO, Atl

FAAB bid: $4

DaeSean Hamilton took full advantage of increased opportunities in Week 14. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
DaeSean Hamilton took full advantage of increased opportunities in Week 14. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

DaeSean Hamilton delivers with expanded workload

Hamilton emerged as a priority add late last week, after Emmanuel Sanders suffered a season-ending Achilles injury. The rookie slot receiver was targeted nine times on Sunday, catching seven balls for 47 yards and a short score. Sanders was seeing 8.2 targets per game for Denver, and it appears that volume now shifts to Hamilton. He’s the best of the widely available receiver adds this week, as he has a matchup on deck with a Cleveland defense that ranks next-to-last against the pass (277.9 pass YPG).

Schedule, next two weeks: Cle, at Oak

FAAB bid: $8

Also recommended: QB Derek Carr, RB Kenneth Dixon, RB Chris Ivory, RB Zach Zenner,WR Curtis Samuel, WR Kenny Stills, WR Dede Westbrook, WR Randall Cobb, WR Dante Pettis, WR Zay Jones, DEF Atlanta Falcons

Follow the Yahoo fantasy football crew on Twitter: Andy Behrens, Dalton Del Don, Brad Evans, Matt Harmon, Liz Loza, Scott Pianowski and Tank Williams

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