It’s always a little unnerving when you have a player in your fantasy lineup who has the potential to put up an ugly, week-fracturing dud, but it’s especially unsettling when you have to deal with a situation like that during championship week. Most people are opposed to taking big risks in the finals but unfortunately not everyone has the luxury of just shrugging the notion off. There have been a few key injuries in recent weeks that have left a lot of fantasy owners with their backs against the wall, forced to decide between various sketchy alternatives. Some of the people in that boat are looking for a wide receiver and for those in such need I would strongly suggest giving Rueben Randle a serious look.
Randle’s numbers this season don’t stand out much. He’s caught just 37 passes for 571 yards and six touchdowns but that’s more a function of playing time than anything else. He’s third on the wide receiver depth chart, behind Victor Cruz and the lifeless Hakeem Nicks, and thus his snaps have been limited to three-receiver sets for the most part. It’s hard to do much more than what he has with the given opportunities so the low totals shouldn’t be held against him.
Whether excusable or not, his poor fantasy production this season understandably makes him hard to trust. Still, it’s tough to ignore the fact that he’s in a position to succeed this week. Cruz is out with an injury and Randle is now expected to play on almost every offensive snap against the Detroit Lions. The Lions’ secondary has been absolutely horrendous this season so it’s possible the inept Eli Manning will be able to make some big plays against them. If he does, Randle will likely be the major beneficiary. He’s flashed big-play potential when given the chance and it’s not like Nicks is a big threat to draw most of Manning’s attention anyway.
He’s definitely a risky play this week but still, Randle offers solid upside in a favourable matchup. If you need the help, take a leap of faith and let him boost you to the highest step on the fantasy podium.