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Look to Giants receivers for last-minute fantasy football value

One would assume the long line in front of Santa Claus would be filled with children hoping to make a few last-minute requests, but it is now riddled with desperate fantasy football managers hoping to squeeze out a few extra points for their upcoming playoff matchup.

Between the rash of NFL injuries and potential weather hazards throughout the country, finding value might be difficult, as those remaining in the playoffs could be in the same boat. When you’re all fighting for last-minute help, you may want to seek out some low-budget receivers who could be available.

Let’s start with the Giants. The Vikings’ pass defense ranks 21st in DVOA, and they have allowed a massive number of yards and points through the air. Over the past three weeks, they’ve allowed 288.7 passing yards per game, and if you go back one more week, that number jumps well over 300. They have also allowed an average of 31.3 points per game over their past six.

Darius Slayton #86 of the New York Giants catches a pass during the third quarter against the Washington Commanders at FedExField on December 18, 2022 in Landover, Maryland.
Darius Slayton could be an excellent pick-up for fantasy owners this week.
Todd Olszewski/Getty Images

The Giants might lack high-end wide receiver talent, but Darius Slayton and Isaiah Hodgins could be in for big games this week. They will see the majority of targets, and the Vikings are giving up the third-most fantasy points per game to the position.

Should Slayton and Hodgins be spoken for, you can turn your attention to the Ravens. Lamar Jackson remains sidelined, but we expect to see Tyler Huntley under center, and he’s navigated this offense pretty well in the past.

Few people will be interested in Demarcus Robinson because they expect heavy rushing volume from Baltimore, but the veteran receiver has averaged just over six targets per game over his past five, and he has posted at least five catches per game in his past three. Atlanta’s pass defense ranks 30th overall in DVOA and 21st against the opposition’s No. 1 receiver.

You can also look at Ravens slot-receiver James Proche. The team just lost Devin Duvernay for the season, and the only guys backing up Robinson are DeSean Jackson and Sammy Watkins. No one is putting their eggs into those baskets, so Proche against Atlanta, which ranks 23rd in DVOA against the opposing slot-receiver, becomes the target.

If digging deep, be careful of the players you use. Be sure their matchup is favorable and be sure they have a clear path to targets. Banking on a guy who catches just one pass for a 40-yard touchdown is nice, but if he is held out of the end zone, you’re not getting any value.

Howard Bender is the VP of operations and head of content at FantasyAlarm.com. Follow him on Twitter @rotobuzzguy and catch him on the award-winning “Fantasy Alarm Radio Show” on the SiriusXM fantasy sports channel weekdays from 6-8 p.m. Go to FantasyAlarm.com for all your fantasy sports advice, player projections, injury updates and more.

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