Week 12 is here, and for some of you, this is the last week of your season. No matter what, all fantasy leagues will be kicking off their playoffs in the next week or two, so decisions at this point can have dire consequences…so don’t mess up!
Lucky for you, I am back this week and ready to steer you into the postseason for fantasy football glory with my 100% guarantee, can’t possibly miss, stone cold ‘Studs, Duds & Sleepers.’
Deshaun Watson, Hou:
Over his last five games, Watson has 11 touchdowns, zero interceptions, and has thrown for 280+ yards in four of those five games. This week, he gets a Lions defense which ranks in the bottom eight in terms of sacks (14), yards per game (258.4) and is coming off a week where they gave up 250+ yards in a loss to an undrafted, under six-foot, rookie quarterback from Temple (P.J. Walker) making his first NFL start.
Aaron Rodgers, GB:
Rodgers is having an MVP caliber season, and is coming off his third straight game with 300+ yards and his seventh game of the season with three or more touchdown passes. He ranks first in quarterback rating (115.8), second in touchdowns (29) and QBR (83.8), and top five in every other category.
Others receiving votes:
Derek Carr, LV:
Carr is quietly putting up a pretty big season. He ranks in the top five in quarterback rating, QBR and completion percentage, and has thrown for 19 touchdowns and just three picks. Most impressively, he came within a last minute Patrick Mahomes comeback of sweeping the Super Bowl champ Chiefs. Unlike the Chiefs top 10 passing defense, his opponent this week, the Falcons, are one of only two teams (Seahawks), surrendering more than 300 yards per game in the air.
Tom Brady, TB:
‘Brady with the Bucs’ is clearly not the same as ‘Brady with the Pats,’ as has already surpassed his 2019 interception total and is on pace for his most interceptions since 2009 (13), but he is also on pace for his most touchdowns since 2015 (36). Coming off arguably his worst performance of the year, and playing in a game that is likely to be a shootout, I expect Brady to bounce back with a solid performance.
From The GetSportsInfo Podcast:
Alvin Kamara, NO:
Kamara didn’t have the huge game I thought he would last week – probably because Taysom Hill took 10 of his carries and two of his rushing touchdowns – but I am betting on that not happening two weeks in a row. I expect big number for him this week in Denver.
Dalvin Cook, Min:
Another week, another 150+ all-purpose yard game for Cook. Cook now has 14 touchdowns in nine games and has surpassed 145+ all-purpose yards in five of his nine games. Only five teams have given up more rushing touchdowns this year than the Panthers (14). Look for another good day at the office for Cook.
Others receiving votes:
Damien Harris, NE:
Rarely do I have a Patriots running back in the ‘Studs’ category, but there is a time for everything! With Rex Burkhead out and the Patriots facing a Cardinals defense which ranks in the bottom ten of the NFL, I look for the Patriots to do a lot of running with Harris and Cam Newton in an effort to keep Kyler Murray off the field.
Antonio Gibson, Was:
Gibson has eight rushing touchdowns on the season and has five rushing touchdowns in his last four games. With Alex Smith providing the Football Team an consistent passing attack, Gibson should have some more room to run…especially against the league’s 31st ranked rushing defense.
Terry McLaurin, Was:
Speaking of the Football Team and their newly found passing game, last week was Smith’s first start where he didn’t throw for 300+ yards this season, but more than half of his 166 yards (84) went to McLaurin. Dallas doesn’t give up a ton of yards in the air – probably because teams are busy running all over them – but they have given up a league leading 24 touchdown passes this season.
Cooper Kupp, LAR:
Kupp only has two touchdowns on the year, but in two of his last three games, he has 11 catches and 100+ yards. In fact, over the last three games, he has 40 targets, 27 receptions and 305 yards. I expect that volume to continue this week against a depleted 49ers defense.
Others receiving votes:
Keenan Allen, LAC:
We are all aware of the season Justin Herbert is having, but I feel like Allen – the beneficiary of a lot of Herbert’s success – has been flying under the radar. Allen leads the NFL in both targets (112) and receptions (81), is ninth in yards per game (83.5) and has scored a touchdown in each of his last four games and six of his last eight.
Calvin Ridley, Atl:
After coming out of the gate with four touchdowns and 100+ yard games in the first five weeks, Ridley’s stats have slowed down, but the targets are still there. He has seen seven or more targets in seven of his nine games and hauled in at least five catches in all seven of those games. This matchup with the Raiders could produce a lot of fantasy ‘Studs’ this week!
Carson Wentz, Phi:
Another game, another multi-turnover performance. Wentz continues to lead the world in turnovers and “near” turnovers. With 14 intereceptions, and nine fumbles, you cannot afford to start this guy, regardless of who the Eagles are playing. Even though he plays the Seahawks and their league worst passing defense, the Seahawks will put up points, meaning the Eagles are going to throw the ball a lot…meaning the ball will eventually find it’s way from Wentz’s hand to the hands of a Seahawks defenders at least once this weekend.
Ryan Tannehill, Ten:
Tannehill is having a good season, but just two weeks ago, when the Colts and Titans met up in Nashville, he only put up 147 yards passing and one touchdown while completing just 55.6% of his passes. I don’t see those numbers being much better this week.
.Others receiving votes:
Andy Dalton, Dal:
The Cowboys offense is much better under Dalton – as are their chances of winning – but he still has very limited experience in this offense. Sure, he threw three touchdowns last week, but he only had 203 yards passing, averaging just 6.3 yards. This week, he plays a Football Team who can put pressure on the quarterbacks and few quarterbacks struggle more under pressure than Dalton. I think he gives the Cowboys a 50-50 shot to win this game, but I wouldn’t start him in fantasy.
Kyler Murray, AZ:
Murray is incredibly fun to watch and has had multiple touchdowns in every game this season…but Bill Belichick has a way of: 1) shutting down what teams do best, and 2) confusing young quarterbacks. As a result, Murray will be a tough play this week for fantasy owners everywhere. If you have another good quarterback, I would go that route.
Darrell Henderson, LAR:
As I said last week, the Rams backfield is a tough one to figure out, and with Andrew Whitworth out, I don’t like any of their backs. That rings true again this week, but especially for Henderson, who only had eight carries for six yards last week. He gets a friendlier matchup this week, but all three backs are getting touches in this backfield which is a bad thing for fantasy owners.
Miles Sanders, Phi:
Sanders has gone three straight games without a touchdown and now has scored in just two of his seven games this year. If Seattle jumps out quick on the Eagles, Sanders may not see many touches.
Others receiving votes:
Melvin Gordon III, Den:
Gordon continues to frustrate owners with his inconsistency. After compiling just 90 yards on 25 touches over his last three games (zero touchdowns), Gordon puts up 84 yards on 15 carries and two touchdowns. Given his inability to produce in consecutive games – and the fact that the Saints have the number two run defense, I would sit Gordon this week.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire, KC:
Speaking of frustrating an inconsistent backs, Edwards-Helaire falls into that category as well. Despite ranking seventh in the NFL in terms of rushing yards, he is only averaging 65.5 rushing yards per game and has surpassed 69 yards rushing just twice this season – only once since Week 1. Worse yet, he has been surprisingly quiet in the passing game as well. While he sees 4.5 targets per game, he is pulling in less than three catches per game and less than 25 yards receiving. Against the top ranked Bucs run defense, I don’t see a big game for him this week.
Pass catchers wearing Bengals stripes:
The Joe Burrow injury this past week was devastating, and from a fantasy football standpoint, it renders all Bengals pass catchers useless. Ryan Finley – yes, that is the Bengals backup quarterback – is not an NFL quarterback, is inaccurate and does not have the arm to stretch the field. If that wasn’t bad enough, he has one of the worst offensive lines in the league. The only player with some value, would be Tyler Boyd, but even there, he is a Flex play at best at this point.
T.Y. Hilton, Ind:
What has happened to Hilton? In his first eight seasons, he averaged nearly 1,000 yards and six touchdowns per year. Even in 2019, despite playing just 10 games and putting up only 501 yards, he still had five touchdowns. But this year, he is on pace to barely break 500 yards, despite missing just one game, and he doesn’t have a single touchdown. Maybe that changes this week, but I wouldn’t take the chance.
Others receiving votes:
Marquise Brown, Bal:
Rumors are that Brown is not happy with his role. True or not, I can assure you, fantasy owners are not happy with his role on their team this year. Brown is second on the Ravens in terms of catches and targets, and tied for third on the team with just three touchdowns. Brown has not broken 100 yards since Week 1, and is coming off a game with zero catches on just three targets. Over his last five games, Brown has 10 catches for 102 yards…an average of two catches and 20 yards per game.
Antonio Brown, TB:
Another ‘Brown’ you may be tempted to start is Antonio Brown…but don’t. Sure, he lead the Bucs in both targets (13) and receptions (8) last week, but he only had 57 yards and most of the passes were just dump downs late in the game. He didn’t appear to have much of a role in the offense for most of the night and with all the weapons in Tampa, it is hard to tell if/when he sees a larger role in the offense.
Alex Smith, Was:
He didn’t have big numbers this past week, but the Smith and the Football Team are finding some momentum and they should be able to continue that momentum this week in Dallas. If you are in a tough spot and looking for a spot starter at quarterback, you could do worse.
Daniel Jones, NYG:
With nine total touchdowns and 15 turnovers, Jones is not having the Sophomore season the Giants had hoped, but he gets a Bengals defense this week, which is not only depleted by injuries, is also deflated by the loss of their franchise quarterback. Jones could have a big game this week both running and throwing the ball.
Cam Newton, NE:
For only the third time all year, Newton surpassed 250 yards passing in a game and tacked on just his fourth passing touchdown of the year. With the Pats matchup this week against the Cardinals, I could see Belichick running the ball – with Cam and the running backs – 40+ times in an effort to keep Murray off the field. If that’s the case, Cam has a good chance to add to his nine rushing touchdowns.
Gus Edwards, Bal:
With Mark Ingram and JK Dobbins out this week, that leaves Edwards in position to start – and available in many leagues. When given the opportunity, Edwards has been effective – 4.4 yards per carry and three touchdowns on just 85 carries.
Wayne Gallman, NYG:
For the same reasons I like Daniel Jones this week, I also like Gallman. The Bengals offer a friendly matchup and he has five touchdowns in his last four games.
Giovani Bernard, Cin:
With Burrow and Joe Mixon out, combined with a weak offensive line and a terrible backup quarterback, the Bengals are likely to be running the ball 30-40 times on Sunday. Even when they don’t run, the passing game is likely to be dump offs and screens – all of which benefits Bernard. Don’t be surprised if Bernard leads the Bengals in touches this week with 25+.
Nelson Agholor, LV:
Guess who leads the Raiders in receiving touchdowns? That is right, Nelson Agholor! He has six on the season and has scored in five of his last seven games. Coming off one of his best games of the season – six receptions on nine targets and a touchdown – I think he and the Raiders passing game should have a big day against the Falcons.
Michael Pittman Jr., Ind:
After a slow start to the season, Pittman has seen 18 targets over the past three weeks, hauling in 14 of those for 223 yards, including his first NFL touchdown last week. Two weeks ago, against this same Titans defense, Pittman had his breakout game, seven receptions for 101 yards. I think he has another big day this week.
Darren Waller, LV:
Agholor may lead the Raiders in touchdowns, but Waller leads them in targets (83), receptions (60) and yards (519) and is second in touchdowns (5). Waller has scored in four of his last six games, and is averaging eight targets and six receptions per game. As I said above in regards to Carr and Agholor, I look for the Raiders passing game to have a big day this weekend in Atlanta, and that includes Waller.