Each week there are some obvious starts and sits in fantasy football. Other decisions are not quite so simple. With that in mind, I offer up some not-so-obvious picks with my weekly Studs, Duds & Sleepers. Here are this week’s picks.
QB: Justin Herbert (LAC) at ARI: Herbert finally looked healthy last week in his matchup vs. KC, setting season highs in completion percentage and yards per completion. With more of his weapons starting to get healthy and now he gets the Cardinals’ D that has allowed the fifth most fantasy points to quarterbacks on the season, including 25 FP or more in four of last five.
RB: James Conner (ARI) vs. LAC: Volume alone makes Conner the play. With only rookie Keontay Ingram backing him up, there is little competition for carries. Only two teams have allowed more fantasy points to quarterbacks this season than the Chargers.
WR: Michael Pittman (IND) vs. PIT: I am going back to the well this week and picking a wideout vs. Pittsburgh. It burned me two weeks ago with Chris Olave. I hit big last week with Tee Higggins and now Pittman can be the tiebreaker. The Indy wideout gets a boost with Matt Ryan back under center and has now scored 12 or more PPR points in three of his last four contests.
TE: T.J. Hockenson (MIN) vs. NE : Things are getting thin at TE, making good tight ends, great options. Since getting traded to the Vikings, Hockenson has been targeted 28 times in three games. After struggling with some drops a week ago, look for TJ to bounce back on Thanksgiving night vs. a Patriots’ D allowing the eighth most FP to the position.
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QB: Trevor Lawrence (JCK) vs. BAL: Lawrence turned in one of his best fantasy performances of the season vs. KC before last week’s bye, but he still has only eclipsed 20 FP in two of his last seven outings. The Ravens haven’t allowed an opposing signal caller to hit that mark since Week 4.
RB: Cam Akers (LAR) at KC: While Darrell Henderson getting cut should open up more carries theoretically for Akers, fantasy managers should temper their expectations. Game flow won’t be on Akers’ side with the Rams starting a third-string quarterback and being more than a two touchdown underdog.
WR: DJ Moore (CAR) vs. DEN: The move from Baker Mayfield to Sam Darnold gives some hope for the entire Panthers’ passing attack and Moore continues to dominate target share. However, that also will lead to drawing Denver’s attention. The Broncos are one of the best in the league defending receivers. Only three wideouts have scored vs. them all season.
TE: Robert Tonyan (GB) at PHI: I want no part of the Packers’ passing game this week at Philadelphia and Tonyan really isn’t worth a roster spot in most cases these days. He’s scored eighth PPR points or less in five straight outings.
QB: Geno Smith (SEA) vs. LV: I’m all in on the Seahawks in fantasy in Week 12 with the Raiders on tap, including Smith, who should be viewed as backend QB1 here. Until Russell Wilson failed to do so last week every fantasy signal caller to face Las Vegas this season has had multiple touchdowns (passing and/or rushing). Smith should do that easily in this contest.
RB: Rachaad White (TB) at CLE: With White’s role growing and Todd Bowles indicating that the team “will ride the hot hand”, the rookie can be viewed at the very least as a viable flex option. Five running backs have reached 12+ PPR points in the last three games vs. the Browns.
WR: Brandon Aiyuk (SF) at NO: There are a ton of weapons in the San Francisco offense which could lead to limited targets for Aiyuk, but after his two-TD effort last week he should still be considered as a weekly matchup. The 49ers return home to face a banged up Saints in Week 12. Lock Aiyuk in as a high-end WR3/flex play.
TE: Austin Hooper (TEN) vs. CIN: Hooper was a sleeper TE of mine coming into the year and was largely disappointing for the first half of the season. With 11 targets over the last two games I am optimistic that Hooper is heading in the right direction. I expect the Titans to need to keep pace with the Bengals this week which should force Tannehill to throw the ball.
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