So I had a decent week last week, hitting on 6 players at 4 different positions. This week we are done with byes – are you done for the season? Hopefully you’re making your playoff push right now. So let’s get down to business since this year is almost over! Please note: both TJ Yeldon and Austin Ekeler are the clear #1 starters on their teams this week. They are owned in not quite 2/3 of all online leagues from what I can tell. If you are in a league that falls in the 1/3 where one or both are available on the waiver wire, those are your targets. Period, end of story.
Teams on Bye: NONE
Baker Mayfield, CLE: This is perhaps his worst matchup of the year: on the road against the Texans. But I’m pushing my chips in with this kid anyways. You know why? He hasn’t seen their defense, but they haven’t seen him play (except on tape). So, learning curves do go in both directions, and I think any reasonable fan of the game is impressed with him by now. My take? He isn’t just good, he is good on the BROWNS. I’m cheesing the yahoo # a bit this week since he’s so under owned on the other two sites.
Ownership: Yahoo 55%; NFL 28% & ESPN 42%.
Dak Prescott, DAL: this pick has all the signs of al ate season surge: the Cowboys are suddenly in it for reals yo; Amari Cooper got just what the doctor ordered in his trade to Dallas; and said trade has restored the QB-RB-WR balance the Cowboys had that year with Zeke and Dez and most think that is what was holding Prescott back in 2018. Well that’s all fixed and they are going for the playoffs. A cardinal rule of fantasy football is: you want good players on good teams. Prescott now fits that bill 100%. In week 9 he was fantasy QB #21, from week 10 onwards he is #6. He’s likely better than your backup QB for sure.
Ownership: Yahoo 48%; NFL 29% & ESPN 44%
Nyheim Hines, IND: Marlon Mack is in concussion protocol, and Hines is widely available which makes this very much worth watching.He had a very nice 3 game stretch earlier this season, but never really went away use wise. If Mack is out he is very much in line for 18+ touches: at least 12 on the ground and another 4-5 passes. Even against the Jaguars that’s a volume play with a good player on a good team.
Ownership: Yahoo 22%; NFL 8% & ESPN 30%.
Justin Jackson, LAC: a true out of nowhere guy who really did deliver last week. If you miss out on one of Yeldon or Ekeler as noted above, then Jackson is the next guy out of those backfields to add. He’s got that classic, dreaded “upside” moniker, but if you look at him as someone who will do more than spell Ekeler (just as Ekeler did more than spell Melvin Gordon) he’s a legit add for this week.
Ownership: Yahoo 1%; NFL 1% & ESPN 1%.
Theo Riddick, DET: well he turned out last week to be the unsneakiest sneaky play as nearly everyone jumped on him as a pick. This week is no different: he’s averaging 5 catches a game the past month, and the Rams give those plays up to running backs quite a bit. He’s an easy PPR start this week and a strong flex option in non PPRs. The Lions have clearly been searching for an identity this season and Riddick is offering some consistency. There’s no reason it won’t continue this week.
Ownership: Yahoo 51%; NFL 9% & ESPN 38%.
Adam Humphries, TBB: he HAS to be on this list: since week 8 he’s the #7 WR in PPR formats. That tells me it doesn’t matter the QB, or the opponent, he’s got the goods. He plays a soft secondary in the form of the Panthers, which is that much better for him.
Ownership: Yahoo 31%; NFL 16% & ESPN 29%.
Marquise Goodwin, SF: I’ll admit I’m playing a hunch here, so hear me out. Yes, he’s been dinged up this season, but after the bye in week 11 he was inactive due to a family matter. SO that’s given him an additional bit of time to heal. Despite the woes at QB and the rest of the offense, the 49ers are still scoring a decent amount of points. So I’m thinking that Goodwin plays, and plays well. The Seahawks are giving up points left and right to wideouts right now, and there is no one else on the 49ers roster that is as good as a healthy Goodwin.
Ownership: Yahoo 46%; NFL 29% & ESPN 44%.
Christian Kirk, ARI: if you’ve been following the Cardinals this season, then you know they brought in a new OC in the form of former Jags QB Byron Leftwich. Since then they’ve gotten Fitzgerald involved while balancing out the passing attack and throwing to Kirk a lot. He just led the team in targets and catches, but of course the problem is Josh Rosen struggling to get 100 yards passing. But these rookies have talent and it looks like they are playing for next year. And this week they get a matchup against a Packers team, that let’s face it, has essentially quit on its coach. Rosen should have one of his better games of the season against a very poor defensive unit, and Kirk will be the main beneficiary of that.
Ownership: Yahoo 38%; NFL 21% & ESPN 32%.
Cameron Brate, TBB: this is a great matchup for him this week, and he’s already had some solid games this season. He catches TDs in bunches, and just caught his first since week 6. With Howard on IR it’s safe to say he has a very good floor of production, and if he sees an uptick in targets (something that did not happen last week) he could really over deliver. I think he over delivers this week.
Ownership: Yahoo 46%; NFL 51% & ESPN 47%.
New Orleans: They are averaging ten points a game over the last 5 weeks, and scored 9 or more in 4 of those, with a 0 being the game against LA. That is adequate production at this position, and have get to continue this surge against a playoff caliber team in Dallas, as they have a gauntlet of games in this final month: two against the Panthers and one against the Steelers. I think the Saints are a Super Bowl team, and this unit is really starting to shine. Expect more of that now and in the weeks to come. Grab them while you can!
Ownership: Yahoo 41%; NFL 25% & ESPN 25%.
Week 12 Ranks:
QB – Baker Mayfield, CLE – 5th
QB – Andy Dalton, CIN – INJ
RB – Josh Adams, PHI – 18th
RB – Gus Edwards, BAL – 25th
RB – Theo Riddick, DET – 23rd
WR – Tre’Quan Smith, NOS – 50+
WR – Danny Amendola, MIA – INJ
WR – DJ Moore, CAR – 19th
TE – Jonnu Smith, TEN – 5th
Team Defense – San Francisco – 27th