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Thursday, 20 November 2014 18:47

Fantasy Football Week 12 Preview

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It’s a pivotal week for playoff hopefuls. Don’t start taking your roster moves lightly.

*Teams on Bye*:  Pittsburgh, Carolina

Kansas City Chiefs at Oakland Raiders

Travis Kelce hasn’t been very useful over the past couple weeks, so the only person on this roster you can trust to get you into a playoff spot is Jamaal Charles. Mychal Rivera had an off week, but I still think he’s fantasy worthy. Unlike Alex Smith, Derek Carr has full reign to throw the ball, and I think the volume keeps Rivera’s stock higher than Kelce’s.

Detroit Lions at New England Patriots

Revis Island has been a huge problem for WRs lately (ignoring the Broncos game). Megatron is the best in the league, but with Revis on him I wouldn’t be surprised if Golden Tate (WR2) was the better man on Sunday. I’m not saying Megatron won’t put up numbers, but it’s hard to bet against Revis, especially with Stafford looking very average against the Cardinals secondary. I’m not trusting the Lions RBs because Bell and Riddick seem to alternate and a possibly returning Reggie Bush doesn’t make things better. Jonas Gray (Flex) won’t be able to replicate his huge day against the league’s #1 run defense and I think Shane Vereen will be utilized more for the Pats to attack Detroit through the air. Both LaFell and Edelman are WR2s as LaFell makes the most out of every reception and Edelman is still heavily targeted by Brady (QB1).

Cleveland Browns at Atlanta Falcons

Ben Tate has been waived so the backfield is between Isaiah Crowell and Terrance West. I think West is the better of the two, but against the Falcons both are RB2. Josh Gordon (WR1) *ahem Galvatron* will finally return, making the defense back off the line and give both RBs more room to run. Hoyer isn’t a gunslinger, but he’s good enough to get the ball to Galvatron in play action as well. Steven Jackson (Flex) should do well against the Browns and there’s no reason Roddy White (WR2) can’t continue his stretch of good games with Joe Haden expected to be covering Julio Jones (WR2). No, I’m not starting Matt Ryan, and neither should you.

Tennessee Titans at Philadelphia Eagles

If Delanie Walker doesn’t play then I’d stay away from the Titans. Nate Washington scored on a blown play by the defense and other than him there wasn’t much from this offense other than a decent Flex day from Kendall Wright and a short TD from Sankey. LeSean McCoy (RB2) isn’t a top-10 RB anymore and he’ll remain an RB2 until he shows otherwise. Mark Sanchez turned back into the player we all know and love, but luckily Jeremy Maclin (WR1) and Jordan Matthews (WR2) can still perform well even with Sanchez’ mishaps. I’d sit Darren Sproles, he’s just too hit or miss for me.

Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings

So is there really anything that needs to be said for the Packers? I don’t think so; let’s move onto the Vikings who just claimed Ben Tate off of waivers. I have no idea what his workload will look like with his new team, so I think Jerick McKinnon (Flex) is the safer play at least for this week. Weird, looks like I didn’t have much to say about the Vikings either.

Jacksonville Jaguars at Indianapolis Colts

Dwayne Allen hasn’t been ruled out yet, and if he is then I think Coby Fleener is a top-10 TE this week. TY Hilton was shut down by Darrelle Revis, but you won’t have to worry about him being limited against the Jags. He and Reggie Wayne should do fine, the question of this offense is Trent Richardson. He’ll be the lead back now that Ahmad Bradshaw is unfortunately out for the year, but he hasn’t given you any reason to think he’s worth a start. Don’t be surprised if Denard Robinson (RB1) outplays everyone else on the Jags.

Cincinnati Bengals at Houston Texans

Giovani Bernard is still no guarantee to play, and even if he does I think at this point he’s lost some carries to Jeremy Hill (RB2). AJ Green reminded doubters he’s still a top WR, but don’t let Andy Dalton’s good game fool you into thinking that Dalton deserves to be your starting QB. There’s no guarantee Dalton will have a better game than Ryan Mallett, who should connect with DeAndre Hopkins (WR2) for a TD this week.

NY Jets at Buffalo Bills

I think this game will be pretty uneventful, with the only players I’d use being Chris Ivory (Flex) and Sammy Watkins (WR2). I have two Sleeper Selections this week, and they are both defenses. I expect a low scoring game with turnovers from both teams.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Chicago Bears

Mike Evans has been unstoppable lately, and I don’t think the Bears are going to break his stride. Sorry Vincent Jackson, but Evans has rendered you useless now. Charles Sims was the main back, but didn’t do much with his chances, so I can’t confidently start him this week without seeing him do something of value yet. For the Bears it looks like they may have finally gotten things in order offensively. Yes, one good game all around doesn’t mean the offense is fixed, but surely they can make it two games in a row against the Bucs right? Martellus Bennett is the only key player on the Bears I’d be wary to start, but TE is so thin you may not have other options.

Arizona Cardinals at Seattle Seahawks

Both teams have a good secondary, so I’m not expecting a huge day from any of the WRs. If Larry Fitz is limited due to his MCL injury then Michael Floyd (Flex) gets a boost and John Brown (Flex) should play as he seems to have good chemistry with Drew Stanton. Andre Ellington (RB2) has had a rough couple weeks, but since the Seahawks just got torn apart by Jamaal Charles it’s possible Ellington can still pull off a top-15 day. I’m not starting Doug Baldwin, but I would feel fine starting his QB as Russell makes up for his sub-200 yard passing numbers with his rushing gains. The Cardinals have been great versus the run, but Beast Mode is going to Beast Mode.

St. Louis Rams at San Diego Chargers

Tre Mason has the most value of any of the Rams, yet I wouldn’t use him this week against a strong run defense.  Antonio Gates (TE1) has been very quiet lately, but I’d be surprised if you had better options. Ryan Mathews had a nice return last week and I think he’s an RB2 going against a defense giving up over 100 rushing yards per game. Branden Oliver was given 13 carries to Mathews’ 16, but Oliver wasn’t nearly as good as the latter. My Sleeper Selection here is Malcom Floyd, who is averaging 63 receiving yards over the last 5 weeks. Keenan Allen is still being heavily targeted, but it’s really doing nothing for his fantasy value.

Miami Dolphins at Denver Broncos

The Broncos let Tre Mason have a great day, but this is still a top-5 run defense. I think Lamar Miller is a Flex play, as well as Mike Wallace. The Broncos are dealing with quite a few injuries, so the only sure starts this week are Peyton and Demaryius. If Julius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders can’t play then Jacob Tamme and Andre Caldwell are Sleeper Selections. CJ Anderson (RB1) is the starting RB for this team, but the Dolphins aren’t giving up a lot against the run so he isn’t a top-10 play this week.

Washington Football Franchise at San Francisco 49ers

Hard to have faith in the Washington offense with their recent struggles and the 49ers’ improved defense. Alfred Morris (RB2) is still putting in work, but DeSean Jackson (Flex), Pierre Garcon (bench), and Jordan Reed (bench) are probably wishing RG3 didn’t return. Djax had a great game 2 weeks ago, but take away his 56yd reception and that performance wouldn’t have been anything noteworthy. I like that the 49ers have learned to lean on Frank Gore (RB2). I’m not just ready to trust Crabtree yet, but I will roll Boldin (WR2) out there again with hopes he can do better than 53 receiving yards against this defense. Vernon Davis is droppable people.

Dallas Cowboys at NY Giants

Use your regular Cowboys this week, the Giants defense isn’t anything to be afraid of. Rashad Jennings (RB2) should have more running room against Dallas, and Odell Beckham Jr is a top-15 WR as far as I’m concerned. Larry Donnell is continuing to get a good amount of targets, but I’d like to see those receiving yards move up. He’s a TE1, but he’s also very TD dependent right now. Sleeper Selection for this matchup is the Cowboys defense, because you know, Eli Manning.

Baltimore Ravens at New Orleans Saints

Steve Smith (Flex) hasn’t played well lately and Torrey Smith (Flex) has been reaping the benefits. Regardless the top option on this team is Justin Forsett (RB1), and he shouldn’t have any issues against the Saints. Brees isn’t going to play badly 3 weeks in a row at home will he? Brandin Cooks is unfortunately gone for the season, so Marques Colston (Flex) and Kenny Stills (Flex) will need to step up. I think this means even more targets (and defensive attention) for Jimmy Graham, so this team will need to keep Mark Ingram (RB1) involved so the defense doesn’t relax.

 

Thanks for reading, and follow me @CLNS_Marc for further coverage.