I’m taking some deep shots today in hopes of helping those in need, so you’ll want to be careful with how you use these recommendations. As I said last week, it’s a good idea to cross-reference these ideas against my full lineup rankings that are up at Rotobahn and will be fully updated Saturday afternoon.
As always, I will be here Sunday at 11 a.m. for our weekly chat. Bring your lineup questions and I’ll do my best to help. And don’t forget to tune in to the Fantasy Football Hour this Sunday at 8 a.m. when Jim Hackett and I will discuss trending Week 12 topics and crucial game day information.
Brian Hoyer, Texans vs. Saints
The matchup is syrupy sweet, and he has enough healthy weapons to take advantage of it. DeAndre Hopkins has taken his game to another level, and the Saints simply do not play there. Cecil Shorts is healthy, and so is deep threat Nate Washington. The table is set here, so use Hoyer if you are looking to stream a quarterback in Week 12.
Ryan Tannehill, Dolphins at Jets
The Jets are banged up on defense and the injuries are to their crucial players, like Darrelle Revis and Sheldon Richardson. I’d be all-in on Tannehill, but he may be without his security blanket, Jarvis Landry. Still, if this was a chess match, the Jets are down a queen and a bishop while Tannehill loses a knight. He has a good chance to post QB1-type numbers.
Josh McCown, Browns vs. Ravens
Baltimore has been hit by an injury tsunami, and you have to wonder what that team has in the tank right now. Matt Schaub inspires no one at this stage of his career. The Browns should be able to do some things throwing the ball, and at the end of the day McCown should have serviceable numbers, and he has the potential for a plus performance if things break right. He’s a guy you can probably get, too.
Teddy Bridgewater, Vikings at Falcons
The Vikings are highly likely to try to control the football and keep Julio Jones off the field. That’s their game, and it really fits this matchup. The Falcons have played better defense this season under coach Dan Quinn, so this is not a great matchup on paper.
T.J. Yeldon, Jaguars vs. Chargers
Yeldon has been a steady asset for most of the year so far. Nothing special, but he usually gets you 8-10 points in standard scoring and he throws in a few receptions for those in PPR formats. He has a bright future if he can stay healthy, and he has a very good chance at a plus performance on Sunday.
Javorious “Buck” Allen, Ravens at Browns
I doubt you are going to see a big game here, but Allen should get a lot of touches and could rack up some nice catch totals if the Ravens are trailing. His three-down skill set works regardless of the game situation, so he’s a good bet to get you a flex level or RB2 level return.
Giovani Bernard, Bengals vs. Rams
Tough matchup, but he should be the lead back, as Jeremy Hill has looked mediocre and the Bengals need a back who can challenge the edge and make big plays as a receiver. Bernard makes a very nice RB2 option in any scoring format or league size.
Alfred Blue, Texans vs. Saints
The matchup is too good to leave Blue on your bench in big leagues, and he is a viable play in any league where you need some RB help. Blue ran tough last week against the Jets’ tough front. If he plays as well this week, the numbers should look a whole lot better.
Karlos Williams, Bills at Chiefs
He’s worth a crack in a deep league as a flex, but his streak of touchdowns has ended, and it was always a little on the fluky side. Starting Williams is just a shade better than playing David Johnson of the Cardinals. Sure, you could get a big play, but you leave yourself open to the bagel as well. Stay away from Williams in bad matchups with a fully healthy LeSean McCoy.
Rishard Matthews, Dolphins at Jets
This is one I can feel in my gut. It’s a Jets fan thing. However, there are real reasons to like Matthews this week apart from my stomach. Jarvis Landry will leave a lot of targets on the table, and some will almost certainly go to Matthews. Then you have the Revis factor, and that benefits Matthews more than anybody because he runs routes on what usually is Revis’ turf. He is worthy of flex consideration and is a reasonable WR3 play in 12-team leagues.
Tyler Lockett, Seahawks vs. Steelers
Pittsburgh could force Seattle to throw more than usual. The lack of Marshawn Lynch also could be a factor. Lockett is the most dangerous weapon in Seattle, and the Seahawks are beginning to get more out of him, as last week’s two-score game would suggest. The rookie also is playing close to full-time snaps — the same amount as Doug Baldwin last week, so his opportunities should continue to be there.
Cecil Shorts, Texans vs. Saints
He played very well in Week 11 against the Jets, and he has a much better matchup here against a reeling Saints defense. The game flow could really work in his favor as well, because Drew Brees can still fill up the scoreboard, and that could make the Texans push the envelope offensively. Shorts is a solid PPR sleeper this week if you need him. He’s also a nice value on DraftKings at $3,600.
J.J. Nelson, Cardinals at 49ers
This is a recommendation with special circumstances. I like Nelson a lot if the Cardinals are forced to play without either Michael Floyd or John Brown, who both are questionable with hamstring injuries. If you own either one of those players, particularly in a deep league, Nelson is a nice lifeboat. The Cardinals and 49ers play a late game, so there will be limited options available to you if you are planning on using Floyd or Brown and they get pulled. If you have Nelson rostered, you simply can switch him in and you still have nice scoring potential. It’s a good move because there are so few late games on Sunday due to the three-game slate on Thanksgiving.
Brandon LaFell, Patriots at Broncos
He’s going to have a shot at making some plays, but he will have a stud cornerback on him at all times this week, so I would be very careful about using LaFell in smaller leagues. While I see him having very solid WR3 value the rest of the way, I don’t see it this week, so use only if he is clearly your best option. Consult my full rankings at Rotobahn if you have any questions about that.
Jimmy Graham, Seahawks vs. Steelers
They will have to throw more this week with a banged-up running game and an offensive juggernaut coming to town. Graham has been useful on most weeks but far from the stud I envisioned he would be. This is a week when he has that stud potential, so I would consider using him in most leagues. The Steelers have been giving up plenty of fantasy points to tight ends.
Julius Thomas, Jaguars vs. Chargers
The Chargers have been giving up points to tight ends, and Thomas is back at full strength after being injured for much of the year. He’s not getting tons of volume, but he is a good red zone weapon and a threat to start doing more between the 20s. He has TE1 appeal this week if you need him.
Heath Miller, Steelers at Seahawks
Seattle has been giving up production to tight ends this season, and I always like Miller more when Ben Roethlisberger is playing. If you need a tight end option, particularly in PPR scoring, Miller can help you this week.
Charles Clay, Bills at Chiefs
I am not liking the matchup at all, and Clay has been floundering in recent weeks — being asked to do more as a blocker due to the Bills’ woes in pass protection. I’d avoid Clay against a piping-hot Chiefs defense unless you have no other viable play. Use the Rotobahn lineup rankings to cross-ref Clay against what is on your waiver wire.
DraftKings has your shot to play for FREE in the $1 Million Fantasy Football Contest THIS SUNDAY! First place takes home $100,000! FOR FREE ENTRY, CLICK HERE.