SLEEPERS AND BUSTS - WEEK 12

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FREAKS, GEEKS, AND THE GAME OF THE WEEK - WEEK 12

FREAKS - SLEEPER STARTS AND OVERACHIEVERS

QUARTERBACKS

Sleeper: Marcus Mariota / TEN

The Indianapolis Colts have allowed double digit fantasy points to every single quarterback they have faced this season. They allowed Andy Dalton to throw for 243 yards and 2 TDs in Week 9 and Blake Bortles to throw for over 300 yards and a TD in Week 8. In their first meeting this season, Mariota threw for over 300 yards and a TD. With Corey Davis making a resurgence, we expect Mariota to put it all together this Week against the Colts. 

Other QB sleepers:  Joe Flacco / BAL; Andy Dalton / CIN; Ryan Fitzpatrick / TB

Freak: Russell Wilson / SEA

The 49ers defense is ranked in the bottom tier of the league in total passing yards, passing yards per game, total points allowed, and points per game. Wilson is coming off the heels of a 258 yard 2 TD and 85 rushing yard with 1 TD performance against the Falcons and has thrown the ball 40 or more times in 3 of his last 4 games. These teams tend to play each other tough, but I expect Wilson to have a stellar game this week.

RUNNING BACKS

Sleeper: Danny Woodhead / BAL

Woodhead survived his first game back off the IR without suffering any setbacks - albeit he only played for 13 snaps. He did, however, get a touch in 6 of those 13 snaps (4 receptions and 2 rushes) and he was targeted a total of 6 times.  When he was out there, the Ravens used him. The Texans pass defense has been bad, but it has been pretty good at limiting pass catching running backs. Not this week. Woodhead's snap count should double and he should get enough work in the pass game to be flex relevant in ppr leagues. This play does come with risks. 

Other RB Sleeper Starts: Isaiah Crowell  / CLE; Devante Booker / DAL

Freak: Christian McCaffrey / CAR

In Week 10, McCaffrey toted the ball 15 times for 66 yards and a touchdown. In that same game, Jonathon Stewart rushed for 21 yards on 11 carries. This, a measly 1.9 yards per carry average. Many thought this was a foreshadowing of CMCC being more involved in the rush game. In Week 11, Stewart out carried McCaffrey 17 to 5, and he took those carries for over 100 yards. He is not going away. 

McCaffrey, however, is doing more with his rushes. He has a 4.5 ypc average over his last two, after struggling to stay above 3.0 over his first 8 games. He is also getting more goal line looks, and while his targets might see a slight dip with Olsen returning, he will remain heavily involved in the pass game. CMCC will eclipse 100 yards from scrimmage, catch 5 balls, and get in the end zone against the Jets. 

WIDE RECEIVERS

Zay Jones / BUF

Zay is a deep sleeper. He had his career high in receiving yards last week. 68. But, Kelvin Benjamin himself, again, and it's not looking like Jordan Mathews will be suiting up. Jones has 5 or more targets every week since Week 6, and he has hauled in 10 of his 20 total receptions over the past 2 games. 

Jones seems to be building confidence and Tyrod Taylor has scarce options to throw the ball to. The Bills will be playing from behind and Zay has a chance to see double digit targets in this one.

Other WR Sleepers: Brandon LaFell / CIN; Mohammed Sanu / ATL

Freak: Doug Baldwin / SEA

Baldwin is coming off a lackluster performance against the Falcons. While he did salvage his fantasy day with a very late touchdown catch, the Seahawks WR1 only managed 2 receptions for 40 yards on 6 targets in the 34-31 Seahawks' loss in Week 11. Despite this, Baldwin has a touchdown or has gone for more than 90 yards in 4 of his last 5 games and he had 12, 10, and 12 targets in Weeks 7-9 respectively. If Wilson has the game we are expecting, Baldwin will ride his arm to a top-5 fantasy performance.

TIGHT ENDS

Freak: Tyler Kroft / CIN

The Browns have given up the most reception, second-most touchdowns, and the third-most fantasy points to the TE position. Kroft is a good play in his own right, and he should have a great day in this plus matchup. In the Bengals' first meeting with the Browns, Kroft scored 2 TDs in a 6 reception 68 yard performance.

Sleeper TE Starts: Jared Cook / OAK

GEEKS - BUST STARTS AND UNDERACHIEVERS

QUARTERBACKS

Derek Carr / OAK

Carr floundered against a Patriots' defense that is admittedly getting better, but should have been a positive matchup for Carr. Now, the Raiders face the Broncos in a divisional matchup that both teams will be geared up for. While the Broncos have not been a great fantasy defense, they are top-5 in total pass yards allowed and pass yards per game. They have the talent out wide to keep Carr in check again.

RUNNING BACKS

Joe Mixon / CIN

Mixon has been a disappoint for his owner's that blew a 3rd round pick on him this season. He is averaging below 3 yards per carry. He has only rushed for 50 or more yards twice and has only found his way into the end zone 3 times. The Browns boast a run D that is ranked 6th overall. Bengals will beat the browns, but they will do it through the air. 

WIDE RECEIVERS  

Jordy Nelson / GB

Jordy will have a permanent seat on this bust list until he shows some life. Since the beginning of October, Nelson has a high of 60 receptions yards and only 1 TD. Take Hundley out to dinner. Buy him a watch. Do something, man.

Larry Fitzgerald / ARI

So far, Larry Legend is making us look bad. We were big proponents on shipping him off before the mid-point of the season based on the fact he has shown a second-half decline each of the past few years. Fitz has put up 9-91-1 and 10-113-0 lines the past two weeks, and he looked good doing it too. Now, Larry gets Jalen Ramsey. Temper expectations.

TIGHT ENDs

Austin Seferian-Jenkins / NYJ
 

ASJ will be a TD or bust play this week in a tough one against a Panthers' squad that has done a good job at limiting opposing TEs in the second-half of the season. They will keep him out of the end zone in this one.

GAME OF THE WEEK

New Orleans Saints at Los Angeles Rams

If we wrote this preseason that the Week 12 matchup between the Rams and the Saints was a potential playoff preview game, you would have closed the article and went elsewhere. Maybe rightfully so. 

Yet, here we are in Week 12 and the 8-2 Saints and their resurgent defense roll into Los Angeles to face the Rams 7-3 top offense. With that being said, this game has some special Circus meaning to it as well, as I have Brees and Kamara going up against my partner and Todd Gurley. Two TD passes from Brees to Kamara should be enough to put the final nail in his coffin this season. And that I can drink to.

 

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