We hope your fantasy league went as planned last week. Up now is Week 12 of fantasy football, which means if you’re wild enough to be in a 16-team league, your playoffs schedule is about a week away. Those dedicated to their fantasy sports success will take the time to research themselves, but why not allow a second opinion? Find that and more on this edition of FSI: NFL Week 12!
All following speculations will be based off Standard Scoring strategies not Points per Reception; you can still, however, get a good idea of who’s hot and who’s not. Matchup-proof players (e.g. Julio Jones, Ezekiel Elliot, etc.) will not be listed because … duh; they should forever be locked into your starting lineup.
KIRK COUSINS @ DALLAS COWBOYS
Cousins has been on fire these past few weeks. Posting eight touchdowns over his past four matchups, and with dangerous targets like Crowder, Jackson, and Garcon, it can only be expected that he’d repeat in Week 12, especially since he’s averaged an impressive 19.3 fantasy points throughout the season thus far.
DEREK CARR vs. CAROLINA PANTHERS
The Raiders have been playing astounding football, and you can mainly thank Carr for that. With seven touchdowns in his past three matchups, including that dominating performance over the Texans on Monday Night Football, Carr can be considered QB1 for pretty much the rest of the season. this is especially so this week at home against a below-average Panthers secondary.
RUSSELL WILSON @ TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
Averaging 25 fantasy points in his past three matchups, look for Russell to repeat in Week 12 versus Tampa Bay. As a dominant mobile QB, Wilson will get it done in the air or on the run. Offensive snaps will also likely remain in his hands after Prosise’s recent injury.
PHILIP RIVERS @ HOUSTON TEXANS
Rivers has been kind to his fantasy owners these past few weeks. However, we project his productivity in the air will be halted this week against the Texans’ elite secondary; including the fact that plenty of plays will revolve around an on-fire Melvin Gordon running scheme.
ANDY DALTON @ BALTIMORE RAVENS
Over his past three matchups, Dalton has only averaged one passing touchdown a game. Now, with the recent injury to his star wide receiver A.J. Green, he is projected in the QB2 range, even more so versus the solid Ravens defense.
ALEX SMITH @ DENVER BRONCOS
Don’t expect Smith’s impressive showing last week against the Buccaneers to repeat away at Denver. This Broncos secondary is still arguably the best in the league and will most likely feast off of Smith’s passes. Plays will probably consist of screen passes and handoffs to Spencer Ware, so keep him on the bench this week.
LARRY FITZGERALD @ ATLANTA FALCONS
As far passing yards, Palmer has been getting it done in the air, including the occasional touchdown pass. Regardless, Week 12 will bode well for the Fitz considering he’s going against the low-par Falcons secondary. Media reports also state his ankle injuries don’t appear to be serious, so no worries there.
JORDY NELSON @ PHILADELPHIA EAGLES
An away game at Philadelphia might not be the best matchup. Although, as Aaron Rodgers’ number-one receiver, Nelson should still be able to produce and maintain his status as the league leader in receiving touchdowns.
ODELL BECKHAM JR @ CLEVELAND BROWNS
After being quiet last week with a meager 46 receiving yards, look for Odell Beckham JR to bounce back this week away at Cleveland. Yes, it’s another week where star receivers will vastly produce over the broken Browns defensive scheme. His targets will be plentiful come this Sunday, which means fantasy points galore for Beckham owners.
T.Y. HILTON vs. PITTSBURGH STEELERS
Andrew Luck has been officially ruled out for Thursday Night Football, which means Hilton will regress; once-backup Scott Tolzien starts at QB. We recommend Hilton to be benched or at least swapped into the flex position.
TYRELL WILLIAMS @ HOUSTON TEXANS
The Texans defense is fourth in the league in passing yards allowed, which means the Chargers target leader Tyrell Williams won’t be as productive as he usually is.
MARVIN JONES JR vs. MINNESOTA VIKINGS
Jones has completely declined over these past few weeks. After starting the season as one of the league’s top receivers, Jones has now fallen under both Golden Tate and Anquan Boldin in the pecking order. It also doesn’t help that his QB Matthew Stafford has only averaged a single touchdown in his past four competitions. Jones will be a definite bench sit for the time being.
MATT FORTE vs. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
The New York Jets just can’t figure it out at the QB position. So in the meanwhile, that means Jets running backs will mainly produce for the team. So it’s easy to see that their number-one RB Matt Forte will carry most of the slack, ultimately putting up the most points for his fantasy owners.
FRANK GORE vs. PITTSBURGH STEELERS
The most consistent running back in football as of now is Frank Gore. Now with Andrew Luck out, Gore will receive an even bigger workload. The future is bright for Gore in both offensive snaps and goal-line work, an easy RB2 start from here on out.
JAY AJAYI vs. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS
Ajayi hasn’t been putting up his normally ludicrous amount of ground yardage, but he’ll look to turn that around in a dream matchup against the 49ers, who also happen to be the league’s worst in rushing defense. He is an RB1 and must start for this Week 12.
ISAIAH CROWELL vs. NEW YORK GIANTS
The once-feared Crow has now put up sub-10 fantasy points in his past three games. You may chalk this up to his also fewer than 10 running attempts per game, but in the end, it’s because he is halfback for the worst team in the NFL. Don’t take our word for it, but the stats don’t lie. Save yourself the disappointment and bench Crowell, and if you still can, trade this 13th best fantasy RB, too.
JORDAN HOWARDS vs. TENNESSEE TITANS
An injured Jay Cutler may mean more of a workload for Jordan Howard; however, he is going up against the Titans rush defense, who have allowed only 92.1 rushing yards per game. Also considering Howard hasn’t looked as sharp as he usually is after the bye week, we recommend you bench him for this one and only this one (he faces the 49ers next week so there’s a positive).
TERRANCE WEST vs. CINCINNATI BENGALS
Yes, the Ravens are still employing a running back by committee approach. No, Terrance West isn’t being replaced as the starter, but a recently emerging Kenneth Dixon has been taking away more and more touches over the weeks. With only one touchdown in his past four games, you should bench West this week.
Waiver Wire Pickups
QB, JOE FLACCO, RAVENS (25 percent OWNED IN YAHOO! FORMAT)
With five touchdowns in his past three matchups, Flacco is worth a pickup over the waiver wire this week. He will also be facing the weak Cincinnati secondary, who has allowed seven touchdowns over their last five games.
WR, PIERRE GARCON, REDSKINS (32 percent)
Increasing his productivity, Garcon is worth the flex start since his QB is on a roll. As Kirk Cousins continues to eat, this means his wide receivers will eat, which also means their fantasy owners will eat. Everyone eats! (Happy Thanksgiving.)
RB, JERICK McKINNON, RAVENS (41 percent)
Even with Bradford once again finding his rhythm at the QB position, McKinnon will still earn his fair share of snaps. The Vikings rush offense hasn’t been the best since Adrian Peterson’s injury; McKinnon is still, however, the starting halfback.
Thus concludes this week’s FSI preview for Week 12 of the NFL. Check back in next week for more analysis and suggestions concerning your fantasy lineup. Until then, make sure you follow the Daily Nexus and Daily Nexus Sports on Twitter. Cheers!