Our Week 12 sleepers features under-the-radar players that are currently being started in less than 50% of fantasy football leagues. These players could produce good fantasy numbers this week due to a favorable matchup, injury, or other circumstances. For your final lineup decisions, check out our Week 12 player rankings and if you have any fantasy football questions, feel free to post them in our Fantasy Football Forum.
If there’s one positive that you can take from Sanchez’s (and the Eagles) brutal loss on Sunday, it’s that he still scored 15+ fantasy points. That’s 15+ despite two interceptions and two fumbles lost. Upon returning home this Sunday, he’ll find the Titans secondary to be much easier fare, and I believe he’ll get back to the 20-point plateau once again. Don’t be dissuaded by this lackluster performance – start him this weekend with confidence.
Dan “Boom” Herron
Herron was formerly the clear #3 RB on the Colts, with stalwarts Bradshaw and Richardson occupying the fantasy-relevant spots. With the news of Bradshaw’s devastating fractured fibula, Herron immediately rises to fantasy prominence. Regardless of whether or not he takes over the entire Bradshaw role, the Colts play the Jags this week, and you can bet there will be plenty of garbage time for the Colts to get Herron’s feet wet. If you’re desperate, I expect about 10 touches and a goal line plunge – hopefully he makes it in.
After running for 199 yards and four TDs against the Colts, Gray should be the #1 waiver claim this week. And if you’re looking for a RB, he’s a damn good consideration as well. I know the matchup isn’t great (Lions) but the game is being played in Foxboro, and you have to feel like Gray is a good bet for another 15+ touches and probably a short yardage TD. The Patriots offense has been unstoppable lately, and I see that continuing this weekend.
Sims (and the Bucs) vastly outperformed expectations in Week 11, beating up on a toothless Washington team 27-7. Better yet, Charles handled 16 total touches without a fumble, although he wasn’t super productive (44 total yards). With their season still in the dumpster, and no better options in Doug Martin / Bobby Rainey, I expect the Bucs to let Sims handle the load the rest of the way, making him a weekly low-end RB2 / high-end flex play.
Brandin Cooks broke his thumb on Sunday, and he’s expected to miss somewhere between two and six weeks, according to what’s been reported thus far. He’d been a target monster and it leaves a gaping hole in the Saints offense, one that will be filled in part by Stills. Everyone thinks that this is an uptick for Marques Colston, and perhaps they’re right to some degree, but the dude just can’t separate any longer at this stage of his career. I think this means a much more involved Stills, at home in the Superdome, with Drew Brees at the helm. You have to like that.
After going for 128 and a score against Denver, Britt has yet again risen from the fantasy ashes to be a top waiver claim this week. He’s the clear #1 WR for the Rams now that Brian Quick is out for the year, and should amass even more than the 6 targets he received on Sunday. San Diego struggles against the pass, and with the odds being that St. Louis will be coming from behind for much of this matchup, I like the odds of Britt putting up top 25 WR stats this week.
Cecil Shorts III
Due to the Jacksonville bye last week, Shorts has been dropped in a ton of leagues; He’s actually below 50% owned at the moment. I think that’s a mistake. He’s gotten 47 targets over the last five weeks and should continue to be a target sponge with Allen Robinson out for the year. As mentioned earlier I believe the Colts should put this game away quickly, leaving plenty of garbage time for Bortles, Shorts, and Denard Robinson.
This one is more of a deep league special – In case you were wondering who the worst team against the TE is…your Chicago Bears, ladies and gentlemen! The Bears are allowing, on average, 77+ yards per game to opposing TE – they’re one of only two teams allowing over 70, and they’re more than five yards per game worse than the closest competition, the Bengals. Basically, Chicago stinks against the TE. I don’t think that ASJ is anything special from a talent perspective, but I do think that the Bucs will look to get him involved in an attempt to try and steal a win at Soldier Field.
Fresh off of a clobbering by the Patriots, Indy will get right here at the expense of the hapless Jags. Jacksonville has nowhere near the weapons they will need to keep pace with the Colts, and I’m expecting a low point total and at least a couple of interceptions here. If you’re shopping Week 12 defenses, this unit is your one-seed.
Please refer to the Week 11 decimation of Mark Sanchez and the Eagles. That’s an elite offense that was made to look ridiculous by the Packers, and I’m expecting more of the same in this matchup, minus (of course) the opposing elite offense.
Green Bay puts up so many points that their defense can play aggressively and recklessly, and that style of play causes turnovers and sacks. With or without Adrian Peterson, I expect this to be a long day to forget for Teddy Bridgewater and company.