This football season is flying quickly as it always seems to do. We’re already Week 12 and gearing up for some Thanksgiving football. Time sure does fly when “Johnny Football” is havin’ fun. There is a lot to be thankful for in 2015’s fantasy season, but Week 11 was not one of them. We haven’t seen such low scoring since UNC basketball’s team took their SATs.
Us NFL fans have plenty to be thankful for this time of year. Detroit fans, for instance, are thankful for the great tradition of watching their beloved Lions play every Thanksgiving; and they must be especially thankful after an impressive win over the Raiders last week. Detroit’s defense is returning to dominant form just in time for them to not be able to make a push for the playoffs… let us pause for an unenthusiastic slow clap from the unimpressed Lions community…
Eddie Lacy owners can offer thanks to their first round pick after he finally gave them a solid effort in Week 11. Although, there will still be plenty of “Fat Eddie” jokes this time of year with Thanksgiving feasts looming; it’s childish, really… I would just tell Eddie to not put any extra butter in his mashed potatoes. He seems like the kind of hungry man that might not use utensils and we don’t want to add any fumbling issues to his underwhelming season. I’m a terrible human being…
How about the players… What are they most thankful for this year? Johnny Manziel didn’t seem very thankful when given the generous opportunity of taking over the Browns starting quarterback gig. As you probably know by now, “Money” Manziel was caught on video getting his party-on during the Browns bye week. As a result he was demoted from starter to third stringer. This might make for some awkward Thanksgiving dinner conversation at the Manziel house…. But I must say, that video was pretty disappointing. I was expecting something more along the lines of a shirtless Manziel performing a keg stand with a pair of tighty whities on his head. Who’s holding his ankles? You guessed it… Bieber, also shirtless. Manziel was told that to be a successful starter in this league you have to be the first one in and the last one to leave. Unfortunately, he thought they were talking about the club instead of the practice field.
The season is moving along quickly and the fantasy playoffs are in our sights. We here at Fantasy Smack Talk hope you have plenty to be thankful for on and off the fantasy field in 2015. Let’s take a look at which DraftKings players will earn our thankfulness and offer the most value in Week 12!
In his last three games against the Skins, Manning has totaled 829 yards, nine touchdowns, and one interception. Eli loves playing the Redskins more than Steve Martin loves playing the banjo. How about putting down the banjo and making another movie Steve, we miss you. With most DraftKings managers likely going cheap at quarterback this week, Eli will have a low usage percentage and should continue to put up big numbers in what could be a high scoring divisional shootout as they fight for the division crown. The Redskins have allowed multiple touchdowns to quarterbacks in their last five games, including five scored by Cam Newton last week. ELIte Manning should show up this Sunday.
Like a mouse hesitantly sniffing his way to an all too conveniently placed piece of cheese, this matchup has trap written all over it. Yet, it is just too good to resist. Peanut butter is actually a much more effective mouse bait by the way, cheese only works in the cartoons… Brian Hoyer has the matchup of the week, playing against a Saints defense that gives the most fantasy points to quarterbacks. Hoyer has actually put up decent fantasy points all year, the volume has continually been there as the Texans lead the league in pass attempts. Hoyer might be the most utilized player of Week 12, especially since he’s priced like a piece of lawn furniture in the dead of winter. As long as he doesn’t suffer another concussion he should be a lock to put up solid numbers. Heck, some NFL teams seem to be ignoring concussion protocols completely so maybe he’d stay in the game regardless. Go get him.
Javorius “Buck” Allen
Like being called Bill instead of William, it turns out “Buck” is the formal nickname for Javorius. In fact, hip hop rapper “Young Buck” actually began his career as “Young Javorius.” Feel no need to fact check that one. Allen is now the lead back in Baltimore, and will get his first start against an inconsistent Browns defense. Cleveland gives up the eighth most points to running backs in PPR formats, but seem to have improved in that department of late. The Brownies haven’t allowed a touchdown by a running back since Week 7 and were able to hold DeAngelo Williams to 54 yards in their last game before. Regardless, Javorius is an enticing play in Week 12 with a backfield all to himself and a pass catching ability that makes for a high floor. He caught five passes for 46 yards last week against a stout Rams defense. Expect more passes coming his way with backup quarterback Matt Schaub under center for the Ravens, it will be check down city in Cleveland.
Can you spare a Ware? At this price you’re going to want to stock up on as many Ware’s as you can when setting your lineups. All signs are pointing towards Charcandrick West sitting out at least one week with a strained hammy. Ware took advantage in West’s early departure last week, finishing with 98 yards and two touchdowns on 11 carries. Spence looked good doing it too, running with shiftiness and power, although he lacks the pass catching ability of Charcnado. However, Ware will get all the carries he can handle against a Bills team that has been average against the run. Take a shopping trip to the discount Warehouse in Week 12.
San Diego is a sexy town. You can’t beat their weather, their nightlife is electric, and they arguably have the most beautiful women in the country. Unfortunately, the Bolt’s defense is not nearly as attractive, not even with beer goggles on. The Chargers as a whole have let themselves go, due to a devastating number of injuries and a non-existent running attack. The Jaguars ground game, on the other hand, has been trending up thanks to rookie TJ Yeldon’s decisive and elusive running style. He has had one of the tougher schedules for a running back, but has been able to produce decent fantasy numbers while being heavily involved in the passing game. In Week 12 he faces a Chargers defense that gives up the most fantasy points to running backs. The only starting running back to not go off on them is Justin Forsett, literally. TJ should have the best game of his young career in Week 12.
When the Saints come marching in, you march to your computer and put the opposing wide receiver in your lineup. That’s just the way it goes. It just so happens that player in Week 12 is DeAndre Hopkins, the No. 1 fantasy wide receiver of 2015. The Saints have given up the second most receiving yards while handing out the most receiving touchdowns this season. Not that any of that matters since Hopkins is completely matchup proof. DeAndre is averaging 13.5 targets a game, he’s a guy you want to pay up for and build your lineup around. He’s the clear cut no brainer play of the week.
Odell Beckham Jr
The stud running backs in Week 12 are either injured or have unfavorable matchups, so it’s a good week to pay up for the top receivers; especially ones facing the Redskins defense. The Skins don’t give up many rushing touchdowns, opposing offenses have been doing all their damage through the air. Washington gives up the fourth most receiving touchdowns and has been awful of late, allowing the likes of Panthers wide receiver Devin Funchess to have a career day just last week. Beckham has faced the Redskins twice in his career, scoring three touchdowns and 143 yards in Week 15 against them last year; and then settling for 79 yards and a touchdown in Week 3 of this year. The Manning/Beckham combo has been clicking, Odell has been targeted 38 times in the past three games and has finished with over 100 yards in each as well. Click Odell into your lineup.
A No. 1 wide receiver? Check. Playing against the Jags? Check. An elite quarterback throwing him the ball? Check. A touchdown machine? Not so fast… Stevie Johnson may only have two touchdowns on the year but in the wonderful world of PPR that doesn’t matter too much. In his last two games since Keenan Allen went down, Stevie was targeted 18 times totaling 14 catches. He is a rare reliable PPR stud in this unreliable PPR world we live in. With Malcom Floyd unlikely to play and Antonio looking like the gates are closing quickly on him, Johnson has a chance for a huge game at a cheap price.
Reed was bottled up against Carolina’s defense last week, but still managed to have a decent game with eight targets, six catches, 46 yards, and a lost fumble. In Week 12, Reed is about to pop that bottle and poor a round of delicious fantasy bubbly to all his customers. The Giants have gotten lit up by tight ends all year and have allowed three tight end touchdowns in their last three games. Reed’s targets have dipped a bit since Desean Jackson’s return from injury, but he is still Kirk Cousin’s main man; especially in the red zone. Jordan should be able to exploit this cozy matchup in what should be a heavy aerial attack from the Redskins.
Walker gets the Raiders defense this week, meaning happy holidays for Walker owners. It’s become common knowledge by now that Oakland is incapable of defending tight ends. A tight end has scored at least one touchdown in eight of the 10 games Oakland has played. Detroit’s Eric Ebron should have had one last week but dropped a wide open pass in the end zone. With a banged up receiving core, Walker is the closest thing to a sure bet you’ll find at the tight end position in Week 12.
Before Week 11, the Bengals had been stingier than your grandma on Christmas morning. A thermos, a pair of socks, and a flashlight… thanks Grammy. Before giving up 34 points to a potent Cardinals offense last week, they had held their prior three opponents to exactly 10 points each. The Bengals will return home to face a struggling Rams offense who give up the sixth most fantasy points to opposing defenses. With an uninspiring Nick Foles back under center for the Rams, the Bengals defense will be eager to get back on track.
A few weeks ago, the Chargers were a matchup to avoid when streaming fantasy defenses. San Diego’s offense has gone from fantasy haven to fantasy wasteland, as Rivers has gone dry and his resources have been depleted. Out of the many injuries the Chargers have suffered, the most damaging has to be their offensive line. With no time to throw the ball and an inability to run, San Diego has become a vulnerable offense that has turned the Jaguars into a decent defensive option in Week 12. Jacksonville has put a larger emphasis on putting pressure on opposing quarterbacks in recent weeks, resulting in four sacks last week against the Titans and forcing four turnovers against the Ravens in Week 10. Scoring double digit fantasy points in three of the last four weeks, jump on the Jags new found swag in Week 12.
Happy Holidays Everyone and Good Luck In Week 12!