Here’s a quick look at what we can expect from a Fantasy perspective this week. Enjoy the Week 12 fantasy preview of every game!
Carolina Panthers at Miami Dolphins 1:00 pm
If you are forced to start a Panthers running back, I think Mike Tolbert is the one. The Dolphins have struggled against tight ends this year and I think Greg Olsen finds the endzone again this week.
The Dolphins don’t even know week to week what running back is going to play well. It seems that they have gone to the hot hand approach, which is never fun to hear as a fantasy owner. I would avoid the situation if possible but if you have to start one I trust Lamar Miller’s talent more than Daniel Thomas. I think Rishard Matthews could have a big game. The Panthers have a great front seven and I think Rishard Matthews benefits the most from the pass rush on Ryan Tannehill.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland Browns 1:00 pm
The odds are that teams wont have a better option than Antonio Brown, but if you do this might be the time to sit him. Joe Haden is coming off shutting down A.J. Green holding him to just 7 yards and no offense to Antonio Brown but he is no A.J. Green. Look for Emmanuel Sanders and Jerricho Cotchery to have decent games as Ben Roethlisberger might be looking to other options with Joe Haden on Antonio Brown.
Chris Ogbonnaya had a little coming out party last week with 99 total yards on 14 touches 6 of which were catches. I think he is a solid flex play again but I wouldn’t expect any touchdowns from him. Jordan Cameron’s numbers have been struggling lately but unless you have another top 5 tight end I don’t think you can sit Jordan Cameron.
San Diego Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs 1:00 pm
Phillip Rivers started out great this year but it is time to look for a better option. In the past 5 weeks Phillip Rivers has only totaled 6 touchdowns and has only gone over 300 yards once. People quickly forget the great season Ryan Mathews had in 2011 where he totaled over 1,500 yards on 272 touches. The injuries can be a concern but he has shown before that he can be a great option.
The Chiefs are not full of fantasy options outside of Jamaal Charles and the defense. They do have a very favorable schedule down the stretch for the passing game. If you are feeling lucky now might be the time to get Dwayne Bowe if your deadline hasn’t passed or possibly even grab him from the waiver wire. Back in 2010 when he had a similar stretch of bad pass defenses he totaled 7 touchdowns on 32 catches for 465 yards through 3 games. It is a completely different team but definitely something to keep an eye on.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Detroit Lions 1:00 pm
Mike Glennon has been a very viable option for those who have been in need of a bye week replacement or a fill in for Aaron Rodgers. The Lions have been pretty awful against the pass this year. Mike Glennon is a solid play if you are in the need if you happened to own Nick Foles or Russell Wilson. Bobby Rainey had a huge week last week but I would temper expectations. The Falcons have been a mess and the Lions have a pretty good defensive line and their big weakness is in the secondary.
There isn’t much to say about the Lions. You are starting Matt Stafford and Calvin Johnson everywhere. There is some concern for Reggie Bush since it seemed that he was benched for fumbling last week even though they are denying reports. Reggie Bush is still a high-end running back and if you are seriously considering sitting him congratulations because you would have to have a very good group of running backs.
Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers 1:00 pm
Adrian Peterson has said he is going to play but keep an eye on his status Sunday morning with his groin issue. If Adrian Peterson owners haven’t already make sure you grab Toby Gerhart. The lingering groin injury coupled with the Vikings in a lost season with nothing to play for it wouldn’t be shocking for Adrian Peterson to miss a game down the stretch and Toby Gerhart filled in pretty well in 2011 when given the chance.
In the last 2 games with Scott Tolzien playing Jarrett Boykin has been targeted 21 times reeling in 14 of them. Jarrett Boykin should be a good play with Scott Tolzien at the helm. For really deep leagues as well as keeper and dynasty leagues keep an eye on Brandon Bostic. He has the loved basketball skill set that has been great for receiving tight ends.
Chicago Bears at St. Louis Rams 1:00 pm
Alshon Jeffery has turned himself into the receiver people thought he could be back in his first few years at South Carolina. Martellus Bennett has done very little without Jay Cutler and I would expect that to continue. As long as Josh McCown is starting for Chicago I think Martellus Bennett should be left on the waiver wire.
Outside of Zac Stacy there isn’t much that the Rams have to offer. Tavon Austin had 3 targets last time they played but he turned two of them as well as a punt all into touchdowns. They showed his big play ability but until they start using him differently I can’t see him as a player that you can start unless you are really desperate.
New York Jets at Baltimore Ravens 1:00 pm
There is no logic to back it up but the Jets are due for a big week this week and to continue their every other week trend of being the worst team in the NFL to being a team that can beat any team in the NFL. Chris Ivory continues to get carries and has done pretty well with the opportunity. Santonio Holmes came back and played well last week after missing time with an injury. He is the only threat in their passing game and if you’re desperate he could be a good play.
What is Ray Rice at this point? Has he bounced back to be what he was or was last week just a good matchup when he played the team that Brandon Jacobs made us think it was 2010. I am not buying the resurgence and would not count on him to do it again this week against the Jets who have shown a great run defense this season.
Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans 1:00 pm
Maurice Jones-Drew has been given touchdown opportunities the last few weeks and he has converted with those opportunities. The yards have not been there this year but the touchdowns have been coming around as of late. The squeaky wheel tends to get the grease. After Cecil Shorts blasted the team for not getting the ball I expect a big week and I would be pretty comfortable starting him as a wide receiver 2. Ace Sanders played well last week when Mike Brown left with injury last week and could be a sneaky play this week.
If you need a quarterback I think Case Keenum is a safe play. After getting pulled last week and getting blasted by the media for it I don’t think Case Keenum gets pulled again unless he plays horribly this week. Ben Tate will continue to be a solid play and playing a pretty bad Jaguars team I expect him to be a high-end running back 2.
Tennessee Titans at Oakland Raiders 4:05 pm
Kendall Wright continues to be a quality possession receiver. His lack of touchdowns has kept him from being a top 15 option this season only hauling in 1 over the first 11 weeks of the season. Delanie Walker has been targeted 18 times over the past two weeks going a perfect 10 for 10 catching all of his targets last week. If you don’t have one of the top 3 options with Jimmy Graham, Rob Gronkowski, or Julius Thomas I think tight end is a position where you try to chase the points and hope that the players can keep it up and I think Delanie Walker is a great guy to add and start if you still can.
In two quarterback leagues Matt Mcgloin proved last week to be a viable option. The undrafted rookie actually had a higher percentage of his yards travel through the air than any other quarterback at 79 percent. That stat also makes the speedster Denarius More an interesting option if that continues.
Indianapolis Colts at Arizona Cardinals 4:05 pm
If you haven’t already it is long past time to give up on Trent Richardson as a starting option. Donald Brown has outperformed him in every way. The holes that aren’t there for Trent miraculously appear when Donald Brown steps into the huddle. Donald Brown is a decent play but until he is given a good majority of the snaps he isn’t anything more than a low-end running back 2. After Darrius Heyward-Bey dropped an easy pass last week it appeared he was benched for a decent portion of the game. Outside of T.Y. Hilton no other wide receiver needs to be owned let alone started. Coby Fleener played well last week and could be moving into the number 2 passing option behind T.Y. Hilton with the struggles of the other receivers in Indy.
Unless Andre Ellington can get 15 or more touches he isn’t going to be someone that can be trusted. People always get frustrated with the touch situation when there is a plodder and a speed back with great ability. More often than not players like Ellington cannot handle the full load and is more effective handling 10-15 touches than 20 or more. I wouldn’t expect this situation to change unless Rashard Mendenhall gets injured. Michael Floyd had a big week last week but a majority of it came on a big play where the Jaguars showed why they only have 1 win and he is not someone I would want to relay on if the playoffs are on the line.
Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants 4:25 pm
Miles Austin is expected to be back this week to the chagrin of Terrance Williams owners. Miles Austin is going to eat into his snap count but Williams should still get the majority of the 3 wide receiver sets. Dez Bryant was held in check before the bye. I think his back issues hold him back down the stretch but he is still an every week play if he is active.
Andre Brown owners had to watch Brandon Jacobs vulture short yardage touchdown last week. It appeared that Jacobs slid into a short yardage role converting on a few short yardage attempts throughout the game. If Hakeem Nicks ends up being held out of the game Rueben Randle should be a very good play against the Cowboys defense who has been solid from a fantasy perspective but not from a real NFL perspective.
Denver Broncos at New England Patriots 8:30 pm
The availability of Julius Thomas is uncertain for Sunday night. I would grab Joel Dreessen, who would be the expected player to step in for Julius Thomas, if possible and hold out for Julius Thomas on Sunday night if you own him and if he is declared out give Joel Dreessen the start in your lineup. The upside of Julius Thomas is worth waiting for over playing the Likes of Charles Clay or Garrett Graham.
Shane Vereen finally came back and owners who waited should be pleased with what they saw. He handled the majority of the passing downs playing 33 snaps on passing plays, and hauling in 6 passes. The wide receivers seem to be hit or miss week-to-week and I would avoid the situation if possible.
San Francisco 49ers at Washington Redskins Monday 8:30 pm
Saying the Redskins have a bad defense is putting it nicely. I expect Colin Kaepernick, Frank Gore, and Vernon Davis to have big games and if you are really desperate or are in very deep leagues Kendall Hunter should get some late game carries if, when, this game gets out of hand. Keep an eye on how Mario Manningham plays in his second game back he might turn into a viable PPR option for those in need of wide receiver help down the stretch.
The Redskins didn’t do much last week until late in the game when Robert Griffin III brought them back with a couple late game touchdowns. Alfred Morris has quietly put together a very good season that could be great if he were able to get a few of the touchdowns that have gone to other options in the run game. If you are looking for a deep option at receiver who could have a nice game Josh Morgan is supposed to start opposite of Pierre Garcon and I expect the Redskins to be playing catch-up for the majority of the second half.