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FFL: Week 12 | NFL: Week 12

Waivering: Week 7

Tue Oct 15 8:43am ET
By JEFF PAUR
Sr Fantasy Writer

Sam Darnold is making strides


This seems to be a theme with this column, but as the season progresses, it really does get harder to find quality options on waivers. Teams have byes and injuries, so the pickups become a lot more frequent. And the players breaking out are harder to find as well because a lot of roles are established with less uncertainty in the game. These factors make it tougher on a weekly basis as the season progresses. So don’t get too frustrated with the waivers going forward. Just remember that all the owners are facing the same issues as you. 

QUARTERBACKS

Kirk Cousins, Vikings. It is time to believe in Cousins again. He has two straight huge games, throwing for 300-plus yards in each of his last two games while totaling six touchdowns to just one interception. He is playing with much more confidence and finally taking advantage of his great receiver duo. Cousins was dropped in many leagues after his slow start but his recent play should cause him to be grabbed in all those leagues once again. He is available in 30 percent of leagues. 

Sam Darnold, Jets. Darnold returned from his bout with mono and had his best game of the season, beating a pretty good Cowboys teams. Darnold was 23-of-32 for 338 yards and two touchdowns with an interception las week. He has the tools to produce in this league and could be a good spot starter the rest of the way. He was impressive last week.

Case Keenum, Redskins. Keenum might not be the best NFL quarterback but he has produced for fantasy teams this year when in the starting lineup. He has multiple touchdown passes every game he has started and finished this year. He has at least 17 fantasy points all those games, too. He is another player worth consideration as a spot play for fantasy teams in the right matchup. He is producing. 

RUNNING BACKS 

Chase Edmonds, Cardinals. David Johnson was able to play last week, but Edmonds got his chances once again. He scored a touchdown for the second straight game. He also has at least 14 fantasy point two straight games. The Cardinals might need to manage Johnson’s workload a little better gong forward, giving more weekly touches to Edmonds. And Edmonds is making plays with his work, which is encouraging. 

Mark Walton, Dolphins. With the Dolphins struggling to run the ball, Walton got his most chances of the season last week. He played pretty well, rushing six times for 32 yards while catching five passes for 43 yards. He had 11 touches for 75 total yards. He might be playing his way into a bigger role going forward, making him worth a speculative look if you are desperate for running back help.

Benny Snell, Steelers. Snell had a season high 17 carries last week for 75 yards. It was the first time al year he had more than three carries in a game, so this performance was unexpected. The Steelers were run heavy with a third-string quarterback starting, though. Snell was impressive with his work and could be getting a few more weekly chances the rest of the way. James Conner hasn’t exactly excelled with his chances this year, so the Steelers could start given their rookie back more looks.

Darrell Henderson, Rams. Henderson got his most work of the season with Todd Gurley out. Henderson played pretty well, rushing six times for 39 yards. He outplayed starter Malcolm Brown in the game, which is encouraging. Gurley is an injury waiting to happen, so Henderson is worth adding if you have the roster space. His role could continue to increase in this offense. 

WIDE RECEIVERS

Jaron Brown, Seahawks. Brown found the end zone twice last week, scoring for the first time all year. He has multiple receptions four straight games and is getting some consistent work in the Seahawks passing game. He isn’t a sure thing but has some red-zone potential and is getting weekly catches, making him a player to consider streaming if you need receiver help because of injury or bye weeks.

DeVante Parker, Dolphins. Parker had just three catches for 28 yards last week but one of those catches was a touchdown reception. This gives him scores two straight games and at least three receptions all but a game. The Dolphins are a mess, but Parker has the highest ceiling of any of their receivers, making him another player to consider if you need someone for a spot play.

Jamison Crowder, Jets. The return of Sam Darnold was a huge positive for Crowder. He had a great game in Week 6, catching six passes for 98 yards. Remember, he had 14 receptions for 99 yards in Week 1 when Darnold was playing. He might not score many touchdowns but he has big reception potential as long as Darnold is in the lineup. Crowder is available in 41 percent of fantasy leagues. 

TIGHT ENDS

Darren Fells, Texans. The Texans are incorporating the tight end into the offense a lot more these days. And Fells is the top target at tight end for them right now. He had a season high in receptions (six) and yards (69) last week. And he had a two-touchdown game the previous week. His value is going up in this very good Texans offense. 

Hunter Henry, Chargers. Henry was dropped in many leagues after his early-season knee injury. But for all the owners that held onto him, he paid off in a big way in Week 6. Henry had eight receptions for 100 yards and two touchdowns. In two games this year, Henry has 12 receptions for 160 yards. He is a huge part of this offense and a legit No. 1 fantasy tight end. He is available in 25 percent of leagues. This will be the last week you can grab him if you are in one of those leagues.

Jeff Paur is a two-time finalist for FSWA Fantasy Football Writer of the Year and won the FSWA award for Best Fantasy Football Article on the Web in 2011. He also was the most accurate expert in 2012, winning the FSTA Fantasy Football Accuracy Award. If you have any questions for Jeff, email him at jeff@rtsports.com. Follow Jeff on Twitter @jeffpaur.

Player Notes
Robert Woods Nov 21 12:10pm ET

Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Robert Woods, who was a surprise scratch last Sunday night due to personal reasons, remains away from the team as they prepare for Monday night's game against the Ravens, according to sources. At this point it's a reality that Woods might miss his second straight game with personal issues. He's becoming extremely risky for fantasy owners, especially with the team's Week 12 game coming on Monday night. Brandin Cooks (concussion) is expected to return this week, but Josh Reynolds would continue to serve in three-receiver sets if Woods misses another game. Reynolds would be a low-cost DFS streamer and deep league flex consideration if Woods is out again, but keep in mind that Baltimore's defense has been one of the best in the NFL in recent weeks.

From RotoBaller

Brian Hill Nov 21 12:10pm ET

Atlanta Falcons running back Brian Hill had a rough game in his first start of the year in Week 11. He had 15 carries in the game, but managed just 30 yards with them. He also added an eight-yard reception on three targets in the passing game. The Falcons face the Buccaneers in Week 12, a team that's easier to pass against than run against. Hill figures to see around 15 touches in the game, assuming Devonta Freeman (foot) is out. Freeman is currently questionable, but hasn't practiced all week and is most likely going to sit for his second-straight game. Hill's most valuable touches in Week 12 will likely come in the passing game. In Week 10, Hill showed that he can produce solid numbers by putting up 71 yards and a touchdown against the Saints. This week, he has a chance to do the same, but the risk is clear given last week's struggles. Plus, Qadree Ollison appears to be the team's preferred short-yardage and red zone back, which takes some of Hill's upside away. Hill is a low-end RB2 or flex option this week and he's more attractive in PPR formats.

From RotoBaller

Evan Engram Nov 21 12:10pm ET

New York Giants tight end Evan Engram (foot) is out of practice again on Thursday, and it's safe to assume that he'll be inactive for Week 12 against the Bears. Keep Engram glued to your bench for another week. With Rhett Ellison (concussion) also not expected to play this weekend, it looks like Scott Simonson and rookie Kaden Smith will split work at the position against Chicago. The Bears have been vulnerable to tight ends, but fantasy owners shouldn't be looking to a Simonson/Smith split for help in the fantasy realm.

From RotoBaller

Qadree Ollison Nov 21 12:10pm ET

Atlanta Falcons running back Qadree Ollison scored his first career touchdown in Week 11, a game where he also saw his first NFL action. Ollison had four carries for 11 yards in Week 11. Brian Hill is the team's No. 1 running back for as long as Devonta Freeman (foot) is out. Freeman is currently questionable for Week 12, though he appears more likely to sit for the second-straight game. Ollison is certainly worth keeping an eye on and he's even worth rostering in the deepest of leagues due to the Falcons' many injuries in their backfield. However, don't consider him as a start option this week as you'd just be hoping for another touchdown. The workload likely won't be there for Ollison to produce sturdy yardage in the game.

From RotoBaller

Rhett Ellison Nov 21 12:10pm ET

New York Giants tight end Rhett Ellison (concussion) is unlikely to play in Week 12 against the Bears, according to head coach Pat Shurmur. Starting tight end Evan Engram (foot) has yet to practice this week and is headed down the same path, so you won't be able to use either tight end in fantasy this week against the Bears. Expect some combination of Scott Simonson and rookie Kaden Smith against Chicago, but we wouldn't expect much production from either player this weekend.

From RotoBaller

Darren Fells Nov 21 12:00pm ET

Houston Texans tight end Darren Fells had caught just one pass per game over Houston's last two games. He's got seven games this year with two or fewer receptions. And he's caught six touchdowns, including a pair of multi-touchdown games. What do you do with that? Well, the same thing you do every week: play him in deeper leagues if you don't have other options. Fells could catch two passes for two touchdowns. He could also one catch for seven yards. If you have a reliable option, play that guy instead.

From RotoBaller

Devonta Freeman Nov 21 12:00pm ET

Atlanta Falcons running back Devonta Freeman (foot) hasn't practiced yet this week and head coach Dan Quinn said that if he can't practice before the team's Week 12 game against the Buccaneers, he won't be suiting up. Freeman is currently listed as questionable for Week 12, but one would imagine he's more on the doubtful side of questionable. He could, however, have a good chance to make his return in Week 13 if he doesn't suffer any setbacks in his recovery. Brian Hill and Qadree Ollison will most likely shoulder the running back workload for as long as Freeman is out.

From RotoBaller

Calvin Ridley Nov 21 11:50am ET

Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley is in a great spot heading into Week 12. He's coming off of his best game of the year where he caught all eight of his targets for 143 yards and a touchdown against the Panthers. This week, Ridley and the Falcons face a Buccaneers Defense that has allowed the second-most passing yards per game in the league this year. The team's star wide receiver Julio Jones (foot) is currently questionable for the game. If Jones sits or plays at less than 100%, that gives Ridley even more of a boost. Regardless, Ridley should see around eight targets in the game, giving him a good chance to post between 80 and 100 receiving yards with touchdown potential.

From RotoBaller

Matt Ryan Nov 21 11:40am ET

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (ankle) sat out Wednesday's practice and is currently questionable for Week 12 against the Buccaneers. However, there doesn't seem to be an indication that he's at risk for missing the game. Sitting out Wednesday's practice appears to have been mostly precautionary. If he is indeed good to go for Week 12, he'll be in good position to have a solid week. The Falcons are a pass-heavy offense facing a very pass-friendly Buccaneers Defense yielding 290 passing yards per game, second most in the league. Expect Ryan to throw for over 300 yards with two or three touchdowns on the day.

From RotoBaller

Julio Jones Nov 21 11:40am ET

Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones (foot) sat out Wednesday's practice and is currently questionable for Week 12 against the Buccaneers. There haven't been many details released in terms of the severity of Jones's foot injury so make sure to monitor his status in the coming days. If he's good to go, he needs to be started in all leagues as the Falcons face a very pass-friendly Buccaneers Defense. Jones has had at least eight targets in five straight games with over 90 receiving yards in four of those five games. He could easily top 100 yards and find the end zone against the Buccaneers in Week 12.

From RotoBaller

Mohamed Sanu Nov 21 11:30am ET

New England Patriots wide receiver Mohamed Sanu (ankle) is reportedly dealing with a high ankle sprain that could sideline him for two, maybe three weeks. Though he's currently listed as questionable for Week 12, fantasy owners should expect him to be out for Week 12 and likely Week 13 as well. While Sanu is gone, Julian Edelman should see a minor boost in targets. Phillip Dorsett (concussion) could benefit from Sanu's absence, though he is currently questionable for Week 12 while going through concussion protocol. N'Keal Harry also stands to benefit and is worth a speculative add if you have an open roster spot in leagues of 12 teams or deeper.

From RotoBaller

Kenny Stills Nov 21 11:00am ET

Houston Texans wide receiver Kenny Stills had a good game when the Texans and Colts met earlier this year, catching four passes for 105 yards, but that only happened because a Will Fuller hamstring injury thrust Stills into a larger role. This week, Fuller is a game-time decision with that hamstring injury, which means playing Stills in fantasy should also be a game-time decision: if Fuller's out, Stills has value as an upside WR4 option, but if Fuller plays, Stills' role will be reduced too much to play him.

From RotoBaller

Dawson Knox Nov 21 10:50am ET

Buffalo Bills tight end Dawson Knox found the end zone in Week 11 for the first time since Week 3. Knox has shown some promise this year, but he still has a lot of work to do in order to become a borderline reliable tight end fantasy option. The Bills face a tough Broncos pass defense this week and Knox will likely be touchdown-or-bust. Considering he's scored just twice this year, the odds are greatly slanted towards bust.

From RotoBaller

Buffalo Bills Nov 21 10:50am ET

The Bills Defense is in a great spot heading into a home matchup against the Broncos in Week 12. The Broncos rank amongst the bottom third of the league in both points per game and yards per game. The Bills should be able to hold the Broncos under 20 points in the game, potentially well under 20 points, and they should be able to record several sacks on quarterback Brandon Allen and maybe a few turnovers as well. They are a fantastic starting option this week.

From RotoBaller

Will Fuller Nov 21 10:50am ET

Houston Texans wide receiver Will Fuller (hamstring) is reportedly a game-time decision for Thursday's game against the Indianapolis Colts. We last saw Fuller against the Colts in Week 7, when he caught one pass for six yards before exiting. Fuller's best game of the year was in Week 5, when he caught 14 passes for 217 yards and three touchdowns, but other than that game, he hasn't found the end zone this season. Boom-or-bust is the best way to describe Fuller at this point, and he's going to be tough to trust in fantasy lineups if he does play Thursday.

From RotoBaller

Duke Johnson Nov 21 10:40am ET

Houston Texans running back Duke Johnson has seen some increased involvement in Houston's offense lately, including a five-catch game in Week 9, but that involvement isn't really translating into fantasy success. He continues to trail Carlos Hyde in rushing attempts and his impact in the pass game has been inconsistent all year. The last time Johnson faced the Colts, he had nine touches, producing 56 yards. Something around 50 total yards seems like a good bet based on Johnson's recent production, which means you're not getting much out of him for fantasy purposes unless he finds the end zone. He has done that in three of Houston's last five games, but somehow those touchdowns still feel like anomalies based on how the Texans are using him.

From RotoBaller

Cole Beasley Nov 21 10:40am ET

Buffalo Bills wide receiver Cole Beasley had a disappointing showing in a very favorable Week 11 matchup against the Dolphins, catching just four passes for 38 yards. It was a game where the Bills scored 37 points and quarterback Josh Allen had a career day, but John Brown was the primary producer amongst the team's receivers. This week, Beasley and the Bills face a tough Broncos pass defense that allows just 210 passing yards per game, fifth fewest in the league. Beasley has been averaging about five targets per game in the past few months and with his 10.4 yards per reception average and lack of touchdown production, he's tough to trust for a big fantasy day. He's a viable WR3 or flex in deep PPR leagues, but if you have another option with more upside, you might want to get away from Beasley this week. In non-PPR he shouldn't be started.

From RotoBaller

DeAndre Hopkins Nov 21 10:40am ET

Houston Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins got off to a slow start to the year, but has four straight games with either 80 receiving yards or a touchdown. It's a good time for the star receiver to get back on the right track, and he'll look to continue that on Thursday against the Colts. In Week 7, Hopkins caught nine passes for 106 yards and a touchdown against Indianapolis, and while this isn't a great matchup for the Texans, Hopkins has been targeted at least 11 times in five straight games and should be able to turn that usage into a strong fantasy outing. Consider him a mid-tier WR1 this week.

From RotoBaller

Isaiah McKenzie Nov 21 10:40am ET

Buffalo Bills wide receiver Isaiah McKenzie saw a season-high 56 offensive snaps in Week 11 against the Dolphins. No other Bills receiver other than John Brown or Cole Beasley played double-digit snaps in the game. Unfortunately, there wasn't much production that came with the increased playing time. McKenzie saw a solid amount of targets (6), but only caught 3 passes for 21 yards while adding a 10-yard rush. This week, the Bills face a tough Broncos pass defense that should make things difficult on all the Bills' receivers. McKenzie might be worth keeping an eye on in deep leagues down the stretch but he has no value as a starting option this week.

From RotoBaller

Josh Allen Nov 21 10:30am ET

Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen is coming off a career day in Week 11, where he torched the Dolphins for four touchdowns and over 300 combined passing and rushing yards. This week, he faces a tougher task against the Broncos. The Broncos have allowed the fifth-fewest passing yards per game this year, right around 210 yards per game. The Bills Defense should shut down the Broncos offense for the most part, which should leave Allen and company with plenty of opportunities. It's just a question of whether or not Allen will be able to take full advantage of the opportunities. Expect a relatively low-scoring game where Allen throws for around 200 yards and adds around 50 rushing yards with one or two total touchdowns. That makes him more of a QB2 than a low-end QB1 this week.

From RotoBaller