As a life long Panther fan, it’s usually been fantasy that’s carried me through the season, but flippity floppity and look at em go! In the midst of their 6-game win streak I’ve seen my fantasy teams go to way of the Nick Capozzi David Wilson hot tub. But I had decent starts in my leagues – I’m mostly around .500 on most teams (and mostly come out at night! mostly…) – so there’s a few weeks left to cross my fingers and hope my Writer’s League team can make the playoffs after starting 8-0. Because it’s looking really, really bad…
What’s great about the fantasy football season is that the pivotal weeks go down the next few weeks, and if I suffer a ridiculous Thanksgiving showing (something as nuts as say, Michael Floyd getting a bajillion points), I can just eat my pity away with Thanksgiving leftovers. I’ll go into the day like Shawn Kemp as a rookie and leave it like Kemp as a Cav. Except minus all the baby mamas! Tryptophan isn’t exactly an aphrodisiac… I hope you all have a great week 12 and Thanksgiving, and hope Razzball Nation crushes towards a 1st seed.
Looking back to last week’s picks, and my boy Marquise Goodwin! I actually started him on the Writer’s League team and I’m part of the 1%! Well, 1% start percentage… If only the other implication was really true… Because I would just buy Razzball and change the rest of my calls… Well Nick Foles was a win, but after that, horrific games from Andre Ellington and Bernard Pierce killed me, and Kris Durham, while not awful, was still a loss. For my benchers, it was much much better with Colin Kaepernick a wash with 2 TDs but was horrific, C.J. Spiller, Lamar Miller and Mike Wallace were all terrible, and Danny Amendola is a push with the bulk catches for PPR players. Pretty good week overall… Here’s who I like in week 12 and their % started in ESPN and Yahoo, respectively (NOTE – these are not always recommendations for 1-for-1 swaps, just guys I like who are understarted and guys I hate overstarted):
Chris Ogbonnaya (9.5%, 19%) As I mentioned on this week’s podcast, Chris O-Bones had a whopping 12 targets last week, and it’s actually the second time this year he’s gotten 12 in a game out of the backfield. The Browns QBs are seeing him more often out of the backfield than Michael Bolton in TV commercials lately. I feel bad for Mike in Office Space! I think Ogbonnaya might have a really surprising week and assume the vast majority of Browns touches this week, as he flashed a huge 8.6 YPC last Sunday (given a lot was due to a long 43-yarder) and 6 catches for 30. I think he’s a must-start flex in PPRs.
Ryan Fitzpatrick (2.3%, 5%) Fitzy has actually been pretty good lately, and I think is being overlooked by teams with dire QB situations. I’m one of them with Russell Wilson out in a deep 2-QB league, and I am rolling the dice with Fitzpatick who I think can succeed against an underwhelming Raiders pass D. They’re a little better against the run, marginally so, but I think Fitzy can get a couple TDs as an emergency play.
Shane Vereen (9.0%, 39%) Yahoo is on the right page of this one, as I see the shootout in the Northeast involving a lot of Vereen. They wasted no time giving him a big role in the passing game with 11 targets against my Panthers, and I think the Broncos win this one giving Vereen another big target game playing from behind. Also, Stevan Ridley is one fumble away from seeing the bench all game, so there’s a tad more rushing upside as well. Vereen is another must-start PPR play this week.
Jarrett Boykin (26.5%, 42%) Boykin hasn’t only been a little surprise with all the Packers WR injuries, he’s now a major part of that offense. In the past 5 weeks, he hasn’t only been decent, but has put up 4 big games. The Vikings D is terrible, Scott Tolzien can’t have an efficient game, so this one should stay relatively close and enough so to keep Boykin producing.
Kendall Wright (9.7%, 44%) I think it would surprise you that Wright has quietly become one of the most consistent wideouts in the NFL, racking up 54 or more yards every week since week 2. And in those 9 straight, he’s been at 5 catches or more 8 times. A pretty remarkable run. While it’s also shocking he never topped 100 in any of those games, I think that could come this week. As listed above, I like Ryan Fitzpatrick a lot and the Oakland pass D isn’t nearly as scary as some of those Oakland fans. Keep rolling Wright out there.
SON OF A BENCH
Philip Rivers (38.6%, 34%) P Riv has really cooled off, you could say he’s got a weak stream, with only one multi-TD game (and only 2 TDs at that) in the past 5 games. Going into Arrowhead against a ticked off Chiefs team who lost their first game, Rivers is gonna get murdered in this one.
Pierre Garcon (63.2%, 90%) This is a bold call, Garcon has been a beast, but I’ve got a bad feeling on this one. Garcon is pulling a Kendall Wright with 50+ in all but one game (and that one only being 46! So Garcon must be the most consistent!), but this is a Redskins team in turmoil that is going against a backs-to-the-wall 49ers team. And it’ll be a defense that won’t have to worry about Jordan Reed or Leonard Hankerson, so triple cover Garcon and RG3 will be clueless. You’ve got to be fairly loaded to bench Garcon, but I am in one league and feeling fine about it.
Mike Wallace (56.6%, 48%) I feel a little dirty going with Wallace again, as I feel most astute fantasy players have abandoned ship faster than when the Borg came aboard. I have no idea if that’s what happened, but I’m starting my Next Generation marathon to get caught up. My Panthers are friggin’ awesome like P Stew and the Dolphins offensive line are all bullies. Pass completely.
Ray Rice (84.5%, 76%) Nope. Nope, nope, nope, nope, nope. Don’t buy it, he’s looked terrible, and the Jets give up the fewest points to opposing RBs in the league. Avoiding.
Trent Richardson (72.1%, 42%) This is another dirty one. But hey, he’s in too many line-ups! Sure a lot of dead league data (Brent Spiner!) is out there, but he should be in the single-digits! A calf injury, he’s been passed by Donald Brown, have no idea why anyone would want him out there.
If you have any last second decisions, shoot some comments below or tweet me @jbgilpin - and remember I’m going to be a little slower getting to them but I’ll get to everything well before kickoff! Good luck in week 12!