With the fantasy playoffs only two weeks away, these next few games are going to be absolutely crucial for almost every team in any league. Even if you have a spot wrapped up, it’s about getting the best possible team out there every week for a hopeful deep playoff run. And for those on the fringes, it’s make-or-break time!
Let’s talk about some players you should start, and those you should keep on the bench.
While Matty Ice hasn’t been setting the world on fire as of late, his defense quite has, and in one of the biggest twists of the season so far, the Falcons are… good? Well, Ryan and the Dirty Birds get a chance to further this hot streak with a prime matchup at home against Tampa Bay. We know this Bucs secondary struggles greatly against the pass, and Ryan should have no issues dicing them up. He’s our #2 projected QB in Week 12, and he’s an excellent start at home.
In relief of the injured Matthew Stafford, Driskel has done fairly well as the starting QB for the Lions. While they haven’t won yet with him under center, Driskel has been very serviceable, throwing for 200 yards, 2 TD’s, and 0 INT’s against the Cowboys last week. Well, he’ll get a chance to perform even better traveling to Washington this week in a prime matchup. Washington ranks 26th and 25th in passing success rate and explosive passing rate allowed, and Driskel should have no issues tearing them up. He’s got Top-10 upside this Sunday.
With back-to-back wins against Buffalo and Pittsburgh, Mayfield and the Browns have quitely entered themselves back into the AFC wild card race. They’re getting another great matchup to put together 3 straight wins this Sunday against the Dolphins, who haven’t really had a strong secondary all season. Mayfield should have no issues putting up the necessary numbers to finish as a Top-10 fantasy QB this week against Miami.
Goff has struggled greatly these past two weeks against Pittsburgh and Chicago, and I think it’ll continue this week against Baltimore. While they are at home, this is a tough Ravens secondary that ranks 3rd in pass defense DVOA. Goff hasn’t been able to really put together a string of quality performances at any time during the season, and it certainly won’t start now.
It seems like forever ago that Jones burst onto the scene with two straight wins in Weeks 3 and 4 against Tampa Bay and Washington. Since then, the Giants have lost 6 straight games, albeit it hasn’t been entirely Jones’ fault (he threw for 4 TD’s against the Jets last week). Even against the lowly Bears, I don’t think Jones will be able to right this ship on his own, and with the tough matchup on the road, he isn’t really in consideration for most fantasy teams either.
Well, Allen, like Jones, got off to a really great start, and it hasn’t been the same since. Traveling to the Superdome isn’t going to be easy for most QB’s, and it’s even tougher for young QB’s. Allen is a QB2 at best this week.
With James Conner out of the lineup, Jaylen Samuels should expect to see most of his work, and should lead the backfield in touches this week against the Bengals. With the increased workload, Samuels should have no issues producing against a defense that ranks 29th in rushing success rate allowed. He’s a great option in your lineups this week, especially for the Conner owners.
It’s been a pretty solid year for Lindsay, ranking inside the Top-15 so far in both standard and PPR leagues. While he will be playing on the road, Lindsay should produce in a solid matchup against Buffalo. The Bills defense is beatable on the ground, as they rank 27th in rush defense DVOA, versus their #9 ranking in pass defense DVOA. Lindsay should have success on Sunday, and he’s a great RB2 option.
If Adrian Peterson, who is currently questionable for Sunday with a toe injury, cannot go, then we should see a huge spike in Guice’s production rate, and with an easy matchup against a Lions defense that ranks 28th in rushing success rate allowed, then Guice is a perfect RB3/flex play with upside. Again, this is contingent on the status of AP, but if you need a one-week plug-in-play at the position, then Guice is your man.
I disagree with our projections here. I don’t really have any faith in Hill this week, and it’s for a couple of reasons. While I do like the game script that lines up for Hill at home against the Bucs, this is still a tough run defense. This Bucs defense ranks 30th in pass defense DVOA, but 1st in rush defense DVOA. That’s a funnel defense if I’ve ever seen one. Second, Hill just hasn’t been very efficient in replacement of Devonta Freeman these past two games. He finished with 3.05 yards/carry against New Orleans, and 2.0 yards/carry against Carolina, failing to find the endzone in either games. Hill isn’t worth it this week.
While Mixon finally found the endzone last week on the ground, it hasn’t been the year we expected over the summer. It’s another tough matchup for him this week against a Steelers defense that ranks 8th in rush defense DVOA, and when Mixon played against Pittsburgh earlier in the season, he only rushed for 62 yards and 15 carries. I don’t have too much faith in him this week.
Singletary put together a solid performance last week against Miami, but I don’t have the same confidence in him for this Sunday as I did for last. While the rookie will be running at home, Singletary will have to face off against a Denver rush defense that ranks 6th in rush defense DVOA, and 5th in rushing success rate allowed since Week 9. There are other options out there for Sunday.
It’s been a very frustrating season for Odell and his owners this year, as he currently stands as the #28 receiver in PPR formats. While he may not be able to change it all in one week, he should have a prime matchup to get back into the weekly WR1 finishers with a prime matchup against the Dolphins. Miami’s secondary hasn’t been real great all season, and OBJ should…. could…. should take advantage of it. He’s got Top-12 upside this week.
Lockett cooled off a little bit in Week 11 after his mammoth performance in Week 10 against Tampa Bay. It’s another great matchup for Lockett and this Seattle passing offense to wreak havoc, as they’ll face an Eagles secondary that hasn’t been too great all season. Even though they will be traveling to the East Coast, I’m all in on Lockett and the rest of the Seahawks passing attack.
After a hot start, McLaurin has cooled off immensely, and Washington looks like they’re the worst sports franchise of the past few years. I do think McLaurin gets back to being productive this week against Detroit, a secondary that hasn’t really done too well as of late, ranking as the #24 team in pass defense DVOA. They are at home, and McLaurin is a good WR2/3.
Like I mentioned with Jones above, I don’t have much faith in the Giants passing attack on the road in Chicago this week, and that includes Golden Tate at receiver. There are better options elsewhere.
As we saw last week against Houston, just because the Ravens offense can be successful, doesn’t mean Hollywood Brown is a sure-fire fantasy option when they do. The Rams have a middle-of-the-road secondary that has looked good at times, but even if they were downright awful, I just don’t have too much faith in Brown these days.
It’s a very tough matchup on the other side of the ball against the Ravens, and with Goff’s recent (and season-long) struggles, I don’t have too much confidence in Woods for this Sunday
Ryan Griffin (vs. OAK) – Razzball Projection: #20 TE
Griffin absolutely exploded last week, and I think he continues his mini hot-streak this week against the Raiders, who haven’t covered Tight Ends very well all season.
He’s struggled the past two weeks, but a great matchup against the lowly Bungles should be a great treatment for his woes.
He’s been hot and cold all season, and with a tough matchup against the Niners looming, he should be kept on the bench.
Kickers and D/ST
Younghoe Koo (vs. TB) – Razzball Projection: #1 K
It should be a high-scoring affair in the dome, and Koo should be bangin’ in several FG’s and XP’s.
Aldrick Rosas (@ CHI) – Razzball Projection: #26 K
It’s cold and windy here in Chicago, and this game should be a low-scoring embarrassment to football and what we love the most about it. Rosas shouldn’t be utilized on rosters.
This is a talented unit, but with a tough matchup against Aaron Rodgers and the Pack, we should probably look elsewhere, or find a replacement.
Good luck to everyone in Week 12, and I will be back on Thursday for another edition of Ambulance Chasers!
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