If you didn’t know the name Jonas Gray before 8pm Eastern Sunday night, nobody would blame you. If you forget his name when you’re putting in your waiver claims for the week, you’ll never forget it. Gray went off in huge fashion this past week with 199 yards and four rushing touchdowns against the Colts. It took him from fantasy afterthought to fantasy pick-up of the week status, and he certainly is that for us. Gray has managed to supplant Shane Vereen as the top man in the New England backfield and should be getting the majority of the work going forward.

You’ll have to put up with a tough week this week, as Gray and the Patriots take on a stiff Detroit defense. The defense held Arizona running back Andre Ellington to less than 50 rushing yards last week. After Week 12, Gray’s schedule turns much easier with games at Green Bay, at San Diego, Miami, at the Jets, and Buffalo to close out the season. (Keep in mind we put the full 17-game schedule out there when we talk about remaining games, since some leagues go the full distance.) Excluding the Dolphins, you’re looking at four of the top-12 rush defenses in the NFL for Gray. The match-ups are going to be tough, so you could pick him up now, let him go off against Green Bay, and try for a late sell-high deal depending on your league’s trade deadline. (Yes, most deadlines will pass in the near future but it’s still worth mentioning.) These games should be winnable for New England so Gray should get carries to keep the clock and the chains moving. Eventually, he will find the end zone, but don’t expect anything close to his output against Indianapolis.

This is also the final week of byes with Carolina and Pittsburgh sitting out this week. This is key for one reason. It’s time to get rid of the guys on your team who are non-producers and/or have poor match-ups the rest of the way. This is the time of year when you want your decisions on who to start to be incredibly tough since you have to pick from talent, talent or talent.

 

Quarterbacks

Josh McCown of the Buccaneers is a decent one-week option if you need someone to fill in for Ben Roethlisberger or Cam Newton. McCown takes on his former team, the Bears, and should be motivated to take them on. They’re a great match-up for opposing quarterbacks since the Chicago defense stinks. He threw for 288 yards and two touchdowns in the upset over Washington and he might pull another one this week to complete the Bears’ freefall into oblivion.

Drew Stanton of Arizona looked okay in the Cardinals’ win over Detroit. Stanton threw for 306 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions to move Arizona to 9-1. The downside is that Stanton goes to Seattle this week in a tough NFC West game. Last time up there, Arizona won that game 15-9 so this could be another low-scoring affair. That signals it’s time to pass on him for now.

Shaun Hill got a surprise start for the Rams and he wound up being on the winning side against Peyton Manning and Denver last week. Hill threw for 220 yards and a long touchdown pass to Kenny Britt in the upset of the Broncos. The Rams also have a favorable schedule with San Diego, Oakland, Washington, Arizona on a short week, the New York Giants and Seattle to close out the season. Hill is a guy to keep in the back of your mind and perhaps flag on your league’s waiver wire in case of a late-season injury.

 

Running Backs

It’s time to look for Trent Richardson again. Ahmad Bradshaw suffered a broken ankle against New England and is done for the season. This leaves Richardson to shoulder the load and Dan Herron to back him up right now. The Colts might make a move to bring a third running back in but for now it’s Richardson’s chance to shine. His schedule is favorable with games against Jacksonville, Washington, Cleveland, Houston, Dallas and Tennessee to end the season. If you can’t get Jonas, Richardson could be the shot in the arm your team needs late in the season. He hasn’t rushed for more than 80 yards in a game this season and is due to break out.

Of course whether you get 2012 Richardson or 2013 Richardson is where you have the risk on a move like this.

Adrian Peterson is expected to find out his fate Wednesday. [Jay’s Note: This broke after this post was submitted. Peterson will be out the remainder of the year as stated here.] This is where you check your lineup for that one guy you could dump if he was available. Find that guy, set up the claim and wait. If nothing else, you should be able to get your guy back if it doesn’t pan out.

Alfred Blue of the Texans made a big splash this week with a franchise-record 36 carries and 156 rushing yards in the Texans’ road win at Cleveland. His value is directly tied in to Arian Foster’s groin. (That’s a sentence I thought I would never type.) Foster, as of press time, was pointing towards playing in Week 12. Monitor this situation through the week and be ready to pounce on Blue if Foster has a setback.

Tre Mason of the Rams is a sneaky running back to pick up if you can. We broke down the Rams schedule above and it features teams that can’t stop the run for anything. That applies to teams outside the NFC West and the Rams play four such teams. Mason ran for 113 yards on 29 carries which makes him the bell cow for now in St. Louis. Benny Cunningham is more of a threat on passing downs and Zac Stacy is virtually non-existent for the Rams.

C.J. Anderson should be owned in all leagues with the situation in Denver at the running back position.

 

Wide Receivers

This is your final chance to get Josh Gordon if you haven’t done so already.

Cecil Shorts III of Jacksonville makes for an interesting acquisition if you’re thin at the wide receiver spot. Shorts looks like the only healthy wide receiver left on the Jaguars roster. The Jags travel to Indy this week and are about a two-touchdown underdog. They should be passing a lot and Shorts looks to be the primary target. He’s put up 26-315-0 on 47 targets over his last five games and figures to be a key part of the offense.

Kenny Britt of the Rams had a good day with 4-128-1 and most of his yards came on a 63-yard touchdown catch. Maybe he’s finally tapping into his potential. Or maybe he got lucky. It’s too tough to tell what’s going on with him, so we pass on Britt for now.

It’s worth taking a look for Michael Floyd of the Cardinals. He had two catches for 54 yards and two scores against Detroit. He might see more chances with Larry Fitzgerald a little hobbled with a grade two MCL sprain. People dropped Floyd after a couple of virtually absentee games and it’s time to pick him back up.

 

Tight Ends

Kyle Rudolph of Minnesota did nothing against Chicago but with soft match-ups against Carolina and the Jets on the horizon, it could be time for him to step back into the spotlight.

Jacob Tamme should be on your radar just in case Julius Thomas of the Broncos has a setback with his ankle. Thomas is day-to-day and Tamme would get the nod if Thomas can’t go. Tamme and Peyton Manning used to have a solid relationship on the field and Tamme makes a good sleeper.

Coby Fleener of the Colts bears some consideration. Dwayne Allen suffered a sprained ankle against New England and Fleener looked solid while Allen was out. Allen was spotted in the locker room as walking around with a limp so this is a situation to watch play out over the course of the week.

 

Kickers

Look and see if Dan Bailey or Justin Tucker were dropped while their teams were on bye. Both are top-notch kickers with excellent range.

 

Defense & Special Teams

The Colts DST looks like a solid choice against Jacksonville. Chicago’s DST has a favorable match-up with Tampa but can’t be trusted.

As always, keep your eyes and ears open for the late news. Right now, one move can make or break your playoff dreams.

  1. Kyle says:
    (link)

    Would you move Ingram for Deandre? PPR

    RBS: Lacy Ingram Vereen Sproles
    WR: Marshall, T. Smith, Harvin, Welker, Matthews

    • Andrew Nordmeier

      Andrew Nordmeier says:
      (link)

      Nope. I would keep Ingram for the long term.

  2. Scott says:
    (link)

    I’m planning ahead for our playoffs, Week 15 and 16. Ravens have jags and texans. Or Titans have NYJ and jags. Or Lions have Vikings and Bears. Which is the best matchup, considering quality of defense vs. (lack of) quality of offense?

    • Andrew Nordmeier

      Andrew Nordmeier says:
      (link)

      @Scott: Detroit followed by BAL and then inconsistent TEN

  3. buclover says:
    (link)

    Andrew and anyone else:
    I’m currently in first place (8-2) in a very competitive 12 team .5 ppr espn league with otherwise standard scoring. My workhorse this year has been Murray. I’d love to have Randle (made the decision at the beginning of the year to handcuff Dunbar) and the owner, after rejecting several of my offers earlier in the year is now offering him up for Edleman. I’m inclined to accept the trade. What do you think? Keep Edelman and counter with Wright or is it close enough and just take the trade or does this trade stink for me? Here’s my team.
    starting roster positions: QB RB RB WR WR RB/WR WR/TE TE K D
    Cutler/Tannehill
    Murray/Ivory/Sankey/Tate/Hillman
    Dem Thomas/Hopkins/Torrey Smith/K.Wright/Edelman
    Kelce
    Vikings/Ravens
    Parkey

    • Andrew Nordmeier

      Andrew Nordmeier says:
      (link)

      @buclover: Send Wright, his QB situation is a bigger mess.

  4. Dom B says:
    (link)

    What D would you start in week 12 SD @ STL or BAL @NO or Colts @ Jax or Eagles @ TEN

    • Bye Felicia says:
      (link)

      @Dom B: I’d start the D that your mom likes the most…

      • Crapshoot Kershaw says:
        (link)

        @Bryan: @Bye Felicia: prescriptive breeding to weed out ugly elements of society has been done before, cust saying. Make the decision, do it for your country!

        • Bye Felicia says:
          (link)

          @Crapshoot Kershaw: Punch my fartbox with your tongue. Mikey likes it!
          If I needed life advice id blow dr phil for a handful of klonopin…

  5. Dom B says:
    (link)

    Also who to pick up in order

    • Dom B says:
      (link)

      Charles Sims, Isiah Crowell, Jonas Gray (don’t trust belleicheck), marques colston

      • Andrew Nordmeier

        Andrew Nordmeier says:
        (link)

        @Dom B: Crowell, Colston, Gray, Sims

  6. ADTrey says:
    (link)

    So who’s the drop for gray? Oliver or hillman?
    They’re very close on fantasy pros ros

    • Nick says:
      (link)

      @ADTrey: Hillman cause hes not even playing for next few weeks>?

    • Montezuma's Revenge... right now says:
      (link)

      @ADTrey: depends on whether you need a starter soon or not. hillman’s a good starter (when healthy), oliver isn’t. If you need to use that roster spot in next few weeks drop hillman, if not drop oliver.

    • Andrew Nordmeier

      Andrew Nordmeier says:
      (link)

      @Bryan: No. hold Kelce…

  7. Bryan says:
    (link)

    Ok dropping Kelce for Fleener? I also have Rudolph to see how things play out.

  8. Hans says:
    (link)

    Kenny Stills should be on people’s radars as well. Caught all 4 targets while Colston dropped half of his. With Cooks out I think Stills is a sneaky play this week and very affordable on draftkings at 4200.

    • Montezuma's Revenge... right now says:
      (link)

      @Hans: and for deep leagues, i would think it likely he gets most of the old cooks targets. colston’s old and slow.

  9. Derrick says:
    (link)

    PPR league….

    Gore for Andre Johnson.

    Which side?

  10. Nick says:
    (link)

    Pick 1 (WR3) for week 12, non-ppr league;

    Andre Johnson (tough matchup vs Cincy)
    Sanu (Houston giving up quite a bit to WRs)
    or Keenan Allen

    who do you go with? I have Allen in now but fantasy pros edges out Andre Johnson by quite a few experts…

  11. Montezuma's Revenge... right now says:
    (link)

    why would you exclude MIA, they are ranked 7th rush defense. GB’s ranked 21st against run, so that would be the better one for gray.
    http://www.footballoutsiders.com/stats/teamdef

  12. Stanman says:
    (link)

    Rank b-marsh, Ty Hilton, mike Evans ROS
    Also, would you trade Antonio brown for any combination of 2 of those recievers?

    • Andrew Nordmeier

      Andrew Nordmeier says:
      (link)

      Marshall, Hilton, Evans, but if you can get the first two for Hilton, do it!

  13. Andrew Nordmeier

    Andrew Nordmeier says:
    (link)

    @Dom B: Colts for sure.

  14. Andrew Nordmeier

    Andrew Nordmeier says:
    (link)

    @Dom B: @Dom B: Indy

  15. Nick says:
    (link)

    Hey Andrew, ya missed my question above (although it looks like your having tech difficulties in replying);

    Pick 1 (WR3) for week 12, non-ppr league;

    Andre Johnson (tough matchup vs Cincy)
    Sanu (Houston giving up quite a bit to WRs)
    or Keenan Allen

    who do you go with? I have Andre Johnson in now… fantasy pros has him at 60%/40% over K Allen, quite a few experts seem to like him over Allen… (I did have Keenan in to begin the week but have since switched to Andre)

  16. Jpburgh says:
    (link)

    12 team standard keeper league. Give written and gore, get miller and Rudolph?

  17. Dom B says:
    (link)

    Flex Roddy white or f jax also is Ben Tate a must add on Vikings?

    • Nick says:
      (link)

      @Dom B: It’s Ben Tate. He got cut for a reason. He sucks

      • Bye Felicia says:
        (link)

        @Nick: I like Oprah this week

Comments are closed.