What We Learned in Week 12 (Fantasy Football)
If you’re still reading these, there’s a good chance you’re in the playoff hunt. I hope those of you who didn’t end up in that position don’t mind if I make the assumption that the majority of people reading this are still alive in their leagues. I wanted to tailor this article to those of you that have either locked up a spot or have to win next week to do so. Let’s get to it:
The Falcons Defense is Still Human
The Atlanta defense has been lights out in the last few weeks, seemingly out of nowhere. Dan Quinn gave up defensive play-calling duties after week nine and the team responded in a huge way. This week they took on a turnover-prone Tampa Bay team that looked prime to hand over another fantasy-friendly matchup. Through about four minutes, Jameis had thrown two picks and things looked good, but the Tampa Bay offense has too many playmakers to count out during any game. The Falcons defense turned in an ugly performance overall and those of us that started them learned the hard way that most things that seem too good to be true… are exactly that. Keep the Falcons defense on your waiver wire from here on out, and I’ll get to the best option for the fantasy playoffs soon.
Devin Singletary is a Dynasty Buy
The rookie ball carrier out of FAU is flying under the radar in most redraft leagues, which means he’s a great trade target in dynasty leagues. Singletary racked up his first 100-yard rushing performance this week against a solid Denver front and he looks like the obvious choice to carry the backfield in 2020. I wrote up a piece in the preseason about why he’d be a potential league winner this year, but injuries have held him back up until this point. Frank Gore could potentially retire this offseason and the Bills appear to have already moved on from him as their lead back. The path for Singletary to be a strong fantasy asset for years to come is very clear, but not a lot of dynasty owners see that yet. Go trade for him right now, and thank me later.
Allen Robinson Deserves Better
I’m a HUGE Allen Robinson supporter, most of you know that. For that reason specifically, it makes me sick watching him rot in the Chicago offense when he could be a dominant force if his quarterback was even serviceable. This week he exploded for over 22 fantasy points and two touchdowns, which makes me even MORE angry. If you watch Robinson closely on Sunday’s or ever spend time reviewing film, it’s clear as day that he’s a special talent and a true WR1 in this league. Mitch Trubisky’s days are numbered as a starting quarterback in this league, but for Robinson’s sake, I hope that timeline is accelerated sometime soon. Robinson is a stone-cold BALLER, and it’s great to see him succeeding in spite of his situation.
Adam Gase Isn’t Going Away
The B-Hole is doing just enough to warrant the misplaced trust that he will receive going into 2020, and the cycle of Gase continues. The Jets absolutely throttled the Raiders this past weekend and there’s hope within the fanbase that they may have turned a corner. If you don’t know much about Adam Gase’s coaching history, then I need to tell you… this is what he does. His teams historically overperform in a handful of games every year and make you wonder whether or not he’s an evil genius or just capable of drawing up the occasional scheme that can dominate a meaningless game. His personnel decisions and offensive usage over the years have given us enough data to avoid his teams at all costs for fantasy purposes, and I refuse to buy into this again. I’m not even paying attention to their Week 12 performance, and I’m still avoiding all Jets outside of Le’Veon Bell and Jamison Crowder if necessary.
Chris Carson Lives in The Danger Zone
The Seahawks starting running back had a case of fumble-itus earlier in the year and a lot of us panic-added Rashaad Penny everywhere. Thankfully Carson was able to turn it around and keep his hands on the ball for most of the season…. until this weekend. Coming out of the bye week, Rashaad Penny out-touched Carson on the ground 14-8and actually appeared to be the lead back in their week twelve game. Carson fumbled early in the game so it’s very likely that Pete Carroll was sending a message to his lead back and nothing more should be inferred. But it’s also possible that the Seahawks saw something in their game plan over the bye week and made a change with the usage in the backfield. I don’t think that’s likely, but it’s concerning enough for Carson owners to prioritize Penny if he’s on the waiver wire.
The Browns are Ascending
“Helmetgate” overshadowed a very impressive Browns victory over the Steelers in Week 11, and for good reason. Their week twelve matchup was much less daunting, and they delivered in a big way. Jarvis Landry has quietly climbed into WR1 territory on the season, and both OBJ and Nick Chubb found familiar spots in the end zone after a pretty long drought. It may be too late for them to make an actual playoff push, but one thing is clear: this Browns team is improving. There were rumors last week that Freddie Kitchens handed off playcalling duties to Todd Monken which would make a lot of sense, especially given the impressive way the Browns have integrated a second running back into their gameplan. Kareem Hunt is a weekly flex play, and somehow he was able to achieve that status without hampering Nick Chubb too much. Baker Mayfield has returned to “potential stud” status, and OBJ is a middling WR2 at worst.
DJ Moore is Dominating
The season of the breakout second-year’s is upon us, and DJ Moore is leading the way. He’s now had four straight games with 95+ receiving yards and found pay dirt twice this past week. Moore is looking like a potential league-winning receiver but more importantly, he’s looking like a genuinely great player with a bright future. Moore stands alongside D.J. Chark, Courtland Sutton, and Calvin Ridley on the podium for sophomore’s of the year which should be an exciting proposition for the future of the position. Moore was already a weekly starter, but after his performance this past week there shouldn’t be any more doubt in your mind as to whether or not he should be in your playoff lineup.
The Eagles D/ST Should be Your Top Target
If you follow me on Twitter, then this shouldn’t come as a surprise. I’ve been screaming at the #FootClan to add the Eagles D/ST for a month now, and the time has come for the fruits of our labors to arrive. They were able to notch a double-digit fantasy day against the MVP in week 12, and they square off with the Dolphins and Giants in the next two weeks. Their sack totals have increased steadily over the course of the season, and the matchups alone should provide a very stable floor in your D/ST spot for the fantasy playoffs. If you have FAAB left or a higher priority on the waiver wire, they’re very much worth an add.
Derrick Henry Hates Regression
We all knew this was coming, let’s be honest. Last season Derrick Henry secured his “you remember that one game?” status when he rumbled for four touchdowns against the Jags including a dynamite 96-yard scamper late in the third quarter. This past Sunday he came close to repeating the performance with another 150+ yards and 2 TDs. Henry has been a BEAST this season and has single handedly won people their fantasy matchups in the last couple of weeks. He’s a bonafide every-week RB1, albeit a gamescript dependent one. His touchdown totals don’t make too much sense from a statistical standpoint since he’s outpacing his projected totals tremendously. Mr. Henry doesn’t care about regression, and if you want to argue with him about it, be my guest. I’ll just keep starting him and cheering at my TV.
Next Week Will Be a Blast
We’ve got the 49ers at the Ravens. That’s all I need to say.