It was definitely a wild week in football, with a record setting amount of missed extra points, multiple season ending injuries, and the Patriots not covering the 13.5 point spread by half a point (thanks Gostkowski). With no bye weeks in week 12, and 3 solid matchups set on Thanksgiving, week 12 shouldn’t disappoint as well, so let’s get into the picks.
Quarterbacks I Love for Week 12
As history shows, Stafford dominates on Thanksgiving. In his past 3 matchups, Stafford has passed for over 330 yards and threw 2 or more touchdowns. The memories of Stafford and Calvin Johnson connecting for multiple touchdowns each year on Thanksgiving seem like they were yesterday. Stafford is capable of exploiting Minnesota’s tough defense, and I am locking him in as a QB1 this week.
In recent years, Wilson has continuously put up underwhelming first half of the season numbers and has driven fantasy owners crazy. The schedule has turned over to the second half of the season though, and Wilson has kicked his performance into high gear. With 8 total touchdowns in the last 3 games (6 passing, 1 rushing, 1 receiving) Wilson has regained trust from fantasy owners and myself and is easily a top 5 play this week against a Tampa Bay defense that has allowed 20 touchdowns through the air this season. Wilson’s ability to score and rack up fantasy points with his arm and legs is why he was drafted as one of the top QBs this year. It looks like Wilson is on pace for another strong second half similar to last year.
Quarterbacks I Hate for Week 12
Jameis has committed a turnover in 8/10 games this season, and he is facing arguably the best defense in the NFL this week, coming off a multi interception game. History shows that Winston struggles in matchups against elite defenses (5 turnovers 3 fantasy points against Arizona, 2 turnovers 10 fantasy points against Denver). Winston has been on a hot streak recently, but Seattle will have no trouble slowing him down. Leave him on the bench this week.
Palmer’s performance has severely declined from that of his 2015 campaign. Age seems to be catching up to Palmer, and his numbers show serious regression. Palmer has thrown 13 touchdowns and 10 interceptions, pretty gross numbers compared to what most expected of him. Not to mention he has lead the Cardinals to a 4-5-1 record after being one of the best teams in the league last year. The 36 year old has also scored under 15 fantasy points in 7 games this season, when most owners usually look for 18+ points to be serviceable. The matchup is quite favorable this weekend however, so you might be able to salvage something out of him for once.
Running Backs I Love for Week 12
If the young running back can suit up this Sunday then he will have the Seattle backfield all to himself. With the release of Christine Michael that promoted rookie C.J. Prosise to the starting role, and recent injury of Prosise, Rawls comes in as the starter after being viewed as a long shot to be relevant again this season. We have seen how good Rawls is and how good of a fantasy back he is from last year after Marshawn Lynch went down, and he finally gets the chance to play again after missing the first 9 games of the season. Rawls could prove to be a very valuable pickup and provide a great late season/playoff push, as he is still available in over 25% of leagues.
Refer back to last week’s love/hate edition for why it’s impossible not to love Gore every week. Consistency is key. I love Gore even more this week against a Steelers defense that allows the 3rd most fantasy points per game to opposing backfields. The Colts will rely heavily on the ground game, with the probable loss of Andrew Luck due to a concussion, which will launch Scott Tolzien into the starting role. Gore will feast on this Thanksgiving night game.
Running Backs I Hate for Week 12
If you consistently read these articles, which I bet is a long shot, then you know my opinion on Ajayi and that I’m not the biggest fan of him. I don’t hate him that much this week, and if I owned him I would definitely start him, it’s just his projection that irritates me. Ajayi is projected 19 points this week. Really ESPN, 19 points? The same amount as the two best running backs in the NFL, David Johnson and Le’Veon Bell? I know how good the matchup is against the Niners, but come on. Temper your expectations this week. Boy I hope I’m not wrong on this one.
When we originally heard the news of C.J. Anderson being injured for the rest of the season, Booker was the hot commodity to own off of the waiver wire. While he isn’t doing awful, he has not come close to living up to the expectations most had for him. Booker has averaged a disappointing 2.86 yards per carry since taking over as the starter. His goal line touches have even been vultured from him by Kapri Bibbs. Booker will have a tough task ahead of him this Sunday against a fierce Chiefs front line.
Wide Receivers I Love for Week 12
17. That is the number of targets Edelman received last week from Tom Brady. That statistic is actually absurd. Brady made it his job to get Edelman the ball, as he threw into double and triple coverage multiple times. With the probable absence of tight end Rob Gronkowski and wide receiver Chris Hogan for the second straight week, Edelman should be in for another high dose of targets and a big performance against division rival New York Jets, who rank 27th in pass coverage.
Obviously he’s the type of player everyone loves week to week, but this is just for reassurance. A lot of people are probably benching Evans, or at least thinking about it, because of his matchup against Seattle. He won’t produce like he usually does, but you have to start your studs. Winston will force the ball to him and he’ll come out with a decent stat line. I can see Evans salvaging 10-12 points, which is solid.
Wide Receivers I Hate for Week 12
Diggs embodies the definition of a “boom or bust” type of player. Sure he’s talented, but he’s not reliable at all. Diggs has 4 games over double digit fantasy points, and 6 games under (5 of them being less than 5 points). It’s hard to predict which games he will explode for a monster game, so most of the time he will just be a disappointment in your starting lineup. The matchup is very favorable for him, but there’s no way he is deserving of one of the top projections among receivers this week. He’s also banged up, so watch for his status early Thursday morning if you plan on playing him.
There’s no statistic or anything to back this pick up. I’m just putting him here because I’m playing against him in 2 leagues this week and I hope it’ll give him some bad mojo.
Tight Ends I Love for Week 12
If you know me personally, then you know that I have been a huge fan of Eric Ebron and have been hyping him up since the day he was drafted. I have been ranting about how good he is for quite some time now, and no one really believed me. However, he has recently started to prove the doubters wrong. Ebron really hasn’t been able to prove how good he is to everyone because he has missed multiple games every season he has been in the league. Ebron is a big guy with great mobility and unbelievable hands. When healthy, he has been Stafford’s favorite target. I think Ebron will take the Calvin Johnson role this Thanksgiving game and have a very solid performance.
Tight Ends I Hate for Week 12
The Chiefs are a run first team and it will be tough for mediocre Alex Smith to get much going against the elite Broncos defense. They have allowed only 2 touchdowns to opposing tight ends this season as well.
By Nick Rufo