While people start focusing on holiday shopping, it's time to focus on the second slate of the NFL week: Week 12 Sunday-Monday. The Steelers are back on this sale, giving us some decisions at the top of the draft. We may also have to worry about potential blowouts in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and New England. Let's see what the non-Thanksgiving portion of Week 12 brings us.
H2H or 3-Person Contests
Quarterbacks: There is some more depth here than there was on Thanksgiving and even last week. But, I think there are 2 or 3 in this top tier that you should use in these games. My favorite play is Russell Wilson, going up against the 49ers, who allow the third highest amount of fantasy points to quarterbacks. He's also the best runner on the team, and the 49ers have struggled against the run all year. Tom Brady can always be played, especially at home against a Miami team that has been really bad on the road. One of the nice things about Brady is he will play 3+ quarters, even if the Patriots get out to a big lead. My third favorite play is Ben Roethlisberger. Ben at home is usually a good play, especially against a bad Packers secondary. Ben had 4 touchdowns and 299 yards last week on Thursday night, and I can see him coming close to matching that performance this week.
Running Backs: As usual on DRAFT, I think we will see the top running backs go early and often. Le'Veon Bell is the top choice this week, as he usually is. Green Bay allows over 24 fantasy points to running backs, and Bell will always add receptions to the mix. But, the gap between Bell and my #2 pick, Todd Gurley, is not huge. Gurley is like Bell in that he will add many receptions, and may add a couple more receptions with Robert Woods out. We now also have our weekly debate about what Saints RB to play, though both have been producing. I prefer Alvin Kamara slightly over Mark Ingram, as he's a bit more active in the passing game. But, it's hard to argue against either guy, with the way both are producing. FInally, Kareem Hunt has not lived up to his early season performances. If he's going to get on track, a matchup against a suddenly porous Buffalo run defense should be the cure.
Wide Receivers: Antonio Brown at home vs a Packers secondary that has given up the 7th most fantasy points to wide receivers? Yes please. I don't mind taking him early in H2H games, especially coming off a 3-TD performance. After Brown, I like Julio Jones next for his potential upside. Tampa Bay's secondary has allowed over 40 fantasy points a game to receivers. A.J. Green has had success vs Cleveland in the past, and did score a touchdown in their first meeting. Doug Baldwin should run all over the 49ers secondary. Michael Thomas continues to put up double digit point totals every game. Finally, Jarvis Landry has scored in six of his past seven games, and if you think the Patriots will be up early in this game, Miami should have to throw a lot to keep pace, increasing Landry's value with the half point per reception.
6 and 10 Person Games
Quarterbacks: Matt Ryan leads off this tier. He has yet to put up a huge game this year, but has another chance against that Tampa Bay defense that allows the 8th most points to quarterbacks. Carson Wentz is in play, though a blowout is the concern. The Bears defense has given up 20+ points in each game after their bye. Marcus Mariota is like Matt Ryan in that he hasn't put up that big game this season. However, the Colts can cure some ailments for a QB. Cam Newton always has massive upside with his running ability. Finally, Andy Dalton did throw for 4 touchdowns in the first game of the season in Cleveland. He's not the worst player if you wait on QB in a 10 team league.
Running Backs: I joined Michael Waldo on the National Fantasy Pregame Shows this week. When we talked about running backs, he mentioned that LeSean McCoy had a better Yards per Carry against 8-man boxes than a base defense. Tyrod Taylor should keep Kansas City a little more honest in the box, but McCoy will still be in a decent spot vs the Chiefs. Carlos Hyde did run for over 120 yards vs Seattle in the first matchup this year. Arizona's run defense has been a little more generous in recent weeks, so if you think Leonard Fournette is healthy, he's a good upside play. Tampa Bay's "Strength" is against the run, but they still give up 24 fantasy points a game. Devonta Freeman looks like he may miss again, so Tevin Coleman should see a majority of touches. If you want to play Patriots' Running Back Roulette, Dion Lewis should be the primary runner ((led RBs with 45% of the snaps last week) in a game the Patriots could be leading the entire second half. DeMarco Murray had 16.7 points in the first meeting against the Colts and coming off a mini-bye, could be in line for a decent game.
Other running backs you can use: Adrian Peterson, C.J. Anderson, Christian McCaffrey, Joe Mixon
Wide Receivers: T.Y. Hilton is at home facing a Titans team that gives up the 5th most amount of fantasy points to wide receivers. Jacoby Brissett looks like he will play, making Hilton a solid WR1 choice. Travis Kelce, Zach Ertz, and Rob Gronkowski can always be used. The only problem I can see is their teams getting up big and maybe not needing to throw all game. Brandin Cooks would fit into the same category as Gronk, but hard to argue against someone who has had 28 targets the past three weeks from Tom Brady. Speaking of receivers with 28 targets in their past three games, DaVante Adams is the favorite target of Brett Hundley. Green Bay may be throwing a lot in this game, and Adams has been the lone Packer to produce under Hundley. We are all waiting for Julio Jones to have a big game; same can be said for Mike Evans, who is in a good spot against Atlanta. Finally, if you like the revenge game narrative, Alshon Jeffery gets to go against his former team in Chicago.
Other wide receivers you can use: Larry Fitzgerald (if he's your 2nd WR against JAX), Tyreek Hill, Rishard Matthews, DeMaryius Thomas
The early parts of drafts should be focused on those elite RB. I do like Tevin Coleman as my favorite RB after the top 5 or 6. Getting some shares of Antonio Brown in drafts will be smart. In H2H, I may want to pick second to get a Brown/Gurley combo at that turn. It may make some sense to grab a top-tier QB in Round 2 or 3 in the 6 and 10 person contests. Finally, remember that Fantistics has listener league contests going on all the way up until Sunday. To see these contest, follow FantisticsRadio and you will see the $3, 10-man games appear in the lobby. I will jump in a couple of them throughout the week (skeeter1114). Good luck with all of your week 12 NFL contests.