The Observer’s Fantasy Corner Week 12
With just two weeks left until most fantasy football playoffs, every win counts. While we here at the Fantasy Corner hope you have already secured your playoff spot, we still have plenty of advice for those who have not.
Who to Start: Leonard Fournette, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Playoff Lenny is back! After dropping 44 points against the Indianapolis Colts, Leonard Fournette has a favorable matchup against the Atlanta Falcons this Sunday. It took a while for Fournette to get going at the beginning of the season, but now that time has gone on, he has slowly become the feature back of the Bucs offense. I am high on Fournette because Atlanta has given up on average 14 points to running backs in their last three games. Play Leonard as a solid flex play this weekend with high RB2 status.
Who to Sit: George Kittle, TE, San Francisco 49ers
I wish we all knew what happened to George Kittle. After becoming a top-three tight end in the NFL over the last few years, Kittle has failed to stand out this season, granted Jimmy Garrappolo has been inconsistent, and Kittle has been battling injuries. While Kittle scored three touchdowns before his matchup against the Minnesota Vikings last Sunday, he only hauled in one reception for thirteen yards. Kittle and the 49ers take on the Seattle Seahawks this weekend, who have been sluggish this season. Yet when they faced off earlier in the season, Kittle was held to just eight fantasy points. Stay away from George this weekend.
Who to Pick Up: Matt Breida, RB, Buffalo Bills (Rostered in 5.6% of Leagues)
Who to Start: Hunter Renfrow, WR, Oakland Raiders
Though all the turmoil the Raiders have faced this season, the Carr-Renfrow connection has been the one constant. Renfrow has hauled in at least six passes in all but two weeks so far this season, while quietly climbing up the board to be a top-20 fantasy wideout. Durability (he hasn’t missed a game) and consistency are Renfrow’s top selling points, and with Darren Waller ailing, the Clemson product has a good chance to repeat his 134-yard line against Washington this week. Renfrow is the definition of reliable, and he’s a solid flex or WR2 play.
Who to Sit: Antonio Gibson, RB, Washington Football Team
Gibson looked like a rising star as a rookie last season, averaging nearly 5 yards per attempt and racking up nearly three receptions per game. The excitement carried over to this season, where he was drafted within the first two rounds of most leagues. He’s been extremely disappointing so far though, not necessarily all through fault of his own. Playing through a stress fracture in his shin, he’s been limited at practice and averages nearly a yard less per attempt from last year while playing only 52% of the team’s offensive snaps this season. A week 13 matchup against a stout Raiders defensive line doesn’t bode well for Gibson, who has failed to cross the 100-yard threshold in a single game this season. Leave him on the bench this week.
Who to Pick Up: Dontrell Hilliard, RB, Tennessee Titans (Rostered in 27.9% of leagues)
Who to Start: Myles Gaskin, RB, Miami Dolphins
While Gaskin has been one of the more inconsistent players in fantasy this year, it seems that the Dolphins are committing to Tua Tagovailoa’s role as a game manager at the QB position. This is good for Gaskin because he is obviously one of the better weapons in this offense, and game managers should rely on their best weapons to create offense for them. Additionally, Gaskin has finally put up back to back double digit performances and has a favorable matchup this week against the Giants’ defense. All of these factors combined could make Gaskin a key piece down the final stretch of the fantasy season and a must start this week.
Who to Sit: Darrell Henderson Jr., RB, Los Angeles Rams
While Jacksonville’s defense will be coming off a week where they were dominated by Cordarelle Patterson, they’re still a unit that is on the rise and has shown the ability to control good teams and running backs in recent weeks. Henderson is also coming off of a solid performance, but it seems that he is now severely limited by whether he gets in the end zone. I also expect the Rams to resort to the most reliable part of their offense in the short passing game in what seems like a much needed bounce back win. Cooper Kupp will do his thing and Odell will only get more comfortable in McVay’s offense, all pointing towards a very unreliable day for Henderson. There are certainly worse options than Henderson this week, but I think this position is conducive enough for a bust that he should stay on the bench.
Who to Pick Up: Kendrick Bourne, WR, New England Patriots(Rostered in 15.2% of leagues)
Who to Start: Josh Jacobs, RB, Las Vegas Raiders
Jacobs received a season-high 22 carries against the Cowboys on Thanksgiving, and he took full advantage, racking up 87 rushing yards and a touchdown. He also received four targets, catching two of them for 25 yards. One of the passes — which he dropped — could have resulted in a 60+ yard touchdown. His involvement in the passing game has been increasing lately, a great sign for Jacobs owners. The Raiders won a thriller over the Cowboys in OT this past week, and Jacobs was a big reason why. Las Vegas hosts Washington next week, whose defense has been very suspect this season. Without Chase Young, the Football Team should struggle even more in stopping the run, setting up Jacobs for another big game. Make sure Jacobs is in your starting lineup next week, and let’s hope backup QB Marcus Mariota stops getting goal line carries.
Who to Sit: Saquon Barkley, RB, New York Giants
Saquon’s second game back was another dud, as he scored single-digit fantasy points against the Eagles and failed to find the end zone. He totaled just 53 total yards of offense, and the fact that he only received 13 carries is a big cause for concern. He has not looked like himself since returning from injury, and with the Giants out of playoff contention, there seems to be little reason for the Giants to overwork their star running back. The Giants will visit the Dolphins next week, who severely limited Chistian McCaffrey this past week before he exited the game with an injury. Miami hasn’t given up double-digit points since Week 8, and the Giants will likely have to pass the ball a lot if they are facing a deficit. Don’t start Saquon as tempting as it may be, he will just be a frustrating play for the rest of the season.
Who to Pick Up: Cedrick Wilson, WR, Dallas Cowboys (Rostered in 15.2% of leagues)
Who to Start: Brandon Aiyuk, WR, San Francisco 49ers
Aiyuk has topped 85 yards in three of the last four games, and with Deebo Samuel taking snaps out of the backfield, as well as a new groin injury, Aiyuk is primed to take over the role that has made Deebo Samuel a top fantasy wide receiver this season. Despite early season struggles, it seems fantasy managers should lock Aiyuk into their lineups this week against the Seattle Seahawks.
Who to Sit: Emmanuel Sanders, WR, Buffalo Bills
Ever since the week 7 bye, Sanders’ role in the offence has seemingly disappeared. His receiving yardage has been held under 30 yards in each of the last three games, and he has not proved a reliable touchdown scorer, with all four of his touchdowns coming in just two games, and none since week 5. Look elsewhere for a flex option this week with a tough matchup against the New England Patriots secondary.
Who to Pick Up: Tony Pollard, RB, Dallas Cowboys (Rostered in 61% of leagues)