Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Week 12 fantasy football moves to make now

It's coming up on Week 12, also known as welcome to Josh Gordon reactivation week!  Gordon is likely long gone in your league and hopefully you have some shares. He's a legit must-start this week right out of the gate. Gordon was the second best fantasy receiver in the NFL last year despite missing two games and was easily the best receiver on a per game basis last year. Cleveland won't be passing as much as the insane levels they were at last year when they led the league, but Gordon is an elite fantasy option regardless. 

For pickups this week, there has to be a full-blown case of Jonas Gray fever. Gray was the No. 1 fantasy player this week - regardless of position - after racking up 199 yards on 38 carries with four touchdowns (which set the Patriots' record for most touchdowns in a game ever). It was a bit out of nowhere (Gray averaged 44 yards per game the three games prior and he had never scored in the NFL) but it's hard not to bite here. Heading toward the playoffs, New England would be well-served to lean more on the run-game. It's also hard to trust the New England running back rotation although you have to think Gray will continue to be given a chance to contribute significantly. This weekend against Detroit is not the most attractive of draws, but you could imagine New England getting up on this one and leaning on Gray regardless. 

I have mentioned Charles Sims (Tampa Bay) the last few weeks and will do so one last time. Sims shouldn't be on your waiver and if he is there then grab him. Sims is set to take over as Tampa's starting running back and he is a lock for three-plus receptions each week.  

Latavius Murray (Oakland) is on the radar, and if you are in need of a running back then I would take a shot here. Murray only had 4 carries this week, but he turned them into 43 yards, and Murray also tacked on 3 receptions for 16 yards. His 23-yard run this week was actually the longest run by a Raider this season. For Oakland, why not give Murray a chance? They are 0-10 and let's see what Murray can do (we know what Darren McFadden can do – and that's not much, McFadden is averaging 3.5 yards per carry this year). Murray has nice athleticism and is built like a starting NFL running back. Murray wasn't invited to the Combine last year but he got on the NFL radar almost out of nowhere after a remarkable performance at the Central Florida Pro Day where Murray ran a 4.38 seconds in the 40-yard dash and put up elite metrics in all the athletic drills. 

Montee Ball hope sure didn't last long. Returning from a groin injury this past week, Ball is already out again. I mentioned C.J. Anderson last week and he remains a must-own even more so now. Anderson has the backfield basically all to himself with Ball and Ronnie Hillman both injured. Over the last two weeks, Anderson is averaging 5.4 yards per carry and he's collected 12 receptions. Feel confident about starting Anderson for the next few weeks. 

Also with Denver, Emmanuel Sanders left with a concussion while Julius Thomas suffered a sprained ankle. We'll need to monitor their status. It's possible both will be fine and ready to go this week. It's also possible they will be out. If that's the case, look for Andre Caldwell to get a chance to start, or it's possible that the Broncos will finally let rookie Cody Latimer get on the field. If Thomas is out, Jacob Tamme will be worth a look for a spot start. 

In Jacksonville, standout rookie receiver Allen Robinson is out for the year which should mean more opportunities for both Cecil Shorts and Allen Hurns. Both should be added if you are looking for depth at receiver. 

Brandin Cooks (New Orleans) may miss time up to a month with a broken thumb. Kenny Stills is going to be an attractive sleeper down the stretch and should see much more targets as a result. Stills was a favorite of mine coming into the season. No player had a higher yards per target average last season than Stills. 

Dwayne Allen (Indianapolis) left Week 11 with an ankle sprain. His status for Week 12 remains TBD but regardless, Cody Fleener's performance this past week (7 receptions, 144-yards) was enough to draw interest for sure. Fleener had the best game of his NFL career and made some exceptional catches. Even with Allen around, Fleener is worth a start. For the season, Fleener is on pace for 702 yards and 6 touchdowns. 

Also for Indianapolis, Ahmad Bradshaw has a broken ankle will likely shelf him for the season. Trent Richardson should be much busier, but Dan Herron is worth a look as well. Herron is arguably more explosive and he will have opportunity to get involved going forward in this 2-back offense. Any part of one of the league's best offenses is worth a look. 

Josh McCown (Tampa Bay) again had a good showing this week, passing for 288 yards and 2 TDs (McCown has thrown 2 TDs in three of his four full games this season). Throwing to Mike Evans has its privileges. McCown makes for a nice sleeper play this week against Chicago and their 25th-ranked pass defense, and McCown gets bonus consideration as he has a unique opportunity to go up against his former team. Looking to the future, McCown may also be worth stashing for the fantasy playoffs as Tampa will play the Panthers in Week 15. 

The Houston Texans turned to Ryan Mallett last week looking for a spark and he delivered to the tune of 211 yards and two TDs with just one INT and leading the team to a win. Mallett has good weapons in the receiving game and should produce respectable numbers, although he's more of a target for those in two starting quarterback leagues.