Updated: Nov 25, 2020
Only two weeks to go.
I feel like Kevin in Home Alone right before the Wet Bandits break in – “this is it…don’t get scared now.”
All kidding aside, there isn’t much to be scared about because this is one of the easiest weeks of the season to pick up the free agents you truly want. Why, you ask?
Well, the winless coach at the bottom of your league hasn’t made a move since Week 3. There’s usually one who gives up very early.
At the top of your league, there’s one superstitious coach who wants to “ride their mojo” and “stick with their guys.” They are running hot, not looking to disturb their good fortune. You know exactly the coach I’m talking about.
In all likelihood, there are multiple others who are mathematically eliminated. Few actually care about playing spoiler.
In essence, when you smash your waiver wire claims this week, there will be less competition in comparison to the times when everybody cared.
The bottom line is…while they wave the white flag, you can triumphantly climb the mountain to fantasy football glory.
Potential Pickups for Week 12
(Always for Superflex or 2 QB)
Ryan Finley, Bengals: Let me just get this right out into the open… I am NOT recommending Ryan Finley as a Superflex pickup this week. Yes, I am obligated to write about him because that’s my job here, but I personally think he is overmatched by the blinding defensive speed at the NFL level. He has a 55.5 QB rating in 5 career games, and I can’t say I’m surprised by that putrid number. He’s indecisive and doesn’t have a strong arm; he reminds me of Nathan Peterman during his Bills’ days.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, Dolphins: After benching Tua down the stretch this week, Brian Flores said the Dolphins are still “his team”. Yeah, yeah… but we all know about coach speak. If the Dolphins seriously want to make the playoffs, I think most of us know – right now, at this particular point in time – that Fitz gives them a better chance than the rookie. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Fitz under center down the stretch of this bizarre NFL season.
Jalen Hurts, Eagles: I mean seriously, man… how bad does Carson Wentz have to be? Hurts deserves a shot, even if Doug Pederson feels he’s too green. I’d stash Hurts in Superflex for his scrambling ability; you may need an emergency quarterback in the fantasy playoffs due to ill-timed injury.
Justice Hill, Ravens: Yeah, this one came out of nowhere. Mark Ingram and JK Dobbins won’t be available this week, so it’s “Gus the Bus” and Hill in the backfield for John Harbaugh’s Ravens. Certainly worth a short-term look, as Baltimore doesn’t want to be throwing the ball 45+ times. Hill will get mixed in.
Frank Gore, Jets: One of the game’s true legends. Still going very strong in his old age! Rookie La’Mical Perine is on IR, and Adam Gase loves his best friend Gore, anyway. He still looks strong and bouncy, but will need redzone touches to create true fantasy value down the stretch.
Samaje Perine, Bengals: Speaking of Perines… I’m not really recommending this one. Downgrade all Bengals with Joe Burrow down and Ryan Finley calling the signals. Yes, Perine would hypothetically get some goal line work with Joe Mixon on IR, but I have little-to-no faith in the Bengals’ “new” offense on the whole. This is a less-than-ideal situation.
All No. 2 RBs who are still available: This varies league to league, of course. It’s stash time, baby. Ya never know who will go down at this position. Scour the waiver wire for potential value in the event of an unfortunate injury.
Nelson Agholor, Raiders: Again, it depends on the league, but I see him available in a number of mine. Sure, Derek Carr spreads the ball around a bit, but he’s had an unusual amount of faith in Agholor from the very beginning. As we all know, Agholor can be a home run hitter who delivers explosive plays in the right one-on-one matchups.
Damiere Byrd, Patriots: Cam only has Byrd and Jakobi Meyers at his disposal, and the former went ham this week with 7 catches for 132 yards and a touchdown. Josh McDaniels would prefer to run the ball, but when New England falls behind he has no choice. Cam clearly has trust in Byrd.
Keke Coutee, Texans: Randall Cobb is likely headed to IR, and why shouldn’t the Texans develop their young players? Coutee was active and included this week, and his role could expand in Cobb’s absence. I think Houston should be looking toward the future.
NOTE: All of this is relative to the size and depth of your league. This is a great week to cycle back through my past columns to look for more obvious pickups who may still be available. As we approach the end of the season, I am trying to surface new names as opposed to rehashing repeats.
Week 12 DFS Plays (Thanksgiving Special – Thursday Games Only!)
Safe: Deshaun Watson $7,400 @ DET
Sleeper: Alex Smith $5,400 @ DAL
Perfect Storm: Matthew Stafford $5,800 vs. HOU
Summary: The Lions got shutout by the Panthers. Detroit will bounce back on the national stage, and Stafford will return to form despite his thumb injury.
Safe: Ezekiel Elliott $6,800 vs. WAS
Sleeper: Gus Edwards $4,000 @ PIT
Perfect Storm: Antonio Gibson $6,000 @ DAL
Summary: Obviously Edwards is an easy play with Ingram and Dobbins out.
Safe: Diontae Johnson $6,200 vs. BAL
Sleeper: Michael Gallup $3,500 vs. WAS
Perfect Storm: CeeDee Lamb $5,400 vs. WAS
Summary: Andy Dalton clearly likes Lamb the best of his three big-name receivers. Gallup is the dart throw, but CeeDee is the safe play.
Safe: Mark Andrews $5,200 @ PIT
Sleeper: Jordan Akins $2,900 @ DET
Perfect Storm: T.J. Hockenson $4,700 vs. HOU
Summary: Just keep an eye on the injury reports because Andrews (thigh) and Hock (shoulder) both have minor issues. I believe they both should be good to go, though.
Happy holidays to all!
John Frascella is a published sports author and fantasy football analyst with over two decades of experience. Follow him on Twitter @LegendSports7 for all things fantasy football.