Fantasy Football Gems/Sleepers: Week 12
By Edwin Camacho
“The following is a Fantasy Gem/Fantasy Sleeper guide for Week 12. Fantasy Gem’s are players who have favorable match ups and are must starts for the week. Some fantasy gems may not be the player who has the highest projected score, instead may be a player expected to exceed the prognosticators’ projections. A fantasy sleeper is just that. A player who may potentially be available on the waiver wire; or who is not expected to be a top scorer but has the potential to have a break out game.
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Quarterback Fantasy Gem- Eli Manning vs. Dallas Cowboys. For those of you who drafted Eli Manning for this fantasy football season, you have to be disappointed in his production this year. He had been “Sanchezian” in his interception rate and overall, has not been that impressive. This is the week you can dust him off the bench. Dallas’ defense can’t stop a nosebleed, and not only have the Giants been playing great as a team, Eli always shows up for big games. Even more so when it’s a divisional opponent named the Cowboys.
Fantasy Sleeper- Case Keenum vs Jacksonville Jaguars. I am rolling with Case Keenum again as the fantasy sleeper for this week. Gary Kubiak anointed Keenum the starter again this week and the matchup bodes well for Keenum. The Jaguars are allowing the 4th most fantasy points to quarterbacks and they undoubtedly prove that again this week. Keenum has the big arm that Schaub lacked to stretch the field.
Running Back Fantasy Gem-Andre Brown vs Dallas Cowboys. Andre Brown has been the ignition for this offense since his return. The Giants were in terrible shape at the RB position until Brown came back and his value cannot be overlooked. The Cowboys have been terrible overall on the defensive side of the ball so Andre is definitely a good gem at RB this week.
Fantasy Sleeper- Eddie Lacy vs. Minnesota Vikings after getting some criticism in the beginning of camp for entering a bit overweight and not in game shape, Lacy has turned it around and is having an excellent
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season at RB providing GB with the rushing attack it so desperately lacked. Without Aaron Rodgers, look for them to lean heavily on Lacy. Tolzien showed he can produce in this offense though so if they put up a lot of points against the Minnesota d, Lacy will get garbage time carries/points.
Wide Receiver Fantasy Gem- Andre Johnson vs. Jacksonville Jaguars. Even though Andre Johnson is getting up there in age, he has proven he can stay healthy this year and has been producing. AS stated earlier, Jacksonville’s defense have been terrible at stopping everything this year. With Keenum under center, The Texans actually have the ability to stretch the field now. Look for Andre Johnson to get his points early in this game as I think it will be a blowout.
Fantasy Sleeper- Cecil Shorts III @ Houston Texans. The Texans haven’t been that bad at defending the pass this year. In fact, they allow the 5th fewest fantasy points to wide receivers. The only reason that Shorts is my sleeper this week is because he complained about his targets last week. I have seen this trend this year where whenever a player complains; they get more looks and ultimately have a breakout game. Let’s not say Shorts will have a breakout here against the Texans, but if you are in need of a number 3 wide receiver or Flex option, I think Shorts is the way to go.
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Tight End Fantasy Gem- Jason Witten @ New York Giants Jason Witten is a must start this week at Tight End and I think he will be the highest scoring Tight End in Week 12. Witten and Romo have a great relationship on the field and it shows when the play. This is a big game against a divisional opponent
Fantasy Sleeper- Coby Fleener @ Arizona Cardinals. Fleener has definitely flourished in the TE role this year after a bit of a disappointing rookie year. He has established himself as one of the top TE options, fantasy wise, in the entire league. The matchup also bodes well for him as Arizona has surrendered the most points to TE’s in nearly every offensive category. IF you have Fleener, he is definitely a sleeper against an otherwise great Cardinal defense.
Kicker Fantasy Gem- Nick Folk @ Baltimore Ravens. After missing his first kick of the year last week in Buffalo, Nick Folk is got a great match up this week. The Baltimore Raven Defense isn’t what it was in years prior
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with Ray Lewis & Ed Reed in their primes. The Jets will get more than their share of opportunities to get in scoring range this week. Nick Folk should be the beneficiary of these opportunities this week in Baltimore. One thing to consider though, there is a big storm set to hit the east coast this weekend. We see how that wind affected Folk’s first FG attempt last week in Buffalo.
Fantasy Sleeper- Mason Crosby vs Minnesota Vikings. Mason Crosby is having a bounce back year after having a bit of a down year last year. It is true that without Aaron Rodgers, Mason Crosby isn’t the same kicker. What would you expect? He just isn’t getting as many opportunities as he was before. Regardless of the fact, Tolzien has operated well within their offensive system, and against a porous Vikings defense, Crosby will be a nice sleeper for the kickers this week.
Defense/Special Teams Fantasy Gem- Baltimore Ravens vs. New York Jets. As much as this saddens me to write, the Baltimore Ravens are my DST fantasy gem this week. In a nutshell, the Jets have not done well on the road this season. They have no real weapons on the offensive side of the ball and they are starting a rookie quarterback. This hurts to say as a Jet fan but I believe that the Ravens will feast upon the NY Jets offense.
Fantasy Sleeper- New York Jets @ Baltimore Ravens. Conversely, The Ravens offense has been flat out terrible this year. This is magnified because they are coming off of not only a Super Bowl win, but giving Joe Flacco a huge contract. Ray Rice has been nonexistent this year and Torrey Smith has been the only consistent threat downfield. Also, the Ravens offensive line has been a sieve. The strong point of the NY Jets defense is its defense line so I look for the Jets to dominate in the trenches.