By: Nate Leer
Week 12 means no more byes. We’re all thankful for that! It also means 3 games on Thanksgiving so you may know a lot about how your matchup is going before Sunday games. Shoot for upside plays if you’re down early and high floor plays if you’re up.
3 Players to start this week:
1. Latavius Murray – RB – Min @ Det: Murray has scored in back to back games and will face a Lions D that is giving up 114 yards per game. Without DT Haloti Ngata the Lions have been dreadful. Murray should feast on Thanksgiving.
2. Alshon Jeffery – WR – Phi vs. Chi: Jeffery has come on strong as of last, totaling 4 TDs over the last 3 games. Jeffery has seen a minimum of 7 targets a game in that span as well. QB Carson Wentz has started to go to the big man more and more..
3. Samaje Perine – RB – Was vs NYG: Last week we said to pick up Perine. This week he has the look of a must start. Washington has enough passing to keep Ds from stacking the box and Perine should get enough carries to make up for his lack of big play ability.
4. Orleans Darkwa – RB – NYG @ Was: Power RBs are great players to bet on down the stretch as you can see from this list. Late in the season, weather becomes more of a factor for many teams as they have to run more than throw in cold, windy or wet conditions. Darkwa is finding success for the Giants so can be played knowing he has a nice floor.
Honorable mention: Jerick McKinnon – RB – Min @ Det, Vernon Davis – TE – Was vs NYG.
3 Players to bench or cut now:
1. James White – RB – NE vs Mia: Too little opportunity and not enough upside to hold if you need the roster space (see below for who/what to add).
2. Kelvin Benjamin – WR – Buf @ KC: Even with a matchup that looks good on paper, Benjamin should be benched and possibly cut. If you can keep him stashed to see if he starts to produce, do so but don’t be afraid to cut bait if needed.
3. Larry Fitzgerald – WR – Ari vs Jac: Fitz is still an unbelievable player but this matchup and his unsettled QB sitch makes this a real tough play. Look for other opptions.
Honorable mention: David Johnson – RB – Ari vs Jac (re=draft leagues).
3 Players to grab and stash or stream:
1. Kenyan Drake – RB – Mia @ NE: Drake has been more of a big play specialist for the Fins to this point. Drake has a nice matchup this week against the Pats who are giving up a league worst 401 yards per game. Drake makes a nice flex option and is still available in about a 3rd of leagues.
2. Kenny Golladay – WR – Det vs. Min: Golladay is worth nothing more than a stash at this point but could be a much needed boost to the Lions O. Golladay will likely be the Lions WR3. He has a tough matchup against the Vikings this week. Keep an eye on him moving forward.
3. A Defense or 2: I have learned the last couple of years how important setting up your Ds for the playoffs can be. Getting decent Ds in great matchups in weeks 14-16 can give you up to a 15 point advantage against what will certainly be a quality opponent. Now is the time to add underperforming Ds to see who improves. Plus, owning multiple quality Ds can handicap your playoff opponents’ ability to stream effectively. Ds I am looking to stash (and their fantasy playoff opponents): Car (Min, GB, TB), Chi (Cin, Det, Cle), Den (NYJ, Ind, Was), NE (Mia, Pit, Buf).
Honorable mention: Cooper Kupp – WR – LAR vs NO.