Fantasy Attack: Week 12

Mining for Diamonds

by Lead Fantasy writer  Steve Cook@SteveCook84 |

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I saw something this week that pissed me off. Not so much for me on a personal level, but for me on the idea that I care that NFL players care about doing things.

One of the popular pickups for fantasy players last week was Brian Hill of the Atlanta Falcons. Enough Falcons RBs had fallen by the wayside that it felt like it was Hill’s time. They were up against the Carolina Panthers, who had never defended the run especially great. People thought this might be Hill’s time.

It wasn’t. Which is fine enough. Not everybody can run against a really bad rush defense. But then this guy had to get cute.

This motherf*cker. He couldn’t be good in a professional football game, which probably won’t help his cause going forward. But he wanted to get cute, and smacktalk people that actually had faith in him.


Here’s the thing. It’s probably great for his teammates that he avoided the fact that he sucked when they still won. But for his own sake, it’s probably not good. I think most football players don’t understand this. If fantasy players are mad at you, it means that you haven’t done anything. Which your actual NFL team will realize as well, no matter how loyal you act towards them on the social media. They’re not going to respect your lack of value on the scoreboard, no matter how much you think they will. Back in the day, this might have been a thing. Not now. If you have a chance to do something, you better do it now. Your employer will notice if you didn’t do your job, even if the team wins.

This seems like common logic to me, but way too many NFL players are happy to laugh in the face of people that were rooting for them. Here’s the thing. IF YOU GET A LOT OF FANTASY POINTS YOU WILL HELP YOUR TEAM WIN. How hard is that for people to understand? IF YOU DON’T GET A LOT OF FANTASY POINTS, YOU WILL HELP YOUR TEAM LOSE, OR IF THEY WIN THEY WILL REALIZE THEY DON’T NEED YOU.

This seems like common sense. Yet a lot of players that have bad games try to act smarter than the room. Here’s the bottom line, boys: You don’t need us. But if you suck, don’t act like you only screwed us over. Your employer is noticing the fact you sucked. You can’t be cute and be like “SORRY FANTASY OWNERS”. Your actual owner probably actually wanted something out of you too.

If you can’t understand this, you deserve to be out of the league right now. All of the players on my teams also deserve to be out of the league. Nevertheless, here are my recommendations,

Fave 5
Matt Ryan
: After a solid start to the season, Matty Ice has been quite pedestrian for the past month. A horrendous showing against the Rams was followed up with some mediocre outings against the Saints & Panthers. The Falcons as a whole have gotten on the right track since the Week 9 bye though, and Ryan will get back to fantasy elite status this week against a putrid Buccaneer secondary in Mercedes-Benz Stadium. I really wanted to type “the Georgia Dome” there.

Baker Mayfield: Interception issues aside, Baker hasn’t been the worst quarterback in the NFL. He just hasn’t taken that next step that a lot of us thought he would in his sophomore season. Now is when he takes that step. The Browns host the terribad Dolphins this week, face the Steelers again next week, then follow that up with games against Cincinnati & Arizona. Look for Baker to get on a roll this week and possibly lead some teams into the fantasy playoffs. Let’s ignore his Week 16 matchup for now and look on the bright side.

Pittsburgh RBs: James Conner might be back this week. If he isn’t, hopefully you’ve got Jaylen Samuels. Whoever’s RB1 (and maybe even RB2) for the Steelers this week will run all over the sorry, no account Bengals rush defense. Even if the Bengals weren’t 0-11 & circling the drain on what’s been a historically bad season even by that franchise’s standards, the Steelers running game would be a lock to get some things done in what will be a glorified home game at Paul Brown Stadium. Keep an eye on Conner’s status and act accordingly.

Allen Robinson II: I know it’s tough to have faith in a wide receiver on a team that has no faith in its quarterback. But the matchup couldn’t be any better. The Giants are third-worst against wide receivers, people have been throwing on them all year. I’ve seen Mitchell Trubisky get it done against a trash defense, and I’m sure Chase Daniel can too if you give him a chance. Somebody’s going to be flinging the rock to A-Rob.

George Kittle: He’s been out for two weeks. San Francisco lost the first game, and the second was against Arizona so they felt ok with holding him out. He’s going to be out there against the Packers, who have given up a ton of points to tight ends a lot lower on the food chain than Kittles n’ Bits. Fire him up.

Fearful 4
Jared Goff
: Sometimes, people come off of a bye week rejuvenated & ready to go. In the case of Jared Goff, he’s come off the Rams’ Week 9 bye the complete opposite of that. 5 points in Week 10, 6 points in Week 11. Sure, he’s had tough matchups in Pittsburgh & Chicago. He gets Baltimore on Monday night! You think that’s going to go any better? Ask Deshaun Watson about that Ravens defense, and he’ll probably give you some great analysis on how bad he was against it.

Ezekiel Elliott: Dallas faces off with the New England defense this week. I’m not a big fan of most of it, but especially not of Zeke’s chances this week. Sports talk radio is telling me that Dak is the best player and Zeke doesn’t mean that much, so look for Dak to try and be a hero this week. As he should, dude needs to get paid.

Marquise Brown: It feels like Hollywood has hit that rookie wall. Injuries have definitely played a part, but the Ravens feel like they’re working around whatever issues he has right now. The best thing the Ravens can hope for is Jalen Ramsey to lock Brown down and let the rest of the offense do their thing.

Jimmy Graham: The Packers gotta go against that 49er defense this week, and the 49ers have given up the least points to tight ends. It’s been a few years since we could really call Jimmy Graham an elite tight end, as terrible as the position is these days. He has his weeks, but this won’t be one of them.

3 Sleepers
Jeff Driskel
 (3% Yahoo-owned): I mean…Driskel isn’t the best mobile quarterback I’ve ever seen, but I’d probably take him over Ryan Finley. He’s had two solid games so far in the absence of Matt Stafford, and he’s facing a Washington team this week that just got lit up by Sam Bradford. If you’re in a pinch is might be worth a shot.

Peyton Barber (26% Yahoo-owned): Everybody keeps telling me that Barber isn’t the best Bucs RB, and I listen to them. Yet he keeps getting touchdowns and respectable fantasy scores. Most of my teams have RBs that can’t get respectable fantasy scores. At some point we need to stop caring about who certain people think is the best Tampa Bay RB.

Anthony Miller (13% Yahoo-owned): We talked about Bears QBs earlier. They have a good matchup this week, and this guy keeps getting better matchups each week. He gets more snaps each week too. Whoever ends up being Bears QB will be throwing towards this guy.

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