- Mark Sanchez played badly last week despite his fantasy production being more than serviceable, but he'll bounce back next week at home against the Titans. The Eagles have quite a few weapons available to them and they are not afraid to go for those risky plays! I still believe that Sanchez is better than Foles and his struggles in New York were just as much a product of the lack of offensive talent and poor playcalling as anything else. We should see better chemistry and decision-making from Sanchez over the next few weeks.
- Brian Hoyer has been playing well enough so far this season to rebuke advances from newly drafted rookie QB Johnny Manziel. Sorry, Johnny.. your time has yet to come. It IS time for Josh Gordon's return, though.. and apparently heralded by choirs of angels based on some reactions that I've read today! Anyway, Hoyer could show QB1 upside down the stretch with a weapon like Josh Gordon catching his passes.
- Kyle Orton put together a string of quality games but more recently has been delivering up some poor performances. This should change pretty quickly as he goes up against the poor passing defense of the New York Jets in week 12. I would expect nothing less than 200 yards and 2 TDs for Orton when he and the Bills try to jumpstart their offense this week.
- Zach Mettenberger still stands like a statue in the pocket, but we've seen him make some huge plays since taking over the starting job in Tennessee including the 80-yard touchdown bomb to Nate Washington last night against the Steelers. The Titans are certainly a rebuilding team but Mettenberger deserves a look with the right match-up and QBs playing the Eagles have had a good time of it in general.
It's just not going to happen for ya: Robert Griffin III has all of the upside in the world and some great talents at multiple positions on his team, but it was long ago time to throw in the towel. Stop picking him up, people! Honestly, you'd probably be better off with Andy Dalton!
- C.J. Anderson is the man now in Denver.. mostly because he HAS to be! Clearly the feature back, the competition that he would have faced going forward includes such injured players as Montee Ball and Ronnie Hillman. Look for Anderson to settle in to his new role (at least for the next few weeks) and start to score some TDs as he gets more comfortable with his situation.
-Tre Mason was slowly being eased into the lead role in St. Louis but had a difficult schedule to contend with. His production suffered because of the struggles that the Rams were having on offense and the opponents that were put in front of them. Playing the Chargers, Raiders and Redskins over the next few weeks should take a little of the pressure from Mason and I would consider him a startable RB2 candidate for the rest of the season.
- Isaiah Crowell continues to do-si-do with Terrance West for the #1 RB job in Cleveland, but at least there is one less dance partner going forward after the Browns dropped the constantly under-performing Ben Tate today. I have a hard time recommending a situation where there is not a clear lead back, however I think we are likely to see Crowell field the majority of the carries. In a game against Atlanta, it would not be surprising to see both Crowell and West play a part once again, though.
- Jonas Gray was explosive and violent last week, running like Beast Mode and racking up 199 yards on 38 touches for a staggering 4 TDs. Gray has now fully captured the Stevan Ridley role in the Patriots' offense, but with that comes a caveat: namely, the Belichick will play who the Belichik wants to play (and generally not who you are expecting). Those who want to chase numbers will likely see low usage of Gray this coming week just because, though surely he has not scored his last TD.
It's finally time for this guy: Charles Sims may break out in a big way this week against the Bears. Looking like the lead back for the Bucs, Sims took the most snaps and had the most production against the Redskins in week 11. Sims looks healthy and is trending up over the other RB candidates, but there is always the chance that Doug Martin comes back this week and sucks up some of the available touches - turning this into a 3-headed monster of a situation that you'll want to stay away from. Still, I'm betting that Sims ends up being productive this week against Chicago.. predicting at least 60 all-purpose yards and 1 TD.
- Josh Gordon is included in this list because there are some leagues out there that still don't have him rostered. Say what you will about Gordon, but he's an absolute beast on the field and should put up WR1 numbers in every match-up.
- Jordan Matthews had another great game last week, putting up 5 receptions for 107 and a TD. His chemistry with Sanchez has been beneficial for both players, and although Sanchez didn't have a great game (stats aside) last week, he should be able to perform much better at home against the Titans. It's a travesty that Matthews is still not owned in every league at this point.
- Cecil Shorts is a name much-mentioned around drinkfive, but this year his performance has been hampered by the success of Allen Robinson and Robinson's chemistry with new QB Bortles. Now that Robinson is out for the rest of the season with a broken foot, however, Shorts is once again thrust into the 'garbage-time' spotlight and should put up solid numbers from here on out.
- Doug Baldwin looked good last week against the Chiefs, but he's just not fast enough, big enough or strong enough to really break out with consistency. He'll continue to put up numbers like 4 or 5 receptions for 50 yards and a 20-25% chance of a TD. Pick him up if you're desperate for a low-end starter or bench depth in a PPR league.
- Malcolm Floyd has been playing well this season, and his production looks to continue as Rivers and Co. get their heads out of their asses and back into the game. Mathews' return should bolster the offense and give the Chargers a believeable threat on the ground again which will keep Rivers upright and his receivers productive. Floyd is a better option in a standard league than Baldwin or Landry, but Matthews, Stills and Shorts are the superior plays here if they are available.. Consider Floyd the 'Andy Dalton' of WR free agents at this point in the season. You should not go with anyone ranked lower unless desparate.
- Jarvis Landry is going to give similar production as Doug Baldwin, but is not owned in as many leagues. He also has a better track record of getting in for TDs this season, scoring 3 over the last 6 weeks. A high-floor, low-ceiling PPR league play, Landry will generally score you between 8 and 14 points per week. Would consider other options in standard leagues, as his production is too dependent on touchdowns.
- Brandin Cooks has been sidelined for the rest of the season with an injury to his thumb, and meanwhile all-important fantasy games leading up to the playoffs are being played. What can Cooks owners (or those just trying to get a leg up) do to offset this inury? Pick up Kenny Stills, who has been averaging 4 receptions a game and has scored 2 TDs over the past 5 weeks. His production should only increase while Cooks is recovering.
Don't pick him up, he's a BUST: Kenny Britt (16% owned) had a huge game last week but can't be trusted for these important games leading up to the playoffs.
-Coby Fleener filled in for Dwayne Allen after he went down with an ankle injury in week 11 and ended up having an outstanding game, catching 7 passes for 144 yards. Fleener and Allen are both talented and share the load on a weekly basis so when either one goes down, the other should have a big boost in production. The Colts play the Jaguars in week 12 which is never bad news.
- Jacob Tamme is worth a look this week since Julius Thomas went down with an ankle injury against the Rams in week 11. He has proven chemistry with Peyton Manning and should be targeted at least 3 or 4 times if he starts. With Sanders and Thomas both questionable for the week 12 match-up against the Dolphins, Tamme might even end up with a TD.
Bills(vs. NYJ), Colts(vs. JAX), Packers(@MIN), Bears(vs. TB)