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THE DIVE: Week 12 “Expect the Unexpected”

So that happened! Expect the unexpected every week. As in previous weeks, Week 11 certainly showcased many fantasy studs’ performances, but also left us with more questions than answers with other players. The highly anticipated heavyweight bout between Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens versus Deshaun Watson and the Houston Texans’ was anything but! Lamar had another gem, but the Baltimore defense absolutely manhandled Houston’s offense by imposing 7 sacks, 2 turnovers, and allowing only 7 points. Several other quarterbacks including Josh Allen, Kyler Murray, Sam Darnold, Jimmy Garoppolo, Dak Prescott, and even Detroit’s backup Jeff Driskel had impressive outings. A few wide receivers also generously rewarded their owners including John Brown, Calvin Ridley, and D.J. Chark.

Which diamonds in the rough will help you win Week 12? You may need to dig deep with the Arizona Cardinals, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, and Minnesota Vikings’ on bye this week. So far, there shouldn’t be any major weather concerns heading into Week 12, although the temperatures continue to fall in many locations. Keep an eye on the forecast for the New England and Dallas game as rain is now expected.

QB Jeff Driskel, Detroit

Can you really consider starting a Detroit Lions’ backup quarterback in Week 12? Maybe. With the inconsistent fantasy performances of Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Drew Brees, and Deshaun Watson, it would not hurt to at least consider. Driskel has averaged 239 passing yards, 44 rushing yards, and has totaled four touchdowns in two starts. He also has excellent receiving weapons including Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones Jr. With Matthew Stafford week-to-week and trending towards missing Week 12, you may want to fire up Driskel who visits a Washington Redskins that is relatively neutral against opposing quarterbacks, but did just allow four touchdowns to Sam Darnold. Consider Driskel if your quarterback is on a bye week or faces a difficult matchup.

Week 12 forecast: 225 passing yards; 30 rushing yards; 2 TD

RB Jonathan Williams, Indianapolis

With Marlon Mack out with an injured hand for Week 12, it appeared Johnathan Williams would be the next man up with Jordan Wilkins also injured. With Wilkins now practicing this week, the water may be muddier. However, Williams sincerely impressed in week 11 with 13 rushes for 116 yards and a 31 yard reception. Expect Williams to receive the bulk of carries within Hines and Wilkins also in the mix when the Colts visit division rival Houston Texans who are average in defending the run, but just gave up 251 yards and three touchdowns to Baltimore Ravens’ running backs in Week 11.

Week 12 forecast: 80 total yards; 1 TD

WR Taylor Gabriel, Chicago

The Chicago Bears’ offense leaves much to be desired. Although Taylor Gabriel was targeted 14 times in Week 11, he only ended with 5 catches for 57 yards. With Chase Daniel likely starting at quarterback and a more attractive matchup at home against the New York Giants who have surrendered the 2nd most fantasy points to opposing running backs, Gabriel has breakout potential for Week 12. Consider him a low-end RB3 or Flex with high upside!

Week 12 forecast: 75 receiving yards; 1 TD

TE Ryan Griffin New York

New Jork Jets’ tight end Ryan Griffin can no longer be ignored. Initially, he appeared to be a one week wonder and the interim tight end as the Jets awaited the return of Chris Herndon. With Herndon on IR, Griffin has stepped up and should be considered a high end TE2 with his recent production of four touchdowns over this last six games. Last weekend, he caught five passes for 109 yards and a touchdown against the Washington Redskins. Griffin should be in line for another great start as the Jets host the Oakland Raiders who have surrendered the 3rd most fantasy points to opposing tight ends. Griffin will be a great fill-in if you have Travis Kelce, Hunter Henry, or Kyle Rudolph on bye.

Week 12 forecast: 60 receiving yards; 1 TD

D/ST Atlanta Falcons

The Atlanta Falcons’ defense was ranked as one of the worst, especially in pass defense, most of the season. However, Atlanta has seemed to reset following their bye as their offense has improved and defense has strengthened. If you are desperate, then give Atlanta’s defense a try as they have 11 sacks, 4 interceptions, and a touchdown in their last two games which were both wins against divisional rivals New Orleans Saints and Carolina Panthers. Atlanta should win their 3rd game in a row when they host division rival Tampa Bay Buccaneers who have allowed the 5th most points to fantasy defenses. Jameis Winston has thrown 6 interceptions over this last two games, and should struggle against Atlanta’s resurrected defense.

Week 12 forecast: 11 points

About Marc Griffis

Marc Griffis has competed in fantasy football, baseball, and basketball leagues since 2005. Marc has written "The Dive" for Fantasy Sharks since 2010. Additionally, his expertise is featured in David Gonos' E-books "101 Fantasy Baseball Tips" and "101 Fantasy Football Tips". Lastly, Marc competed in the Fantasy Sports Trade Association SiriusXM Fantasy Baseball experts' league from 2012-2014.