Doug Baldwin, WR, Seattle Seahawks – A popular early round draft pick in fantasy drafts this summer, Doug Baldwin was a major disappointment in the first ten weeks of the season. He spent the early part of the season on the shelf with a knee injury, and was mostly a non-factor in every game he played in from Weeks 5 to 10, which resulted in me nicknaming him, “Dougie Stale.” Then Week 11 happened. Baldwin was targeted early and often by Russell Wilson and turned in his best fantasy performance of the season last Thursday against Green Bay. He hauled in seven of a team-high ten targets for 57 receiving yards and scored his first touchdown of the year in Seattle’s 27-24 win over Green Bay. His ten targets in Week 11 were the most he’s seen all season and could be a harbinger of things to come for the eighth-year player out of Stanford. He appears to be as healthy as he’s been all year and ready to take on an expanded role in the Seattle offense in the final seven weeks of the season. He’s still somewhat of a risky fantasy option, but the upside cannot be ignored. If he can produce another 15-20 PPR fantasy points in Week 12 against Carolina, he will cement himself as a reliable, mid-level WR2 for the rest of the season.
LIKE / DISLIKE: Week 12
Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans Saints – Drew Brees continues to carve up every defense in his path this season. Brees torched Philadelphia’s defense this past week to the tune of 363 passing yards and four passing touchdowns. His 153.2 rating yesterday is as near-perfect as it gets. In my eyes, Brees is the front-runner for the MVP this season (no offense, Patrick Mahomes). He’s been practically flawless all season and has this New Orleans team firing on all cylinders.
He’s thrown for at least three touchdowns and has tallied at least 28 fantasy points in each of the previous three games. He’s tallied at least 28 fantasy points in six of ten games and enters Week 12 ranked third in total fantasy points (250.7) among quarterbacks. A Week 12 Thursday Night matchup at home against an Atlanta defense that is ranked 30th in fantasy points allowed per game to opposing quarterbacks is the juiciest of juicy matchups for Brees and company, so expect another elite fantasy performance out of the 18th year player out of Purdue.
Cam Newton, QB, Carolina Panthers – For all the slack he’s getting for missing a WIDE OPEN player in the end zone on a two-point conversion at the end of the fourth quarter, Cam Newton has been producing mid-level QB1 numbers consistently throughout the course of this season. Yes, that errant throw from Newton was bad with a capital “B,” but we at FantasySharks are more concerned with how Newton performs from a fantasy football perspective.
Well, in Week 11 against Detroit, Newton threw for 357 passing yards, three touchdowns and totaled 26.4 fantasy points against Detroit. That marks the fourth time this season where he’s totaled at least 26 fantasy points. Furthermore, Newton has also recorded at least 21 fantasy points in seven of ten games, which is quite impressive. He hasn’t had many high-end fantasy performances like he has been known for in the past, but fantasy owners have to be pleased with the consistent mid-level QB1 fantasy production they’ve received from Newton over an extended period of time. The eighth-year player out of Auburn is averaging 23.2 fantasy points per game this season, which ranks sixth in the NFL among quarterbacks. Be sure to keep Newton locked into your QB1 spot for a Week 12 home matchup against Seattle that is neither difficult nor favorable and view him as a reliable, mid-level QB1 for the duration of the season.
Leonard Fournette, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars – Leonard Fournette has been back in action for two weeks now, and while he hasn’t been a buzzsaw, you have to be pleased with the situation he’s in down in Jacksonville. In the previous two games, Fournette has totaled 148 rushing yards on a whopping 52 carries. He’s also scored a rushing touchdown in each of those two games and has reeled in seven receptions for 102 receiving yards and a receiving touchdown as well. He’s totaled at least 22.1 PPR fantasy points in each of the previous two games and is firmly entrenched as the workhorse running back for a Jacksonville offense that is predicated on pounding the rock. Fournette is locked in as a must-start, mid-level RB1 for the remainder of the season, especially against a below-average Buffalo defense in Week 12.
Nick Chubb, RB, Cleveland Browns – Nick Chubb is the primary ball-carrier for a Cleveland team that is not as horrendous as you think they are. They’re not New Orleans or Kansas City, but they aren’t Oakland or Buffalo, either. Chubb has had at least 18 rushing attempts in every game since taking over as the lead back in Cleveland and has averaged an impressive 5.2 yards per carry on 78 rushing attempts in the last four games. He’s scored four total touchdowns in those four games and is firmly entrenched as a must-start RB2 for the duration of the season. A Week 12 matchup against a Cincinnati defense that just allowed 174 rushing yards on 29 carries to Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram in Week 11 is a highly favorable matchup for the rookie out of Georgia. Keep him locked into your RB2 spot for this matchup this week and for the duration of the season.
Keenan Allen, WR, Los Angeles Chargers – If I ever join a fantasy football league that drafts and starts in Week 9, I’m taking Keenan Allen with my first pick, no questions asked. For whatever reason, Allen has had a propensity for producing mediocre fantasy numbers in the first half of the season these last two years. However, for the second year in a row, he’s turned on the jets in the second half (thus far) and appears to be poised for another dominating second half of the season in 2018. Since Week 9 (three games), Allen is averaging seven receptions, 90 receiving yards, 21.6 PPR fantasy points per game and has scored two touchdowns. His value is rapidly increasing with each passing week, which means the door to buy-low on him has likely closed. He has some highly favorable matchups over the next four weeks (Arizona, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Kansas City), so consider him as a low-end WR1 with mid-level WR1 upside for a Week 12 contest against Arizona and for the rest of the season.
Kenny Golladay, WR, Detroit Lions – Now that’s the type of performance fantasy owners have been waiting for out of Kenny Golladay. With Marvin Jones sidelined with a knee injury, Golladay stepped up big time for the Detroit offense. He reeled in eight receptions (on a team-high 14 targets) for 113 receiving yards and a touchdown in Detroit’s nail-biting 20-19 victory over Carolina, bringing his PPR fantasy point total to a whopping 27.3 on the day. He’s now recorded at least 19.8 PPR points in each of the previous two games and appears to be heading in a positive direction for the rest of the season. He gets better and better with each passing game. He’s seen at least 13 targets in the last two games and should be viewed as a legitimate mid-level WR2 with high-end WR2 upside for the duration of the season. A Week 12 home matchup against Chicago is a tough one on paper, but let’s keep in mind that Golladay just recorded six receptions for 78 receiving yards and a touchdown two weeks ago against Chicago. Lastly, Golladay is averaging more PPR fantasy points at home (17.4) than on the road (13.2) this season, which is another reason why you should like him this week.
Tre’Quan Smith, WR, New Orleans Saints – I’ve been on the Tre’Quan Smith bandwagon long before his breakout game in Week 5 (three receptions, 111 receiving yards, two touchdowns). I have refused to drop him, even after four highly ordinary performances from Weeks 7 to 10. Then, in Week 11, Smith (sitting on my bench in two leagues, by the way), proceeds to have the best game of his career in a dominating victory over Philadelphia. Smith tallied ten receptions (on a team-high 13 targets) for 157 receiving yards and a touchdown, bringing his PPR fantasy point total to 33.7 on the day. The numbers are great, but while I was watching that game, I saw something in Smith that I don’t see in too many players. He seems to have that “it” factor. He looked crisp in and out of routes, explosive after the catch, and made some flashy catches with his hands that left me impressed. This kid can play – period. And with Drew Brees as your quarterback, they’ll always be opportunities for big plays and a heap of targets. Let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves (too late), but the point is Smith is in an incredible situation in New Orleans and should continue to be involved in the passing game moving forward. He should be viewed as a WR3/Flex play for now, but with low-end WR2 upside should he continue to progress into the receiver he is capable of becoming. As I mentioned with Drew Brees, New Orleans has a tantalizing matchup in Week 12 against Atlanta, so if you’re in a bind at your WR2, WR3, or Flex spot, Smith makes for a high-upside wide receiver to use in your starting lineup.
Other Players To Like
Tom Brady, QB, New England
Andrew Luck, QB, Indianapolis
Philip Rivers, QB, Los Angeles
Matt Breida, RB, San Francisco
Melvin Gordon, RB, Los Angeles
Aaron Jones, RB, Green Bay
Marlon Mack, RB, Indianapolis
Jordan Howard, RB, Chicago
Tarik Cohen, RB, Chicago
Antonio Brown, WR, Pittsburgh
DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Houston
Tyler Boyd, WR, Cincinnati
Jarvis Landry, WR, Cleveland
Christian Kirk, WR, Arizona
T.Y. Hilton, WR, Indianapolis
George Kittle, TE, San Francisco