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Rock and a Hard Place – Week 12

The bye weeks are almost done. But just when you need your team at full strength the most, Buffalo, Cincinnati, Philadelphia and Seattle decide to take a week off. There’s a lot of fantasy value on those squads. Hopefully, your team is able to dodge the bye week bullet. But if not, you’ll need to scour the waiver wire for someone that can come on to make an impact.

Below, I’ll list a player with some upside for this week, their Week 12 matchup, and the percentage of leagues in which he is owned according to our friends at


DISCLAIMER – The hope is that you don’t find yourself in a situation like this. The hope is that you dodge the bullet. But hope won’t help you come Sunday.

Let’s move on to this week’s targets, keeping in mind that these aren’t every week starters. Instead, these are guys that should only be used if you’re in some kind of roster emergency. In case of emergency, break glass.


Case Keenum

vs. Jacksonville – 45 percent. Keenum is coming off a rough game last week, during which the words “

Matt Schaub

” and “in the game” were used. Keenum is still a better quarterback than Schaub, and he gives the Houston Texans a much better chance of moving the ball. He also doesn’t throw pick-sixes every 18 seconds. His production has actually been solid since taking over the starting job, and now he gets a juicy matchup as the Texans host the Jaguars. He’s a solid starter this week, if available. Our site projects 255 yards and two touchdowns for Keenum, and I think those numbers sound about right.

Mike Glennon

at Detroit – 23 percent. Since Tampa Bay’s Week 5 bye, Glennon has started six games for Tampa Bay. He’s averaging just less than 225 yards per game, and he’s thrown 10 touchdowns and just two interceptions. He’s not asked to do a ton in the passing game, but he does enough, and he’s careful with the ball. And facing Detroit is a bonus, because the Lions have been getting torched through the air recently. In Detroit’s last five games, the Lions have averaged more than 300 passing yards allowed per game, and they’ve given up 14 touchdowns. With the Buccaneers running game now clicking, Glennon will be even better. We’ve projected 240 passing yards and a score, and I think that’s way too low for the rookie signal caller.


Bobby Rainey

at Detroit – 51 percent. I have a tough time believing that Rainey is still available in half of leagues. He’s been nothing short of remarkable since getting his opportunity two weeks ago. In about a game-and-a-half, Rainey has run for 242 yards and three touchdowns. He’s also added seven catches for 34 yards and another score. The Lions defense started the year off poorly, but they’ve rebounded, not having allowed 100 rushing yards or a rushing score in their last five games. But I like Rainey this week to make some plays and get in the end zone. I think our projection of 95 total yards and a score is actually low, and he needs to be owned.

Chris Ogbonnaya

vs. Pittsburgh – 19 percent. Ogbonnaya stepped up nicely last week against a tough Cincinnati defense. He’ll likely be the lead back this week against a Pittsburgh defense that doesn’t exactly inspire comparisons to the Steel Curtain. Between his workload and

Jason Campbell
tendency to check passes down to his safety valve, Ogbonnaya figures to make an impact for the Browns offense once again. I think he outperforms our projected 70 total yards on Sunday.

Donald Brown

at Arizona – 36 percent.

Trent Richardson

has been a massive disappointment, no matter what the Indianapolis brass says. Brown has begun to get more touches and has been far more productive. Although the team insists that Richardson is still their starter, they have admitted that they will feed the back with the hot hand going forward. If the past several weeks are any indication, that’s likely to be Brown. The Colts will try to remain balanced on offense, meaning plenty of opportunities, even against a Cardinals defense that has been one of the stingiest defenses in the league against fantasy running backs. Even with the tough matchup, I still like him to hit our projections of 70 total yards.


Jarrett Boykin

vs. Minnesota – 40 percent. Boykin has been really good in his last two games, catching 14 balls for 203 yards. That’s with Scott Tolzien slinging the rock, people. Boykin clearly has some chemistry with Tolzien, and has been a major offensive weapon. Against a weak Vikings secondary, I expect that Tolzien will find it easier to move the ball than in last week’s matchup with the New York Giants. I also expect Boykin to continue his success. He’s projected for five catches, 60 yards and a score, and I think those numbers are very reasonable.

Rod Streater

vs. Tennessee – 10 percent. Streater has come on strong in the last few weeks, and he came up huge last week in a win against Houston. The biggest reason for an improved Oakland offense was

Matt McGloin

under center, as McGloin brought a viable passing threat in place of
Terrelle Pryor

. He found Streater for six catches, 84 yards and a score. This week, he’ll face a tougher matchup with Tennessee, a team that has specialized in shutting down receivers. In fact, the Titans haven’t allowed a touchdown to a receiver since Week 2. They also have a very good, very underrated cornerback tandem in
Jason McCourty

Alterraun Verner

. Our site projects four receptions for 45 yards and a score. Ultimately, he’s touchdown dependent, I think he can be decent for you in a pinch.


Delanie Walker

at Oakland – 41 percent. Did you know that of all tight ends, only

Rob Gronkowski

has scored more fantasy points in the last two weeks than Walker? It’s true. In the last two games, Walker has caught 14 balls for 153 yards, and he’s had a touchdown in each game. He’ll take his hot streak into Oakland, where the Raiders just let
Garrett Graham

put up seven catches for 136 yards and a touchdown last week. I like Walker to continue on his current run of success, and I think he surpasses the 55 yards and touchdown we’ve projected.

Brandon Pettigrew

vs. Tampa Bay – 29 percent. Pettigrew hasn’t been as big a part of the offense lately, as

Calvin Johnson

has basically waltzed past his opponents over the past four games. But Johnson will end up seeing plenty of
Darrelle Revis

this week, meaning that Matthew Stafford may need to look elsewhere more often. That means an upgrade for both
Reggie Bush

and Pettigrew. The Tampa Bay defense is a middle-of-the-road defense against tight ends. I like Pettigrew to make an impact on Sunday, and the projected 60 yards and touchdown sound about right.

Good luck in Week 12.

Drew Magyar is a staff writer and member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. He can be reached at

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