Tuesday - Jan 22, 2019

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ON SECOND THOUGHT: Week 12

It’s Week 12, and then there were two. Two weeks left in your fantasy season that is. Yes, it’s Week 12, and you’ve only got two weeks left in your fantasy season before the playoffs start. Normally we would have all our players in the games this week as Week 12 usually is the end of the bye weeks.

This year, however, there are still two teams left with byes and they happen to be two of the best in the NFL. That’s right, with Week 12 comes bye weeks for the Los Angeles Rams and Kansas City. So there will be lots of production missing from our lineups this week.

In fact this last week those two teams put up 105 points on more than 1,000 yards and 14 offensive touchdowns. That is production that is not capable of being matched, period. We won’t try to match it but we do need to replace it, so we turn to the waiver wires. Between the Rams and Kansas City’s byes and the massive injuries to big players this last week, help is needed by many owners.

If you are one of them let’s take a look at who could help you off waivers this week, and, as always, let’s start with quarterbacks.

QUARTERBACK

Marcus Mariota re-aggravated the injury to his throwing elbow on Sunday.

Blaine Gabbert took over for him and did not look that bad.

Gabbert is available in 100 percent of leagues. He completed 11-of-16 passes for 118 yards and a touchdown in Sunday’s 38-10 loss to Indianapolis. He entered the game late in the second quarter and threw a touchdown in the final moments to Tajae Sharpe. There’s a chance he will be called upon in Week 12 against Houston.

 Because of this many owners have been talking about Gabbert and his ability to help their teams. I don’t need to think twice about this, I can tell you no. Do not pick up Gabbert.
First of all head coach Mike Vrabel did indicate after the game that Mariota’s elbow injury doesn’t appear serious. Secondly, Gabbert has a history of poor play and is going up against Houston and that defensive line.
You are much better off looking elsewhere for quarterback help. In fact there was another injury this Sunday to a quarterback. It was an ugly one delivered to Alex Smith.
Ugly enough that Colt McCoy will be the Washington quarterback the rest of the season.

McCoy is available in 100 percent of leagues as well and Washington finds itself playing Dallas this week. McCoy completed 6-of-12 passes for 54 yards and a touchdown. He also rushed for 35 yards on five carries in Sunday’s 23-21 loss to Houston. McCoy came into the game with a 17-7 deficit in the third quarter and brought the team back very well. He looked very poised and capable of running the team down the homestretch to try to get into the playoffs.

Between his capable arm and good legs he might be able to seriously help out any fantasy owners in need going forward.

Another quarterback that could put up good fantasy numbers is Lamar Jackson,

The Baltimore quarterback is 78 percent available in leagues and plays a very friendly Oakland team in Week 12. His rushing alone makes him worth picking up for fantasy. Jackson ran for 117 yards on 27 carries, helping Baltimore beat Cincinnati on Sunday. He did only complete 13-of-19 pass attempts for 150 yards, though. But again, his rushing alone makes up for all of that.

You may not be able to count on him long term but he will make a great Jared Goff or Patrick Mahomes bye week replacement in Week 12.

RUNNING BACK

The running back position suffered injuries as well. The Philadelphia running back position has been snake bitten by injuries all season. As of right now Josh Adams, who is available in 72 percent of leagues, is looking like the best back in Philadelphia. Many owners are talking about Adams on the waivers this week.

Adams carried the ball seven times and was targeted in the passing game six times for a total of 72 yards and a touchdown. Philadelphia got its lunch handed to it by New Orleans 48-7 but Adams looked fairly nice. Wendell Smallwood and Corey Clement only combined for 11 yards on five touches.

So things look good for Adams right now which means you should pick him up, right? On second thought, Adams does look nice but there is legitimate concern that he will not get enough work to make him a trustworthy fantasy player. Most people recognize the blowout nature of the game he played in, and that it definitely contributed to his inflated numbers. This is true; also the Philadelphia backfield is full right now of “mehh” running backs. There is not one who will consistently help your fantasy team right now, so look to other backs filling in for other injuries.

One such injury that also has owners talking is Kerryon Johnson. Johnson’s knee sprain may keep him out in Week 12, so, Theo Riddick is going to be a great waiver wire pick up for many owners.

Available in 70 percent of leagues and a virtual points per reception (PPR) juggernaut Riddick could help you out as Detroit takes on Chicago on Thanksgiving. Riddick caught five passes for 30 yards in Detroit’s 20-19 win over Carolina last weekend.

He’s the team’s primary receiver out of the slot now that Golden Tate  is gone. Even thought LeGarrette Blount would be the primary running down back, Blount and his 250-plus pound frame cannot play every rushing down. Riddick will actually get some caries as well in Week 12 because of this. He could be the sneakiest pick up of the week.

Gus Edwards is also a sneaky peak in Week 12.

The Baltimore rookie running back is available in 100 percent of leagues and goes against a very easy Oakland defense this week. Edwards got in the game primarily because of quarterback Lamar Jackson during Sunday’s 24-21 win over Cincinnati. His familiarity with Jackson gave him the advantage of playing alongside him and getting lots of open lanes due to the defense devoting defenders to Jackson and his great running ability. He took this advantage of this and rushed for 115 yards and a touchdown on just 17 carries.

 If Joe Flacco returns to the lineup this could cost Edwards a lot of production. So much so that it would make him not worth playing, so keep a close eye on this. Word right now is that since Baltimore is playing Oakland it might give Flacco another week off even if he is able to go. This would mean the Jackson/Edwards combo will ride again which means you should try to cash in on that while “the getting is good.”

About Rick Olson

Rick joined FantasySharks,com as a staff writer in 2013, though he fell in love with fantasy football in 1988 with the first league he played in. In his articles he tries to feature players off the radar or deeper than most since, in his experience, by the time a player is a waiver wire "must have" they are not usually available in most leagues.