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Fantasy Preview: Week 12

Posted Nov 22, 2013


This is the final wek with byes, but more importantly, it's the second-to-last week before fantasy playoffs start in most leagues. Obviously, if you've secured a playoff spot, now it's all about trying to secure the best roster for Weeks 14-16. If that means planning ahead with free agent moves at the expense of better overall/short-term plays, so be it. All that matters is getting to and winning in Week 16.

If you're still trying to get in the playoffs, then you have to do the opposite -- sell out for the next two weeks. It might mean giving up a stash you saved specifically for Week 15 and 16, but that won't matter if you don't get there.

We're here to help you get there. Here are some key numbers to know about every game, plus a stud, sleeper, stumbler or injury concern to watch for with a brief explanation why. Note that the “studs” are guys who are either better than most owners realize or established stars who owners might be foolishly thinking about benching.

Bears at Rams

Stat to know: Dynamic Rams' rookies Tavon Austin and Zac Stacy both starred in St. Louis' last game, but only Stacy has a good matchup this week. The Bears are allowing the eighth-most fantasy points per game (FPPG) to RBs (20.9) but only the 18th-most to WRs (21.9). Plus, Austin received just three targets in his last game, so his role in the offense is still in question.

Stumbler: TE Martellus Bennett (Rams allowing second-fewest FPPG to TEs.)

Buccaneers at Lions

Stat to know: Bobby Rainey was the star of last week's game for the Bucs, but he'll have a tough time running on the Lions. Detroit hasn't allowed an RB to score more than 8.8 fantasy points in game since Week 6.

Sleeper: QB Mike Glennon (Lions have allowed an average of 28.7 FPPG to QBs over the past five games.)

Vikings at Packers

Stat to know: Green Bay's WRs didn't suffer too much with Scott Tolzien under center last week. Jordy Nelson (8-117, 9 targets) and Jarrett Boykin (6-91, 8 targets) received plenty of looks, and James Jones (2-55, 6 targets) was still involved. This week, Green Bay gets a Vikings' defense allowing 25.1 FPPG to WRs (11th). Nelson is still a WR2, and both Boykin and Jones are WR3 considerations.

Sleeper: Packers D/ST (Vikings allowing eighth-most FPPG to D/STs.)

Jaguars at Texans

Stat to know: Cecil Shorts vocally complained about not getting enough targets last week, but the bottom line is he hasn't produced more than 8.0 fantasy points since Week 5 or 4.2 fantasy points since Week 9. Don't expect much against Houston's top-ranked pass defense.

Sleeper: TE Garrett Graham (Jaguars allowing second-most FPPG to TEs.)

Chargers at Chiefs

Stat to know: The Chiefs allowed their first touchdown to a TE last week, but before that, only one other tight end had scored more than 4.3 fantasy points against them. Antonio Gates has only once topped 7.4 fantasy points since Week 4, so he's a fairly low-percentage play this week.

Sleeper: WR Dwayne Bowe (Chargers tied for fifth-most FPPG allowed to WRs.)

Panthers at Dolphins

Stat to Know: Steve Smith has averaged 8.5 targets but just 5.5 fantasy points over the past four games. Miami is allowing the third-fewest FPPG to WRs (15.5). Smith is always a decent play because of his high targets, but he's riskier than usual this week.

Sleeper: RB Mike Tolbert (Dolphins allowing third-most FPPG to RBs.)

Steelers at Browns

Stat to know: Jordan Cameron has just 33 yards over the past two games. Even before his slump, much of his recent production had came in “garbage time,” indicating his role in Cleveland's offense has changed since earlier this year. Pittsburgh is allowing just 7.2 FPPG to TEs (22nd), making Cameron a borderline starting option.

Sleeper: WR Jerricho Cotchery (Emmanuel Sanders banged up; No. 2 WRs have scored seven TDs against Cleveland this year.)

Jets at Ravens

Stat to know: Ray Rice had a resurgence last week, but that's unlikely to carry over to this week. The Jets are allowing the second-fewest FPPG to RBs (12.3). The Ravens allow just 13, so it could be a slow day for Christopher Ivory, too.

Sleeper: TE Jeff Cumberland (Ravens allowing 10th-most FPPG to TEs.)

Titans at Raiders

Stat to know: Even if Darren McFadden (hamstring) returns this week, it's already been announced that Rashad Jennings will get at least half the RB touches. Against a Titans defense that's tied for the fifth-most FPPG allowed to RBs (21.9), that's enough to make him a flex.

Stumbler: WR Denarius Moore (Titans allowing fewest FPPG to WRs.)

Colts at Cardinals

Stat to know: Donald Brown will likely get the majority of carries over Trent Richardson, but neither are good plays this week. The Cardinals are allowing just 12.2 FPPG to RBs, fewest in the league.

Sleeper: WR Michael Floyd (Colts allowing ninth-most FPPG to WRs.)

Cowboys at Giants

Stat to know: Victor Cruz, Hakeem Nicks and Rueben Randle all went for double-digit fantasy points when these teams met in Week 1, but the Cowboys pass defense has improved since then, allowing just three total receivers to hit double digits since the start of Week 6. Cruz is still a must-start, but Nicks and Randle are tough calls.

Sleeper: Cowboys D/ST (Giants allowing most FPPG to D/STs.)

Broncos at Patriots

Stat to know: Injuries to Wes Welker (concussion) and Julius Thomas (knee) are obviously concerns, but for selfish fantasy purposes, they're potential absences are only a plus for Eric Decker. However, don't expect Joel Dreessen to benefit much if Thomas is out. The Patriots are allowing just 7.2 FPPG to TEs (tied for 22nd).

Studs: RBs Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen (Broncos allowing 11th-most FPPG to RBs.)

49ers at Redskins

Stat to know: Dual-threat QBs have fared especially poorly against San Francisco this year. Russell Wilson and Cam Newton averaged just 9.7 fantasy points against the Niners. Jake Locker (25.9) did have a good game, but most of his production came in garbage time. Robert Griffin III has been playing better lately, but he's a major risk this week, especially with Leonard Hankerson (knee) out and Jordan Reed (concussion) banged up.

Stud: QB Colin Kaepernick (Redskins allowing fifth-most FPPG to QBs.)

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