After O.J. Howard was benched, Brate had a great Week 11, but will it carry over?
It’s Week 12 of the fantasy football season, which means for most leagues, only two games remain before the playoffs. The bye weeks are almost over (the last four teams are on a bye in Week 12 and that's it) so fantasy owners can stop worrying about those and work on filling their roster with handcuffs and players that they actually would consider starting. Drop the dead weight and grab an extra DST if you have to — anything to get the best lineup out there.
Teams on bye: Arizona, Kansas City, Los Angeles Chargers, Minnesota
Jacoby Brissett, Indianapolis Colts (38 percent owned)
The Houston defense just got torched by Lamar Jackson in Week 11 and now Brissett gets to face them. While Brissett isn't quite Jackson, the last time these two teams played each other (Week 7), Brissett had 326 yards and four touchdowns. In Week 11, Brissett looked a little rusty, but the running game got him through. Marlon Mack is now out, so Brissett will likely be throwing the ball more. He's a QB2 for Week 12.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, Miami Dolphins (10 percent owned)
Fitzpatrick is hit or miss, but the Dolphins play the Browns in Week 12. The Browns are in the top third of teams allowing the most fantasy points to quarterbacks. In the past four weeks (since their bye), they've allowed QBs to score seven touchdowns. Fitzpatrick hasn't thrown a touchdown in the past two weeks and he's due. The Dolphins have no running game, so it's on Fitzpatrick to get some points through the air. He's a bye-week replacement for Week 12.
Tony Pollard, Dallas Cowboys (12 percent owned)
Now is the time to handcuff your stud running backs. In Week 11, Ezekiel Elliott was not injured, but Pollard still played a role especially in the passing game. He caught all four of his targets for 44 yards and a touchdown. Fantasy owners likely aren't going to start Pollard as long as Elliott is healthy and active, but Zeke owners would be wise to add the rookie to their bench.
Jonathan Williams, Indianapolis Colts (5 percent owned)
Marlon Mack was having a great game when he broke his hand. While it's unclear how much time he will miss, he had surgery on Monday and will miss a few games, at minimum. In Week 11, Williams was the running back that stepped up and turned 13 carries into 116 yards. He added a 31-yard reception to his day. Nyheim Hines (17 percent owned) will have a role, but for those looking to add one Mack replacement, grab Williams.
Bo Scarbrough, Detroit Lions (2 percent owned)
Stop me if you've heard this one before: the Lions running back to pick up for this week… is Scarbrough. Yes, Ty Johnson was the big waiver wire guy after Kerryon Johnson went on injured reserve. Fantasy owners are still reeling about that one. J.D. McKissic seemed like a solid option after Johnson was hurt. And now, it's Scarbrough, who was just promoted from the practice squad the day before he ran for 55 yards and a touchdown on Sunday. Don't waste a ton of FAAB on him; he's an RB3 that may have a game like an RB2 and then have one with 10 yards.
Darius Slayton, New York Giants (21 percent owned)
Even though Sterling Shepard (40 percent owned) practiced in full on Monday, Slayton is proving to be one of Daniel Jones' favorite weapons. He had 14 targets in Week 10 (the Giants had a bye in Week 11) and he's had four touchdowns in the past three games. Slayton wasn't added during the bye week, but fantasy owners should add him now. The Giants face the Bears in Week 12, which will be a tough matchup, but Slayton will still have WR3 value.
Josh Reynolds, Los Angeles Rams (16 percent owned)
With Brandin Cooks and Robert Woods both out, Week 11 should have been a big Reynolds game. While he did have a touchdown called back, he ended the day with three receptions for 55 yards on six targets. The Rams face the Baltimore Ravens on Monday night, which will be a tough game. However, Reynolds is worth adding as a WR4 at this point, although Jared Goff needs to be able to step up and get his receivers the ball in order for them to have any value.
Randall Cobb, Dallas Cowboys (15 percent owned)
Cobb isn't a recommended start or pick up for Week 12 as the Cowboys face the Patriots. However, for those with an empty roster spot or are looking for someone to stash for later weeks, Cobb might have value. Amari Cooper is banged up and is going to continue to be limited, and Cobb has scored a touchdown in each of the past two weeks. He's also posted back-to-back 100-yard games. The schedule isn't great, but there are some exploitable matchups.
Cameron Brate, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2 percent owned)
O.J. Who? After Howard created another Jameis Winston interception, he was essentially benched. Brate was the beneficiary of that, and he had 14 targets. He caught 10 of them for 73 yards. He was likely on many fantasy benches after not scoring any fantasy points the past two weeks, but it seems that the Bucs realize they can trust him. Fantasy owners in need of a tight end can grab him for Week 12 against the Falcons.
Defense/ Special Teams (DST)
Atlanta Falcons (2 percent owned)
Jameis Winston just loves to give the ball to the other team. This season, he has 18 interceptions and four lost fumbles (out of 11 total). This bodes well for opposing DSTs. The Falcons DST was the top-scoring unit (depending on league scoring) in Week 11 against Carolina. They sacked Kyle Allen five times and recorded four interceptions. Add in a touchdown and it was a great week. They should continue that success in Week 12.
— Written by Sarah Lewis, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and lives, eats, and breathes fantasy football. Have a fantasy football question? Send it to her on Twitter @Sarah_Lewis32.