It's Week 12 and for some fantasy owners, the season is rapidly coming to an end. It’s also Thanksgiving week and those owners that see that little asterisk next to their team name that indicates they are in the playoffs have plenty to be thankful for. For the rest, it's time to take a long, hard look at your roster and drop anyone that you aren’t going to play. It's crunch time and you need to start thinking ahead and see if there are any matchups you can exploit.
Only two teams are on bye this week, (although they are the Rams and Chiefs), and they are the last two. You no longer need to carry two tight ends or two kickers (why would you do this in the first place?). Drop the dead weight and grab a handcuff for your running back.
The players listed below are those that may have opportunity, but should only be added if you are going to put them in your lineup (or are preventing another team from adding them). Focus on putting together your best lineup at this point.
Teams on bye: Kansas City, Los Angeles Rams
Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens (19 percent owned)
While it hasn’t been officially announced that Jackson will be Baltimore’s quarterback in Week 12, odds are that he’ll be out there. Jackson will have fantasy value because of his rushing ability. He had 117 rushing yards in Week 11, a total surpassed by just three running backs. Jackson also threw for 150 yards and an interception. However, the Ravens face the Oakland Raiders in Week 12, which is a great matchup. If Jackson get another start, he’s a top-12 option.
Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (10 percent owned)
The Bucs' quarterback roulette wheel has gone back to Winston. It can be argued the team doesn't really want to play him because of the risk of injury. (His 2019 team option is guaranteed in the case of injury only). However, for now Winston is back at the helm and he has a great matchup against San Francisco. He's a borderline QB1… or he could throw three interceptions and get replaced by Ryan Fitzpatrick. Winston is the ultimate risk/reward option for those looking for a Patrick Mahomes/Jared Goff fill-in for Week 12.
Theo Riddick, Detroit Lions (33 percent owned)
Riddick is going to be a PPR fantasy option with Kerryon Johnson likely out for Week 12. Johnson suffered a knee injury in Week 11 and he's been diagnosed with a sprain and is considered week-to-week. While nothing is official, it's a pretty safe bet he won't play Thursday afternoon against Chicago. While LeGarrette Blount (9 percent owned) also will get some work, he may share carries with Zach Zenner. Riddick will be the passing-down back and will be a RB2 in PPR formats against the Bears
Josh Adams, Philadelphia Eagles (32 percent owned)
The Eagles have finally turned to Adams as their lead back. While the entire offense was downright awful in Week 11, Adams did have the only touchdown. He led all running backs with seven carries and 53 yards. Corey Clement was second with two carries for 11 yards. Adams will likely continue to operate as the No. 1 back for the Eagles and should be owned in all formats as a low RB2.
Jaylen Samuels, Pittsburgh Steelers (10 percent owned)
In Yahoo! leagues, Samuels has dual eligibility at running back and tight end. Given how poor the tight end landscape is, it may be beneficial to pick him up to dump into a TE slot. Samuels also is the handcuff to own for James Conner owners. He scored a touchdown in Week 10, but didn’t have a touch in Week 11. This is a handcuff or desperation “tight end” option only.
Gus Edwards, Baltimore Ravens (4 percent owned)
Prior to Week 11, Edwards had 15 carries for 64 yards all season. In Week 11 alone, he had 17 carries for 115 yards and a touchdown. It’s not clear why the Ravens moved away from Alex Collins, but fantasy owners should pay attention to Edwards. The Ravens have a great schedule over the next few weeks, and Edwards should be rostered to see how the team uses him. Brave fantasy owners will be the only ones to start him in Week 12, but he should be owned in all formats.
Anthony Miller, Chicago Bears (42 percent owned)
Miller has touchdowns in five of the nine games he’s played in this season. In Week 12, he only had three targets (he caught two for 25 yards and a touchdown). However, that target share was his lowest since the Bears' bye in Week 5. Chicago faces Detroit on Thanksgiving. When Miller faced the Lions in Week 10, he had five receptions for 122 yards and a touchdown. He’s a low WR3 for Week 12.
DJ Moore, Carolina Panthers (39 percent owned)
The problem with Moore is that he’s not going to be a reliable fantasy option. Sure, in Week 11 he had seven receptions for 157 yards and a touchdown on eight targets. However, in Week 10 he had five targets. He caught four of those for 20 yards. The difference was the 82-yard pass that Moore had in Week 11, and big plays like that aren’t going to happen each week. Is it possible? Sure, but fantasy owners usually want a little more stability. He’s a risk/reward WR4 against Seattle in Week 12.
Tre’Quan Smith, New Orleans Saints (26 percent owned)
After not even seeing a target in Week 10, Smith had 10 receptions for 157 yards and a touchdown on 13 targets. It seems like Smith is going to be an integral part of this offense going forward. The Saints were up big and certainly play better at home, but for fantasy owners looking for a player with upside each week, Smith is available in nearly 75 percent of Yahoo! leagues. The Week 12 matchup against Atlanta is a good one, and Smith will be a WR3.
Cameron Brate, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (21 percent owned)
Brate should only be picked up if O.J. Howard is ruled out. Howard injured his ankle at the end of the game in Week 11, so this is possible. However, Brate hasn’t topped 35 yards all season. He had touchdowns in Weeks 3 and 4 from Ryan Fitzpatrick and then one in Week 6 from Jameis Winston, and that’s been it all season. The tight end landscape is pretty bleak, but if Howard is out, Brate should be picked up.
Defense/Special Teams (DST)
Buffalo Bills (13 percent owned)
The Bills face the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 12. While the game is in Jacksonville, the Bills DST is a solid unit. The Jaguars are falling apart, as they blew a 16-0 lead against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 11. Blake Bortles hasn’t been putting up big numbers as the team is on a six-game losing streak. The Bills should be a solid streaming option for those looking for a DST.
— 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.