Swimming Upstream: Week 12

Swimming Upstream: Week 12

Lineup Management

Swimming Upstream: Week 12

A popular tactic in fantasy football is known as “streaming,” where owners cycle through the best available matchups among waiver wire options from week to week. This strategy is most commonly used with defensive teams, place kickers, tight ends and sometimes even quarterbacks.

Week 12 bye teams: None

Streaming quarterbacks and tight ends is unlikely without by weeks, so I’ll focus on kickers and defenses this week. In the event you were counting on Andrew Luck this week, consider this pair of quarterbacks.

Quarterbacks to consider

Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles vs. Green Bay Packers

Starting Wentz is not without risk, as he has been all over the fantasy map in 2016. The Eagles host a desperate, depleted Packers defense that was shelled for 375 and three scores last week by Kirk Cousins.

Wentz is not at Cousins’ level just yet, but each home-team quarterback against Green Bay has posted at least 20 fantasy points. Blake Bortles, Sam Bradford, Matt Ryan, Marcus Mariota and Cousins have all registered at least low-end QB1 numbers versus this group. Cousins and Mariota have combined to average more than 31 fantasy points in the two weeks against this reeling defense.

Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins vs. San Francisco 49ers

There are no two ways around it: Starting Tannehill is a move out of sheer desperation. The Dolphins have established a strong rushing attack, which has led to the offense skewing conservative in the passing game. Volume won’t be a proponent when considering Tannehill.

Since Week 6, quarterbacks have pounded the 49ers with a sustained aerial assault. This is the second best matchup a quarterback can face in Week 12. The problem — a term used quite loosely — is that opponents have done even better on the ground than through the air versus this defense.

Common sense says Miami will rely on running back Jay Ajayi and throw only when required, which very well may be the case. Either way, volume passing won’t be required for Tannehill to come away with acceptable starting fantasy numbers against a defense that has allowed a TD every 9.4 completions.

Cozy up with a kicker

Andrew Franks, Miami Dolphins vs. San Francisco 49ers

As previously mentioned, the 49ers are a lousy defensive team. It doesn’t matter how the Dolphins score in this one, because the fantasy kicking points will be there. Against San Fran, the position has racked up the most combined field goal and extra point attempts over the last five weeks, making 5.5 of the 6.25 afforded opportunities. The majority of kicks have come as touchdown-cappers, but Franks’ position has kicked an average of 2.5 field goal tries in this window.

Get daring with a defense

New York Giants at Cleveland Browns

And back to Josh McCown the carousel turns … Cleveland’s quarterback troubles could come full circle if Robert Griffin III eventually returns to the field. Until then, the passers get a chance to exploit fantasy’s second most generous offense.

The Browns have allowed the second highest combination of sacks and turnovers (5.6) per contest over the last five weeks. The offensive line has allowed nearly four sacks per game.

Atlanta Falcons vs. Arizona Cardinals

Carson Palmer has been sacked an average of 4.5 times per contest over his last four outings. The Cardinals have given up two defensive and one special teams in this time, while turning over the ball an average of twice per contest. With failure rates of those proportions, Atlanta could just happen upon double-digit fantasy points.

Houston Texans vs. San Diego Chargers

San Diego finally resolved its insane fumbling problem only to find another way to hand over the ball. Since Week 6, Philip Rivers has tossed eight interceptions, while the entire offense has lost only one fumble. More importantly, the opposition has scored three defensive turnovers in this time. The combination of permitting three sacks per game and 2.25 turnovers translates to the third highest figure in football’s last five weeks.

Tennessee Titans at Chicago Bears

The numbers against Chicago’s offense are not all that inspiring, but a transition to Matt Barkley to replace the injured Jay Cutler is a worthy reason for investment into Houston’s defense. For the record, this is the seventh best opportunity for generating fantasy points. Ten sacks, two fumbles lost, five interceptions thrown and a defensive touchdown allowed later, Tennessee presents a fine opportunity for gamers.

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