We’re hitting arguably the most crucial stretch of the season, when many fantasy gamers have to hold off competition while others scratch and claw into the playoffs. Sometimes that requires bold decisions because of injuries.
Week 12 teams off: Only the diets of many will be taking off this week. All NFL teams are on the slate.
Ownership rates are in parentheses.
RB Rashad Jennings, New York Giants at Cleveland Browns (78 percent)
Jennings is widely owned, but how often do you start him? Would you consider it with no teams on bye? If you answered a resounding “never” to both questions, this is for you, bud.
The Browns invited running backs over for a drink and the position never left. After making the end zone as comfy as their own home, the position has continued to find success to the tune of eight scores in the last five games versus this sloppy excuse for a defense.
QB Trevor Siemian, Denver Broncos vs. Kansas City Chiefs (15 percent)
You must be willing to accept mistakes that may accompany the rewards. Without bye weeks, this one is for owners pure desperation mode, or daily gamers. Another caveat: This is only worth considering if KC will be without cornerback Marcus Peters (hip). If pass-rusher Dee Ford (concussion) also sits … gravy.
Siemian gets to play at home against the third worst defense over the past five weeks. The young Broncos passer has thrown for at least 258 yards in each of the last three games, and he has thrown a pair of scores in both of the past two weeks. While extremely risky, at least Siemian presents bang for your buck if you are screwed at quarterback.
TE Ladarius Green, Pittsburgh Steelers at Indianapolis Colts (13 percent)
Gronk owner looking for a sleeper to crawl into bed with for a night? Lonely for a tight end on Thanksgiving? Motives aside, Green is a viable play a week after posting a goose egg. The Colts have given up the second most catches (35-tied), yardage (406) and touchdowns (three) to tight ends over the past five weeks. Despite an amazing matchup, Green is beyond risky. … As the header suggests, he isn’t the prettiest of options!
Put a ring on that thing
WR DeVante Parker, Miami Dolphins (77 percent)
Rehashing what I said a few weeks back with an amendment — I should have stuck to my guns and endorsed Parker with more vigor. It’s a good lesson in when getting caught up in media reports over health can lead you astray. All of the chatter about his hamstring health left me with little certainty in putting my neck on the line to back up my gut.
If there is any chance he is on your league’s wire, Parker must be added. That is unlikely for gamers in more serious circles, so use this as a reminder that he has weekly lineup utility. With such a great schedule, Parker is no worse than a WR3 the rest of the way, arguably with the lone exception of facing Arizona in Week 14.
Grounds for divorce
WR Jeremy Kerley, San Francisco 49ers (19 percent)
Quickest. Union. Ever. Literally one week after I recommended him for the rest of the season, a goose egg against the Patriots has this one ending faster than a Dennis Rodman marriage.
QB Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions (100 percent)
Feel free to part with Staff if you find a hotter option at another position. Detroit’s remaining schedule isn’t ideal for his fantasy prospects, and he’s focused on playing efficient NFL ball — which usually translates to being a fantasy bench-warming performance.