For the first time since Week 4, fantasy owners will have all 32 teams (COVID permitting) playing this week. The first bye week wasn’t supposed to happen until Week 5, but thanks to a Titans outbreak, the Tennessee-Pittsburgh game got shifted out.
It’s always a trying time for fantasy owners when the bye weeks hit, especially for those unprepared for the weeks when they’re without two or three (or more) of the key players because it was their time to sit and rest.
As we enter the most difficult part of the season, where strict protocols meet a surge in the pandemic nationwide, it is as important as ever for those in league play to have as diversified a roster as possible. The hits are going to come, but, with the exception of the Bucs and Panthers, who, for some reason, have their bye in Week 13, it won’t be because of bye weeks and, in the strange year that has been the NFL in 2020, that’s good news.
Here is the Week 12 Fantasy Football Market Report:
Fantasy Football Risers
WR Keenan Allen, Chargers
Fantasy owners have always respected Allen, but he has had a history of going into slumps…when Philip Rivers was the guy. Not only has he scored five touchdowns over his last six games, in the last five, he has nine or more receptions in four of them and has topped 100 yards three times. He has worked his way back to consistent WR1 status and has earned the right to stay there even if he has a bad week or two down the line.
WR A.J. Brown, Titans
Brown was a player who put on big play numbers as a rookie and got a lot of pre-draft attention in fantasy leagues this year. In many leagues, he was selected to be a borderline WR1, but after three weeks, he looked like he could have been a bust, missing two of three and catching just five passes for 38 yards. But, in the seven games since returning, he has scored seven touchdowns in seven games, has just one game without a TD in that stretch, rendering him virtually unbenchable.
QB Taysom Hill, Saints
The thought process on Hill was that he was a gadget player who, if Drew Brees went down, would watch Jameis Winston and do the same. Instead, when given the chance to start, he rushed 10 times for 51 yards and two touchdowns, but, more importantly, completed 18 of 23 passes (78.3 percent) for 233 yards – proving he can be a legitimate passing threat. He may be a dice roll from one week to the next, but, given the chance to be a true QB, he showed up in his first week as a starter – a job he should keep for a while.
WR Terry McLaurin, Football Team
I’ve had a policy of avoiding the WFT players because you come into games expecting nothing and often getting it. McLaurin has been the exception to the rule. In 10 games, he only has three touchdowns, but has caught five or more passes in eight games, has seven or more in six games and has 83 or more receiving yards in seven games. Few receivers as consistent in terms of providing owners with 15 or more points and the touchdown games are a bonus.
WR Nelson Agholor, Raiders
In PPR leagues, he doesn’t have the same sense of cache because he has caught two or fewer passes in seven of 10 games. But, despite having just 24 catches, he has caught six touchdowns, including five in the last seven games. When Derek Carr is looking for the end zone, Agholar, a joke in Philly, is finally showing his star power.
Fantasy Football Fallers
RB James Conner, Steelers
Conner has never brought much in the receiving game, so he needs to to be a dominant ground player to make his money as a weekly fantasy starter. While the Steelers continue to win, it’s the pass offense doing the heavy lifting by design. In his last four games, Conner has rushed just 50 times for 194 yards and one touchdown – the kind of numbers that get you benched if you don’t turn it around soon.
QB Tua Tagovailoa, Dolphins
In dynasty leagues, owners had been stashing Tua laying in wait until he became a starter. Well, he has and the early results aren’t good. He has zero (or less) rush yards in three of five games, has just six TD passes and has less than 100 yards passing in two of the four games. Even dynasty owners may be thinking twice about carrying him over to 2021.
K Harrison Butker, Chiefs
When kickers started coming off the board on draft/auction night, Butker was one of the first and for good reason. He was expected to huge, but, through 10 games, he has attempted just 17 field goals (as opposed to 38 extra point). He has scored more than eight points just twice in the last eight games and has six or less in four of those. It’s not his fault the Chiefs finish drives with touchdowns so often, but it can be frustrating…and potentially lethal in a close fantasy playoff game.
TE Daniel Fells, Texans
He was never viewed as a Travis Kelce clone, but, in most leagues, he was brought on to be a TE1 or in a time split. Not anymore. In 10 games, he has 30 or more yards in just two of them and, over the last four games, he has just five catches for 70 yards and no touchdowns. He has hit the waiver wire over the last few weeks and you can’t blame anyone who dumps him.
RB Adrian Peterson, Lions
A first-ballot Hall of Famer, but owners were getting more willing to give up on him as a rostered player. He still leads the Lions in rushing, but after having double digit carries in five of the first six games, over the last four games, he has just 24 carries for 75 yards and no touchdowns. The fact he stunk out (7-18-0) with D’Andre Swift out speaks that it may be time to permanently pull the plug on All Day.