Week 12 is in the books, and I sure hope you played the right guys. This week was carried by a select few people who we will dive into. But hey, hope you had a great Thanksgiving!
Game of the week
Tennessee Titans @ Indianapolis Colts (45-26)
Two weeks after the Colts bested the Titans, Derrick Henry had enough. The star running back rumbled 27 times for 178 yards and three touchdowns, dominating a Colts defense that has held most rushers in check. It was Henry’s fourth multi-touchdown game of the season. He’s a stud through and through. Corey Davis continued to play well ahead of his impending free agency while A.J. Brown ripped off his eighth touchdown of the year on a huge 69-yard catch-and-run.
But the focus should be on Jonnu Smith, who saw zero targets and left a fat dud in your fantasy lineups. After a hot start to the season, likely due to Brown’s absence, Smith has fallen out of many lineups. His inexplicable rushing touchdowns has saved his value but if he doesn’t score there is not enough volume for him to succeed. Ryan Tannehill only threw the ball 22 times and the Titans are generally a winning team. You’re not going to bench him against Cleveland, Jacksonville or Detroit who all offer bounce back opportunities — but man, did this one hurt.
Philip Rivers looked his age. He got the job done for whoever streamed him, but he only completed 24 of his 42 attempts and ruined those who started rookie Michael Pittman, who only came down with two of his nine targets. Inconsistent quarterback play will always make these Colts wide receivers dicey. Trey Burton appears to be the tight end of choice for the receiving game, but there’s a constant rotation here. You can start him with hesitance given how unreliable the tight end position is, but his floor is basement level.
Nyheim Hines is a solid running back who should have been the complement to Jonathan Taylor all year long. It’s been 12 weeks, but it seems that head coach Frank Reich figured that out. His 10 carries only went for 29 yards, but he caught eight passes for 66 yards. With Taylor (COVID-19) questionable for next week Hines is a plug and play option in a great matchup at Houston.
Player of the week
David Montgomery (11 rushes, 103 carries, five receptions, 40 receiving yards)
Montgomery came through despite the tough game script where the Packers took an early lead and held it. He played as well as his stat line indicates as a rusher, but the five receptions is what should be noted. It keeps Montgomery in the game after the Bears inevitably fall behind — essentially the Tarik Cohen role. With a set of juicy matchups on the horizon and an every-down role locked up, Montgomery is about to win some people fantasy championships.
Honorable Mention: Tyreek Hill (13 receptions, 269 receiving yards and three touchdowns)
I don’t normally do an honorable mention, but Hill deserves it. Way to win a week, man.
Bust of the week
Ezekiel Elliot (10 carries, 32 yards)
So much for the bounce back last week. Dallas’ offensive line continues to get worse and worse — both right tackle Zack Martin strained his calf and left tackle Cam Erving suffered a knee sprain early against Washington — but that can’t be the entire excuse. Elliot fumbled for the sixth time in just 11 games. That’s unforgivable. With the offense floundering since losing Dak Prescott (ankle) the touchdowns have not been there for Elliot. More importantly the receptions aren’t. He logged at least three receptions in all but one of his first six weeks — he’s seen three TARGETS just once since then. He’s a sit candidate against Baltimore next week.
Honorable mention: Darius Slayton (Two targets, zero receptions)
It’s unforgivable against a hapless Bengals secondary. With injuries under center, it won’t be getting better soon.
Storyline to watch
Can Deshaun Watson succeed without Will Fuller (PEDs)?
It’s been a stellar year by anyone’s standard for Watson, and a lot of the credit goes to Fuller who managed to stay healthy all year long. Now suspended for the rest of the season and the start of 2021, Fuller’s health is explained. Who will step up? Will it go to tight end Jordan Akins who has been up and down all year? Will Keke Coutee be the man with Randall Cobb (toe) on the injured reserve? Could it be fifth-round rookie Isaiah Coulter who has yet to debut, but is rumored to take a larger role in the offense? Someone could be a big name on waivers in Week 13 — it’ll be difficult to figure out who.
Daniel Jones (hamstring)
The Giants quarterback will be sidelined for the foreseeable future as the Giants take a “wait and see approach,” according to head coach Joe Judge. The team will be careful with their young quarterback, and Colt McCoy will be leading the Giants, who are in first place in the NFC East currently. All Giants receivers should be borderline FLEX options at best, with Sterling Shepherd and Evan Engram being at the top of the list as the guys closer to the line of scrimmage.
Teddy Bridgewater (undisclosed)
It was a catastrophically bad game from Bridgewater, but that’s not what we are here to discuss. He appeared to limp off the field on one of the final plays of the game. There isn’t much news beyond speculation at this point, but it’s something to monitor ahead of practices this week.
Josh Jacobs (ankle)
The best of a bad situation, Jacobs suffered a minor sprained ankle in the Raiders embarrassing loss to the Falcons. Expect him to miss some time in practice this week as he tries to play through the injury, but as long as he can get a limited session in there, he should be good to go for Sunday. Should he miss time, Devontae Booker becomes an unexciting play in a favorable matchup against the Jets.
Phillip Lindsay (knee)
Head coach Vic Fangio said Lindsay suffered a “minor” knee injury and could play next week. His fantasy value is at an all-time low, but if he misses time it could give some job security to Melvin Gordon. However, the early impression is that he’s suited up and out there against division-rivals Kansas City.
D.J. Moore (ankle)
I, like so many, were holding their breath after Moore came down with a non-contact injury that led him to be carried off the field. Rumors around Twitter were that it was his Achilles, but thankfully that does not appear to be the case. X-rays revealed no damage to his ankle and while the MRI is sure to show something, Moore has a Week 13 bye to rest up. Time will tell if he can be an asset for your fantasy playoffs.
A final trio of quick hitters
- I cannot believe that Steelers and Ravens game is going to happen, but sure enough, it will. Hopefully no COVID-19 cases arise from this, but it looks like those who held out for their Steelers and Ravens will be awarded.
- Inexplicably, Jamaal Williams and Aaron Jones both had 17 carries. But let’s pour one out for Jones, who seemed to be the only Packer to avoid the endzone against Chicago. Maybe it’s to keep Jones fresh, but fantasy owners must be livid.
- Red alert on Alvin Kamara. He’s seen just three targets with Taysom Hill under center and without a rushing touchdown to boost his fantasy value, Kamara is in danger of falling out of fantasy favor. You still need to play him — he’s too talented not to — but it’s starting to become a concern for a guy who relies so heavily on receiving work.