Week 12 Recap: ODB Better Than All
November 23, 2014 | Jeff
Week 12 is nearly complete and we have seen quite the explosion on the fantasy scene so far. Rookies continued to excel, studs dominated, and the long awaited 2014 debut of a certain Cleveland Browns wide receiver did not disappoint. Let’s check in on a few notable situations from Sunday’s action as we prepare to head into Week 13.
Cleveland Kills It
The wait finally came to an end on Sunday, as Josh Gordon made his 2014 debut. The last week was filled with rumors of Gordon’s potential usage in Week 12, including rumblings of a 20-30 play “snap count” that surfaced on Sunday morning. Gordon quickly put all the rumors to rest on Sunday as he hauled in eight of 16 erratic Brian Hoyer targets for 120 yards. The performance from Hoyer in this game was horrendous, as Gordon could have easily stacked up at least another 50 yards if Hoyer was even remotely accurate. In any event, Gordon is back and will be a fantasy force for the remainder of the season.
The backfield in Cleveland was also productive on Sunday, as Isaiah Crowell led the way with 88 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries. Crowell was the superior back on Sunday, but Terrance West did handle 14 carries for 62 yards. Crowell is the running back to own here moving forward, but expect the fairly even split to continue.
With Giovani Bernard returning to the Cincinnati backfield on Sunday, fantasy owners were curious to see how the touches would be divided among Bernard and rookie Jeremy Hill, who performed very well in Bernard’s absence. When the dust settled on Cincinnati’s win over Houston, both Bernard and Hill received 19 touches each, with Hill turning in the better fantasy day as he totaled 96 yards compared to 67 from Gio. Hill also found the end zone and this backfield will likely continue to be evenly split as the fake football playoffs approach. At the moment, I prefer Hill but Gio will still be flex worthy on a weekly basis.
Jonas Gray Vanishes
When news surfaced on Friday of Jonas Gray oversleeping and being sent home from New England’s practice facility, the fantasy world wondered how the wrath of Bill Belichick would impact the young running back’s fortunes in Week 12. The answer was far more drastic than anyone anticipated, as Gray didn’t receive a single touch on Sunday after rumbling his way to 201 yards and four touchdowns just one week ago. Instead of Gray, it was the newly acquired LeGarrette Blount who handled the New England goal line work, as he ran for 78 yards and two scores on 12 carries. So, Blount gets cuts by Pittsburgh and immediately scores twice for the Patriots while Gray simply overslept and gets left on the bench. This all makes sense in the mind the Wild Bill and the Patriots. Shane Vereen (in PPR formats) is the only reliable running back play here right now.
ODB Shines on SNF
Odell Beckham Jr. went nuts on Sunday Night Football, turning in the best performance of his young, promising career. Highlighted by the most absurdly awesome touchdown catch the world/Twitter had ever seen, Beckham racked up a 10 catch, 146 yard, two touchdown outing as the New York Giants fell to the Dallas Cowboys. Beckham has been downright studly over the last month, with at least 10 targets and 93 yards in every game this month. Beckham has quickly blossomed into a weekly must-start and borderline WR1 fantasy asset. Keep riding this beast all the way to the fake football promise land.
A.J. Green and Josh Gordon tied for the NFL lead in targets on Sunday with 16 and although both failed to find the end zone, these two will remain locked in as WR1’s as the fantasy playoffs stroll into town. … Julian Edelman saw a season-high 15 targets on Sunday and hauled in 11 Tom Brady passes for 89 yards. After a brief midseason lull, Edelman has been back to his PPR ways of late, catching 25 passes over New England’s last three games. … Both Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders were targeted 13 times by Peyton Manning on Sunday. Sanders led the way in yardage (125), while Thomas found the end zone thrice times as the Broncos handled the visiting Dolphins. … Anquan Boldin was targeted 12 times on Sunday and caught nine balls for 137 yards and a score. Boldin has quietly been a target monster this season, averaging 8.6 targets a week this season.