Week 12 Risers and Fallers
December 3, 2015 | Chet
Here we are guys and gals; Week 13, the final week of regular season fantasy football in most leagues. If you dodged the TE bullet in Week 12 (Gronk, Graham, Heath, Eifert) when so many of them went down, consider yourself lucky. We’re gonna be keeping an eye on the players that have risen or fallen in the words that follow. I’ll try and give you a little tidbit on what you should do with all this information but if you’d like some other questions answered please drop some words in the comments below or hit me up on twitter!
The ownership percentages are a median between Yahoo! and ESPN own%.
LeSean McCoy (99.2%) has come out of the Week 8 bye and delivered for a month straight, showing glimpses of the old Philadelphia back that used to win us leagues. McCoy’s YPC now stands at a respectable 4.48 on the year after this month long stretch of 5.0+ YPC (74-376), sprinkling in 14 catches for an extra 126 yards in that timespan. A bigger boost to production could be around the corner as Karlos Williams left the game against the Chiefs after only 5 snaps and was seen in an arm sling in the locker room this week. That’s a total of 443 yards and 7 scores that the Bills are going to miss out on, and will presumably put more of the workload on Shady’s shoulders. A streak of five games of 100+ total yards will be tested mightily against a Texans defense that has allowed an average of 313 total yards and less than 9 points a game over their last four contests, including the ending of Drew Brees’ streak of 45 straight games with a pass TD. Lower your expectations temporarily for this week but bank on him having a solid floor.
C.J. Anderson (85.4%) had the game winning 48-yard overtime touchdown on Sunday night while running mate Ronnie Hillman managed just 59 yards on 14 carries. CJA got into the end zone twice and scored more than 20 fantasy points, both for the first time this year. Despite the good showing, it doesn’t mean he’s a lock as an RB1 as he’s actually seen less playing time than Hillman (116 snaps compared to 132 snaps since their bye) even though he’s running at a 50-316 (6.3 YPC) clip compared to Ronnie’s 72-264 (3.7 YPC) over the same time period. CJ will be a great RB2 and DFS option this week against a fledgling Chargers team.
Scott Chandler (68.4%) is likely the biggest jumper in regards to value this week as big Gronk is the next in line in what has turned into a minefield across the Patriots’ pass-catching core. Scott was very much a part of the game before Gronkowski left as only 3 of his 11 targets came after the former was carted off the field. Chandler’s 11 yard touchdown was his third of the year, and Brady is running out of big bodies to toss the ball to once they get down by the goal line. While the temptation might be there to plug Chandler in and hope for Tom Brady to light up the scoreboard with him the likeliness of him going 3-26-0 is just as strong, if not stronger. This is still a semi-desperate play.
Shaun Draughn (52.3%) is quite the interesting case. In Week 12 he became the first running back to play 100% of his team’s offensive snaps this entire season and in the process had his third straight game of 20 touches. He now also surprisingly leads the 49ers in targets (21) since Blaine Gabbert took over at quarter back. If he can stay healthy with literally the most workload he could possibly have then he should continue to be an asset for your fantasy team as long as Carlos Hyde remains sidelined. This week San Francisco travels to play a Chicago team that is ranked as DVOA’s 31st rush defense and the week after that they will travel to Cleveland to face a defense allowing 135.6 rushing yards/game, 2nd only to a Miami defense allowing 138.5 yards/game. The floor is steady but the ceiling is only about 8 feet high.
DeVante Parker (11.9%) took a step in the right direction of all of us being allowed to forget Greg Jennings forever and glimpse into the future of the Miami receiving corps. Parker entered the game with four catches and 49 yards before having a bit of a breakout 4-80-1 game. Granted, the touchdown was quite garbage-timey and he was getting increased snaps because Rishard Matthews went down, but points are points, are Matthews has multiple fractured ribs which should put him on the sidelines for the rest of the fantasy season. Nothing is guaranteed here but the rookie did get 10 targets in Rishard’s absence and it would behoove the Dolphins to see what they have in DeVante before they scrap their season, definitely worth a pick up with Baltimore, the Giants, San Diego and Indianapolis left to round out the playoffs.
DeMarco Murray is in a situation comparable to something like running Danny Woodhead up the gut out of the I-Form 17 times a game. The Philadelphia offense, whether the blame is to be put on Chip Kelly (it’s most assuredly his fault) or elsewhere, is running Murray on toss and sweep plays over and over and over again. We’re headed into Week 13 and neither the play-calling or DeMarco himself have adjusted, leading to another dismal performance on Thanksgiving in which he had a long rush of 19 and still finished the game with 14 carries and 30 yards. That bad aftertaste is probably the zero catches he had, the first time this season he went without a target. This is his fourth game under 40 yards and it’s not as if his “explosive” games have been all that amazing. Murray has 4 touchdowns on the year and only one 100+ yard game. He’s simply a Flex option at this point in the season and he’ll be nearly impossible to rely on now when the W’s matter the most.
Davante Adams (75.6%) has something like 400 targets over the last month (47) and has managed to catch 22 of them for 222 yards. That’s 4.7 yards per target! I don’t even know if that’s a stat! He has been a special sort of heartburn all season long and is probably my biggest bust from draft season. It has gotten to the point where Coach Mike McCarthy is calling him out in the media for not being able to run a basic route. If he can somehow dig himself out of this hole then he’ll be in Flex consideration in say, Week 15 against Oakland but he should probably just be riding your pine for the rest of the year.
Stefon Diggs’ (71.3%) bright shining star has dimmed into little more than a Christmas light under the dark eclipse that is Teddy Bridgewater’s arm. While throwing for more than 190 yards just once over the last five games, Teddy has also thrown for multiple touchdowns just once the entire season (October 25th against DET; right in the midst of Diggs’ breakout). Stefon is simply another face in a passing game that has to compete with Adrian Peterson and a ground game that runs the ball the fourth-most in all of the NFL. The rest of the season isn’t all for naught though as some gamescript help could be on the way for Week 14 when Minnesota travels to Arizona to play arguably the best passing offense in the league.
Torrey Smith (33.1%) continues to slip into relative nothingness and is trending in the exact opposite direction as teammate Draughn. The change at QB from Kaepernick to Gabbert isn’t helping the former Raven and very well might be hurting him. He hasn’t caught more than two balls or been targeted more than five times since the middle of October. His high yardage water mark over that time is the 51 he picked up against Arizona last week. What makes this even more scathing is the fact that Anquan Boldin missed two games in this span of lackluster production. Boldin is coming off back-to-back 93 yard games and is the only player worth owning in any league size out of the 49ers passing game.
Roddy White (who cares%) is still owned. I don’t even care that he just got to 60 yards for the first time since Week 1 and he’s facing a weak pass defense in Tampa Bay. It’s not like you’re going to actually start him, so go get someone else who could help you the next few weeks, sheesh.