By Dustin Brewer and Gavin Muirhead
Welcome once again to HefferBrew and Fantasy Football Start ’em or Sit ’em for Week 12.
Chances are, if you’re reading this you’re still in the hunt for a playoff spot and need to pull off a big win in these upcoming weeks. That’s practically our mating call.
With that in mind, here is some solid, must start and sure-sit options that will propel you to fantasy victory.
Be sure to share us with your friends and colleagues if you have found any of our projections useful, and for a look at the previous week’s projections click right here.
Teams on BYE: Buffalo, Cincinnati, Philadelphia, Seattle
– Mike Glennon – Still searching for someone to cover for Aaron Rodgers? Glennon can chuck the ball and Tampa just threw up 41 points in week 11. Facing a Lions secondary that is comfortable giving up passing plays Glennon will be in for another solid fantasy outing.
– Phillip Rivers – Yes he plays the Chiefs. All the more reason to use this passing weapons down field. The Chiefs also give up a solid 5.0 YPC to rushers this year, meaning the play action pass will be widely available for Rivers.
– Case Keenum – The pulling of Keenum in favor of Matt Schaub during Sunday’s loss to Oakland was as curious a decision we’ve seen from Houston in a disaster of a season that’s sure to result in some shuffling of the staff and roster. Head Coach Gary Kubiak has already announced though that Keenum will start next week. Who is he starting against you ask? Why, the Football equivalent of Sprite and Chicken Noodle Soup on a sick day; the Jacksonville Jaguars.
– Josh McCown – Take as long as you need to heal Smokin’ Jay, McCown has been a more than capable replacement in his absence and though a tough match-up in St. Louis to take on the Rams is on the horizon, McCown’s knowledge of the offense and ability to spread the ball around will lead to a lot of opportunities for anyone on offense for Da Bears.
– Matt Ryan – Call it superstition, but Thursday is a day we want to avoid for QB’s as a rule of thumb. When that QB is Matt Ryan, its even easier to follow suit because he has been in a slump recently and has a banged up receiving core. Taking on the always fierce Saints, Matt can be swapped for Mike Glennon or someone else who is probable available in your league still.
– Ben Roethlisberger – Still a boom or bust guy, but a rested and tough Browns defense is something that can contain a QB in the worst kinds of ways. Joe Haden is a beast of a Corner and without Antonio Brown at is disposal Ben will be very limited in his passing options. A run heavy day for the Steelers here.
– Carson Palmer – We here at HefferBrew totally expect the Cardinals’ four-game win streak to come to an end against the Colts. The Colts D is surely flying under the radar to some degree as they have given up a bunch of points and yards, but they always seem to make the play when they need to. A defense that capitalizes on even the slightest mistakes aka C-Palm’s worst nightmare. The huck-it chuck-it football he plays will lead to more turnovers than points.
– Geno Smith – The Bills absolutely rocked poor Geno’s world last week. Forcing him into the kinds of mistakes he’s avoided for the most part this season. There are plenty of other QBs that’re likely available if you’re in need of a sub for injuries or BYE weeks (Case Keenum, Mike Gleenon, Scott Tolzein and hell even Matt McGloin had three TD passes last week). The Ravens are an inconsistent team on every level but a rookie QB coming off a shellacking is still a scenario they’re primed to feast off of.
– Chris Johnson – CJ2K has been putting up some big numbers on the back end of this season, and he has another promising match in week 12 and the Titans take on the Oakland Raiders. CJ sees a lot of looks in the passing game, where the Raiders have been showing some weakness, and with his speed it will be just a matter of time before he takes it to the house on busted coverage.
– Zac Stacy – Off a bye week and fully rested? He’s a must start this week against the Bears low ranked running defense. Stacy has been a shinning beacon of hope for the Rams and is the sole solid option every week he starts.
– Ben Tate – He’s secured as the starter in Houston while Arian Foster is out after season-ending back surgery and with broken ribs he still mustered over 110 yards against a Raiders D that played mean. Point being; Ben Tate is a pretty tough runner. The holes he found against Oakland will likely look double-sized against the Jaguars.
– Reggie Bush – It was an off week against the Steelers in sloppy field conditions and Bush struggled mightily, even being relieved for a spell while Joique Bell filled in and proved to be better given the circumstances. Against the Bucs though, Bush should be back to his old ways. With Matt Stafford throwing at least 50 passes a game and the play-action being one of their deadliest weapons, Bush will have the bounce back day you need to continue pushing for the Fantasy Playoffs.
– Trent Richardson – To say the Browns got the better end of this trade with the Colts is turning out to be an understatement. After killing the rushing scene all season in 2012, with broken ribs, 2013 has been a down year for Trent and Donald Brown has been the more effective option for the Colts so far.
– Lamar Miller – The Panthers pride themselves on stopping the run and Lamar isn’t a RB along the lines of AP, Matt Forte or any other leader.. Carolina will have no problem containing him and Daniel Thomas, and running over Ryan Tannehill in the process.
– Ryan Matthews – He’s been a solid start almost all season long but facing the Chiefs is going to be a tough one for him to see success in. The Chiefs are able to stop the run at will and Matthews hardly ever figures in the passing game. If the Chargers are going to win, it’ll be on the receivers and Danny Woodhead will have way more upside than Matthews.
– DeAngelo Williams/ Jonathan Stewart – The Panthers beat the Patriots in shocking fashion on Monday and Cam Newton led the team in rushing attempts and yards. They seem to realize that their best bet is Cam with the ball in his hands making plays happen. His running ability is devastating to the fantasy value of DeAngelo and Jonathan who will only really see worth if the Panthers blow teams out and focus on running and milking the clock.
– Vincent Jackson – It seams to rain touchdowns on this guy, when in doubt – throw it to V-Jax and the yards and touchdowns seem to follow. Since Mike Glennon has taken over, Vincent has seen his targets and catches rise sharply and has become a must start in all formats.
– Andre Johnson – As of this writing, Case Keenum is still starting (Editor’s note: Gary Kubiak announced Monday that Keenum will start). With Case, Andre sees solid targets and solid output. He and Schaub have some issues though, so watch for news on him supplanting Case later in the week.
– Rod Streater/Denarius Moore – The Raiders two speedy options at receiver are up against the Titans, who just second-half collapsed against the Colts and yielded over 100 yards to T.Y. Hilton. Even if Terrelle Pryor is out again with his MCL sprain, Matt “the Future” McGloin looked more than capable filling in last week, which ensures they’ll both continue to see the bulk of the targets.
– Tavon Austin – Before their BYE week, St. Louis seemed to finally figure out that good things happen when you get the ball in your young skill players’ hands. With added attention paid to Zac Stacy, the play-action should be in full effect and they should be looking for Tavon almost every time they run a passing play.
– Hakeem Nicks – Disappointing is not the right word. Tragic. That’s better. Hakeem has had a tragic season when it comes to production, failing to reach the end zone even once. Ruben Randle has been poaching looks from both the Giants stars, but Nicks isn’t helping anything by dropping a steady share of balls that come his way.
– Larry Fitzgerald – While the Colts offense may have its troubles without Reggie Wayne, their defense is still keeping them afloat. Larry has been nursing some soreness all season and Malcom Floyd has been seeing more targets in response. We’re avoiding Larry this week at all costs.
– Harry Douglas – He’s all the Falcons have at this point but the Saints know that just as well as any fan does. The Saints sole gameplan should be to stop the ball from getting to Douglas and letting literally anyone else try to beat them.
– James Jones – The Packers offense has stumbled profusely without Aaron Rodgers but no one has suffered more fantasy wise than Jones. Temporary QB Scott Tolzein has shown chemistry with Jordy Nelson and Jarret Boykin but Jones has been the odd man out. Search the waiver wire for a better suited play (Kris Durham from the Lions, Kenny Stills of the Saints, Santonio Holmes from the Jets, etc…)
– Heath Miller – With Antonio Brown wearing Joe Haden all day, and Emmanuel Sanders injured – Health is almost the only stable option in line for a sizable showing in a week 12 Steelers uniform.
– Charles Clay – Miami has stumbled on some pure talent with Clay and Carolina hasn’t exactly been lights out with TEs thus far, giving up 11 fantasy points to Rob Gronkowski in their win Monday night. If you’re still unsure about who to pull the trigger on consider this; Ryan Tannehill seems to look Clay’s way almost as much, if not more, than Mike Wallace.
– Martellus Bennett – As stated earlier, Luke McCown has been as good a backup QB as the Bears could’ve ever hoped for and with Bennett’s size and speed, he’ll muscle his way into targets from McCown against a Rams D with a tendency to overachieve against WRs.
– Jimmy Graham – We’re breaking our Thursday Night Football stance because let’s face it; nothing stops Jimmy Graham from dominating opposing defenses and the Falcons fans are probably going to start calling for the blood of the coaching staff at some point during this game. Chances are, the boos start after a Brees TD to Graham.
– Jordan Cameron – When Jason Campbell is under center, he gets overlooked or used as a blocker 75% of the time. Only when playing in garbage time from behind does the ball come his way. Until Jason figures out how to use his giant TE/WR, it may be safer to explore a more productive option. Or do VooDoo and hope for Weeden.
– Jordan Reed – He was knocked out of the Week 11 contest with a concussion, and his week 12 status is in question now. Keep an eye on it, but for now look for a replacement just in case.
– Julius Thomas – The Broncos’ freakazoid TE has been nonstop all season long but sustained a leg injury last week against the Chiefs that should be watched closely. They play the Patriots, no strangers to big touchdown monster TEs and even if the match-up doesn’t prove to be too bad, the Broncos may just rest Thomas depending on the severity of his injury, or at least limit his minutes to begin prepping for the Super Bowl or bust post-season run.
– Mercedes Lewis- Jacksonville Jaguars= textbook definition of disarray.
– Browns – Solid output from them all year, and they have a solid secondary that always comes up with the ball on the road or at home, week 12 is at home, even better.
– Jets – They allow the lowest YCP to opposing rushers. That’s the lowest in the league. Rex Ryan is a defensive minded coach and has put together packages that showcase his strengths, and reuniting him with Ed Reed only improves their experience and vision on the defensive side of the ball.
– Texans – Playing against the Jaguars won’t fix all of the problems the Texans are having, but they’ll certainly wish every week was a trip to Jacksonville.
– Vikings – Normally, the Vikings would have no chance traveling to Lambeau to play the Packers but with Rodgers out and the offense in shambles, the timing is ripe for the Vikings to grind out a tough division win. QB Scott Tolzein seems to get his yardage but had three INTs to no touchdowns last week. Minnesota is a great plug and play in place of Seattle or Cincy on their BYEs.
– Patriots – The Broncos are never nice to a defense. No matter how stout, Peyton will score too much and make you look stupid.
– Broncos – Tom Brady throws the ball too. He and Peyton Manning are in for nothing but a shootout as neither are afraid to throw the deep ball, and both have mastered their delivery. This will be the game of the week.
– Cardinals – Andrew Luck and the Colts have made a bad habit out of starting slow only to roar back and leave fantasy defenses with 0 points (looking at you Titans!) The Colts O-Line will look to bully the Cardinals all day so sacks and turnovers will likely be rare to come by.
– Cowboys/Giants – Similar to the Pats/Broncos, this should be a back and forth aerial assault on both sides. The Giants D has had an impressive last month but fresh off a BYE week, the Cowboys will look to continue to contend with the Broncos for “team that scores points in seemingly the shortest amount of time.”
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