Fantasy Football Week 12: Draft Turkeys & Tryptophan Sleepers!

  • David Gonos

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At the FNTSY Sports Network, they let their regular hosts and guests take some time off over the holidays, which is awfully nice of them, considering how crazy the Fantasy Football season gets. So I got to be Black Friday morning pinch-hitter guest on The FantasyBFF’s Show, along with Chris Ventra, and host Frank Stampfl. (Those two guys are very good at what they do. I’m like the office accountant you have to play on your company basketball team – “Just get out of the way, dude!”)
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When Stampfl sent me the rundown for the show earlier this week, I prepared for the show. Much like when I go on a trip – I overpacked! That allows me to write this article, though, and share some good findings and thoughts with you fine people!

Reviewing Thanksgiving Day Games

In the first segment, we talked about what happened in Thursday’s NFL games, and how they affected our Fantasy Football thoughts going forward.

Lions vs. Vikings – My Thoughts

Wasn’t it just a few weeks ago that we were looking at Jerick McKinnon as an RB1 going forward? Instead, it looks like Latavius Murray is their main back with Dalvin Cook out. As long as Murray stays healthy (something he has been unable to do for most of his NFL career), he has to be considered a top-20 running back in Fantasy play.

While Case Keenum has been on fire, the quarterback position just has too many decent players to consider the journeyman a QB1 going forward. It depends on the matchup – as well as the matchups for another 15 other QBs. I do think, though, that he has to be one of the best free-agent pickups for 2QB leagues this season. He has a relatively soft schedule going forward, but I’d still prefer more consistent players over a longer period.

The Minnesota Vikings are an inverted WR-Drafting team. What I mean by that is, the WRs they draft early (Cordarrelle Patterson and Laquon Treadwell) stink, but the late picks or undrafted rookie free agents (Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen) are freaking awesome. Stop spending high picks on WRs!

There’s something to be said for why Matthew Stafford is the highest paid player in the NFL. This team has been brutal on the ground, with zero 100-yard rushers in 63 consecutive games, forcing Stafford to throw the ball constantly. He has more passing yards at this age than any other quarterback, passing Peyton Manning. Crazy.

Cowboys vs. Chargers – My Thoughts

Dak Prescott has five interceptions in his past two games, after throwing four picks all last season. We knew last year was an anomaly, though, and that the turnovers were going to catch up this season. We just didn’t expect those turnovers to happen all at once! Is he replaceable in starting lineups?

Prescott is like the annoying, chirping fire alarm in your house with the low battery. You know you have to replace it, but you’re hoping it will somehow stop on its own.

For me, I’m probably going to continue starting him against a really soft upcoming schedule: Redskins (18th vs. QBs), Giants (29th) and Raiders (27th) in his next three games.

I also think you have to keep starting Dez Bryant. Who else is Dak going to throw to? It’s weird, though, that in four games where Bryant has at least 12 targets, he has averaged about 7 catches and 75 yards, with just one total TD.

On the other side, we seem to forget how awesome Keenan Allen was in his rookie season in 2013. He put together one of the greatest Fantasy Football rookie seasons ever, one year before the amazing 2014 rookie WR class destroyed everyone. Allen could be a top-15 Fantasy pick next year.

Redskins vs. N.Y. Giants – My Thoughts

I just touched on a couple impressive rookies from these teams.

First, Samaje Perine, who looks like a top-20 Fantasy running back going forward, had a solid game against the Giants. It caused me to look up the Fantasy stats on the 2017 rookie running back class.

There are three rookie RBs currently among the top-eight scorers at RB in Fantasy Football. There are SIX in the top 30 – and that’s with Perine still on his way up, and Dalvin Cook injured for the year! This rookie RB class has a chance to be the best Fantasy group in its first year ever, beating the 2012 class, which had Doug Martin, Alfred Morris and Trent Richardson in the top-nine RBs.

Thinking along those same lines, the Giants rookie tight end Evan Engram is putting together a fantastic season! He’s on pace to be the best Fantasy rookie tight end since Rob Gronkowski in 2010!

Fantasy Football Players We Were Turkeys For Drafting

I brought up this idea for the rundown, and Frank liked it, so we went with it. But I looked at it as – players we all knew we shouldn’t have drafted because of all the signs pointing to disaster. Like, if we drafted them, despite the signs, then we were turkeys! Chris and Frank went with players that were essentially busts, like the players were the turkeys. Either way, we had fun with it!

I wrote about this recently, also. But my three choices for Fantasy Turkeys today were:

  • Matt Ryan, QB, Atlanta: Super Bowl hangover, coming off a career season, and he lost his offensive coordinator. Why would we think he could be great again this year?
  • Mike Gillislee, RB, New England: He had 5.71 rushing yards per carry in Buffalo, and everyone thought he’d blow up as the Patriots goal-line back, replacing LeGarrette Blount. He was a backup in Buffalo, joining an offense that is famous for spreading the touches around to two, three and sometimes four players. Why was he routinely drafted among the top-100 players this summer?
  • Terrelle Pryor, WR, Washington: It’s very rare that a non-WR1 on one NFL team can join another NFL team in free agency and become a WR1 in his first season. It doesn’t happen. Add that to the fact Pryor is a former quarterback with just one year of NFL wideout experience, and it’s easy to see how this was a bonehead pick for anyone looking at him in as a Fantasy WR2.

Frank’s choices were Isaiah Crowell and Eddie Lacy – both big turkeys, for sure. But Fantasy owners were really only turkeys for drafting Lacy, since all the signs pointed to another disappointing season – just in a new team jersey. Chris’ great picks were Martavis Bryant, Kevin White and Ameer Abdullah!

Week 12 Fantasy Football Tryptophan Sleepers!

These Week 12 sleepers are players that we think might be getting overlooked, whether it’s in traditional Fantasy play, or in DFS play.

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My four Fantasy sleepers for Week 12:

  • Jacoby Brissett, QB, Indianapolis vs. TEN: His concussion appears to be old news, and he has two touchdown passes in each of his past three games. The Titans defense ranks 28th against Fantasy QBs, and they have allowed eight touchdown passes in his past three games, with just two picks.
  • Corey Clement, RB, Philadelphia vs. CHI: Sure, the Eagles have an RBBC going right now, but Clement has three rushing touchdowns in his past two games, and the Eagles should go up early. That means they’ll churn out the clock in the second half, giving Clement some extra garbage time.
  • Mohamed Sanu, WR, Atlanta vs. TB: He has three touchdown catches in his past four games, and he averaged five catches for 77 receiving yards (with one TD) in two games against the Bucs last year. The Bucs have CB Brent Grimes, but little else in that secondary, allowing Sanu room to run while Julio Jones deals with Grimes.
  • Zay Jones, WR, Buffalo at KC: He’s only owned in 10 percent of Fantasy leagues on CBS, so he’s likely available in your league. The Chiefs are allowing the most Fantasy points to WRs this season, and the Bills’ WR corps is all banged up, allowing Jones plenty of chances this week.

I hope you enjoyed my own little recap of what we talked about on the show this morning. If you haven’t become a regular FNTSY Radio listener, you are missing out on the best free 24/7 Fantasy content in all the land!

David Gonos

David Gonos has been writing about sports online since 2001, including CBSSports.com, FoxSports.com, NFL.com, MLB.com and SportsIllustrated.com.