Once Turkey Day is in the books, the Fantasy Football season gets really real. The playoffs are just weeks away, and there is little time remaining to improve your squad. Week 11 did not do us any favors with all of the injuries. As we look toward the Week 12 slate, let’s discuss some rising and falling player values. While we are at it, let’s add some songs and lyrics that go along with them.
Still Feeling It by Mistah F.A.B.
Colin Kaepernick (QB, 49ers) – “The game so sharp, I might cut myself. You hatin’ on a boy? Hush thyself! I’m on my own jock ’cause I love thyself.” Since taking over for Blaine Gabbert, Kaepernick has been rock solid. He has no fewer than 16 Fantasy points in any game. His rushing ability gives him a solid Fantasy floor, and the Niners lack of talent means he’ll be throwing a lot, as well. The Dolphins’ defense has been playing well of late and getting pressure on opposing quarterbacks, but Kaepernick is still a Top 12 play. He is only $5,700 on DraftKings and that is tremendous value considering his ceiling. I would be happy to use him as my starting quarterback for the rest of the year in seasonal formats. Due to his salary of $16.5 million next year, he is a cut candidate in the offseason. He may be able to get back to QB1 value in the right system. Either way, his value is way up from where it has been over the last calendar year.
At All by Zero featuring Lox Chatterbox
Jameis Winston (QB, Bucs) – “Hate to be the one talking down, but I learned to work with y’all frauds. On and on and on, on and on and on, swear that all of y’all talk, way too much about what I do and I ain’t never taking no loss. They don’t know me yet. They don’t know me yet. They don’t know me yet.” This is not the week to start Winston as he takes on the Seahawks defense. After that, though, he gets the Chargers, Cowboys and Saints twice, including in the dome on Christmas Eve. While bye weeks are over after next week, you should not be opposed to using Winston for any of those matchups if you need to, especially the Saints. While the true breakout did not quite happen yet, it is coming. All of the physical skills are there for Winston to be a perennial Top 10 QB for Fantasy purposes. It also doesn’t hurt that he has Mike Evans to throw the ball to. He’s a strong buy in long-term formats and a player I’d overpay for in a two-QB dynasty league. Sidebar: I’ve never heard of this rapper Zero, but he sounds like Eminem.
Back On Top by Van Morrison
Thomas Rawls (RB, Seahawks) – “Saw me climbing to the top of the hill. You saw me meeting with the fools on the hill. Learned my lesson and I had my fill. Learnt it all in vain. Went through it all again. Now I’m back on the top again.” Rawls is looking like a potential league-winning roster stash at this point. Just a week ago, I thought that stash was C.J. Prosise, but a shoulder injury has knocked him out for the rest of the Fantasy season. In steps Rawls, who looked like a baby Beast Mode as a rookie but then battled injuries in his follow-up act. He figures to be the Seahawks’ workhorse moving forward and that will have him flirting with RB1 value. He’s a must-start in seasonal formats and a decent daily play as well because of expected volume. His dynasty value is in flux, however, thanks to Prosise’s upside. While he is not necessarily someone to sell, unless you get a great return, he’s not a long-term buy either. Prosise is the long-term RB to own in Seattle.
Good Enough by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
Rashad Jennings (RB, Giants) – “Good enough for me. Good enough for right now, yeah. Good enough for me. Good enough for right now, yeah.” Jennings is one of the best RB plays of Week 12, taking on the lowly Browns. He has gone over 100 total yards in each of the past two weeks and is seeing a significant workload. Jennings has been involved in the passing game as well, which bumps up his appeal even more. After a rough early season stretch, Jennings is hitting his stride at the right time for Fantasy owners. He’s an excellent, if chalky, DFS play as well for Week 12. His salary did receive the Cleveland bump all the way to $5,600, as he was just $3,600 for the past two weeks. Paul Perkins could be the future of this backfield, but the rest of 2016 looks like it belongs to Jennings. By the way, buy Perkins in dynasty if you can. At 31 years old, Jennings’ dynasty value is severely limited and you would be lucky to grind out another year of relevance. Non-contenders should move him for whatever they can at this point in the season.
Drifting by 4 Non Blondes
Brandon Marshall (WR, Jets) – “There I was drifting. Way out into the sunshine. Expecting to crash but I’m tied to a string.” Despite 91 targets, including 18 in the red zone, Brandon Marshall has struggled all season. He has not had more than 10 PPR points since Week 5, which was also the last time he scored. Coming off of one of his best seasons ever, not many people were even thinking about a sharp production drop for the 32-year-old. It is not just Marshall, as the entire Jets offense has struggled all season. The QB carousel and the early-season loss of Eric Decker are huge factors. Ryan Fitzpatrick is back under center this week (for some reason) and that gives Marshall owners a glimmer of hope. Consider him a WR3 option against the Patriots, but nothing more until we see a game or two of 2015 Marshall-like production. For dynasty owners, there is still reason to believe he can bounce back, but because of his age, he’s a WR2 at best.
I’m A Boss by Meek Mill featuring Rick Ross
Amari Cooper (WR, Raiders) – “I play the shots. I call the costs. We in this b. It’s goin’ down. Yeah I’m the king. Now where my mu’f*****’ crown?
B, I’m a boss! I’m a boss!” Cooper is in the midst of a sophomore breakout after an underrated rookie performance. He has almost bested his stats from last year, with a 62-900-3 line through 10 games. The only non-elite part of his game right now is the TD production. Michael Crabtree is still a preferred option in the red zone, but Cooper does have five targets from inside the five this year (no receptions). Still, the TDs will come, and Cooper is already a Top 5 dynasty wideout given his ceiling. He is obviously a must-start in seasonal leagues and a solid play in daily as well with a $7,700 price tag on DraftKings. Cooper is just 22 years old, and he’s the type of talent you overpay for in keeper formats.
Everybody Knows by John Legend
Gary Barnidge (TE, Browns) – “We’ve heard it all before, and everybody knows just how to make it right. I wish we gave it one more try. One more try. One more try. One more try, ‘Cause everybody knows but nobody really knows.” The narrative of the Barnidge-McCown connection is well documented in the history books. Even though much of that glory was from yesteryear (last year), Barnidge is a Top 10 TE play this week against the Giants. New York has given up big games to Zach Miller, Tyler Eifert, Zach Ertz and Lance Kendricks over the past month. Barnidge hasn’t caught more than three passes in a game since Week 7, but he did just find the end zone last week for the first time all year. While he is not going to come close to matching the numbers from his breakout season, he’s still on the TE1 map. Dynasty leaguers will need to consider that he is already 31 years old and that does not factor well into his value. He’s more Top 20 material than potentially elite for 2017 and beyond.
No Role Modelz by J. Cole
Coby Fleener (TE, Saints) – “Fool me one time, shame on you. Fool me twice, can’t put the blame on you. Fool me three times, f the peace signs.” Fleener has a solid eight catches for 85 yards and a score … during the month of November. Despite the switch to New Orleans and all of the hype, we are getting more of the same from Fleener. Considering his physical gifts, he has been nothing short of underwhelming during his NFL career. Fleener will definitely have his moments, but he is unreliable as a starting TE. The Rams have been solid against the TE all season long and that means Fleener is outside the Top 10 plays at the position this week. At best, he’s a contrarian play on DraftKings at $3,100. In dynasty formats, he’s a sell if you can get anywhere close to the value he was trading at this past summer.