Stars of Week 12
QB: Lamar Jackson, BAL: 15-20, 169 yards, 5 TDs, 0 INTs (8 carries, 95 yards, 0 TDs)
RB: Derrick Henry, TEN: 19 carries, 159 yards, 2 TDsnbsp;
WR: Chris Godwin, TB: 7 catches, 184 yards, 2 TDs
TE: George Kittle, SF: 6 catches, 129 yards, 1 TD
It’s Lamar Jackson’s world and we’re just living in it. In what was a severe and decisive beat down of the Rams, the Baltimore Ravens’ QB threw five TDs in only 20 attempts, while also carving up the Rams on the ground with 95 rushing yards over only eight carries. Jackson has reached weekly starter status, in most weeks as a top-3 option. If you’ve got Jackson on your roster and are able to get into your league’s playoffs, you’re the likely favorite to win your league.
Transitioning now to our top performer at RB, we welcome back Tennessee Titans’ RB Derrick Henry to the honor roll. A high end RB2, Henry has been one of the most consistent performers in 2019. How consistent? He’s scored at least one TD in 8 of 11 games. Furthermore, Henry has either scored at least one TD or rushed for 75 yards in 10 of 11 games. Outside of Christian McCaffrey, Henry has been as consistent as any top player in the league. For those of you who have Henry, continue to enjoy the ride.
Next, we welcome back another top performer– Tampa Bay Bucs’ standout WR Chris Godwin. The Bucs are the most often represented team at WR in our weekly honor roll, with teammate Mike Evans also a multiple time honoree. Godwin has ascended to WR1 status- he’s legit and a must start every week, regardless of size.
We end with yet another frequent honor roll visitor, San Francisco 49ers’ tight end George Kittle. Playing with a broken bone in his ankle – think about that for a minute – Kittle dominated the Packers defense on Sunday night football, clearing triple digits in yardage and finding the end zone. Kittle has become the top tight end in football.
Week 12 Takeaways – A Closer Look
Each week we take a closer look at a handful of performances and sort out what such performances mean going forward.
- Carson Wentz, QB – PHI: 33-45, 256 yards, 1 TD, 2 INTs
Analysis: Carson Wentz entered the 2019 season as one of the hot fantasy QB names, with the Eagles loaded for another Super Bowl run. Such we thought, at least. Wentz got off to a strong start, with nine TDs and two INTs over his first four games. Since the quarter season mark, Wentz has retreated significantly. Over his past seven contests, Wentz has only had one game with multiple TD tosses. Much of his struggles coincide with massive injuries undertaken by the Eagles, especially at the WR spot. Deep threat DeSean Jackson has only played in one game this year, with top WR threat Alshon Jeffery missing four games as well, among other injuries. So what does this all mean for Wentz? At the moment the Eagles don’t have anyone to take the top off of defenses, meaning that teams can crowd the line of scrimmage and play tighter D. Similar to what we’ve seen with draft mate Jared Goff – and MOST quarterbacks - Wentz can’t put the team on his back without strong pieces around him. Luckily for Wentz and the Eagles, both Alshon Jeffery and RB Jordan Howard appear to be on their way back, perhaps as early as next week. Also importantly, the Eagles now enter the paperweight part of the schedule, with games against the Dolphins, Giants and Redskins next on the docket. The takeaway here is to stay patient with Wentz, as he’ll be fine. Wentz will be a mid-level QB1 over the next three games, provided that Alshon Jeffery and Jordan Howard return. Don’t drop Wentz if you have him on your roster, and pick him up in case someone drops him in your league. Fantasy football is about matchups, and the tide’s about to turn for Wentz.
- Rashaad Penny, RB – SEA: 14 carries, 129 yards, 1 TD
Analysis: Seahawks fans largely feel fortunate to have general manager John Schneider at the helm. If fans have one bone to pick with him, it’s certainly with respect to his first round selections. Case in point…we’ve got Rashaad Penny, a 2018 first round draft pick who’s been largely mediocre over his first two seasons. In fact, not only has 2017 7th round pick Chris Carson maintained the starting role, but Carson has been the better RB by leaps and bounds. So why has Penny become relevant again? Well, Carson has developed a case of fumblitis, putting the ball on the ground a whopping seven times in eleven games. That’s become a major issue for the Hawks, and with Carson’s latest fumble against the Eagles, Penny got his shot to run the ball…and he delivered big time. Penny looked like he was shot out of a cannon, bouncing around and blowing by defenders. Penny’s 58 yard TD run in the 4th quarter essentially iced the game for the Hawks, and he has forged a role for himself in the running game going forward. Penny has since admitted to coming into camp out of shape, and it’s safe to say that he’s now back in shape. With the fumbles and Carson’s current pace to carry the ball over 300 times this season, the Seahawks will make every attempt to give Penny carries going forward. Expect a loose 2-to-1 split in favor of Carson, with Penny getting 8-10 carries per game as we move into a key stretch of the schedule. That makes Penny a matchup dependent flex option in 10-12 team leagues, and a weekly flex play in larger leagues (14 plus teams). If you need an RB, make a play for Penny.
- DJ Moore, WR – CAR: 6 catches, 126 yards, 2 TDs
Analysis: The Carolina Panthers were forced to transition QBs early this season, with little known Kyle Allen stepping in for face-of-the-franchise Cam Newton starting in Week 3. Early returns did not bode well for second year WR DJ Moore, as Allen only targeted Moore a combined seven times in their first two games together. Since then, however, the Panthers’ 2018 first round pick has taken his game to a new level. While the end zone largely eluded Moore until this past Sunday’s game against the Saints, he has put up a minimum of 95 yards receiving in each of the last four games. Furthermore, Allen has targeted Moore a whopping 45 times over these four games. Moore has transitioned from a WR3/flex option to a high end WR2. Moore has developed special chemistry with his new QB, and look for Moore to continue to be the focal point in the passing game. As for the TDs, they will continue to normalize over the coming games. Moore is a must start in all formats going forward.
- James Washington, WR - PIT: 3 catches, 98 yards, 1 TD
Analysis: Things haven’t gone to plan for the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2019, with Big Ben’s injury in Week 2 throwing the team for a loop. As expected, the team’s defense has been strong, while the offense has largely struggled with backup QB Mason Rudolph at the helm. It’s been a year to forget for the team’s top skill players as well, with RB James Connor and WR Juju Smith-Schuster both fighting injuries and suffering a significant drop in their statistics. Now that we’ve gotten the negative stuff out of the way, let’s take a look at a positive development – second-year WR James Washington. The Steelers’ second round pick out of Oklahoma State has quietly come on over the last four weeks, with 306 yards and 2 TDs over that span. Washington did his damage over 16 receptions, so he’s a bit more boom or bust than ideal for fantasy purposes. Washington had a 79 yard TD against the Bengals, which illustrates the issue – take that TD away and you’re looking at a two reception, 19 yard performance. So for those of you in deeper leagues (at least 12 plus teams), Washington is worth a flyer if you need WR help. He’s a flex option when facing lighter pass defenses. But just be aware that his type of game (lower targets, higher yards-per-average) provides a higher level of weekly risk.
Rapid Fire Pickups
Each week we throw out potential free agent pickups from each position for deeper leagues, in each case 1) someone who has NOT been referenced above, and 2) a player available in more than 50% of leagues.
QB: Sam Darnold, NYJ
RB: Bo Scarbrough, DET
RB: Benny Snell, PIT
WR: Darius Slayton, NYG
WR: Randall Cobb, DAL
TE: Noah Fant, DEN