After a feastful Thanksgiving for some fantasy owners, many were left disappointed with their Thursday performers like Adrian Peterson, Allen Robinson, or any relevant Saints receiver or running back. Week 12, for leagues who believe the last week of the season is pointless, is the last week of the fantasy regular season. For many, this week comes down to win and you’re in or lose and you’re out.
Here at The Sideline Observer, we want our readers to consider our advice and in doing so, excel in their fantasy leagues. In our preseason fantasy sleepers article, we said Tarik Cohen was going to be an underrated workhorse this year, and he’s averaging 14 points per game. When we said Jameis Winston is a must-start in week six, he was the top quarterback with 30.7 points. That being said, here is who you need to pick up in this potentially decisive week 12.
QB Pickup of the Week: QB Baker Mayfield, @ CIN
The rookie has been impressing as of late with a 22 point performance in his last game against a struggling Atlanta defense. Before that, he went three straight games with two passing touchdowns in each and then against Atlanta, he went off for three touchdowns. Additionally, he’s only turned the ball over twice in his past four games.
Coming off a bye week, Baker looks to continue his hot streak against division rival Cincinnati. The Bengals have been allowing a league-worst 23.4 points to opposing quarterbacks opposed to the league average of 18 points. What makes it worse is CB Dre Kirkpatrick’s status for Sunday’s game is listed as doubtful as he’s been absent from practice all week. I haven’t been the biggest fan of rookie quarterbacks since RG3, but Baker’s going to have a field day against Cincy.
FLEX Pickup of the Week: WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling, @ MIN
A disappointing performance against Seattle shouldn’t dissuade you from picking up Marquez Valdes-Scantling. Since a 19.8 point game in week five, Scantling has been putting up at least 10 points each game. His production and value have only increased throughout the season due to injuries in the Green Bay receiver corp (Cobb, Allison).
In their week two matchup against Minnesota, Packers receivers combined for 41.1 points alone. With Xavier Rhodes likely to line up against Davante Adams for most of the game, Scantling will be seeing a lot more opportunities and potentially have a strong bounce-back game. And don’t forget who’ll be throwing the ball to him on Sunday night.
D/ST Pickup of the week: Indianapolis Colts, vs. MIA
Although 14th in the league in fantasy points scored, the Colts defense can easily come out as the top defense in week 12. Indy hasn’t been able to score a defensive touchdown yet this season but is tied for 4th in interceptions with 11 and tied for 5th in fumbles recovered with 8. Last week, they impressively held the Titans to only 10 points and in doing so, scored 14 fantasy points. The Colts have a favorable matchup this week as they host a struggling Dolphins offense on Sunday.
Defenses against Miami have been averaging 8.7 fantasy points, the 4th worst average in the league. To make things worse for Miami, the Dolphins have let opposing defenses score a combined 25 fantasy points in their last two games. Ryan Tannehill is expected to return after missing the team’s past five games, but don’t expect an offensive burst from his return. The Colts defense is going to have fun against Miami, so make yourself have fun too and start them.