As Week 12 of the fantasy football season arrives, fantasy owners will rejoice at the fact there are no byes. Though there are still two teams (Carolina, Tampa) who will be off in Week 13, the entire NFL will be in action in Week 12, so the only thing thinning out fantasy football rankings will be injuries. That said, start ’em, sit ’em decisions will still be difficult because of the newfound depth and abundance of potential sleepers.
Our sleeper picks last week were solid overall. At RB, Kalen Ballage racked up seven catches while La’Mical Perine found the end zone on his first carry of the game. At QB, Kirk Cousins had his best day of the year (three TDs), and Cam Newton threw for 365 yards, his second most in a game this year. Among pass-catchers, Curtis Samuel had a big day while Emmanuel Sanders and Jalen Reagor put up decent numbers, as well.
Of course, the big success was that of Taysom Hill. The Saints quarterback was solid as a QB1 and also turned out to be the top TE in ESPN formats where he had dual-position eligibility. Props to those that were able to pick up Hill and use him, and we’ll try to find a sleeper option as good as Hill for this upcoming week.
Week 12 Fantasy Sleepers: Running backs
J.D. McKissic, Washington @ Cowboys (Jacob Camenker). Over his past three games, McKissic has seen 33 targets from Alex Smith and has been a big-time receiving threat. He should continue to catch passes against a Dallas defense that has struggled to contain offenses all year. If the Cowboys pay too much attention to Terry McLaurin or Antonio Gibson, McKissic could find himself getting touches in open space early and often.
David Montgomery, Bears at Packers (Vinnie Iyer). Green Bay has been so bad against running backs all-around that Montgomery is worth a shot on Sunday night coming off a concussion and a bye. The Bears should want to feed him more with their passing game struggling.
Wayne Gallman, Giants @ Bengals (Matt Lutovsky). It would be easy to forget about Gallman after the Giants bye, but in three starts in Devonta Freeman’s absence, he’s averaged 15.7 touches, 66.3 total yards, and scored four total touchdowns. The Bengals allow the second-most yards per carry (5.0), so Gallman should have more yards to go along with at least a couple goal-line opportunities.
Week 12 Fantasy Football Sleepers: Quarterbacks
Derek Carr, Raiders @ Falcons (Camenker). No team has allowed more total TDs to QBs this year than the Falcons (28). As a result, they are allowing a ridiculous 26.6 FPPG to QBs. Carr has been a steady performer this year and has logged multiple TDs in seven-of-10 games. He should continue to stay hot against a porous Falcons defense, and his high floor will make him an ideal streamer.
Philip Rivers, Colts vs. Titans (Iyer). Rivers has gone back to his old gunslinging self with some huge efforts against bad pass defenses. He’s back in the groove in Frank Reich’s offense and lit up the Titans two weeks ago.
Carson Wentz, Eagles vs. Seahawks (Lutovsky). It feels like Wentz is on the verge of getting benched, but Eagles coach Doug Pederson has continually vouched for his quarterback. Fantasy owners can take advantage of Wentz’s bottomed-out stock, as he’s still been OK for fantasy purposes (at least two TDs in all but two games). Seattle allows the most fantasy points per game (FPPG) to QBs, so Wentz has a much higher floor and ceiling than you might think.
Week 12 Fantasy Football Sleepers: Wide receivers
Cole Beasley, Bills vs. Chargers (Camenker). Coming off a bye, John Brown (ankle) is questionable, and Beasley is on a hot streak anyway. The solid slot man has two games with 11 catches and 100-plus yards in his past four outings, and he’s averaging 7.4 targets from Josh Allen in his past five games. If Brown is out, Beasley should continue to catch passes at a high volume and will do well against the Chargers despite them being solid against WRs.
Nelson Agholor, Raiders at Falcons (Iyer). He’s their best wideout in terms of targets and production, and the Falcons cannot cover the position at all. He should do well after his red-hot game on the Chiefs.
Michael Pittman Jr., Colts vs. Titans (Lutovsky). Pittman is having a classic late-season breakout, posting at least 56 yards in each of the past three games. Two weeks ago against the Titans, he had his first 100-yard outing, and last week he caught his first TD. Tennessee sports the sixth-worst pass defense, so Pittman should get several chances to make more big plays.
Week 12 Fantasy Football Sleepers: Tight ends
Mike Gesicki, Dolphins @ Jets (Camenker). In each of his past three games, Gesicki has logged at least 40 receiving yards, and he’s averaging 4.7 targets per game in that span. Tua Tagovailoa seems to like throwing to him, and Gesicki shouldn’t have too many issues getting open against a Jets team that has allowed seven TDs to TEs this season, tied for the fourth most in the NFL.
Robert Tonyan, Packers vs. Bears (Iyer). The Bears are struggling to cover this position of late, and it’s hard to throw outside on them away from Davante Adams anyway.
Austin Hooper, Browns @ Jaguars (Lutovsky). Hooper has disappointed since returning from an appendectomy, but he did log five targets last week and figures to be involved against a Jaguars defense allowing the second-most FPPG to TEs. Don’t give up on him now.
Week 12 Fantasy Sleepers: Defenses
New York Giants @ Bengals (Camenker). The Bengals lost Joe Burrow and will now rely on Brandon Allen at quarterback. Allen has three career starts under his belt, and in those contests, he has completed 46.4 percent of his passes, averaged 171.7 passing yards, totaled three TDs compared to two turnovers, and has been sacked nine times. The Giants should feast in this matchup.
Seattle Seahawks at Eagles (Iyer). They will give up some points on the road in prime time, but they also showed some pass-rush chops last week and will force Carson Wentz into a few mistakes after shutting down the run.
Green Bay Packers vs. Bears (Lutovsky). Whoever starts at QB for the Bears will have a tough time with Green Bay’s relatively stingy pass defense and underrated pass rush. In its past four games, Chicago has allowed 14 sacks and turned it over seven times while averaging 14.3 offensive points per game, so the Packers are a safe play.