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10 Sleeper Starts & Duds: Week 12 (2019 Fantasy Football)

Nov 20, 2019

Tim Patrick appears to have the Broncos’ No. 2 WR role

With two weeks left before the beginning of the fantasy playoffs, every team has great incentive to win now. This rings true whether you’re gunning for that first-round bye, trying to sneak into the postseason, or you’re hoping to avoid last place. The season’s final bye week will force many fantasy owners to look to the waivers or their bench for a viable one-week replacement. As always though, tough matchups (among other factors) may have you less than optimistic about starting some of the players who have helped you the most. To help you push through this important week, our featured pundits have shared their insight on who you should consider playing if you’re in a pinch along with which athletes may not perform as well as you might like.

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Q1. Who is a player outside of our top 100 flex rankings that is a deep sleeper start and why do you think he has upside this week?

Nyheim Hines (RB – IND) 
“With Marlon Mack out indefinitely, Jonathan Williams is this week’s hot waiver wire pickup. He was excellent in relief of Mack, rushing for 113 yards on only 13 carries in last week’s win over Jacksonville. The return of Jordan Wilkins does add an ounce of uncertainty as to whether Williams can be trusted to command the bulk of the early-down work. With Hines, on the other hand, you know exactly what you’re going to get — the clear passing-down back in a game that projects to be a shootout. Expect Hines to see half dozen targets and a handful of carries, giving him a decent floor in your PPR flex spot. If he were to get into the end zone, Hines could be a valuable member of a week-winning lineup.”
– Matthew Hill (DataForce Fantasy Football)

Nelson Agholor (WR – PHI) 
“With both DeSean Jackson and Alshon Jeffery out of the lineup, Agholor saw nine targets against the Patriots. It was a brutal matchup, so to see him walk away with 4/40/0 isn’t the worst-case scenario. The rest of the receivers saw eight targets combined. The Seahawks aren’t nearly as stingy as the Patriots’ pass defense. In fact, they allow nearly 15 more PPR points per game to the position. Despite allowing the ninth-fewest touchdowns (seven) to the wide receiver position, they’ve allowed the 12th-most points. Much of it comes from volume, as receivers have averaged 23.5 targets per game against them. With the way the Eagles’ receiver room looks, Agholor could net 10 targets in this game. He played all over the formation with Jeffery out, including running 36.2 percent of his routes from the slot. The Seahawks aren’t going to shadow anyone, but rather stick to their zone scheme that has allowed 16 wide receivers to finish as top-36 options. There’s certainly risk with how little he’s performed this year, but Agholor has the looks of someone who’s startable as a low-end WR3/high-end WR4/flex.”
– Mike Tagliere (FantasyPros)

Tim Patrick (WR – DEN) 
“Patrick returned from injured reserve after being shelved with a broken hand in Week 1 and took over the No. 2 wide receiver role for the Broncos opposite Courtland Sutton. Patrick played 73% of the offensive snaps and reeled in four of eight targets for 77 yards. He also collected 22% of the target share, four red-zone targets, and was 15th overall with 115 air yards this past Sunday. DaeSean Hamilton played 52% of the snaps and didn’t see a target for his second straight game. The Bills will shut down tight end Noah Fant and Courtland Sutton should be blanketed by Tre’Davious White, so those lost targets will be gobbled up by the six-foot-four, 212-pound complement to Sutton.”
– Todd D Clark (The Fantasy Fix)

Allen Hurns (WR – MIA) 
“Hurns is a potential wide receiver flier in deep leagues this week. He has seen his playing time shoot up to 89% and 87% of the snaps since Preston Williams was placed on season-ending IR. The Dolphins signed him to a two-year deal last week with $3.27 guaranteed, which means they apparently want him to be a part of their rebuild. He should see significant playing time moving forward on a team that is likely going to see plenty of garbage time game scripts. He’s a sneaky bet for four to six catches and 40-60 yards this week.”
– Sean Koerner (The Action Network)

Danny Amendola (WR – DET) 
“Amendola is in a good spot to succeed this week. He is facing a less than stellar Redskins secondary, (28th in DVOA per Football Outsiders) and just got ripped by slot guy Jamison Crowder last week. Amendola has seen his target share stay steady enough with Driskell under center that I’m not worried about him in plus matchups.”
– Joe Bond (Fantasy Six Pack)

Q2. On the flip side, what player inside the top 40 flex rankings is likely to disappoint fantasy owners this week?

Cooper Kupp (WR – LAR) 
“It was only a matter of time before Jared Goff’s struggles trickled down to Kupp, though no one could’ve expected three catches for 53 yards over a two-week stretch. Those are worrisome numbers for a guy who’s about to go head-to-head with Marlon Humphrey, a cornerback who’s allowed 17-of-27 passing for 208 yards and one touchdown while covering the slot. He moved to the slot mid-way during the season and stayed there once the team acquired Marcus Peters and got Jimmy Smith back from injury. The bottom line is that it’s not a plus-matchup that’ll allow Kupp to bounce back with ease. He’s in middling WR2 territory right now as someone who needs Goff to play better.”
– Mike Tagliere (FantasyPros)

Mark Ingram (RB – BAL) 
“The Los Angeles Rams have allowed only two running backs to pass the 100-yard mark this season (Christian McCaffrey in Week 1 and Chris Carson in Week 5). They allow an average of 89.1 yards per game on the ground and 3.3 yards per carry. The Ravens have been exceptional distributing the football and dividing the snaps between their backs. Gus Edwards became fantasy relevant in Week 11 last year and did the same on Sunday. Ingram only played four more snaps than Edwards versus Houston. Justice Hill received the same amount of red zone carries (two) against the Texans on only eight snaps. This is basically a timeshare between Ingram, Edwards, Hill, and quarterback Lamar Jackson, who leads them all in rushing yards.”
– Todd D Clark (The Fantasy Fix)

Amari Cooper (WR – DAL) 
“Yes, I understand that you’re playing him in seasonal leagues, but Cooper is a DFS fade this week. Week 12 is set up poorly for the Cowboys’ star receiver. First off, the dramatic home/away splits (39/673/5 vs. 17/213/2) cannot be ignored. Combine his road woes with him coming off a game where he only played 55% of the offensive snaps (struggling with a nagging knee injury), as well as a brutal matchup with the Patriots, and I will be tempering expectations for Cooper this week.”
– Matthew Hill (DataForce Fantasy Football)

Nick Chubb (RB – CLE) 
“There’s no player in the top 40 I would recommend sitting this week. However, Chubb at home against the Dolphins may seem like an eruption spot, but I would expect mid-to-low range RB1 numbers from him this week. He only has five total receiving yards in the two games since Kareem Hunt returned from suspension. The lack of passing game involvement caps his upside. He’s a good bet for 90-100 rushing yards and a touchdown this week, but it wouldn’t surprise me if that’s all we get from him.”
– Sean Koerner (The Action Network)

Courtland Sutton (WR – DEN) 
“I worry about Sutton this week. There is not a lot to like going against a Bills secondary that has allowed the ninth fewest points to receivers and ranks the same according to DVOA. He is seeing a ton of targets after the change to Brandon Allen, but those were against defenses not quite as tough as Buffalo.”
– Joe Bond (Fantasy Six Pack)

Thank you to the experts for giving their sleeper starts and duds for Week 12. Be sure to give them a follow on Twitter if you’re not already doing so and check out our latest podcast below for more great advice.

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