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7 Sleeper Starts & Duds: Week 12 (Fantasy Football)

Nov 25, 2020

Happy Turkey Day everyone! Between a plethora of impactful game-time injury decisions, the lack of byes, and the sheer weight of this week for fantasy managers looking to make a playoff push or improve their seed, this is arguably the most difficult week for lineup decisions so far. Do not fret though, because with three games on tap for Thanksgiving, our featured analysts are here a day earlier to help you crush your week! Read on to see who they recommend you could start in a pinch and who you may want to temper your expectations for.

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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?

Jakeem Grant (WR – MIA) 
“If you’re a receiver facing the Jets, you always have a shot at a big day, and that’s the case this week with Grant. The Jets’ secondary was easily beatable even before they lost their top three cornerbacks to injuries/roster moves and now it’s almost comical at this point. Grant has seen 16 targets over the last three games, and although it hasn’t translated to a ton of yardage, there’s a decent chance it will against the Jets. When you’re this deep in the flex rankings, you’re looking for both usage and matchups for someone who could vastly outperform his slot. Grant, who played 85% of the snaps last week against the Broncos, checks the boxes.”
– Dan Harris (FantasyPros)

Jordan Reed (TE – SF) 
“Reed is an easy choice for me. In Weeks 2, 3, and 10 — the three weeks that Reed didn’t get hurt or play injured — Reed combined for 22 targets. Further, Reed had at least five receptions and 50 yards in two of those games. Ross Dwelley is also not a real thorn in Reed’s side, as Reed ran more routes than Dwelley their last game out and the 49ers are coming off of a bye week that allowed the oft-injured Reed to heal up. Kyle Shannahan loves to use his TEs and Reed should provide TE1 value the rest of the season.”
– Jason Petropoulos (BRoto Fantasy)

Latavius Murray (RB – LV) 
“Last week, Murray out-snapped (33 to 32) and out-touched (14 to 13) Alvin Kamara, who is dealing with a foot injury. This could be something that limits Kamara this week. Also, it seems that with Taysom Hill, Murray could see his opportunities increased. The Broncos’ defense has allowed RBs 318 rushing yards and five rushing touchdowns in the last three weeks.”
– Mauricio Gutierrez (Estadio Fantasy)

Allen Lazard (WR – GB) 
“Lazard came back into the lineup this past week and he wasn’t involved much. However, we don’t know exactly what his health status was coming off of several weeks on the sidelines. The Bears are a tough matchup for opposing WRs, but Lazard could easily see more action if the defense focuses on stopping Davante Adams. At WR66 right now, Lazard’s at least worth rolling into your lineup as a flex play with upside.”
– Kyle Yates (FantasyPros)

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

Todd Gurley (RB – ATL) 
“Why are we trusting an RB that has averaged 2.74 yards per carry in the last five weeks? Even with a favorable matchup it seems confounding to trust Gurley at this time. None of this is helped by his almost non-existent participation in the passing game. If we remove the three touchdowns last week from Chiefs RBs, the Raiders had only allowed three rushing scores from Weeks 4-10. If he doesn’t score, he will dissapoint managers all over again.”
– Mauricio Gutierrez (Estadio Fantasy)

“There’s always the chance that he finds the end zone, but I’ve seen nothing from Todd Gurley recently that would make me feel comfortable plugging him into my lineup as a top-20 RB this week. It’s a fantastic matchup for opposing RBs, but Gurley has been woefully inefficient recently and he’ll need to score to reward fantasy managers. That’s a risky game to play, especially with the way this offense looked last week, so I’d be very hesitant to start Gurley in Week 12.”
– Kyle Yates (FantasyPros)

Allen Robinson (WR – CHI) 
“Believe it or not, but Robinson has spent four out of the last five weeks outside of the top-30 WRs (half PPR). Robinson truthers can say all they want about his skill set, but the sad truth remains that ARob still does not have a QB who can get him the ball. This severely limits his upside and also makes his rest-of-season outlook murky. Robinson ranks 32nd in True Target Value among WRs this season (, which means that ARob’s expected to perform as a weekly WR3 given the quantity and quality of targets he is seeing from Nick Foles. Add in that he has a date against Jaire Alexander, and we’re looking at a very low floor for a guy who has a WR3 ceiling.”
– Jason Petropoulos (BRoto Fantasy)

Clyde Edwards-Helaire (RB – KC) 
“You’re starting Edwards-Helaire if you roster him, but I’d prepare for him to be a disappointment this weekend. The Bucs are obviously one of the toughest matchups for running backs (the only running back to reach 59 yards rushing against them was Christian McCaffrey in Week 2) and Sunday against the Raiders was the first time in his last four games that Edwards-Helaire had received double-digit touches. In a game with an over/under of 56, it seems likely that the Chiefs will go to the air early and often, which could leave the rookie running back on the outside looking in. Again, you can’t get away from Edwards-Helaire, but lower your expectations.”
– Dan Harris (FantasyPros)

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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