Ah, Week 12, the week that was. There were some seriously crooked fantasy scores on the board this week, and if you thought this whole Case Keenum thing was just a facade, don’t look now, but he scored a casual 27.3 fantasy points this week. In other news, there were some big breakouts that need to be discussed, and of course, some more brilliance from Le’Veon Bell. The Steelers RB made 183 yards look easy against the Packers, and he was in good company, as a handful of other backs had themselves a monster week, as well. Then, of course, there was Julio Jones’ nuclear performance against Tampa Bay. Here’s everything you need to know from Sunday:
- Kinda surprising not to see more owners jump all over Jamaal Williams heading into Week 12. After his combined 135 yards and two TDs against the Steelers, though, that is probably set to change. The Packers rookie running back looked like a stone-cold veteran against the second-best overall defense in the league, breaking tackles and showing some real patience waiting for blocks on check-down passes. Williams finished with 29.5 fantasy points overall and looks like a must-own heading into Week 13 against the Bucs.
- Another silly night for Antonio Brown. He’s now racked up 100+ yards six times this season, and his 169-yard, two-TD performance against Green Bay was nothing short of amazing. Better yet, his circus catch on the knife edge of the sideline in the final moments of the fourth quarter went on to set up the game-winning field goal for Chris Boswell, and more importantly the Steelers’ sixth straight win.
- Hard to top Brown, right? Wrong. Enter Julio Jones had a ridiculous 50.8 fantasy points on 12 catches for 253 yards and two TDs. One of those touchdowns came on a 51-yard pass from fellow wideout Mohamed Sanu. Yep, it was that kinda day against the Bucs. In fact, no wide receiver has scored that many points since Calvin Johnson did it way back in 2013. After some folk began to doubt Jones and his early-season touchdown drought, he’s finally paying big money as the Falcons build momentum toward a potential Wild Card spot.
- Let’s just keep talking receivers – Davante Adams, you are now the torchbearer. He’s well and truly evolved into Green Bay’s true No. 1 wide receiver, and with Jordy Nelson posting another stinker, Adams’ deep downfield ability has really converted into some serious points. Adams was likely popular trade bait earlier in the season, but after posting his seventh TD of the year, we’re now looking at a potential early second-round pick.
- How about four TDs in three weeks for Tevin Coleman? The Bucs have surrendered the fourth most rushing touchdowns all season, so this one isn’t really surprising. But still, with DeVonta Freeman out, this is big-time production from the third-year runner. Better yet, Coleman finished as the fifth best RB this week with 21.7 points, outplaying the likes of Todd Gurley in the process.
- Hands down the favorite for the Offensive Rookie of the Year Award, Alvin Kamara can really do no wrong. A combined 188 yards and two touchdowns in a heartbreaking loss to the Rams makes Kamara the Week 12 fantasy MVP. It might be too early to say, but since Kamara now ranks second only to Le’Veon Bell in terms of overall fantasy points scored by running backs this season (217.4), we can now throw him into the Top 10 draft pick conversation.
- Pretty nice day for Joe Mixon. Just like we expected, he ran all over the Browns, tallying 114 yards and a TD in the process. He finished inside the Top 5 running backs in terms of points scored for the first time this season, and with his first 100+ yard game now notched, it’s time to sit back and enjoy the ride.
- The cover was blown wide open on Ricky Seals-Jones last week, but he backed it up again on Sunday with 72 yards and a TD against the Jaguars. The Cardinals’ rookie tight end put up a handy 17.2 fantasy points, good for fifth among TEs, and if you’re in a 12-team keeper league, he’s probably worth owning right about now.
- Cam Newton had a quiet game, but Devin Funchess was certainly the standout on an otherwise pretty ordinary offensive day for the Panthers. He finished with 17.8 points thanks to 108 receiving yards, while Christian McAffrey also faired well with a combined 97 yards.
- Seems when the chips are down, someone on the Rams roster always steps up. This week it was Cooper Kupp, who finished with a career-best 19.6 points in the place of the injured Robert Woods. Owned in only 60.2% of leagues, only a small portion of owners cashed in on Kupp’s performance, but with a date against the Cardinals up next, picking him up off waivers could be a smart move if you’re in need of a WR.
- The skies are really starting to look pretty grim for Doug Martin owners. He posted just 33 yards against the Falcons before leaving in the first half with a concussion. Tampa Bay ran just 23 rushing plays all game, and since Martin has failed to surpass 80 yards or more even once this season, you might be better off cutting bait and searching the wire.
- The Chiefs’ entire day against the Bills was disappointing, but Kareem Hunt’s 17 measly rushing yards were certainly unexpected. Hunt looked primed for a huge day, but his 3.4 fantasy points are far and wide the most disappointing stat from Week 12. Things don’t get any easier, either. A trip to New York next week to face the Jets could spell further disaster.
- Make that four straight games of at least one interception for Marcus Mariota, and the second straight game he’s thrown two or more. Sunday was fairly ugly against the Colts, and even though the Titans were missing Rishard Matthews, Mariota’s 184 yards and 7.8 fantasy points certainly aren’t what we expected against Indy’s defense. The Colts have allowed the third most passing yards in the NFL this season, and since Mariota was toted as a serious sleeper candidate entering this year, this isn’t what owners signed up for.
- From one extreme to the other, here we are again with Leonard Fournette. You’d be forgiven for thinking he was in for a big week against the Cardinals defense, but after a monster 111-yard performance against the Browns last Sunday, he coughed up only 25 rushing yards against Arizona. The Jaguars converted just one of their 12 third-down opportunities, and Fournette was less effective in the short-yardage situations we’ve grown accustomed to watching him thrive in.
- Tricky week if you own shares in any of the Bears’ RBs. Jordan Howard tallied six total rushing yards against the Eagles, and as for Tarik Cohen, well, all he did was go backwards for -11. You could blame a lot of this on Chicago’s unpredictable game plan from week-to-week, but Howard’s 3.9 fantasy points still tell the full story.
- Equally as bad, the Broncos’ running game basically went the way of Chicago’s. C.J. Anderson and Devontae Booker tallied 23 rushing yards against the Raiders, and since Oakland’s run defense has surrendered 23.7 points per game, it’s surprising that neither back was able to find a little mojo. On the Raiders side, owners also lost out big-time thanks to Michael Crabtree’s ejection. He failed to see a single target before being banished to the locker room, and just like fellow teammate Marshawn Lynch, Crabtree will probably miss another game next week.
On The Shelf
- We feared the worst when Greg Olsen was ruled out for the remainder of Sunday’s game against the Jets with an apparent right foot injury. Fortunately, it doesn’t sound too serious, as Panthers coach Ron Rivera described it as “sore” and X-rays came back negative. That said, his status for Week 13 is unclear.
- Amari Cooper owners, here we go again. Cooper was ruled out after sustaining a concussion from a heavy hit in the second quarter. He was a viable “sit” candidate ahead of the Raiders game against the Broncos on Sunday, but for those owners that did start him, he at least entered the end zone right before his exit, gifting you 7.9 fantasy points.
- We saw some encouraging signs from Aaron Rodgers ahead of the Packers clash with the Steelers. He was seen throwing some warm-up tosses during pre-game, and since he is eligible to return in Week 15, owners have to be holding their breath.
- Other notables: C.J. Beathard (leg), Doug Martin (concussion).
It may not be a surprise anymore, but every week Josh McCown continues to fly under the radar. Here he is again with 307 yards and a trio of TDs against what many consider to be one of the toughest defenses in the league in the Carolina Panthers. The McCown, Robby Anderson, and Jermaine Kearse connection tallied 251 yards and all three of those touchdowns. If you were fortunate enough to start both receivers, you relished in 56.1 points.
Again, a matchup with the Colts should spell money, right? Somehow, DeMarco Murray wound up with not only fewer yards than his fellow counterpart Derrick Henry, but also a very lucky 10.9 fantasy points. A TD late in the fourth quarter saw the Titans over the line 20-16, but since Indianapolis has given up the third most rushing TDs this season, you were right to expect more from the 29-year-old back. It’s been an up-and-down campaign for what many saw as a Top 10 running back entering the season, but with games against the Texans, Cardinals, and 49ers coming up, there’s definitely room to Murray to pad his stats.