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Joseph Hutchins | Archive | Email |
Staff Writer

The Shot Caller's Report - WRs
Your Weekly Guide To Fantasy Lineups: Week 12
Positions: QBs | RBs | WRs

Bye Weeks:
Buffalo, Cincinnati, Philadelphia, Seattle

Grab a Helmet

Megatron: The best ever?

Calvin Johnson v. TB: No, this isn’t me insulting your intelligence. This is me breaking my own rule (see preamble) so I can just this once talk about Mr. Johnson, otherwise known as Megatron or, if you prefer, the best wide receiver who ever donned shoulder pads. Outrageous? Consider the following. Johnson is really the only legitimate receiver on the Lions’ squad and is double-teamed or triple-teamed on almost every offensive play. Despite this fact, he’s averaging 19.4 fantasy points per game on the season, by far a career-best pace. If he keeps that up, he’ll score more points this season than any receiver has in the history of professional football. Oh, and he would accomplish that feat having played only 15 of 16 possible games (he missed Week 5). You’re watching a legend, people, so enjoy him while he’s still at his peak. We may not see another like him soon…or ever.

Rueben Randle v. DAL: If you’ve been following the Cowboys of late, you know starting all your Giants this Sunday wouldn’t be totally inadvisable. Dallas’ D is a grease fire and only a bye week reboot would prevent this one from turning into another high-scoring NFC East shootout. Randle is certainly more of a borderline option than guys like Eli Manning, Victor Cruz, and Andre Brown, but maybe not as borderline as you think. He’s scored in five of his last six outings (true story) and has consistently mattered despite very limited targets (just ten total in his last four games). There’s also this little tidbit: Hakeem Nicks spent Wednesday’s practice riding a stationary bike, meaning Randle has a chance, albeit an outside one, to get a lot more attention this weekend as Manning’s second-best target. He’s not a guarantee like ‘Tron (who is?), but I suspect Randle could be in for an explosive day.

Kendall Wright @ OAK: If limited targets and uncertain production aren’t exactly your thing, Tennessee’s Wright might be someone more to your liking. He commands very consistent targets (about 8-12 per game) and reliably hits that seven or eight-point mark. While he’s only topped double digits a single time in 2013 (Week 2 at Houston), he’s also scored fewer than five just once. You know what you’re getting with Kendall Wright, in other words, and don’t have to worry about a spectacular flameout a la A.J. Green last weekend. If you’re in a larger league or just need a plugger to complement your more volatile and talented assets, go get him. He might not put you over the top, but he certainly won’t be the guy that gets you unexpectedly ousted from the playoffs.

Grab Some Wood

Kenbrell Thompkins v. DEN: Hey, remember this guy? Thompkins was the surprise rook du jour back in September when he was receiving all kinds of attention from Tom Brady (almost 10 targets per game in that first month) and averaging double-digit fantasy points. Since the beginning of October, however, the former Bearcat’s targets have greatly diminished (just 18 in his last five) right along with his production and, by extension, his overall fantasy relevance. Don’t expect a sudden reversal of fortunes now that Rob Gronkowski has rounded back into form and Shane Vereen has returned to the rotation. There are plenty of Brady footballs to go around, yes, but Thompkins is probably option #6 at this point (behind those two guys, Danny Amendola, Julian Edelman, and Aaron Dobson). He’s still young and may hold plenty of long-term value, but…it’s playoff time. Forget about the long term.

Mike Wallace v. CAR: If there’s been a bigger FA bust this season than the stupendously overpaid Wallace, I don’t know who it is. Miami’s $60M man has just 44 receptions, 534 yards, and a single touchdown through 11 weeks, meaning he’s being significantly outperformed by the guy he was ostensibly brought in to replace as the Dolphins’ primary target, Brian Hartline. He’s averaging a career-low 6.1 points/game (that’s bad) and hasn’t really connected with second-year signal caller Ryan Tannehill (that’s why). There’s still time for Wallace to matter, of course, as he’s relatively young and isn’t close to losing a step. Nevertheless, you probably drafted him fairly early and that means he could have already torpedoed your playoff hopes. If not, don’t let him. The Fish are a mess up front and that means Tannehill never has enough time to find Wallace deep.

Cecil Shorts @ HOU: Shorts called his five targets and two catches v. Arizona last Sunday “dumb.” We couldn’t agree more. The pride of D-III powerhouse, Mt. Union, may be the only Jaguar opposing defenders actually fear and getting him the ball twice in a game that was fairly competitive most of the day is basically unconscionable. Then again, this IS Jacksonville we’re talking about. Despite the Week 10 upset of Tennessee, they’re probably the worst NFL squad in the last decade (or more) and I’d bet a fairly sizeable sum they don’t win another game this year…especially if they eschew their only legit offensive weapon. Shorts should receive more attention in Week 12, but I’d still wager (a significantly smaller sum) that he disappoints again. The Texans have allowed the fewest passing yards in the league this year and are desperate for a season-saving W. Stay away from Shorts.
Good luck, folks!