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Joseph Hutchins | Archive | Email |
Staff Writer

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

Nobody needs to be told starting Patrick Mahomes, Christian McCaffrey, or DeAndre Hopkins is a good idea. Duh, right? You canít have studs at every position, though, unless youíre in the shallowest of leagues. This is where the Shot Caller comes in. Need help deciding which bargain basement QB to use and which to ignore on Mahomesí bye week? Letís talk. Looking for solutions at running back because McAffrey is a game-time decision? Look no further. Need to know which of your unproven targets to start and which to sit since you ignored Hopkins and went RB-RB-Kelce in your first three rounds? You get the idea. Past results may not guarantee future success, but ignoring them entirely can ruin your Sundays in a hurry (maybe even your Mondays and Thursdays). Read on for a little history and, hopefully, a little sage advice.

Note: Fantasy points based on FF Today’s standard scoring system.

Bye Weeks: Kansas City, Minnesota, Arizona, Los Angeles Chargers

Baker Mayfield

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Baker Mayfield v. MIA

Nobodyís talking about it, for obvious reasons, but the Browns are on a two-game winning streak and may be positioned for a super sneaky late-season run. They get Miami, Arizona, and Cincinnati twice, sandwiched around Baltimore (at home) and a rematch with the Steelers (at Heinz Field). The playoffs still look like a pipe dream, sure, but five of those six look pretty winnable and a sweep of Pittsburgh would tilt tiebreakers in their favor. Mayfieldís been a big part of this recent resurgence as he hasnít thrown a pick since Week 8 and is averaging 21.2 FPts/G over his last three. It hasnít hurt that Kareem Huntís proving to be a nice little relief valve. If youíre somehow still in contention with Baker on your bench, he gets three of the leagueís worst defenses a total of four times from here on out.

Jameis Winston @ ATL

I pegged Mayfield as a Top 10 Newcomer back in August, but barring a points explosion the last six weeks, thatís not gonna happen. Winston, though, could redeem me provided Bruce Arians doesnít give him the hook he so richly deserves. The former Heisman winner has now thrown 76 career interceptions through 64 career NFL starts, or just six fewer than Aaron Rodgers has tossed in 168 career starts. Yikes! One of those two men is a Top 10 QB, however, and it ainít the one slinging footballs around at Lambeau Field. Winstonís now averaging a stellar 24.6 FPts/G, which is actually a point per game better than his career-best pace last season. Thereís always the risk he steps on Coach Ariansí last nerve and gets yanked, but thatís a risk worth taking against an Atlanta defense yielding 24.4 FPts/G to opposing QBs.

Jimmy Garoppolo v. GB

What an odd season itís been for Handsome Jimmy G. His Niners were the last team to lose a game and clearly look like a squad built for championship contention, but team success hasnít necessarily translated into personal success. At least, not until just recently. Through Week 8, Garoppolo averaged just 17.1 FPts/G and was a fantasy bye week fill-in at best. In the three games since, heís averaging almost two touchdowns more per game (real ones, not discounted fantasy four-pointers) and has only been outscored by two other signal callers, Lamar Jackson and Dak Prescott. The showdown with A-Rodge and the Pack Sunday night looks like an instant classic and Iím expecting plenty of points. The future HOFíer should be keyed up to exploit a suddenly leaky SF secondary and Garoppolo will be called upon to keep up. Expect him to do that.

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Daniel Jones @ CHI

Itís been a predictably up-and-down campaign for the Giantsí rookie. Heís QB14 on a FPts/G basis but has been wildly inconsistent from week to week, ranking as QB21 on FFTodayís Consistency Calculator. Heís notched 30+ points on three separate occasions but fewer than 20 in every other game, feasting on shakier opponents and struggling v. better ones. Chicago probably qualifies as shaky thanks to even more erratic quarterback play, but Khalil Mack and that Bears defense is still capable of making opponents look bad. They havenít once yielded more than 25 points to an opposing QB and the best ones theyíve facedóRodgers, Cousins, Rivers, Wentz, and Goffóhave combined to average a paltry 13.5 FPts/G. That doesnít bode well for a green triggerman making just his ninth career NFL start. Jones is growing on me and I like his weapons, but this isnít a good spot.

Josh Allen v. DEN

You know who else tends to make opposing QBs look bad? Kirk Cousins was the very first quarterback to notch more than 20 fantasy points against the Broncosí better-than-you-think secondary this season, and most of those were accumulated in the Vikingsí furious second-half rally after they more or less abandoned the running game. Vic Fangio hasnít been very successful in his first year as head man, but heís definitely fielding a playoff-caliber stopper unit in the Mile High City. Denverís allowing only 310.8 YPG (fourth best overall) and 19.7 PPG (tied for seventh overall with Dallas). Meanwhile, Allen is coming off his two best performances of the season (at Cleveland and at Miami). Somethingís gotta give this Sunday and I suspect it might be the Billsí young field general. He loses the battle (subpar fantasy digits) but wins the war (Buffalo moves to 8-3).

Jared Goff v. BAL (Mon)

I’ve been bearish on Goff since the Rams selected him with the first pick of the 2016 draft and, naturally, he’s spent the past two seasons pretty much making a liar out of me. I was willing to admit I’d been wrong about him after last year’s Super Bowl appearance, but then this season happened. Minus key pieces on the offensive line (defections and injuries) and unable to lean heavily on Todd Gurley (managed workload), Goff hasn’t looked sharp at all. He’s on track to throw almost 600 passes, easily a career high, but is averaging only 19.7 FPts/G, well off his 2018 pace (24.1). He’s also sporting a Jameis Winston-esque TD-INT ratio (11:10). There’s a good chance he gets Brandin Cooks back for the Monday nighter, but he’ll also be stepping in front of that Ravens freight train. Steer clear.

Quarterbacks | Running Backs | Wide Receivers