Fantasy Football Update: Winners and Losers of Week 12
by Nick Grott
As the regular season comes to a close for most fantasy football leagues, games are more important than ever for those who are on the bubble of making the playoffs in their league. As every fantasy player knows, making the playoffs puts you in a select group among your friends, who are able to “look down” on the less fortunate, or simply unskilled, fantasy players. In this issue of my fantasy football analysis, we will look at the players who can literally make or break one’s season.
Week 13 is the final regular season week for most leagues, making this one of, if not, the most crucial week so far. One of the biggest pieces of news for Sunday is that Falcon’s running back, Devonta Freeman has cleared the concussion protocol to play against the Vikings in a huge matchup that could also also have real world playoff implications. Although Tevin Coleman did a great job in the absence of Freeman, rushing for 233 yards, Freeman is the main man in Atlanta and will have to be used due to his ability to get the ball into the endzone. For wide receivers, Amari Cooper of the Oakland Raiders did not practice, as he is still recovering from an ankle injury that severely limits a wide receiver’s ability to run strong routes quickly. He is unlikely to play in week 13, and with Michael Crabtree suspended this week as well, Seth Roberts and Cordarrelle Patterson will be left to fill the roles.
Looking back on week 12, the obvious biggest winner is future hall-of-famer Julio Jones, who had an amazing fantasy score of 50.8 points. It was the first time a wide receiver racked up over 50 points since Calvin Johnson back in week eight of 2013. This personal best for Jones could put him on track to be the fantasy player of the year and lead teams to championships. Another wide receiver, Antonio Brown who is quite possibly the best in the league today, scored over 40 points for the second week in a row, which makes him the fourth wide receiver to do so in the last century of pro football. On the ground, the New Orleans Saints’ running back, Alvin Kamara, put up 36.8 points in PPR leagues, giving him his fourth consecutive week over 20 points. It also gave him 217.4 fantasy points on the season, which is the second most among running backs. Only five rookie running backs in history have scored more than Kamara. Along with Kamara, Joe Mixon of the Bengal’s exploded on the ground with 25.5 points, as he rushed for over 100 yards for the first time in his career.
The biggest disappointment of week 12 was came from the Kansas City Chiefs’ main running back, Kareem Hunt, who totaled only 3.6 PPR points in his game against the terrible Buffalo Bills running defense. Although Hunt started the season as the top fantasy player, his numbers from his first game alone have outnumbered his past four weeks combined. There is no surprise that owners of the speedy Hunt are worried that, just before playoff season, the talented running back may not be the star that he appeared to be in the first several games. As far as throwing the ball goes, nobody in week 12 was worse than Dak Prescott, who had his third worst game of his career and only put up three points. He has now averaged a measly 10.6 points in his last five games, as his performance has suffered noticeably since the suspension of Ezekiel Elliott.