Three quarterbacks who only show up as faint dots on the fantasy radar came through with big games in Week 12. Two of those also had great real-life games, while the third did almost all of his damage in garbage time. That, of course, means nothing in this realm. The fantasy community doesn’t discriminate against points by timing or game situation. Thanks to favorable schedules, there’s a very good chance we haven’t heard the last from these quarterbacks in the fantasy world.
Owners in two-quarterback leagues should not dismiss what Alex Smith, Matt Hasselbeck and Ryan Tannehill did in Week 12. All of them could turn in monster three-game runs in the playoffs that help make the difference in two-QB or superflex formats.
Now that we are completely done with byes for the 2015 season, Risers and Sliders will look a little different, particularly when it comes to the Sliders. Excluding players lost to injury, every fantasy owner will have his or her full complement of players available every week for the rest of the year. That means start/sit decisions, which are in part what Risers and Sliders is designed to assist with every week, will be more challenging.
The Sliders you see this week, and every week from now on, will be much bigger names than we’ve included thus far. Avoiding a sliding RB4 doesn’t matter now that there are no more bye weeks. Seeing a RB2’s production slide as it’s happening, however, could be the difference between making the playoffs and planning for 2016 earlier than expected.
It doesn’t matter what time of year it is. Injuries always drive the action on the waiver wire. After a relatively light period for acquisitions one week ago, movements on the waiver wire should come at a frenetic pace this week. Running back injuries in Seattle, Baltimore, Atlanta and Kansas City have new players in the spotlight, all of whom should be universally owned after this week. What priority should you place on each individual member of the quartet? Find out below in our waiver wire recommendations for Week 12.
There are just two weeks remaining in the typical fantasy regular season. We’ll be following our usual publishing schedule during the week, but our Sunday postgame columns over the next few weeks will cater to the playoff-bound owners. Those of you who have clinched berths in the postseason should already be thinking about how to have your team at its best from Week 14 through Week 16. We’ll help you get there by looking at the schedule during the fantasy playoffs and highlighting the players who have the best matchups at their respective positions.
Perhaps the easiest way to get a leg up for the playoffs is by focusing on defense. The only people who can really afford to stash defenses for weeks in the future are owners who are safely in the playoffs. Owners who are still in need of a win or two to get in can’t really burn a roster spot for a defense on their bench. If you can afford to take this strategy, you’ll likely have no competition for an extra defense or two on the wire. It could also prove to be the difference between winning and losing in the playoffs.
You may not be able to pick up all of the defenses below, but pounce on any if you can. Their matchups could turn them into playoff heroes.
When New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady faced a four-game suspension for his alleged role in deflating footballs, support came from an unlikely source: Richard Sherman, the Seattle Seahawks' star cornerback and Brady's nemesis in Super Bowl XLIX.
"Everybody does their things a little differently, but at the end of the day, it's handled between the lines," Sherman said to ESPN.
Sherman's stance was surprising not just because the Patriots had recently denied the Seahawks back-to-back championships. It was the latest in a long list of cheating allegations and rumors that have followed the Patriots, even predating Spygate, the 2007 incident in which New England was caught illegally videotaping the New York Jets' coaching signals.
High-profile quarterback injuries have struck more teams this year than any in recent memory. From Ben Roethlisberger in Pittsburgh to Peyton Manning in Denver and Andrew Luck in Indianapolis, a number of AFC contenders have had to make due without their most important player for significant portions of the season. One NFC team has been part of that unfortunate club as well, but that player will finally make his return in Week 11. Somehow, his team is still realistically in the playoff hunt, despite a brutal seven-game losing streak in the time he's been out. That quarterback helps kick off our Risers heading into Week 11. On the other side of the coin, Manning’s injury, and the uncertainty surrounding his replacement, pushes down his top two receivers.
For seemingly the 10th straight week, injuries have created the greatest buying opportunities on the waiver wire. This time the affected team is the Patriots, who lost one of the most important players in their offense for the second straight week. So long as Tom Brady is under center, however, the offense isn’t likely to slow down. The pieces around him may change, but Brady is the engine that makes everyone else go. That’s why the first player below, a receiver with a new, more important role, is the most attractive player on the wire heading into Week 11.