Difference Making Starts for Week 12

Matt Koegler
@koeglermatt
Quarterback

Andy Dalton (Cincinnati Bengals) vs Cleveland Browns:

When Andy Dalton played the Cleveland Browns earlier this season he easily had his best game of the season. Andy threw for 286 yards and four touchdowns on 25 completions out his 30 attempts. The Cleveland Browns rank 22nd against the quarterback this season which would be reason enough to start any quarterback against them. But Andy Dalton’s career numbers against the Browns can reassure when he averages 214 yards and nearly two touchdowns per matchup.

Tyrod Taylor (Buffalo Bills) at Kansas City Chiefs:

Well, that did not take long. Taylor got his revenge last week by taking over in the second half of last week’s game and putting up 18 fantasy points and finishing as the QB 11 in the latter part of last week’s game against the Los Angeles Chargers. He’s been announced as the starter this weekend against the backpedaling Kansas City Chiefs. Eli Manning last week completed over 50 percent of his passes last week for over 200 yards with his practice squad receivers. Put Tyrod in the same position? Sign me up.

Running Back

Dion Lewis vs Miami Dolphins:

Dion Lewis is the man in the New England Patriots backfield. He finally looks right and back to 2015 form.  Two of the next three games are against the Dolphins who are being run over by anyone and everyone as of late (4.2 yards per carry and 110 yards per game). Since week six and that includes the Patriot bye week, Dion Lewis averages 14 touches a game (13 carries, and a catch per game). Also since week five has gone over 50 yards from scrimmage. Last week he finished the running back eight last week and nearly scored by himself what Miami on average gives up to the running back position as a whole (18 compared to 23).  Match that up with Miami who was able to stop the struggling Doug Martin last week but did not have to lighten up the box against Ryan Fitzpatrick and the fact Mike Gillislee has been a healthy scratch the last two weeks Dion Lewis’ workload is not getting any lighter.

CJ Anderson vs Oakland Raiders:

Everything that has happened to the Denver Broncos franchise over the past couple of days points to a very CJ Anderson friendly game plan. The Raiders are the fourth worst team in fantasy against the running back position giving up 26.3 points per game. Another good piece of information is that the Raiders rank dead last in points per drive at 2.32 meaning the ceiling for CJ Anderson’s touchdown is much higher than against any other team he will face this season. New offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave who helped the Oakland Raiders offense out last season will have Paxton Lynch under center and to help keep the pass rush at bay they will look to run to settle down the pass rush of the Oakland Raiders. Look for CJ Anderson who averages a career 5.2 yards per rush and a touchdown per game against the Raiders to get a hefty share of the carries this weekend.

Tight End

Jared Cook vs Oakland Raiders:

Last week Tyler Kroft extended the streak of touchdowns given up to the tight end position by the Denver Broncos to four games. I am confident this will continue this week as Jared Cook has not seen less than five targets over the last 4 games and has gone over 100 yards receiving in two of those games. Denver over that same time period has given up 81 fantasy points and allowed over 100 yards in two of those as well. This feels like the stars are aligning for Jared Cook this week, so throw him in your lineup with confidence.

Greg Olsen vs New York Jets:

With Greg Olsen expected to be activated this week, and Kelvin Benjamin jettisoned from the team he should step as the primary target for the Panthers offense. He is available still in 27% in ESPN leagues which seems high for such a top talent this close to his return. So if he is on your waiver wire, go and get him, before your league mates notice.  The New York Jets are the 25th ranked defense against tight ends allowing an average of 13 points per game. Since he was injured so early in the season I dug up last year’s numbers but Greg Olsen averaged eight targets a game while playing 93% of snaps. Expect more of this in a great matchup from one of the top players at the position.

Wide Receiver

Jeremy Maclin/ Mike Wallace vs Houston Texans:

The Houston Texans secondary can make anyone look great this season. They helped Blaine Gabbert finish as the 8th best quarterback last week. With Larry Fitzgerald averaging 10 yards per catch and a touchdown finishing last week as the 6th best receiver last week. I have so little faith in this team that I think both Jeremy Maclin and Mike Wallace are both great starts this week. It could be as easy as one big play for Wallace or Maclin tearing through the secondary after the catch.  The Texans are still a bottom five defense against wide receivers and gave up three receiving touchdowns, along with 257 yards against the Cardinals and their 3rd string quarterback.

Corey Davis vs Indianapolis Colts:

Corey Davis is officially the true number one receiver in Tennessee.  He is seeing as many targets over the past three games as Delanie Walker and is receiving an incredible 20.8 percent target share in the offense and two games of 10 targets.  He is yet to truly break out but has an excellent opportunity against the 3rd worst defense against the wide receiver position that is allowing 185 yards a game. Since Corey Davis has come back from injury the Tennessee Titans are passing the ball 60% of the time which heavily favors Davis.

Defense Stream of the Week:

Pittsburgh Steelers vs Green Bay Packers:

Take advantage of the Aaron Rodgers-less offense while you can. The Baltimore Ravens had three interceptions and five sacks against the Brett Hundley and the Packers offense without blitzing.  With one of the best pass-rushing units in the NFL, the Pittsburgh Steelers have recorded multiple sacks in every game this season. Another great stat going for them is they have an interception in every game but two this season and rank in the top 10 of fantasy points allowed to each position. Lock and load with the Steelers this week at home.

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