Fantasy Focus: Week 12 Hot & Not
The fantasy playoff push is heating up this week, as most leagues are entering their last few weeks of the regular season. From this week on, weekly performances become increasingly important, and some of the performers on this week’s Hot and Not lists may have been the difference makers between clinching a playoff berth and falling out of contention. Let’s take a look at this week’s list, which shows how the passing game made the biggest difference this week.
Hot Fantasy Updates
Russell Wilson- QB- Seattle- Wilson was riding high coming off his first three-touchdown game of the season last week, but topped that total with five TD’s on Sunday against the Steelers. Making the performance even more impressive, Wilson also threw for 345 yards, topping the 300-yard plateau for the first time this season. Wilson lost Jimmy Graham, which should make life a bit tougher for him, but if you can stomach next week’s matchup against a tough Vikings defense, Wilson has a sunny fantasy playoff schedule, as Seattle plays Baltimore and Cleveland in the two following weeks.
Ryan Fitzpatrick- QB- New York Jets- Fitzpatrick had his second-most productive game in terms of yards and his most prolific touchdown performance of the season, throwing for 277 yards and four passing touchdowns while completing 22 of 37 passes. Fitzpatrick found Brandon Marshall twice as part of a dominant offensive performance, as the Jets put up 38 points on the Dolphins Sunday. Fitz and the Jets stay at home to play a “road” game against the Giants next week.
Markus Wheaton- WR- Pittsburgh- Seattle’s defense took away Antonio Brown by focusing on him, but failed to contain Wheaton, allowing him to put up a breakout performance. Wheaton hauled in nine of 13 targets for 201 receiving yards and a touchdown. This was only the third time he topped 50 yards this season, so it may be unlikely for him to duplicate his performance. He still has a decent matchup next week against the Colts.
Jeremy Maclin- WR- Kansas City- Maclin received the lion’s share of targets from Chiefs QB Alex Smith this week, catching nine of his 11 targets for 160 yards. Maclin also found the end zone once, after back-to-back games with fewer than 30 yards and no touchdowns. Maclin should be able to put up big numbers next week against the Raiders porous pass defense, so look for him as a Hot Fantasy Update in next week's fantasy news.
Not Fantasy Updates
Todd Gurley- RB- St. Louis- Gurley’s streak of five consecutive games with a touchdown ended Sunday in a particularly moribund performance from the rookie-turned-fantasy star. Gurley only received nine carries, gaining 19 rushing yards and making one 11-yard catch in the Rams’ 31-7 loss to the Bengals. Gurley has had only 130 yards over the past three games as opposing defenses have begun to realize that he is one of the only offensive threats the Rams have. Still, given Gurley’s volume and red-zone opportunities, he should still be started as a top-tier RB.
Antonio Andrews- RB- Tennessee- Andrews, who had become the lead dog in the Titans’ rotating running back battle, put in a dud this week, totaling only 32 yards on 11 carries and making just one catch for 14 yards. Andrews has only totaled 118 yards over the past three weeks, but on a team that has been averaging 2.4 yards per carry, Andrews is locked into the job thanks to a lack of other options. Don’t expect much from him even if he holds the job all year.
Stefon Diggs- WR- Minnesota- After a few weeks near midseason where Diggs was putting up lead WR numbers, his performance has fallen off the last few weeks, making this week’s four-catch, 31-yard performance not entirely unexpected. Diggs had a tough matchup against the Falcons D and caught all four targets that came his way. Owners were likely expecting a bit more after what looked like a small bounce-back performance last week. Don’t expect much more against the Seahawks next week.
Pierre Garcon- WR- Washington- Garcon’s performance has slowed up over the last few weeks, as he has not caught a touchdown since Week 6 and has not even reached the five-catch mark since Week 7. This week, Garcon hauled in only three of six catches for 35 receiving yards. Garcon has become the #3 target for QB Kirk Cousins, and should be little more than a marginal play in the later weeks of the season.
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