Hogs & Dogs: Week 12
Hello friends, and welcome to week twelve of the fantasy season! Happy Turk Day. The standings are becoming clearer each week as to where your team will end up come playoff time. Some of us have things wrapped up and want to grab that first round bye, while others need some magic to get themselves into the playoffs. These next few weeks are the most important to any season and we’re just about at that time where we find this year’s league winner on the waiver wire. From Odell Beckham to David Johnson to Tim Hightower, it seems that there are always a few guys that help propel teams into the playoffs and championship games with their late season heroics. This is why last week I suggested you grab a valuable handcuff or two in leagues where you can afford it because you never know who the next big time player to go down might be. Take chances boys!
This installment is our Wednesday special, our weekly start and sit article that we like to get out to you before Thursday night’s game. While discussing starts and sits in Hogs and Dogs, we also like to sprinkle in some buy lows, sell highs, and contrarian views that might not exactly mesh with what the majority of other experts are saying. We want to give you a different perspective on the NFL while also delivering some helpful advice that can translate to your league. Let’s roll!
Kirk Cousins – Captain Kirk was a big topic on this week’s Trophy Time podcast, and for good reason. He has really turned things on as of late and significantly cut down on his mistakes. On a short week against a defense that just lost another defensive back, I’m firing up all Kirk Cousins shares this week. This game should be a shootout and I expect him to keep that Washington offense firing on all cylinders. He’s averaging 26.39 points per game over his last four. You like that?
Tim Hightower – Speaking of Timmy Hightots, it looks like he found himself on the Hogs list this week. Hightower has looked good over the past few weeks even in a timeshare with Mark Ingram. With Ingram recently getting over a concussion suffered last week, I think Hightower may be the featured back this week. It’s a tough matchup against a stout Rams front, but what we’ve seen from Sean Payton and the Saints is that they don’t have a problem giving him the ball 20-30 times every game. I think New Orleans will want to establish some type of run game and the best way to do that is to pound the ball down the Rams’ throat with the guy that they don’t care about usage with. I think Hightower has some good low-end RB2/flex appeal this week.
DeVante Parker – Peter Parker has a knack for finding himself on this list late in the year. Over his first two years in the league, he tends to be just about invisible for the first eight to ten games of the season. Parker didn’t play week one, and from weeks two through nine he only had two games over seven points. Yikes. But as Miami has begun to heat up, as has Parker, who has 12.30 and 13.90 over his last two games on eighteen targets. He’s turned those targets into 13/182/1. Not too shabby. Look for him to continue his hot pace against a San Francisco team that has given up the second most points to wide receivers this season.
Adam Thielen – Thielen finds himself in a nice spot this week. Over his past three weeks, he’s put up 6.80, 9.20, and 12.50 points. Thielen is a good WR3 play this Thursday against Detroit, with a relatively safe floor for a WR3. There is also the possibility that Stefon Diggs doesn’t play, meaning Thielen and Kyle Rudolph should see the majority of the targets. We also know that Diggs has a history of not playing well when injured and being more of a decoy. The week Diggs missed against Houston? Thielen posted a 7/127/1 line. Keep a close eye on this situation, but I think I’ll take my chances on Thielen either way.
Tyler Eifert – Welp, his whole team is gone. Eifert and Jeremy Hill look to be the main beneficiaries after the losses of Gio Bernard and A.J. Green. I think Tyler Boyd will see an uptick in targets as well, but ultimately I think Eifert becomes Andy Dalton’s go to guy down the stretch until Green returns. The matchup against Baltimore isn’t favorable, but the volume will definitely be there for him. Start him with confidence.
Cam Newton – Ah Cam, why in the world did I have to draft you this year. I thought I was getting a steal in the fifth round. Apparently not. Carolina’s offense has not been the juggernaut that they were last year. Newton has been a seesaw of fantasy production with games in the low teens and others with 20-30 points. Going against Oakland I think you still have to start him, but there have been so many streamable quarterbacks this year that I wouldn’t fault you for not playing him until he can string a few good games together. He’s the fifteenth ranked quarterback on the year, below guys Dak Prescott, Cousins, Winston, and even Blake Bortles. I think there is still time for him to figure it out, but that offense has got to get things going. Come on Cam.
Ben Roethlisberger – Woo boy, this could go either way. Large Benjamin has been boom or bust city this year at the quarterback position. Ben has lit up the Colts the last two times he’s played them, but at the same time, he’s struggled mightily on the road this year. Something has to give here. My ranking of Big Ben on the Dogs list is more of a warning to owners about playing him on the road this year. I wouldn’t fault you for playing him this week in what could be a shootout, but at the same time, the dud games are there for him. Look for him to bounce back this week, but I’m still not sure I’d be willing to start him, especially on a short week.
Davante Adams – Think I am going to have to opt out of the Davante Adams sweepstakes this week. With that offense getting healthier, there are just too many mouths to feed in Green Bay. Adams tends to rely on being consistently peppered and getting into a rhythm, which is something I’m afraid won’t happen with James Starks and Jared Cook both finally back and healthy. He hasn’t seen double-digit targets in three weeks and has scored only one touchdown over that same span, while only surpassing 42 yards once. Adams is a low-end WR3/ high-end WR4 for me this week as there are just not enough targets to go around and he still battles with drops.
John Brown/Michael Floyd/J.J. Nelson – Now I remember why I avoided this receiving core up until this year. Other than Larry Fitzgerald, none of these guys can give you consistent production. It’s unfortunate because there is so much talent there, but it’s just not worth the trouble at all. You’re going to be chasing points all season on a team where you have to take the coach’s word for the exact opposite of what he’s actually saying. Good luck solving this riddle. One week it’s Floyd, the next it’s Nelson, and the third it’s Nelson. Larry Fitz is the only one you can trust from this stable of receivers. I’m excited for where they potentially land when their contracts are up, in hopes that their talents are better utilized elsewhere. I’m all set with these guys for now.
Philadelphia Defense – Not too sure what happened here, as Philadelphia was one of the best defensive and special teams units in the league just a few short weeks ago. Regardless, they’ve only put up fifteen points over the past four weeks. They’re facing a puttering Green Bay offense that could come alive at any time. I was personally expecting a few more return touchdowns this year from such a playmaking defense and special teams. Though I do expect them to rebound against the likes of Cincinnati and Baltimore, I’m not sure I want to take my chances this week against a Green Bay team that is certainly due. The streaming route might be a better option here with teams like the Giants or the Titans.
And that does it. Good luck this week folks. Remember to send us your lineup questions on Twitter @TFFGurus, @TheFantasyBoys, and @DaFantasyFather, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re here to help you, and if you can’t get enough of the Gurus be sure to check out Trophy Time, our twice a week podcast that you can find on iTunes, Google Play, etc. Also, if you have a player that you want to be covered in Hogs & Dogs please email or tweet us that player. I’d love to tackle a player or situation each week that either slipped my mind or I wasn’t going to originally include. So send in your conundrums and we’ll try to include some info for you! Finally, make sure to check out and follow our Facebook page, The Fantasy Football Gurus. Send in those requests and have a wonderful Thanksgiving! Trophy Time.