Week 12: Sleepers of the Week
If one of your normal starters is injured or facing a tough match-up, here are some players you might consider starting in their place. While these players may not be every week starters, they are good bets to perform well this week. Most of the players that will be listed are on fantasy rosters, but not normally starters.
Colin Kaepernick and the San Francisco 49ers travel to New Orleans to take on the Saints in week 12. Kaepernick shined in his first NFL start, throwing for 243 yards and two touchdowns in a blowout win over the Chicago Bears. The second year quarterback looked poised in the pocket, and was able to hit wide receivers all night. Kaepernick did not run with the ball as much as expected, but his rushing stats should increase this week. The Saints defense that Kaepernick will be facing this week currently ranks 31st in the league against the pass, allowing more than 300 yards per game. Kaepernick will be a hot pickup in fantasy leagues this week, and should be claimed in any league that he is currently available. I expect Kaepernick to be a top 12-15 quarterback in fantasy leagues for as long as he is the 49ers' starting quarterback. Fantasy owners can start Kaepernick this week and can expect at least 250 total yards and two touchdowns.
Jake Locker and the Tennessee Titans travel to Jacksonville to take on the Jaguars in week 12. Locker returned from injury in week ten and turned in a modest passing day, throwing for just 122 yards, but while also adding two touchdowns and 36 yards rushing. Coming off a bye week, Locker should be fully healthy and ready to go against a struggling Jaguars secondary. The Jaguars have given up an average of 277 passing yards per game on the season, 28th in the league, and surrendered an outrageous 527 yards and five passing touchdowns to Matt Schaub in week 11. The Titans offense is nowhere near as explosive as the Texans offense, but the Jaguars will not be able to fix their secondary woes in just one week. Locker is available in nearly 65 percent of fantasy leagues, but should make for a sneaky start in 2 QB leagues this week. Fantasy owners can claim the Titans quarterback and can expect at least 200 yards and one touchdown.
Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks travel to Miami to face the Dolphins in week 12. Wilson has had an uneven season as the Seahawks' starting quarterback, but should be able to put up a good game against a poor Dolphins secondary. Wilson has struggled in the yardage department as of late, but has thrown an impressive seven touchdowns in the three games leading up to the Seahawks' week 11 bye week. Sydney Rice has emerged as Wilson's go to wide receiver, especially in the red zone, and this combination should continue to flourish going forward. In addition to his passing stats, Wilson has turned in decent rushing yardage totals as of late, giving him a little added bonus in fantasy leagues. Fantasy owners can start Russell Wilson this week and can expect at least 200 total yards and one touchdown from the young quarterback.
Bryce Brown and the struggling Philadelphia Eagles return home to take on the Carolina Panthers in week 12. Brown is likely to get his first NFL start this week, with LeSean McCoy dealing with the effects of a concussion suffered in week 11. Brown has not played a major role in the Eagles backfield this season, but has shown some ability when given time on the field. Fantasy owners (especially those who own LeSean McCoy) should definitely consider picking Brown up this week, as he should be a good fill-in play as a Flex or RB 2 option for desperate owners. The Eagles will need to establish the run game with Nick Foles under center once again, and should be able to accomplish this against the Panthers defense. The Panthers defense has been incapable of slowing down opposing offenses all season, and this week will be no different. Fantasy owners can start Bryce Brown this week and can expect at least 75 total yards and a touchdown if he starts for the Eagles this week.
James Starks and the Green Bay Packers travel to New York to take on the Giants in week 12. Starks is coming off a 25 carry, 74 yard performance against the Detroit Lions. While the yards per carry average is not good, it is encouraging that Starks carried the ball as much as he did, with Alex Green not seeing a single carry out of the backfield. It is unlikely that Starks will touch the ball 25 times again this week (or that Green will not be at least some of a factor in the offense), but it is clear that Starks is now thought of as the lead back for the Packers offense. Fantasy owners who are in need of a RB 2 or Flex option this week can start the Packers running back and can expect at least 75 yards and a touchdown.