Outside the Huddle: Week 12


Fantasy football suggestions for when you face the player in your league who still says the Cowboys have a shot at winning the NFC East.

While our digestive systems recover from days of isolated drinking and eating binges and our bank accounts vanish fromarduous Black Friday deals to make up for the fact that Santa isn’t bringing PS5 this year, we can still be thankful for twofinal weeks in the fantasy season to make those holidays merryand bright. My apologies to Browns fans for dissing your defense last week, but my god, the Eagles suck, and who could’ve predicted that Matthew Stafford would turn into Matt Leinart and cost coach Matt Patricia his job. I’m looking forward to the Thanksgivings where we don’t have to watch the Lions and Cowboys anymore. It’s hard enough conducting a multi-family Zoom, but for the NFL to serve up that slop was just daring me to watch Elf and Scrooged instead. This weekend, keep an eye on the Ravens-Steelers, which has been moved toTuesday night due to Covid, prepare your backup plan for Adam Thielen, whose mini touchdown run could also end with a Covidexclusion, and remember the cheat code on Taysom Hill as a tight end has now expired, moving him into a borderline start against the Broncos. I’ll summarize my picks again with a game of Thanks, No Thanks.

Week 12 Thanks, No Thanks

DeVante Parker, WR, Miami Dolphins (@ Jets)

One of my favorite mid-season pick-ups a few years back, DeVante Parker has quietly been the glue holding the Dolphins receiving core together as they transition from Ryan Fitzpatrick to Tua Tagovailoa and now back to Fitzpatrick. Parker had 6 receptions for 61 yards and a touchdown against the Broncos last week and now will face the Jets, who can’t stop water from coming out of a faucet.

Your call: Thanks

Noah Fant, TE, Denver Broncos (vs Saints)

Fant has averaged just over six targets a game the past five weeks and goes up against a stingy Saints defense whose one weakness is defending tight ends. But it was hard to get excited when Drew Lock had 3 TDs and 6 INTs the past three games. And now with quarterback Jeff Driscoll testing positive for Covid, all three remaining quarterbacks on the Broncos roster have been ruled ineligible, which means Fant has a better chance of catching snowflakes.

Your call: No Thanks

Derek Carr, QB, Las Vegas Raiders (@ Falcons)

Carr’s not exactly setting the fantasy world ablaze, but he’s reliable and hasn’t turned the ball over. Last week’s three-touchdown performance against the Chiefs raised his value as the Raiders visit the Falcons, who give up the most fantasy points to quarterbacks. And with Las Vegas’ ground game rolling, Carr has the potential to crack the top-ten.

Your call: Thanks

Miles Sanders, RB, Philadelphia Eagles (vs Seahawks)

A couple years ago, this game would have earned its Sunday night billing, but now it’s shaping up to be an early Seahawks TKO. Miles Sanders had been a bright spot in the Eagles inept offense that’s been hampered by a line that can’t block and a quarterback that can’t even dink and dunk when the pocket’s collapsing around him. Sanders is capable of a breakout run or taking a screen to the house, but against a top Seattle defense, the Eagles may be better off just having Sanders sit this one out.

Your call: No Thanks

Giovani Bernard, RB, Cincinnati Bengals (vs Giants)

With Joe Burrow out for the season and the Bengals turning to Brandon Allen to pick up the slack, Bernard is as good as donein the backfield. He’s only rushed for 162 yards on 53 carries in 5 games since taking over for the injured Joe Mixon and was in concussion protocol earlier this week. He’ll also be competing with Samaje Perine for playing time, so there’s a solid chance this will not end well for Bernard.

Your call: No Thanks

Nick Chubb, RB, Cleveland Browns (@ Jaguars)

Chubb has been an absolute buzzsaw the last two weeks with back-to-back 100-yard games against two solid fronts in the Texans and Eagles. This week, the Browns play the Jaguars in a pad-the-stats game, so expect a healthy running attack withChubb and Kareem Hunt. I wouldn’t be surprised if he hitsseason highs.

Your call: Thanks

Any offensive player on the Ravens (@ Steelers)

OK, so let’s say this game does get played. The Ravens, as of Saturday, had 18 players on their Covid list. No Lamar Jackson, Trace McSorley, J.K. Dobbins, or Mark Ingram, and they’re down to six offensive linemen and three defensive linemen on their active and practice rosters. It wasn’t looking good for the Ravens anyway as they’ve lost three of their last four, including at home to the Steelers. RGIII will get the nod. He’s thrown two passes all season, and one of them went to the other team.

Your call: No Thanks

Greg Oldfield’s stories have appeared in Hobart, Carve, Barrelhouse, and Maudlin House, among others. He also writes about soccer for the Florida Cup and the Brotherly Game and often rambles about soccer on Twitter. 

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