Photo by Douglas Stringer/Icon Sportswire
As we finish week 11, we prepare for the traditional “football” holiday of Thanksgiving, and the quick turnaround to week 12 that many teams will face. This year’s slate brings us the Lions vs Bears, the Cowboys vs Redskins, and Falcons vs Saints…three games featuring divisional leaders. The Lions and Falcons are surely disappointed with where they sit right now, but they still have the talent to pull of Turkey day upsets. If I had to guess right now, my gut says the Bears, Cowboys, and Falcons come away with big wins. Why the Falcons? They still have a very talented roster, and I don’t think they like New Orleans much. The Saints are having the season the Falcons thought they could be having, and I bet they will give New Orleans all they can handle. However, I’m not here to pick winners and losers. I’m here to pick fantasy defenses. So, let’s see how everyone did last week.
|Team||Opponent||Fantasy Points||Percent Owned||Interceptions||Sacks|
|LA Rams||Kansas City||21||92%||3||3|
|Kansas City||LA Rams||12||42%||0||5|
|NY Giants||Tampa Bay||11||25%||4||1|
So, once again we had a few good streaming options available to us. We nailed our streamer of the week in New Orleans (tied for fourth place with 13 points) and our other two options (Oakland and Seattle) both finished 2 points off the board with 5. It’s funny to see a highly touted group like Jacksonville down to 66% owned, but I don’t really blame anyone for it. They have only broken 10 points one time this year, and they are clearly not the same team they were last year. This is all despite the Houston 0-3 start, a gimpy Andrew Luck to start the season, and a Marcus Mariota injury leaving Blaine Gabbert behind center. I will also say that I clearly missed on the Colts this week playing against the Tennessee Titans. The Titans have been up and down on offense, and this was a good opportunity missed to stream. Other than that, there wasn’t another streamer last week I would have been comfortable. The Giants have not been safe or good, and the Rams put up 50+ on the Chiefs. These are not the kind of games I want to target. So, who do we like in week 12? Let’s find out.
We start of our Thanksgiving week with a trio of under-owned teams, hoping that one of the three is waiting for you. First, we have the Ravens playing the Oakland Raiders. The Raiders have been very bad and the Ravens, at their best, have been really good. I’m expecting a bounce back for the Ravens, at least for one week, and a good defensive showing this week. Start the Ravens with confidence this week
Like the Ravens, the Jaguars have managed to look good at time this year. They just haven’t managed to do it as often. Still, at their best they can play anyone. This week, they face the Buffalo Bills. After a good week last week, I’m expecting the Bills to come back down to earth and get handily defeated by the Jags. Remember, this defense was the unanimous #1 before the season so surely this game is winnable.
New England (83%)
Our last under-owned powerhouse for week 12 is New England. The Patriots seemingly get stronger and stronger as each season progresses, ignoring the odd loss to the Tennessee Titans. Meanwhile, the Jets seem to be spiraling out of control as they have lost 7 of their last 9. I’m guessing New England takes care of business, forcing some Jets mistakes along the way. Feel confident with this one, like the last two, above all streamers this week.
The Redskins just lost Alex Smith for the season on a brutal leg injury 33 years to the day after Joe Theisman’s famous injury. I’m guessing that things won’t exactly be smooth on a short week for the Redskins considering they play on Thanksgiving. Dallas’ defense, meanwhile, has been really good. I’d like them in a lot of matchups. So, I will happily start the Cowboys at home against a team who they need to beat, and who just lost their leader.
Indianapolis (36%, stream of the week)
Like the division rival Houston Texans (who started 0-3), the Indianapolis Colts had a rough start to their season at 1-5. Also like the Texans, the Colts have since bounced back to win 4 in a row and return to 500. With winnable games against the Dolphins and Jaguars coming up, I expect the Colts to play razor sharp in hopes of snagging a wildcard spot. The Dolphins have been generous to opposing defenses, and I expect this one to go all Indy’s way. The Indianapolis Colts are my streamer of the week.
San Francisco (9%)
Our last two teams are one of those classic coin-flip situations where we have two lousy teams facing off to see which one will get the better draft pick. Tampa Bay’s offense has the higher ceiling, but the 49ers seem less likely to self destruct, like we’ve seen the Buccaneers do in recent weeks. I expect San Francisco to win as nothing seems to be going right in Tampa Bay. They can’t figure out who their quarterback should be, and I think they are headed for a LOT of changes this offseason. Ride with San Francisco if all previous options are taken.
Tampa Bay (4%)
Our last choice, and a contrarian pick to the 49ers, would be Tampa Bay’s defense. San Francisco hasn’t done much on offense this year, and they give up the 5th most points to opposing defenses. If you don’t believe in the 49ers defense to get it done this weekend then Tampa Bay could be a good call. The Bucs could jump out early, they could sit back on that lead, and they could come out on top. I don’t expect it personally, but I feel it’s necessary to mention as another option.