Targeting Targets: A good way to beat other owners to the punch on the waiver wire or make key lineup decisions is to pay attention to target reports to see which players are getting thrown to the most often. While it doesn’t always translate breakout stats, it does mean they are at least getting chances. Be careful not to over emphasize a single week of data though. It’s always best to use larger sample sizes. This especially holds true in PPR formats.
SETTING YOUR LINEUP
RB LeGarrette Blount (vs. TEN) – After a strong performance last week versus Green Bay, Blount figures to be in line for another solid effort in Week 12. He is facing a Titans’ D that has ceded eight touchdowns to opposing running and that has allowed over 700 total yards and five touchdowns to the position over their past five contests.
WR Andre Johnson (at JAC) – Owners and been waiting too long to get their stud wide receiver back and there are only a few exceptions where he shouldn’t be immediately plugged into fantasy lineups. The Jaguars are without top corner Rashean Mathis and Johnson has found the end zone three times in his last four vs. Jacksonville.
RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis (at PHI) – The Law Firm hasn’t lived up to expectations to this point of the season and hasn’t made his way into the end zone in five straight weeks. The Eagles have only allowed one rushing touchdown since Week 5. Keep Green-Ellis on the pine.
TE Dustin Keller (vs BUF) – After a decent start to the year, Keller’s fantasy value has plummeted. He hasn’t scored since Week 2 of the season and hasn’t eclipsed more than seven fantasy points in a game over his last eight outings.
RB Adrian Peterson (ankle) – The Vikings have ruled Peterson officially out for Week 12 against the Falcons. Toby Gerhardt will start in his place with Percy Harvin also in line to get some touches out of the backfield in his absence.
QB Michael Vick (ribs) and WR Jeremy Maclin (shoulder) – It looks like the Eagles will once again be without both Vick and Maclin as they welcome the Patriots. Vince Young and Riley Cooper are expected to get the nod in the starting lineup. Both could be decent fantasy options for owners scrambling for help.
RB Ahmad Bradshaw (foot) – The Giants’ running back will miss his fourth straight game on Monday versus the Saints. His absence hasn’t equaled huge success for Brandon Jacbos though, so you may want to look elsewhere.
WR Mario Manningham (knee) – Looking more and more like a game-time decision for Manningham. With the Giants not playing until Monday night though owners may not be able to wait for final verdict.
RB Jahvid Best (concussion) – The Lions finally placed Best on I.R., ending his season. Kevin Smith, who suffered a sprained ankle in Thursday’s loss to the Packers, is expected to shoulder the load the rest of the way in Detroit as long as he’s healthy.
Other injuries of note: Darren McFadden (foot), Deion Branch (hip), Montario Hardesty (calf)
BIG FINISHES – WR's
Here are a few wide receivers with favorable matchups over the next five weeks that could surprise…
Calvin Johnson (GB, @NO, MIN, @Oak, SD) – The rich get richer. Three of his last five matchups are against defenses that allow big fantasy points to receivers, including Week 14 vs. Minnesota and a fantasy championship Week 16 matchup against the Chargers.
DeSean Jackson (NE, @Sea, @Mia, NYJ, @Dal) – As the Eagles’ healthiest receiver Jackson could help booster his contract status with a strong finish. The schedule should help with few cold weather stops and favorable matchups with the Pats, Seahawks, and Cowboys.
Brandon Lloyd (ARI, @SF, @Sea, CIN, @PIT) – The schedule doesn’t jump right out at you, but it’s not terrible either. As the Rams new wideout continues to develop chemistry with Sam Bradford his numbers should only go up.