Just hours before the start of Week 12 I know many people have questions running through their heads. Who should I start? Who should I sit?
Let’s take a look at a few situations to try and settle things:
Ahmad Bradshaw – Running Back – New York Giants
He may have been moved to a backup role, but that doesn’t mean that he doesn’t have fantasy appeal in Week 12. The Giants offensive line has been mired by injuries, as has the receiving corps (which has been well publicized). The one spot they are truly healthy is at running back and it should be expected that both Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw see plenty of carries against the Jaguars.
While he certainly falls significantly in our rankings, he should still be considered a low-end RB2. He’s been far too productive this season to not get a significant load, even if he’s coming off the bench. With his explosiveness, there’s a good chance he breaks off a play as well.
Mike Tolbert – Running Back – San Diego Chargers
Ryan Mathews has been limited in practice and is currently listed as doubtful, which means that he is extremely likely to miss Sunday night’s game. Enter Tolbert, who has eight rushing touchdowns on the season and is coming off a game where he posted 153 total yards. Against a Colts defense that has been porous against the run this season, he’s certainly a usable option as a RB2 and a good FLEX play.
Davone Bess/Brian Hartline – Wide Receiver – Miami Dolphins
With reports that Brandon Marshall did not make the trip to Oakland, both of these receivers become slightly more intriguing options. With Chad Henne likely to return to the starting lineup over Tyler Thigpen (according to the Sun-Sentinel’s Omar Kelly), things look even better. (Side note – Henne becomes a viable option for those in two quarterback formats, but that’s about it)
Hartline has been looking better and better in recent weeks. While he hasn’t scored since Week 2, he’s had at least 70 yards in each of the past three games and at least four catches in the past six games. He was targeted six times in Week 11, tied for the team lead.
Bess, meanwhile, has struggled the past two weeks totaling just five catches for 38 yards. In fact, he hasn’t scored in the past four games and hasn’t exceeded 53 yards in that span. He has the potential for more receptions, however, and has the better rapport with Henne (let’s not forget the success that the two had earlier in the season).
While Bess may be better equipped to be a slot receiver, he’s the Dolphins receiver I’d be more apt to take the gamble on (especially in PPR leagues). Prior to Thigpen being thrust into action, Bess had posted at least five receptions in seven out of eight games. In that same span, he had six games of at least 50 yards.
Neither are going to be great options, however, and should be considered unpredictable, at best (especially with Nnamdi Asomugha expected back). Outside of those in deeper formats, they are too big of a gamble to use.
Zach Miller – Tight End – Oakland Raiders
The word going around (according to the Oakland Tribune) is that he is going to play, but being limited with a foot injury makes it hard to predict exactly how he is going to produce. Then again, tight ends in general are extremely unpredictable, so why should Miller be any different?
When healthy, he is one of the elite options in the game. Depending on your alternative he’s going to be worth rolling the dice on. Of course, he doesn’t play until 4:05, so we may not know for sure if he is going to dress or not until the middle of the afternoon. It all comes down to your risk tolerance, but the truth is, he’s too good to bench if he’s going to play.
Mike Thomas – Wide Receiver – Jacksonville Jaguars
Jacksonville will be facing a formidable Giants pass rush without left tackle Eugene Monroe. According to Paul Kuharsky of ESPN (click here to view the article), the team will likely utilize Marcedes Lewis more as a blocker and less as a receiver.
That makes Lewis a much less appealing option for those looking for tight ends, but it also increases the appeal of Thomas. With Mike Sims-Walker hurting, Thomas could easily be the main focus of the passing game (though Maurice Jones-Drew will be the main weapon, as always). In three receiver formats, Thomas becomes a good play.
Bruce Gradkowski – Quarterback – Oakland Raiders
According to Adam Schefter (via Twitter), Gradkowski will make the start for the Dolphins over Jason Campbell in Week 12. The question is, does anyone care? With receivers who you just never know what to expect from, it’s hard to imagine putting much faith in Gradkowski posting big numbers.
What are your thoughts on these players? Who would you start? Who would you sit?
Make sure to check out Rotoprofessor’s Week 12 Rankings: