Week 12 is odd for many fantasy owners because instead of having one Thursday game, we get to watch three due to Thanksgiving. Many players already played the other day, but luckily there are no more bye weeks, so we don’t have to worry about star players being out of lineups. In case you are still down a few players because of injury or some other reason, check out these sleepers to start this weekend.
J.D. McKissic, RB Seattle Seahawks:
The Seattle Seahawks’ run offense has been very inconsistent this season with no single player emerging as the clear star of the group. Last week, three different running backs split the carries, but J.D. McKissic led with seven rushes for 30 yards (4.3 Yards Per Carry). The rookie running back also had five receptions, which were tied for second-most on the team. With fellow running back Mike Davis questionable for Sunday’s game against the 49ers, McKissic could very well see the majority of snaps in the backfield, giving him a chance to gain some solid yards and possibly find the end-zone. The Seattle offense only has three rushing touchdowns this season, two of which have been from quarterback Russell Wilson, and the other one from McKissic back in Week 4. Even though the ground attack hasn’t been there for the Seahawks, a trip to San Francisco should help that when they face a defense that has allowed a league-high of 133.5 rush yards per game. Start the first year running back as a middle-of-the-pack flex option with some RB2 potential if he can find the end-zone.
Jeremy Maclin, WR Baltimore Ravens:
The Ravens have one of the weakest passing attacks in the league, but wide receiver Jeremy Maclin has been consistent at being involved in the game plan every week. Over his last three games, Maclin has 15 catches for 185 yards and a touchdown. Even last week in a blowout win against the Green Bay Packers, the veteran saw the most targets of any wide-receiver with five. This Sunday, the Ravens will play the Houston Texans who have allowed 22 touchdowns through the air, which is tied for the highest total in the league. The usual game plan for the Baltimore offense is to go run-heavy against their opponent, but the Texans have given up only three rushing touchdowns all year, which means quarterback Joe Flacco may have to throw more in this matchup. If the team is going to throw more than usual, expect Maclin to see a steady stream of targets being the best receiving option for the offense. The former Kansas City Chief can be a steady flex option with some WR2 upside in a nice matchup.
Marcus Mariota, QB Tennessee Titans:
With the NFL playoff picture starting to take shape, the Tennessee Titans are looking to either win the AFC South division title or earn one of the two wild-card spots. Quarterback Marcus Mariota has not been great by any means this season but somehow has led his team to a 6-4 record. The third-year signal caller has more interceptions (10 INT) than passing touchdowns (8 TD), and only has 186 rushing yards. Luckily for fantasy owners, Mariota has a career-high of four rushing touchdowns and still has plenty of playmakers surrounding him on offense. The Titans are set to travel to Indianapolis to take on the Colts in a division matchup this Sunday and should have no problem putting up points against one of the worst defenses in the league. The Colts have allowed 275 passing yards per game along with 15 touchdowns through the air, giving Mariota a prime opportunity to turn his season around. The numbers haven’t been very good so far, but the former first-round pick is in an excellent position to have his first big performance of the season. Mariota profiles as a low-end QB1 for the game on Sunday, but don’t be surprised if he plays like a Top-5 quarterback.
Kenyan Drake, RB Miami Dolphins:
Since the departure of running back Jay Ajayi before Week 9, Kenyan Drake and Damien Williams have split the backfield pretty evenly. Drake is considered to be the more traditional runner while Williams is a better receiver, but both have still shared the carries. This week the Dolphins will travel to New England to take on the Patriots who have one of the worst run defenses in the league. While the Patriots’ defense has been better as of late, they have still allowed five yards per carry and almost 120 yards per game on the ground. With Drake expected to remain the lead runner in the Dolphins’ backfield, it may be the first time he cracks double-digit rushes this season and finds his second touchdowns of the season. Consider the second year running back to be a flex option against an exploitable defense.
Zay Jones, WR Buffalo Bills:
The Bills are set to play an important game against the Kansas City Chiefs this weekend with both teams looking to make the playoffs. Kansas City is looking to win the AFC West title, while Buffalo is looking to steal one the of the Wild Card spots away from teams like Baltimore and Tennessee. With quarterback Tyrod Taylor set to start Sunday’s game after a Week 11 benching, the offense should be able to get back on track. With wide receivers Kelvin Benjamin and Jordan Matthews banged up for this upcoming game, rookie Zay Jones may be called upon to come up big against an exploitable Chiefs’ secondary. Kansas City has allowed 16 passing touchdowns and 13.5 yards per catch this season. Jones was drafted by the Bills in the second round for a reason, and Sunday may be his time to shine. It hasn’t been a great season so far for the first year player, but he has seven targets in each of his last two games and could soon become one of Tyrod Taylor’s favorite pass catchers. Jones should be started as a low-end flex option, but he could see a lot of attention if Benjamin and Matthews’ injuries continue to linger.