Booms, Busts, and Battlestar Galactica: NFL Week 12
Much like the Thanksgiving meal you voraciously consumed, your fantasy team left you either comfortably full of satisfaction or deeply regretting decisions made.
In a week when practice squad wide receiver Kendall Hinton was thrown into the Denver Broncos quarterback role like he was Emperor Palpatine at the end of Return of the Jedi, anything and everything happened in fantasy football to keep your mind on this ridiculous football season instead of your expanding waistline or missing out on getting a PS5...again. Here were the biggest winners and losers of last week:
Tyreek Hill WR Kansas City Chiefs
.@cheetah really went full @ShannonSharpe vs. Tampa “Help is on the way … They need help" 🤣 (via @NFLFilms) https://t.co/D63uMU8cqi— B/R Gridiron (@B/R Gridiron) 1606767989.0
Holy. Freaking. Heck. There is exploding and then there's whatever Tyreek Hill did against the Buccaneers.
Cheetah made Tampa Bay corner Carlton Davis look like Carlton Banks, cooking him and the rest of the defense for 13 receptions, 269 yards and three touchdowns. Yahoo's Scott Pianowski reports that Hill also had the seventh-best PPR game since the merger.
Next on the docket for the speedy Chiefs wideout are the Denver Broncos, who have only given up one receiving touchdown in the last three games. However, even after Denver "held" Hill to 17.5 points the last time these two teams met, he is looking as matchup-proof as ever, averaging nearly 36 points the last four games.
Antonio Gibson RB Washington Football Team
Antonio Gibson vs. Cowboys 🔥 25 touches 🔥 136 total yards 🔥 3 TDs 🔥 36.6 PPR fantasy points https://t.co/kTwkIRuxMB— PFF Fantasy Football (@PFF Fantasy Football) 1606438503.0
There aren't a lot of gems in the turd that is the NFC East this season, but Antonio Gibson is starting to shine. Gibson kept taking what the Dallas Cowboys were giving on Thanksgiving, and they were giving him more than enough, allowing the running back to run wild for 136 total yards and three touchdowns.
While he did finish with an impressive 36.6 PPR points, he will be facing the toughest run defense in the league in the Pittsburgh Steelers, who have only given up one rushing touchdown all season. However, with Gibson out-targeting teammate J.D. McKissic 7-2 this past week, it appears he may have more opportunities to have an equally productive night.
Latavius Murray RB New Orleans Saints
Latavius Murray just rubbing it in on Kamara managers https://t.co/YIMVbEqnFb— PFF Fantasy Football (@PFF Fantasy Football) 1606691316.0
With Alvin Kamara going missing the last two games, the Saints have been finding other ways to win. This week it was Latavius Murray.
Even with the benefit of PPR, Murray was only slated to score 7.87 points on Yahoo, but put up 25.60 points, turning 20 touches into 126 yards and two touchdowns. With Taysom Hill starting the last two games, Murray has put up 36.10 total points and until Drew Brees comes back, Murray will most likely get more opportunities to shine proving to be more complementary to Hill's style of run first, ask questions later quarterbacking.
Deebo Samuel WR San Francisco 49ers
"𝑾𝒉𝒐 is Deebo Samuel?" https://t.co/9R89LRJC4r— San Francisco 49ers (@San Francisco 49ers) 1607041800.0
What rust? Samuel announced his return from a three-game absence with a loud 11-reception, 133-yard performance against a defensive unit that hasn't allowed a 100-yard receiver since Week 3.
With Brandon Aiyuk potentially out another week in the COVID protocol, Samuel could be in for another heavy workload, especially against a Buffalo team that has had trouble corralling fast wide outs all season.
Dalvin Cook RB Minnesota Vikings
Dalvin Cook every week in the 2nd half after he limps off the field https://t.co/3CW0aCK9RN— Pierre (@Pierre) 1606679825.0
Players who have been leaning heavily on Dalvin Cook had a rough Sunday as they witnessed their investment tank against a Carolina Panthers defense that decided to show up to stop the run. He put up a lackluster 10.20 PPR points after being projected to score 22.81 points on Yahoo against a Panthers defense that is ranked 31st against the run according to PFF. To add injury to injury, fantasy owners had to watch their seasons flash before their eyes when Cook got rolled up on and missed a couple of series.
While he did come back to finish the game, Cook's "Spider-Man 3"-like performance put a damper on a lot of Thanksgiving week celebrations. If healthy, he has a chance to get back on track against a Jacksonville Jaguars team that just allowed 206 total rushing yards to the Cleveland Browns. However, that isn't a given due to the ankle injury he may have suffered.
Alvin Kamara RB New Orleans Saints
Two rushing touchdowns for Latavius Murray and Taysom Hill. Meanwhile nothing for Alvin Kamara. https://t.co/re3VjOtcDi— #RingerNFL (@#RingerNFL) 1606692841.0
While the Saints have been winning since Taysom Hill became the starting quarterback, one player has not. Despite being the undisputed best player on the field for New Orleans, Kamara has struggled to produce anything of note since Drew Brees got knocked out and that trend continued against the middling Denver rushing defense.
After being projected to score nearly 20 points, Kamara turned in a 6.20-point effort in PPR leagues, getting out-touched 20-12 by Latavius Murray and losing rushing attempts to the aforementioned Hill. With their current quarterback situation, Kamara isn't getting a chance to really shine in the passing game and if he can't do that, he won't be able carry fantasy teams.
Kyler Murray QB Arizona Cardinals
The Cardinals are 1-8-1 when Kyler Murray runs for less than 30 yards.. So Kyler.. Please.. I've said it 3 weeks in… https://t.co/vCdwlZmnQB— 🚫Paulie's Sleepers🚫 (@🚫Paulie's Sleepers🚫) 1607174480.0
Uneasy is the head that wears the crown, and the No. 1 fantasy player in standard leagues made managers really uneasy with his first dismal game of the season. After averaging 29.9 points per game since the bye, Murray was bottled up for 8.9 points by the New England Patriots, being kept touchdown-less for the first time this season.
It won't get any easier for the former Heisman Trophy winner next week, facing off against the Rams, who have allowed a 3:7 TD:Int ratio the last five games and only one double-digit scoring quarterback in that same time span in standard leagues. Murray has been mowing down opponents like they were malfunctioning Cylon Centurions, and this next stretch of games against quarterback-pounding defenses will prove whether he is matchup proof or not.
Derek Carr QB Las Vegas Raiders
Derek Carr came ready to PLAY today: 3 lost fumbles 😈😈😈 1 pick six 🔥🔥🔥 Blowout loss to a 3-7 team 🗣🗣🗣 https://t.co/6fX4q3eVqa— Raiders Fraud SZN (6-5)😔 (@Raiders Fraud SZN (6-5)😔) 1606683924.0
This was supposed to be the beginning of a great streaming stretch for the Las Vegas quarterback; but instead, Carr turned the ball over four times and failed to score against a defense that was giving up the most points to quarterbacks this season. He hasn't been an elite QB option this season, but the former Fresno Bulldog was able to eclipse 20 points enough to suggest he would've been a bargain in DFS formats at least.
With games against the Jets and Chargers the next few weeks, Carr has a chance to get things right, but this week did not give a lot of players confidence in his ability to deliver deep into the season when he may be needed most.