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Steve Schwarz | Archive | Email |  
Staff Writer

Truths and Lies: Week 12

Bye weeks are almost a thing of the past with just two more teams sitting out next weekend. Week 12 will see all 32 teams back on the field so fantasy lineups should be at full strength as you challenge for a spot in the playoffs.

Jameis Winston

More consistent than you might think. Jameis Winston is on his way to a top ten fantasy QB finish.


“All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them.” - Galileo Galilei

1) The zebras missed a big one Monday night.

During the Texans’ first drive in the Houston-Oakland Monday matchup, DeAndre Hopkins made a nice catch and run for a touchdown only to be incorrectly ruled out of bounds by officials. All season long, officials have been letting plays go because they knew that a score, or turnover, will automatically be reviewed, but this time we heard a quick whistle. The call cost his fantasy owners 10 points. (Truth in advertising - yes, I do have Hopkins in one of my leagues and I feel wronged, not because they got the play wrong, that happens, but because they didn’t follow what they have done for the first 10 weekends.)

2) Don’t blame Aaron Rodgers for the Packers woes, it’s their defense that’s been truly offensive.

Rodgers leads all fantasy quarterbacks averaging 28.2 fantasy points per game. That’s better than “God” a.k.a. Tom Brady, Drew Brees and Matt Ryan. His 2016 average is his best since 2011 when he won the league’s MVP award posting 30.4 FPts/G.

3) If Andrew Luck (concussion protocol) doesn’t play, it’s going to be even worse than you might expect for T.Y. Hilton, Donte Moncrief, Phillip Dorsett and Jack Doyle.

The backup for Luck is Scott Tolzein, who has made a total of two career starts. In those two starts for Green Bay in 2013, he threw for 437 yards, but zero touchdowns and three interceptions. He was yanked in the second game for the immortal Matt Flynn. Green Bay had Jordy Nelson, James Jones and Jarrett Boykin at wideout and Jermichael Finley for a tight end so his poor performance wasn’t for lack of receiving help.

4) Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston has thrown or run for a touchdown in every game since joining the NFL in 2015 (28 games).

That makes his floor pretty high. Winston has never posted less than 15.4 fantasy points in an NFL game. He ranks ninth this season averaging 22.8 FPts/G after finishing a respectable 13th in his rookie season. Winston also threw a touchdown in all 27 of his college games at Florida State where he was 26-1.

5) The most efficient wide receiver this season is Jamison Crowder.

True. Based on all receivers who have seen at least 50 targets, Crowder is averaging a league-leading 1.51 points-per-target. Crowder has posted five consecutive game with at least 10 fantasy points while seeing an average of just seven targets per game over that span. Hey Kirk Cousins, throw more passes his way!

For the curious, here is the top-10...

Most Effeicient WRs (50+Targets)
Name Team Targets Games FPts/G T/G FPts/T
Jamison Crowder WAS 66 10 10.0 6.6 1.51
Brandin Cooks NO 75 10 11.2 7.5 1.49
Tyreek Hill KC 46 10 6.8 4.6 1.47
Doug Baldwin SEA 70 10 10.3 7.0 1.47
Rishard Matthews TEN 66 11 8.8 6.0 1.46
Julio Jones ATL 97 10 14.1 9.7 1.45
Adam Thielen MIN 50 10 7.1 5.0 1.42
Antonio Brown PIT 96 10 13.4 9.6 1.39
Marvin Jones DET 66 10 9.2 6.6 1.39
Dez Bryant DAL 58 7 11.1 8.2 1.35


“How 'bout a shot of truth in that denial cocktail.” Jennifer Salaiz

1) We think of the Denver Broncos as a great defensive team.

That’s not 100-percent true, they are actually a great “passing” defense, No. 1 in both QB fantasy points allowed (17.0) and WR fantasy points allowed (14.0), but the team has proven to be vulnerable to the run game having given up the third-most yards to running backs in the league (1,053). Denver is yielding 21.1 fantasy points per game to backs which ranks them 26th among 32 teams.

2) Allen Robinson, Emmanuel Sanders, Julian Edelman, Brandon Marshall and DeAndre Hopkins are efficient wide receivers.

In the past, perhaps, but in 2016 they are more accurately “volume receivers.” The quintet need more targets to produce fewer fantasy points than anyone in the top-50.

Volume Receivers
Name Team Targets Games FPts/G T/G FPts/T
Allen Robinson JAC 101 10 9.3 10.1 0.92
Emmanuel Sanders DEN 95 10 8.5 9.5 0.89
Julian Edelman NE 89 10 7.1 8.9 0.79
Brandon Marshall NYJ 92 10 7.2 9.2 0.78
DeAndre Hopkins HOU 95 10 7.2 9.5 0.75

3) Colin Kaepernick is just a temporary fill-in until the 49ers can find their starting quarterback of the future.

The team might be looking for a quarterback to build around, but fantasy owners should pay attention to the fact that Kaepernick is scoring as well as Cousins (23.4 FPts/G) and less than half-a-point less than heralded rookie Dak Prescott (23.8) and two-time Super Bowl winner Ben Roethlisberger (23.8). San Francisco is horrible on offense and defense, but Kaepernick hasn’t posted less than 19.6 points in any of his five starts. He and the 49ers won’t play a top-10 fantasy defense, based on QB points allowed, until Week 17 and they face the league’s worst QB defense during “Championship Week” (Week 16).

4) Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski is as close to a sure thing as anyone on the football field.

Oops! After leading the league the past four seasons and averaging at least 9.4 FPts/G in each campaign, Gostkowski is currently mired in 18th-place averaging just 6.9 FPts/G. It’s about a lack of opportunities. Gostkowski averaged 2.32 field goal attempts per game from 2012-2015, but in 2016 that number has dropped significantly, to just 1.6 tries per contest.

5) Sam Bradford was worth the No. 1 pick the Vikings gave to the Eagles.

That four-game winning streak to start the season that had fans so excited seems eons ago as the team has lost four of its last five games. Even during the winning streak Bradford averaged just 18.4 FPts/G and since then it’s dropped to 16.8 FPts/G. That’s hardly fantasy worthy and now that 30 of the 32 teams have gotten past their bye week it’s fine to unload him.

Steve Schwarz served as the fantasy sports editor of The Sports Network and is the 2014 FSWA Football Writer of the Year.