In the fantasy universe, even the brightest of stars can be dimmed
Let’s compare two quarterbacks.
In his last six games, Quarterback A has amassed the following fantasy points: 34, 38, 26, 11, 42, and 19. That’s an average of 28 per game, and to date he has 268 points in 10 games. Quarterback A doesn’t play with any household-name skill players but he is supported by an outstanding defense that helps in the field-position battle.
In his last six games, Quarterback B has posted 35, 24, 28, 13, 17, and 11 fantasy points. That’s an average of 21, and to date he has 218 fantasy points in 10 games. Quarterback B is surrounded by three former All-Pro pass-catchers (key word: “former”) and it wouldn’t surprise anyone if one, two, or all three missed a game at any point. Quarterback B also is supported by a running back having a potentially historic season catching the ball. Quarterback B’s defense? Not helpful.
Quarterback A is Mitchell Trubisky of the Bears. Quarterback B is Tom Brady.
It’s shocking to learn that Brady’s fantasy season is worse than Trubisky’s, and that Brady is also neck-and-neck with the likes of Cincinnati’s Andy Dalton and Tampa Bay’s Ryan Fitzpatrick (who has played in two fewer games).
But if Brady’s owners can accept his average fantasy production, particularly recently (in his last three games, Brady has 41 fantasy points, or a typical single-game output for Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes), it’s probably time to stop thinking of him in fantasy terms as “Tom Brady.”
It’s probably time to at least consider moving on.
Waiver claim of the week: Brady’s upcoming matchups don’t suggest that he’ll have it easy, so if you need alternatives, consider who is facing Cincinnati’s terrible defense in Weeks 12 and 13: Cleveland’s Baker Mayfield and Denver’s Case Keenum.
Sneaky play: Eli Manning, QB, NY Giants. Are the Giants and their Week 12 opponent, the Eagles, heading in opposite directions? I can’t believe I’m saying this prior to Week 12, but Manning is another alternative to Brady.
Hazardous waiver claim of the week: Jameis Winston, QB, Tampa Bay. Winston has his job back, again. It’s a good bet he’s going to sink his fantasy value by throwing a lot of interceptions, again.
Watch out for: Gus Edwards, RB, Baltimore. Edwards burst onto the scene against the Bengals during Week 11, but I’m suspicious. Achievement against Cincinnati can be misleading, and trusting Ravens running backs is not good business.
You’re desperate at WR. Try this: Doug Baldwin, WR, Seattle. Baldwin has quietly compiled 37 fantasy points in the last three weeks. He’s easy to acquire at this point, either through a trade or a low price tag in daily fantasy.
. . .
Ed Ryan’s daily fantasy lineup, Week 12
(based on DraftKings model of a $50,000 budget)
QB — Cam Newton, Carolina, $6,200. Newton has a nice home matchup against the Seahawks and we can pair him with all-purpose running back Christian McCaffrey.
RB — Christian McCaffrey, Carolina, $7,900. Week-to-week production validates the price tag.
RB — Leonard Fournette, Jacksonville, $6,700. He’s rounding into form, and the bet here is he’ll have plenty of carries against Buffalo.
WR — Keenan Allen, San Diego, $7,100. Allen is proving to be a second-half performer, and that will continue at home against the Cardinals.
WR — Keke Coutee, Houston, $4,600. Possession receiver sees a lot of targets from quarterback Deshaun Watson.
WR — Antonio Callaway, Cleveland, $3,800. Low cost for a high-ceiling matchup versus the Bengals.
TE — Cameron Brate, Tampa Bay, $3,600. I needed a cheap option; he’s filling in for the injured O.J. Howard.
FLEX — James Conner, RB, Pittsburgh, $7,800. Conner has had enough big games to justify the high price tag.
DST — San Francisco, $2,300. The 49ers will generate turnovers and defensive scoring chances against Jameis Winston and Tampa Bay.