Sunday Six Pack: Week 12


Every week brings us great story lines in dynasty leagues. There isn’t a Sunday that passes without a significant injury, an unexpected performance or something else that puts the dynasty community on its ear. As always, we bring you the Sunday Six Pack, an article that previews six of the biggest story lines of the day.

Let’s get to week 12

1. What Do I do with the Tight End Position?

The tight end position has been quite the headache for dynasty owners all season long. The top 25 tight ends, according to DLF’s September 2019 ADP, is littered with injuries and underperformances thus far through the season. The position has been particularly hard hit by the injury bug with the following players from that top 25 list missing two or more games and/or are currently on Injured Reserve (IR):

That list comprises roughly a quarter of the top 25 while other members of that list, headed by namely OJ Howard, have severely underperformed compared to their ADPs. This understandably has left several dynasty owners left to wonder: “What do we do with the position?”

As wrong as it may feel, for the remainder of the season I recommend streaming tight ends if you have lost your starter for the season. Previously forgotten veterans or relative unknowns have produced handsomely this season, such as Jacob Hollister, Ryan Griffin, Jason Witten, Ben Watson and Ross Dwelley. It isn’t pretty on any given week but it will help save the value you have built on your team thus far.

2. Can Atlanta Play the Spoiler for Three Weeks Straight?

Atlanta managed only one win prior to the Week Nine bye but since then they have soundly beat two straight division rivals in New Orleans and Carolina. This week they face the third divisional foe in as many weeks with Tampa Bay coming to town. Atlanta is favored in the game despite losing Devonta Freeman and Austin Hooper.

How will Atlanta’s suddenly potent defense bode for two of the NFL’s team wide receivers in Mike Evans and Chris Godwin? Well, despite a hot streak for the Falcons, I expect both Evans and Godwin to perform well as Atlanta wasn’t able to effectively contain either Michael Thomas or DJ Moore over the past two games.

3. Is Bo Scarbrough For Real or Simply a Dynasty Depth Add?

Bo Scarbrough got his first significant NFL action last weekend after being signed off the street by Detroit. With the injuries and underperformance from the Lions’ running back corps, Scarborough’s performance was a welcome surprise to those dynasty owners either held him on their taxi squad since he was drafted or who were quick enough to act on the news of his signing and pick him up off waivers. However, the question this week is whether that performance was a fluke, or a sign of things to come?

This week he draws a Washington defense that ranks near the bottom in terms of defending against the rush. If he underperforms this week then he may simply serve as a depth pick up in leagues with deeper rosters. However, even if he performs well this week, still temper future expectations as his tougher matchups are still to come. Whatever the case, this is a very low risk add this late in the season if your leaguemates have checked out or are asleep at the wheel. The only question that remains is how high his upside can be, especially if he stays on the team through next season when Kerryon Johnson returns.

4. Is Indianapolis’ Backfield Worth the Risk?

When Marlon Mack broke his hand last week, Jonathan Williams stepped in midway through the game and accumulated 116 yards. With Mack on the shelf for the next few weeks, there was a question heading into Thursday Night Football if Williams would get the start or teammate Nyheim Hines. Williams ultimately got the start and rumbled for another 104 yards and a touchdown. The question now becomes not who will start but should dynasty owners invest in Williams going forward. Simply put, the answer is a resounding yes.

The Colts’ remaining schedule features the sixth-most most rush-friendly matchups in the league. With Mack likely to miss a large majority of the remaining regular season, and hence fantasy playoffs, some last-minute maneuvering would be the difference for some fantasy teams, between some new championship hardware or working towards that championship next season. Williams likely won’t be cheap, but he can be had in many leagues as owners know he’s headed back to the bench next season once Mack is healed.

5. Should Nick Chubb Owners Be Worried That Kareem Hunt Has Been Successful?

Kareem Hunt finally made his return to the NFL on November 10, 2019 and immediately paid dividends for a Browns team that sorely needed a boost. Since his return, Cleveland has look much more dynamic on offense and Hunt has seemingly assumed the old role filled by Duke Williams as primarily a pass-catching running back.

Since Hunt stepped into that role, Nick Chubb has seen his receiving duties shrink significantly with only two receptions for five yards collectively over those two games, making Chubb essentially a two down running back.

While Hunt has yet to eat into Chubb’s rushing attempts, he has managed to carve out some attempts of his own, averaging roughly five carries per game. I expect his role to increase modestly in the coming weeks, but Chubb will likely remain the lead rusher for the Browns. That said, he appears to have been phased out of the passing game completely in favor of Hunt. If your league scores more heavily for passing yards and receptions, then it may be time to accept a decrease in his production going forward.

6. Is It Wise to Play San Francisco Players in the Lead Up to the Fantasy Playoffs?

This question sounds rhetorical on its face as San Francisco is just one of two teams who currently have a record of 9-1, who wouldn’t start players in the fantasy playoffs from such a successful team? Well, their record and general success thus far is undeniable. That said, the 49ers have an incredibly difficult schedule ahead of them leading into the fantasy playoffs.

For those teams looking to clinch a playoff berth in Week 12, be aware that San Francisco is facing the 8-2 Green Bay Packers, one of their most difficult matchups this season. It doesn’t get any easier to kick off the traditional fantasy playoffs in Week 13, the 49ers will the Baltimore Ravens who are also currently 8-2 and already placed a blemish on the other current 9-1 team when they beat the New England Patriots in Week Nine. Week 14 presents yet another 8-2 team in the New Orleans Saints.

Yes, you read that right, San Francisco will face three straight teams who are currently 8-2 and all of whom are currently first in their respective divisions. Dynasty playoff contenders might want to pay close attention to how the 49ers perform in Week 12 and proceed with caution in the coming weeks as it is very possible we could see a statistical dip from one or more of San Francisco’s top offensive performers.