Josh Jordan

Fantasy football under-the-radar plays — Week 12

Baker Mayfield couldn't ask for a better matchup. Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Week 12 is already here and I’m back to give out more sleeper plays. Remember to set your lineups early with 3 games being played on Thursday. My standard for a good fantasy game is around 100 total yards and/or a TD, and this is for PPR scoring. A game with a lot of catches helps too, obviously. Of course, the bar is a little lower for TEs. 

I went 6-6 last week, and you can check out that article here. I counted both QBs as a loss, even though they were middle of the pack-ish. Sorry, Week 11 was my worst week of the year. I will continue to look for players that can help you with playoff implications on the line heading forward. These players are in no particular order.


Baker Mayfield (CLE): The Bengals are allowing over 32 FPTS/G to QBs over their last 4 games. Is that good?

Andy Dalton (CIN): I’m a little concerned that A.J. Green may not be back, but the matchup is tasty. Plus, our rule on QBs says that if we expect Mayfield to have a big game, we should expect the opposing QB to do the same. Here's hoping that rule comes through again this week!


Nick Chubb (CLE): The Bengals defense is getting torched, so make sure you fire up Chubb this week. Cincinnati is allowing almost 39 FPTS/G to RBs over their last 4, and over 5 yards/carry.

Mark Ingram (NO): I put Ingram in this article 2 weeks in a row and he’s been money. Why mess with a good thing? The Falcons are a Top 2 matchup for RBs allowing over 33 FPTS/G to the position.

Marlon Mack (IND): Mack should come through again as long as he’s healthy. The Colts offense is really heating up.

Phillip Lindsay (DEN): The Steelers are an average matchup for RBs over their last 4 games allowing over 25 FPTS/G to the position.

Matt Breida (SF): I get it. He's brittle, but the matchup is too good to pass up. The Bucs are allowing just under 30 FPTS/G to RBs in their last 5.


Allen Robinson (CHI): *Proceed with caution. His QB situation is concerning now.

He’s in a great spot to put up some points on Turkey Day against the Lions. Detroit is giving up over 43 FPTS/G to WRs over their last 5 games, and he smashed the Lions for over 100-yards and 2 TDs only 2 weeks ago.

Calvin Ridley (ATL): He had his best game of the year against the Saints earlier this season, so he’s worth taking a flyer on. His involvement in the offense lately has been concerning, so he’s no lock to blow up. This matchup is good however, and when you’re dealing with sleepers, beggars can’t be choosers.

Amari Cooper (DAL): I put Cooper in this article last week and he killed me, but I’m going to give him another shot. Washington is giving up over 41 FPTS/G to WRs in their last 5 games.

Doug Baldwin (SEA): He’s not perfect but he seems to be a lot healthier and starting to come on. He’s in a good spot against a Carolina D that is allowing almost 37 FPTS/G to WRs in their last 5. They really struggle with TEs as well, so Baldwin could come up BIG in the slot this week.


Jordan Reed (WAS): He had a nice game against Houston in Week 11, and now he gets a Dallas defense that allowed 25 catches in their last 4 games to TEs, and over 17 FPTS/G.

C. J. Uzomah (CIN): He hasn’t been very good, but this is purely about the matchup. The Browns have given up an insane 37 catches to TEs over their last 4 games, and are allowing almost 23 FPTS/G to the position.


That’s all I have for this week. For more fantasy info, make sure you check out my show Moneyline on ESPN 97.5 every Sunday from 10-noon. Jerry Bo and I will get you ready for kickoff and answer any questions you may have. Also, follow us on Twitter.

Good luck in Week 12 and Happy Thanksgiving!




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The media has mixed feelings about the James Harden trade. Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

James Harden was 100-percent exactly right earlier this week when he said the Houston Rockets were "just not good enough."

How could they be? Not when their moody superstar scorer, who makes about half a million dollars per game, shows up chubby, looking like a kielbasa about to explode in the microwave. Hey, some people eat when they're unhappy, it's a defense mechanism. In Harden's case, the only defense he's exhibited this season. At least he had a good excuse for missing pre-season training camp and alienating his teammates - he was busy partying with Cinnamon and Cherish in Atlanta and Vegas without a mask. Worst of all, he went into the tank his last four games in a Rockets uniform, standing around, arms folded, scoring fewer than 20 points each time, all Rockets losses. Fans in the front row were asking him to move, he was blocking their view of players who cared about winning. James Harden sabotaged his own team, a team that offered him $50 million a year to stay. Something that crazy could only happen in professional sports these days.

There's a saying that drives the American labor movement: "a fair day's wage for a fair day's work." It's the motto of the American Federation of Labor. The National Basketball Players Association is not a member. Harden's sulking on the court, cheating the Rockets and their fans, was unforgivable.

Harden, sitting out games while somehow being on the court, forced the Rockets to trade him - and quick - to Brooklyn. The trade, when you ignore the fine print and unindicted co-conspirators Cleveland and Indiana, sent Harden to Brooklyn in exchange for Caris LeVert (immediately flipped for Victor Oladipo), Jarrett Allen, three first-round draft picks and four swapped first-rounders. It's true, when you trade a superstar, you never get back equal value. The other team wins.

If it makes Rockets fans feel any better, the media in New York already has problems with their new problem child. I should say newest problem child. Kyrie Irving plays for the Nets.

"They (the Nets) gave up everybody! There's nothing left now. I just want to cry, It's awful," weeped WFAN Radio talk host Evan Roberts. For those who don't subscribe to weekly Arbitron ratings reports, WFAN is the most powerful, top-rated sports talk station in the Apple.

"You're leading down the road of doom. Harden and Durant could be gone in a year and a half. I'm not convinced this gives them a better chance to win a title. I'm living a nightmare again. They better freaking win."

Circle March 3 on your Rockets schedule. That's when the Brooklyn Nets, with their Big 3 of Kevin Durant, James Harden and possibly Kyrie Irving visit Toyota Center. I hear talk radio salivating over the record jeers that will cascade over Harden's name, although I'm not buying it. Fans don't think like the media does. I'm thinking that Rockets fans will welcome Harden back - one night only - with cheers.

Toyota Center public address announcer Matt Thomas: "Usually when former Rockets come to town for the first time since leaving, I give them a positive introduction. It's up to the fans how to react."

James Harden spent eight seasons with the Rockets. He is a spectacular player who watched other NBA players engineer trades so they could compete for a title. Harden didn't think the Rockets were good enough, and he's right. So he wanted out. We've all been there, a job we didn't like for a company we didn't like, for a boss we didn't respect. Harden wanting to be traded is understandable. How he went about it was deplorable. He hurt his co-workers.

Houston will make Harden pay for his disrespectful departure. He has an upscale restaurant set to open here. The name of the steakhouse will be "13." Harden's business partners may want to change that number ... before the restaurant's telephone number is disconnected. There are plenty of other restaurants in Houston. Rich people who can afford steakhouse prices hold grudges.

Rockets fans searching for a silver lining say, "We got two decent players and a whole bunch of precious first-round picks" for a malcontent who would rather be anywhere (except maybe Sacramento) than Houston." Yes, a bunch of first-round picks does bode well for the future. Anywhere, except maybe Houston.

Houston's draft war room isn't the most successful operation in the NBA. Over the past decade prior to 2000, under the direction of general manager Daryl Morey, the Rockets made 16 draft picks. Not one of them is still in a Rockets uniform, many of them have sought employment outside of America, some outside of basketball. Among their first-round whiffs: Nikola Mirotic, Terrence Jones, Sam Dekker - all out of the league. Best of all, Royce White, who played three whole games in his NBA career and finished with a scoring average of 0.00 points per game.

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