Fantasy Football Fast Forward: Stick with studs late in season
Despite this being a crucial stretch of the season, this wasn't a must-win Week 12 for most of us in fantasy. It was a must-learn session, though, provided by professor Julio Jones.
He taught us before the fantasy postseason to stick with your studs that have gotten you here.
Jones, who had been hobbled by an ankle injury in recent weeks, came through with six catches for 147 yards and a touchdown, lifting his Falcons to a key NFC South victory in Tampa Bay and myriad fantasy owners to a playoff berth. After last week's frustrating performance some might have considered benching Jones for a lesser talent in a better matchup.
Yeah, um, don't do that in fantasy crunch time.
We break down the rest of the lessons dealt our way in the first full week after the end of the byes. It is the Week 12 Fantasy Football Fast Forward:
Andy Dalton is getting lost a bit in the young-QB shuffle, but he is on a legit roll that has made him a must-start fantasy option in crunch time. Not only does he have the No. 1 WR in A.J. Green but he has also made Jermaine Gresham a must-start and rookie Mohamed Sanu an outstanding sleeper.
Sanu is going to be the most-added player in waivers this week, and rightly so. He is on a three-game scoring streak and has taken advantage of Andrew Hawkins' (knee) absence.
The Bengals' roll hasn't been limited to the passing game either. The defense has been among the top performers in fantasy and BenJarvus Green Ellis (19 carries for 129 yards and one TD) looks better than ever.
It will be an important trip to San Diego for the Bengals' playoff hopes and we should expect them to be nothing less than solid starters in fantasy in that one. Even if the Chargers show some life in their own push for a wild card, the Bengals offense should be up to the challenge in a potential shootout.
Jalen Parmele was one of the most-added RB in fantasy this week over Bryce Brown and Ronnie Hillman, who didn't even get the touches because Knowshon Moreno was announced as a starter Sunday morning. Parmele didn't last the week, though.
Parmele left with a leg injury, spent almost a full half on a stationary bike and the Jags were forced to go back to Rashad Jennings as their feature RB. Parmele gave some hope with a return late in the game, but he had to go right back out, limping off in the fourth quarter.
It opens up another opportunity for Jennings, one of the most-cut players of late. This is particularly noteworthy because we should expect a busy day for the Jags on the ground at Buffalo next week.
Consider going back to Jennings off waivers, maybe even in lieu of Parmele.
Unless you are a devoted follower of the SI.com Sunday Cheat Sheet or a fantasy news hound, you likely missed the late announcement the Broncos were going with Knowshon Moreno as their starter. It came as a surprise to everyone outside of the Broncos locker room.
Smallish rookie RB Ronnie Hillman wasn't going to be able to handle the workload and pass protection the way the veteran Moreno can, but watching Hillman have an even smaller impact behind Moreno than he did behind Willis McGahee (knee) was very disappointing. Hillman was limited to just three touches and short-yardage back Lance Ball went without any.
It makes Moreno the must-add in all fantasy leagues and Hillman and Ball mere handcuffs now. Of course, once you add Moreno this could all change right back.
Regardless of whether you win the Moreno bid off waivers, you might not want to start any Broncos back against a Buccaneers defense that came into Week 12 ranked No. 1 against the run.