Fantasy Football Week 12 Cheat Sheet: Deep Sleepers to Grab on Waiver Wire

Steve Silverman@@profootballboyFeatured ColumnistNovember 21, 2018

Colt McCoy takes over at quarterback for the first-place Redskins.
Colt McCoy takes over at quarterback for the first-place Redskins.Mark Tenally/Associated Press

It is no longer time to just think about making moves with your NFL fantasy lineup.

With the fantasy football season well into the deep stretch—many leagues will conclude their regular season with Week 14 games—fantasy football owners have to make their roster moves right now.

The key is to maximize points on an every-game basis, and if you have a weak running back or wideout, you have to act within moments, or the other owner in your league who is chasing that playoff spot will add that player before you do.

It's not a matter of finding superstars, because they are not available. We are adding supersleepers, some of whom have come off the bench to become contributors this season.

It doesn't matter, because we just want players who have a chance to put points on the board in Week 12. Our selections are currently on 40 percent of Yahoo rosters or fewer.



Eli Manning, New York Giants (23 percent)

Nick Mullens, San Francisco 49ers (7 percent)

Colt McCoy, Washington Redskins (1 percent)


Colt McCoy

The end of Alex Smith's season does not mean the Redskins are destined to go down the drain. They are still in first place in the NFC East and play their archrivals Dallas Cowboys on the road on Thanksgiving Day.

McCoy threw just 12 passes after Smith suffered his brutal leg injury in the Week 11 loss to the Houston Texans, and he completed six of them for 54 yards with one touchdown.

However, McCoy should not be looked at as a Johnny-come-lately who has just been thrown into the job. He has been with the Redskins for five years, and he knows what head coach Jay Gruden wants from his quarterback.

Look for McCoy to make his reads against the Cowboys and find the open receiver. The Washington offensive line will have to give McCoy sensational protection because they are not about to let a quarterback get injured two weeks in a row.

McCoy does not have a slew of big-name receivers on his side, but tight end Jordan Reed needs to have a big game by getting open right off the line of scrimmage. Look for wideout Josh Doctson to step up and perform against the Cowboys. 

Doctson has caught three or more passes in each of his last eight games, and while he did not score against the Texans, he had scored in his two previous games. Doctson must be on top of his game against the Cowboys.

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If the Lions keep upping Theo Riddick's slot usage, there might be room for both he and Kerryon Johnson to be productive. Week 11 DFS bargains ($): https://t.co/CgX5amKNWG https://t.co/Dau3Ry6QFq

Running backs 

Theo Riddick, Detroit Lions (35 percent)

Nyheim Hines, Indianapolis Colts (24 percent)

Corey Clement, Philadelphia Eagles (18 percent)


Theo Riddick

The most consistent aspect of the Detroit Lions offense in recent years has been its ability to throw and complete short passes.

The combination of Riddick catching the ball out of the backfield and Golden Tate catching similar passes while on the run from the wide receiver position gave Matthew Stafford a couple of skilled targets who could keep the chains moving and the yardage totals growing.

However, that RB-WR combination is no longer available since Tate was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles at the deadline. That means Riddick is the man when it comes to getting much-needed first downs.

If Riddick is important most weeks, he is truly vital on Thanksgiving Day since the Lions host the first-place and defensively sound Chicago Bears.

Chicago will try to put the heat on Stafford, but if he is throwing short to Riddick, he has an excellent chance to let the ball go before he gets hammered by pass-rush specialist Khalil Mack.

Riddick has caught 41 passes this year and has been targeted 52 times. While his yardage total is modest at 264 yards, and he has not gotten into the end zone, Riddick represents Detroit's best hope for consistent production against Chicago.

Wide receivers

Donte Moncrief, Jacksonville Jaguars (22 percent)

Taylor Gabriel, Chicago Bears (31 percent)

Keke Coutee, Houston Texans (33 percent)


Taylor Gabriel 

The Bears have risen dramatically this season under first-year head coach Matt Nagy. He has demonstrated tremendous overall leadership in the locker room and his knowledge and creativity in the offensive game has been impactful.

The Bears are a middle of the pack offensive team as they rank 16th in passing yardage, but they have made a number of big plays with Mitchell Trubisky at quarterback.

Trubisky was hit hard in the shoulder in Chicago's Sunday night victory over the Minnesota Vikings, and Nagy may have to turn to backup Chase Daniel on Thanksgiving Day against the Lions.

No matter who is playing quarterback, Gabriel figures to be heavily involved in the game plan. He is the Bears' leading receiver with 44 catches for 478 yards and two touchdowns.

The Bears spread the ball around quite a bit, and when Gabriel catches the ball in space, he is capable of making defensive backs look foolish with his make-you-miss moves.

He could embarrass the Lions' secondary, and a big game could be at hand.


Tight ends

Ricky Seals-Jones, Arizona Cardinals (31 percent)

Nick Vannett, Seattle Seahawks (5 percent)


Ricky Seals-Jones

The Cardinals do not have many offensive threats outside of speedy running back David Johnson, but Seals-Jones has a chance to do some damage this week for the offensively challenged Cardinals against the Los Angeles Chargers.

The Chargers are coming off a home loss to the Denver Broncos, another team that has not dominated on offense. If the Chargers are starting to lose focus or go into a slump, Arizona rookie quarterback Josh Rosen is going to attempt to find a security blanket when he drops back, and Seals-Jones could be one of his best targets.

Seals-Jones is a huge target at 6'5" and 243 pounds, and his wingspan allows him to reach passes that other receivers can't get to. Seals-Jones has caught 25 passes for 272 yards and one touchdown this season, and he could be an excellent target in Week 12 and beyond.