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Fantasy Football Week 12: What We Learned

Odell Beckham, Jr., for all the breathless declarations that he has indeed reached Jordanesque levels of surreal performance art, has something else going for him that shouldn’t be overlooked by fantasy footballers: volume.

Odell Beckham Jr



Odell Beckham, Jr., for all the breathless declarations that he has indeed reached Jordanesque levels of surreal performance art, has something else going for him that shouldn’t be overlooked by fantasy footballers.

The Giants’ stud rookie has volume on his side. He’s not just an efficient fantasy producer making due with a half dozen targets every week. New York’s passing game goes through Beckham — and has for a couple weeks — giving OBJ a decidedly high fantasy floor to go along with a ceiling that will win fantasy titles over the next few weeks.

The highlighted-hair wonder, since Victor Cruz‘s season-ending injury forced him into the Giants’ starting lineup, has seen more targets than all but five receivers. And he’s doing a lot with those opportunities, notching 2.19 fantasy points per target. For some perspective, consider Demaryius Thomas, over that same stretch, has scored 1.95 fantasy points per target.

OBJ is essentially the opposite of Andre Johnson and Vincent Jackson. He’s a target hog who actually produces.

I’ve seen a lot of Twitter rumblings about selling high on Beckham after his unholy performance against the Cowboys. While it’s critically important to never say never in fantasy football dealings, it should take a supremely generous offer for someone to pry away OBJ in the coming week.

Sell-high candidates, after all, produce an unsustainable number of yards and touchdowns over a short stretch. Beckham’s production — even if he doesn’t make a history-altering catch every week — is far from unsustainable now that the Giants’ aerial attack goes through him while Rueben Randle, Larry Donnell and other Big Blue pass catchers serve as nothing more than ancillary parts of the passing game.

Here are a few more fake football takeaways from Week 12…

  • C.J. Anderson is just the latest running back to show that the Peyton Sponge Effect is real, even if Montee Ball tried to disprove it during the first two months of the 2014 season. I’m no fan of evaluating fantasy producers based on what I see on TV, but it’s hard to ignore that Anderson can do things that Ball — and even Ronnie Hillman — simply cannot do. Anderson, who carved up a stout Miami front seven for 195 yards on 31 touches in Week 12, is a top-end receiving back benefiting from the favorable fronts faced by Peyton’s runners for most of the past 17 years. Among my more simplistic rules for fantasy football: Get Peyton Manning‘s running back at almost any cost. You’ll be right much more than you’ll be wrong, and if you snagged Anderson from the depths of your local waiver wire a couple weeks ago, you have a plugged-in RB1 for the remainder of the season. There’s no reason Anderson can’t be a top-3 running back during the season’s final stretch.

 

  • I don’t think Delanie Walker‘s Week 12 stat line — five grabs for 155 yards — is much of a fluke in the Zach Mettenberger era, however long it lasts. The big-armed quarterback isn’t afraid to attack the middle of the field, which is precisely where Walker outruns too-slow linebackers and out-muscles too-small safeties. While the Eagles may have been particularly vulnerable to a big, capable tight end like Walker thanks to linebacker injuries, I think it’s more than likely that Walker will continue to be a primary target for Mettengberger as the Titans undoubtedly faced big deficits and are forced to try to score points, despite Ken Whisenhunt‘s objections that that approach. Walker, who faces the fifth-easiest schedule for tight ends from Weeks 13-16, was targeted nine times on Sunday.

 

  • The Jaguars’ offense is an atrocity. Even their most ardent supporters are waving a tear-stained white flag in the wake of another horrendous offensive performance against the Colts, who basically rolled out of bed and handily beat Jacksonville. Denard Robinson was the only Jaguar who escaped Sunday’s game with any value, totaling 10.7 PPR points in a game that saw his teammates completely and totally tank thanks to Blake Bortles‘ ineptitude. I think we should be wary of starting any Jaguars player for the remainder of 2014. Counting on garbage time production from this offense is the very definition of getting too cute.

 

  • Trent Richardson sniped the Colts’ lone rushing score this week, but those who did the right thing in re-draft leagues and bet against TRich took a wise approach as Dan Herron started the game in Indy’s backfield and turned 12 carries into 65 yards while Richardson pulled a Richardson and ran 13 times for 42 yards. Perhaps more importantly, Herron — a solid pass catcher — reeled in all five of his targets for 31 yards against the Jags. I’m (almost) sure Herron would be a top-12 runner if he had the gig to himself, and maybe continued success juxtaposed with TRich’s continued failings could net Herron 15 touches a game for fantasy’s final four weeks. Indianapolis beat writers have joined fantasy owners in begging the Colts to abandon the TRich experiment and commit to Herron as a full-time runner, for whatever that’s worth.
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