Ryan McDowell (@RyanMc23): After putting on a show for us on Monday Night Football last week, the Rams and Chiefs, two of the top three scoring teams in the league, will enjoy their much-needed bye week. In the final weeks of the fantasy football regular season, this could be a disaster for fantasy teams trying to make one final push into the playoffs. 

Consider for a moment the players fantasy owners will have to find replacements for in Week Twelve. They include QB1 Patrick Mahomes, QB2 Jared Goff, RB1 Todd Gurley, RB6 Kareem Hunt, WR1 Tyreek Hill, WR10 Robert Woods, WR11 Brandin Cooks and TE1 Travis Kelce.

As if things aren’t bad enough for season-long players finding substitutes for these stars, DFS players will also have to create main slate lineups without the Saints, the league’s top-scoring team, and the Falcons, who played Thanksgiving night.

With all of these holes to fill, who are some sleepers from any of the four main positions that will be in action on Sunday that you’re ready to take a shot on in lineups?

Ravens rookies QB Lamar Jackson and RB Gus Edwards face the Raiders and are looking to repeat their Week Eleven success. With OJ Howard done for the year, is Cameron Brate an option at a thin tight end spot? Are any 49ers receivers playable against the Buccaneers horrible pass defense?

Raymond Summerlin (@RMSummerlin)I think the savior at quarterback is Jameis Winston. Considering the Tampa Bay quarterback has been the third-most productive in the league this season, topping 20 points in all but two games, literally the only concern for Winston is the specter of an in-game benching. That seems unlikely both because it is Winston’s first game back in the lineup and the 49ers have forced just two interceptions all season, making it less likely Winston will commit the turnovers which got him benched last time. Assuming that is true, Winston should be a good option.

Brate is certainly the best option available in most leagues, but do not overlook Chris Herndon. Investing in the Jets’ offense is not exciting, but the Patriots have been terrible against tight ends this season, giving up seven touchdowns including at least one in four of the last six games. Herndon probably needs a score to really hit, but he will have a better-than-normal chance for one this week. 

Jesse Pantuosco (@JessePantuosco)I can definitely get on board with Winston. Despite the Buccaneers’ perceived quarterback problems, they lead the league in passing yards per game by a pretty overwhelming margin. Part of that is because the Bucs play absolutely zero defense, meaning that almost every game they play is a shootout. Which segues nicely into my case for Nick Mullens, who I view as one of this week’s top streamers. Obviously, Mullens only has two career starts under his belt, with both coming at home against subpar teams (the Raiders and Giants). But unproven or not, he gets another cake matchup Sunday against a Tampa Bay secondary that has spent the year getting torched by opposing quarterbacks. No team in football has allowed more passing touchdowns than the Bucs this year. No one would ever confuse Mullens for Aaron Rodgers, but he’s been a pleasant surprise since taking over the starting role in San Francisco and should be able to take advantage of this plush matchup. I’m starting him in a two-quarterback league this week and I imagine I’ll have DFS exposure to him as well.


D.J. Moore is another name I’m targeting as a bye-week fill-in. I know it feels like point-chasing coming off last week’s 157-yard explosion, but I think Moore is legit (obviously the Panthers do too after spending a first-round pick on him) and with Devin Funchess battling a back injury, he could be in for a major workload Sunday against Seattle. As a WR3/flex, you could do a lot worse than Moore.


Patrick Daugherty (@RotoPat)Konami Code it up with Lamar Jackson. We know he’s going to carry the ball a minimum of 12-15 times, and the Ravens seem salty that no one thinks he can pass. Expect him to cut it loose more against the Raiders’ truly-pathetic defense. 


Ryan McDowell (@RyanMc23): Judging by Nick Mensio’s Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em article as well as Pat’s Week 12 Rankings, it seems Winston is a strong option this week against the 49ers as is the case for Edwards, Josh Adams and Elijah McGuire at the running back spot. Buccaneers WR Adam Humphries stands out among wide receivers while Evan Silva’s favorite TE Jeff Heuerman should draw strong consideration from fantasy players. 

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