Three weeks away from the playoffs, fantasy football managers are presented with a myriad of start and sit decisions in Week 12. This article will dive into some sneaky starts, spotlighting players who have the best opportunity to score a touchdown. From seasoned veterans embracing expanded roles to emerging talents capitalizing on increased opportunities, we explore players with matchup-winning upside. Touchdowns often serve as the lifeblood of fantasy success, and as we navigate the Week 12 landscape, we shine a spotlight on players poised to elevate your fantasy team.
MORE SGPN FANTASY FOOTBALL CONTENT
Week 12 Fantasy Football Flex Starts Based on TD Opportunity
Odell Beckham Jr. – WR – Baltimore Ravens (Questionable)
Odell Beckham Jr. had his finest performance of the season in Week 11 and will be asked to take on a larger role without the presence of Mark Andrews. He is on the injury report this weekend and has called himself a game-time decision. However, Beckham Jr. did close out the week with a full practice, and I expect him to be active for the matchup. Be sure to have a backup plan in place in case he doesn’t play, though.
Although Beckham Jr. has lost a lot of his burst, he has operated as an outstanding red-zone threat dating back to his time with the Rams. Their opponent, the Chargers, also rank 30th in fantasy points per game given up to the wide receiver position and 20th in the red zone. Expect the Ravens’ offense to succeed and Beckham Jr. to be the new preferred target at the goal line if he plays.
Demario Douglas – WR – New England Patriots
One of the few bright spots for New England, Demario Douglas has seized the top role in the New England passing attack over the last month. He led the team in route share and first-read targets over the team’s last two games. Additionally, he has finished as a top 31 receiver in three of his past four matchups. Despite garnering over 28 targets over that span, he has yet to catch a touchdown pass this season.
That will change this weekend against a soft New York Giants defense. There is little talent left on a unit that ranks 27th in terms of fantasy points given up to the wide receiver position. Whether it be Mac Jones or Bailey Zappe at quarterback, they should find more success than usual in a positive matchup. Regardless, Douglas has a safe floor due to target volume with added upside this week.
Rashid Shaheed – WR – New Orleans Saints
Rashid Shaheed has received inconsistent target volume while operating as a deep threat in the New Orleans offense. However, in a game that Michael Thomas missed almost entirely due to injury, Shaheed received 9 targets in Week 10. With Thomas now missing significant time, this will open up more opportunities for the exciting second-year player. The opportunities may have been lacking, but he has been productive thus far, ranking No. 5 in average depth of target and No. 12 in yards per reception.
Although Jameis Winston has the ideal skill set for Shaheed, it will be Derek Carr in Week 12 following him being removed from the injury report. While Carr hasn’t been very efficient, he is still No. 9 in air yards per attempt. The matchup against Atlanta isn’t a strong one, but with increased opportunities, the odds Shaheed breaks a big play increase. He’s a flex play, regardless of whether or not he scores a touchdown.
Kareem Hunt – RB – Cleveland Browns
This was the easiest choice on the entire list, as Kareem Hunt remains outside the top 30 running backs, according to many websites. Hunt has scored 6 touchdowns over the last 6 games and is the primary back near the goal line, too. While Deshaun Watson’s season-ending injury will dampen the offense, this is a great matchup against the Broncos. Denver is dead last in terms of fantasy points to opposing running backs this season.
Furthermore, they rank 26th in receiving yards given up to the position. If Cleveland is to have any success this weekend, it will likely be on the back of Hunt. The defense will keep them in the game too, which will allow them to heavily feature their running backs. Hunt is locked into a large role as the primary goal-line and passing-downs option.
Alexander Mattison – RB – Minnesota Vikings
Alexander Mattison continued his streak of fumbling issues last week and is losing work to the more dynamic Ty Chandler. Nonetheless, fantasy managers are accustomed to slow transitions from NFL coaches. For the time being, this is still a split backfield, with Alexander Mattison still maintaining a slight lead in volume.
Mattison will also have the chance to square off against the Chicago Bears in Week 12. They have given up the 4th most red-zone fantasy points to the running back position. Mattison also is No. 12 in the NFL in red-zone touches and still has a secure role inside the twenties. This will make him an RB2 based on volume with upside in a great matchup.