Swing For The Fences - Week 12
by FBG Staff
November 21st, 2012

We all look for them – the guys that are off the radar, the guys you can grab off of the waiver wire, even for just one week that can help your team. Sometimes it is a matchup advantage that you can see, other times it is based on injury replacements. Part luck, part science, part observation – finding these hidden gems that are out there can make or break your fantasy week.

In this column, several Footballguys staff members will not only identify what players are probably floating out there in your free agency pool that could help you this week – but also why. By explaining what we think and/or see, we will be able to share our views and insights into the game of fantasy football and the NFL league that we all know and love.

Each week several members of the Footballguys staff will provide their own choice for a potential sleeper of the week, or candidate sleeper for the next several weeks in an attempt to "Swing for the Fences". These players will be highly likely to be out there on your league's waiver wire, which means we will target players that are not in the Top 150-180 players on our weekly rankings list. The goal here is to find a quarterback or tight end not in the Top 20, a running back not in the Top 50 or a wide receiver not in the Top 60 on these lists. (Some liberties may be taken during bye weeks, but for the most part this will be the selection criteria). Another criteria will be using is that they are generally available (75% or more) in ESPN leagues, for example. Basically we want to identify guys you can grab in most leagues and start if you need someone.

Of course the deeper you dig the more likely that particular player will be on your waiver wire, but the deeper we look the less likely we are to find a successful choice. We will define a successful sleeper selection as a startable fantasy performance in a typical 12-team league, meaning that a quarterback or tight end must post a Top 12 score a given week, a running back must crack the Top 24, and a wide receiver must break into the Top 36 for that week's selection.

As always with predictions, we cannot guarantee that we will hit on every player, but at least you can see what our thought processes are and why we believe we found that needle in the haystack. Hopefully our selections and insights will help you each week to improve your skills in fantasy football, your appreciation of the league and matchups and of course to get your fantasy team the most points possible.

Last week had two good calls. Check out this list:

  • Marcel Reece (#1 RB in PPR)
  • Jacquizz Rodgers (#23 RB in PPR)
  • Not bad at all. Let's see about Week 12, shall we?

    Jeff Pasquino's choice #1 (Week 12) – Ronnie Hillman, RB, Denver Broncos– (Owned in 30% of ESPN Leagues)
    Okay, I am taking a little liberty here with the 25% ownership rule – but come on now. This is Week 12 here and if you don't have Hillman at the top of your sleepers list (and aren't picking him up when 70% of leagues have him as a free agent) then you are missing the boat. Hillman is going to get a ton of chances now that Willis McGahee is out for at least four weeks and possibly the rest of the regular season. This week's matchup against Kansas City could have Hillman as the #1 RB in all fantasy formats.

    Jeff Pasquino's choice #2 (Week 12) – Colin Kaepernick, QB, 49ers– (Owned in 9.5% of ESPN Leagues)
    The 49ers had to go with their young quarterback against the Bears in Week 11, but the kid from the University of Nevada is no rookie. Coach Jim Harbaugh drafted Kaepernick last season and red-shirted the then rookie behind Alex Smith. With Smith ailing and Kaepernick lighting up the Bears on Monday Night Football, the former Wolf Pack quarterback is at the top of the quarterback waiver wire list this week. Assuming Kaepernick gets the start this week – and I think he should – he should be in the meat of a shootout against New Orleans on Sunday.

    Jeff Pasquino's choice #3 (Week 12) – Jalen Parmele, RB, Jaguars– (Owned in 10.9% of ESPN Leagues)
    Jacksonville has really struggled on the ground since Maurice Jones-Drew went down with an injury. Rashad Jennings was supposed to fill the void but has been rather disappointing. Jacksonville gave Parmele the ball and a chance this week against Houston and he responded well with 80 yards on 28 carries. The schedule does get easier and the signs are not good for Jones-Drew to return this year, so grab Parmele if you need a RB and start him right away this week against the Titans.

    Jeff Pasquino's choice #4 (Week 12) – Bryce Brown, RB, Eagles– (Owned in 5.5% of ESPN Leagues)
    Bryce Brown was a seventh round draft back, but keep in mind that running backs have been falling and falling in the draft as they are more of a commodity and viewed as "a dime a dozen" in today's NFL. Brown was a stud prospect heading to Tennessee in college but transferred to Kansas State and fell through the scouting cracks. Brown could start this week if LeSean McCoy is out due to a concussion, and I expect that to happen on Monday night against Carolina.

    Jeff Pasquino's choice #5 (Week 12) – T.Y. Hilton, WR, Colts– (Owned in 9.5% of ESPN Leagues)
    With Donnie Avery sidelined with a concussion, Hilton saw plenty of chances in Week 11 against New England, where he reeled in six passes for 100 yards and two touchdowns. Hilton was second on the team with nine targets (to Reggie Wayne) and the Colts will get Hilton plenty of targets this week at home against the Bills. I think Andrew Luck targets him another 10+ times and he puts up solid numbers again this week and possibly for weeks to come.

    Jeff Pasquino's choice #6 (Week 12) – Ryan Broyles, WR, Lions– (Owned in 1.3% of ESPN Leagues)
    Simple "next man up" here as Titus Young is suspended. Broyles should see plenty of action with Calvin Johnson starting on the other side and Matthew Stafford looking to throw plenty this week against Houston. Broyles is a rookie but I like him to produce on Thanksgiving in his first NFL start.

    Jeff Pasquino's choice #7 (Week 12) – Tony Scheffler, TE, Lions– (Owned in 0.8% of ESPN Leagues)
    As with Ryan Broyles, this is again a simple "next man up" here as Titus Young is suspended. Scheffler gets plenty of playing time and split looks with Ryan Broyles as the third option with Young in the lineup, so with Young suspended Scheffler should see plenty of action and Matthew Stafford looking to throw plenty this week against Houston. I like him to score a touchdown as well as Marcedes Lewis found the end zone twice last week against the Texans.

    Jeff Pasquino's choice #8 (Week 12) – Julian Edelman, WR, Patriots– (Owned in 1.9% of ESPN Leagues)
    Simple math here as someone has to fill the void created by the loss of tight end Rob Gronkowski. Edelman had a great Week 11 with 105 total yards plus a 68-yard punt return for a second touchdown on the day. Expect Edelman to see more snaps and targets for the next month or so, starting Thursday night against the Jets.

    So there you have it – the Week 12 Swing for the Fences. Look for more each week from the Footballguys staff as we continue next week and add a few more choices.

    Good luck this week.

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