Week 12 Preview: Playoff Push

Author: Steven Van Tassell

It’s Week 12, the final bye week of the NFL season and the start of the NFL and fantasy football playoff push. In the NFL, some teams are cruising towards a playoff spot but still need to keep win to secure home field advantage (New England and San Francisco), while others are fighting for their playoffs lives after tough starts to the season (Cleveland) and need to keep winning just to make the playoffs.

It’s the same in Dynasty Owner. The are undefeated teams (New York’s Strongest and Recyclers) who are going to make their league playoffs, but still need to win and put up big point totals to stay in the Chase for the Ring. Then there’s The Replacements, the #9 team in the Chase, and one of the teams featured in the Match-up of the Week. They only have a 6-5 record with some tough losses and two other top teams in their league in the Chase for the Ring (Day Drinkers and Puck Fittsburgh). Right now, The Replacements need to keep winning to even make the playoffs since they are in fifth place in their league.

This is our twelfth Dynasty Owner game preview article. We will analyze each team’s starters and bench in the Match-up of the Week to see if any switches are needed, highlight other things of interest and importance and make a prediction on the winner and final score. We’ll also pick some players who should be in your Active lineup and some who you should Bench, as well as review last week’s recommendations.

All stats are based on the Standard Dynasty Owner scoring system as outlined in the updated Dynasty Owner Constitution. Standard Dynasty Owner scoring gives you .1 points for every yard rushing or receiving, .1 point for every 2 yards passing, 1 point per reception, 6 points for a rushing, receiving or passing touchdown and 2 points for a successful 2-point conversion (rushing, receiving, or passing). Interceptions or fumbles lost cost you 3 points, while a fumble that is recovered by the player’s team is a loss of only 1 point. Bonus points are available for 100-199 yards rushing (2 points), 200 yards rushing or receiving (6 points), 300-399 yards passing (1 point) and 400 yards passing (4 points). There is also a 3 point bonus for clutch scoring, which is a score that results in a lead change in the final two minutes of the 4th quarter or overtime. Kickoff and punt return touchdowns are worth 6 points for the player and kickoff and punt returns are worth .25 points for every 10 yards. Standard Dynasty Owner scoring for kickers gives you 1 point for every extra point, while a missed extra point will cost you 1 point. It’s 2 points for a field goal of between 0 and 39 yards, 4 points for a field goal between 40 and 49 yards and 5 points for a field goal of 50 yards or longer. A missed field goal of between 0 and 39 yards will cost you 3 points, while a miss of 40 yards or more is a loss of 2 points.

Activate These Guys

First, we’ll look at last week and see how my recommendations worked out (Good, Bad or Just Ok). I recommended having the following players Active in Week 11:

  • QB: Derek Carr – 23.7 points (Just OK Recommendation)
  • RB: Joe Mixon – 17.3 points (Good Recommendation)
  • WR: Deebo Samuel – 21.4 points (Good Recommendation)
  • TE: Jared Cook – 11.3 points (Just OK Recommendation)

Much better than normal on the Active recommendations with two Good and two Just OK. The Just OK recommendations were both pretty close to being good as both Carr and Cook barely fell out of the top 10 performers at their respective positions in Week 11. Let’s try to duplicate last week with some recommendations of players who should be Active in Week 12.

Jeff Driskel (QB – DET): In two games as the Lions starter, Driskel has accumulated a total of 55.4 Dynasty Owner fantasy points. This week, he’s playing against the Redskins defense that just allowed Jets QB Sam Darnold to throw 4 TD passes last week (good for 34.4 Dynasty Owner fantasy points). He’s only owned in 6.5% of Dynasty Owner leagues and his salary is just $43,795 per week so if you’re missing Patrick Mahomes or Kyler Murray this week and need an Active QB, go out and get Driskel.

Jaylen Samuels (RB – PIT): The Steelers need to win to maintain their playoff chances, but are likely to be without the services of James Conner for their game this week against the Bengals. Conner played part of last week’s game, but missed the two previous games. It’ll be Jaylen Samuels as the lead RB again and he has averaged 13.6 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in the past three games. He also scored 23.9 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in the last Steelers-Bengals game. Josh Jacobs had over 100 yards rushing and 14.4 Dynasty Owner fantasy points last week against the porous Bengals run defense. Samuels should be Active this week for his Dynasty Owners.

Russell Gage (WR – ATL): Gage is rostered in only 2% of Dynasty Owner leagues and it should be more since his annual salary is only $654,049 per year for the next three years. Since the trade of Mohammed Sanu to the Patriots, he’s been the #3 WR in Atlanta and averaged six targets and 8.1 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game. His involvement should continue to increase without TE Austin Hooper as well. This week, the Falcons face off against the dreadful Tampa Bay defense that has allowed multiple TDs to WRs in each of its past four games. Gage has a good chance to catch his first TD pass this week, so make him Active.

Dallas Goedert (TE – PHI): Tight end is a thin position this week with multiple top TEs out due to injuries (Austin Hooper and Will Dissly) or bye weeks (Travis Kelce and Hunter Henry). Goedert has averaged 11.1 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per week over the past five weeks. The Eagles need wins to stay in the playoff chase, but are thin at WR with DeSean Jackson out and Alshon Jeffrey only just returning to practice after missing last week’s game. Goedert will only need to score 10.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points to be a Top 10 TE and the Seattle defense has been poor against some other good TEs, allowing Gerald Everett to score 20.6 Dynasty Owner fantasy points and Austin Hooper to score 18.5 against them. Goedert should be able to reach his average for the past couple of weeks and should be in your Active lineup.

Bench These Guys

Now, let’s look at last week and see how my Bench recommendations worked out (Good, Bad or Just Ok) for Week 11 when I recommended having the following players on the Bench:

  • QB: Carson Wentz – 14.4 points (Good Recommendation)
  • RB: Todd Gurley – 19.3 points (Bad Recommendation)
  • WR: Stefon Diggs – 23.1 points (Bad Recommendation)
  • TE: Zach Ertz – 18.4 points (Bad Recommendation)

Week 11 was worse than usual with only one Good recommendation and three Bad ones. All of players who ended up as Bad recommendations finished the week in the Top 10 players at their respective positions. Let’s try to do better this week with some players who Dynasty Owners drafted to use or have been using in their Active lineup, but would be better if they sat on the Bench.

Aaron Rodgers (QB – GB): The winner of the Green Bay-San Francisco game will have the advantage in the race for home field throughout the NFC playoffs. The top paid QB in Dynasty Owner, Aaron Rodgers, has been held under 20 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in six out of ten games this season, including his last two games before their Week 11 bye. He only scored 12.4 points versus Carolina and 16.6 versus the Chargers in his last two outings. And neither one of those defenses is as good as a San Francisco defense that is only allowing an average of 173.5 passing yards per game. Kyler Murray did score 32.2 Dynasty Owner fantasy points against them last week, but 12.7 of those points came on the ground (67 yards rushing and 1 rushing TD). Bench Rodgers against San Francisco and find another QB to make Active this week.

Josh Jacobs (RB – OAK): If at first you don’t succeed, try try again. That’s my mantra with this pick since I picked Jacobs as my Bench RB back in Week 9 and he burned me by scoring 26.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points. Here’s the argument for leaving the #8 RB in Dynasty Owner on the Bench. He scores over three-quarters of his Dynasty Owner fantasy points on the ground and the Jets have held opponents’ RB to an average of 46 yards per game over the past four weeks. The last time an opponent ran for over 100 yards against the Jets defense was Ezekiel Elliott back in Week 6. Dynasty Owners have a lot of other RBs with good match-ups this week that they can make Active, while leaving Jacobs on the Bench.

Amari Cooper (WR – DAL): Benching the #4 WR in Dynasty Owner might be tough to do, but it’s the correct call this week. Cooper is matching up against the Patriots secondary which has been outstanding all season. In particular, Patriots CB Stephon Gilmore should shadow Cooper and opposing WRs are averaging only 3.3 receptions for 33.1 yards per game against him. It’s also a road game for Cooper and the Cowboys and Cooper only averages 10.1 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per road game this season. This is after averaging just 8.4 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per road game in four road games for the Cowboys last year. That’s not enough points to be Active, so leave him on your Bench this week.

Gerald Everett (TE – LAR): The whole Rams passing game struggled last week, including Everett who only caught 1 pass for 20 yards (3.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points). As a result, the Rams find themselves right in the middle of the Wild Card race with the playoff-bound Ravens coming to Los Angeles on Monday night. If the Ravens defense plays as well against the Rams as they did against the Texans, it’ll be another poor performance for Everett. The Ravens held Darren Fells and Jordan Akins to a combined 5.3 Dynasty Owner fantasy points last week (2 receptions for 33 yards). The Ravens have also only allowed two TDs to TEs this season. Even though it’s a thin week at TE, Dynasty Owners can find a better option to have Active than Everett.

Dynasty Owner Match-up of the Week

The Replacements (Dustin S) vs. Ballad of RickyBobby (Bill J)

It’s time for our Dynasty Owner Match-up of the Week. The Replacements are chasing two things right now – a playoff spot and the Ring. While they sit in 9th place in the Chase for the Ring, only 86 points behind New York’s Strongest, they still need to win their league to win the Ring. The problem is that right now, they aren’t even a playoff team in their own league. The Replacements are sitting in fifth place with a 6-5 record on the season. To say this is a must-win for The Replacements is an understatement.

Their opponent, Ballad of RickyBobby, have just a 4-7 record on the season, but are looking at this week as their own personal playoffs and relish the chance to be a spoiler.

Some quick thoughts about the match-up:

  • The Replacements have two of my recommended Bench players (Josh Jacobs and Amari Cooper) in their Active lineup right now. But, do they have any viable “replacements” for them?
  • Mark Ingram might be a better bet than Josh Jacobs in the second RB spot behind Christian McCaffrey for Dustin. He doesn’t lack for options to replace Cooper as between his Bench and Practice Squad, he’s got seven other WRs not on bye. Curtis Samuel, who is currently on the Practice Squad, could be promoted to Active with Cooper taking Zach Pascal’s spot on the Bench if Dustin agrees with my analysis on Cooper and wants to Bench him.
  • It’s a thin week at TE but is it that thin that the Ballad of RickyBobby needs to have O.J. Howard in his Active lineup with Hayden Hurst on the Bench? With no extra TE on the Practice Squad to switch, Bill should look at his league’s Free Agent Auction to see if widely available TEs such as Ryan Griffin (available in 89% of Dynasty Owner leagues) or Jacob Hollister (available in 57% of Dynasty Owner leagues) are there for him to grab. Both are on one-year deals and he’ll only need to pay their salary for three weeks, so it’s a potential low-risk, high-reward roster move for Bill.
  • Bill needs to jump out to a big lead in the early Sunday games and hope to hang on after his Active lineup is finished scoring. That’s because Dustin has two players in his Active lineup playing Sunday night and his kicker playing on Monday night.

The exclusive Dynasty Owner scoring projections based on the current lineup for each team has The Replacements winning by a margin of 131.4-100.6. It’ll be closer than that as The Replacements will win, but they may be fighting for their Dynasty Owner playoff lives and praying for more scoring in both the Sunday Night and Monday Night Football games.

Final Score Prediction: The Replacements 120.6 vs. Ballad of RickyBobby 99.7

My prediction record is 6-5 for the season after a correct prediction in Week 11. Will it be another victory and a two-game winning streak or a loss that will send my record back to .500? Check out the Week 12 Recap article next week to find out who won the Match-up of the Week.

Steven Van Tassell is a freelance writer for Dynasty Owner.

Follow us on Twitter: @SteveVT33 and @Dynasty_Owner

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