Here's the fantasy lowdown heading into Week 12.
1. Welcome to the 2013 season, Ray Rice.
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2. Judging Cam Newton's value.
Cam Newton had his best game of the year Monday night, throwing for 3 scores and adding 62 yards rushing for one of the better QB fantasy plays of Week 11. Newton owners can never expect the 300-yard passing days, but when you combine his efficient passing game with the rushing yards, you can still get a lot of points on a week-to-week basis. Yards on the ground are key for Newton to tally additional points that most quarterbacks won't get. Showdowns against New Orleans (who has the second-ranked pass defense in the league) in Weeks 14 and 16 could determine your fantasy season, as well as Carolina's playoff fate.
3. Is Big Ben more than a backup?
Over the last three weeks, Ben Roethlisberger has turned his fantasy season around, throwing 9 touchdowns and averaging 323 yards passing per game. Big Ben has quietly put together a year that has put him back in the top 10 of fantasy QBs. He is on pace for over 4,600 yards, which would be a career-high, and is also potentially looking at 27 touchdowns, which would be the second-highest total he's posted in his career. The problem for Roethlisberger could be the schedule down the homestretch. Games against division foes Cleveland, Baltimore and Cincinnati, who all rank in the top 12 in total pass defense.
4. Week 12 waiver wire golden boy, Bobby Rainey.
The second-year man from out of Western Kentucky burst on the scene in his first start Sunday, rushing for 161 yards and 3 touchdowns. Rainey was cut by the Browns following Week 7, and was an afterthought until Mike James broke his ankle on Monday Night Football against Miami November 11th. There's no telling what Rainey is going to give Tampa in the pass game, but anything you get will be a bonus. You probably shouldn't expect a repeat performance from last Sunday, but if he's getting 20+ touches per game, he's certainly playable as a RB2 or flex option.
5. Harry Douglas is making the most out of his opportunity in Atlanta.
The Falcons have been an utter disaster this season, but with injuries to Roddy White and Julio Jones, Douglas has emerged as a big time playmaker for Atlanta. Since the Week 6 bye, the 29-year-old has hauled in 35 total receptions for 535 yards. Douglas has been much more valuable in PPR leagues than standard ones, primarily because he has only reached the end zone twice all year. However, the team's run offense continues to struggle, so there should be a ton of opportunities for Douglas to hit pay dirt moving forward.
The Underrated 15 For Week 12:
1. Eli Manning
2. Carson Palmer
3. Mike Glennon
- Running Backs
1. Rashad Jennings
2. Chris Ivory
3. Bobby Rainey
- Wide Receivers
1. Marques Colston
2. Michael Floyd
3. Kendall Wright
- Tight Ends
1. Garrett Graham
2. Charles Clay
3. Coby Fleener
- Defense/Special Teams
3. Green Bay
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