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Fantasy Football Preview: Week 12

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Evan Birchfield is here to prepare you for your fantasy matchups!

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Greetings Falcoholics! Our Atlanta Falcons continued to impress last week as they dominated the Carolina Panthers, moving to 3-7 on the season. Before we turn our sights to this week’s matchup with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, let’s review last week.

Even in a loss, running back Brian Hill was largely the biggest let down of the week in terms of fantasy. Hill had looked good in limited action and was facing the Panthers who had given up the most fantasy points to opposing running backs over the past four games. A perfect storm right? WRONG. Hill finished the day with 15 carries for 30 yards, totaling 4.8 fantasy points for those that started him. After facing a rough run defense last week, he’ll face the best run defense in the league this week — so limit your expectations on Hill in week 12.

As mentioned above, the Buccaneers are the best run defense in the league, however they’re also the worst pass defense. With tight end Austin Hooper out for a few games, wide receiver Calvin Ridley got some extra attention against the Panthers’ 5th worst pass defense. Ridley finished the day with 8 receptions for 143 yards and a touchdown, totaling 28.3 fantasy points in standard formats. Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley and even Russell Gage should have quality games this weekend.

Another thing the Buccaneers are last against is kickers, as they’ve allowed the most fantasy points to kickers this season. Younghoe Koo has had an impressive fantasy stat line over the past two weeks, totaling 26 combined fantasy points. He’s still available in 33% of leagues, so if you need a kicker I’d go add him.

League-wide outlook

NFL teams on a bye this week include the Arizona Cardinals, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers and Minnesota Vikings

You possibly have some starters on a bye this week, so let’s look at some fill-in options for this week. I’ll include only players available in 50% or more leagues. If you need a fill-in quarterback this week, Detroit LionsJeff Driskel has done fairly well lately. Since taking over for an injured Matthew Stafford two weeks ago, Driskel has a combined 55 fantasy points. This week he will face a bad Washington pass defense, so as long as Stafford is out, he’s definitely an option worth looking at.

Rookie wide receiver Hunter Renfrow is somehow only owned in 15% of leagues, even though he has four straight games with 8+ fantasy points. This week he faces the New York Jets who have allowed the second most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers. It’s a great match-up for Renfrow, so definitely add him if you’re looking for a filler.

Need a running back? Kalen Ballage is probably available in your league. He’s touchdown dependent, but considering he’s had 29 carries over the last two games, anything is possible, right? The running back availability in your league is probably as depressing as it is in mine.

Well that does it, folks. I wish everyone who took the time to read this the best of luck in their week 12 fantasy matchups. If you have any fantasy questions for me, you can ask in the comments below or find me on Twitter at @EvanBirchfield. Remember, when it comes to fantasy football – always go with your gut!