Week 12 Fantasy Risers and Fallers
There were several interesting performances once again in week 11, both good and bad, that will drastically change the way we shape our fantasy lineups heading into week 12.
Here’s our fantasy football stock watch for the week as we track the top five risers and fallers:
Alex Smith, QB, San Francisco 49ers
Smith is far from spectacular, but he’s been consistently solid all season long.
Obviously, with bye weeks now a thing of the past, you won’t need to consider him as a “bye week savior.” However, he could be a sneaky good quarterback heading into the fantasy playoffs, with four total matchups remaining against the Rams (twice), Seahawks and Cardinals.
On the down side, it’s looking more and more like San Francisco will have clinched the division and a first-round bye by then, so Smith may not see as much action as he normally would at the end of the regular season.
Monitor the situation and keep an eye on him.
Kevin Smith, RB, Detroit Lions
Easiest call of all here. Smith, seeing his first meaningful NFL action since November 14, 2010, enjoyed a huge day in the win over the Panthers Sunday, rushing for 140 yards with a pair of scores to go along with 61 receiving yards and another TD.
Considering he’s never really shown this kind of ability in the past, it would be foolish to expect a repeat performance moving forward. However, considering the relative dearth of productive fantasy running backs, adding him to your roster is a no=brainer.
With Jahvid Best likely not coming back any time soon, Smith should keep seeing the reps necessary to be productive.
Marion Barber, RB, Chicago Bears
Barber’s rushing totals clearly aren’t the draw here (his season-high is just 39 yards), but he’s a classic case of a “touchdown vulture”, having scored four times in the last five games.
It’s never truly safe to start short-yardage guys like him, but, if you’re in a desperate spot and in need of a flex play, you can do worse than Barber.
Laurent Robinson, WR, Dallas Cowboys
Like Barber, Robinson has risen to fantasy relevance due in large part to his knack for finding the end zone. He’s now scored in four straight games, and has earned Tony Romo’s trust, particularly in the red zone.
He also led Dallas in targets with 11 in the win over the Redskins. There’s potential here.
Percy Harvin, WR, Minnesota Vikings
Harvin has struggled this season, and hasn’t topped 76 yards receiving in any game. However, he has six catches in each of the last two games (obviously adding to his value in PPR leagues), so it appears as though he’s beginning to develop a rapport with Christian Ponder.
He also scored his first TD of the season in Sunday’s loss to the Raiders.
Vernon Davis, TE, San Francisco 49ers
Davis went through a bit of a midseason lull during which he failed to produce much of anything.
He has scored in two straight games now, though, so perhaps he and Alex Smith are back on the same page. I’d feel comfortable starting him again without question moving forward.
Sam Bradford, QB, St. Louis Rams
Bradford has battled injuries so far this season, and his performance on the field appears to have suffered as a result. It surely doesn’t help matters that he has very few weapons at his disposal, but he’s just not a reliable fantasy quarterback in any capacity right now.
Jackie Battle, RB, Kansas City Chiefs
The injury-riddled Chiefs don’t really have anywhere else to go when it comes to running backs, but Battle has been all-but useless for three consecutive weeks now.
With KC always having to play from behind, they can’t afford to be running the ball, which has resulted in single-digit carries for Battle in two straight weeks now.
Roy Helu/Ryan Torain, RB, Washington Redskins
What’s the point of continuing to try and figure out what Mike Shanahan is doing with his backfield?
It does help that Tashard Choice was cut Tuesday, but who knows what their plan is going to be at this point?
Kevin Walter/Jacoby Jones, WR, Houston Texans
With Andre Johnson returning and with Matt Schaub possibly out for the season, Walter and Jones will likely see their respective workloads cut.
Not that they were getting much done, anyway.
Jacoby Ford, WR, Oakland Raiders
There’s no telling which Raiders receiver will step-up in any given week, but Ford has been exceptionally useless in each of the last two games, racking up a total of one catch for 41 yards.
The big-play ability is what makes him most appealing, but Carson Palmer seems to prefer spreading the wealth a bit.
Visanthe Shiancoe, TE, Minnesota Vikings
Harvin’s increase in production has resulted in a dip for Shiancoe, who has just three catches in the last two games combined.
You probably weren’t really depending on Shiancoe to begin with, but he did have a nice mini-streak earlier in the year.
Taylor Smith has been with NFL Soup since its inception, and is a jack of all trades, helping with breaking news, fantasy football advice and NFL Draft coverage. Smith also heads NFL Soup's live chats and radio shows. Taylor also contributes content to our sister sites, MLB Soup, NBA Soup and NBA Water Cooler. He lives in Los Angeles, where he also is a writer for the L.A. Clippers. Follow him on Twitter @NFLSoupTaylor.