Week 12 booms, busts, breakouts

Will <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/nfl/players/29384/" data-ylk="slk:Jordan Howard">Jordan Howard</a> be celebrating at Philadelphia in Week 12? (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Will Jordan Howard be celebrating at Philadelphia in Week 12? (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Each week our gaggle of Yahoo analysts show their hands and reveal their top booms, busts and breakouts. Gaze into the crystal ball and list your picks, using the strict rules set, in the comment section below. 

Among players under 50 percent started in Yahoo leagues, the loudest BOOM from Week 12 comes from ________.

Andy — COREY CLEMENT has found the end-zone four times in his last two games, playing more snaps for Philadelphia than Jay Ajayi, and yet fantasy owners seem indifferent. He’s averaging 10 touches per game since Week 8, playing for an offense that ranks third in the league in total yards per game (377.6) and first in scoring (32.0 PPG). What’s not to like? It’s easy to build a case that he should rank ahead of Ajayi, rest of season.

Brad — DERRICK HENRY. Yes his lack of work is maddening and he remains locked in a timeshare with DeMarco Murray, but the enraged bull’s touches have increased slightly since Week 6 (12.6) and his matchup Sunday is incredibly friendly. The Colts have surrendered close to 100 rush yards per game and the fifth-most fantasy points to rushers. It’s entirely conceivable he and Murray both post RB2-level days, at a minimum. Bank on 70-plus yards with a score.

Scott — I’m surprised TYLER KROFT still qualifies for this spot, because he’s a fairly obvious pick. But his ownership and start percentages continue to lag, so we’ll dial him up. Kroft is the No. 11 tight end since Week 3 — when he took over the Cincinnati TE gig from Tyler Eifert — and the Cleveland seam coverage is a stone giveaway (only the Giants and Broncos are worse against the tight end position). Kroft already beat these guys once (6-68-2 in Week 4), and he’s been TE13 or better in five of his last seven starts. Floor and upside both apply to this pick.

Conversely, among players started in over 50 percent of Yahoo leagues, the biggest Week 12 BUST will be ______.

Brad — JORDAN HOWARD. He’s on pace to smash RB franchise records for a rusher in his first two seasons, but a post-holiday hangover is likely. Philadelphia, led by buffet closer Fletcher Cox, boasts one of the stingiest defensive lines in the league. On the year, the Eagles have allowed only 45.7 rush yards per game and 3.07 yards per carry to RBs. Throw the strong possibility of a negative script and Howard will be lucky to surpass 75 total yards.

Andy — I’m going to simply disregard the percent-started qualifier here and mention that if I owned DOUG MARTIN, which I do not, I would be much closer to dropping him than starting him. At some point, we have to let go of the fact that he’s still seeing 20 touches each game and focus on the complete lack of production. Martin has been held below 3.0 YPC in four of his last five games, and hasn’t been above 4.0 since his season debut. He’s rushed for 96 yards on 47 carries in his last three games, people. Time to move on.

Scott — Here’s a pick I’d love to be wrong on. GREG OLSEN has been one of my favorite players for a solid decade, and I think he’s headed for big things after he retires (a Hall of Fame bust; a long, successful broadcasting career). I also expect he’ll be a fantasy factor in the playoffs, in the money games of Weeks 14-16. But Olsen’s expected return Sunday is his first game activity in 10 weeks, and I’m always going to be cautious with those situations. Even at a dodgy fantasy position like tight end, I want a prove-it game before I dial up Olsen. Some industry pundits rank him as high as TE5 on their projection boards; I have Olsen at TE14, outside the TE1 start-line. Let’s see game action first.

Chuck a Hail Mary, the one deep player (under 15% started) you believe BREAKS OUT in Week 12 is ______.

Scott — It’s time to get back on the MARTAVIS BRYANT train. JuJu Smith-Schuster isn’t expected to go Sunday night against the Pack, and the Pittsburgh offense tends to show up in prime-time spots (witness the splashy plays against Detroit and Tennessee). The Steelers are also a home-favoring group, and heck, Bryant has already been eased back into the offense — nine targets the last two weeks. With JuJu out of the mix, Bryant becomes a tantalizing upside ticket to punch. Green Bay’s secondary is a beatable bunch, allowing the fourth-most points to opposing wideouts over the past month.

Brad — ZAY JONES. Amidst the idiocy and general chaos that’s enveloped Buffalo, Jones has quietly turned a corner. Suffering from drops and route running miscues earlier in the season, he’s become a favorite weapon of Tyrod Taylor. Targeted 14 times in his past two games, he caught 10 balls for 121 yards and a TD. Matched against a KC secondary that serves up points on a silver platter (Most fantasy points allowed to WRs), Zay is sure to make hay at Arrowhead. A final line around 5-70-1 is within reach.

Andy — J.D. McKISSIC has caught nine passes over his last two games, plus he’s now averaging 4.4 YPC for the season. Seattle has a terrific matchup on deck at San Francisco, and McKissic is the team’s only healthy, competent runner. (Carson and Davis aren’t healthy. Lacy and Rawls are gaining yards at a rate that would make Doug Martin cringe.) You can expect double-digit touches from McKissic in Week 12, which should produce 70-plus yards and perhaps a score.

More Fantasy Football advice on Yahoo Sports

Crash the pocket on Brad (@YahooNoise), Scott (@Scott_Pianowski) and Andy (@AndyBehrens) on Twitter

What to Read Next