Week 12 Optimal Flex Plays: Odell Beckham is peaking at the right time

In a week where we lost Mark Andrews and Joe Burrow for the season, it doesn’t seem like there’s much to be thankful for. Oh but there is, especially with family (sometimes), friends (the real ones) and football on the horizon. I’m thankful that Brian Robinson, who was in this column last week finished as RB7 on the Week. Jerome Ford (RB21 in Week 11) and even CHRISTIAN WATSON got into the end zone in Week 11 to pay off subpar days. Zay Flowers, who was also in this article last week was jobbed out of a 68-yard touchdown (that I’m still punching air over) because of a phantom Odell Beckham holding call (great block). Marquise Brown and Rashee Rice didn’t quite live up to the expectations, but it’s all good. Let’s see who’s helping us out down the stretch.

WR - Odell Beckham or Zay Flowers at Chargers

Flowers has had a steady floor this season, but Beckham is peaking at the right time. Beckham has scored in two of his last three games and recorded 116 receiving yards in Week 11, which was his best output since 2019. In back-to-back games, he’s caught passes of 40 and 51 yards from Lamar Jackson. Both Beckham and Flowers have a dream matchup against the Chargers’ league-worst pass defense. They also allow the second-most fantasy points per game to receivers, while giving up nearly 2,000 receiving yards to wideouts this season. With a game total of 47, we should expect plenty of throwing. OBJ & Zay Inc. will step up in the absence of Mark Andrews.

WR - Brandin Cooks vs. Commanders

Cooks has been coming on as the Cowboys’ official WR2 after leading the team in receiving yards over the last two weeks. Dak Prescott has made a concerted effort to get him more involved despite the Cowboys blowing out their last two opponents. Facing the Commanders’ defense is always fun for opposing wide receivers as they allow the third-most fantasy points per game to the position. The Commanders have also allowed a receiving touchdown to a wideout in three of their last four games and even surrendered a season-best 82 yards to Darius Slayton. There’s also the fact that Prescott has by far been the best quarterback in fantasy football since Week 6. All these things bode well for Cooks in Week 12.

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RB - Raheem Mostert at Jets

Mostert has been the most steady at running back for the Dolphins this season. After a couple of games where he didn’t reach 50 rushing yards (Weeks 7 and 8), Mostert has run for at least 85 yards in his past two contests. De’Von Achane is a bit banged up after Week 11 and could be viable here as well, but with Salvon Ahmed set to miss the rest of the season, Mostert will be vital against the Jets. While the Jets are noted for their elite defense, they allow the 10th-most fantasy points per game to running backs. In Week 11, the Jets allowed James Cook and Latavius Murray to run for a combined 108 yards on 27 carries. Furthermore, the Dolphins are 10-point favorites which should give Mostert plenty of opportunities.

WR - Josh Downs vs. Buccaneers

Downs has been down the past couple of weeks after going for at least 70 yards or scoring in the previous three. He’ll have a shot to bounce back against a Bucs defense that allows the fourth-most fantasy points to wideouts. San Francisco's receivers went for 8-219-1 in Week 11 against the Bucs who have also allowed a receiver to gain at least 150 yards in two out of their last three games. At this point it is clear that Downs is the Colts’ WR2 and should have very little problems succeeding against the Bucs’ second-worst pass defense. There are no teams on a bye this week so you may not have to pivot to Downs, but if you’re ravaged with injuries (and there are plenty to go around), he’s a good bet.

RB - Kyren Williams at Cardinals

The return of Williams is a pretty big deal as he was one of the top running backs in fantasy football prior to his injury. He comes off IR this week and gets to face the very team he went 20-158-1 against before leaving with an ankle injury. The Cardinals allow the third-most fantasy points per game to running backs and are the seventh-worst rushing defense in the NFL. Texans RB Devin Singletary went 22-112-1 against the Cardinals in Week 11, the second-best game of his career from a yardage perspective. Don’t be cautious with inserting Williams back into your lineup due to injury because the Rams have released Darrell Henderson which assures us that Williams should have no limitations. He’s top-10 back for me this week.

RB - Jerome Ford at Broncos

One of the lower game totals (35 points) will involve the Browns who I expect to lean even more on their running game. Ford has proven to be the team’s unquestioned top back (even through Kareem Hunt gets his share) over the past three games and faces an improved Broncos defense, but one that allows the most points in fantasy to running backs. In Week 11, they allowed Alexander Mattison to run for 81 yards, his best since Week 4. Ford was inefficient in Week 11 gaining only 31 yards on 12 carries, but paid it off with a touchdown. In what is expected to be a low-scoring affair, we expect both sides to try and make their way through the run game.