Geno Smith, Quarterback, New York Jets
Let’s start off this week’s fantasy players to avoid in Week 12 with Smith, who was absolutely dreadful last week against the Buffalo Bills ending the day with negative fantasy points. Yes, quarterbacks are scarcity with injuries and four of them on a byes this week, but if you own Smith as your backup quarterback, you must find another option for Week 12. Smith is awful against blitzes and defenses are sniffing that out miles away. In Week 12, Smith will face another difficult matchup against the Baltimore Ravens. He hasn’t thrown for over 200 yards since Week 7, so at this point in time, Smith has no business being in anyone’s starting roster in Week 12. Hit the waivers if you own Smith, because he will single-handedly sink fantasy your team.
Projected Statistics: 11/23, 152 yards, one touchdown, three interceptions
Philip Rivers, Quarterback, San Diego Chargers
In Week 12 Rivers and team travel to Kansas City to face the Chiefs who possess one of the top 10 best pass defenses in the NFL. Rivers, who has lofted back to earth, has lost his must-start status each week, which is becoming clearly obvious when playing tougher defenses. Rivers passing touchdowns have taken a huge hit since returning from his bye in Week 8, and this week he may be without one of his top targets, Keenan Allen due to a knee injury. The Chiefs will be fueled up in Week 12 after losing to the Broncos last week, where they held Peyton Manning to just one passing touchdown. Play another quarterback with more positive matchup if you have one, because Rivers will be challenged in Week 12.
Projected Statistics: 19/29, 231 yards, one touchdown, one interception
Ben Roethlisberger, Quarterback, Pittsburgh Steelers
Roethlisberger and the Steelers take on the Cleveland Browns on their home turf in Week 12. Last week Roethlisberger created all kinds of havoc on the Lions tame passing defense, but don’t look for this play to continue this week.
The Cleveland Browns have one of the most capable corner backs in Joe Haden and he won’t let Roethlisberger get nearly as many passes to his No. 1 target, Antonio Brown as last week.
Roethlisberger will struggle while Brown gets smothered and his quarterback fantasy points will struggle also. Likely Roethlisberger isn’t your main quarterback, so explore your other options this week.
Projected Statistics: 19/35, 262 yards, one touchdown, two interceptions
James Jones, Wide Receiver, Green Bay Packers
If you’ve been starting Jones since his return from his injury, waiting for a breakout week, you have to note that his performances under the Packers temporary quarterback, Scott Tolzien have been extremely sub-standard for being the Packers No. 2 receiver. Tolzien has developed a rapport with fellow receivers Jarrett Boykin and Jordy Nelson causing Jones, who has only two lonely touchdowns to boast about for the season, to be the odd guy out. While you may find the friendly matchup against the Vikings terrible defense a temptation to put Jones into your lineup once again in Week 12, be warned that Jones will surely give you the same disappointing fantasy points as he usually does. Wait until Aaron Rodgers returns to trust Jones on your team.
Projected Statistics: Two receptions, 43 yards, zero touchdowns.
Pierre Garcon, Wide Receiver, Washington Redskins
Week 12 offers a daunting matchup for Garcon against the San Francisco 49ers. The 49ers brutal pass defense holds opposing wide receivers to an average of the eighth fewest fantasy points.
Last week, even Drew Brees was capped against the 49ers and only managed 80 passing yards to his top receiver.
You know if Brees had a tough time, Robert Griffin III will be even further tested and that equates to less targets for Garcon this week.
If you have another wide receiver facing a smoother matchup, Garcon, who is also battling a sore ankle, might be better suited sitting on your bench.
Projected Statistics: Five receptions, 66 yards, zero touchdowns.
Rod Streater, Wide Receiver, Oakland Raiders
Streater, who you may have possibly acquired off the waiver wires this week due to his fluky high-end performance under backup quarterback, Matthew McGloin last week, should remain on your bench in Week 12. The Raiders host the Tennessee Titans this week and their scary pass defense allows the least fantasy points to opposing wide receivers. Just ask T.Y. Hilton who had a miserable 44 receiving yards and no touchdowns last week. No matter who starts for the Raiders as quarterback, placing Streater, with only two touchdowns to his name, into your lineup, is just too risky in Week 12.
Projected Statistics: Three receptions, 41 yards, zero touchdowns.
Ray Rice, Running Back, Baltimore Ravens
It is unfortunate to find Rice once again listed as a fantasy player to avoid, especially after his shiny performance last week against the Bears.
However, Week 12 will bring rain to Rice’s parade as he faces the New York Jets. Forget about the Jets disastrous offense and keep in mind their rush defense who gives up the second fewest fantasy points to running backs.
Both C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson totaled less than six fantasy points combined against the Jets in Week 11.
Rice, who has been nothing better than a flex play most of the season will undoubtedly bring you just a handful of fantasy points in this Week 12 tough matchup.
Projected Statistics: 12 attempts, 38 yards, two receptions, 19 yards, zero touchdowns
Andre Ellington, Running Back, Arizona Cardinals
In Week 12 Ellington and the Cardinals entertain the Indianapolis Colts. You’re probably recalling the two rush touchdowns that Chris Johnson planted on the Colts last week in the first quarter of that game. Well Ellington is no Johnson, and if you’ll recall, the Colts quickly found Johnson’s number limiting him to just a few rush yards for the whole entire second half of that game. Ellington is a risk or reward player, and because he is only rationed a portion of snaps each week with the rest going to Rashard Mendenhall, it limits his fantasy value, especially when faced with a threatening matchup. Find another alternative for Ellington in Week 12.
Projected Statistics: Seven attempts, 56 yards, one reception, 13 yards, zero touchdowns
Martellus Bennett, Tight End, Chicago Bears
Bennett and the Bears travel to St. Louis to take on the Rams in Week 12. Unfortunately for Bennett, his fantasy value is connected to the hip of quarterback, Jay Cutler, who has been out several weeks due to lingering injuries. Bennett only has 10 receptions in three weeks, and has not given his fantasy owners a double-digit score since Week 6. The outlook for him does not appear any brighter against the Rams who allow the second least fantasy points to tight ends. He’ll remain a low-end TE2 in Week 12 once again without Cutler.
Projected Statistics: Two receptions, 39 yards, zero touchdowns.
Jordan Cameron, Tight End, Cleveland Browns
Speaking of players who are like lost puppies without their starting quarterback, Cameron sits atop of this list.
His elite fantasy numbers have tumbled from the start of the season; now a far cry from when Brandon Weeden was the quarterback. In Week 12, Cameron and the Browns will play the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Cameron’s matchups really are not relevant however, to his fantasy production, because the sad truth is that Jason Campbell flat out overlooks him on the field most of the time.
As long as Campbell is quarterback and until he learns to utilize Cameron as the amazing red zone threat he is, fantasy owners need to bench him.
Projected Statistics: Three receptions, 58 yards, zero touchdowns