Fantasy Football 2012: Week 11 Surprise Performers
2012 Fantasy Football Surprise Performances Week 11
Week 11 of the 2012 NFL season featured quite a few surprises. From surprising wins to breakout performances from unlikely sources, this week provided plenty of suspense and intrigue for the fantasy football world.
During the early Sunday games, three overtime games added to the intrigue and surprise play of the day. The Jacksonville Jaguars surprisingly kept up on offense with the Houston Texans before losing by a score of 43-37. The Cleveland Browns entered halftime with a 13-0 lead, but eventually lost to the Dallas Cowboys thanks to some clutch play by Tony Romo, Felix Jones and Dez Bryant. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Carolina Panthers played a closely-contest game that went to the wire during regulation before a big touchdown in overtime consisting of Josh Freeman passing to Dallas Clark for a 15-yard score.
Star players like Texans WR Andre Johnson (vs. Jaguars, 33.30 points), Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (vs. Philadelphia Eagles, 32.40 points), New England Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski (vs. Indianapolis Colts, 25.70 points) and Oakland Raiders RB Marcel Reece (vs. New Orleans Saints, 19.30 points) had some of the top individual performances of the week. However, these elite fantasy options were obvious starts this week and weren’t necessarily surprises. Here’s a look at some surprising players at each position who had unexpected fantasy performances in Week 11.
* Fantasy points are determined by Yahoo! fantasy football default scoring settings. Players for this list are owned in less than 50% of Yahoo! fantasy football leagues and ownership numbers are up to date as of Monday, November 19. Statistics listed for players are subject to change after the game. Players from the Monday night matchup between the San Francisco 49ers and Chicago Bears were not considered for this list.
QB Chad Henne, Jacksonville Jaguars
Jaguars QB Chad Henne (at Texans, 2% owned)
Week 11 statistics: 354 passing yards, 7 rushing yards, 4 passing touchdowns
Fantasy points scored: 30.86 points
When Blaine Gabbert left the game in the first quarter with an elbow injury, Henne came in and had the performance of a lifetime against the Texans. The Jaguars were not expected to compete with the Texans, yet Henne kept his team in contention with 354 yards and four touchdowns. If Gabbert’s injury is long-lasting, Henne could earn the start in Week 12 against the Tennessee Titans and be a sleeper play in two-quarterback leagues.
Honorable mentions: Pittsburgh Steelers’ Byron Leftwich (vs. Baltimore Ravens, 4% owned, 16.14 points), Browns’ Brandon Weeden (at Cowboys, 13% owned, 14.40 points), St. Louis Rams' Sam Bradford (vs. New York Jets, 24% owned, 16.84 points)
RB Bilal Powell, New York Jets
Jets RB Bilal Powell (at Rams, 1% owned)
Week 11 statistics: 42 rushing yards, 18 receiving yards, 2 touchdowns
Fantasy points scored: 18.00 points
Questionable for this game with a concussion, Powell scored his first two touchdowns of his career in the fourth quarter against the Rams. When healthy, he could be a nice goal-line back for the Jets in place of starter Shonn Greene and could be a potential play in deeper leagues against the Patriots in Week 12.
Honorable mentions: Arizona Cardinals’ LaRod Stephens-Howling (at Atlanta Falcons, 47% owned, 19.30 points), Saints’ Mark Ingram (at Raiders, 29% owned, 12.80 points), Patriots’ Shane Vereen (vs. Colts, 6% owned, 11.10 points)
WR Justin Blackmon, Jacksonville Jaguars
Jaguars WR Justin Blackmon (at Texans, 24% owned)
Week 11 statistics: 236 receiving yards, one touchdown
Fantasy points scored: 29.60 points
Once Henne replaced Gabbert, Blackmon broke out for an unbelievable performance. Serving as Henne’s top option on offense, he finished the day with only seven catches but broke off for many big plays. Struggling all season long, this showing could be the moment that turns Blackmon’s season around.
Honorable mentions: Patriots’ Julian Edelman (vs. Colts, 2% owned, 22.50 points), Colts’ T.Y. Hilton (at Patriots, 22% owned, 22.00 points), San Diego Chargers’ Danario Alexander (at Denver Broncos, 23% owned, 21.60 points)
TE Garrett Graham, Houston Texans
Texans TE Garrett Graham (vs. Jaguars, 1% owned)
Week 11 statistics: 82 receiving yards, 2 touchdowns
Fantasy points scored: 20.20 points
Henne and Blackmon weren’t the only players to surprise in the Jaguars-Texans game. Even with the return of Owen Daniels, Graham had a major role in the offense and caught two of Matt Schaub’s five touchdown passes. Despite having three touchdowns in his last three games, Graham is a low-end fantasy option at best.
Honorable mentions: Browns’ Benjamin Watson (at Cowboys, 1% owned, 16.70 points), Jaguars’ Marcedes Lewis (at Texans, 7% owned, 16.00 points), Buccaneers’ Dallas Clark (at Panthers, 12% owned, 11.80 points)
K Jay Feely, Arizona Cardinals
Cardinals K Jay Feely (at Falcons, 2% owned)
Week 11 statistics: 3-for-3 field goals made (48, 28, 38, 27), 1 extra point made
Fantasy points scored: 14.00 points
After making just two field goals in his last three games, Feely played a major role in the Cardinals’ near victory over the Falcons. With the Cardinals offense struggling, regardless of whether John Skelton or Ryan Lindley was under center, Feely only found himself in field goal range due to the Falcons’ six turnovers, making him a poor fantasy option going forward.
Honorable mentions: Jaguars’ Josh Scobee (at Texans, 2% owned, 15.00 points), Buffalo Bills’ Rian Lindell (vs. Miami Dolphins, 3% owned, 14.00 points), Jets’ Nick Folk (at Rams, 3% owned, 13.00 points)
Washington Redskins team defense
Redskins team defense (vs. Philadelphia Eagles, 18% owned)
Week 11 statistics: 6 points allowed, 4 sacks, 2 interceptions, 1 fumble recovery
Fantasy points scored: 17.00 points
With rookie Nick Foles under center, the Redskins team defense had no trouble holding the Eagles offense to just six points. From various forced turnovers to pressure in the pocket, the Eagles were an easy competitor for the Redskins. The Redskins have a tougher opponent next week on Thanksgiving against the Cowboys.
Honorable mentions: Bills team defense (vs. Dolphins, 18% owned, 16.00 points), Saints team defense (at Raiders, 10% owned, 14.00 points), Chargers team defense (at Broncos, 30% owned, 14.00 points)