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Fantasy Football 2012: Week 12 Surprise Performers

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2012 Fantasy Football Surprise Performances Week 12


Week 12 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.

The three Thanksgiving games provided some surprising performances. From the Detroit Lions staying competitive with the Houston Texans all the way until the end of the overtime period to the Washington Redskins edging the Dallas Cowboys out in a shootout, these two earlier games provided some entertaining NFL action in what turned out to be closely-contested matchups. As for the nightcap, it was the complete opposite, as the New England Patriots slaughtered the New York Jets on both sides of the ball and on special teams for a lopsided victory.

Star players like Patriots QB Tom Brady (at Jets, 31.42 points), Cowboys WR Dez Bryant (vs. Redskins, 25.10 points), and Texans RB Arian Foster (at Lions, 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 12.

* 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 26. Statistics listed for players are subject to change after the game. Players from the Monday night matchup between the Philadelphia Eagles and Carolina Panthers were not considered for this list.

Austin Chang is a featured columnist and fantasy sports expert at Rant Sports and you can follow him on Twitter @_austinchang.

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QB Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks

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Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson (at Miami Dolphins, 21% owned)

Week 12 statistics: 224 passing yards, 38 rushing yards, 2 passing touchdowns

Fantasy points scored: 20.76 points

In a road matchup with average difficulty against the Dolphins, Wilson was efficient with all of his passes, finished the day with 224 yards and two touchdowns on 21-of-27 passes. While he hasn’t put up great yardage numbers this season, he has been a reliable and safe option who has now gone three straight games without an interception.

Honorable mentions: Jacksonville Jaguars’ Chad Henne (vs. Tennessee Titans, 11% owned, 17.44 points), Dolphins’ Ryan Tannehill (vs. Seahawks, 9% owned, 16.42 points), St. Louis Rams’ Sam Bradford (at Arizona Cardinals, 22% owned, 15.30 points)

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RB Shane Vereen, New England Patriots


Patriots RB Shane Vereen (at Jets, 10% owned)

Week 12 statistics: 42 rushing yards, 91 receiving yards, 1 touchdown

Fantasy points scored: 19.30 points

In what turned out to be a big blowout by the Patriots, Vereen was one of many players who broke out for big plays in the game. Obtaining most of his production from a short swing pass that resulted in a 83-yard touchdown in the second quarter, he has been a nice complement to starter Stevan Ridley and will have small fantasy contributions in most games going forward.

Honorable mentions: Cardinals’ Beanie Wells (vs. Rams, 47% owned, 16.80 points), Texans’ Justin Forsett (at Lions, 1% owned, 14.70 points), Atlanta Falcons’ Jacquizz Rodgers (at Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 42% owned, 13.90 points)

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WR Chris Givens, St. Louis Rams

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Rams WR Chris Givens (at Cardinals, 8% owned)

Week 12 statistics: 1 rushing yard, 115 receiving yards, one touchdown

Fantasy points scored: 17.60 points

The Rams’ big-play receiver downfield, Givens was the only St. Louis receiver to catch more than one pass against the Cardinals. With Danny Amendola out, he stepped up and used his speed to burn Arizona multiple times. His fantasy value is largely affected by Amendola’s health.

Honorable mentions: Cincinnati Bengals’ Mohamed Sanu (vs. Oakland Raiders, 3% owned, 15.40 points), Indianapolis Colts’ T.Y. Hilton (vs. Buffalo Bills, 43% owned, 15.300 points), Redskins’ Aldrick Robinson (at Cowboys, 1% owned, 12.80 points)

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RB/TE Charles Clay, Miami Dolphins

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Dolphins RB/TE Charles Clay (vs. Seahawks, 0% owned)

Week 12 statistics: 84 receiving yards, 1 touchdown

Fantasy points scored: 14.40 points

A fullback/H-back hybrid for the Dolphins, Clay came out of nowhere and nearly doubled his receiving yards for the season against the Seahawks. Catching all six of his targets, he has scored twice in the past four games but is not utilized enough in the Dolphins offense for major fantasy consideration.

Honorable mentions: Jets’ Dustin Keller (vs. Patriots, 37% owned, 12.40 points), Denver Broncos’ Jacob Tamme (at Kansas City Chiefs, 32% owned, 10.80 points), Baltimore Ravens’ Dennis Pitta (at San Diego Chargers, 26% owned, 10.20 points)

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K Rob Bironas, Tennessee Titans


Titans K Rob Bironas (at Jaguars, 27% owned)

Week 12 statistics: 4-for-5 field goals made (38, 40, 39, 33), 1 extra point made

Fantasy points scored: 14.00 points

Despite a decent matchup against the Jaguars, the Titans offense struggled behind Jake Locker and thus lost 24-19 to Jacksonville. The Titans were kept in the game by Bironas’ four made field goals. Looking forward to Week 13, a matchup against the Texans makes him a weak fantasy option.

Honorable mentions: Buccaneers’ Connor Barth (vs. Falcons, 38% owned, 13.00 points), Bengals’ Mike Nugent (vs. Raiders, 19% owned, 12.00 points), Texans’ Shayne Graham (at Lions, 43% owned, 11.00 points)

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St. Louis Rams team defense

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Rams team defense (at Cardinals, 34% owned)

Week 12 statistics: 17 points allowed, 2 sacks, 4 interceptions, 2 defensive touchdowns

Fantasy points scored: 23.00 points

The Rams defense was in a great position to succeed due to their matchup against Cardinals rookie quarterback Ryan Lindley. Picking him off four times, no single St. Louis defender had a better game than rookie cornerback Janoris Jenkins, who intercepted him twice and brought both back for touchdowns. This outburst on defense was likely an isolated occasion, as next week against the San Francisco 49ers will likely not yield the same results.

Honorable mentions: Cleveland Browns team defense (vs. Pittsburgh Steelers, 21% owned, 21.00 points), Colts team defense (vs. Bills, 4% owned, 14.00 points), Titans team defense (at Jaguars, 6% owned, 9.00 points)